"Sicko", Michael Moore and the Crisis in Health Care by Jeffrey Dach MD

"Sicko", Michael Moore, and the Health Care Crisis
by Jeffrey Dach MD

Our Expectations of the Health Care System Don't Match the Reality
 
Sicko by Michael Moore, this might hurt a littleMichael Moore’s documentary of the American Healthcare system, SICKO, opened this week, June 29. You could have seen it free on U-Tube until last Monday before the pirated copies were shut down. Apparently, Moore has hidden a copy in a safe place, because the US State Department has threatened to confiscate the film stock for illegal travel to Cuba.

American movie audiences responded with strong emotional reactions both for and against the film’s message. Right wing Republican Fred Thompson had his own video reaction on U-tube, and its not very friendly to Michael Moore or his message.

SICKO's message, in a nutshell

1) the American for-profit health insurance industry is designed to maximize profit by minimizing the care delivered to patients.

2) the pharmaceutical industry is price gauging and out of control.

Athough there are 45 million Americans who have no Health insurance, Michael Moore's film concentrates on the insured Americans who faithfully pay their stiff health insurance premiums, yet are denied coverage by the insurance companies when they get sick. Prescription drugs are effective and badly needed, but cost too much.

Michael Moore's Manifesto

Michael Moore Sicko review by  jeffrey dach mdAfter the final credits, and the lights go back on, the take home message of the film is a political sales pitch for Michael Moore’s Health Care Proposal, “A Prescription for Change”, which consists of three points.

1) Every resident of the US must have free universal health care for life.
2) All health insurance companies must be abolished.
3) Pharmaceutical Companies must be strictly regulated like public utilities.

Namely, the solution to our crisis is a government run, publicly-funded health care system with universal health coverage, like England, France, Canada, and Cuba. The spin meisters have responded quickly, sending out their counter messages warning that government health care is not such a great idea;

Randall E. Gebhardt, president of Quantum Health says,

"If you want to know how government-run healthcare would work, just think back to the last time you stood in line at the post office, or waited on hold for two hours with the IRS or Immigration service to check on the passport application you sent five months ago, or the news coverage you watched of relief efforts after Katrina. Just think, all your healthcare needs could be run this way."

The REAL Solution

What is the solution, if Moore’s government sponsored universal health care is not the answer?

The crux of the Sicko documentary is the disconnect between our expectations and the reality of health care. We are expecting compassionate care from another human being, and instead we get a faceless corporation. The person behind the desk or window is an agent of a health care corporation, which is not a human being, whose primary goal is to increase corporate profit.

This is America, and corporate profit is good, the profit motive forming the basis America’s greatness. The basic problem is that a corporation is not a human being. Therein lies the fallacy of replacing a corporation with a government agency, neither of which is a human being, when what we really want is a human being to deliver compassionate health care, and assist in serious health care decisions.

Michael Moore and Cuba

Michael Moore SIcko Megaphone Guantanamo Bay BullhornOne scene shows Michael Moore addressing the Guantanamo Bay Naval base from a speedboat containing 9/11 rescue workers. Megaphone in hand, Moore makes a futile attempt to request the same medical care for the rescue workers given to the imprisoned 9/11 suspects. He receives no human reply, and is driven off by screaming sirens. The military, like any branch of government follows the rule book, with no compassionate human to human interaction possible. Of course there are exceptions to all this, when people act like human beings in spite of their rules of the job or government agency, and we come away pleasantly surprised. This doesn’t happen too often.

So, who and where do we find this human being to interface with in the health care system? Where do we find a human being independent from corporate control? He is your doctor or health care worker, or if you are in the hospital, the nurse who changes shift every 8 hours, starts your IV and changes your hospital gown.

That human being is the person at the insurance company who no longer denies your claim based on frivolous details. For example, Moore shows a lady denied ambulance coverage,  because the ambulance ride to the hospital was not pre-approved.  The patient was unconscius, so pre-approval is somewhat nonsensical, to say the least.  Any rational human being would look at this and say, wait a minute, this isn’t right, there is no way an unconscious lady can pre-approve anything. This type of disconnect would not happen if interacting with a human being, rather than a corporation. That is the solution we are really looking for.

Who Decides How to Ration Health Care?

Where will the money come from to pay for these human beings who care more for people than corporate profit? Can the nation afford it? Can we afford all the dialysis offered to those with failing kidneys, heart transplants to all those with failing hearts, Liver transplants for all in need, a Lipitor pill for all those with cholesterols above 200?, a Fosamax pill for millions of women with osteopenia? An antidepressant pill for all those who are blue or unhappy?

Obviously, at some point we will reach the end of our resources and need to ration health care, whether it’s our current system with care rationed by insurance companies, or whether rationed by the government in a universal system, we will still be denying life saving care to some while approving it for others. We can’t pay for everything for everybody. How will we decide who should get what?

Its NOT the Cost, Its the Information, Stupid

Michael Moore’s "SICKO" documentary looks at America and the drug industry and identifies the problem as cost of drugs. We Americans need and want drugs, but they are too expensive and we can’t pay for them. If only the costs were lower, perhaps by government cost controls or government sponsored price negotiations, we could have all these drugs at reasonable prices and things would be fine. Unfortunately, things are not so simple. This is a superficial view, which is explained nicely by the Harvard trained MD, John Abramson’s book,"Overdosed America, The Broken Promise of American Medicine" which says:

“At the heart of the crisis lies the changed purpose of medical knowledge, changed from seeking to optimize health to searching for the greatest profits. The lack of transparency that has become normal in commercially sponsored medical research now taints the scientific evidence published in even our most prestigious medical journals.”

“Commercial distortion now pervades the information that doctors rely upon to guide the prevention and treatment of common health problems, from heart disease to stroke, osteoporosis, diabetes, and osteoarthritis.”

The real problem, according to Abramson, is that we have been handed a whole series of bad drugs, based on manipulated medical research, and then brainwashed into wanting the drugs by direct-to-consumer television advertising. And this has been going on for 35 years.

The real crisis is a medical information crisis. The information is controlled and distorted by the drug companies, and the trusted medical journals are no longer trust-worthy. Their research articles are funded and ghostwritten by the drug companies, and the data massaged and spun until the desired results are obtained. Not only that, but the centralized funding of medical research has also been controlled and manipulated by market forces in bed with the government agencies and NIH, as described in The Government Grant System Inhibitor of Truth and Innovation? by Donald W. Miller, Jr.

Why We Don't Take Insurance

The Michael Moore documentary explains in a very eloquent way exactly why our TrueMedMD office remains independent from the health insurance industry and government health programs. This is the only way we can offer compassionate health care from one human being to another. And we intend to keep it that way.

Articles With Related Content:

Why We Need Single Payer Health Care by Jeffrey Dach MD

Making Your Health Insurance Company Pay Up by Jeffrey Dach MD

Jeffrey Dach MD
4700 Sheridan Suite T
Hollywood Fl 33021
954-983-1443
www.jeffreydach.com
www.drdach.com
www.naturalmedicine101.com
www.truemedmd.com



Jeffrey Dach, M.D. BLOG TrueMedMD Newsletter
4700 Sheridan, Suite T.
Hollywood Florida, 33021
954 983 1443

________________________________________________

More Reviews for Michael Moore's "SICKO"

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"Why Don't You Tell the American People the Truth" [VIDEO]

"Why Don't You Tell the American People the Truth" [VIDEO]

"Why Don't You Tell the American People the Truth" [VIDEO]

"Why Don't You Tell the American People the Truth" [VIDEO]

Michael Moore vs. Wolf Blitzer Dr Gupta onCNN at The Nation

Rolling Stone Magazine review
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Time Magazine review
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Alternet
Insurance Company Plan to Attack "Sicko"

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give away tickets to Sicko documentary CBC News.

'Sicko': Heavily Doctored, By Kurt Loder
Is Michael Moore's prescription worse than the disease?

Review at Screen Rant

Michael Moore Official Web Site

LA Times
Michael Moore's 'Sicko' confronts American public.

Trailer for Sicko on U-Tube

San Francisco Chronicle
Need a doctor? That's too bad

Baltimore Sun
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a Listing of more reviews at MetaCritic
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disclaimer

Jeffrey Dach MD
4700 Sheridan Suite T
Hollywood Fl 33021
954-983-1443
www.jeffreydach.com
www.drdach.com
www.naturalmedicine101.com
www.truemedmd.com

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Note: all above images of Michael Moore are courtesy of Wikipedia.

 
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Comments
Page: 1 of 1
  • 07-08-2007 Joel Kauffman wrote:
    Dear Dr. Dach:

    Superb issue of newsletter, if a little disjointed. My book, Malignant Medical Myths, supports the uselessness of many common drugs at any price, but also the uselessness of many tests.

    The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons supports not taking health insurance or Medicare.

    They and I agree that catastrophic insurance is the only sensible way to go, with the need to pay for ordinary events keeping costs down. Non-intereference with these ordinary events by insurance carriers will help providers be caring and not wasteful. Perhaps the states can help with the indigent.

    Sincerely, Joel Kauffman


    Reply to this
  • 07-08-2007 Bob wrote:
    Dear Dr. Dach,

    Actually I applaud your position on refusing insurance payments.

    I personally think all Primary Care Physicians should operate on a cash only basis. If the patient wants reimbursement from their carrier, let them file the claim.

    I am assuming since you state that your office "remains independent from the health insurance industry and government health programs" this means you are not participating in any managed care program and refuse to serve Medicare patients.

    regards from Bob

    __________________________________


    reply from Dr. Dach

    Yes that is correct, Bob and thanks for your comment.

    regards, Jeffrey Dach MD

    Reply to this
  • 07-08-2007 Dr Wayne wrote:
    Wayne Van Saun

    wvansaun@comcast.net

    http://w3.health.state.ny.us/opmc/factions.nsf/eed59008a3228eef852568c0004e55b5/713f0b6ba8d881f485256a4a0047f467/$FILE/lc127784.pdf




    Well thanks for your somewhat incoherent comment, doctor. I had to review your website to see where you are coming from. My comments back to you:

    1)You said: "This is America, and corporate profit is good, the profit motive forming the basis America's greatness. The basic problem is that a corporation is not a human being. Therein lies the fallacy of replacing a corporation with a government agency, neither of which is a human being, when what we really want is a human being to deliver compassionate health care, and assist in serious health care decisions."

    and in your practice, see below for my comments, apparently you provide a human touch but still make a profit. Sorry if the care you provide may frequently NOT BE BASED ON SCIENCE!!! And of course not covered by insurance, at least I hope it isn't, for the sake of the insurance companies' bottom line. And you have an underlying motive to not want government scrutiny of your practice, given that is very much based on Quackery. See http://www.quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEducation/nonrecorg.html

    2) In your review of Sicko (http://jeffreydach.com/2007/07/08/sicko--michael-moore-and-the-crisis-in-health-care-by-jeffrey-dach-md.aspx) you stated:

    "Where will the money come from to pay for these human beings who care more for people than corporate profit? Can the nation afford it? Can we afford all the dialysis offered to those with failing kidneys, heart transplants to all those with failing hearts, Liver transplants for all in need, a Lipitor pill for all those with cholesterols above 200?, a Fosamax pill for millions of women with osteopenia? An antidepressant pill for all those who are blue or unhappy?

    Obviously, at some point we will reach the end of our resources and need to ration health care, whether it's our current system with care rationed by insurance companies, or whether rationed by the government in a universal system, we will still be denying life saving care to some while approving it for others. We can't pay for everything for everybody. How will we decide who should get what? "

    Rationing already occurs with those who are uninsured. What will decide who should get what? Science, my friend and that is why you are running scared, with your pseudo-scientific quackery!

    3) in reading the last part of your review, I note the following:

    "The Michael Moore documentary explains in a very eloquent way why our TrueMedMD office remains independent from the health insurance industry and government health programs. This is the only way we can offer compassionate health care from one human being to another. And we intend to keep it that way. "

    Umm hmmm,you don't take insurance or govt money because they DO NOT PAY FOR QUACKERY. you fool!

    OK so you are using Growth Hormone off=label and you call yourself a caring doctor??? No science in what you do, just profit!


    From http://www.annals.org/cgi/content/abstract/146/2/104
    Reply to this
  • 07-08-2007 Vic wrote:
    Dear Dr. Dach,

    I live in Utah and cannot even get catastrophic health insurance due to pre-existing conditions that both I and my wife have. This is a ridiculous state of affairs where I currently have no medical insurance coverage for my family. My only option is to incorporate, having my wife and I as employees, and even then there is only one company that would cover us under that setup. And THEN there is the fact the even with a $5,000 annual deductible with ZERO payout by the insurance company up until then, my monthly payment would be almost as much as my mortgage payment.

    That is just not right and I'm as angry as the politicians who allow this to happen as I am with the insurance industry.

    Vic 

    Reply to this
  • 07-12-2007 dave wrote:
    Dear Dr Dach,

    Its very simple. Moore stands up for what is right. Progress happens in such ways. I find it interesting that when confronted none of these corporations wants to stand accountable for their actions. THey deny access and refuse interviews. Don't you find that a little suspicious. I don't care what he does with his editing, at the top of every corporation is one rich white man, that makes large profits from the misery of others. True corporations do provide jobs and services we need. But there has to be a regulation when it comes to services that effect peoples lives PERIOD. I think most people just end up accepting the way it is cause its easy.

    Regards, from Dave

    Reply to this
  • 07-13-2007 Crusty wrote:
    Dear Dr Dach,

    Is health care considered a basic human right, comparable to the rights to life, liberty, and property? I guess that question is answered by answering the question...Do you have the right to forcibly enslave someone else so that you can have health care? Socialized health care means you would have to use a gun to force someone else to pay for your health care, or you would have to use a gun to force a doctor/nurse to give you their time/knowledge, which they spent a lot of time and money to acquire. Are you willing to take a gun and put it to someone's head so that YOU can regain health which you lost due your own unhealthy decisions or unfortunate circumstances?

    How much health care is enough health care? Aren't all aspects of life tied into your physical health? To ensure good health, wouldn't you have to subsidize EVERY aspect of EVERYONE'S life? Wouldn't anything less than COMPLETE health care be uncompassionate, and really a different degree of what we already have now? Unless we had COMPLETE health care (every aspect of everyone's life was government funded), wouldn't we always just be asking for more? Then...Would you want to pay for someone else's complete health care if they were smoking, drinking, doing drugs, eating a lot of candy, eating a lot of fat/cholesterol, watching too much TV (eyes and ass problems), playing with fireworks, playing dangerous sports, etc.? If we had socialized health care, wouldn't the government have to control every aspect of everyone's life in order to prevent unfair abuse of socialized health care? To do that, wouldn't we have to have a camera in everyone's house, car, work, etc.? Really, wouldn't it be nice to just track everybody with RFID's and satellites? Does that sound good to you? Force, guns, control, enslavement, and people-tracking; does that sound like compassion? When Michael Moore's eyes well up, he talks softly, and solemnly pleads for you to vote for socialized health care; remember, what he's crying for is more force, guns, control, enslavement, and people-tracking.

    Regarding pharmaceutical companies...before we criticize the free market for making the cost of pharmaceuticals so high, and ask for the government to come in and regulate pharmaceutical companies, let's remember that this is not a free market, and the government regulations are at least 90% of the cause of the high cost of pharmaceuticals. How about we just try eliminating some of the expensive regulations and taxes and actually try giving the free market a chance.

    Check out my blog at CrustyAmbulanceDriver

    --Crusty

    Reply to this
    1. 02-03-2009 Jen wrote:

      Crusty said it like it needs to be said! Socialism (Orwellian cover for communism) is IMMORAL, and is designed by Marxists to enslave us!! Medicare is one big reason health care is so expensive. Our government is EXTREMELY corrupt, and the problem not the solution. Does anyone learn from history?

      The problem with corruption/greed is from declining morality in this country! Trying to fix the problem by switching to the government is naive and dangerous! The more power the gov't has over us by controlling more and more of our lives, the more totalitarian (brutal) they get. Does anyone want to be euthanized because through the gov't health care system they deam your problem too expensive (or you are too old they say)? That is what you are asking for and what's coming!! Michael Moore is most likely a 'change agent', a.k.a. transformational Marxist who is pushing for loss of sovereignity of the US. Don't trust him as far as I could throw a tissue. Has anyone considered that Michael Moore is greedy?

      Why is nobody paying attention to the moral decline in this country? Instead, they spin wheels and 'look up' to the corrupt government who is going along with the march to global government. If you listened to Obama's acceptance speech and have studied communism you will pick out tons of commie rhetoric.

      Dr. Dach, great that you don't take any insurance or gov't managed care, because you would never be able to treat patients the way they need to be treated. You would have your hands tied!
       
      Jen
      ___________________________________________________
        disclaimer

      Reply to this
  • 07-14-2007 DrWalterRohloff wrote:
    Dear Dr. Dach,

    I would like to submit my comment letter to Dr. Gupta’s Blog and review of SICKO to you.  CNN did not publish the comment and appears to have stopped reprinting any comments sent on the first day of publication of “My conversation with Michael Moore”


    Dear Dr. Gupta,

    I have seen both Michael Moore's recent interview with Wolf Blitzer and later with Larry King and yourself and I feel that your review on CNN was quite unfair and it would serve you well to admit its shortcomings.

    You have nowhere made a convincing argument that Michael Moore indeed "fudged the facts" as you claim. If your presentation about mildly different health care cost estimates in the USA or CUBA that you and Moore have found should justify "fudged facts", it would only be one more of the trivial nit pickings that hardly matter in comparison to your own distortions (like calling universal health care as it exists elsewhere a "Utopia" and "not truly free") and omissions (Not to talk about the humane and financial benefits of Universal Health Care ) .

    Instead, your "fact check" parades a conservative hit man for the health for profit industry as an "expert - only associated with Vanderbilt University" and allows him to make unreferenced claims against the film that are hilariously misleading or plain false.
    I have grown up in Germany under the universal health care system there and worked and studied medicine in Great Britain for many years and can well confirm that Michael Moore's film presents no "utopia" and that indeed basic health care is unrestricted and rapidly available for everyone.

    Your "fact check" again repeats the false litany preached to the public by greedy insurers and uninformed doctors about the "long waiting times" in Canada, England, Germany etc. without mentioning that waiting time for emergency access is shorter than in the USA and longer mainly for non urgent (elective) procedures - and this is quite acceptable.

    In the USA on the other hand, 47 million uninsured americans cannot get other than emergency medical care no matter how long they wait! The insured rest may also not get it because of a ruthless denial by some HMO cubicle clerk, no matter how long they wait!

    You even challenged Michael Moore to decide whether he would rather be seen in the USA or elsewhere for cardiac emergency care. As the National Institute of Health has recently concluded, an enormous number of cardiac interventions are done in the USA without proper need and benefit for the patients, possibly because of the wrong kind of incentives.

    I found the interview with Tony Benn in Michael Moores SICKO the most significant contribution: The British NHS Universal Health Care system was born during and despite the economic hardship of the postwar years because people understood that to take care of each other in such a vital matter as health care should be a human right in an industrialized country - and even Margaret Thatcher never tried to do away with the NHS.

    I can tell you from my p [truncated]

    Dr Walter Rohloff

    Reply to this
  • 07-17-2007 Rachelle wrote:
    Dear Dr. Dach,

    Bravo!

    We must have real People, not pencil pushers administering our health care system! There must be a health system revolution. We have to take back control of our health care from corporate America.

    By the way, my experience is that Medicare (i.e. government) is the more efficient and responsive of all the health care entities I have dealt with BUT mental health care is covered at only 50% vs. 80% for medical care. Is that fair?
    Rachelle

    Reply to this
  • 05-29-2010 whp wrote:


    We Canadians have enjoyed universal health care for many decades.

    While not perfect (what large system is ever perfect?) the program is a magnificent success. Only from ill informed Americans do we hear the pathetic criticism that public health care is some sort of a marxist-leninist conspiracy.

    In this as in other social issues (e.g. judicial murder of criminals) the USA needs to catch up with the modern world.
    _________________________________________________________
      disclaimer

    Reply to this
  • 11-26-2013 bad lifestyle speaker wrote:
    Every writer I've ever spoken to feels fraudulent in some way or other.
    Reply to this
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