Mal-Socialized Medicine

The sharp knives are out for Michael Moore once again and, as with his past films, some of the sharpest are in the hands of democrats. This time the friendly fire is coming mostly from presidential contenders, who all want to sound like they’re serious about achieving universal coverage, but are floating plans that avoid the real issues.

Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois and former Sen. John Edwards of South Carolina all have staked out positions sharply at odds with Moore’s approach. But none of them is eager to have that fact dragged into the spotlight.

If Moore’s fire-breathing proposal catches on among party activists, who tend to be suspicious of the private sector and supportive of direct government action, the candidates’ pragmatic, consensus-seeking ideas could look like weak-kneed temporizing — much the way their rejection of an immediate pullout from Iraq has drawn heated criticism from antiwar activists.

In “Sicko,” the filmmaker calls for abolishing the insurance industry, putting a tight regulatory collar on pharmaceutical companies and embracing a Canadian-style government-run system.

Rather than welcome Moore’s contribution to the conversation, his detractors are accusing him of advocating “socialized medicine” and hoping that such time-tested commie-baiting is enough to make him go away. The irony is that socialized medicine is just what we need — not “socialized” as in the way the Soviet Union used to do things, but “socialized” as in medicine practiced with a social conscience.

Our current system is the very opposite: mal-socialized medicine. It breaks American society into 250 million private actors all competing for a piece of a woefully limited healthcare pie. It is bound to create winners and losers, to stratify American culture, and to exacerbate the already difficult conditions of the poor and middle class.

Moore is simply asking that we consider bringing moral and humane concern for one’s neighbors into the practice of medicine:

The problem is that the U.S. corporate health insurance system, the corporate-dominated economy more generally, and the ideology that undergirds both, seeks to defeat the essential insurance function of sharing risk — of everyone helping to take care of everyone else.

Moore offers this challenge, or plea: “If there is a better way to treat the sick simply by being good to each other why can’t we do that?”

People in the other countries visited in the film “live in a world of we, not me,” says Moore.

To varying degrees, they have created solidarity societies, and they are happier, and healthier, for it.

Fracking commies………

Michael Sky