Sunday, February 10, 2008


So yes, Greg and I are a little behind in keeping up on the latest movies, and we are just seeing the movie "Sicko" now. The movie is directed by Michael Moore, and say what you will about him, our healthcare system in this country sucks.

There is just no denying this, and if you can, just wait until you become sick. I mean really sick.

Of course this was not anything new to me, as Greg and I are up to our ears in debt because our insurance refuses to pay for some of Mara's medical care. Why? Who the h*ll knows, as we never seem to get a straight answer. Our credit has suffered, because we simply do not have the thousands of dollars needed to keep all the hospitals, doctors and lab companies satisfied.

But listening to the stories of what some families have been through...really puts things into perspective. We have a healthy daughter. We have a home and food to eat. We'll get through this.

But the families in this film? They broke my heart.

A mother lost her 18 month old baby girl because the ambulance brought her to a hospital that was "out of network" with her health insurance, and the insurance company refused to approve services, stating that she had to go to another "in-network" hospital. Meanwhile, her daughter-who had a very high temperature- was having seizures! Can you imagine how scary that would be to have to then put your daughter in your own car and drive to another hospital?!? The mother begged the hospital to just treat her daughter but they refused, and ended up escorting her and her daughter out because they were "becoming a threat". The little girl went into cardiac arrest and was pronounce dead at the second hospital.

How is this right? How come there hasn't been a HUGE outcry about this? How come the insurance company AND the hospital were not held accountable for this? Because to me, denying care is responsible for this little girl's death-we'll never know if quick treatment could have saved her. Imagine being that mother and having the "what ifs?" play over in your head for the rest of your life.

I found myself just sobbing.

What has happened to this country, where taking care of others is no longer a priority?

When your medical care is being determined by how much money it will cost?

When your medical care is determined not by your doctor, but by the type of insurance company you have?

It is so scary to live in this country and get sick.

Let's pray that this election will FINALLY bring some much needed change. I guess I just do not understand why we have allowed this to go on for so long.

What has happened to this country?


Mama Zen said...

I thought that "Sicko" was brilliant, and the story that you mention in your post shocked me. I thought that hospital ERs HAD to treat you. I had no idea that someone could be turned away like that. Tragic.

Autumn said...

I completely agree with you. No one should ever loose their life because they couldn't afford medical care. They give care to criminals in prison for gods sake, how can a child be turned away? It is unfathomable to me. It hits home so hard now with my son being sick. Let's just hope that we get a president that will do something about it.

Lorrie said...

So true and so sad... I have been meaning to see this film and now I will for sure do it-how sad!

Julie B said...

I was shocked to learn how the hospital refused to treat her. I actually think that she might have been better off NOT having insurance, maybe THEN they would of had to treat her?

Lorrie-definitely see it! It is pretty shocking, and shows how beneficial universal healthcare can be. It shows different countries that do provide free healthcare and how its citizens have benefited from it. I could go on and

Sharyn said...

Yes, it is very sad! I also have not seen this movie yet, but plan to. The other outrage is how much it is for dental coverage and what you get for that coverage is little to nothing! We are going through this right now with John. He needs to see the dentist in the worst way, but we just cannot afford it! He has dental insurance, but we would have to pay the bill up front and then wait to get reimbursed by the insurance company for some of the work that was done. I'm just worried about infection and then what??

Autumn said...

Tag! I tagged you on my blog. :)

Lizzy in the Burbs said...

Wow! That's unbelievable, I was under the false impression that they were obligated to treat you, no matter what, if it's a life or death situation. That's truly horrifying and terribly sad. I've not seen the movie, but I guess maybe I should. I agree Julie, I hope the elections bring about some much needed changes! It makes you wonder how something like that can happen in America?!?


Chris said...

I have yet to see this movie, too. It is soooo sad, frustrating, SCARY to hear of horror stories stemming from insurance companies. I, also, think that a universal health care system is the way to go. It could save tons of heartache and worries about becoming sick. Can you just imagine if it was FREE???? Yes, we definitely need a change!

Julie B said...

it is really sad, and just so scary to me. You all have to see this movie! Right now. Go get it :)

There is so much to talk about after you watch it. They actually have a taped conversation of Nixon talking about the idea of HMOs and how the whole idea is to make MORE money by offering LESS care! Nixon thought this was a great idea, and the worst part was...he went to the American public the next day, talking about introducing HMOs as a way for all Americans to get the healthcare they need...ugh.
I really could go on and man had an accident and had 2 fingers cut off. The hospital made him choose which finger to sew back on...his middle finger would cost $60,000 and his ring finger would cost $12,000...guess which finger he picked? ANother man lost his life to kidney cancer because his insurance refused to pay for a bone marrow transplant even though his younger brother was a perfect match.
Oh, just go see this will make you so angry!

Peace is every step said...

I'm sad to say I haven't seen this yet! Shawn has watched it, and clued me in. I know the system is f*cked up, as I see it EVERY single day in my work within Indian Health Service. Maybe one day soon I'll suck it up and watch it. When you live it, it's hard to watch it on film at the end of the day.
The stories you mention are so heartbreaking...especially when people are not given a voice or heard.

Jen said...

wow. i've not seen it yet either but mean to -- the whole thing makes me so heartsick. amen on the need for change.

Tom Pinit said...

I have put the movie on hold at the Film Connection (if you haven't checked it out, go to, it's fantastic) and intend to watch it as soon as I get it. Socialized health care is something the right-wingers just don't want to pay for. And the insurance industry is big bucks.

Umm Layth said...

Reading your post actually made me cry, because when I saw this movie (not long ago, I couldn't hold back during these parts. The thought that it could be my children in that situation hurt so badly. I can't imagine the horrible pain a parent feels to lose a child.

It's so sad that such an 'advanced' nation is so far behind on one of the most precious things in life. I hope that we can get some cheaper healthcare. I dont' think that universal health care at this point is something realistic, in this country, but I hope that we can do something.

When my husband and I were on Blueshield/blue cross, we were being sucked dry. It was about 200 some every month for my husband, me, and our son. IT didn't cover dental, and it was 60/40, with a 1000 dollar down first. It was horrible. So we got rid of it. Our children have medicaid but for us, it is better to save ourselves the stress of dealing with insurance companies. They just aren't worth the effort.

New reader to your blog, btw.

Julie B said...

Umm Layth- Welcome and thanks for leaving your thoughts. I so understand the inability to hold back while watching this film, and it is mostly due to imagining the fact that this could happen to one of my girls. It's terrifying.
I have such hope for change. Everyone is screaming for it in this country, but how far that will go...time will only tell. I thought it was very interesting how the French ambassador stated that universal healthcare was what their people wanted, and any changes would cause riots in the street, which the government is afraid of. Can you imagine-our government being afraid of us? THAT is what needs to happen...we all need to take a stand and stop letting other people make these kinds of decisions for us.

Tom- thanks so much for the link!