Monday, July 16, 2007

sicko and health care

emily and i went to sicko last week.  it was a very thought-provoking film that i recommend to anyone.  even if you don't like michael moore, you should put that aside and check out the ideas and stories discussed with an open mind.  the thing that struck me as one of the most powerful points is that our system is fundamentally motivated by different objectives than canada, the united kingdom, and france.  their motivation is "maximize health" and that's how those systems are judged.  our system mandate is "maximize profit".  so given those 2 very different motivations, it's no wonder that we have issues.  i'm not anti-business, but unless we are able to change our system such that companies profit by maximizing health, then we will never reach our potential and our system will lag behind the others that are chartered that way.

another compelling side story to this is a piece done by 60 minutes on the nature of our deficit and how it relates to our health care costs.  i highly encourage you to check out this story.  every citizen should be obligated to understand the concepts here as it may be more important to grasp this than any other issue.  it's probably more important than terrorism, crime, taxes, or any other typical issue we are presented with in politics.

1 comment:

kelly said...

I really want to go see this (hard to sit in a movie theatre during the summer months - especially in Chicago). I like Michael Moore for the questions he asks and his knack for stirring the pot. Unfortunately, I think he likes to jump to broad conclusions that ultimately dilute his message for many people.

I don't know what the solution is to our problem. I'm absolutely propionate for capitalism and everything that come with it, but to your point - profit shouldn't be the motivator for certain things in this world. "Maximizing health" obviously should be the motivator. The question is: how do you create that motivation in our society? Force is one way (regulations). Obligation is another (gov ran).

I absolutely think national health care can be done and done well (Canada is proof), but I fear what it would be like done wrong (visions of standing in line at the Chicago DMV come to mind). At the end of the day, the difference between "done wrong" and "done right" for a national healthcare system might just be the cultural values/personal values of that society of people, which is hardly scientific/predictable.

Lets not forget... this whole thing is a multi-headed hydra. Do I expect my rate of return on my retirement investments to grow steadily and my future to be secure? Yep. Are the mutual funds I'm invested in partially made up for drug companies and/or hosptial management companies? I don't know.

Jambay, you and I know all too well what a company driven by stockholders is like. Perhaps the man/woman in all of our respective mirrors is part of the problem?