We have just witnessed a historic event. One day our grandchildren will ask us where we were the day that universal healthcare was established in the US. Since, at the rate things are going, we'll never get universal healthcare in the US, we will instead tell them where we were the historic day that every US citizen was given the right to give money to privately owned health insurance companies.
I'm actually not sure where I was, because I didn't hear about it until today. But I know what I was doing when I heard about it. I was reading Michael Moore's statement in celebration of the bill's passage.
In this letter, Michael Moore argues that Republicans who opposed the bill should be thanking the Democrats for covering them.
Yes, my Republican friends, even though you have opposed this health care bill, we've made sure it is going to cover you, too, in your time of need. I know you're upset right now. I know you probably think that if you did get wiped out by an illness, or thrown out of your home because of a medical bankruptcy, that you would somehow pull yourself up by your bootstraps and survive. I know that's a comforting story to tell yourself, and if John Wayne were still alive I'm sure he could make that into a movie for you.
But the reality is that these health insurance companies have only one mission: To take as much money from you as they can -- and then work like demons to deny you whatever coverage and help they can should you get sick.
So, when you find yourself suddenly broadsided by a life-threatening illness someday, perhaps you'll thank those pinko-socialist, Canadian-loving Democrats and independents for what they did Sunday evening.
But this is a bill that puts everybody's health care in the hands of health insurance companies. Why should people be thanking the Democrats for putting their lives in the hands of companies whose one mission is to take as much money from you as they can? As Moore concedes later in the letter, the bill actually forces people to spend money on private insurance companies whose one mission is to take as much from you as they can. This is not a good thing.
To be a bit more concrete, I would suggest that Michael Moore watch this movie called Sicko. It's an amazing documentary about healthcare by this guy named Michael Moore. One of the great things about Sicko is that it doesn't stop at lamenting the fact that not enough people have insurance. In fact most of the movie focuses on people who have health insurance and get screwed over nonetheless. It really shows that the main problem with US health care isn't the lack of coverage, but the fact that it's all in the hands of private insurance companies.
I would also suggest that Michael Moore check out this article that was posted on Michael Moore's blog, but written by Donna Smith, one of the people featured in the movie. This article looks specifically at how the people featured in Sicko would fare under the new health bill:
Tracy Pierce, 37 (covered by private health insurance) would still die from his kidney cancer after his insurance company denied his bone marrow transplant.
Mychelle Keys, 2 (covered by private health insurance) would still die when she arrived at an out-of-network hospital where the insurance company would not approve payment for care.
Adrian Campbell, 27 (covered by private health insurance) would still have payment for her cancer surgery denied and would end up with huge debts scarring her credit rating.
Larry and Donna (me) Smith, 65 and 55 (fully insured with health insurance, disability insurance and a small health savings account) would still go bankrupt after deductibles and out-of-pocket costs go unpaid and providers of healthcare turn into brutal collectors.
Reggie Cervantes, Billy Maher and John Graham (all three 9/11 first-responders) would still be sick but would be mandated to purchase private health insurance and because they all have a drastically diminished ability to work or earn much money, the three 9/11 heroes would still be left fighting for a way to get adequate care. (Congress has also been slow to act on legislation to help these brave souls.)
So far, not so good. And yet Michael Moore is enthusiastically supporting the bill.
This isn't the only time Michael Moore has contradicted Michael Moore. In 2000 he said that he would never vote for a presidential candidate who opposed universal health care but in 2004 and 2008 he voted for Kerry and Obama respectively.
Frankly, I think it's time for Michael Moore to shut up and listen to the important things Michael Moore has to say.