This weekend, Donna and I watched Sicko, the documentary from Michael Moore which examines the US healthcare system. Think what you will about Moore and his stunts and movies (I have heard them variously described as inane, extremist, leftist, terroristic, ridiculous and propagandist), but he makes people talk. I rather like him, and I think he has a good sense of humor in his approach to some truly horrifying realities.
I’ve long known that the US healthcare system is seriously deficient when compared to the systems of some other countries – my British best friend likes to tell me about how she had two children completely free-of-charge at a British hospital, and I’m pretty sure she told me they discharged her with a free packet of nappies, among other things designed to set up a new mother (not to knock Virtua: they gave me a free, battery-operated breast pump and some formula). And she’s explained to me on several occasions that if I were to visit the UK and seriously injure myself – car wreck, fall off a ladder, have a bungie cord break, whatever – I could be admitted to the hospital for an extended period of time, be treated and discharged, walking away without ever owing a cent.
What I wasn’t aware of is how much money is spent by healthcare lobbyists in Washington, and how much of that money Hillary Clinton has accepted. After her failed attempt at proposing a universal healthcare program in the 90s, Hillary is now the second-highest recipient of campaign donations from the healthcare industry. And she’s shifted her position on how to reform healthcare quite a bit, it seems, too.
Although I haven’t much discussed the presidential election in this blog, I stated previously that I was supporting Hillary. I’m sure I also dissed John Edwards at some point. But after watching Sicko this weekend and doing a bit of reading online about the positions each candidate is taking (or not taking), I have to say that my support is slowly shifting. Although Obama is the clear front-runner for the Dems right now, I think I’m becoming an Edwards supporter.
I really dislike admitting I’ve changed my mind.