I went to see Sicko this week, and also went to a meeting about single payer healthcare. I wasn’t going to go to Sicko; I figured it was preaching to the choir. I was amazed at how much he told me that I didn’t know before, and how it held my attention. As my movie rating system goes, this one gets top billing. I never thought about looking at my watch.
I’ve been fairly pessimistic about the possibility of getting single payer healthcare in my lifetime. Sure, I don’t need it: I have Medicare! But so much of our healthcare system is awful: wasteful, aggravating, totally irrational. Only the insurance and pharmaceutical companies benefit from our system. Even after seeing the movie, I wasn’t too hopeful. But the meeting I attended was overflowing with people, and most were committed to changing the system.
The internet is filled with information about single payer and universal healthcare. Jane Bryant Quinn has a wonderful article in this week’s Newsweek, dealing with the economics of a new system. Western PA has a website urging single payer for the state of Pennsylvania, and Healthcare-NOW is working on the national level. Take a look at this site for a comparison of the costs of the war in Iraq and what it would cost to cover everyone in the country. And for my friends who ask, "Do you want the government in charge of your health? Think of the post office," I can only reply, Do you want the insurance companies making billions of dollars from your healthcare? That money can only come from denying your needs.