College Dems Offer Glimpse into Healthcare


WEST HAVEN–Students joined together in the Alumni Lounge with loaded potatoes in hand to watch Michael Moore’s SiCKO Thursday night, Oct. 23. The film, presented by the College Democrats offered personalized insight into American healthcare.

In today’s economy and presidential race, the issue of healthcare is at the forefront of American minds. In the film, Moore began by explaining how the healthcare system got to be the way it is today. He claims it all began with our history’s most notably corrupt president, Richard Nixon. His disinterest in healthcare issues allowed for Henry Kaiser to ignite the business of health insurance. Since then, American insurance companies have focused more on profits than quality care.

Moore then examined the healthcare systems in other countries: Canada, England, France, and Cuba. Their universal-style healthcare policies greatly juxtaposed those of exclusivity in America. Moore tried his best to compare the policies on equal terms, showing how almost identical situations were handled in different countries. One woman’s tragic story involved her daughter of around 18 months old dying because Kaiser Permanente would not allow her to get treated for a fever at the closest hospital. In opposition, another little girl ran a fever and was treated right away. The first incident took place in the United States, the other in France.
Moore used personal stories to build his entire examination of the healthcare system. He interviewed Americans and foreigners alike on topics such as emergency treatments, healthcare costs, insurance policies, and diagnoses. Some of the most heartfelt of these personal tales are those of 9/11 rescue workers that now suffer from many health issues that remain untreated. Spending days among the ash of Ground Zero took a toll on many people’s lives, yet the government only funds care for the most extreme cases. In an effort to make a statement, Moore documented his trip with these people to Guantanamo Bay, where members of the Taliban receive better healthcare in prison than the heroes of 9/11 receive. While they weren’t allowed anywhere near the prison, the Americans underwent days of treatment in a local Cuban hospital, evidently for free. Not only did they receive official diagnoses of their ailments, but they also received surgery, if necessary, prescription drugs, and treatment plans.

The film was an interesting look into the world of healthcare. It was also a very useful, while bias, tool for the students present. Their eyes were opened to the reality of healthcare that they will soon be entering. As some of the most shocking facts were told, many students created plans to move overseas.

While the film was in no way an unbias telling of the true nature of healthcare in the United States, it was definitely shocking, and seemingly well-researched. Michael Moore was as blunt and sarcastic as he was in Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11. However, his statements do offer truth, as long as it is taken with a grain of salt.

The screening was not only an eye-opening experience, but a well-timed one at that. As they gear up for the election next week, the College Democrats have successfully made people aware of their presence on campus with numerous events. With only a year of activity behind them, they are undoubtedly rising in the ranks of clubs worth recognition.