Jul

12

I walked out of this man's latest film early. I had already read everything about it, and I was well aware of all of its arguments and positions. Many are valid, but the way in which he goes about making his point in his typical biased and construed fashion is absurd.

Just a few years ago I had an awful, but amazing, life experience living in a New York City hospital for approximately one month. I was literally on a death bed following a high speed collision with a yellow cab while traversing 2nd Avenue as a pedestrian. I was taken to Bellevue Hospital's trauma unit by a city ambulance and though I was unconscious, in time I learned that the facility was filled with victims of stabbings and gunshot wounds, fools suffering from self-induced drug overdoses, and so forth.

The health care I received was top notch. After all, I survived shattered left limbs and fractures to my skull, several bruised and ruptured internal organs, and some serious blows to my brain.

When I finally "came to" several days later - the coma was medically induced and extended to prevent additional swelling to the brain - my immediate thought process was to remain alert and focus on what was surrounding me. If I couldn't move my body (harnessed and tied down to a large degree to promote healing), I was at least going to keep a close watch of everything going on around me. I witnessed top notch health care being provided all over the place. Much of it to those uninsured whom Moore portrays as "victims" of the American medical establishment.

Early in my stay at Bellevue I had two roommates: Mr. D and Mr. N. Both uninsured I later learned. I believe Mr. D was working on a loading dock as a temp for cash money when a truck backed into him, knocking him down with his head landing on a cement block. No other bodily injury. But for all sense of the matter, he was ruined. The lengths to which the nurses would go to get him to focus on things as simple as putting a top on a shoe box, let alone tying a shoe, was incredible. I would watch for five minutes and pass out from my own frustrations for him. When I would wake 20 minutes later, there they would be, working on some similar elementary task with no success. He had been there for months prior to my arrival. Again, no insurance. If there was ever an unknown spirit of New York, this had to be it. But it says something much more (no pun intended).

Mr. N was another story - addiction problems. Again, the attention the nurses gave him when he would wake up in the middle of the night with seizures was incredible.

My time at the Bernard Baruch Rehabilitation physical therapy room was another fantastic experience. Again, the time and commitment the staff gave patients was incredible. Imagine watching someone learn to walk again. It can not be done alone.

The interesting part of my experience and how I challenge several of the filmmaker’s points is what I saw during several of my outpatient visits at Bellevue. I routinely had to go for internal organ scans, leg and arm check-ups, etc. Do not get me wrong, the lines and times spent to receive treatment were extremely long, even frustrating. People in considerable pain and discomfort could sit for hours, but not once did I see someone refused for care. This leads me to my main point: Personal responsibility.

Of all of the cases that I saw over my month stay at Bellevue and the several weeks worth of outpatient visits, almost all of the problems had negligence in some shape or form of an individual's responsibility to take care of his or her self: drug overdose, constipation, obesity, diet-influenced heart problems, etc.

I took a good hard look at what was going on around me, and in a fair estimation, two thirds of the problems came down to an individual's body weight one way or another. I wish the filmmaker would spend a little more time looking in the mirror, most solutions to the American medical dilemma would be found right then and there.

Yossi Ben-Dak writes:

Personal responsibility is something very different from what Moore understands or perhaps admires. His very selective use of statistics and ratings seems to be in his movies only to win an argument.

While correct in many ways concerning what can be produced in the USA for public health, it is difficult for me to forget his venom and unfairness vis-à-vis business and selecting government for solutions in some areas but not others, given his idiosyncratic taste and populist broadcasting style.

That includes his utter irresponsibility for his body and looks as James correctly points out. It makes it difficult for me to explain to my daughter that not everybody who feverishly preaches health must be eating and exercising his message. 

Steve Leslie adds:

Things that make you go hmmmm…

Michael Moore is grossly overweight, a prime candidate for heart disease, diabetes and other ailments, and laughably suggests that the health care system in Cuba is better than that of the United States.

Robert Kennedy Jr. screams out about global warming and then boards a private jet to travel to a speaking engagement.

Rosie O'Donnell raises money for the homeless and retreats to her mansion behind ten foot high walls.

Al Gore promotes a live earth concert to bring awareness on global warming and owns four homes.

Ted Kennedy wants to raise taxes on everyone, yet pays little federal tax himself. He accomplishes this through a complicated tax strategy involving offshore trusts.

The Big Dig starts out in 1985 with a $2.8 billion budget estimate and $14.6 billion of federal and state dollars have been spent to date. Recent revelations have uncovered that the epoxy glue used to support the ceiling is ineffective, causing a section of ceiling to fall, killing two people.

John Edwards speaks about the disenfranchised and poor and gets $400 haircuts.

Hillary Clinton talks about a nationalized healthcare system and Bill Clinton gets paid millions by Infosys who sells phone lists and marketing lists that target those with Alzheimer's.

Bill Clinton says "I feel your pain!" and charges the secret service $10,000 per month for security services to his compound in Chappaqua N.Y. which happens to be the same amount as the monthly mortgage on the house.

The Senate refuses to discuss privatization of social security yet has its own privately-managed pension plan.

Bill and Hillary decry the commutation of "Scooter" Libby's sentence yet refuse to discuss the Marc Rich pardon or the hundreds of other pardons handed out in the last 48 hours of the second Clinton administration.

Democrats scream about Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez and demand his firing yet forget to mention Janet Reno and Ruby Ridge, Waco, Texas, and Elian Gonzalez.

The Government suggests it can build a fence along the border between Mexico and the U.S. to keep out illegals from entering.

A new petroleum refinery has not been built in the U.S. in 30 years, yet legislation to build a refinery gets bogged down in committees. And the price of gasoline goes higher.

Charles Sorkin responds:

Should this jingoistic assortment be labeled as an example of propaganda, as a political parallel to the earnings and financial propaganda decried in the Vic and Laurel's literary works?

Does Al Gore's electricity usage imply that climate change is not real, or does not pose major problems? How does his power consumption per square foot compare to other politicians' homes?

Is Rosie is a hypocrite because she won't turn her estate into a homeless shelter? And if she did, would it really help combat homelessness? When I leave my office tonight, will I be retreating, or simply going home?

Isn't Bill Clinton entitled by federal law to charge the Secret Service $10,000 per month?

Waco, Ruby Ridge, and Elian are irrelevant to the fact that Al Gonzo is not performing in a manner suitable for his office.

John Edwards pays quite a bit of money for a haircut. How do his expenditures compare with what other politicians spend on cosmetic enhancements during their own public appearances? There are large make-up and wardrobe staffs backstage at the conventions of both parties, and at televised debates. I'll bet the services of those people are really expensive!

Alex Forshaw remarks:

If you're going to make yourself the locus of protest against carbon footprints, poverty or any other alleged injustice, you would do well to not exemplify the excesses of those most responsible for causing your "crisis" in the first place. There's a big difference between pointing out a problem ("nobody is perfect"), versus hectoring society to rise to a morally pure standard which you flout every day of your existence.


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