August 12, 2007

For the first time in nearly two years, I ventured into a cinema. The movie that lured me out of my cockoon was Michael Moore's latest attack on the American Way of Life, SiCKO. It is, without a doubt, his best work to date, and having found that Moore's docs don't work as well on the small screen as they do in front of a live audience, I'm glad I spent the twelve bucks to see the matinee showing in Pasadena. When his critics are left to debating whether the U.S. has a better health care system than Cuba, or that our relatively high infant mortality rate or low life expectancy aren't necessarily the most important factors, you can tell he has the best of the argument.

But I have a personal reason for backing Moore on this one. I just saw my late grandmother's hospital bill for a five-day stay after she fell in May. The extent of her treatment was to stitch up her face, and to give her liquids for dehydration. Neither the doctors nor the staff diagnosed that she had suffered a stroke; that was only determined after they sent her home, and we had to take her to a real hospital, Providence-St. Joseph's.

For the ludicrously small amount of treatment and attention she received, she was billed $45,000.

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