Sicko Movie Review: Assessment of Private Health Insurance

Sicko is a movie that focuses on 250 million Americans who have medical insurance but they do not accrue any benefit from it. However, they experience bankruptcy trying to cover their own medical bills. The American medical sector is owned by the private sector. It has been suggested that a system run by the government would be the best choice. This has been based on examples from other developed countries, such as Canada, France, and Britain, among others; whereby the state manages and controls the medical insurance sector. This argument is illustrated in horror stories about Americans who are deprived of medical care as well as those driven into bankruptcy while striving to cater to their health care needs. There is also the grim insurance data related to infant mortality and decreasing life expectancy. In addition, there are statistics about dollars channeled towards presidential and political campaigns. Moore (2007) interviewed individuals who had been entangled in the bureaucratic quest for profits. He also spoke to individuals who had made their livelihood within the sector (Moore, 2007).

The movie describes the facts well-known by the general American citizens. People engaged with any insurance company for a medical cover can attest to the argument based on the movie. Insurance companies collect monthly health insurance premiums but fail to provide health insurance coverages when they are required. They have reasons and excuses why they deny their clientele access to treatment, or they drop their clients with no genuine reason. In addition, the elderly are forced into bankruptcy due to high premiums charged to them. Insurance companies deny their claims because such clients suffer from various conditions that include diabetes and asthma. Medical facilities deny treatment to persons whose insurance policies are not covered by the insurance. The insurance companies are known to reject claims for certain medical procedures, such as bone marrow transplants, forcing patients to pay from their own pockets (Moore, 2007).

Health care plan providers are notorious for denying health care in various ways. Individuals are financially incapacitated by high premiums and deductibles. In some instances, an old couple is forced to sell their home to cover for all their health care costs and have to relocate to their children’s basement. Individuals also experience cancellation of insurance plans due to a lack of disclosure of previous medical conditions to the providers. This forces individuals to seek health care services from facilities, which are not the best in emergency cases, and fail to honor the claim related to various medical procedures (Moore, 2007).

Hillary Rodham Clinton was the chairperson of the committee created by the Bill Clinton administration to carry out reforms in the American health care system, which had formed the basis of Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign. The committee was required to formulate a comprehensive health plan, which could provide a universal health care system to all Americans. Hilary advocated for the eligibility of the state to run children’s health care insurance policy. She also suggested awarding the bonuses to the facilities that would be able to enroll the highest number of children in the program. Unfortunately, this policy document failed to pass in Congress (Moore, 2007).

The United States health care system is predominantly owned and controlled by the private sector. On the other hand, the health care system in Cuba, France, and England is predominantly controlled by the state. Although the United States spends the highest proportion of its gross budget on health care as compared to the other countries, the health care system in those states appears to be functioning better than the American. People wonder if the approach taken by other industrialized nations on matters concerning health care should be adopted in the United States. Some aspects of the health care system seem to function better in other countries as compared to the United States. The French SOS Medecins House Call program is a good initiative that will ensure access to emergency health care services in areas not covered by ambulance services (Moore, 2007).

Moore (2007) argued that the British, French, and Cuban health care systems were better as compared to the Americans. However, he did not mention a considerable number of Britons who abandoned the state health care system for privately owned insurance schemes. When he presented an argument for Cuba as a model system to emulate, it was highly satirical. Cuba is rated below the United States, it spends about $300/citizen/year on health care providers and cannot be a good example in such a case. Moore portrayed health care services in other countries as the ones having functioned better than the American system did, though he failed to reveal how much the citizens were taxed so as to receive those services (Moore, 2007).

It can be disputed that the American health care system is perfect. The Sicko movie clearly illustrates the flaws in the American health care system and suggests probable solutions to the problem. The movie by Michael Moore asserts that the United States system of privately owned medical health care insurance has been a huge failure. The United States health care system is collapsing, and efforts should be taken to address the matter before it is out of control (Moore, 2007).


Moore, M. (2007). Sicko Factual backup. Web.

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