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View Diary: Sicko and the Weekend Box Office (w/update) (309 comments)

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  •  Well (3+ / 0-)
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    suswa, LesIsMore, techno

    I assume you haven't seen the movie, because the value system you are projecting in your comment is exactly what the movie identifies as toxic to our culture.

    being part of healthcare for the past 30 years does give me a tad bit of insight, I don't think my attitude is "toxic."  What people fail to realize is that there is a finite number of dollars available for healthcare--there needs to be some priority on distribution of that dollar.  I happen to believe hospitals should treat medical problems, not social ones.  Do you honestly think hospitals want to do this?  Why does the hospital have to eat it on all expenses?  It's easy to point a finger and blame. The hospital I work at is actually non-profit. You have to remember that these indigent patients aren't paying for care but can sue your pants off if something goes wrong.  Would you operate a business that gave away free care and exposed yourself to unlimited liability?  

    The failure IMHO is that the government, city, state or federal, does not do its part on social issues such as homelessness.  It's a crime that in this affluent of a society  the government can't provide for the indigent.  This should NOT be a dilemma for the hospital--there should be a governmental agency that makes arrangements and picks up the bill.  If you want hospitals to provide housing for people, someone has to pay for it.  The costs will be passed on.  If you aren't in healthcare you have no idea how much of the healthcare dollar is spent on compliance issues--it is staggering.

    "I can't believe men like you were once running a country." from "The Lives of Others"

    by Shappy on Sun Jul 01, 2007 at 10:04:04 AM PDT

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    •  This is only a dilemma for a FOR-PROFIT hospital (2+ / 0-)
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      suswa, bablhous

      Yes, it is VERY easy to point the finger and blame greed for the abysmal level of care in our country. Perhaps your 30 years of listening to hospital administrators bemoaning the financial difficulties of running a profitable business has brainwashed you, like many folks, into thinking that a for-profit healthcare system is the only way to achieve our goals. This is precisely the point Moore makes in SiCKO. Go SEE THE MOVIE and then talk to us - I'll even buy your ticket...

      •  Hello (0+ / 0-)

        Perhaps your 30 years of listening to hospital administrators bemoaning the financial difficulties of running a profitable business has brainwashed you

        If you can read I wrote that I work in a NON-PROFIT hospital. I've worked in for profit hospitals in the past and was not happy.  And for your information, I have absolutely nothing to do with hospital administrators.  I support nationalized health care.
        I'm just upset that the government has failed miserably with social services and the hospitals get blamed.  

        I plan to go see the movie but it won't change a basic fact that many of you fail to see.  There is and will always be a finite number of health care dollars (the only ulimited funds in this country are for war unfortunately.)

        Even with national health care, care will be prioritized.  I think hospitals priorities should be providing quality acute care.  I think it's the government's problem to find places to place people after discharge.   I actually think it's the government's place to provide health care for its citizens. The problem is that if we ever get nationalized health care everybody will bitch moan and complain that it's not good enough.   I would rather see baseline good care for everyone (including preventative care and health screenings).

        "I can't believe men like you were once running a country." from "The Lives of Others"

        by Shappy on Sun Jul 01, 2007 at 12:50:27 PM PDT

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        •  Sorry if my tone was antagonistic or patronizing (0+ / 0-)

          That was not my intent. As a health care worker, you are most likely fighting an uphill battle with the for-profit health care industry on  a daily basis and I thank you for your perseverance. But don't think for a second a "non-profit" hospital is some sort of charitable (or laudable) organization. "Non-Profit" should read "Not-Tax-Paying". Billing and collection practices of "Non-Profit" hospitals are among the worst, often charging the uninsured higher rates and over-aggressively pursuing low-income patients for payments, practices that border on predation. And while there are no shareholders to make rich, how much of the tax-free non-"profit" is going to pay the exorbitant salaries of top executives? Every last nickel that they're NOT spending on heath care, I can assure you.
            While I'm sure you already know this, many readers not involved in the industry might easily be misled by the "Non-Profit" label these often onerous corporations hide behind.

    •  I'm trying to picture how this would happen (1+ / 0-)
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      in my community.  Pick up the stinking phone and call somebody!  I think the Area Agency on Aging around here would provide some help.  Just about any large church would have a social worker or layperson who could spend a little time finding help.  Our community hospital would never let this happen.  As overworked and understaffed as these people are, they have some compassion left to view patients as human beings with some dignity worth preserving.  I don't have a frame of reference to understand your point.

      "The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children." Bonhoeffer

      by LAMaestra on Sun Jul 01, 2007 at 12:13:04 PM PDT

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      •  That's the point (2+ / 0-)
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        betson08, LAMaestra

        These kinds of atrocities are never reported. See the film. Be amazed. Even without the film, these things are happening. We just don't hear about them since our communities do a nice job of protecting the hospitals and their trustees. We've all been brainwashed.

        It's time to take to the streets ~ like the film points out ~ our government should work for us instead of the other way around.

        The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville

        by suswa on Sun Jul 01, 2007 at 12:42:24 PM PDT

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    •  Yeah but listen to yourself (2+ / 0-)
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      joanneleon, techno

      you're rationalizing dumping somebody on the street! So, if it's not the hospital's problem, get the hospital to find someone who will make it their problem.

      Geez, you should see the movie. They didn't dump this woman in a shelter, they pushed her out of a cab onto the street! Two old women were wandering around on the street disoriented, in the vicinity of a shelter. The drivers could have at LEAST had the common decency to get the fuck out of the car and take them to the reception area.

      I'm sorry, there's just no excuse for that. Hospitals are supposed to be humane institutions. Being overwhelmed is really no excuse for losing your humanity.

    •  Shappy, you are mostly correct on this. (3+ / 0-)
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      GayHillbilly, varro, lirtydies


      I don't have one damn ounce of sympathy for hospitals.  None.  

      When I was in college, I got to work for two years as a surgical orderly at a LARGE teaching hospital.  The late-night break room was a scene to stunningly interesting conversations.  The amount of naked greed on display was staggering.  We had a guy who was financing his horse-ranch in Puerto Rico by doing questionable surgery on the morbidly obese.  I listened to the transplant boys scheme to get transplants paid for by Social Security.  When asked why ALL medicine shouldn’t be financed like Social Security the same guys called me "a rotten commie."  I saw the whole staff of CV residents stomp out with years of taxpayer funded training to start a for-profit angioplasty / bypass mill that made them wealthy beyond the wet dreams of avarice.

      I was told to my face that I was in error.  As one MD greedhead told me, "you have it all wrong!  a hospital is not a place where the sick go to get well, a hospital is a place where a doctor conducts his business."

      I worked in that hospital because I was a successful applicant for conscientious objector status.  Working as a surgical orderly was my punishment for having moral objections to the Vietnam War.  Yet there were many times during those two years when I would wonder, "can Vietnam actually be worse than this ethical cesspool??!!"  I was working in a state-funded, nationally recognized teaching hospital.  I can only shudder at the horror that is a hospital run by the Frists.

      The hospitals got off VERY easy in SiCKO.  Moore could have done six more hours on just hospitals.

      But Moore has one thing VERY right.  The problem is for-profit medicine.  There is nothing quite as heart-warming as finding yourself in a hospital with a medical staff that literally treats you as prey.  I was raised a Lutheran.  We don’t believe that sickness should be considered a profit opportunity.  Our churches built the big hospitals here in Minnesota as non-profit enterprises.  Our Scandinavian cousins have a medical system that is the envy of the world.  

      What’s REALLY SiCKO is the obscene values that govern the medical-industrial complex.  For-profit medicine should be treated for what it is--an acute cultural sickness.

      Nothing is fool-proof to a sufficiently talented fool

      by techno on Sun Jul 01, 2007 at 03:13:50 PM PDT

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      •  I admit (0+ / 0-)

        my bias is that I'm working in primary care (obstetrics) in a non-profit hospital so I don't see these egregious abuses.  I see a very hard working staff doing their best to provide care.  We give the same care to everyone--even if they just walk off the street and decide they feel like having their baby at our facility (this is the law.)  

        Years ago when I first started working as a nurse I worked in a for-profit hospital that was horrible. I remember being on a post-surgical floor where we used to say that they operated until their insurance ran out or they died.  But I got away from that type of medicine so yes, I'm biased.  Esp. since I work my a$$ off to deliver the best care I can. Worked 12 hours on Friday, got one half hour lunch break but no other breaks at all.   If the choice is give my pts the best care possible or take a break I give to my pts.  I do get upset when people just totally blame healthcare professionals for the mess we are in. The doctors I work with are not excessively compensated and are hard working nice people.

        But after reading people's posts about how horrible their private insurance is I feel like I'm living in another world of medicine where everyone gets good care and cost is not an obstacle to decent care. I even get reminders by mail or phone if I don't come in for screening tests!

         I would say many people don't even know if they are getting good care or not.  For example my daughter delivered her baby in a very posh hospital .  I asked her the night I spent with her--where's your 02 set-up and suction?  So I looked around and found it in a cupboard--hidden--with absolutely no suction container, no tubing, so  essentially not usable for an emergency!!! But hey the luxury room looked great!  There's so, so much in medicine that needs to be changed.  I just worry that people will criticize the wrong things.   We need to start with the basics for everybody and emphasize screening and preventative care and education.

        "I can't believe men like you were once running a country." from "The Lives of Others"

        by Shappy on Sun Jul 01, 2007 at 06:33:42 PM PDT

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        •  Certainly there are a bunch of hardworking (0+ / 0-)

          folks in USA medicine.  I worked my a$$ off as a surgical orderly.  Nurses are notoriously overworked.  Even the doctor with the $9 million dollar a year practice works hard.

          But medicine seems to forget that if a procedure leaves the patient impoverished, that patient will automatically have worse long-time health.  This economic truth explains why a country with bleeding edge technology can rank 37th in health care.

          Greedy medicine has now gotten so expensive that it can bankrupt not merely individuals but business and governments.

          And as someone who actually can tell if good medicine is being practiced, I see that care is but a shadow of what it was when I was being horrified in the early 70s.  And the cause of the deterioration is almost totally caused by bad economic assumptions.

          Nothing is fool-proof to a sufficiently talented fool

          by techno on Sun Jul 01, 2007 at 07:49:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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