Michael Moore’s Sicko is a simple-minded and compelling cut of film. In the United States, health services are sometimes denied, and in many countries that have a state-insured health system, good health services are readily available. Moore shows this from the perspectives of sick individuals in the U.S., England, Canada, France and Cuba.
Moore argues that universal health is a great blessing for the inhabitants of the countries that provide it, and if looked upon in the moment, his argument is not easily refuted. Monopoly and collusion ignore the interests of patients and doctors in the United States, and allowing the government to take over is one solution to the problem. However, a universal system entrusts health services to the same corrupt legislative body responsible for the downfall of market forces, and the increasing prices and unavailability in that industry. If the practice of universal health care is viewed as a permanent societal institution, and not a momentary phenomenon (it is only this in the history of society), state health provision becomes a dead weight–an afflition of society nearly as dangerous as absolute tyranny.
Moore visited Europe, and showed a very happy and healthy utopia, where health services are always provided. The social problems of that continent, however, meant nothing to Moore. Moore’s appeal is to restricted minds, who see healthcare not as part of a society that necessarily relates to other parts, but as a single entity devoid of cause and effect. Moore failed to notice that there are many illiterate, unemployed Europeans who, though they take advantage of government provisions, hate the government that provides them. There is, according to the accounts of Bruce Bawer and Ayaan Hirsi Ali (among others), in the immigrant communities of Europe, a social disease that will, in time, manifest violently. Multiculturalism destroys the common interest of society, and it perpetuates only as a product of social programs like healthcare and welfare. The dangers of multiculturalism on European society are apparent and growing.
In her autobiography Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali describes her experiences as a African Muslim refugee in the Netherlands. The Dutch government provided her with housing, healthcare, a living stipend, career services, and language training. She used these services to learn Dutch, get a job as an interpreter, go to university, and eventually become a member of parliament. The vast majority of her contemporary refugees, however, chose to live under perpetual government care, and never found work or learned the Dutch language. Those refugees blamed all of their problems on the Dutch government–the government that provided them the idle time to manufacture their worries. History indicates that their children and grandchildren will live in much the same way, living off the system for as long as the government can support them, which cannot be forever, simply because these dependents are the fastest growing demographic on the continent. The beneficiaries of government provision show little gratitude for the assistance that democracy has afforded them. There are already third generation immigrants in Europe who do not speak their country’s language, and many of them hate the Western governments that have allowed them to live comfortably; they would like to replace them with a government most Europeans would find hostile to liberty. Their numbers are growing, and the only way to change their attitude toward government is to end their government reliance, or change them using methods that deny them some freedom.
When people are allowed to live and reproduce comfortably without learning the language or contributing labor–when they are able to become product participators without ever participating in production–they cannot understand the common interest of a free society. They become separate from the nation. They will inevitably stop focusing on their own jobs and lives, and begin focusing on their relative values and social plans, attempting to socially engineer the nation accordingly, and government provisions will grow to meet ever-increasing demands. As a result, the burden on government will grow while revenue remains stagnant or shrinks. When the government’s burden becomes larger than the nation’s production, totalitarianism and economic collapse are already well under way.
Recognizing the unfortunate end of universal healthcare does not change the fact that America’s healthcare system is broken. Universal is one solution to a real problem, but it stifles innovation and encourages laziness and apathy. Moreover, it entrusts healthcare to the legislators who initially empowered collusive corporations. By placing the interests of patients and medical professionals at the forefront under law, and by illegalizing the healthcare and drug company cartels, we can have quality healthcare that is affordable and innovative.