Tuesday, July 03, 2007

If Michael Moore Were 200 Pounds Lighter And I Were Gay, I Would Marry Him.

Two reasons for anyone in the profession to go see Moore's latest film, "Sicko."

1) Mike's visit to a British pharmacy, whereupon he asks the pharmacist where the laundry detergent is. "I've studied far too long to worry about your laundry" answers the man who is treated as a health care professional in his country. I wanted to stand up and let out a "HELL YEAH!"

2) The interview with the woman who worked the phones for a major health insurance company. Now I'm working from memory here, so cut me some slack, but at one point she breaks down crying and says something to the effect of "that's the reason I was such a bitch on the phone, I didn't want to get to know these people, or their stories"

She didn't want to get to know them because it was her job to deny them coverage. To those of you in the profession, does that sound familiar? Does it? That woman hit home to me. There's a reason the Drugmonkey is such a bitch....I mean ass... at times, and I'm tired of it. I'm tired of telling people their meds aren't covered. I went to school because I thought it would be neat to learn things like Altace blocks the production of angiotensin converting enzyme, while Benicar blocks the receptors the enzyme binds to in your body. In the world of for profit medicine however, all I need to know is that Altace is covered and Benicar is not.

I'm tired of it. I'm tired of being the bitch....I mean asshole.... whose primary function is to act as a Sherpa guide to a paid insurance claim. That's not why I went to school. I didn't go to tell you where the fucking laundry detergent is either.

So anyway, go see the film. If for no other reason than to spend a couple hours in a world where you can actually practice your profession. I think you'll like the British doctor who gets paid according to *gasp* how well he practices medicine. Not to mention the cruise into Guantanamo Bay.

And if the movie leaves you wanting more, make an effort to find the presidential mosh pit from Mike's TV show "The Awful Truth" a few years back. The presidential mosh pit may very well be the most classic moment ever on American television.


jess said...

I haven't seen the entire movie yet, but I did see the scene where Mike takes the 9/11 workers over to Gitmo and later on to mainland Cuba. Fom what I watched, they seemed to get the premium health care they should have gotten the in US.
My question is, are the Cubans enjoying the same level of care that we saw in the movie?

The Welsh Pharmacist said...

" "I've studied far too long to worry about your laundry" answers the man who is treated as a health care professional in his country"

I absolutely, categorically, can assure you that this is not the case universally!

DrugMonkey said...

Average life expectancy for a Cuban citizen is 77.08 years. This in an island starved of resources. Average life expectancy for an American is 78 years, in a country with all the resources you could imagine.

140 people per thousand age 15 to 59 will die in the US. 138 per thousand in Cuba.

You be the judge.

UK Community Pharmacist said...

Welsh pharmacist: I wouldn't be surprised if where you work has an effect on how you are treated - more likely to be viewed as a professional if you are in a village or healthcentre pharmacy than if you are in a supermarket.

Pharmacy in the UK is far from perfect, but people get the drugs they need irrespective of their income. And we don't have all these horribly complex insurance plans to deal with either.

woolywoman said...

You should get a job with Kaiser. Everyone who comes in has insurance. Mostly. That rocks. Mostly.

Mother Jones RN said...

My husband I and saw the movie together last weekend. When it was over he turned to me and said that he now has a better understanding of why I come home from work so upset day after day. Everyone needs to see this movie.


The Apathetic Pharmacy Guy said...

I've always wondered what it would be like if there was only *1** insurance company. It's like a beautiful pipedream.....yet it actually exists everywhere else. I'm all for socializing the hell out of it all. It would make my job easier. Not having to deal with 5000 different insurance plans is literally worth a cut in pay of $20,000 to me. Honest.

dave said...

to celebrate our nation's independence today i spent a half hour of my day (overtime on corpopharm's dollar) trying to override a prior auth approval for a $8 GENERIC MEDROL DOSEPAK. still trying to sort through the utter futility of the whole operation... and it was a fun one to explain to the patient, who only speaks vietnamese.
only 30some years until retirement.
no wonder we drink.

jewgirl said...

I am dying to see the movie. I loved farenheit and I love moorelish. I think he's the most important filmaker to document what's going on in this country for the past 20 years. he does it so perfectly.

Kim said...

I know this is an older post, but I saw this on Michael Moore on CNN and I knew you would love it. He REAMS CNN dude. It's kinda awesome.
Click here, its not porn, I promise

DrugMonkey said...


Thanks for the tip. Although I was disappointed it wasn't porn, I was happy to see Mike standing up to the newstainment media's BS. I chucked my cable long ago, so probably never would have seen it otherwise. It takes a village sometimes....:) Thanks again.

Deoxy said...

"I think you'll like the British doctor who gets paid according to *gasp* how well he practices medicine. "

HA! Spoken by someone who obviously has absolutely no exprience or knowledge about the British medical system. Go ask people who are actually IN the system (and don't filter out all the answers you don't like, as a certain film-maker does).

"Average life expectancy for a Cuban citizen ... blah blah blah"

Have you actually seen what the inside of a Cuban hospital looks like? Not the ones they show the tourists and the politicians, the ones that the normal people use? They look like the projects on a bad day. I wouldn't want to put my SHOES on those floors. I wouldn't want to touch the beds at all, much less lie in them. Seriously. And the life expectancy claims... um, yeah, of course - supreme dictators never lie! (And they get 100% of the popular vote, too!)

And all your complaints about insurance companies, etc? That part of their job is to deny people coverage? Socialized medicine is one large insurance company! That is, every country with socialized medicine has specific things they cover, and that's it - everything else is "denied". Depending on the country, such a service might not be available AT ALL, even if you are willing to pay for it out of pocket. And, if you don't like the service you are getting from your one-and-only insurance provider, well... it's the only one there is, so get over it. No, there's not another one available with better covrage, at any price.

EVERY complaint about the EEEEVVVIIILL insurance companies applies IN SPADES to socialized medicine, plus a bunch more, with the exception that everyone is covered. (Of course, the vast majority of people in the US is actually CAN'T afford it, as opposed to choosing to spend their money on other things, are covered by Medicare, etc - that is, government-funded insurance.)

Sorry, I'll stop bothering you with experience and facts.

DrugMonkey said...

"Average life expectancy for a Cuban citizen ... blah blah blah"

Way to bother me with the facts.

Would you like to, you know, PROVE me wrong, as opposed to just saying you don't believe me?

Moving on to the reality based world, this may shock you, but we already have a large government-run health care system in this country, and I would chuck my PPO for Medicare right now if I were eligible. I assume you will put your money where your mouth is however, and continue to buy private insurance and decline Medicare after you turn 65.....because, you know, private insurance is so much better than anything the government can do.

You do know the administrative costs of Medicare are around 2%, vs. anywhere from 15 to 30% for private insurance companies, right? Because that would be a fact.

Not everything about Medicare is great though.... Part D kinda sucks, which just happens to be the part the right wing of this country insisted be turned over to private insurance companies. Mere coincidence? I report, you decide.

The fact Cuba can come so close to the United States in health outcomes while being starved of resources by...um....you, is a testament to the waste of the US private health system.

Find me a Canadian of British citizen that would trade their health coverage for an American HMO. Go ahead. I'll let them write a guest post here. Seriously.

Come back with facts or not at all. "Blah blah blah" is not a fact. Saying you don't believe someone because of their politics is not a fact. Try again.