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I usually don’t post much more beyond my daily activities, but I just finished watching Michael Moore’s Sicko, thanks to the magic of the internet.

I’m not sure why I decided to download it, but it may only be because I had the opportunity to check it out after reading about how it leaked on the internet two weeks before release.

So I watched it, and I thought it was a really good movie.

I think most people reading this probably have more experience with the health care system in America so there’s really no point in me talking about my experiences. The most interesting thing about the movie to me was how Moore would take viewers out of America into other countries and see how things work there.

Moore’s movies tend to be over the top in terms of how he presents his arguments, and often times I really can’t bear to watch because it’s like he’s taking a joke way too far. Even so, intelligent people can sniff that out and make decisions for themselves about what is likely to be exaggerated and what is likely to be the real deal.

Anyway, the American health care system is completely screwed up or maybe I’m a communist pinko. Possibly both.

In Japan health care isn’t free, but it is subsidized by the government. I really don’t spend much time in a hospital or at a doctor, but when I have gone nothing has cost more than $10-15. Pharmacy visits are really cheap as well, so I really can’t complain. Older people in Japan go to the doctor as a way to kill time during the day – they socialize with their friends and talk the ears off the doctors, nurses, and other patients.

In Japan, I can go to any doctor (or hospital) I like, which I find really nice. I remember working in America and getting some very complicated paperwork about how much I had to pay for this and that and where I was allowed to go and how I had to make a phone call at certain times before treatment at a non-plan doctor or hospital. What a huge pain in the ass. Now going to a different doctor just means I have to fill out an extra sheet of paper for my file.

Probably the single most important thing I can relate to Americans living in America is to take a look at your country and lifestyle from an outside perspective. Take a foreign newspaper. Read about America on a British or South African news website. Sometimes you can see things you didn’t before.

Oh, and go see Sicko. I’d be interested to hear your reviews of the movie.

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