I probably don’t have to tell y’all that the new Michael Moore “American healthcare system is evil” movie Sicko comes out this weekend. Of course, the health care industry has been scared shitless about this for months, and we can see many members of the conservative and mainstream media lining up to demonize the film, demonize Moore, or in a soft sell version, argue that Moore’s proposal to fix the problem by switching to single-payer socialized medicine, like in Canada or the UK, just isn’t the right solution to the problem.
Of course, none of this is “public relation” or “propaganda” or “lies”, the industry is simply “rebutting” Moore’s “one-sided message”, and “educating the public” about what Moore’s movie “left out.”
One of the sleazier efforts comes from omniscient search enginge Google. Google sells space to advertisers that would make their ads appear on pages of search results that are related to the topic being searched for. The Google ads division is now actively courting members of the health care industry to put their propaganda on search result pages relating to Sicko. So even making an attempt to find out where the movie is playing near you could result in getting smacked with industry propaganda.
And this would be a good time to ask: any readers in the UK, Canada, or any other country with a national health care program, could you write a little bit about your experiences here? It is the party line here that socialized medicine would be a disaster, resulting in worse care, long lines, and government bureacrats controlling what doctor you see (unlike the private, for-profit system with moderate care, long lines, and corporate bureacrats controlling what doctor you see). Just anecdotally, I don’t know anyone who has national health care who would swap it for the American system, but I don’t know the scoop. Share your knowledge, folks.
Of course, part of the massive, anti-Sicko PR campaign probably includes agents who will post lies and distortions on blogs and messageboards and all, so maybe I’m just inviting disaster here.
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