Before Michael Moore’s documentary “SiCKO” hit movie theaters across the world, Stuart Browning, director of Freemarketcure.com films, had released a few short films himself on the American and Canadian health care systems that counter Moore’s pro-government health care reform argument.
Now, Browning wants people to see the other side of the ongoing American health care system debate.
“These videos deal with rationing and healthcare shortages in the single payer health care system in Canada and are a counterweight to the propaganda of Michael Moore’s “SICKO,” says Browning.
Browning says his films target not only the American people, but also Moore’s recent documentary.
Moore’s film documents Americans who are insured, but who struggle to pay the high costs of treatment not covered by insurance companies. He cites the British, Canadian, French and Cuban health care systems as superior to the Americans system.
Moore makes the argument that U.S. insurance companies are a major stumbling block for patients receiving the treatment that is needed.
But, Browning says the film is propaganda and does not tell the other side of the story, which is more complicated than the picture Moore paints.
“A lot of people are intellectually shut down when they hear claims from people like Michael Moore,” says Browning.
Browning says he hopes his website can play a major role in giving people the other side of the story.
The website currently plays three films–”The Lemon,” “Brain Surgery” and “Two Women”–that reveal some of the problems that arise in the Canadian health care system, says Browning.
“Two Women” argues that although Canadian citizens are guaranteed free health care, it may take years to have an operation.
In the film, a Canadian woman suffers with a dysfunctional bladder which causes pain and sickness. She was told by Canadian health care physicians that she needed an operation that would implant a small device in the bladder to heal the pain.
To her amazement, the physicians also said it might take 3 years to have the operation done because the Canadian health care system only did 12 such operations a year, and she was number 32 on the waiting list.
“This is caused by rationing and the films also show that in a politicized system. It is not always the people’s health that is the most important priority,” says Browning.
Ultimately, the woman had to have her bladder removed due to severe pain and sickness.
Furthermore, the film claims that even after denying the woman a speedy operation, the Canadian system allowed for a man to have a sex-change operation.
These stories and many others are what Browning says drives him to educate the American people “that government-run health care means high taxes, medical rationing and waiting lists to see specialists, get diagnostic tests, and to receive surgery.”
Browning says the films are funded solely by him. “No funding has been received from a health insurance company or the health care industry, nor do I have connections to the health care and health insurance industry,” he says.
Browning says he speaks across the country and has given speeches to numerous chapters of the National Association of Health Underwriters, but does not accept compensation.
His speeches are centered on telling the people what they don’t hear about other health care systems, he says.
“I tell my audience that 40% of British cancer patients never see an oncologist,” he says. “We want a system in which if we get sick, the system will be there for us.”
Browning admits the American health care system has significant problems because of third party payment, but “we still have a system that is one of the best in the world when you are really sick and we are nowhere near 45 million uninsured.”
“People need to know about these things; if socialized medicine is so good, why does it have to be lied about?” he asks.
So where do we go from here on the health care system issue?
Browning says we must take an offensive and defensive approach.
“On offense we need to follow President Bush’s lead and reform the federal tax code, put consumers in charge of health care dollars, reform state regulation of insurance, and allow insurance to be sold over interstate borders,” says Browning.
“On defense, we need to fight expansion of government role in medicine and shed light on the myths of the single payer health care system,” he says.
Browning says he hopes his films play a major role in educating the American people about the health care system.
“I hope they [the films] are a reality check on the misinformation that is being propagated,” he added.
Browning says he is in the process of creating another short film, “A Dog’s Life,” in which a dog can have a hip replacement operation before an elderly man can under the Canadian health care system.