Yesterday, the Des Moines Register published a review of the movie Sicko. It was written by the business editor, David Elbert, and just for good measure he brought along Cliff Gold, a vice president of Wellmark Iowa, to provide running commentary. You can probably already guess the general tenor of their remarks.
Register review of Sicko
Still, some parts of the review were so bad they actually made me feel sorry for Elbert. For example, he said that Canada and France run “socialized medicine” – he could only say this if he didn't understand the first thing about how their medical systems are organized. (Both countries use variations of single-payer, with public and private providers.) Later he repeated Gold's assertion that 10-15 percent of the cost of health care results from cost shifting from the public sector, onto the private sector! That will certainly be news to ER staff around the state, and to the tens of thousands of Iowans on the state's last ditch insurance plan.
I have only scratched the surface of this review. Although its infuriating, it is worth reading as a preview of the insurance industries arguments against any kind of health care reform. It was disappointing to see this kind of one-sided corporate PR published in the Register. I thought they had been getting better in the last few years, but now, whenever I look at their male columnists, I just see a bunch of pampered, out of touch white guys.