Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sicko: Health Care

Divide the class into pairs. 

Students 1 read the 1st segment and discuss the questions with other students who also read the same segment. 

Read the article below. It was written by an American citizen, Jake Markob, concerned with the American health care system. After that, discuss the questions that follow with a partner.  

What is America going to come to if people always have to live on  ? In case you did not know, welfare is economics concerned with better living. The branch of economics that is concerned with improving the quality of life by a fairer distribution of wealth. However, welfare is not a very fair distribution because those who work have to pay for those who don’t. Does that sound fair? Basically this means that you pay welfare taxes and people who don't have a job get it. This means that if someone doesn’t feel like getting a job, tax payers like you pay for his living. That is the most absurd thing I have ever heard of. I think that if you do not work you should not eat. But some people do not think so, like the government. Eventually, this is going to cause economic problems. And should be addressed immediately. There are many taxes such as these and more of them are coming. I believe America is on a downfall and needs to be picked back up. It is terrible how high taxes are getting. There are many job opportunities for people to get jobs. But like I said, they are just too lazy, or are not motivated enough. And I am not talking about handicapped or elder people either. But it is getting harder to get jobs in America because of immigrants. America is hiring immigrants over American citizens. This is because most immigrants work for cheaper than citizens. This is going to destroy American economy.

1. Do you agree with this point of view? Why (not)? 

2. Is it true that people who don't have jobs are lazy and will cause problems to the American Society? Why (not)?

 3. Are immigrants contributing to the downfall - if it is really happening - of the American welfare system?

Students 2 read the second segment below. Then discuss the questions with other students who read the same segment. It was written by an American citizen, who also lived in Brazil for a while. 

 Health would be a privilege of those who have money; for those who are dumb enough not to have money, just rot and die. However, it is very very expensive. It is almost impossible for a country to provide quality free health care coming from only taxpayers’ money. The US already provides good free public schools for elementary and secondary education. In Brazil for example, public schools are not reliable, so most parents pay for private schools from kindergarten to high school. I think the best way is to have clinics for those who cannot have private health insurance. These clinics would charge very little, but would not be free. The doctors who would work there would be younger doctors or retired doctors or doctors who do not mind making less than they would in private practice for a guaranteed 40 hour week and a feeling of satisfaction that comes from helping people (I have a pediatrician aunt who donates one or two days of her working week to work in a free city clinic which caters to the very poor population. My grandfather, also a pediatrician, would always see patients who could not pay). Lines would be longer, waiting periods for non essential surgeries longer, but everyone would have access to it. For all others who require a better insurance, they could continue paying more through their employers or privately. This is a bit how it works in Brazil, although there are many complaints about long lines and deficient infra-structure in the Brazilian public health care system. In the years I lived in Brazil, I always had private health insurance. I also do not remember ever receiving bills at home. I would pay my premium, my monthly payments and when I went to the doctor I would be covered. Any exam or test would be covered by my monthly payments. It annoys the hell out of me to receive bill after bill sometimes months later after any doctor’s appointment here in the US. The communication between health providers and health insurance companies is dismal, and many claims are refused for misinformation. So the patient ends up with the bill. I am tired of fighting insurance companies and trying to rectify bills that are wrong. I do not remember ever having to do that in Brazil. So, besides teaching Americans how to deal with electronic voting and alternative fuels, should Brazilians also teach Americans how to have both public and private health care for its citizens? Or is the British/Canadian/French model better? This is a very complex matter with no easy solution.

  1. Do you agree with this viewpoint? 

 2. If you are Brazilian - Are her considerations about Brazil accurate? Explain it. 

 Students 1 and Students 2 pair up and share what they read and their opinions about the statements you read.


Watch the movie segment from the controversial movie SICKO and discuss the items that follow. 

 1. Describe the scene and what is being discussed. 

2. What's your opinion about what is shown? 

3. How do you compare the American health care to your country's? 

 4. What needs improvement in your country's welfare policies? 

5. How fair is it? Why?


1 comment:

  1. Very nice article, I also love the video clip. thanks for showing us how important health insurance is.