– by Sumant Tumuluru
This article is a letter-to-the-editor that was printed in the News-Gazette on July 14, 2007.
Michael Moore’s recently released documentary “Sicko” details the many problems plaguing our health care system. We, both as the consumers of a troubled system and as the citizens of a country founded upon the principle of democracy, must use this moment to fight back against the purveyors of unjust health care practices. We have ignored the insurance companies and health care providers and their infinite greed far too long and have become complacent. These companies have used our collective complacency against us to fatten their wallets at the expense of our lives. These problems are not limited to big cities and other urban locations; they are in fact right here. Countless people have suffered at the hands of the duopoly run by Carle and Christie clinics in Champaign-Urbana. The similarities between these clinics and the ones highlighted in Moore’s documentary are shocking- right down to the shameful practices of denying patients needed health care. Health care should not be a privilege available to only those who can afford it; it should be a right available to all. As the documentary clearly illustrates, the decision to exclude many from receiving proper health care is being made by a powerful few. It is up to us to stand up and bring about a change because the greedy insurance companies and health care providers will fight to maintain the status quo, to maximize their profits. Ask yourself this: are you willing to stand by as our clinics profit and patients pay the price with their lives?