25 June 2007

Denver rallies for Michael Moore & single-payer healthcare

About 2,000 Coloradans came from as far as Pueblo to rally at the state capitol yesterday to show our Colorado politicians that we support Michael Moore's call for single-payer universal healthcare.

With Moore's latest film "Sicko," this movement now has a truly charismatic figure to draw attention to the outrageous injustice that passes for a healthcare system in the United States. For anyone scoffing that a self-depreciating and overweight guy from Flint, Mich., could be charismatic, go hear him speak. He's really very good. And even better, he's a brilliant documentary filmmaker.

How anyone could walk away from this film unmoved is beyond me. And while healthcare is its theme, Sicko approaches it in a systemic way — in particular how the slightly taxes that the French, British, Canadians pay is not resented in those countries because they see a tangible benefit to their lives from those taxes — healthcare, for starters.

He added it up for the audience after Sicko's special preview. In France, for instance, there's universal education through the university level — how much do American families spend on increasingly unaffordable higher education? He asked the audience what they were paying monthly in student loans and although one person answered $800, $200 a month was average. Add that to an average of $500 a month for healthcare, a similar amount for childcare and other services that famililes there get for free or for highly subsidized rates, and in fact we're the highest taxed people in the world. Except we call our taxes premiums and tuition, and thus can be persuaded that we're better off.

The crowd brought amazing signs. Most of the rallies I go to are for candidates, where the signs are all the same. No two signs were the same yesterday.

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