The movie asks, very pointedly: Why does one of the richest nations of Earth have a health-care system that leaves 50 million Americans without coverage? And for those who have insurance, what’s the deal with those inscrutable loopholes and denials to reimburse, these pre-existing conditions, whereby for-profit insurers refuse to cover seemingly necessary treatments….like chemo?
From Moore’s perspective, the American health-care system is sick because the political system is unwell. He traces (and blames) the birth of the HMO on poor Richard Nixon (he shows a White House tape to bolster his case) and argues that a super-lobbyist cabal consisting of the American Medical Association, big pharma and the insurance industry has bought our national leaders, who then try to scare us into believing that universal health care (and Moore is clear on this point: He want government-run, taxpayer-paid health care) is socialism run amok.
And here’s an excerpt from a letter from Michael Moore at Cannes about “Sicko” (the French seem to have liked it):
Well, as you may have read by now, our premiere of “Sicko” at the Cannes Film Festival has been an overwhelming success. The 2,000 people inside the Lumière Theater were alternately in tears and laughing during the two-hour film — and when it was over, they gave it a standing ovation that seemed to go on for nearly 15 minutes! Many came up to me and said (and critics seem to agree) that this is my best film yet. I don’t know about that, and it seems weird to compare any of these movies in the first place. But I do feel safe in saying that I am very, very happy with this film and I can’t wait to show it to you when it opens on June 29th.