Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


“Sicko” at Cannes

posted by Beyond Blue

From a “Washington Post” article on Michael Moore’s “Sicko” which got plenty of buzz at the Cannes Film Festival:

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.



  • Bruce

    The current insurance system is based on a company doing whatever it can to avoid covering people who have any liklihood of ever being sick. Next, they intentionally add all kinds of complexity and loopholes to enable them to renege on paying what they claim they are going to pay. As a physician, I will tell you that it is much easier to deal with Medicare than with all the crap that private insurance companies put my patients and me through. We don’t need competition in healthcare finance. It adds nothing. The private insurance companies take 15% to 30% of the healthcare dollar for themselves. Medicare administers healthcare claims for only 4% of the healthcare dollar.
    Competition amongst healthcare providers does improve quality and service. Patients can vote with their feet and avoid clinics and hospitals that give poor service.
    My only concern is that medicare only reimburses medical clinics about 60% of what a private insurance company pays. Most primary care clinics have 65% overhead, before the doctor gets paid anything. Medicare has been having the private insurance company subsidize them for years. I worry that once medicare is the only payer, that they will run the primary care doctors out of business.

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