Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

The Failures of ‘Sicko’

sicko_idol.jpgLong before Stephen Colbert coined the word “truthiness,” filmmaker Michael Moore perfected, if not invented, the concept and changed documentary filmmaking forever with movies like “Roger and Me” and “Bowling for Columbine.” In both films, as well as the now infamous and somewhat prophetic “Fahrenheit 9/11,” he cleverly edited footage and manipulated facts to narrate the story as he saw fit–while still calling himself a journalist. (If you don’t believe me, just click here and here for starters.) Moore’s latest film “Sicko” takes on yet another timely, serious cultural issue–the American healthcare system–and unfortunately gives it about the same indepth treatment as a 90-minute infomercial.
“Sicko” is comprised of mainly a handful of anecdotes from a few hard-working Americans (it should be noted that most of these anecdotes are actually a decade or more old ) who have been victimized by the healthcare system due to lack of insurance or due to denial of care by their existing insurance. Intertwined with these anecdotes are interviews with Moore’s Canadian relatives, doctors in Britain and France, and other people who are positively giddy over the quality of the national health care provided in their respective countries. They even chuckle and shake their heads in bewilderment at how any American can survive without a similar system.
The climatic point of the movie is when Moore dares to take a little boat ride to Cuba with some people who became ill after they volunteered at Ground Zero but are being denied health care. He wants to see if they can receive the same quality of health care that the prisoners at Gitmo receive. The event is orchestrated with slightly less dramatic effect than a Broadway musical: Moore is denied treatment at Gitmo and then moves on to Havana where his patients are given the same quality care as any Cuban would be–assuming all Cubans are given medical treatment while American movie cameras are rolling.


My problem with “Sicko” is not its subject matter. It’s pretty difficult to argue that we don’t have serious problems with our healthcare system or that lobbyists aren’t influencing medical policy in Washington. The issues surrounding how to help the uninsured receive adequate medical care or how to hold insurance companies and HMOs accountable for their decisions are numerous and complex.
Occassionally Moore makes some sound points in this film that are worth following up on, but he continues instead to waste screen time on his showboating stunts–like Cuba–his hasty generalizations, one-sided interviews, and slightly inflated statistics used to make his points.
As a recent CNN article correctly pointed out, context as a way of focusing public discourse is what is sadly lacking in this piece of propaganda masquerading as a documentary. There is no context or in-depth analysis of other countries’ fabulous universal health care systems, much less a discussion of how the same system of care could work in a completely different country like the U.S.
For example, there are down sides to the Canadian social healthcare system that are clearly documented by Canadian health organizations. And while Moore claims that paying much higher taxes to the government for things like universal coverage would actually save Americans money in the long run because they will never have to worry about big medical bills, that remains to be adequately documented.
But perhaps Moore felt he couldnt address these real issues in an in-depth way because it would be too risky Such efforts would go against feeding the persona that he has carefully built his career on–a simple, humble man of the people just tryin’ to bring the corporate raiders and government low lifes to their knees–no matter what level of “truthiness” is necessary to sell the story at box office as well as in the Hollywood boardroom.

  • melissa

    Michael Moore’s carefully built persona is one of a “simple, humble man”? Really? Maybe that’s what he builds in his films (I wouldn’t know, not having seen any), but that’s certainly not how he’s perceived. “Sicko” isn’t coming to my theater, but I am curious about it. The subject matter is definitely one worthy of some scrutiny and discussion; if only we could do that without junking up the facts.

  • Cliff

    I couldn’t help but notice that the author of this article, “The Failures Of Sicko,” is not listed. Any particular reason why? Also, I find it rather curious and strange that the most important fact – that over 50 Million Americans, over 20% of the US population! – is never addressed in this movie review. Let me guess…the anonymous author is a die-hard Republican, and any attempt by Democrats to publicize the facts that Moore reports on are referred to as “cleverly edited footage and manipulated facts,” wow, something that Republicans never engage in, (see “Swift Boat Veterans,etc.),right? The US is ranked Thirty-Seventh in global health care, just slightly ahead of Slovenia…is this a “cleverly manipulated fact,” or a cold, hard, truth?? Hey, I have a great idea…let’s see a health care documentary by the it’s-good-to-be-rich Republicans, complete with Bushisms, et al! Now THAT would be “cleverly edited footage and manipulated facts!”

  • Lisa

    Amen. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you! Just one more note to anonymous,…
    you indicate “There is no context… much less a discussion of how the same system of care could work in …the U.S.”
    It’s not up to Michael Moore to solve the problem. It’s up to our paid elected officials to do so.

  • Rainingwolf

    Thank you Cliff. Perhaps the author has never been sick with a long term illness. If he had been he would know that the American way is “treat ’em & street ’em.” Acute emergencies are so much more interesting, and those with chronic illness-don’t even mention chronic pain–are just a nuisance. We need good care for all people, and it is shameful that we are the only developed nation that doesn’t have it.

  • melissa

    You mean Kris Rasmussen (check the “posted by” at the bottom). The posts on this blog are signed that way — by the poster’s name. People who do not post regularly sign their names at the bottom, with “posted by Idol Chatter” at the bottom. Kris Rasmussen’s name has been on this post the whole time.

  • melissa

    I’d also like to add to my initial lament about the subject matter of “Sicko” — our health care system — being “junked up” by fact distortion. I also wish we could discuss it without partisan junk. Health care matters to people on both sides.

  • melissa

    Sorry, one more thing. I reread my last post after posting it, not before alas. I don’t mean to say that Michael Moore junked up the facts, as I don’t know having a) not seen the film or b) not researched this topic myself. I loathe the flaws of the health care system we have now. I just wish we could get riled up about this without wasting our time taking baseless shots at each other and turning it into a political thing. And if Moore really is twisting or misrepresenting facts, that just undermines the good points he makes.

  • M.J.

    Hello Anonymous,
    I am a Canadian, and I wouldn’t trade my universal health care system, with all its faults, for an American come as you can pay, dependent on for profit insurance companies for anything. I might have to wait a little longer than a rich American, but at least I will get be treated, whether I’m rich or poor. The biggest problem with our system now is the ongoing attempts to privatize it one piece at a time.

  • Sheila

    Personally, I think Michael Moore is a “SICKO”! His brand of “journalism”, and I use the term loosely, is destructive not constructive. He is a disgruntled, negative soul looking to make a name for himself and get rich, and he has. Shame on everyone who supports his vicious movies. Do I think there is a bit a truth in each of his “attack films”, yes there is. He has taken that “bit” and distorted it to Americas’s dishonor. What he does is not helpful and I wish he would go live somewhere else if he thinks America is so bad.

  • MaryLee Neshyba

    We are safe, We are protected. We can trust God, 911, the doctors, and the police. I have done so and have had welcoming care and good treatment. And if I can have such optimal results, then i am certain all you you will too. I would not risk giving you this advice if i were not certain. We no longer have any enemies. Thank God Almighty we are safe at last. I love you very very much and am praying for you daily by name for continued safety and protection, a good long and healty life for you, your children and parents, and all generations. I pray for a peaceful holy death and salvation for all of us almost every day. We are safe we are protected Allelluia Thank God Almighty. I love you, MaryLee

  • JoAnn

    Cliff & Lisa ,
    AMEN, AMEN!! Truly couldn’t have said it better either. I was saying to myself, “RIGHT ON!!” And it IS up to our elected officials to solve the problem. Michael Moore brings it to the forefront where our “elected officials” prefer it NOT be.
    I only wish there was a way to get more people to really open their eyes to the fact that our Nation has some serious issues that beg some serious attention, healthcare being one VERY BIG issue. It’s wrong that anyone in our own country be denied even the basics in health care.
    I believe most people that refuse to see his movies choose not to because they are scared to have it in their face. They’d rather stay in the closet and believe that everything here is #1 as long as it doesn’t touch their lives they seem content to believe its all good, too scary to face the truth. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!
    We need more Moore’s out there uncovering the truth and having the kahunas/cojones to put it out there. As for the profit in it…sure there’s going to be profit. Doesn’t our own government work on a “for profit” principle, even though it hasn’t been successful as much at the “profit” part.
    As for the unknown author’s attempt to debunk Mr. Moore’s journalistic endeavors stating that he, “cleverly edited footage and manipulated facts to narrate the story as he saw fit” –There has yet to be any other journalist support that claim or to show the footage as it supposedly, actually occurred. I’d like to see it if it’s out there.
    The writer here tries -unsuccessfully in my opinion- to discredit Moore’s fact collecting claiming them to be “misleading” and then, to “make their point” refers the reader to an article in the ‘USA TODAY’ where they state that “He (Michael Moore) rounds numbers like “NEARLY 50 MILLION AMERICANS have no health insurance”, when it’s actually 44.2 Million, AND…The film says health care costs $7,000 a person each year; the World Health Organization says it costs $6,100. OMG!!! How misleading is that honestly? Isn’t the point here that not even 1 American should be without. COME ON!!
    What I do agree with in this author’s article is that Michael Moore has perfected the word “truthiness” and has changed documentary filmmaking FOREVER. Most opinions are one-sided but that does not always make them wrong.
    NOTE TO AUTHOR: Here is the WIKPEDIA definition of a Journalist to which, in my opinion, Michael Moore more than fits the bill up to AND including the bit about, “The most objective and unbiased way to serve the public good:
    “A journalist is a person who practices journalism, the gathering and dissemination of information about current events, trends, issues and people.
    Reporters are one type of journalist. They create reports as a profession for broadcast or publication in mass media such as newspapers, television, radio, magazines, documentary film, and the Internet. Reporters find the sources for their work, their reports can be either spoken or written, and they are generally expected to report in the most objective and unbiased way to serve the public good.”

  • Colleen Birchett

    Jesus was more in favor of the sick being healed than in protecting the interests of tax payers. Jesus said to give unto Ceasar the things that belong to Ceasar but to also give to God the things that are God’s. In a context of sick uninsured people, mostly poor (21st century), it seems that “Giving to God the things that are God’s” means allocating funds to alleviate such suffering among the poor. The best way of doing that is raising taxes for universal health care coverage. The $10.00 per person that might be raised in taxes is less than the average adult American spends on booze and illegal drugs each week (Yes, Middle Class White Americans, too). Giving up that money so that the poor can receive health care sounds righteous to me.
    We are so quick to criticize Muslims, but the Qu’ran mandates that they give alms. No Christian church I know MANDATES the giving of alms so that the poor can receive health care. I AM a Christian, by the way, even though I believe in helping the poor.
    The widespread resistance to this is one evidence of what Jesus said about it being more difficult for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man (and probably his wife, with her diamonds) to get into heaven.
    Know what ahm sayin’?
    Michael Moore is not the problem, unrepentant greed is.

  • melissa

    Okay, so apparently y’all missed my earlier post. The author of this post is KRIS RASMUSSEN, as you can see at the bottom where it says “posted by Kris Rasmussen.” The only times the posts are signed within the body of the posts themselves are when the author is a person who rarely writes anything for Idol Chatter.
    This post is NOT anonymous, and never has been. Kris’ name was on it when I first saw it yesterday.

  • Cernowain Greenman

    Michael Moore is a hero. No politician in this country has the guts to face this issue and would like it to go away. Moore is a genuine patriot who loves his country so much that he is willing to speak out when it falls short of its greatness. I work in health care and I am tired of the two-tier system of insured and non-insured– not to mention the underinsured. Its so far past time for a change.
    I’m disappointed that Kris Rasmussen’s blog post is so critical. To say that Sicko is not “indepth” is to miss the powerful emotional impact of the film– which is the point of the film: nothing is being done to change healthcare because people *don’t care*! It’s time to start caring.
    blessed be,

  • JoAnn

    Thank you for SECOND clarification Melissa.

  • Mike Smith

    Funny that you choose to focus on the comparatively minor failures of “Sicko” and ignore the thrust of its important message. It’s like pointing out the speck of dust in my eye while ignoring the plank in your own.
    Could it be that, just as you accuse Michael Moore, you too have an agenda?

  • Chris

    I’ll bet Mr. Moore has investments in our “Sicko” system…anyway, he’s a “for profit” movie maker, not a social advocate, and he needs to have all his material scrutinized thusly. Any of you Republican bashers/Moore disciples really getting awful “treat ’em and street ’em” care? Name them…document them…and when/if you do follow it up with how you would like to see it done better… run for office, vote for people who have the power to make changes you want to see. But please don’t vote for poster-holders who want to jack up taxes on YOU to make it happen. The rich aren’t the answer, and depending on the government to treat your illnesses is dangerous at best. If we’re 37th in health care (again, don’t give me WHO statistics, we all know what that organization is about, and anyone can do anything with statistics), why are we one of the healthiest nations on earth? Look around your neighborhood, is everyone sick and begging for care? Don’t base assumptions on what Moore or anyone else says, judge for yourself. If you’ve had a bad situtation in a 2tier system, you have a complaint. But is it the fault of a two-tier system completely? No system is perfect, but I prefer a free-market system that responds to market pressures for price controls,etc. We already have too much gov’t in our system and that’s the cause of the problems – we don’t have market controls, we have bureaucratic controls, and the like. But, we have excellent med professionals, highly trained, highly skille. We have the best cancer treatment, heart treatment, etc. Open heart surgery is like pulling teeth anymore. If that’s “treat em and street em” then I’m all for it. And, just because there are uninsured does not mean no health care. Our “poor” have access to all these services and more at no cost as it is…what do the poor have elsewhere? Even Cuban doctors admit that there are 2 hospital systems in Cuba, and the poor have the worst. We don’t do that here.
    Praise God for Freedom…

  • JoAnn

    Chris – Why is it that staunch republicans ALWAYS refer to “social advocates” as “poster huggers”?
    This is a citizen healthcare issue that affects all citizens regardless of race, color, creed, etc. It touches EVERYONE.
    Me personally having nearly lost my father because the very same insurance company that my parents had paid faithfully month after month, year after year were dictating to the hospital and the “HIGHLY TRAINED PROFESSIONALS” how long he could remain in intensive care under reimbursement. So, he was moved out of the intensive care unit too early, sufferring a serious lapse in condition nearly causing his death. After much heated debate and threats from my mother to both the insurance company and hospital, my father was returned to the ICU where he belonged. That is just one of my own personal experiences WITH an insured person. Lord knows what happens to people who are either uninsured or do not have the means to pay the unbelievable cost of treatment.
    Check this out:
    In a recent CNN poll (5/4-5/6/07), “64 percent of respondents supported the idea that “government should provide a national health insurance program for all Americans, even if this would require higher taxes.” And a recent CBS/New York Times poll (2/23-27/07) found 64 percent support for the idea that the federal government should “guarantee health insurance for all,” and 60 percent supported paying higher taxes to provide such coverage. Additionally, 50 percent believed “fundamental changes” to the healthcare system were necessary, and another 40 percent thought the country needed to “completely rebuild” the system.”
    Interesting wouldn’t you say.


    i agree that the original article’s author mustbe a republican-they seem to BE mostly made up of “the haves and so called christians” who really dont care about others-ex:katrina-rich republicans want to make more money and watch others suffer- most can probably buy the best dr.s they dont need a hmo to depend on-also whenever a michael moore doc comes out-republicans criticize it without even seeing it-how does that work-we need compassion and christ like behavior-not just talk-will there ever be a politician that can get good stuff done?

  • Mike Williams

    I could not stand Michael Moore, now I support much of his efforts- – –
    It is easy to condem criticism of our profit driven health system in America when you yourself have good insurance through your employer. I always would get mad at criticism of our health system “it is not perfect, but it is the best service in the world” I would yell back at critics. But 2 years ago my employer of 22 years, a major airline, got rid of a bunch of management, and what was a soft cushy job became a bad dream as I with hundreds of others got fired. My income quit, and a month later so did my health care.
    The flu became a nightmare. We did not go to the doctor, or to the hospital. My wife ignored a small lump on her breast. The 6 month dental cleanings got ignored as did the annual physical. My son was being treated for depression by a psychologist, that got discontinued. My arthritis shots for pain stopped- asprin would make do. We waited 5 hours at the public hospital to get a dislocated shoulder put back in, and then got charged for it.
    It made me apreciate that those without health care can not afford good health care. They can put out fires of illnesses, but no such thing as preventative medicine is even thought of.
    I got a job with modest health care, but at half my old salary, but I am glad to have it. They cover me, but not my wife. We can not afford so far to cover my wife, that is $375a month. We live in fear, and worry about the future. Mr Moore’s movie hit at least brings such topics to the surface, otherwise they are ignored by our media, and even more so by most of our politicians.

  • Chris

    Colleen…since when does the Church mandate what it’s members do? We follow the teachings of Jesus and the examples of His Word. Taxes are the answer? You first…you and Michael Moore and Hillary and all the other wealthy libs who preach first and act never. And let’s not fool ourselves about the extra $10…that’s insulting. If it were only $10 then no one would debate the issue.
    Giving is a matter of the heart/benevolence comes from the heart. Charity begins at home. These are all true statements. Charity does not begin with bureaucracy or gov’t imposition through taxation of income for “wealth redistribution.” The producers of this country more than provide their fare share for the consumers (e.g. poor – which is still a relative term). And taking more money from everybody to pay for insurance of the few is not “rendering unto Caesar”. Do you realize that many of the uninsured in this country are people who can afford it but choose not to? Not to say there are many uninsured, but there is no one in this country who does not have access to adequate health care.
    If you’re so concerned and thoughtful about the less fortunate/poor/underinsured, then you should look to see what you can do to help directly. Act on your own, start a non-profit, something. Don’t blindly sit by and expect bigger government and higher taxes to be the answer. It never works. Here’s an example from my church. A family there has a son, he’s been having seizures. He’s experienced good health care, and their insurance has been ok. But he has to go somewhere out of town to see a specialist now. Costs a lot of money…but the insurance is covering most of the care, but none of the expenses. They are by no means wealthy, either. But they somehow manage to have some insurance. They needed, oh around $7000 to pull this off. The church, by choice, through grace, willingly and not by mandate, blessed them with over $14000. Let’s see the government do that…

  • Randy

    Mr. Moore brings attention to this very, very serious health care crisis, what atlast have you nay sayers done, don’t hate the message because you dislike the messenger

  • B Reimondo

    We found ourselves among the 44-50 million uninsured in the last four years. Since my family was neither technically poor nor covered by insurance … when we encountered severe medical problems our only solution was to seek treatment and … not pay. We now have doctors who will not treat us … until we pay past bills. How does one justify $10,000 (not including physicians fees) for a one day hospital stay? The only justification I see is the need to pay for lavish buildings, facilities and above average wages for hospital support/maintenance staff … not to mention administrators. Let’s face it – our system is corrupt.

  • Mike

    Attention to a relevant issue is great, but I don’t trust Mr. Moore to actually represent facts much farther than I could throw him. The clip he uses to show the excesses of George W. Bush and other republicans in Farenheit 9/11 is actually taken from a Catholic Charity Dinner. He edited an opinion article about Bush having stolen his first election to appear to be an Editorial. The list of bending of the truths goes on and on, many of which should be discernable by people of average intelligence…the Bush Tax cuts make it impossible for the local police to have the resources to defend the coast…are there people that are here to ermm Guard the Coast…What would you call that group?
    Moore may get my support when he makes films that handle relevant subjects in an honest way.

  • Mike

    apologies…the first line I meant to say -accurately- represent the facts

  • Sheila

    Mike and Chris, you have the only intelligent posts I’ve read so far. What is the matter with you people who support such an obvious “grand stander” as Moore? I don’t believe for one moment that he really cares about any of the issues he “exposes” with his disgusting movies. If he did he would find less offensive and more positive ways to present the material and he would not fabricate and sensationalize the stories. He wants a name and $$$. I do NOT trust his motives. I didn’t have health insurance for 4 years due to a RH factor for rhumatoid arthritis even though I have never been diagnoised with it. So being self employed and in my late 50’s, I was uninsurable. I didn’t like the system much either, but I kept trying until I finally found an insurance company who would cover me with a $5,000 deductable for $140 a month. You have to be tenatious and fight for what you need and not expect everything to be easy or handed to you. I have friends in Australia and in Canada and they do not like their health care systems any more than we do. In Australia, they try to abort any fetus that looks as if it is going to be a burden on their system! I know this for a fact because it happened to a friend two years ago. She had to come back to America to get an unbiased oppinion and some hope. The child is now 2 and does have some health issues, but he is a great source of joy to his family. Think about it, nowhere in the world has the perfect system. I have traveled extensively throughout the world and I don’t see anywhere that compares to our country. It’s too easy to complain and spread discontent and much harder to invest ourselves and work to make things better

  • E.C.

    I have not seen the movie but our newspaper did an indepth analysis and published facts regarding costs of health care in other countries; where we stand on live births (very sad)and amount of time before you can get appointments for emergency care. He might have gotten the small things wrong but he was right on target for the big issues.
    For a super power we should all be ashamed.

  • karens

    I am totally behind M Moore´s style. It is exaggerated, yes. Its geared to slap majority who have abused their responsibilty to inform themselves and speak out, and vote accordingly, as that which they owe back as citizens of our democratic society who are everyday enjoying the fruits of this life, yet are too lazy, ungrateful, stupid, or whatever to safeguard the system. And the more of these people we have in the population, (ever inceasing, sadly) the more threatened our way of life becomes. So if the shoe fits, wear it, is my comment. The very people who are informed enough to pick up on a few intentionally misconstrued data in Michael´s flicks can pretty well rest assured that it was meant for your lessers, of whom anybody must admit there are WAY too many of, and its reaching critical mass, for God´s sake.
    I know for a fact how much of an impact his Fahreneit and Colmbine films had on people in my peer group I had NEVER previously heard a spark of reaction from before, about what was going on in our country, that it was an emergency, and a sickness thriving amongst us. WOW! I congradulate you Michael, and am thankful to you, for bringing this out in so many people who would otherwise still have their heads in the sand. Its a very positive use poetic license, taken to the sometimes extreme degree, because lets face it, WHAT ELSE HAS WORKED SO FAR?? (Except for the lies of the Whitehouse, which make Michael look like the flaming sword of truth by example)…And by the way, have America on the greased slide down to ruin because so many BELIEVE these really EVIL lies they are hearing everyday from their own leaders!
    There is one thing I want to point out, and its use in the film is not accurate, nor to my mind does it serve any healthy purpose: My husband of 6 years is from Cuba, his parents both worked for the Revolution as teachers to the peasants, and they gave their all to back the ideals the Revolution swore was its true motivation. His father has a chronic lung disease that requires he have access to a drug solution inhaler, without which he has a marginal quality of life. This drug is inexpensive and abundant in Mexico, where we live. This woderful man lives without the benefits of this medication, and has for years, unless his son and myself purchase it for him here and find someone going to Cuba for a visit who will bring it to him somehow. So I call bull on both Castro and Michael Moore for presenting things otherwise. As someone else commented here..Of course, while the American cameras are rolling..boy is that ever the truth. Look on line at Cuban customs regulations, if you want back up to this…You can´t even bring a set of sheets, for your parent´s bed, in your suitcase, to Cuba, without paying double in duties what they cost, but funnily enough it states clear as day on the Cuban Cstoms webpage that up to 10 kilos (?) this may be a little off exact amount, but its a load, of pharmaceuticals can enter with a visitor to Cuba FREE of DUTY. I am bent out of shape about the whole Cuban foray he takes in the film, it was total lies and anti-freedom, when the proper goal should be to make people here n the USA wake up and defend the precious freedom they have, before its taken COMPLETELY from them, as Bush has demonstrated can be done all too easily, unless we citizens WAKE UP! Michael is the best alarm clock to come along to date. I hope he keeps stirring it up!

  • matt

    Let me guess whoever wrote this is a republican right? I guess not even 1% of sicko was true?

  • Denise DiFalco

    Bravo, Michael Moore! Until I became permantly disabled from a spinal cord disease, I had no idea what I fool I was to repeatedly pay into a health care system for years that made FALSE PROMISES to be
    a safety net to it’s individuals in case they needed them in the future. It is so easy to make negative comments about a very true
    problem we have in the United States until you become sick and have no
    where to turn. MY QUESTION TO CONGRESS IS…WHY DO WE PAY FOR INSURANCE? We pay top dollars so that these arrogant liar’s can deny
    benefits to those who paid for their services!

  • J.P.

    Sheila, you have so missed the point.
    You seem thrilled to have “FINALLY FOUND” an insurance company willing to insure you, albeit with a $5000.00 deductible and to add insult to injury you are still gratified to have to pay only $1680.00 more annually and haven’t even been officially diagnosed with a pre-existing condition?? What amazes me here is that you don’t find that DISGUSTING! What about the very insurance company you praise for insuring you and their motives?? I congratulate you though for somehow making it seem as if it were a “positive” that this company agreed to insure you after all your diligence and hard work finding them. What a deal after all. It’s not about being “handed” everything or not working for it. It’s about working super hard for it in many cases, paying for it and still being denied coverage for this or that. It’s also about the sheer cost of it. I mean honestly…how many people out there do you believe can cough up even the first $5000.00 of care for an illness? Although it seems you’d be thrilled, especially considering that’s only about 1/2 the amount of a one-day stint at many hospitals. NOW THAT’S DISGUSTING…that’s just my opinion though and we all obviously have one of those.

  • J.P.

    As a side note Sheila…I hope you never have to learn personally how LITTLE insurance companies care about you when you really need them. I’m sure they have very little interest in the hand-over-fist profits they realize each year from the other 80% or so of us in this country who are insured either privately or otherwise…either way they (the insurance companies) profit BIG TIME. HMMM…I wonder what that comes to each fiscal year collectively? I’m sure it far surpasses any profit Mr. Moore has realized.

  • Sheila

    J.P., I think you have missed the point that I am trying to make. I am not “thrilled”, as you put it, to pay a $5,000. deductable. My point is that I see hear so many people complain about everything you can name in this country. The U.S.A. is still better than anywhere else in the world. YES, we do need major adjustments to our healthcare system, but the way Moore goes about it just makes people feel like they are SO mistreated in American and this is such a corrupt country. I am, as I said, 59 yrs. old and have been through a lot in my lifetime. I have had to work hard and fight for things and if I try hard enough, I usually find a way to what I need or want. I see a couple of generations behind me who think that everything is owed them and they can just sit back and expect…a sense of entitlement is not what life is about, anywhere. My mother and father’s generation was blessed with great insurance, super retirements and many benefits, that because of abuse and greed, my generation will never see. All of the abuse and greed was not the goverments, much of it was us citizens misusing the system. For 27 years I had fantastic insurance, when I was married to a union worker. After a divorce, I had no insurance. I didn’t go to a dr. for years. I took care of a friend for two weeks who fell off my roof and after 24 hrs. in a hospital found out that the bill was already $25,000 and his ins. was only paying $8,000 of that. He was in bad shape and had to leave. Do I think this is O.K.? No, I don’t, but until someone comes up with a positive solution and I hear about a country that has figured this all out with a workable solution, I will cope and try to thank God for all of my blessing here at home. I suggest that all of the complainers out there put their heads together and come up with a plan, instead of expelling all of their energy generating negativity!!!

  • J.P.

    Sheila…There is not a “Positive” way to tell this story when time and time again people experience what you have personally, what my father has, and your friend. Michael Moore is at least addressing the issue rather than allowing it to go on un-discussed.
    I too have worked hard my entire life and have NEVER been handed ANYTHING even from my family. THAT IS NOT THE ISSUE HERE!!
    THE ABUSE HERE IS OF THE INSURANCE COMPANIES THEMSELVES – not that of past generations using up everything and leaving the pot empty for my children.
    All this “Have to bring across in a positive manner” pooh- pooh…there’s nothing positive about it Sheila…nothing. Do yourself a favor before commenting anymore go and see the movie. I’m sure you could find a matinee out there for $6.00 or less. THEN…come back here and tell me that Mr. Moore has “fabricated” something.
    I too have lived abroad for 14 years and without looking through rose colored glasses admitted to myself LONG BEFORE THIS DOCUMENTARY that “WE” have much to learn in terms of taking better care of our own in this country on many levels. I’m all for patriotism, but at what cost? Even our leaders have trouble admitting that they’re wrong about things. My Lord…it’s not treason to admit that other countries have really great things about them. We have to be careful not to end up like Rome.
    Bottom line Sheila, it’s not about being handed anything…it’s not about FREE as in “public assistance”…it’s paid for. I am in the 64% who would more than happily pay higher taxes for the piece of mind in knowing that no matter what happens I will be treated, my children, and their children. And…I know for a fact that tax increase would be much, much less per month than what most people pay collectively for health insurance and prescription meds on a month-to-month basis.
    Look at one of our greatest allies and their National Health System. It’s not about communism either…it’s about making sure that a 6-year-old doesn’t die at the hospital that refused treating her for an acute illness that caused her body temp. to go well over 104 degrees while her mother begged them for help. After finally agreeing to transport the little girl to a facility that accepted her insurance, dies after all after going into febrile seizures. NOW…HOW POSITIVE IS THAT?? THAT SHOULD NEVER EVER HAPPEN IN THIS COUNTRY. That’s only one story Sheila. Imagine how many more of those there are.
    As long as people like you have your head buried in “AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL” and refuse to acknowledge how bad it really gets here things will never change. IT IS ABOUT MISTREAMENT in the most disgusting way and the worst part is that we’re putting up with it. The root of all evil in this case is, once again the almighty $$$. Did you know there are licensed professionals who misuse their medical knowledge to the profit of the very insurance companies that turn record profits year after year to increase denials for this or that so that the insurance company doesn’t have to pay the claim?! And you say pooh-pooh to that…it’s all sensationalism, paid actors to support Mr. Moore’s cause. REALLY?!
    Mr. Moore’s documentary isn’t about the “Have-nots” as it were…it’s about the “Haves”…those WITH insurance. Those that pay month after month and then when it comes time for the insurance company to pay they weasel their way out of it forcing many to go without meds, or without treatment altogether, or to file bankruptcy to pay the residual that was NOT COVERED…like your friend.
    It will take people banding together demanding a change. Marches, lobbying, and the like. I have it in me…do you?? I’m long ready to fight for it.
    Oh, and ehm, I DO expect my government to make it work. It’s been proven to work very well in other countries. Many other countries – Great Brittan, France, Germany, to name but a few. Here we get applauded and congratulated to be “Uniquely American” for working 3 jobs in order to pay back student loans, prescriptions medications, and health insurance premiums…it’s almost sacrilege not to that here because, well heck…we are hard working red-blooded Americans and well jeepers…that’s just what we do. But that’s another issue altogether isn’t it?
    And, as if that’s not enough we just give donations hand-over-fist for catastrophes, or look to the Churches we tithe to, to help us out – Why shouldn’t one of the RICHEST governments in the world, the one that I alone have paid taxes to for the past 30 years do something for it’s citizens that would mean more to most than say a space program for starters…OMG!!! REALLY???!!
    What about the billions of tax dollars that have been spent already on IRAQ? Why is that okay? Why don’t “we” have a problem with that? Oh but GOD forbid tax $$$ should finance a National Healthcare System. It should be market driven – yeah…okay…that’s the answer. Insurance Companies ARE market driven, causing a BIG part of this problem to begin with – SHEESH!!
    Okay…PEOPLE…I AM EXHAUSTED HERE. I’m done. It’s not up to me to convince anyone here. You can bet that I will be doing all that I can as one single person to get this message out there.
    Good-Day, Ciao, Adiós, Auf Wiedersehen, Au revoir, Arrivederci, Vaarwel

  • JoAnn

    Okay…for those of you “Moore” haters. The below is an article written by CESAR CHELALA – M.D./Ph.D and International Public Health Consultant.
    Let’s face it – we are in trouble and Michael Moore only joins the masses who all say the same thing about the state of our health care and insurance.
    Tuesday, May 29, 2007
    World’s ‘best’ health care fatally flawed
    NEW YORK — One of the most contentious issues of the U.S. presidential campaign will be how to fix what many agree is a malfunctioning health-care system. Adding fuel to the fire is a recent study detailing the shortcomings of the U.S. health-care system compared with those of Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and Britain.
    The study, entitled “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: An International Update on the Comparative Performance of American Health Care,” released by the Commonwealth Fund in New York, finds that not only is the U.S. health-care system the most expensive in the world (double that of the next most costly, Canada) but that it comes in dead last in most measures of performance.
    Although U.S. political leaders are fond of stating that we have the best health-care system in the world, they fail to add an important caveat: It is the best for those who can afford it. For the rest of the population, disadvantages far outweigh the merits.
    This new study not only confirms the findings of previous Commonwealth Fund studies but also that of a World Health Organization analysis in 2000: that the overall performance of the U.S. health-care system ranks 37th among all countries included in the analysis.
    Presidential candidates will be asked to justify the costs (15 percent of GDP and estimated to reach 19.6 percent by 2016) of such a disadvantageous system that also fails to insure a sizable portion of the population. The most notable way in which the United States differs from other developed countries is in the absence of universal coverage. But it is also last in terms of access, patient safety, efficiency and equity.
    The other five countries considered spend considerably less on health care — per capita and as a percentage of GDP. The U.S. spends more than $ 6,000 per person annually on health care, almost double that of Australia, Canada and Germany, all of which achieve better results on health status indicators. This suggests that the U.S. health-care system can and must do much more with its substantial investment in health.
    Americans’ average life expectancy of 78 ranks 45th in the world — behind Greece, Bosnia and Jordan. Also, according to the CIA’s World Fact Book, the U.S. infant mortality rate — deaths of newborns (under age 1) per 1,000 live births — is 6.50, higher than most developed nations. Even Cuba’s IMR is 6.33.
    The U.S. lags behind all industrialized nations in health insurance coverage. The most recent data available from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that 46.6 million Americans (about 15.9 percent of the population) had no health insurance coverage during 2005, an increase of 1.3 million over the previous year. It is no wonder that medical bills, overwhelmingly, are the most common reason for personal bankruptcy in the U.S.
    According to the Children’s Health Fund, 9 million children are completely uninsured in the U.S., while another 23.7 million — nearly 30 percent of the nation’s children — lack regular access to health care.
    Compared with the other countries studied, the U.S. lags behind in the adoption of information technology and other national policies that promote quality improvement. Real-time information systems in countries such as New Zealand, Germany and Britain enhance physicians’ ability to monitor chronic conditions and the use of medication, including that prescribed by other physicians. In other countries, experienced nurses monitor chronic conditions, thus easing the physicians’ burden.
    The U.S. also shows poor performance with regard to national health expenditures and administrative costs. Americans with below-average income are more reluctant to visit a physician when sick, get a recommended test, fill a prescription, undergo necessary treatment, or receive a proper followup.
    These rankings are based on national mortality data and the perceptions and experiences of physicians and patients; they do not include information from medical records or other administrative data. Yet they paint a disturbing picture of the most expensive health-care system in the world.
    Only structural reform can solve the U.S. health-care system’s deep problems. All people must be adequately insured and everyone must have access to good care. At the same time, the U.S. must incorporate the advantages of modern health information technology to develop an integrated medical record and information system. Lessons from other countries should be applied in the U.S.
    In a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, of the Department of Clinical Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health, stated, “The U.S. health-care system is considered a dysfunctional mess.” Is this an understatement?
    Cesar Chelala, M.D., Ph.D., is an international public health consultant for several United Nations and other international agencies.

  • Sheila

    Thank you, JoAnn. I appreciate reading facts and figures as reported without emotional bias by Cesar Chelala, M.D., Ph.D. And J.P.,for the last time, I will say, I KNOW that our health care and insurance system needs a major overhaul…it is not meeting the needs of a great number of our citizens and is causing many of us undue stress if not acutal harm. The fact still remains that I DO NOT LIKE Michael Moore’s MOVIES! I have seen him interviewed a number of times over the years and I have read enough about him to dislike the man. The facts speak for themselves and he doesn’t need to try to exploit the situations he is “bringing to the attention of the public” by fabrication and exageration! He is not a light on the subject, he is just another opportunist and the way he goes about sensationalizing takes away all of his credibility with me.

  • J.P.

    OKAY…Just couldn’t resist…
    Sheila – This is the FIRST TIME you have said “that you KNOW that our health care and insurance system needs a major overhaul”! Either way I’m glad you get it. AMEN for that.
    It DOESN’T MATTER TO ME if you like or dislike Mr. Moore or that you have never seen any of his documentaries yet feel inclined to believe what ever you’ve read about him, or that you believe every other generation since your own is selfish, or that you believe that he exploits, fabricates and exaggerates the truth. This is all you’ve had to say up to now.
    What do matter to me are the facts. Be a real critic and see the documentary, weigh it against the article posted here that you appreciated because of its “facts and figures reported without emotional bias” as written by the good doctor, THEN please tell me what exactly in the movie was fabricated.
    Bottom line…more people need to “get it” regardless of the media from which they “get it”! The facts do speak for themselves. I have read articles dating back more than 10 years ago that address the very same issues as the ones Mr. Moore points out in “SICKO” and Dr. Chelala in his recent article.
    Michael Moore’s style of documentaries if nothing else at least get more people to stand up and take notice than would have otherwise, and even have heated discussion about a few of the serious issues in our country. Therefore; I for one applaud him for his efforts.

  • Sheila

    J.P.,J.P., J.P., If you had read what I wrote you would see that in the first one I said there is a bit of truth in all of Michael Moore’s movies. The second blog I said, “I didn’t like the system much either”, and the third one I said “Yes, we do need a major adjustment to our healthcare system. The fourth blog was not the “FIRST time” I acknowledged there is a big problem. And to answer the question of fabrication you can go back to two entries above. One was written by Karens on July 6th at 9:30pm and the other one by Mike on July 6 at 6:34pm. They point out a couple of Mr. Moore’s fabrications. I have done my research on Mr. Moore’s movies and I can review the accuracy of much of their content without seeing them. In good conscience, I can not contribute to his wealth or fame as I believe that is his TRUE agenda and motivation. You are articulate and passionate, but I disagree wholeheartedly with your view of the good that comes of M.M.’s documentaries. So we will just have to agree to disagree.

  • J.P.

    Sheila, Sheila, Sheila…
    To address your reference to me about Karens reference to medical treatment in Cuba…I don’t see it as much about the care the 9/11 volunteers rec’d because camera’s were rolling in Cuba and was not a fabrication. They really did go to Cuba and they really did get treated. How is that a fabrication? I believe Karen is saying that it is a misrepresentation of what she and her family experience there. Again, that does not make what Moore points out a fabrication and it does not change the fact that they were received, tested, and treated in a Cuban hospital.
    The point made was that the 9/11 volunteers were receiving less care/worse care than even the prisoners at GITMO (accused terrorists that have a Dr. to patient ratio of 4:1 and who are being provided FREE – paid for by you and I through taxes to our government – top-notch medical treatments including routine tests, medications, counseling, dental care, three squares a day, etc.), but couldn’t gain access to the very same exceptional care at the very least. THAT WAS THE POINT!!
    Was it a little overdone? Theatrical even? Perhaps, but once again doesn’t change the point of it all. One of those 9/11 volunteers has been forced to sell her home and move with her children in order to pay for her medication. That’s the point. It isn’t about healthcare in Cuba or how it works there. It’s about what DOESN’T work here no matter how it’s pointed out or by whom the TRUTH is still there.
    Also, it’s referred to again and again as a “bending” of TRUTHS as it were in the other post you referred me to. Something about “editing an opinion article”. Again, rather than focus on the TRUTHS people get sucked into focusing on Mr. Moore and away from what ever issue he’s pointing out. I ask, “How does this point out any fabrication/lie/fiction on the part of Michael Moore?”
    What’s really ironic to me is that you say, “In good conscience you can not contribute to Moore’s wealth or fame”, because you believe those are his only motivations. Yet even with all the evidence out there you have no moral issue in contributing to the wealth and fame of the insurance companies. It doesn’t take much research to know THEIR motives are without question PROFIT.
    Mr. Moore may exaggerate TRUTH’S but that doesn’t change the fact that they are TRUTH’S. Better to investigate Mr. Moore’s motives and try to find an ounce of inaccuracy and then say that discredits EVERYTHING he brings to the table? Do your research on the insurance companies! Truly unbelievable.
    I refer you Sheila to the post here by MIKE SMITH – JULY 6th, 1:42PM – “Funny that you choose to focus on the comparatively minor failures of “Sicko” and ignore the thrust of its important message. It’s like pointing out the speck of dust in my eye while ignoring the plank in your own.”
    So who’s right here about Moore? Who’s wrong? DOESN’T MATTER. We can agree to disagree about Mr. Moore’s motives and ethics. Bottom line…we agree there are serious issues needing serious attention when it comes to our healthcare system AND insurance companies. HALLELUJAH!!

  • Lisa

    Thanks, J.P, for so eloquently touching on the main thrust of this movie in the first place. I, like many, including my parents, have been greatly effected by the lack of control in the heathcare industry. It’s heartbreaking that my parents have their home up for sale due to all this. I, myself, have also lost all my savings, as well as my job. And I had insurance when “it” all happened.
    Anyways, we all need to put positive energy into this issue to make a difference. Those people that are so hung up on Michael Moore and his character and motives are the same people who’s lightbulb will only go off on the day “it” happens to them. Then, they’ll be the first ones standing in line shouting it’s unfair and demanding a change. So, don’t kill the messenger. While I would not enlist Michael Moore to be my best friend, I appreciate that he has brought this issue to the forefront.
    It is now our responsibility to ensure something is done about “it”. Email/call your congressman/woman regardless if you have a personal story of your own and demand a change. Their addresses are published on the internet.
    We, the people negatively affected by our healthcare system, are not being selfish or lazy, we don’t drive fancy cars or live in big houses, nor are we looking for a hand-out. We are hard working Americans just trying to keep a roof over our families head and keep food on the table.

  • Sheila

    Lisa, I totally agree with your “positive energy” statement. Please don’t assume that I have not been hurt by the insurance issue. As I stated in my comments I was uninsurable for years and I couldn’t see a Dr. during that time because I was so afraid that they would find something that would go on my record that would further hinder my being eligible. Everyone in my family and close friends were worried because they thought I was neglecting my health which would not be wise at my age. I also told the story of a dear friend who fell off of my roof and I had to care for him because his insurance would not cover his needed hospitalization. If you are referring to me as one of those people “who’s lightbulb will go off”, it HAS and I still don’t trust or like Michael Moore. I am entitled to my opinion! There are many people who have had terrible health care issues and battles with insurance companies who don’t like Michael Moore and the way he exploits others tragedies for his own benefit. One can dislike the movie maker and still be totally behind the idea that we need a huge fix to the system. I am so sorry for what your family has suffered and I sincerely hope that you will recover what you have lost. The message does need to get out, but I think we need a more noble, credible messenger. More people would listen and not be distracted and offended by who is giving us the message.

  • J.P.

    Thank you for sharing your personal story with us Lisa. I am truly sorry for what you and your family have had to go through in part due to the astounding cost of medical care and the insurance company’s always finding a way out of paying or paying so terribly little that they force people to have to do things as unthinkable as selling their own piece of the “American Dream” or file for personal bankruptcy.
    You are so right. It is all our responsibility to see to it that something is done to affect a very BIG change/overhaul to our current system so that things like what you and your family as well as too many others all across our nation have had to bear because of the lack of care and absence of payment no longer happen.
    It’s not about Michael Moore, or Larry King, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Wolf Blitzer, Geraldo Rivera, Oprah, Dr. Phil, CNN, FOX, W.H.O., H.H.S., reporters, republicans, democrats, Green, reform, liberals, whom ever reports it. This one’s definitely fact not fiction no matter how it’s broken down, the point is that it’s reported. We must discern for ourselves and take it from there to do something about it. This one’s a no-brainer and the subject matter alone should prevent most from being distracted by the messenger.
    I have to admit though…I do very often get distracted, offended, angry, and find it extremely hard to listen to nearly anything George W. Bush has to say on just about any subject, so I can relate on some level with the previous poster.
    Thank you again Lisa. I wish you and your family many blessings and that you may see the day come that all that has happened is reversed somehow and made right by the responsible.

  • Bobbyjoekc

    If you don’t like the health care here move to Canada. Michael Moore is a disappointment to this nation and an embarressment as well.

  • Emma Grant

    After studying what has been written as truth by this man, I refuse to spend my money on this man so he can make more money to spread more untruths. I know there are problems in the the heath care field. But he has not shown me that he can make good sense of solving the problems. Neither can our leaders or we wouldn’t have such a mess. I can remember when there was a bill to be paid a person was given a reasonable time to make payments. Seems as if making payments in the health care field is a thing of the past. It seems we must have insurance or cash. My appemdectomy payments were paid to the doctor and the hospital. It seems as if it was something like $5.00 a month. Remember that was 60 years ago so $5.00 went a long way. We were proud and did not want welfare. We could work and we could pay our bills. We did not try to skip out of them. Oh for more of the morale of old times.

  • The Reverend DJ

    Interesting conversations here about a very important issue. What’s even more interesting is how easy it is to pick out those writers who are pro liberties vs pro security. This country’s original mission was to provide as many liberties as possible to the masses. Bit by bit, piece by piece those liberties are being chiseled away by citizens who would prefer the securities of a mammoth all controlling central government to whom most of said citizen’s hard earned wages would go in the form of taxes. It’s amazing that in our lifetime we’ve watched socialism rise and crumble in many different countries yet there are those in this country that yearn for the nirvana that seemingly blesses those who accept it’s concepts. I applaud those of you (like Sheila) that still value liberty over security. Unfortunately, our numbers are dwindling and it’s getting more difficult to do battle with those who advocate that this country accept the road to total security for it’s citizens and no liberties left to talk about. God help us all.

  • Jim Ellis

    Re SICKO
    When my canadian cousin needed open heart surgery, he was put on a waiting list, as he was over the age of 60. Fortunately, he had the financial wherewithal to pay for the surgery in the United States. Three years after his surgery he was still on the Canadian waiting list. Be very careful what you wish for; you’re liable to get it!

  • Lainey

    Interviewing only his friends and relatives? Are you kidding? Perhaps you should go on over to Sanja Gupta’s site on CNN and read his blog where even he has the guts to post the many posts from Canadian and others who state clearly that they are so grateful for, and so happy with their healhcare system. And yes, they also go on to say that they do NOT have the long wait times that the US has so wrongly accused them of. By the way. I tried to make an appointment with my OB-GYN and also my Neurologist last week. My OB-GYN had a 6 week wait and the Neurologist had a 2 1/2 month wait. What is wrong with you people? Just for the record, I have spent the last 30 years working in the health insurance field, in the area of claims payment/claims management. My positions have been mostly in the middle/upper management area and I can tell you from personal experience that Michael Moore’s description of our health care system is right on.

  • Michael Walsh


  • Emily

    Moore tells it like it is! Of course, insurance companies and the medical profession are the health beneficiaries! Michael, bless you for the common folks!!!

  • Paul

    AMEN and I mean a big amen Cliff I’ll bet all those polititions we pay get the same health care we get yeah right givee me the same health care they get. I hope Michael Moore keeps on spreading the truth maybe people will get fed up of getting ripped off and finally do something remember people there is power in the numbers what the republicans have managed to do was divide this nation (devided we fall)

  • Maria

    I have worked as an RN for 33 years and I will tell you this: If anything, Michael Moore is posting the truth euphemistically.
    If you knew the reality of what goes on in healthcare today, you’d be even more pissed than he is.
    WAKE UP!

  • anntares

    This applies to your Beliefnet opinion as well as to CNN’s wrong facts:
    An Open Letter to CNN from Michael Moore
    Dear CNN,
    Well, the week is over — and still no apology, no retraction, no correction of your glaring mistakes.
    I bet you thought my dust-up with Wolf Blitzer was just a cool ratings coup, that you really wouldn’t have to correct the false statements you made about “Sicko.” I bet you thought I was just going to go quietly away.
    Think again. I’m about to become your worst nightmare. ‘Cause I ain’t ever going away. Not until you set the record straight, and apologize to your viewers. “The Most Trusted Name in News?” I think it’s safe to say you can retire that slogan.
    You have an occasional segment called “Keeping Them Honest.” But who keeps you honest? After what the public saw with your report on “Sicko,” and how many inaccuracies that report contained, how can anyone believe anything you say on your network? In the old days, before the Internet, you could get away with it. Your victims had no way to set the record straight, to show the viewers how you had misrepresented the truth. But now, we can post the truth — and back it up with evidence and facts — on the web, for all to see. And boy, judging from the mail both you and I have been receiving, the evidence I have posted on my site about your “Sicko” piece has led millions now to question your honesty.
    I won’t waste your time rehashing your errors. You know what they are. What I want to do is help you come clean. Admit you were wrong. What is the shame in that? We all make mistakes. I know it’s hard to admit it when you’ve screwed up, but it’s also liberating and cathartic. It not only makes you a better person, it helps prevent you from screwing up again. Imagine how many people will be drawn to a network that says, “We made a mistake. We’re human. We’re sorry. We will make mistakes in the future — but we will always correct them so that you know you can trust us.” Now, how hard would that really be?
    As you know, I hold no personal animosity against you or any of your staff. You and your parent company have been very good to me over the years. You distributed my first film, “Roger & Me” and you published “Dude, Where’s My Country?” Larry King has had me on twice in the last two weeks. I couldn’t ask for better treatment.
    That’s why I was so stunned when you let a doctor who knows a lot about brain surgery — but apparently very little about public policy — do a “fact check” story, not on the medical issues in “Sicko,” but rather on the economic and political information in the film. Is this why there has been a delay in your apology, because you are trying to get a DOCTOR to say he was wrong? Please tell him not to worry, no one is filing a malpractice claim against him. Dr. Gupta does excellent and compassionate stories on CNN about people’s health and how we can take better care of ourselves. But when it came time to discuss universal health care, he rushed together a bunch of sloppy — and old — research. When his producer called us about his report the day before it aired, we sent to her, in an email, all the evidence so that he wouldn’t make any mistakes on air. He chose to ignore ALL the evidence, and ran with all his falsehoods — even though he had been given the facts a full day before! How could that happen? And now, for 5 days, I have posted on my website, for all to see, every mistake and error he made.
    You, on the other hand, in the face of this overwhelming evidence and a huge public backlash, have chosen to remain silent, probably praying and hoping this will all go away.
    Well it isn’t. We are now going to start looking into the veracity of other reports you have aired on other topics. Nothing you say now can be believed. In 2002, the New York Times busted you for bringing celebrities on your shows and not telling your viewers they were paid spokespeople for the pharmaceutical companies. You promised never to do it again. But there you were, in 2005, talking to Joe Theismann, on air, as he pushed some drug company-sponsored website on prostate health. You said nothing about about his affiliation with GlaxoSmithKline.
    Clearly, no one is keeping you honest, so I guess I’m going to have to do that job, too. $1.5 billion is spent each year by the drug companies on ads on CNN and the other four networks. I’m sure that has nothing to do with any of this. After all, if someone gave me $1.5 billion, I have to admit, I might say a kind word or two about them. Who wouldn’t?!
    I expect CNN to put this matter to rest. Say you’re sorry and correct your story — like any good journalist would.
    Then we can get back to more important things. Like a REAL discussion about our broken health care system. Everything else is a distraction from what really matters.
    Michael Moore
    P.S. If you also want to apologize for not doing your job at the start of the Iraq War, I’m sure most Americans would be very happy to accept your apology. You and the other networks were willing partners with Bush, flying flags all over the TV screens and never asking the hard questions that you should have asked. You might have prevented a war. You might have saved the lives of those 3,610 soldiers who are no longer with us. Instead, you blew air kisses at a commander in chief who clearly was making it all up. Millions of us knew that — why didn’t you? I think you did. And, in my opinion, that makes you responsible for this war. Instead of doing the job the founding fathers wanted you to do — keeping those in power honest (that’s why they made it the FIRST amendment) — you and much of the media went on the attack against the few public figures like myself who dared to question the nightmare we were about to enter. You’ve never thanked me or the Dixie Chicks or Al Gore for doing your job for you. That’s OK. Just tell the truth from this point on.

  • DrFrank-meister

    For any one who has been paying attention to the media over the last 30 years, it should come as no surprise that there has been a shift in journalism away from the balanced “in-depth” ideal towards the sensationalism that is currently pervasive. Are you happy with the quality of reporting on health care today? I hope not.
    I don’t look to Mr. Moore for balanced reporting. He’s a lightning rod to draw our attention to issues of importance. Let’s not waste time reviewing his shortcomings. Lets focus on the problem with our health care system.
    I am a doctor. Every day I see patients fail to comply with health care recommendations because their insurance plans won’t pay for specific services. The insurance industry has become very tight-fisted in the last 20 years. Is that solely because of corporate greed? I don’t think so.
    When I worked in a hospital lab for 6 months in the 1970s I was shocked how often a millionaire doctor would call the lab to ask a 30K a year technician what the results of a positive test meant. My first question to the tech was “if they didn’t know what the test was for (or what it “meant”) in the first place, why did they order it?” BINGO!
    The sad answer to that question is that the tests were ordered by a lazy-minded doctor, who routinely order unnecessary batteries of tests, so that a pathologist or lab tech can do their diagnosis for them. What ever happened to the Sherlock Holmes approach to differential diagnosis?
    The Canadian system is far from perfect. It’s common for someone to wait more than 6 months to receive a necessary MRI. Even so, they are still better off than the millions of uninsured Americans who will never receive the test.

  • John Morris

    I read your article who ever you are???No author ??? Afraid to put a name to the article….In short I TOTALLY disagree with your acessment of Michael Moore Documentary SICKO. You are probably NOT one of the 45 million Americans livinig in this great nation without health care and/or have a HIGH-END Health Care Plan not like the majority of us who gets beaten down by our fraudlent HMO’s.

  • Ted Daniels

    There are two basic problems with any health care system.

    First, given that pharmaceutical companies that develop the drugs and need to make a profit to survive, then it is not in their interest to solve the cause of any problem, only to treat the symptoms. Doctors tend to follow this line of thinking as they overwhelmingly, no matter what system they operate within, prescribe drugs to treat the symptoms not the cause( – make the patient feel good). Thus the system is biased towards ensuring the system treats only symptoms and not cause, which in turn means that patients stay on treatment longer or idefinitely. Good for profits and/or job security, and of course it requires less thinking.

    Second, the patients themselves tend not to take the steps necessary to ensure they maintain a healthy life style – excercise being a key ingredient, supported by eating healthy – look at Michael Moore as an example. That takes a modicum of self discipline and planning.

    So people of both political leanings should first look at themselves and ask what they can do to improve their own health and physical condition first, Michael Moore included. This would lessen the burden on both the state or private health systems, making it possible for both systems to function better and focus attention on those cases where help is really needed – catastrophic health care requirements.

  • Roseann

    I have not seen the movie, but I can tell you that it has impacted on our integraed medical practice! I have clients calling and referring to the content of this film. I think Michael Moore should get some of his facts together before putting together an “action packed” emotionally provoking film.
    He should really live the work of the healthcare provider for a time and see how people do not take care of themselves and rely solely on the healthcare system for their health needs! It doesn’t work that way.
    When I saw an interview with him, he admitted he doesn’t take care of himself. What does he weigh, 400 lbs? he is pre-diabetic, hypertensive etc, and who should be responsible for him and his care because he can’t say no at the table?!
    He should also thank Hillary clinton for managed care! and all of the problems we face today. Does he address how the insurance companies do not pay providers for their services, but the CEO’s make millions, for just saying NO to coverage?!
    I will see this film, but from what I hear, it is just another way for the entertainment industry to make money. I think I will make a documentary film about the irresponsiblity of television and entertainment today,

  • Marilyn

    Amen. As an R.N., I am sure you have seen the real side of many healthcare problems (even beyond the lack of it in general). I am a clinical social worker and could document publicly (if it were not for the rules of confidentiality) the daily incidents of people who are denied healthcare because of no insurance or inadequate insurance . Obviously, there are some people who do get appropriate healthcare. Hospitals, doctors, and pharmaceutical companies would not exist without them. But people die because of lack of insurance. There is no doubt about it. The slow Medicaid system sometimes kicks in when irreversible damage is already done. Sometimes it doesn’t even kick in then!

  • Alex Turnbull

    Why is the truth of our affairs in this once great country not always spoken? I do not hear the real truth of way so many good American jobs are leaving our shores. Why are so many old and once successful companys going bankrupt. “HEALTH CARE” General Motors is the largest health care provider in the USA. It cost them billions of dollars each year that foriegn rivals are not exposed too. Is that a level playing field? The greed driven ways of our country will bring this once great country to its knees.

  • James

    I have a problem with my prostrate gland. I have had a biopsy performed two years ago and found there was no cancer. I am to have another one the 19th of July. It only took three weeks to get this
    appointment. If I was in a different country. I would still be waiting.
    Prostate caner is the number one killing of males. So if I were in Canada or Europe I would be in deep doo-doo. Health care in the United States is the best. No matter what the Liberals and the brain washed
    say. Will some one tell me if the US health care is so bad. Why are people from Canada comint to the US for health care. Michael Moore
    should be tried for treason. Along with John Kerry, Jane Fonda and Ted
    Kennedy, Harry Reid, and Nancy Poelosie.

  • Sure

    If Moore has fell short of supreme credibility then I’d say he fits in perfectly with 99% of all news and journalist in American today.
    NO – BODY does propaganda better than America. The news in our conutry is a joke.
    Moore is an itch ..that America has to wake up long enough from their sheep-like ignorant slumber to learn “anything” aside from who’s on American Idol and Dancing with the Stars ….to scratch.
    So pick him or anyone else apart . My vote is always for individuals who makes us ponder past Paris Hiltons antics…

  • Red

    After paying into unemployment for over 25 years, and finding myself layed off, I had to fight tooth and nail for a few months of health care benefits, which was minimal to nothing. Do the research people. Think for yourselves. National healthcare is NOT free! You hand over up to 70% of your paycheck to taxes. The system in the US is flooded with the poor who reap benefits and are insured, leaving the middle class with nothing. Do YOUR RESEARCH. Don’t be swayed; there are positives and negatives on both sides.

  • jk

    Michael Moore is certainly not the benevolent journalist his publicists portray him to be. His only concern for health is how he can use it ot line his pockets and get him on TV. His fame and fortune are supported by his manipulation of other whiners into believing their various social problems are the responsibility of someone other than themselves.
    We wouldn’t have to worry about the medical lobbyists if we had not put the responsibility (and authority) for our health care in the hands of politicians. Many of the flaws in our medical system began when Medicare and Medicaid took over our health care system. Now the whiner/losers like MM try to convince us to base our system on the bankrupt systems in Canada and elsewhere. Loud mouths
    like Michael Moore trying to convince us that we have the ‘right’ to medical care paid for by someone other than ourselves is the biggesst part of the problem.
    Whining is a way of life for some folks.

  • J

    The issue is the lack of quality healthcare for all Americans NOT Michael Moore. If you do not have MONEY you do not have ACCESS to quality healthcare!
    An estimated 18,000 people die each year due to lack of health insurance.
    The uninsured are more likely to delay needed healthcare because of the costs. As a result, they are more likely to be diagnosed with severe health problems, such as late-stage cancer.
    From the NC Institute of Medicine
    The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences estimates that the uninsured have a 25% greater chance of premature death than the insured. Nationally, the lack of insurance coverage contributes to about 18,000 excess deaths among the nonelderly. Uninsured women with breast cancer have an even greater risk of death: 30% to 50% higher than those with insurance.
    Uninsured Americans numbered 43.6 million last year, a 6 percent increase from 2005. The number of adults age 18 to 64 without health insurance estimate rose to 36.5 million in 2006, from 34.5 million the year before.
    From U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Raleigh NC

  • Ted Daniels

    In response to Red.
    Get your senator and representatives to promote the Fair Tax system.
    This would resolve many issues such as yours and also resolve the whole immigration mess, and reduce the number of govt employees.

  • Chavi

    I don’t think Mr. Moore is interested in solving the problems in our healthcare system. He’s interested in getting attention —- for himself.
    Solving the problems in our HUGE healthcare system requires a lot of sharing of ideas and careful thought, NOT sarcasm! But then he doesn’t seem to be interested in solving problems. Solving problems is BORING, TEDIOUS, HARD WORK that is done alone or with small groups of people in offices — and not in front of the cameras. Solving problems doesn’t get you on the red carpet!
    The United States is not France or Cuba or Canada. We can’t just jump into the kind of healthcare system they have. Healthcare should be between a patient and her doctor. Neither the government nor the insurance company (nor the pharmaceutical company) should be telling the doctor what to do!
    Preventive medicine does not get due attention in the United States, except from holistic and naturopathic physicians. More emphasis on preventive medicine could possibly reduce the burden on our healthcare system!!

  • Rachel R Ferguson

    This film calls attention to the shameful healthcare system we have been tolerating in America. What the film points out is that the people are responsible for the situation by allowing the Big Insurance Companies, Big for Profit Health care facilities, and Corrupt Government Leaders to manipulate us into following along with their plans.
    Our fellow Americans and all people deserve to be treated to full dignity and grace regardless of their financial or social situation. We allow Big Insurance Companies to put their big fingers on our people at their most vulnerable times–in sickness. People are not being treated according to NEED, but according to PAYABILITY. This is a SHAME ON US ALL.
    Each day that Congress allows this pathetic situation to go on is a disgrace to us all. Our healthcare system is so pathetic. What we have come to accept in this country is shocking to other people in other countries. Just ask the “Americans” who have left this land of opportunity to live there with peace of mind a user friendly health care system provides.
    This is a MUST SEE MOVIE. It should be shown to everyone in Washington D. C. along with every American who is willing to make the changes we need to really provide CARE to people. Our lives are depending on it.

  • Joe

    Wait a minute, how about addressing the points of the movie, not the movie maker. The health system in America is broken. Any attention to it is welcome. Sure, Moore has his faults. His movies, like the opinons of the Limbaughs etc, are slanted to support his stance. But, even thought most of what The Limbaugh’s etc state are pure opinion, once in awhle even The Limbaughs bring up a point that should be considered. Our health care system is a topic that needs shown the light of day.
    In the early 90’s, Mrs. Clinton tried to address the problem. Then, as you do with your article, the attacts were on Mrs. Clinton, not the topic of health care. Now, all these years later, we haven’t addressed it.
    I thought it was telling that at the top of your opening page, there was an ad from a drug maker. Surely that wouldn’t be an influence on you, would it? Oops, I’m doing the same thing you are, attaching you and not your point.
    I suggest that any who read your “opinion” and then this, my opinion, read The French Lesson In Health Care in the 9 July issue of Business
    Week (you know, that bastion of left thinking).
    The best thing that Christians have to judge is “what would Jesus do?” Think he would base curing people by their health plan?

  • Minoo

    No matter what I think of Sicko or Michael Moore, the question he has raised, “Why is our healthcare system a for-profit system, when our firefighting and policing systems are not?” has my attention.
    He is correct in his assessment that there is a conflict of interest central to the debabcle in which we find our system: Healthcare costs money. A for-profit company (especially one who is publicly traded) has the legal obligation to maximize profits, which many companies do, partly, by cutting costs. The healthcare system has figured out that by refusing payment, a large percentage of the insured/refused population won’t fight for what is rightly theirs (and essentially double pay). This allows the insurance companies to add to their already bulging bottom lines – making shareholders very happy – though leaving the insured neglected and fighting among themselves, as this blog prooves.
    We need leaders who understand how to reconcile the many complex factors to create that delicate balance of liberties-and-justice for all with a capatalist society.
    This is not a personal issue – our diverse society needs to come to together, and agree on how to take care of our elderly, our children and ourselves. It is time.

  • KCH

    Isn’t it odd that people from other countries are breaking down our American door to live and benefit from our soil??? Our healthcare may stink in a lot of ways, BUT, I would rather wait an hour or so in a waiting room past my appointment time to see a doctor, than not be able to even get an appointment for 6 months. Believe me MM does not have to worry about healthcare with the money he has lining his pockets. jk your right, whining is a way of life for some folks who need to looks back in history and see what this country was built from. Hard working people who came here from other countries to make a home and life for their families. And, yes I did say hard working!

  • Ray

    “There are none so blind as those who will not see.” Hooray for the Micheal Moores of this world for the blinded-by-greed insurance co. execs and political leaders of the same ilk, are indeed ripping off the people of this country. They have even managed to convince far too many of us that we should be grateful for the screwing were getting. Or is it that too many of us are profiting from investments in health stocks and funds?



  • Montfred

    This article has all the elements of right wing republican bias. While there may be minor errors of fact as in all articles, the gist of his article rings true to most of us. I have seen almost all of his movies and found them all to be edifying and bring to the information that would not reach us through politicians and the corporate media. He is brilliant and has the interests of the larger truth. THANK YOU MR. MOORE.

  • Diana

    I am really upset about sending me this, cutting down Michael Moore. I live in the city and I see our horrible sytem and how iit handles the poor and healthcare. I also know people who had serious illnesses and were butchered and treated with a non caring attitude because they were on Medicaid. Our Medicaid does not cover any kind of alternative care and it is hard to find Dr’s and dentists who will take Medicaid.
    I walk by the shelters downtown and see elderly women lying in the street and the mentally ill not taken care of.
    So, how dare you for cutting down someone who is showing some of the truth going on in this country.
    Humans don’t want to see what is going on and can’t experience it until it happens to them.
    If I had the $ I would get out of this country as soon as possible
    I thank Michael Moore for getting this out there.

  • G. Lukas

    Concerning National Health Care –
    Having lived in another country and I was amazed at the agenda that the Clinton’s had in this area a few years ago. Apparently they had not investigated the Health Care System in the UK. They and others are clueless. There you wait in line to be called for an operation. That is you may wait 2 -3 years for a non life threatening operation while you suffer. (I do not believe many of the general doctors have as much training as here, but this is my assumption.) Actually their pay is much less and at least up until a few years ago they were bailing out and moving to the US to make better wages.
    If you are not white and English you may experience problems as well. One Jamaican lady who had lived in London for 40 years had an operation on her hand eventually and then another and another. It seemed she was a experiment. Her hand only grew worse. Although she may not be an example of everyone I was grieved that she had to endure all this when the system was so wonderful. There were some good points to the system, but it seemed to be more flawed that is represented in this country.
    It might be a good idea to investigate further before we toss everything into a system of National Healthcare. Especially with the track record of other major systems operated by our efficient government.

  • Laurie

    Joann wrote:
    “I only wish there was a way to get more people to really open their eyes to the fact that our Nation has some serious issues that beg some serious attention, healthcare being one VERY BIG issue. It’s wrong that anyone in our own country be denied even the basics in health care.”
    There’s reason more people’s eyes aren’t open, and this issue isn’t being dealt with. Every time an important issue like this threatens to come to the forefront of public debate, and Congress begins to fear they might actually have to do something about it, it trots out non-issues like flag burning or gay marriage to use as a distraction and a boogie man.

  • Susanna

    The only sicko here seems to be Michael Moore. I guess he gets away with what he gets away with…because he is simple and therefore not so credible???

  • Patricia K. Sullivan

    I could not disagree more with the person who wrote this piece. “Sicko” cannot be in depth as is postulated. It would be a 2 day movie. It is meant to bring critical attention to an American Healthcare system that is broken beyond repair. Perhaps one of the networks should take this on (my favorite MSNBC)? The issues Mr Moore talks about are not 10 years old, they go on every day at healthcare facilities all over this country. How do I know this? I worked in a hospital for 17 years I have been a patient in a hospital,twice myself, in the last 10 years. The care I got was worthy of a law suit although I didn’t believe and don’t believe that is how you effect change. What I do believe is that “Sicko” is meant to draw critical attention to what is happening in this country. I believe that time didn’t permit Moore to go into the nightmare the uninsured face. Healthcare is not a right in this country and should be. Yes, the Canadian Healthcare system has its down side but do they have the problems that the US faces??? I am sure people without insurance would gladly put up with a wait for service if they were guaranteed the service. The healthcare system needs to be blown up and built all over so that is meets the needs of the people they serve. Take “big money” out of it. Drug companies,Insurance Companies and for profit hospitals and lets see what we get. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  • KCH

    Just in case you haven’t cancelled yet Elizabeth, I think Beliefnet allows an array of opinions to be posted. I did not agree with a lot comments I read, but I do have an open mind. Remember this is America and we still are free to voice our opinion.

  • Rainbow Angel

    I would just like to add to this discussion that i agree the american healthcare system is troubled with problem areas and probably a challenge to change..
    All americans, regardless of income level deserve to have access to state of the art healthcare regardless of their ability to pay whole or part of the cost…
    Rainbow Angel

  • Carl

    Mr. Moore mixes truthfulness with exaggeration, okay? Most moviemakers do that. In the movie Titantic, do we really believe there was a Leonardo DiCaprio on the real Titantic who was so chivalrous that he was willing to freeze to death in the water so that the pretty leading lady could stay afloat and be rescued? Well, maybe, maybe not. We must remember it’s just a movie! Why? For money! What can we expect? We paid the same price to get in and see it as the other movies, didn’t we? Anytime money is the motive should we really expect anyone with the profit motive to be without sin? Would any of us be willing to sell all our earthly goods and “take up our cross” and follow anyone? So, are we much different from Michael Moore when it comes right down to it? I can only speak for myself. I haven’t given everything to anybody, not yet anyway. After I’m gone somebody will it it. I must still a work in progress. Peace, carl

  • Connie

    I know that Michael Moore gives one side of the story, but that doesn’t mean that that side does not exist or is inaccurate. I have been a social worker for 25 years and work with people living below the poverty line. Many of them have medicaid, but still cannot find medical care. I have personally gone through the phone book calling every single doctor, trying just to schedule an appointment for a sick child. The response is, we aren’t accepting any more “OHP” clients. They frequently end up at the emergency room. I have seen children 12 years old need permanent teeth pulled because they could not get into a dentist. I had insurance with an HMO and was put on a list as a non-emergency with a gall bladder surgery (before the new technique) and had to wait 6 months. I suffered painful attacks dozens of times. Let’s face it. OUR SYSTEM OF FOR PROFIT HEALTH CARE HURTS THE CONSUMER!
    I can’t believe that belnet does not acknowledge that Michael Moore’s documentaries do a great service by putting these issues on the table.

  • Dave

    It is amazing that so many people live in la-la land. Michael Moore, that anti-war, anti-US healthcare mogul of the common people doesn’t disclose his holdings as an enterpreneur. All of his mystique is tarnished because of the hallowness of his stance. He has neither the honesty nor the integrity of those he so blithely runs down. Just once I would like to know how the people like him would feel if they had to wait MONTHS for an operation unless they were, like him, well-heeled. Our costs are sky high only because the insurance companies are charging such high malpractice suits because of hungry lawyers and suit happy individuals. Then there are those politicians (primarily Democrats) that took away my family’s fantastic insurance benefits and put me on Medi-Care. Hillarycare and socialized medicine is a scam from those who want to meddle in our affairs through the mommy-state. A pox on all their houses!

  • Philippe G. Goldscheider

    I have seen all of Michael Moore movies and I applaud him again for telling the TRUTH!!! I have met him briefly once at Turnberry Isles in Miami, Florida last year. He is undeniably himself a victim of the obesity epidemic and the poor health care practice that we have now in this country. However, his most recent documentary speaks the absolute truth!!! Nonetheless, prior to elaborate on the health care crisis in this country, I would like to inform everyone who cares about themselves, their family and loved ones, and most importantly their children and future generations about the following FACTS:
    The people of the United States of America, in general, is very toxic and nutritionally depleted because of environmental pollution linked to chronic diseases like diabetis, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and obesity which is now recognized as a disease by the American Heart Association.
    We are in a huge health crisis!!!
    18 million children are obese and facing serious health issues. It is not like years ago when children needed only to visit the family practitioner. Today, it is very sad to see that children need the care of rhumatologist, infectious disease specialist, endocrinologist, cardiologist, gastroenterologist specialist. Kids are sick! We are in a pedriatric crisis!!! For adults, the number of hospitalization, missed days of work, and office visit to the doctor have increased dramatically in the past few years. Why is this happening???
    During medical school doctors have only one year of learning pharmacy, learning the drugs, and how to prescribe them. Last year 2.8 billion medications were prescribed by health care professionals! This is a staggering amount! On average, patients are on 1 to 11 pharmaceutical drugs! And most of these drugs are just COVERING THE SYMPTOMS!!! There are not many physicians who sit down with their patient to prescribe a good nutritional program to PREVENT going under medication. Children have a long life ahead of them, and it should be spent without doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceuticals. Most chronic disease in this country are related to environmental toxicity. In clinical studies, toxins have been linked to cancer in all forms of breast cancer, stomach cancer, osteosycolonis cancer, lip and throat cancer, lymphoma, and leukemia. Toxins are also linked to immune disease like lupus and fibromyalgia. They are also responsible for cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, infertility and birth defects. Why are we bloated with gas one day, and have diarrhea the next, just after eating something as simple as a salad? Look what goes into our bodies: preservatives, pesticide, insecticide. On average, 72 pesticides and insecticides are sprayed on our fruit and vegetable. Our drinking water is polluted with heavy metals, parasites, and bacteria. You may drink purified water, but it’s stored in plastic bottles. The water absorbs the toxins from the plastic while it is stored 3 to 4 weeks on the supermarket shelf. And you don’t bath in it. So, when you take a hot shower or bath in water that is laden with chlorine, it evaporates and turns into chloroform which is highly carcinogen! Remember the skin is the largest organ of the body, very porous and absorbant. These toxins and pollutants are absorbed and circulate into the blood stream very rapidly, then to the lymphatic system and deposit into your organs. Women do not even realize the damage they cause to themselves just by applying lipstick! (the lips are more porous than the skin…)
    What about the air we breath? The hydrocarbons we take into our systems, anything that burns: truck and car fumes, barbecue grill, fireplaces, cigarette smoke. A nationally recognized study from the University of Arizona has linked these hydrocarbons to the breakdown of the protective genes that protect women against breast cancer, which has increased by a three fold in the past 15 years!
    Our farm animals were injected with 20 million pounds of antibiotics last year alone. Animals have now weird infections like microbacterial and tuberculosis. And we now see this anti-biotic resistance in the hospitals now! We inject the cows with steroids to produce more milk and make them fatter. Eat fish? Fish is now polluted with mercury. Look at the soils in this country… So many of our soils are overfarmed, and we don’t replete them with all the good nutrients and microbes. So, what’s happening is our food is becoming nutritionally bankrupt, we become nutitionally bankrupt. Now, go to the grocery store and everything is fortified. Tomatoes are picked green then sprayed with carbondioxyde to turn them red for market consumption. When fruits and vegetables grow on depleted soils, they only have 40% of the nutrients that they had in the 1940’s. Just think what is happening to our bodies when we don’t provide it with the good nutrients and all these toxins are entering our systems! Our body natural defense is to produce fat cells to protect itself. Today, 81% of the population is overweight. That is 293,655,400 people!!! And 31% meet the criteria for obesity which is now recognized as a disease by the American Heart Association. And sadly, 18 million kids are obese with type II diabetis, a lifestyle disease. Diabetis starts now in children as young as 4 years old. Teenagers are on insulin. Diabetis damages your cardiovascular system. You may go blind or loose a limb. Last year alone there were over 19,000 amputations due to diabetis!
    The #1 addiction in the USA is food! And fast food which is laden with MSG, which is an hydrolysed vegetable protein, very addictive!
    So, what is my point in this discussion?
    Michael Moore is right about the health care system in this country. What is not mentioned is the fact that the Food and Drug Administration supports the Pharmaceutical companies in their quest of reaping people off their health in this $200 billion industry.
    Like many citizens in this country, I do not have health insurance. I am 52 years young. I have not used pharmaceutical drugs for more than 25 years. I don’t get sick. And it’s not genetics: My father died of a heart attack following complications from diabetis, and my mother passed away last year from a pulmonary embolism and a heart attack.
    I am in great health because I cleanse my body of all impurities and I follow a diet rich in wholesome and nutritious food. The Great Physician created our bodies to function perfectly, and absorb good food coming from what was available on earth many years ago. That is the lifestyle that I follow every day of my life. And I do not watch CNN, or FOX NEWS. Why would I want to pollute my mind with mayhem, violence, gossip, and immorality? A HEALTHY MIND IN A HEALTHY BODY. That’s what I am, and many of my friends and loved ones also.
    In concluding, if everyone in this country followed my lifestyle, the pharmaceutical companies and HMO’s would go bankrupt in a matter of 2-3 years. Do you think they like someone like me?
    Bravo Michael Moore for not shying away from the truth!

  • da fish

    It is sad to think that it takes a weeks wages to get medical coverage. I guess to the people who make $100,000 a year, $375.00 per month or a total of $4500 per year, isn’t that much money To the person who only makes $10,000 per year that equals almost half of their wages. Even if you make $20,000 per year, it is a quarter of your wages. And that is before taxes. So, where does the money come from to say, maintain a home? Should I have to go to food banks so my children can eat? Do I maintain a temperture of 60 in the winter so I can pay my heat bill? Even at 60 the bill is sky high. I have a job, I need to get there every day. Hmmmmm, got to pay insurance to drive, got to have gas to drive car, Mass trans doesn’t go close to my place of employment. Should I quit my job so I don’t have to pay those bills? I guess my children shouldn’t have Christmas or birthday because I couldn’t squeeze the extra money out to afford it. We live in the USA and we’re supposed to be better than these other countries, at least that is what I was raised to believe. I own my “home” which is a mobile home worth about, maybe, $1000. That is a blessing but I still have to pay lot rent, utilities, where does the money come from? And I feel lucky, blessed. I know people who, because of mental or physical handicaps, can’t get decent jobs. I don’t understand how they get by. The bigwigs whine about a minimum wage being $7.00 per hour. Well, IF I can get a full time job at minimun wage that would equal $278.00 per week BEFORE taxes. And if you apply for aid, that is over what is allowed. Yep, we can get food stamps. Helps. I applied once, worked minimum wage-full time. I was sent to unemployment to see if I was under-employed, nope. Didn’t get help. Husband got injured seriously, ran up about $125,000 in hospital bills. Needless to say, I have lousy credit because that is bill I can’t pay. He passed away so I have to do it on my own. Just doesn’t work. So, you there who can afford insurance, count your blessings. If you work somewhere where they pay part or all of your insurance bill, you are lucky. We can’t all go to college or work in a high-paying job. Where would this country be without service people? And I sure don’t mean illegals either.

  • Glenda

    Like or not, believe it or not, the fact remains that our “health care system” leaves much to be desired. Having worked in health care for nearly 40 years, I see almost daily where some of his allegations are really true.
    Why is it that in this country, in this day and time, we would much rather find fault with our status quo, rather than face the facts, and use that same energy, concern, money, anger, and fears to resolve these issues?
    We always want to fight and disprove things, instead of righting our wrongs. Even if we were the best nation in this world, we still fall far short of equity, equitable treatment, care and concern for others, and the quest for decency and order.
    I say that the truly best nation in the world is not a nation who puffs itself up and spends much more on war and weaponry, prisons than schools, takes a reactive, rather than proactive aproach to health care, but is that nation where your race, color, sex, sexual orientation, background, socio/economic status, level of education, religious belief,or any demographic condition means nothing in your quest for justice, freedom, and the right to receive basic benefits such as a good quality education, access to the best medical care available, and right to live freely and practice your philosophical beliefs, as long as they do not infringe upon or harm anyone else.
    When you brush away all of the hype and rhetoric, we are not that nation. In every and any instance you can think of, we would rather deny, rather than face our discrepancies. The problem is that health care is the most basic of issues. NO ONE can argue that there is not much room for improvement. EVERYONE should be angry that we allow our decision makers to control us to this degree. There is plenty of blame to go around, but I’m afraid that Michael Moore is too often right in many of his allegations. Thus, the outrage some people feel. If he were dead wrong, nothing would be said about it! The problem is that most people have experienced many of these atrocities.
    Let’s re-direct the anger that Mr. Moore has stirred up–not against him,(don’t shoot the messenger)shoot those who would further perpetrate these conditions on our people, making us weaker, sicker, poorer, and yes, deader. Your energy would be much better spent attacking the managed care industry, their lobyists, and those legislators who have been bought by them.
    It’s time for us to pull our heads up out of the sand, take a good look at this critical situation, and DEMAND that things be changed for the better.
    We have got to stop allowing the attitude of “Not in my back yard” to exist. Your back yard IS my back yard. What grows in my back yard WILL sooner or later, spread to yours. And when it gets there, it will be much more pervasive, entrenched, and stronger, as well. Whatever you allow to happen to me can also happen to you, but by the grace of God.
    Let’S start to care and stop the blame game. Do all in YOUR power to change the status quo. In the meantime, pray with all your might that you do not get sick.

  • Linda Pedro

    In my opnion, whether you think Michael Moore is a godsend or Satan incarnate (and I believe he is somewhere in between)he has opened the subject for debate and discussion. I don’t personally know anyone who is saying we should immediately adopt the Canadian, Cuban or French model of the healthcare system. But what is wrong with acknowledging the flaws in our system and investigating our options for fixing them?
    My grandfather used to say that when the ostrich buries his head in the sand, all he accomplishes is giving the hunter a better shot at his butt!


    The author is adept at trying to put a negative spin on SICKO, but had not given one fact to substantiate the claims made.
    It is easy to be negative, it is more difficult to give facts to help improve the sad state of healthcare in the USA, compared to that in most industrialized nations. For example, compare statistics on infant mortality.

  • Jim

    Kudos to Michael Moore!
    He is bringing America’s number one domestic problem (next to illegal immigration) to our apathetic American public’s attention. Does he use exaggeration – you bet, you have to if you want to wake up the “sleeping cow” that represents the present state of the American domestic citizenry.
    Now we need to discuss how medical schools limit enrollment; patients are now triaged in our ER rooms (the few that are still left open); monstrous medical bills are in the main responsible for the bankruptcies that are destroying the lives thousands of our American citizens.
    Indigent patients are routinely ignored or shipped off to sidewalk “burial”sites or overloaded public hospitals despite the fact that our laws state “everyone must receive emergency care”.
    Incidences of malpractice due to incompetent medical personnel are skyrocecting with the blame of course (by the AMA and its minions) being placed on the patients who (innocently) need care and must sign away their rights of recourse even if the procedure is botched to receive that care i.e. medical blackmail.
    Our medical insurance two guiding principles – cost containment and volume! Recently retired United Healthcare CEO was receiving $1.7 billion dollars annual salary….
    Here in Socal we have patients dying on the ER floors (literally) while indifferent, hardened medical personnel (including M.D.s) step over their prostrate bodies. We have cardiac impaired patients going to ERs and then having to dial 911 to get transported elsewhere because of the lengthy waiting times.
    In addition our patchwork of PPO’s and HMO’s is rapidly collapsing “providing” patients with superficial/indifferent medical care. Doctors have become “scribes” writing never ending prescriptions for various medications (supply/cost controlled by the increasingly powerful drug companies) – many of dubious value, and others quite toxic (read the side effects for the average “potion” that you or your loved ones ingest.
    Foreign physicians (due to the acute shortage in American trained M.D.s) are routinely licensed to go out and practice with minimal language skills and questionable credentials.
    Thank you Michael Moore for bringing issues to the American citizens that are beeing routinely swept under the medical establishment’s “rug” by the powerful interests in America that value dollars over patient’s well being.

  • Vicki

    I agree with Michael Moore. I am glad he made the movie, “Sicko”. I am tired of die hard right wingers who want to hoard the money and create a two class society here in America. I have not had health insurance for four years after moving from California to Texas.
    If you are wealthy and can pay $400 a month for health insurance then I am so happy for you. Then despite the fact that it is probably $2,000 deductible. Well as mater of fact, I have been using herbal remedies out of pure necessity. The drug companies and health organizations who once were to help people are now hoarding money just like the upper echelon of society.
    I am a we person not a me person. The positive side of his film is that it has brought out the ultimatum of true characterization of how the right wingers or whatever they call themselves believe about taking care of people. There is not a left or right wing society, and the sooner we learn this and take care of each other the better off our country will be in practicality of socialization.
    Thank you Michael Moore. The film is not just Hollywood. It is great Journalism and speaks the truth. The truth is very painful for big corporations and their leaders.

  • J White

    Perhaps Mr./Mrs. Anonymous would have been more believable if there had been a synopsis of the ‘down side’ of Canadian healthcare.
    Was this a person with something to say, or just a republican trying to say something.

  • suzy

    When i did not have health care insurance I was never denied treatment anywhere, nor did I have to wait for any amount of time to be treated. I was treated with dignity and genuine care. Our health care workers are the best bar none. Perhaps that is one of the reasons we do not see people swimming to Cuba.

  • joyce

    Great comments from all and particularly Phillipe…so true we are a country DROWNING in poisons in our foods, water, air, etc…and our wonderful FDA approves all this poison. I have been FIGHTING the fluoridation battle for years and yet it continues to happen..the chemical pushers continue to have the POWER to poison our waters. Fluoride buildup in our bodies is PROBABLY/POSSIBLY causing so much of our illnesses. I could go on and on also but just wanted to add my short 2cents.
    I applaud Moore for exposing the GREED permeating the USA.
    I’ve heard some cities in the US won’t show the movie…red states, of course.

  • Fred

    The reviewer can blather on all he/she wants but maybe that is exactly what Mr Moore is wanting. It has brought the whole area of health care to the mainstream news arena and Moore once again trumps his detracters. They want to bash and discredit him, but he gets the attention. The insurance companies and healthcare systems bemoan Moore’s venue, but many of those same companies refused to interview with Moore and some actually threatened employees if they did;now they want their say.
    How is it that a medical decision is being made by a nonmedical person who is looking only at the bottom line. How is it that even medical people are making these decisions because they will earn a bonus if they cut costs. Bankruptcy in this country is fueled, not by gamblers and flippant spenders, but by people who can’t afford medical insurance and then have a need or an accident, but once again our Republican and Democratic friends used the few cases of excess to be the main cause, not the exception. Moore is a master at getting people to dialogue whether you like him or loathe him; he has us talking and the insurance and healthcare industry is looking over their shoulders.

  • joyce

    I also do everything in my power to avoid prescription drugs. At age 69 only take thyroid med.

  • Kay Van Houten

    The point that seems to elude both Michael Moore and the anonymous author of this article is the amount of money that Ceo”S of these Insurance Companies,Administrators of Hospitals collect at our expense. I resent spending my health care money to make some CEO a billionaire.

  • Dr. Jeff Adler

    Don’t shoot the messenger as the GOP right is prone to do. You can nit-pick Michael Moore for his story-telling style but as Dr. Gupta and CNN are finding out his fact-checking is impeccable.
    All charges made in his comedy-documentary Fahrenheit 911 were proved to be true after years of digging and who was more correct on Iraq Bush or Moore?
    As a footsurgeon practicing in NYC the insurance companies are screwing patients & Drs daily and reaping huge profits for it as more Drs retire early and our country gets sicker.
    Mr. Rasmussen can’t you drop the Republican slant you take on all issues to care about our collapsing health care system? Your article is a disgrace and I hope no one in your family or you ever has a major illness that you need a major medical carrier to step up with reimbursement. Then you will see what Michael Moore’s point in Sicko is.

  • Rev. Ken Bleu Campbell

    It is amazing that Moore’s latest offering and the statistics in which he relies upon to determine the lack of health insurance for Americans are the very ones published by the media which quite frankly are is never questioned in its the accuracy, authenticity, or source of these calculations. It is an enigma that “statistics” and “surveys” are whole heartedly entrusted by the American public as an accurate measure of the whole of America, and is perhaps the only misfeasance I see in the presentation of Sicko..
    But these superficial statistics to determine the need and lack of health care, just as the last census in our great country proved, can never be totally accurate. They can only be similar to a Nielsen‘s rating way of determining a whole with a few people and this meager majority of opinions are borrowed by the general public and even advertisers as accurate and valid.
    Within this fact, in my own personal, statistical data of living primarily in the inner-city in the US for 54 years and having many repoire’s over the years with literally thousands of residents within the community, I have found that perhaps one out of every ten (1%) actually have some kind of health insurance and that these are the ones with jobs that offer health insurance in their employee benefit packages. Of the 118 close, distant, or inlaw relatives I have, those that have health insurance are only those that are employed with companies that provide it. The reason for this is that health insurance is just too expensive for most Blacks to afford but also other ethnicities as well.
    We have family remedies and grandma remedies that have always been looked to, together with prayer, to insure our own health. On the most part, it has been successful. We have a 94 year old grandmother whom is relatively healthy and still drives her automobile from time to time. Needless to say nearly all of my kin folks consult her for staying or getting healthy.. The truth of the matter is that the health industry has emerged as more of a business than a ministry (servant to others) and the commercialization of it is proof. There a re health brokers, consultants, other clever sounding medical names, and companies whose primary business is to make a profit as affiliates of physicians and medical facilities..
    I think the important thing however in Moore’s presentation of Sicko is that the issue of health care was a concern to him and is something that many of the critics of Moore’s projects and personal concerns, know matter how eccentric, have not themselves attempted to address in any way and only seem interested in jumping on the bandwagon to criticize when Moore shares his concerns.
    It is also disheartening this seems to be more common that the professing Christians whom do not personally have any active campaigns of addressing some of the endless concerns and needs of the poor in any way except perhaps in sending a few bucks to Save the Children or something, ( they would never hold one of these hungry kids in their own arms) seem to be the most critical of both Christians and non professing Christians that attempt to voice their concerns in the manner in which they do.
    This speaks loudly that there is really no substance in the heart of those that claim to have relationship with the Spirit of Jesus Christ, at least to the point that His “divine influence upon the heart” my inspire one in taking action of a concern of their own. They would rather critique someone else that is at least attempting to voices some of the misfeasance’s of our society in the way that only they in their understanding is capable of addressing and presenting….
    Let Mike be like Mike, and do his own thing, and prayerfully consider finding your own thing where you can at least make a difference in someone’s life, even if you, Like Moore, is not sent to “everyone” in the whole world..
    Rev. Ken Bleu Campbell

  • G.R.


  • Cindy

    This article is does NOT do the movie “Sicko” any justice. Michael Moore went on CNN and debated where he found the facts for his move (US Dept of Health and Human Services) and he also was combating those who have an agenda (Health Care Companies, Insurance Companies, Some Greedy Physicians but not all and of course, Conservative Republicans who cringe at the thought of an additional Tax Dollar being spent – even if it meant helping out those in need in the richest country in the world – and they usually have their Bible in hand as they spout out “every person should take care of him/her self in a capitalistic society!” Hypocrites at best).
    The Bottom LIne is that ALL American Citizens should have Universal Free Health Care (of course, like other industrialized countries, the current taxes should pay for this human service as we pay enough…if only they would spend our money on US and not their own Lobbyists interests…if you talk of raising taxes for this morally correct path…Republicans will pull out thier fear card “socialism!”). We owe it to ourselves and to our fellow citizens to do the right thing here. Watching Michael Moore’s movie “Sicko” makes me feel like I’ve been duped by my own Country. I happen to pay a lot in taxes and I have health insurance for myself….but I’d be willing to do whatever was needed in order to sucure Universal Health Care for ALL American Citizens. Just decrease the eligibility age on Medicare to 1 instead of hard working tax paying citizens waiting until they are 62. IF we are the greatest and richest country in the world….then we should lead the way and take care of ourselves…not the POlitician’s interests. EVeryone CANNOT take care of themselves….and Health for PRofit is a sin. I hope the EVangelicals get behind this quickly…because….remember now “That which you do unto the least of my brothers, you do unto me” I don’t think JEsus would mind you paying a little more in taxes to help your fellow man. For those who don’t want to help their fellow man..then think about how much you pay in insurance premiums (through work or otherwise), co-payments and procedures “not covered”, etc….and you will SAVE yourself money having it paid for through your taxes. Prescription costs are a joke…that should be covered too.
    Power to the people…’s time Washington did OUR bidding…instead of taking away benefits while spending our money.
    Michael Moore is a HERO> Thank you for opening our eyes at last. US is the best Country in the world!! Now let’s prove we are also the most compassionate and caring country towards our own citizens. WE have poverty AND people who are uninsured….that just does not show how good we are and how good we can be….

  • Deirdre

    Michael Moore is my hero!!! Our news media has become weak and refuses to address any REAL issues. Come on! America is in serious trouble! He is the only one who brings forth truth. In Farenheit 9-11, he was called a liar and a fictional writer. However, 3 years later, we see that he was right. Weapons of mass destruction! Right! Now he has brought the issue of health care out front and people are FINALLY talking about it! Thank god for Michael Moore!!!

  • pam

    Dear fellow citizens. I have just read all the posts and I can’t help but worry, that we are getting more caught up in our “personal” preferences in PARTY.POLITICS, our own “experiences” with the medical system, whether good or bad, , our personal Religious beliefs, and. whether or not we “like” Michael Moore, the guy who wrote the post, and even than we are in addressing the real issues here.
    Whether you are Republican, Democrat, or Independent, liberal or conservative. I assume that you all care about the best interests of the majority of Americans. Our elderly, our kids, grandkids and yes, ourselves. Our health, our future, our planet.
    There is NOTHING that our Politicians like more than to see us “argue” . As long as we are arguing, we will not be uniting and working together for positive change. And heaven help us, We do need to change!
    I am 60 years old, and have children and grandchildren, and I would like them to view this Nation as it once was, not as it has become.
    We , and I mean
    ALL OF WE… the People, need to remind those in Washington , DC just WHO pays their salaries. (And how hard most of us work to do so.)
    It is way past time to start holding them accountable for ALL of the decisions that they make supposedly on our behalf.
    Wasn’t it THIRTY YEARS AGO…That the first Global Warming issues came up? How much attention did anyone in DC pay to that? And now we will pay a much bigger price in health and many other areas, due to that neglect.
    WHEN are we going to start letting ALL Politicians know from the town level on up to the White House, that we won’t tolerate their “voting” with the BIG TICKET LOBBISTS ANY MORE!!
    WHEN are we going to tell them , that it is no longer acceptable to tie their VERY EXPENSIVE to us little “PORK BARREL” issues in with a TRULY important bill.
    WHEN are we going to tell them, that they can no longer increase THEIR paychecks and all those benefits, health, HUGE PENSIONS for life, without “sharing” some of that wealth with the people who put them in office in the first place.
    Question? “If you had the best medical care for life, and a retirement pension equal to the salary of a dozen average
    Americans.. annually…why would health care for the people or fixing Social Security, be on the top of your voting priorities?
    We have become a country of greed, waste, and POWER…except that,
    THAT Power that our founding fathers spoke about hasn’t been in the hands of “we the people” for quite some time.
    Why? Because for a long time now, most people complained about things at home, but forgot to band together and make their voices heard.
    Amazing isn’t it, a few million kids and some rock stars, made some noise about Global Warming last week. Once again, the “politically owned” News media didn’t give it near enough coverage. Why? DC wants that to fade off the roster of things that they “OUGHT” to start dealing with.
    This granny is going to stand with those kids, and anyone else who has decided it is time to try and make a difference and improve this place for the next generations.
    It is not TREASONOUS to make a stand , or speak your voice, when you see a wrong , that needs to be righted. It is our responsibility.
    Although “some” would have us believe that we “shouldn’t speak against the government.. The last I knew that Constitution of ours , albeit abused by some now, STILL STANDS, and we do have the right of Free Speech. Let’s not lose that too!!!
    We will “never” agree on everything.. That’s just not human nature, but we should be able to agree that changes need to be made for the betterment of mankind. And we need to start now. I hope some of you will be willing to put “differences aside” and start working together for those generations to come.
    God Bless America, and may He forgive us all, for the neglect and abuse she has received.
    Thanks for opening a good discussion, one that needs to be had.

  • Trish G.

    No matter what you think of the movie, he has at least enlightened the nation of the forever growing problem. Unless you, or your family has been denied health care then you really have no idea what those people feel. And to assume that the US is one big fuzzy bunny that will help whoever wanders its land, then you are just as confused as the president for believing there is something left to liberate in a sand dune. Media is no longer showing the nation what we need to see, rather showing us what is profitable in showing us. Thank God for Michael Moore, Rosie O’Donnell, and others speaking out against such bull. Education and knowledge is one thing no one can take from us, but they sure can hide it good. How is it possible to find someone who appears to have a good educational background to really be seriously ignorant. Yes, I said it, and I will say it again. You may not like the man or the movie, but hes saying what many don’t have the balls to say. And if him talking, making movies, and being outspoken offends you, then the old saying the truth hurts must ring true. If nothing else at least he provoked thought and emotion.

  • Jenni

    I stand behind Michael Moore 100%. It’s about time someone brings this issue to the table for the everyone to take a REAL LOOK AT! I am considered a “POOR AMERICAN” and due to that fact I have paid the price of being at someone else’s mercy when it comes to health care for myself and my children. Everything needs to be pre-approved and then if we are lucky enough to get what is needed,approved, We get to sit on a waiting list until our needs can be met!!!!!! Health and Dental coverage for lower class families in this country in DOWN RIGHT PATHETIC AND WRONG. If I could have just one wish in the world, It would be for those,who have decided to play GOD with the lives of the less fortunate citizens of this “Land of the free” Country,to walk a week or even a day in the shoes that we walk in every day of our lives. Then MAYBE they would see what it is like to be considered an average american……. I doubt it would truly hit home…….but maybe!!!

  • Monte Carlo SS 2K

    While I have not yet seen the Michael Moore documentary, I believe he does have some valid points about the government and does manipulate and distort his “documentaries” to prove his valid points when he could use actual statistics and facts.
    I lived in England for 2 years and all I can say is, thank God I never got sick there. Their health care system does have some excellent advantages like birth control at no cost (although not really free because they are paid for with taxes) and being able to see a doctor when needed without worrying about the money …although the office hours are 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon and if you are terribly sick any other time you get an on call doctor (never your own doctor) who comes to your house and patches things up with a pain killer until you see your own doctor….
    There are greater dis-advantages. I know people who have had to wait months for surgery because they may have a minor but much needed surgery and keep getting bumped out of the “que” because someone elses emergency takes precidence. Even surgeries like hystorectomies get put off. There have also been many incidences where the patient had the wrong thing done or operated on the wrong limb, happens all the time and you cant sue them. Also their hospitals collect money in charity drives in order to purchase equipment that every hospital would have in any city in the US. Imagine that, you pay more than 17% sales tax and pay a large portion of your check to the government for health care, and yet they still ask YOU for money to buy equipment that may save your life.
    It was also a huge set up for people to take advantage. They had this sense of entitlement, they felt they paid their taxes, why not just put our disabled granny in the hospital for a week so we can go on holiday when there is absolutely nothing wrong, they just didnt want to bother with poor old granny. (yes bad sentence i know)
    One more thing, when I lived there, there was an ambulance strike. In a country where not everyone has a car like most do here, that’s a bad bad thing.
    Oh I lied, one more thing. As an employee in England, it seemed that the people I worked for weren’t quite so concerned with my personal safety because it wasnt going to affect their workers comp because they don’t pay it. That’s right, if you hurt your back on the job well.. national health pays.
    I really could go on..
    While our system does need work, National Health is NOT all it’s cracked up to be. Go live somewhere that people are forced to have it. I appreciate that MM is willing to bring attention to it but maybe he should use REAL data.

  • Kat

    Ifind it curious that such the strong viewpoint this author holds is not backed by his/her name. If the writer stands behind these opinions, why would he/she not have the courage to sign a name to it? Let’s talk about propaganda.

  • Don

    Political affiliations of this author is likely to be inconsequential.
    Many cite Republicans, however notice how ineffective the once challenging Hilary has become toward the healthcare “industry”? She’s been bought out. Follow the money and you will find most of those who knock Sicko have a vested financial interest in the current status quo. In this era where corporate concerns over satisfying stockholders and nabbing extra billions for their CEOs trumps any concern for the broader concerns for human welfare drives an endless chain of inhuman acts such as firing middle managers to drive up stock values to denying health care to reap more profits for corporate managers and CEO’s.
    It is no longer true that hard work will reap great rewards in America. If you earn too much you will get fired and told you can apply for your job back at half your previous salary. Thanks for all your hard work! Oh, yeah, btw we’ll deny you your healthcare too.

  • Jenni

    One final thought, Our country is in some serious trouble and we should be trying to work together to help it re-gain it’s strength! I do believe all of know this ever popular saying here in America…..Together We Stand….Divided We Fall!!!!!!! Although we will never find one answer to meet everybody’s needs, One answer to meet a handful of needs may give just enough encouragement to keep searching for the next. This issue should be important to each and every one of us because sooner or later I believe it will touch each of our lives either directly or indirectly. Either way, A small action today may lead to great things in the future!
    The only question is……Who is going to make a stand and speak out for those of us who continue to go unheard NO MATTER how loud we shout? Us average run of the mill citizens have serious trouble being heard EVEN THOUGH many of us have good ideas and suggestions. What we need is a bold strong voice to speak on our behalf and I give Michael Moore props for taking the steps in doing exactly that ! Now, Maybe we can pull together as ONE country and try to fix issues at hand as well as work together on creating a better future for the next generation and those that will follow.

  • J Wilson

    First off, I think the opening piece was fair and thoughtfull. I also think that Moore IS a Sicko. I remember him from back in the seventies as a fat kid running around with a video camera and being obnoxious just to get attention. Now he has come to believe himself. Too bad so many of his followers have enslaved thier intellects to his lies and deem themselves enlightened. Ah but such is the drama of life.
    There is no health care system in America. Hence that which is a disgrace to socialists and likeminded plunderers of wealth. Truth is, America is the source of every free nations freedom. Were it not for America, tyranny would sweep the earth. And the pleasant little socialist burbs would be stomped into mush. They all owe thier existence to America. More importantly, they owe it to Americas God who is the source of Americas existence freedom and strength.
    I love America. I love Americas history. And I love Americas God. We have so much as a people. I am thankfull to be an American. I am proud of my country. Or might I say, with fondness my heart goes out to America. He is my God. For all our faults we are carried and loved.
    Capitalist freedom enables one to prepare in life for lifes challenges. But it also allows one to (by the exercise of faith labor intellect and talent) while facing lifes daily challenges, to prepare ones soul for eternity. Socialism while making preparations for only life, does by its nature prevent the exercise of talent faith intellect and labor of the individual, thereby damning ones eternity. Not to mention robbing ones fellowman and nation of the sharing of ones findings. It coddles and decieves one all the way to death in a handbasket. Freedoms God is not confined to a Sunday ritual but to the destitute

  • donna

    yes- interesting the author is not named here…whomever he or she is, unforunately, seems to have the typical american ‘head in the sand’ attitude and i would guess, has everything they ‘need’…i pray that person never has a catastrophic illness nor he or any of his loved ones become old and disabled and relegated to the disgusting health care of lack thereof doled out to the elderly in this country..MANY of whom have risked their lives and made sacrifices to attempt to keep this country free….OH and fahrenheit 911 was not ‘edited’ to suit the maker…of course it was edited- it is a film! but those in the film still SAID what the did and DID what they did for all the world to amount of editing can change that…PERIOD.

  • Anonymous

    You are all wrong, Michael Moore speaks for the people that are getting screwed over. Just because the right has hijacked the christian faith doesnt mean that you all have to band wagon with what ever they say. Think for yourselves.

  • emma

    Moore brings up a very important issue and has made people more aware of the serious problems of health care in America. But now we find ourselves not talking about health care but talking about Moore and how we don’t like the fact that he is trying to make a point. The pharmacutical companies and insurance companies will do all in their power to discredit this man. Please be smart enough to be aware of how you are bing manipulated. and keep an open mind.

  • Pete

    The author’s review if Sicko is as slanted to the right as he/she accuses Moore of being to the left. I have enjoyed and benefitted tremendously from this site, but will steer clear of it now that I see there may be a hidden right-wing agenda behind. My loss.

  • emma

    P.S. I just noticed the sponsor at the top of your main page is Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. I rest may case.

  • Michael Moore is my hero

    I really disagreed with Kris Rasmussen’s article and I totally related to Michael Moore’s movie! I have paid a lot for health insurance over the years, but they were not there for me when I really needed them- at the time I needed back surgery. I also have a friend of the family who was a teacher and paid into health insurance for years. Yet when she had cancer and needed a bone marrow transplant to save her life, her insurance company denied her. She then had to go into a painful legal battle while being sick which she eventually won. Michael Moore’s movie brought to light a crucial issue. Wake up Kris Rasmussen and see that people are suffering and dying because of thie screwed up health care system. Michael Moore’s movie was a passionate cry for change!

  • Anonymous

    I am a 60 year old woman who has worked her entire life. Health Care?
    I work for two national corporations and neither of them would consider giving me a dime of insurance. I do not nor have a major illness except my age. I am just holding my breath until I am 65 and yes I do need help. If Moore has to say something to get attention, he should.



  • Leslie

    I too am disappointed in beliefnet for pushing the Republican hatred toward the middle class. For it really is the working poor and middle class who are getting screwed by our healthcare system. Previous places I have worked have provided healthcare for the employee only (people with dependents paid extra). The Bush years have done away with that. Not only are wages lower, but health insurance takes a big bite out of your paycheck. And the coverage leaves alot to be desired too!
    Hooray for Michael Moore for pointing out the discrepancies in our economic system. Boo to beliefnet and others who would toe the Republican line!

  • Sylvia

    Ok let me put the record straight. In Canada my Mom waited 2 years for her firsrt knee replacement and 1 year for the second since it was an emergency basis, her knee got so bad the bone cracked. She was of normal weight all her life so it wasn’t from carrying too much wieght.
    Then six years later my Dad’s hips got so bad so quickly they doctor told him he would be in a wheel chair within a month but they couldn’t do surgery for 2 years. So he flew out of the country and paid out of pocket to have it done which is common in Canada if you have the money.
    I also have an Aunt who has been waiting over 2 years for knee replacement surgery. Great health care! Plus if you have any disease it is like jumping through hoops because your doctor has to prove the cheaper meds don’t work before they use anything else. It’s a slow trip up the ladder. It also takes 6 months to see a specialists on average. That’s Canada health care, I am glad to be an American now.

  • sue

    I have no health care, because I am a blue collar working girl. I have no children. The monthly payments for a decent plan are equal to half my monthly rent. I live in Massachusetts, where there is a new law that we all have to sign on to a healthplan or we will be penalized. Yes, in case you may wonder, they do have free care and subsidized plans. Those are the people that signed up. Because they have so many people on FREE care, it’s up to people like myself, to now help the hospitals and HMO’s recoup their losses. In a nutshell, my premiums will be outrageous, so that others get it for free. I have always taken care of myself. If I go to the doctor, I pay cash. Now my elected officials are telling me I am not capable of making my own health decisions. THEY are DEMANDING that I get a plan, no matter what the cost. Are they willing to buy my groceries and pay my electric bill? If I do what THEY want, I won’t be able to eat or have light. America……hmmmmm what has happened?

  • Susan

    Roseann wrote :”He should also thank Hillary clinton for managed care! and all of the problems we face today. Does he address how the insurance companies do not pay providers for their services, but the CEO’s make millions, for just saying NO to coverage?!”
    and of course those of us who have seen the movie can shout a resounding yes to this question. Moore discusses how much money the insurance industry contributes not just to Hillary, but the rest of the bunch in DC. He also discusses how important it is to the companies to deny coverage and payments for their bottom line, CEOs and shareholders and how MD medical directors receive bonuses for making the most number of denials.
    The profit motive in this country is ruining our health care ‘system’. Those with the selfish attitude of I will only take care of myself and seem to think that the health of others has no impact on themselves are sorely mistaken. Ever heard of infectious disease? What if someone can’t afford to get the diagnosis to even know what is causing that cough? Can you honestly say that you have never been and never will be exposed to some terrible disease from someone like this, remembering that more and more this is becoming an issue even for people who have insurance but are considered underinsured. It is naive to think that just because you can take care of your own medical bills, that you are not impacted by those who can’t and when the epidemic comes it will be too late for you to change your mind.
    As for Moore’s motives, I can’t really attest to what they are, but I do know he is Flint, Michigan and grew up without the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth. He is also a committed Catholic who attended seminary and is quite familiar with the Bible. Is there a chance he has some unselfish motive in all this? And as an earlier poster commented, he did pay for the healthcare for the wife of one of his biggest dissenters who runs an anti-Michael Moore website because Moore felt it was wrong for the operator of this site to have to quit because of the medical bills.
    Yes we have many lifestyle related health issues, but we also have a system that discourages preventive care that could help in this area. In Great Britain, the docs are actually motivated to improve the health of patients because when they quit smoking, improve their blood pressure, weight, etc… they receive bonuses, as opposed to here where bonuses are awarded to those who deny care.
    Very sad state of affairs for the US.

  • phyllis

    If we wait for our overly paid elected officials to do something about healthcare I am certain that it will not occur. They are beholden to the lobbyists who help their campaigns with large donations from all the profits they make from payments and denying claims. Since when do they care about anything but filling their pockets and lying to the voters. It would take a large group that would become vocal again and again to protest such fraud.

  • Julia

    As an American, who is disabled, who has lived in Europe – I have to disagree with the author of this article. I agree with the others who wrote here that this author must not have ever faced a chronic illness, nor have had a family member suffer the ails of the medical system.
    The only thing I do not see Moore showing in the movie “Sicko” are the other vast options that countries such as Germany have in place. Not a true socialistic medical system, but one that is government regulated, allowing private enterprises such as insurance companies to still stay in business – under controls. The irony is, that these insurance companies in Germany, have cried out for controls to make medical care more affordable for people (and quality care to prevent and treat long term disabiling conditions).
    It was with a weary heart that I moved back stateside. Actually, if it were not for my husband’s work, I would have stayed in Europe just to keep the quality (and quantity) of the healthcare I was receiving. I was getting physical therapy and other treatments without taking pallative medications that were giving me not only quality of life, but quantity. The treatments in America fall short as Insurance (in my case a PPO) does not give long term payment plans for treatments that are not of a drug nature.
    A sad state of affairs indeed. If anything, I hope Moore’s “Sicko” brings about an awakening of the need to address these issues that have been set on the backburner since the Truman administration – that a real change comes about. As Americans we need to take the best of all these other nations and mold a healthcare system to work for us – without putting thousands out of jobs, but with criteria that will set standards and levels of care that really show how great America truly is.
    Signed, Still looking for a Cure in California

  • Randy Dell

    I have been a Registered Nurse for 30+ years and in my experience have seen much regarding health care. I think that though some of Micheal Moores movie might have had some drama added for impact, it is fairly straight with us..
    First, I will say that most of these comments are speaking of the poor in America, on the contrary, I think that it is the middle and lower middle class here that are struggling. The poor qualify for assistance (including the illegal immigrants) and get fairly good health care from the assistance and welfare programs. I say this from what I have seen and experienced in a small city in Texas.
    I address the ministers wife that worked the night shift that was diagnosed with breast cancer, not by the mamogram she couldn’t afford as primary intervention but by finding it when it was getting large and had metastised to other organs and still did not have the money or insurance to have it treated and then after selling everything they owned for treatment she died.
    Or the cook in the kitchen that couldn’t afford to have treatment when she started having rectal bleeding over a year ago that was recently diagnosed with cancer and has a short time to live. She had to get to a point of acute illness before she could qualify for indigent care. The doctor asked her why she waited so long and she had to tell him it was because she couldn’t afford the diagnostic tests.
    I will say that as part of the “upper middle class” I have insurance and when I had a fall last year I went to the local emergency room and had $1280. worth of treatment done to my head including the stiches and the $82.50 tetanus injection. My insurance company paid $240. Which left me a $1000. bill to pay and thank goodness I could so even the insurance companies are “screwed up” which a big part of the problem.
    So if the movie “SICKO” opens one eye that can make a change I applaud Micheal Moore and his efforts. So what if he gets rich, I can think of many worse ways to get rich in the USA.

  • John

    The writer of this article is correct but so is Mr. Moore. I have not seen the film but what is expressed here is a opinion. people forget that. I think the American people are looking for the truth in a lot subjects not just health care. this is not going to be delivered to us on a silver platter and bite us in the behind.
    You have to do the work and take the time to be informed and take all the opinions and information out there and discover your own “truth” I don’t think people want to do the work, as long as we are going to apathetic and have the I don’t care attitude about our country and what happen to it nothing is going to change.
    I was born with cerebral palsy a birth defect I can certainly talk from experience about what is right and wrong with our current system.
    Mr Moore’s first film was about General Motors and their issues. It came out in 1989. For the record I just bought a 2007 Toyota Camry. The Saturn Aura I looked at a GM product would not accommodate my wheelchair easly in the trunk. My previous 2006 Saturn Ion did. While quality in GM cars has Improved since 1989. Its to little too late.
    I don’t discount what he says. His opinions have merit.

  • Barb

    I plan on seeing Sicko tonight. I think the author of this article is way off base in terms of documentaries. ALL documentaries are edited, and ALL of them are edited to (surprise!!) show the point of view of those behind it. Why shouldn’t Michael Moore, or anyone else, to says “This is a documumentary” not do some judicious editing. Of course, they will, and do. NOt everything presented in the newspapers it the truth, but rather a version of it. Ditto for films “based on….” the life of someone or an actual event. It’s all a figment of imagination to believe that a documentary is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

  • Mel Villarreal

    I saw Sicko last night. It was a wonderful movie. I strongly recommend everyone to see it. It is more than just about healthcare. It raises a question about how we are as a people. Of course, Michael Moore has his detractors. Some people do not know how to disagree without smearing their opponents.

  • stanley shaland

    The author is totally wrong. As a health insurance agent, I know how
    our health insurance for prfit systems work. Its all for MONEY. The
    insurance companies hate to pay and often do NOT. They look for all
    excuses and ways out of paying, often leaving their clients without
    proper care. Its just BIG BUSINESS where the little guy is always screwed

  • Renee

    I Thank Mr. Moore for bringing our health care problem up front and personal. I do not care how many people he upsets. He opened a can of worms and it is not about to be passively shoved under the rug.I often wonder how God or Jesus would feel about this subject. Didn’t Jesus go around healing anybody who wanted healing. I do not remember him asking for payment either………..It has to be in the Bible some where…..BUT WHERE…..HUM

  • kacie

    This person who wrote this arrtical must be gelouse of Mr. Moore. We do have high cost and major problems with health care. Why is our government avoding helping the nation stay healthy. Moore is at least bringing it out on the open so people will start talking about. Everyone else just ignores it. Our politions say were going to do this and do that. Most of the time it’s for the elderly. Well us young people need help too. Women like me especialy. Were told go to the doctor, avoid getting cancer, have regular check-ups. Well it’s pretty costly to do that when you have no insurance and the companies who sell health care say they won’t insure you cause your over weight. Oh and one more point if you have kids, they don’t try not to get hurt there the biggest dare deviels and for any reason they need to go to the doctor. Schools also insist that they have imunization, or they can’t enter school. Let me tell you they are not cheep. This artical outrages me cause we should all be standing be hind a man who is willing to put his name on the line to talk about the things most important to us americans, that us as americans won’t stand up and talk about our selves.

  • Annie

    Maybe us americans should take health care into our own hands. We are making our own selves sick. What about changing our diets, exercising, and changing our lifestyle habits to prevent illness and disease. WOW! What a concept.Try buying a book on nutrition and actually read it. The standard american diet is sad S.A.D.

  • Anonymous

    Whoever wrote this (so curious that isn’t mentioned).
    You sure did NOT convince me.
    Michael Moore – we need alot of more people like him – they tell the cold hard truth about our horrible government.

  • Catherine

    I used to believe that we as a Nation cared about our own people. That was, I might add, when I was a low-to-middle income-class homemaker,with perfect credit, married and covered by my husband’s health insurance.
    Later, when I was a throw-away divorced middle-aged woman, working for minimum wages, I found I was not covered by group health insurance because visits to a marriage councelor during my divorce counted as a “pre-exisiting” condition. So, now you get the point that everyone can, regardless of income, station in life or credit history, become someone who might…just MIGHT…need to know that they can count on medical support to remain well and healthy.
    I might add that now I am only 57, and have been on Social Security Disability for over 12 years for a non-treatable illness that requires me to live with chronic pain. I foolishly believed that once I got my disability…a process that takes, for many, well over two years before it is vetted by government officials…I would have the needed medical care. WRONG! It seems that once you qualify for Medicare you are then marginalized because most doctors won’t accept you. You see, they don’t get paid as much for treating you, and the law states they can not charge you the difference. This means a person who is on Medicare can not “buy” medical help unless they purchase it from a doctor who has opted out of that system altogether. This is our country’s answer to government run insurance? Let me give you an example of how much this is costing us. I need migraine meds that cost around $2000 per month. However, I have found that acupuncture, magnesium and vitamin D…costing less than $200 per month…help me to be migraine-free. All of those treatments are not covered by Medicare and still they pay $2000 for drugs that are. It doesn’t take a fool to see that the drug companies, big “for-profit” businesses and politicians are in this for the money only.
    Where is common sense? This isn’t about being liberal or not, it’s about what’s fair and humain and decent and practical. I thank Michael Moore for getting us all talking about something foul that’s got to change.

  • vicent passiatore

    most comments that dont like this movie(SICKO) ARE PROBLEY BY WEALTHY REPUBLICANS AND THERE PARTY. this country in case you dont know was founded on the principle of a government by the people for the people. THE POLITICANS IN WASHINGTON TO INCLUDE DEMOCRATS BELEAVE THIS IS A COUNTRY FOR THE WEALTHY PEOPLE AND SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS THAT SUPPORT THEM. THEY GO TO WASHINGTON TO FILL THERE POCKETS WITH MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. most of them could care less about a health care system for all americans.(WE NEED A NATIONAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEM) JUST LIKE EUROPE HAS. a wealthy country like america that does not take care of its people is not a democracy. if you are wealthy you dont have to worry about selling everything you have or giving up everything you have if you get very sick. the average person in america think’s about this every day. YOU WILL SEE ITS TIME FOR A (3) PARTY. the only way you will change the way thing’s are done in this country is vote for a independent. i will next election. stop voting the same idiots back into government.GET SMART

  • norma

    My husband and I just got home after seeing “Sicko” and I can truly say it opened our eyes to the truth about our health care. We have an HMO and thry are pretty good, except that we both fall into the “donut hole” every year that cost us plenty. I knew it was W’s fault that it was added to the bill. Had to save that money for his stupid Iraq war.

  • Carolyn

    The film, “Siko” is absolutely true. Every part, every bit of information. I, myself have been doing research on health systems of differnet countries. The country with the worst health system is yes, you are right, the united states!
    If I had to go into every detail, you would be reading this for hours.
    Let me put it this way, if i could leave this country in a minute, I would. but unfortunately I am not financially able to at the moment.
    With words to leave you by, whey would this country worry if everyone has health care, lets put all of our tax money into a senseless war.

  • Becca

    This was a great film. There were things that I wished Moore had covered. I also worked for an insurance company. A large insurance company. Their only concern was constantly money and not their subscribers or employees.
    I was hired into an 8 week training program. None of us passed so they extended us 5 weeks, then another 5 weeks, etc. I began on January 3rd and was “terminated” on Sept 22 of the same year.
    We were to have 100% production (# of claims processed) and 100% quality (without mistakes) for three consecutive weeks; in order to certify.
    There was no way humanly possible to acheive this. The only way others were accomplishing it, was to “lie” on their end-of-day reports. My mother worked for a Dr. at the time, so I was able to ask her questions as to how my job related to the outside. Well, I was “terminated” on the week that I would have had met these goals by the end of that week. I had several weeks of 100s in production and my quality was on and off. However, I had managed to produce (honestly) and trust God with the quality. When I received a 98% quality on my final week, I was let go. I was “encouraged” to go home a reapply for another ‘team’ because they did not want to lose all the money they had invested in training me. I told them, “No, I am not interested.”
    By putting 2 and 2 together with my mother, I realized that our medical system is a dysfunctional circle. Insurance companies screw Doctors, Doctors screw patients (keep them complaining until they are near death) then the insurance companies deny the claims bt give a kick back to the pharmecutical companies and the doctors that push the drugs not the “care”.
    I told BCBSFL, when they asked me “Why” (and with the great beenfits who would not want to work for them?), I told them because, “Your company is inhumane”. They smiled politely and said, “Good day” as if to say ,”You may leave now.”
    I encourage everyone to see this film and while they give a third of their income to companies that when they need them most, say “Sorry and Good Day”. While I was not “certified”, I still received one month of vacation which was stolen from me when I was terminated. You would be better off to deposit your money into a interest earning account and “IF and WHEN” you needed it, you could pay for your own health care and put these b*****ds back to work and on the street. But, if and when you do stand up for yourselves, like other countries do, according to Moore’s movie; please tell them for me, to have a “Good Day”.

  • Jerry D welsh ( The most opinanated man in Utah)

    Moore’s film style is not new. Hitler used it during the late thirties to send HIS message to the people. He said If it contains a bit of truth the people will believe it. Moore cares for no one except his large bank account.

  • Adrian

    The cops lie to suspects all the time to get the truth out of them, so, if Michael’s manipulation exposes the truth of the subject matter…? Just food for thought.

  • Kim Coulson

    So you agree with the current health care system in the U.S.?
    I am a Christian. My 16 year old son was diagnosed with a rare cancer in 2006. His tumor has been removed and to date he is health and NED.
    Yet, when he begins his career and applies for health insurance he will be required to list his cancer (a pre existing condition) which WILL NOT be covered by any of these GIANT health care providers that I know of. The U.S. health care system is a complete and total failure.
    Michael Moore at least has the right idea!
    Kimberley Coulson

  • nate

    The one thing that has always bothered me is the fact that, every time someone comes up with a truth about the crapy shit that goes on in this country, there is always someone like the person that wrote this, trying to put a person down that tells us the truth,frankly I did’nt need Mr. Moore to make this movie,for me to know that the health care system in this country, is based on profitand yes I would call him an effective journalist because he gets the truth out, I can’t say the same thar wrote these comments he’s just like the rest of the irresponsible so called journalist the caters to all of the bull, and lies to us like we’re fools, your company more than likely has a monetary intrest in the medical establishment, and is just protecting it with this very poor attempt to sway our minds back to the lie that HMOs and the rest of the medical community gives a damned about ustheir intrest is purely money not people

  • nate

    no offence to you Shelia but, you dont have a clue, what he said in Farenhight 911 has come to pass, he said it was a bad war, and bush lied to the public, and that is a fact so what the hell are you talking about, you need to just open your eyes, it’s all in plain sight for you to see.

  • Sandra

    Micheal Moore is a Sicko and I for one can’t for the life of me understand why anyone care what his opinions are must less enough to pay for them!It is ashame that we as Americans care no more for our country and respect it and leaders whether we vote for them or not!we should pray for them and get out and vote-and there are many other ways to get things changed than M.Moore’s ways! He cares nothing for any of us except the money we can put in his fat pockets and those that don’t see that….oh well.

  • Sandra

    After posting my first comment I cont. to read more of the posts and it was just like watching TV news it seems that the democrats r blaming the republicans and viceverse.Does it always have to come to this?Maybe that is why nothing ever gets does in this country.But this is a great country and I love it dearly and if u don’t then just leave!I was abandoned by my husband and I have a very rare spinal disorder and I was never denied medical treatment (he cancelled my insurance and I was left with nothing no medicaid either)I was even ordered and got MRI’s which r very expensive.Sure our healthcare system can use work,but don’t u think working together and not doing the blame game and the whine game that goes on everyday by the dems and rep is exactly what we don’t need to do!The democrats had their day no yrs to do something and didn’t!!Now so have the rep.and the same goes there…we have got to learn to come together as a nation and stop this blame game or it will always be this way.M.Moore only wants our money-he cares nothing about this country-he just laughs at the ones who put it there all the way to the bank!

  • Debra

    In response to Chris, July 6, where do you get the idea that we are “one of the healthiest nations on earth?” That one made me go “huh?” The rates of obesity and related diseases like diabetes have been skyrocketing over the past decade. That’s not healthy. Drug companies spend MILLIONS promoting their latest pills, and don’t even tell you what they are supposed to be for–it’s just “ask your doctor about the little purple pill.” That’s not healthy. I have heard stories of people being prescribed drugs for digestive issues by doctors who say, “if this doesn’t work, we’ll think about dietary changes.” That’s not healthy, and it doesn’t even make sense. The conventional wisdom has the average American taking some sort of pill to mask the symptoms, instead of even considering what the root cause could be. That’s not healthy either.
    The system is broken, probably even deeper down than Michael Moore has reported or maybe even wants to know. We are not healthy–we are a country mostly full of drug addicts (junk food is included in this) with incredibly unhealthy and unnatural habits, wondering why we don’t feel good, and then wondering why someone won’t pay the millions it takes to treat us.
    In the long run, it would be much less expensive, not to mention healthier, if we could all change our habits to be less reliant on the kind of health care people take for granted as a right. It would be incredibly difficult for most, but it really is the only way to solve the problem.
    That said, I don’t expect things to change like that in my lifetime, at least without a catastrophic event that ends ‘the world as we know it’. Our culture is too immersed in this backward way of ‘living.’ So having someone at least point out changes that the government and the average person can make is a small step forward, and should be encouraged.
    Kudos to Michael Moore, for this bravery and his past willingness to say what it seems everyone else wants to forget is true.

  • Debra

    Thanks Annie–You said it much more concisely than me!
    There are just so many facets to this debate, I can’t go into all of it. But the bottom line still is: yes, there’s a huge problem with health care that most of our elected officials are ignoring or paying lip service to (and don’t even get me started on where they’re putting our money instead), and SOMEONE needs to say something. Please! It’s great that MM gets the conversation going. Let’s all speak up and get something done!

  • Susan

    As a Republicrat, I too, am in favor of some sort of socialized health care, and I think it’s shameful and un-(insert whatever religion you are here) like to deny any person such a basic necessity. However, that said, I wanted to address a comment that was made by Lisa in one of the early posts:
    “It’s not up to Michael Moore to solve the problem. It’s up to our paid elected officials to do so.”
    Actually, it’s up to us as individuals to solve the problem. The current system is certainly broken, but the burden of that rests on generations of Americans who’ve allowed that system to continue, even flourish, and not paid/elected anything to fix it. The only way we can solve the healthcare crisis (and I think we all agree it IS a crisis!) is if each of us as individuals decide on what we are willing to give in exchange for fair and balanced medical care for all, and then ACT on that, rather than flaming each other in online debates.
    We are blessed to live in a country where when citizens care enough to ACT, the government can be changed, policies can be made, amended or disposed of, and while it will never be utopia, the state of the union can be made better by the power and actions of its citizens. Vote, donate, lobby, volunteer, and network in a positive way (remember, Democrat, Republican, Socialist, Green Party, Libertarian, etc…you have to meet people where they’re at!) and things can get done :)

  • Sheila

    I have read EVERY single comment posted and I still think that Michael Moore and his movies are not helpful to any of the situations he “exposes”. His brand of “journalisim” (and I use that term loosley) is poisonous. And to JM and Diana who wrote about the poor not getting healthcare, I beg to differ. You should come to my little town in So. California. For years we have thought that our small town hospital was going to close their doors due to the number of cases they take without charging. (Are you aware of just how many hospitals have gone under?) This is an agricultural area and the population is about 50% Hispanic and a large number of them are undocumented. They are NEVER turned away. I worked for two general surgeons here for 11 years, and I cannot tell you how many mornings they came to work after performing surgery during the night on a gunshot or knife wound, an emergency appendectomy, birth complication, etc., etc.. They would say, “Well there is one for the Lord!”. Now, it’s the middle class, like me, that have to pay. The rich have the money to pay and the poor have our system and know how to abuse, I mean use it! I used to do the Dr.’s insurance and I know how many people are on Medical. Medical pays the doctors very poorly. My vet makes more money on some of his surgeries than the doctors get from Medical and Medicare. I know because I checked with my Opthomologist about the $4,500.00 surgery my dog needed on his cataracts!!! (He’ll have to stay BLIND!) We don’t need someone who spreads venom for his own benefit like Michael Moore, we need some “heros” to put their heads together and come up with a plan that works for America. We do not need more goverment control over our lives, either. Don’t envy other countries, as you have read above, their systems are flawed, also! When the “state” is paying for your healthcare, they are trying to save money and avoid any problems that could be long term, just like my friend in Australia who was pressured to abort her baby because they knew there was going to be long term health issues with him. She had to come to America for an unbiased opinion and compassionate help. I also agree with the people who said that we need to take better care of ourselves and eat right, exercise,and take some preventative health care measures. It is sad for those who have taken responsibility for themselves and still have disasterous situations with their healthcare/insurance, when many others have burdened the system with their fraud, schemes and not taking care of themselves and expecting to be taken care of. We should be trying to build Ameirca up and make it better, it’s our home. I get very upset with those who constantly critisize and tear this country down.

  • J.P.

    Bottom Line…the overwhelming majority here get the facts that have been layed out, and many more of us have known for a very long time how bad the issue has been through personal experience, and through our own research from trusted and reliable sources (including Mr. Moore I might add!).
    Now…what are all of us going to do to help bring a change to it? What will it take for us to become “We the People” again?
    We can all go on and on and on – like I have – here on this website and talk ’til we’re blue/red/green in the face all to no avail.
    It’s up to each of us now to start with our local governments, state representatives, etc., etc., etc., and hold accountable the very same elected officials whose salaries we pay to make a change – NO MORE LIP SERVICE either.

  • J.P.


  • Laura

    The movie has got people talking!Isn’t that the first step?Why don’t we get off our a– and look into it instead of asking michael moore to explain americans healthcare to anyone in 90 minutes.I seriously don’t think our own government gets it!I think Michael moore wants to make the public aware so we will work together to find a solution.He wants us to stand up and be an american.listen to the candidates for 2008.Don’t pick a party…pick the person who has the entire nations best intrest at heart.
    I just lost my legs.I’ve worked minimum wage all my life.I chose to be a mom to my daughters ahead of a career.And i’m paying for that choice.If i go to work and make too much,I loose what i have.And with my work history…i will never be able to make the money to afford issurance for myself.Where’s the happy medium in this country?Everyone is getting cancer and other diseases.We’re all one disease away from destruction!!

  • Bob

    Having to pay $7000 a year with a $5000 deductible for medical insurance in large part drove me from the private sector to the public sector. And I always feared that if any of my family got a terminal illness, the companies would find a way to prove it was a prexisting condition and not pay our bills. Moore’s movie, at it 90 minute limit, started the conversation Ms. Rasmussen. Amd if you Ms. Rasmussen, intend to be thorough, read Moore’s documentation to the CNN report on his website. But I guess that would have you doing what you accuse Moore of not doing.

  • mar

    My daughter called me after she saw this movie. She said she laughed, and literally cried. She voted for the first time in the last election, with pride. She is worried about “her” country. Our international standing at the “great nation” no longer stands. Our health care system, and yes, the dreaded war. We now are not supposed to speak out, nor question our government. When we all follow along blindly, and happily, following our leader, (whoever it is) we will no longer be a “democracy”. As American’s we need to question, we need to demand answers to questions that we all have. It is our right! Whether you like Moore or not, this movie has made people talk about the desperate situation of AMERICANS and health care. It’s not about people sitting on welfare. It’s about working people, who have no insurance, who don’t have the finances to get minimum health care for themselves or their children! It shouldn’t matter if your democrat or republican, dialogue should be going on, and solutions to our problems are needed. When we can’t sit down and discuss important issues that our nation faces, b//c you have to stick to your party line, literally, we are done. I have a brain of my own, I can reason, I have common sense, and I have questions I want answered. I don’t want to blindly follow everything an elected official says, BECAUSE I am an American!! I don’t blindly believe America is the best of the best, of the best in everything! I believe other countries, do some things better. Health care being one of them, like France, not Canada. Moore’s whole point was to take what other countries do well, pick out what works, and truly make our health care system work for our people! Moores point was also take “profit” out of medicine. Shut the door to lobbyists, when it comes to OUR health care. His point on CNN made sense to me. We do not make our police and fire depts. make a profit. If your house was on fire, do you want the fire dept. to have to call a person a thousand miles away, to see if going to this fire is profitable?? When they don’t send the fire trucks to your house, b/c it’s too far from the fire house, and they will lose money, will you care about profits then? Sure, Moore is a movie maker, sure he makes money, but he brings up valid and thought provoking points. Participate in dialogue, become part of the solution, not part of the problem that has lead our country to where it is! demand answers from OUR elected officials, no matter what party you belong to. It is our right as Americans, it is what this country was based on. We can’t lose sight of that. Any American, who can’t participate in dialogue, without throwing personal attacks, and condemnation, has a political agenda. And THAT is what is destroying our country. They want you to shut up, and follow. Is that what being an American is now, “shut up, dummy, we don’t answer to you.” When you cover your ears, and close your eyes, and chant over and over “America is the best, America is the best”, other nations will pass us by, as the world keeps turning, and we sit here arguing with each other over POLITICS! Think for yourself, use the brain god gave you, and the rights that our fellow American’s have died for. Listen, questions, debate, and demand answers, as an AMERICAN, not a democrat or republican.
    The future of our nation depends on it.

  • Marian J

    First off, I would like to say I have not yet seen this movie. I plan to, though. All of these comments about no in-depth research, skimming over the facts, etc. are exactly what they are meant to be. They are conservatives slamming the down-trodden middle Americans who can’t seem to catch a break. I haven’t seen the movie because I have a heinous schedule, working for very little, traveling an hour to get there (my husband travels 11/2 hours each way) and having no money left for frivolous movie outings because it all goes to health care.
    Michael Moore doesn’t need to go into detail about every aspect. he is here to get us fired up, to research and see for ourselves just what is going on. Come on people, get to work! If you start researching, you will see a lot of other discrepancies this administration and government does not want you to see. And don’t get me started on fundamentalist religions running our lives.

  • CEO Prep

    This dialogue is GREAT! For the record, I saw Sicko 2x. Since I am a finance professional and educator by profession, the second time I went for the sole purpose of taking notes — 1 Peter 4:10 reads “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace”.
    Now that we’re aware of the issue, the question now becomes what specifically are WE going to do?
    1. For those that have NOT seen Sicko, it would benefit the forum greatly to have a “before & after” post from you. Please go see Sicko and report back to the group. It’s like going to class without your homework.
    2. For those that have seen Sicko, we need to have simultaneous offline discussions in our communities. It would be helpful if the following folks would come together to do some basic information gathering and sharing — healthcare professionals (nurses, Dr.’s, folks in the insurance companies, claims departments, et al), folks covered by Medicaid & Medicare (socialized programs) — to give us a better understanding of what’s going on FROM THE INSIDE. I saw several posts here and elsewhere from people that work in the industry that have said in no uncertain terms “if only you knew”. So please share in detail.
    3. Contact your city/county and state legislators and find out what’s going on in your state. Keep in mind, individual states are drafting & passing legislation in the name of “universal healthcare”. From what I’ve read, the LAST THING people want or need is a shortsighted law that REQUIRES state residents to purchase health insurance or face the financial consequences (fines). That is the most absurd concept I’ve ever heard, but it’s on the table in some states. Voter beware.
    4. Let’s agree on these definitions:
    PRIMARY SOURCES of information come directly from the source (i.e. congressional hearings, lawsuits on file at the courthouse, published opinions & court orders).
    Michael Moore’s website and Sicko provide jaw dropping sources of primary information, starting with the congressional testimony of Dr. Linda Peeno and ending with a lawsuit (court docs on file) and congressional testimony in June 2007 of 2 women in the film that lost loved ones.
    SECONDARY SOURCES of information come from third parties and must be validated (i.e. the media). The showdown on CNN last week with MM, Wolf Blitzer, Larry King & Dr. Gupta is well documented. You can find the links and watch the unedited debate at, along with the fact check ups MM has so diligently posted.
    5. Let me know what else WE can do to move the agenda forward. I’m taking my own advice and will be the guest speaker at a Women’s Conference in an urban community next week and will continue to engage the urban public for the next 16 months (thru to election day 2008).
    Peace & Blessings to all.

  • Monte Carlo SS 2K

    I’m so very amused that many of the people in this blog who commented are trying to make this issue a Democrat or Republican issue or who are trying to make it a religious issue….
    My point in my earlier comment was that socialized medicine is not all that people in this country think it is, I believe that is also what the former canadian citizen was trying to say as well.
    The point is not to argue about whose agenda this is but what to do about it. I’m not a fan of socialized medicine but I DO think that the government needs to some how regulate the insurance industry because they are ripping us off with their lame HMOs and their selective PPOs and jacking up our prices. I’m very Adam Smith in my view on the government, but sometimes, they have to get involved when things are unbalanced to the detriment of this country and all the citizens.
    My state (Arizona) has a pretty decent government program to manage health care. We have several imigrants who use it and I’m glad because I’d rather have immunized kids at school with my kids than kids whose parents cant afford to take care of that. I have taken advantage of the $15 immunization shots for my son. Maybe we need to look at Florida and how they managed to enact laws to regulate the insurance companies regarding natural disasters. After Andrew hit and people were jerked around by their insurance companies, the Florida government clamped down on them.
    I don’t have the answer, but I believe we can get to a solution faster if we work together rather than being accusational of political or religious groups and name calling. We are all americans (or american wannabes) and we should work together. :-)

  • Sufik

    Journalism is about opinion, the basis for debate. You could of course make your own movie, and see if anyone would listen.

  • chris

    This is to Cliff and his supporters,
    First off, why is it up to the government to get people healthcare. You can purchase insurance through any agent out there. That’s like saying I can’t afford my car insurance so I’ll let the government pay for it. You people aren’t right. It’s not nor should it be up to the government to take care of problems like insurance coverage. People need to look at what’s more important, a new plasma TV or health insurance. As for Cliff and his supporters,if you want the government to take care of you and your health care move to Canada. We don’t go to Canada for surgical procedures. They here because it takes too long for them to see a doctor. One last point I’d like to point out and then all you bleeding heart liberals can attack me all you want. Why don’t you go and look up all the info that Michael Moore came up with for his documentary and how old it is?

  • vicent passiatore

    Michel Moore states his point. The Health Care system is in shambles. it has to be fixed. Most americans can not afford to get sick. I ask you what will it cost you if you get a(TERMINAL ILL SICKNESS) Do you want to give up everything you have in order to pay the Doctors and Hospitals and Insurance companies that sock it to you. IT is way over due for a NATIONAL HEALTH CARE FOR ALL AMERICANS. you as american citizens must demand that your elected officals in Washington pass a National Health Care or they will get voted out next election.ITS UP TO YOU TO ACT.DO IT FOR ALL AMERICAN.

  • Rick Dieguez

    Michael Moore, should speak to the citizens of Cuba and not the totalitarian Castro run government, who will only hide the situation with lies and out how bad the health situation really is and how malnutritioned the Cubans are. In a country where there are no private enterprises, the whole country works for the government without a single benefit. Did he write that the Cuban children were not allow to drink milk after the age of 2, did Mr. moore mentioned that the medicine in Cuba is for the high rank government
    officials and in order for Cubans to obtain medicine, they have to secrectly get it from relatives outside
    the Island. If things were so good in Cuba, why would cubans risk their lives every day in shark infested waters, trying to leave a country ran by a group that violates all human rights? There is no better country in the world than the United States of America. If Michael Moore loves how the comunist mentality performs and how they destroy each and every country they touch, he should returned all the money he has made in the US and go live the life style he praises so much. I would like to see, how much money or
    how far he would get, in a totalitarian controlled government.
    Mr. Moore has no right, to makes comments of a country he does not know, nor ever lived in.
    The only way you can change things in the USA, is to get involved and to vote.

  • medlink

    As a member of the medical community, I can tell you that you would not appreciate the long waits, delays in treatment, and type of care that social medicine provides. We are a spoiled nation in health care. We have some of the best health care in the world and would not like to have less. Less is what we would have with social medicine. We have come to the point where we believe we should have everything for free and that the government should take care of us. Wake up people. Our nation did not get to this point with that attitude. We got here by people who were willing to work to obtain the best. That is where we need to get back to, not the entitlement mentality.

  • mary steen

    Michael Moore is a socialist. He could take a one way trip to Cuba, leave all his money he has gotten through perverting the true facts about healthcare & other issues, & live in communist Cuba where he would not be able to have freedoms he has in the USA that thousands have died to keep the US safe.
    Send all the 12 million illegals in the USA back to their own country, & that in itself would improve the opportunity for legal US citizens to receive healthcare at a lesser rate. There were 2 Republican presidents that did just that in the history of the USA, & that helped our country. Those that claim differently, mainly the liberals in the US, can well afford to pay for their own health insurance. Criminals, prisoners, & illegal imigrants are given free healthcare in our system, & all taxpayers in our country pay for their free healthcare.

  • Sheila

    BRAVO Rick Dieguez, medlink and mary steen! I could not agree with you more!!!

  • Dea. Steve Johnson

    I don’ care what the analysis of the movie Sicko says, the film is great. At the recent 98th NAACP screening, many persons had their eyes opened on the unfairness of the US broken Health care systems. Costly, inefficient and ineffective, the health care mess in US is untenable.
    Particularly affected in a negative manner are African Americans who are forced to for the most part to use the remnants of a system that forces persons to not seek proper care due to concerns over cost.

  • Estella Brown

    Well, I did not have time to read all of these just a sampling. I cannot believe my eyes are OK.I saw the movie sicko and it is no laughing matter. As one who was fortunate enough to live in Canada for 20 years and who had full access to the Canadian Health system.I can say that what goes on in this country should actually be a crime.
    Like are we so selfish that we cannot understand the depth of this situation? Michael Moore can afford the best insurance, so it seems to me that he is not doing this for selfish reasons. Sometimes we just need to say that the emperor is not wearing any clothes. I decided to move back here after 9-11 thinking I needed to come home.I came to a home that truly baffles me. I would rather pay higher taxes so that all my brothers and sisters can have the right to go see a doctor. And I know in our family’s case, the amount we pay for health insurance premium is much greater than we paid in additional taxes in Canada and there we had no co-payments, I never had to wait more than a week for any treatment.
    I am no fan of Micheal Moore but he was right on 9-11 and he will be vindicated on sicko. I just saw a story on TV where an 85 year old woman was being thrown out of her home because her house was being sold by a major hospital to pay the $170,000..she owed them.
    Yep! she did have some insurance, was not sufficient. Her husband died of a heart problem. The hospital did not save her husband, and now they were trying to send her to meet him with a broken heart. In France, Canada and the UK, they have no citizens who are children of a lesser god.
    May God have mercy on us!

  • Billy Wagley

    I am so glad people are listening. The disabled and those that are not should be given a much better solution to our American problem. It may not be perfect but Senator Clinton tried before she was a Senator to get the gears in motion.. We all need to get the gears in motion now and that will not happen under this current administration. Whatever happens, it will be the American people that will back this. Our officials need to hear the people and listen to all the problems. Medicare D is not the complete picture and it has helped especially the elder as far as I know, but those disabled young and elderly have a serious problem.. Obiviously Bush took the credit but I seriously think he did not read what was to happen with Medicare D. We have other problems to other than the above but The American people will show their face and elect the correct officals to handle this problem. I am sure we must turn out in droves to correct all the undoing this country has suffered from this administration. Get to work now is the battle cry- our country is the best and we need to keep it that way. I am disabled and I have seen what takes place from Social Services(locally)North Carolina and the lack of communication and corporation by SS and Social Secuity and Medicare. We have a good system but we next it fixed and we can do it. Sick, ill, or disabled people need the help and the government is trying to cut all they can probably because the rectless spending of this administration. I worked and raised a family of four and this is not the way to treat the American citizen. Prepare for the next election, very important, test the waters now, if not for our sakes but for our children and their children. Please take this seriously. The messenger may not have everything right but now we know where things are slipping.
    Thanks, Billy Wagley

  • Billy Wagley

    The ALARM is sounding. Americans heed to this serious problem. Some people caught up with their jobs and chores may know how serious this is. Start by writing you representative NOW! We have alot of issues in this country now but this is one of those which needs fast action and serious thought. We are losing lives and that is silly in a country as rich as this one. Everyone, please chip in, this is 0 Hour!

  • Billy Wagley

    No matter what party you are with, you will have to bare what is to come in the future. Examin every representative and corner them to find out what they think is the truth and then tell them your ideas. They obivously are in a vacume. God Bless America and her people.

  • Estella Brown

    After having lived in Canada for 20 years and enjoyed their Health care system..I have returned to this nightmare, I think the last paragraph of this article sums it up nicely. I saw sicko and I can tell you that that movie is no laughing matter…no matter how good covergae one has, we are all one doctor’s report away from bankruptcy or worst not being able to partake of the excellent medical system. I would rather be invited to a ten course meal and told hey there is a wait, than to be shown the whole table and be escorted out the door with nnot even a drink of water.
    I am no fan of Michael Moore but with 20/20 he was right about 9-11, Hmm what about the health care??
    July 16, 2007
    Op-Ed Columnist
    The Waiting Game
    Being without health insurance is no big deal. Just ask President Bush. “I mean, people have access to health care in America,” he said last week. “After all, you just go to an emergency room.”
    This is what you might call callousness with consequences. The White House has announced that Mr. Bush will veto a bipartisan plan that would extend health insurance, and with it such essentials as regular checkups and preventive medical care, to an estimated 4.1 million currently uninsured children. After all, it’s not as if those kids really need insurance — they can just go to emergency rooms, right?
    O.K., it’s not news that Mr. Bush has no empathy for people less fortunate than himself. But his willful ignorance here is part of a larger picture: by and large, opponents of universal health care paint a glowing portrait of the American system that bears as little resemblance to reality as the scare stories they tell about health care in France, Britain, and Canada.
    The claim that the uninsured can get all the care they need in emergency rooms is just the beginning. Beyond that is the myth that Americans who are lucky enough to have insurance never face long waits for medical care.
    Actually, the persistence of that myth puzzles me. I can understand how people like Mr. Bush or Fred Thompson, who declared recently that “the poorest Americans are getting far better service” than Canadians or the British, can wave away the desperation of uninsured Americans, who are often poor and voiceless. But how can they get away with pretending that insured Americans always get prompt care, when most of us can testify otherwise?
    A recent article in Business Week put it bluntly: “In reality, both data and anecdotes show that the American people are already waiting as long or longer than patients living with universal health-care systems.”
    A cross-national survey conducted by the Commonwealth Fund found that America ranks near the bottom among advanced countries in terms of how hard it is to get medical attention on short notice (although Canada was slightly worse), and that America is the worst place in the advanced world if you need care after hours or on a weekend.
    We look better when it comes to seeing a specialist or receiving elective surgery. But Germany outperforms us even on those measures — and I suspect that France, which wasn’t included in the study, matches Germany’s performance.
    Besides, not all medical delays are created equal. In Canada and Britain, delays are caused by doctors trying to devote limited medical resources to the most urgent cases. In the United States, they’re often caused by insurance companies trying to save money.
    This can lead to ordeals like the one recently described by Mark Kleiman, a professor at U.C.L.A., who nearly died of cancer because his insurer kept delaying approval for a necessary biopsy. “It was only later,” writes Mr. Kleiman on his blog, “that I discovered why the insurance company was stalling; I had an option, which I didn’t know I had, to avoid all the approvals by going to ‘Tier II,’ which would have meant higher co-payments.”
    He adds, “I don’t know how many people my insurance company waited to death that year, but I’m certain the number wasn’t zero.”
    To be fair, Mr. Kleiman is only surmising that his insurance company risked his life in an attempt to get him to pay more of his treatment costs. But there’s no question that some Americans who seemingly have good insurance nonetheless die because insurers are trying to hold down their “medical losses” — the industry term for actually having to pay for care.
    On the other hand, it’s true that Americans get hip replacements faster than Canadians. But there’s a funny thing about that example, which is used constantly as an argument for the superiority of private health insurance over a government-run system: the large majority of hip replacements in the United States are paid for by, um, Medicare.
    That’s right: the hip-replacement gap is actually a comparison of two government health insurance systems. American Medicare has shorter waits than Canadian Medicare (yes, that’s what they call their system) because it has more lavish funding — end of story. The alleged virtues of private insurance have nothing to do with it.
    The bottom line is that the opponents of universal health care appear to have run out of honest arguments. All they have left are fantasies: horror fiction about health care in other countries, and fairy tales about health care here in America.

  • Debbie

    I don’t believe in Universal Health Care. The government is not responsible, nor should they be, for our health care. I, for one, do not want to be taxed so that my hard earned money can pay for someone else’s benefit. Right now enough of my money goes to supporting people who refuse to support themselves. I’m sorry for those who do not have sufficient health care, but if they are unhappy, then let them move to a country that can meet their needs. Because this is America, they have the freedom to do so.

  • George

    Better yet, tax those on welfare, who are already getting top notch health care, and let them support the working citizens of this country for a change.

  • emma

    Those in above posts who are so concerned with people on welfare and the people here illegaly represent what’s wrong with us. This is the kind of selfish,ignorant thinking that keeps us from being the great nation our founders invisioned.I say “ignorant” not to be cruel but to stress that if you’re not well informed, you can be manipulated by special interest groups to find the wrong people to blame. Most of us are good-hearted people. We are willing to share what we have for the good of all. (Love your neighbor as yourself…)We could be so much better.

  • Joycelyn Menard

    Well, I have no faith in Belief Net anymore. My 40 yr old daughter and I went see Sicko last night and it took our breath away. This is the best movie/documentary I’ve ever seen and is a real eye opener. I guess your article was written by a Republican!

  • katie

    It’s funny how everyone says this is one side. The insurance companies rake in hundreds of million dollars, the only side that’s being heard by the President and the Democrat/Republican Congress is the side of the insurance companies – not the Americans who are victim to a flawed health care system.
    Btw, Dems are no better than Republicans. They are recieving lobbyist money also from insurance companies

  • Barbara

    “Do you realize that many of the uninsured in this country are people who can afford it but choose not to? Not to say there are many uninsured, but there is no one in this country who does not have access to adequate health care.” NOW THAT IS ONE OF THE MOST ASININE STATEMENTS I HAVE EVER HEARD. Trust me, with the cost of healthcare, if people could afford insurance, they would have it, such as it is. Insurance is ridiculously high, god forbid you have a family, for a mere 10 minutes your doctors office, if you can get in to see him in under 1 month. I for one, would not mind paying a few extra taxes for healthcare for everyone. It is a shame that the “working poor”, and there is such a thing, work every day and can’t afford insurance. Our elderly are sinfully ignored as far as insurance is concerned. On a fixed income, it is often a decision between eating and going to the doctor or getting a prescription filled. Prescriptions are outrageous! Now I’m not saying I know what to do, but I do know that something needs to be done and I’m glad Michael Moore is bringing some of these things to the forefront.

  • peggy taylor

    It seems like God is showing us in other ways also beside Micheal Moore that some is really wrong here in this world. But it seems that 95% of us are blind to the fact.

  • Debbie

    What is wrong with this country is that more and more choose not to work and collect welfare and those of us who do work must continue to support them. That includes the working poor…All who work are excessively taxed because we are supporting those who can work but will not work. They do not have a health care problem, they get the best of healthcare. It is time for the working citizens of this country to hold those who don’t work accountable. More of the the monies collected from the “working class” should go to benefit those who actually work, not those who don’t. I am aware that there are some unfortunate people in our country who CANNOT work and I believe that there should be help out there for them. I don’t support tax dollars going to the rapidly increasing “lazy class.” It is time to look at the entire picture. Taxing those who are already taxed enough is not the answer. Taxing those who are choosing to live off the government without contributing otherwise may be the answer. It is a shame that the working class continues to be penalized for working. And that is what another tax for universal health care would be doing.

  • Rick

    Why couldn’t a national health plan be made to work in America?
    Regardless of the flaws in Sicko, Moore makes some valuable points.
    Healthcare in the USA is really good for the rich, destructively expensive for most of us who have any serious health problems, and totally lacking for many who are poor.
    Healthcare ought to be the Number 1 Issue in the current Presidential Campaign Shenanigans. When will the American electorate wake up and ask the really important questions, demand real solutions, and vote accordingly?

  • Susan

    The attitude of the I-don’t-want-to-pay-for-the-lazy-sick-people is extremely selfish, but also short-sighted (see my earlier post regarding public health issues). Not only is there the public health angle, but the questions of productivity and competitiveness of the US markets. Also, I keep hearing the argument about the people who make enough money but just ‘choose’ not to, or those that are only without coverage for a short time between jobs. This would be amusing if it weren’t so sad. Just because it appears that someone can afford insurance does not mean that they are able to get insurance. Insurance companies are denying coverage to more and more people for more and more reasons, primarily pre-existing conditions, many of which would be shocking to many who have not been without coverage. History of depression? Forget it. Had cancer, but no sign of it? Don’t care, won’t cover you. But the list is huge. The notion of being without coverage for only a short time between jobs is laughable. My husband and I were in a between job situation with regard to health insurance, but the catch is that you must have NO LAPSE in coverage because when you become eligible for new insurance through a new employer you can be denied coverage for your pre-existing conditions if there is a lapse, and lets face it, that is where you are going to be spending the vast majority of your health care dollars. So you have to come up (while unemployed) the money to continue coverage through COBRA which for us was around $800 per month. We had to drain our retirement funds (at substantial penalty) to pay for this, but we did not dare have a lapse.
    Also, I did address in my previous post the lifestyle issue and was trying to make the point that the US system has perverse incentives. The UK has instituted a bonus system for doctors that provides bonuses for the improved overall health of their patients, looking at things like getting patients to quit smoking, improve blood pressure, lose weight. This speaks to addressing the lifestyle choices. Here, MDs who are medical directors of insurance companies are awarded bonuses for denying claims and therefore denying care. Please do not forget that you are all a part of society and are therefor impacted by the health of others whether you like it or not. Aside from the public health issue, remember that healthy people are more productive. Also from the economic standpoint, think about the cost of healthcare and how that impacts our trade deficit. I recently read that several years ago (I think 2002) the cost to US automakers for providing health coverage to employees added $3000 to the cost of each car they produced. Finally, those who don’t want to pay for others, what I am hearing is that you are willing to pay A LOT MORE for your privately run healthcare system than you would for a single payor system just to avoid giving care to others, because that is exactly what you are doing. The notion of having no choice with a single payor system is unbelievable as the vast majority of citizens and healthcare providers would be part of the same system. I have far less choice now with regards to healthcare than I would under a universal system because I do not get to choose my insurer, the employer does that. I do not get to choose from a pool of all or even the majority of providers, because my insurer tells me who I get to choose from. And then the insurer gets to tell my doctor how I am be treated, and then the insurer is immune when that choice is not in my best interest because they can’t be sued.
    There is something very wrong and disturbing about all of this.

  • LH White

    Most people agree that the American health system needs improvement, and I will not elaborate on that. However, I have seen the Cuban system first-hand, and I must comment on Moore’s observations, which in my opinion are appropriate if presented as his personal opinion, but not appropriate if he wishes to present this as a documentary — or am I naive in expecting a documentary to be balanced in its message? First, of the several Cuban hospitals I have been to, each has been fastidiously clean; nothing is wasted — and I mean nothing! However, I have seen cancer units without an IV in sight, for lack of chemo for the patients. No matter how caring the staff, and indeed there are many dedicated medical professionals in Cuba (as here), without the necessary medications and lab equipment and surgical supplies, there is bound to be a shortage of adequate medical treatment, and free care, if it is not adequate, amounts to the same as adequate care one cannot afford. The result is the same. I can tell you from personal experience that a cab driver, waiter, chamber maid or other service personnel would rather have a bottle of ibuprofen or antiobiotic ointment or any other over-the-counter produce routinely available to us, than to have a cash tip because even with the cash they cannot purchase these products easily, as the pharmacy shelves are rarely adequately supplied. Michael Moore has missed an opportunity to garner support for an improved US system by bringing such a slanted view to public. There is more fury over his biased presentation than over the very real problem!

  • tangox

    I haven’t seen the movie “sicko” and probably won’t waste my time. The point I have to keep reminding myself of is the irrationally intense hatred that MM (and Hollywood) has for George W. Bush can’t be explained. It reminds me of Hitler’s hatred for the Jews. Since you can’t make rational sense out of the irrational, why try? The other question I want to ask is how long has the medical system been gouging US citizens and why is the finger only being pointed at Bush? The same thing was going on the eight years Clinton was in office and in spite of a lot of false promises, nothing changed. My prescriptions cost the same now as they did in 1998 and I had no more help then than I do now.

  • CEO Prep

    I found an LA Times article on MM’s site very interesting. The following caught my attention:
    “Free of most contracts, Prime Healthcare’s hospitals can collect the patient’s entire bill, calculated at the higher rate, whether the patient has insurance or not. And, under state law, insurers must pay up.”
    It goes on to say, in reference to the Dr. that is buying up a bunch of CA hospitals:
    “His policies will equate to higher premiums and higher cost of care for everyone,” said Josh Valdez, senior vice president of Blue Cross of California, which reluctantly pays Prime Healthcare’s bills.”
    Uh, did Blue Cross of California say they “relunctantly” pay the bills?
    If there’s a CA attorney out there, please chime in. It SOUNDS LIKE hospitals/healthcare providers DO NOT have to sign contracts with insurers to collect below cost reimbursements, in exchange for a steady flow of patients. It SOUNDS LIKE insurers must pay the full cost of care, BY LAW.
    While I don’t agree with the Dr.’s business model (I certainly understand it), it seems to me that if this one Dr. can cancel hospital contracts with insurance companies and still collect the full cost of care, WE need to look into this (is this the law only in CA?). Why in the world are WE (taxpayers/patients) fighting with insurance companies if they are mandated to pay the full cost of care, BY LAW. Cancel the contracts, treat patients fairly and collect from the insurers (the industry needs to be tightly regulated to keep premiums from going through the roof). What am I missing here?

  • CEO Prep

    Since the good ol Dr. is canceling managed care contracts here’s a link to help those of us with questions.
    What is managed care?


    First, to all of you who claim the articals author was “unidentified”,the author was identified in the posting,maybe if you looked you would see.
    Second, the problem with Mr Moore’s “documentaries” is that while he calls attention to a problem, he is extreamly biased in his veiwpoint ,and presentation.He presents no factual response from the target of his attack,nor any possible solutions.His only aim in reality is to make someone ,or something in America look bad.
    If he were more subjective,he may be taken more seriouly.
    Just look at the man,he is hardly a poster boy for health….

  • Sylvia

    Estella Brown you obviously don’t know what you are talking about with the Canadian Health Care System. I grew up there and I watched as my parents aged there. I still have siblings who are all now middle aged and plus there. As well as various other relatives from babies to 75. It does vary some from provience to provience but not much. Niether of my parents were on Canadian Medicare as you put it. None of my Aunts or Uncles are on it either. The Canadain Goverment figures if you work hard all your life and save for your old age, they tax the heck out of you yearly plus you are on regular proviencial insurance, not medicare.
    Yes it’s easy enough to get a doctor appt for the flu or what have you, but if you need to see a specialist you wait a good 6 months or longer. Here I have never had to wait more than a month and that was for a rare type of specialist in a huge metro city. My Mom had to wait over 6 months to see a rheumatologist which the general doctor refused to give her meds for even after diagnosing because it wasn’t his field. The insurance made my Mom take meds that the doctor told them would make her sick since they were in the same family of meds she couldn’t tolerate before the finally agreed to pay for part of the remicaid iv treatment. This was all after both her knee replacement jokes of treatment with long waits I spoke about earlier.
    That is why then my Dad’s hips started to deteriorate at a rapid rate and he was to be in a wheel chair for 2 years before they could operate, he flew to Germany. They have a huge resort medical and surgical they advertise in Canada for people who don’t or can’t wait for the surgery and can afford it. There is also a huge one in England that advertises in Canada.
    A lot of Canadians do just go south to the U.S.of A. but going overseas also includes therapy so it actually works out cheaper.
    So Ms. Estella Brown if you think the Canadian Heathcare System is so great, go back and get old, really old there, and pray you don’t need really medical attention.

  • Happyface

    Inbetween your criticisms, there lies the truth. Millions, millions of legal hard-working Americans are without health insurance. It is a national disgrace. Yes, Michael Moore is over the top but it is the over the top that gets the attention just like a squeeky wheel. Regular people and some responsible journalists having been pointing this out for years so perhaps Sicko will expand some awareness in a society that is becoming more insular. I can’t wait for the real Christians to show up and be their brothers’ keepers or do for the less of us. One child going without health care is one child too many. Shame on you!! Plus, as a New Yorker, I know for a fact that there are people dying because they helped look for victims at the World Trade Center. Their medical bills are bankrupting them. Look at the stock market and see whose stocks are the highest. Therein lies the truth. It’s all about money for some.

  • Kay Lee

    Maybe I am wrong – but I didn’t think Beliefnet was about politics –

  • annette

    I have not seen the movie yet so I can’t comment in depth, but I do know the atrocities of our health care system. The fact that a country as great as this does not have universal health care, and the fact that as we get old the government can seize everything you own if not protected to put you away in some horrible nursing home is very sad.
    I will comment further on this movie when I see it, but hands up to Moore for making this sensitive topic more visceral to the american people

  • Debbie

    My favorite Michael Moore clip was the one where he was at the Republican National Convention in 2003 and the Bush faithful were chanting “4 more years” and Moore was shaking his head and mouthing “Six more months”. Tee-hee.

  • Cindy

    Well, Syliva – you might know some of the upsideds and downsides to the Canadian Plan – but in the US – you better hope you are not one of the unlucky ones (or unemployed ones) who are not covered and need medical assistance! Whatever the flaws of the Canadian system, the US is in a position to give Universal Health Care to ALL of it’s Citizens and also to learn from the programs of other countries (England, France, Canada, etc)….this way we can avoid the issues that they have. If you watch Michael Moore’s movie, that is the point that he makes….not that we should “adopt” the Canadian Health system….but impelement Universal Health Care in the United States ….with an improved model plan….from the others. The whole point is to DO IT….but do it better…and with the taxes we already pay…so that Conservatives do not have a fit that someone is getting something for nothing! If we could only get the Government to stop wasting our money on War…and start putting it to use for our health and well being. That is the trick. March on Washington, anyone?

  • Genie Jacobson

    CNN has withdrawn its comments cited above. The writer needs a better fact checker. Or was that supposed to be an impartial review? I don’t think so.

  • Genie Jacobson

    I wonder: Do those “…down sides to the Canadian social healthcare system…” include thousands of deaths directly attributable to that system, as does the system in the United States?”
    And what does the writer have to say about the Americans (not doctors) in France, for example, shown in the movie, who critique the French health system? Which, if the writer has checked, he will see that the World Health Organization rates #1 in the world? Is the United States’ ranking as No. 37 IN THE WORLD by the WHO merely propaganda?
    At best, the writer’s failure to check facts shows a sloppy disregard for the facts. His trivializing the depiction of 9/11 workers desperately seeking medical help,i.e., “…The event is orchestrated with slightly less dramatic effect than a Broadway musical:” is cruel.

  • Patricia Corbari

    Thank you for your article. Isn’t it sad, all the people who see his films believe every word. I wish he would go live in those other countries he sees as better than the US, where he has made his fortune. Talk about bitting the hand that feeds you.
    Thanks again for getting the real truth out.
    Pat C

  • Carol

    As a health care worker, Sicko is quite accurate about the assessment of the health care system (or should I say lack of health care) in the US.
    Far too much is dictated by the pharmaceutical companies, lobbyist groups and insurance companies.
    It is a shame that the US has some of the worst statistics in the world when it comes to healthcare. Only third world nations are worse, and not all of them are.
    While some of the numbers may have changed a little since filming, they are very much on target. Our system is broken and the ones hurting are the citizens.

  • Philly

    I have a question… Is “Beliefnet” being paid to write these negative
    things about Michael Moore and “Sicko”. Why do our Pharmaceutical
    Corps. keep making more and more and our Hospital CEO’s are the highest
    paid. Why do we have to fight tooth and nail for vacation pay, minimum
    wage and help for women and children while other countries give it to
    their people? We should get the same health coverage as our Congress
    does. Aren’t they supposed to be “servants” of the people?… not
    the aristocracy. Maybe we should take their healthcare from them and have them pay for their own and their families.

  • Peter Fauci

    I am a physician in practice for over forty years and have sadly come to the conclusion that a national health service is our only solution. A huge profit oriented machine called managed care is raking in huge amounts for their executives and stockholders on the backs of health care workers of every level. This money should be spent on the care of people. . The uninsured and poor will remain uninsured because they cannot pay or will be marginalized because they are poor risks. This is disgraceful in the greatest country in the world.
    Again, our “leaders” use the politics of fear to caution against “socialized medicine”. Medicare is “socialized medicine” and would work well if extended to all, without billions for the profit of a few. Moore’s film is superficial but contained basic truths and should provoke much thought and discussion without being dismissed for the wrong reasons.

  • J.P.

    I’m with you Cindy – AMEN! Where do you want to meet, When?

  • J.P.

    SUSAN…YOU are my hero!! :) I hear you loud and clear BRAVO!!!

  • Marisa Lipz

    Unfortunately, it is well known that the health system of our beloved and great Country is not for the masses. You have to be rich or work for a company that provides you with group Health Insurance. The rest of us are basicly left out of the health system. Luckily those of us who live on a border city with Mexico often go to seek medical and dental assistance to Mexico and while they don’t have all that expensive technology we do, they tend to give the patient a more humane and personal attention. And it is affordable. I have heard of several cases of US citizens who were negligently treated here and after a better medical care in Mexico got well.
    And realizing this fact makes me very sad for my con-nationals and am scared to have any medical problems.
    I hope our government starts doing more for the regular citizen and less for the super rich. We after all are the ones that mainly support this great Country.

  • emma

    Thank you, Peter. You sound like a very decent person.

  • Kathleen Gilchrist

    I was so happy to see Michael Moore do this documentary on the Health Care System for the United States. For the people in the US that cannot afford proper insurance, all I can say is “shame on the government” and also to the insurance companies that do not cover life saving drugs and operations in which they mislead their clients. It is so sad that families have to mortgage their homes or else lose everything to try to save a family members life. Yes, Canada does not have the best health care system, but no Canadian is denied health care. I do hope that the US government wakes up and is there for their people. That should be the government’s first priority, instead of losing a war and so many lives.

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