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Author Topic: Sicko  (Read 155 times)
Luke Hodiak
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« on: June 29, 2007, 08:24:55 pm »


Sicko is a documentary film by Michael Moore, scheduled for release on June 29, 2007.[1] It investigates the United States health care system with a focus on the behavior of large health insurance companies and contrasts the U.S. system with those of other countries with universal health care coverage.

On April 19, 2007, Moore announced on his website that Sicko had been selected for the 2007 Cannes Film Festival where it had its world premiere on May 19, 2007. Moore also announced a June 29, 2007 release date for the U.S. and Canada. Moore's film had an early premiere the week before in Washington D.C.. However, this was canceled in fear that his film would be confiscated before the scheduled premiere date

Sicko deals with the problems of the American for-profit health insurance and pharmaceutical industries. Its main message is that government-run health care is a better model than the present US health-care system because the present system is designed to maximize profit by minimizing the care delivered to patients.

At one point in the film Moore says: "And the United States slipped to 37 in health care around the world, just slightly ahead of Slovenia."

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Luke Hodiak
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« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2007, 08:29:19 pm »

Anecdotes of people denied care

The movie starts retelling the stories of people who were denied health care, either because they did not have health insurance or because the insurance companies found a way not to pay them. (On February 3, 2006, Moore requested, via his blog, that people send "Health Care Horror Stories" in an effort to share his view on the health care industry.[3])
•   In one case, Doug Noe's insurance provider, Cigna Healthcare, approved a cochlear ear implant for only the left ear of Noe's daughter, Annette, born with an acute hearing disability. Cigna argued that a two-ear operation was "experimental." (When Noe alerted Moore to the case, the insurer reversed its decision.)[4]
•   A woman gets stuck with the ambulance bill after a car accident because she didn't clear the charge with her insurer before losing consciousness.[5]
•   Also shown is the widow of Tracy Pierce, who died from kidney cancer after his insurer denied a possibly life-saving bone-marrow transplant.[5]
•   One woman's insurance provider denied coverage after an operation, because she didn't mention a previous yeast infection on her application.[5]
•   Homeless patients were abandoned by Los Angeles hospitals after they had received some medical treatment. (In May 2007, Kaiser Permanente, a large nonprofit health insurer, settled criminal and civil lawsuits by agreeing to establish new rules for discharging homeless patients; paying $55,000 in fines; covering the city attorney’s investigative costs; and spending $500,000 on the homeless for follow-up care and other services.)[6]
•   Rick accidentally sawed off the tops of his middle and ring fingers on one hand while working at home. He had no insurance and limited funds at his disposal, so he has to choose whether to have the hospital reattach the end of his middle finger for $60,000 or the end of his ring finger for $12,000. (He chose the ring finger.)
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Luke Hodiak
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« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2007, 08:31:55 pm »

Accounts from inside insurance companies

Some former "repented" employees of insurance companies are also interviewed, and describe dubious practices of their former employers, such as considering the best doctor the one who could best dismiss a patient.

One scene shows a clip of Congressional testimony given in 1996. Dr. Linda Peeno, a former medical reviewer for the health insurer Humana, said her job was to save money for the company. "I denied a man a necessary operation", she testified, referring to a decision she made in 1987. (Her testimony "has been widely recounted over the years," according to a news article in The New York Times. A spokesman for Humana said the case Peeno referred to had involved whether a man had coverage that would pay for a heart transplant, and Peeno correctly found the insurance didn't cover the procedure.)[7]

The film also interviews Lee Einer, whose job at a major insurance carrier (not identified in the film) was to examine insurance applications retroactively. Einer was to peruse large claims in order to find evidence that the applicants had hidden previous conditions. Einer says it was irrelevant whether or not the applicant intended to mislead, the companies just wanted excuses to avoid paying the claims.[5]

Washington lobbyists and politicians

The movie also describes the connection between lobby groups such as PhRMA, the largest and most powerful lobbyist block in Washington D.C., and political groups. Moore says that Hillary Clinton, who once championed the Clinton health care plan, is the Senate's second-highest recipient of campaign donations from the health care industry. Moore said that Clinton friend Harvey Weinstein, whose company provided financing for the film, asked him to remove the scene but Moore refused.[8] Moore said that he had donated to Clinton's first Senate campaign but has since become disillusioned with her.[9]

Health-care systems elsewhere

The American system is then compared to those of Canada, the United Kingdom and France, which have universal health care for their citizens, including interviews with Tony Benn, members of the local middle class and Americans residing in those countries. Moore tries to locate a place where British have to pay something in a hospital (finding a counter labeled "Cashier", only to find that patients actually get money there to reimburse their trip to the hospital).

Moore also rides along in a 24-hour French house-call service in which a doctor with a company called "SOS Médecins" visits patients at their homes. The doctor rides around Paris at night, taking dispatch calls like a taxi driver.[5]

Moore finds out that French government helpers literally "do the laundry" for new mothers to support them.

Some volunteer rescue workers who lent their help during the World Trade Center attacks of 2001, and who subsequently developed a series of medical conditions (some physical and some psychological including PTSD), are then interviewed. The government will not pay for care for their ailments. Since the US government provides full medical coverage for the alleged enemy combatants detained at the U.S. Guantanamo Bay detainment camp, Moore takes three ships and sails from Miami for Cuba. The group arrives at the entrance channel to Gitmo, on a different boat (clearly waving the flag of Cuba), Moore asks for access with a megaphone, but no response is given and they finally give up when a siren is blown from the base.

The group then moves on to Havana, where they can receive free medical treatment they would otherwise not be able to afford.[10] The volunteers are hospitalised there and receive treatment, having only to provide their names and birth date. Moore declares he asked the doctors to provide them only the same level of care they would give to Cuban citizens. He also interviews the daughter of Che Guevara, who has become a pediatrician (Ernesto Guevara was a physician himself).

Although trip participants signed confidentiality agreements prohibiting them from talking about the trip, some thought the trip a success, with The New York Post quoting John Feal, head of the Fealgood Foundation which raises money for 9/11 first responders, that “From what I hear through the grapevine those people who went [to Cuba with Moore] are utterly happy."[11] The film's finale is what Moore provides as an example of "taking care of each other, no matter the differences".
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Luke Hodiak
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« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2007, 08:34:48 pm »

Sicko at the Cannes Film Festival receiving a standing ovation


The movie has received positive reviews: following early viewings at the Cannes Film Festival, Variety described Sicko "an affecting and entertaining dissection of the American health care industry",[12] concluding it should play well internationally. Moore has nonetheless been quoted as saying, "I know the storm awaits me back in the United States."[13]

In his New York Times review, critic A.O. Scott said the movie is "the funniest and the most tightly edited" of any Moore film to date.[14]

In an early review a week before the premiere, Richard Roeper and Michael Phillips (the latter filling in for Roger Ebert) gave Moore's film two thumbs up.

Roger Friedman, who reviewed the film for Fox News, wrote, "Filmmaker Michael Moore's brilliant and uplifting new documentary, "Sicko," deals with the failings of the U.S. healthcare system, both real and perceived. But this time around, the controversial documentarian seems to be letting the subject matter do the talking, and in the process shows a new maturity."[15]

British film magazine Empire commented that "Sicko is the film that truly reveals Moore as an auteur."[16]

On May 19, 2007 more than 2,000 people applauded loudly after the film's first Cannes screening at the packed Grand Theatre Lumiere, the main festival auditorium.[17]

The North American premiere of Sicko was held in London, Ontario at the Silver City movie theatre at Masonville Place on June 8, 2007, with Moore himself in attendance. Sicko features patients from the London, Ontario area.

As of June 29, 2007 Sicko has received a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes earning the film a "fresh" designation. The consensus statement on Sicko is that it is "A devastating, convincing, and very entertaining documentary."[
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Luke Hodiak
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« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2007, 08:36:30 pm »

Treasury Department probe

In a May 2, 2007 letter, the Office of Foreign Assets Control informed Moore that he was the subject of a civil investigation stemming from the filmmaker's March trip to a toy store in Cuba, to buy Ponies for his daughter. In the letter to Moore, a Treasury official noted that the department had no record of Moore obtaining a license that authorized him to "engage in travel-related transactions involving Cuba," alleging that Moore violated the United States embargo against Cuba.[19][20] A duplicate master copy of the film is being held in Canada in case American authorities attempt to seize the film as part of the criminal investigation against Moore that arose from taking American 9/11 rescue workers to Cuba for medical treatment
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Luke Hodiak
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2007, 01:46:02 am »

'SiCKO' Truth Squad Sets CNN Straight

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN: "(Moore says) the United States slipped to number 37 in the world's health care systems. It's true. ... Moore brings a group of patients, including 9/11 workers, to Cuba and marvels at their free treatment and quality of care. But hold on - that WHO list puts Cuba's health care system even lower than the United States, coming in at #39."


"But hold on?" 'SiCKO' clearly shows the WHO list, with the United States at number #37, and Cuba at #39. Right up on the screen in big five-foot letters. It's even in the trailer! CNN should have its reporter see his eye doctor. The movie isn't hiding from this fact. Just the opposite.
The fact that the healthcare system in an impoverished nation crippled by our decades-old blockade (including medical supplies and drugs) ranks so closely to ours is more an indictment of the American system than the Cuban system.
Although Cuba ranks lower overall than the United States, it still has a lower infant mortality rate and longer life span. (see below)
And unlike the United States, Cuba offers healthcare to absolutely everyone. In an independent Gallup poll conducted in Cuba, "a near unanimous 96 percent of respondents say that health care in Cuba is accessible to everyone." ("Cubans Show Little Satisfaction with Opportunities and Individual Freedom Rare Independent Survey Finds Large Majorities Are Still Proud of Island's Health Care and Education," January 10, 2007.

CNN: "Moore asserts that the American health care system spends $7,000 per person on health. Cuba spends $25 dollars per person. Not true. But not too far off. The United States spends $6,096 per person, versus $229 per person in Cuba."


According to our own government – the Department of Health and Human Services' National Health Expenditures Projections – the United States will spend $7,092 per capita on health in 2006 and $7,498 in 2007. (Department of Health and Human Services Center for Medicare and Medicaid Expenditures, National Health Expenditures Projections 2006-2016.
As for Cuba – Dr. Gupta and CNN need to watch 'SiCKO' first before commenting on it. 'SiCKO' says Cuba spends $251 per person on health care, not $25, as Gupta reports. And the BBC reports that Cuba's per capita health expenditure is… $251! (Keeping Cuba Healthy, BBC, Aug. 1 2006. ) This is confirmed by the United Nations Human Development Report, 2006. Yup, Cuba spends $251 per person on health care. ( As Gupta points out, the World Health Organization does calculate Cuba's per capita health expenditure at $229 per person. We chose to use the UN numbers, a minor difference - and $229 is a lot closer to $251 than $25.

CNN: In fact, Americans live just a little bit longer than Cubans on average.


Just the opposite. The 2006 United Nations Human Development Report's human development index states the life expectancy in the United States is 77.5 years. It is 77.6 years in Cuba. (Human Development Report 2006, United Nations Development Programme, 2006 at 283.

CNN: The United States ranks highest in patient satisfaction.


True, but even when the WHO took patient satisfaction into account in its comprehensive review of the world's health systems, we still came in at #37. ("World Health Organization Assesses The World's Health Systems," Press Release, WHO/44, June 21, 2000. ).
Patients may be satisfied in America, but not everyone gets to be a patient. 47 million are uninsured and are rarely patients - until it's too late. In the rest of the Western world, everyone and anyone can be a patient because everyone is covered. (And don't face exclusions for pre-existing conditions, co-pays, deductibles, and costly monthly premiums).
It's not that other countries are unhappy with their health care – for example, "70 to 80 percent of Canadians find their waiting times acceptable." ("Access to health care services in Canada, Waiting times for specialized services (January to December 2005)," Statistics Canada, )

CNN: Americans have shorter wait times than everyone but Germans when seeking non-emergency elective procedures, like hip replacement, cataract surgery, or knee repair.


This isn't the whole truth. CNN pulled out a statistic about elective procedures. Of the six countries surveyed in that study (United States, Canada, New Zealand, UK, Germany, Australia) only Canada had longer waiting times than America for sick adults waiting to schedule a doctor's appointment for a medical problem. 81% of patients in New Zealand got a same or next-day appointment for a non-routine visit, 71% in Britain, 69% in Germany, 66% in Australia, 47% in the U.S., and 36% in Canada. (The Doc's in, but It'll be AWhile. Catherine Arnst, Business Week. June 22, 2007
"Gerard Anderson, a Johns Hopkins health policy professor who has spent his career examining the world's healthcare, said there are delays, but not as many as conservatives state. In Canada, the United Kingdom and France, 'three percent of hospital discharges had delays in treatment,' Anderson told The Miami Herald. 'That's a relatively small number, and they're all elective surgeries, such as hip and knee replacement.' (John Dorschner, "'SiCKO' film is set to spark debate; Reformers are gearing up for 'Sicko,' the first major movie to examine America's often maligned healthcare system," Miami Herald, June 29, 2007.)
One way America is able to achieve decent waiting times is that it leaves 47 million people out of the health care system entirely, unlike any other Western country. When you remove 47 million people from the line, your wait should be shorter. So why is the U.S. second to last in wait times?
And there are even more Americans who keep themselves out of the system because of cost - in the United States, 24 percent of the population did not get medical care due to cost. That number is 5 percent in Canada, and 3 percent in the UK. (Inequities in Health Care: A Five-Country Survey. Robert Blendon et al, Health Affairs. Exhibit 5.

CNN: (PAUL KECKLEY-Deloitte Health Care Analyst): "The concept that care is free in France, in Canada, in Cuba - and it's not. Those citizens pay for health services out of taxes. As a proportion of their household income, it's a significant number … (GUPTA): It's true that the French pay higher taxes, and so does nearly every country ahead of the United States on that list."


'SiCKO' never claims that health care is provided absolutely for free in other countries, without tax contributions from citizens. Former MP Tony Benn reads from the NHS founding pamphlet, which explicitly states that "this is not a charity. You are paying for it mainly as taxpayers." 'SiCKO' also acknowledges that the French are "drowning in taxes." Comparatively, many Americans are drowning in insurance premiums, deductibles, co-pays and medical debt and the resulting threat of bankruptcy – half of all bankruptcies in the United States are triggered by medical bills. (Medical Bills Make up Half of Bankruptcies. Feb. 2005, MSNBC.

CNN: "But even higher taxes don't guarantee the coverage everyone wants … (KECKLEY): 15 to 20 percent of the population will purchase services outside the system of care run by the government."


It's not clear what country Keckley is referring to. In the United Kingdom, only 11.5 percent of the population has supplementary insurance, but it doesn't take the place of NHS insurance. Nobody in France buys insurance that replaces government insurance either, although a substantial amount buys some form of complimentary insurance. ( Private health insurance and access to health care in the European Union. Spring 2004.

CNN: "But no matter how much Moore fudged the facts, and he did fudge some facts…"

This is libel. There is not a single fact that is "fudged" in the film. No one has proven a single fact in the film wrong. We expect CNN to correct their mistakes on the air and to apologize to their viewers.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2007, 01:47:50 am by Luke » Report Spam   Logged
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2007, 12:10:50 pm »

The Feds are sitting on $60 Trillion they have enough to pay for healthcare for every American and pay off Communist-China as well.
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2007, 01:29:01 pm »

Michael Moore, Dr. Gupta square off over 'Sicko'
Story Highlights
Moore criticized a report Gupta did on CNN Monday on "Sicko"

Gupta's report questions some of the movie's numbers and solutions

Gupta: "I thought it was a good movie, and I wanted to say that"
Next Article in Entertainment »

(CNN) -- Filmmaker Michael Moore, whose new documentary "Sicko" takes on America's health care system, faced off Tuesday with CNN chief medical correspondent and practicing neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Michael Moore and CNN's Sanjay Gupta argued Tuesday about Gupta's report on Moore's film "Sicko"

 Moore criticized a report Gupta did on CNN Monday on "Sicko."

"He said the facts were fudged," Moore said, referring to Gupta, on CNN's "Larry King Live."

"That's a lie. None of the facts are fudged."

Moore and Gupta shouted and argued over data Gupta used and data Moore used. Moore said his staffers backed up the film's facts to Gupta before the report aired and that Gupta aired it knowing his facts were wrong.

Gupta disputed that.  Watch Moore, Gupta make their points »

"We try and look for some of the best sources we can possibly find," he said. "Michael has a lot of different numbers. ... You're sort of cherry-picking data from different reports."

Don't Miss
Blog: My conversation with Michael Moore
Review: 'Sicko' is good but flawed
Both agreed, however, on the basic premise of "Sicko": Problems abound in America's health-care system and need to be fixed.

"I thought it was a good movie, and I wanted to say that," Gupta said. "I think it strikes at the irrefutable fact -- it's broken. We get it."

He praised Moore for raising awareness of the issue.

However, Gupta said he was concerned that the movie -- which notes that other developed nations such as France and Canada have universal health care --suggests that health care in those countries is free.

While patients may not pay for services at the doctor's office, they do pay high taxes to fund such a system, something Gupta said he was concerned that "Sicko" audiences might not realize.

Moore responded by saying Americans pay more in copays, deductibles and insurance premiums. "We [America] have a system built on profit," the moviemaker said.

He asked Gupta if the current system, which requires him to receive approval from an insurance company before performing some procedures, is cumbersome to him.

"It's a shameful system, especially when I'm dealing with some of my patients," Gupta said.

But he questioned Moore's apparent solution -- putting health care in the hands of the Bush administration, which Moore fiercely criticized in the past, particularly in his film "Fahrenheit 9/11."

"The government actually used to do things right," Moore said in response. "The problem is who we put in power."

Moore has adamantly opposed the war in Iraq and said the government should reprioritize -- a position he took many years before skepticism of the war's success abounded in Washington.

"I am sorry we've taken so much time trying to correct [Gupta's] facts here tonight instead of talking about the real issue" -- the ailing health care system, Moore said. E-mail to a friend

All About Sanjay Gupta • Michael Moore

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« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2007, 09:17:20 pm »

The Illuminati want population reduction.  A poor health care system is all part of their agenda, along with wars, diseases, and mercury in the vaccinations.
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« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2007, 10:41:37 am »

"Sicko" DVD -
By Michael Moore's Review (excerpt)
"Moore brings a blunt clarity to the table. In an era when the mainstream news media have lost the public trust to Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, Moore’s brutally comic take on matters of life and death is just the ticket."

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

"This is essential viewing -- informative, corrosive, and even sometimes hilarious."

Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

Sicko, the professional provocateur's most accomplished and fervent film, is what the movie doc prescribes for temporary relief from the chronic headache that is the American health-care system.

Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer

Sicko represents Moore's most mature work as a filmmaker.

Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News

I truly believe that the health care issue is one where we can find some common ground with those who may hold different opinions than us. After all, they're getting the shaft by the same insurance and pharmaceutical companies we are. And sooner or later, they're not going to take it any more, either.

Michael Moore

Includes 80 minutes of all-new material.

Read The Full Review >>>
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