POLICY: We want Moore…or something like that

John Cohn on Michael Moore–Fan-fucking-tastic. It’s called “Will Michael Moore’s Sicko help or hurt the universal health care movement?” Go read it.

Ezra Klein takes the wider view on Moore’s attack on American exceptionalism, equally worth it.

As for me, well over at Spot-on I manage to link Sicko with the other big release this week

Strange things are afoot in the normally rarefied world of health care
punditry. It’s going primetime. And I’m blaming Steve Jobs.

Come back here to comment.

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3 replies »

  1. Pelosi and Clinton have shrewdley moved us toward the goal of socialized medicine via the SCHIP program, which grows and grows (it’s being marked up right now). The idea is to get kids to associate health care with government. Later, when they are adults, it will seem perfectly normal to see HC as a government enterprise.
    Meanwhile, one of Gordon Brown’s new priorities is to reform the NHS, which most Brits agree is a mess. More and more Brits are already sent by the NHS to India for low-cost, high-quality surgery. Likewise for Canada, where the US system acts as a sort of safety valve for the lack of services available up North. If you’re a rich Canadian, it’s no problem to head south for top-notch treatment. If you’re not rich, get in line.
    As for Cuba, well, that’s a system on Danny Glover, Mr. Moore, and Charlize Theron could love.

  2. This isn’t a term paper. It’s a movie designed to gob-smack a bored public into paying attention to a very important subject. It doesn’t lie.
    It also asks probing questions about how we see ourselves. Just like his last movie. And the one before…
    It points out that other countries, um, to be blunt, actually are more civilized about helping one another than we think we are.
    No one will listen to an intellectual argument, or else we’d have President Gore. People need to hear the visceral truth: we as a society, on aggregate, would rather let people die than succumb to the “weakness” of helping one another. We would rather let people die because they lost the lottery of capitalism. We would rather let people die than admit that compassion isn’t a weakness.
    Now THAT’S sicko.

  3. U.S. health care has long been a paradox of excess (e.g., unnecessary surgery) and deprivation (e.g., 45 million uninsured). Michael Moore’s film focuses exclusively on the latter while completely ignoring the former. An intellectually honest documentary film maker could make a compelling film about this paradox but Moore is anything but intellectually honest (as both Jonathan Cohn and Ezra Klein concede). Remember, this is the same guy who (in “Fahrenheit 911”) implied that life in Afghanistan under the Taliban was basically wonderful (never mind the horrific treatment of women or the sanctuary provided to terrorists). Whether or not he realizes it, Moore has become a useful idiot for some of the most reactionary interests in health care, i.e., those who are in complete denial about the fundamental problems with our delivery system. I predict this film will be as effective in helping the medically underserved as “Fahrenheit 911” was in preventing the re-election of George Bush in 2004.