I go to movies to be entertained, touched, inspired-- to make me laugh, to have my heart moved, my tear ducts pumping.
Sicko gave me all of that and more. It's a testimony to the pure brilliance of Michael Moore and to the desperate need America and the world have for a hundred more Moores-- people who can turn over rocks and cast light on the dark parts of the times we live in.
Michael Moore hits you hard with Sicko. Within the first two minutes, my eyes were misting. Within five minutes I was cursing out the right wing liars and corporate shills who are literally killing people with their greedy drives for profit at any price.
He weaves stories of victims together-- hard working, everyday Americans-- who have been hit brutally, heartlessly by big, for-profit health care medical companies.
Most of the people he covers are not among the 46 million Americans without health care. Moore shows that the health care industry is screwing the quarter of a billion Americans who are overpaying for lousy health care. Lousy? Is that going too far?
Well, considering that the shills who sell the image for the health care industry call the USA's health care the best, when it's actually something like the 39th, just before Estonia, I'd say that it's pathetic, that lousy is just the right word. Our infant mortality is lower than far too many other countries. Our mortality is years younger than other countries. Fine-- we may have to wait shorter times for appointments (one wait for a specialist I had this year was three months) than Canadians or French, but they LIVE three effing years longer.
I found, watching Sicko, it was hard not to curse under my breath, every few minutes, the people who maintain this shameful situation. And then, Moore would show another tragic case-- people who died-- no, they didn't die. They were killed by the American system-- the system Newt Gingrich was so proud he and George Herbert Walker Bush and over a hundred million in insurance company, Chamber of commerce and RNC attack ads and lobbying money prevented Hillary Clinton from fixing. Murder!!!. These MFs are killing tens of thousands of people, with and without insurance.
Moore shows again and again how so many people who DO have health insurance are refused coverage for tests, scans, treatments, for drugs that could save their lives, that insurers literally pay doctors bonuses to reject, with lame excuses, like they are experimental.
Here in Pennsylvania, there's a bill in the state congress-- legislation for Universal, single payer health care-- a system that cuts out the profits, that cuts out the huge, multi-billion dollar players. It's a certainty that the big insurers in PA, the Blues, Aetna, etc., will respond with a huge, multi-million dollar, multi-pronged attack on the bill, the sponsors the activists. This is about huge amounts of money, not just in Pennsylvania, since, if the efforts make any progress here, and just get the bill introduced is progress, the repercussions nationwide will be powerful. That means insurers all over the US will be watching and kicking in to do all they can do totally destroy, injure, damage and wipe out the efforts here.
Sicko will be a great tool to build support for legislation and action across the nation. I will be asking all of my members of congress to be sure to watch it and respond to it. I hope you do too. The movie is sure to be a powerful weapon in the war against greedy corporate health care companies, their executive and political and lobbyist shills. (I deleted more colorful descriptive language.)
I went to the movie with some political activist friends. One commented that the movie just shows that we're all about money and materialism in our culture. That got me thinking about how, on OpEdNews, we're trying to develop non-monetary ways to get people to become more involved, more a contributing, participating part of the digital community. And we're coming up with answers. We need to do the same in the real world-- in our country, counties, neighborhoods and communities-- find ways to reward and motivate people to do good, to care, to make a difference... without a strict money or power motive.
This happens in pre-literate, what would be called un-civilized jungle tribes. They know some things that we have lost or forgotten, or perhaps never knew. Just as pharmaceutical companies are combing the jungles for naturally occurring drugs that can heal illness, we must seek answers to our toxic single-focused dependence upon money and power. I don't think we'll really heal our culture and our planet unless we re-visit pre-civilized cultures and find some of the ingredients that were left behind in the first pass, as civilization evolved as a slave supported, power/hierarchy money driven way of living. We need to open a much bigger conversation about the deep down reasons why millions of Americans can suffer so much and watch their loved ones die while supporting the system that is perpetrating such horrors.
Moore has an amazing genius for juxtaposing the comic with the sardonic, and that's what he does when he takes, as the trailers preview, 9/11 heroes who the US healthcare system has failed, to Cuba, where there is universal health care, for treatment. This is a touching and funny portion of the film. It underlines, as other parts of the film do, that it is far more important to provide for all than to worry about the artificial boogeyman of socialized medicine. Moore reminds us how we already have what could be called socialized services-- education, fire departments, police-- and American does just fine with those system. Imagine if they were privatized as those on the corporatist right support. Moore does a great job answering the biggest objections that the corporations have spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to put over with fear mongering.
It took three years for this film to come out. I hope we see more from Moore faster and sooner. The world needs his brilliant help in turning over those rocks and casting that light. He's a media hero in my book.