June 18, 2007

I've Already Seen Sicko, and You Should Too

The way that Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911 was a wakeup call and turning point in the public opinion around the War on Iraq may only have been the controversial filmmaker's opening salvo on the way the American people view their way of life, and the way they trust their government and big business to tell them the truth or offer them the best option available.

Moore's follow-on, 'Sicko', which addresses the state of our healthcare industry, and compares it negatively with universal coverage seen elsewhere in the world, is incredible, a must see for anybody who pays taxes, pays for health benefits, or intends to gain medical care in this country at some point in their life. And it's already available on the Internet, if you know where to look, weeks before its planned debut in the theaters by the end of the month.

While Fahrenheit 911 was seen as starkly political, divided in red state/blue state mentalities, Sicko makes no such alignment. It follows individual American's stories as middle-class couples fight off bankruptcy due to co-pays and premiums from cancer or heart disease. We see a woman whose 18 month old baby is turned away from an out of network hospital with a 104-degree fever, only to die somewhere else. We hear the stories of volunteers who worked at Ground Zero who have come down with debilitating respiratory problems, only to be denied care.

While allusions are made to Nixon's opening up the HMO system, and Bush/Cheney's promises to support our troops and citizens ring comparatively hollow, this is not an attempt to recruit a generation of liberal Decmocrats. Instead, it is a call for change, made ever so stark by the seeming utopia found elsewhere that has me wondering why my wife and I have poured tens of thousands of dollars each of the last several years into a system that doesn't work.

What I strongly advise for you to do is find the movie online wherever you can, and watch it. Then, make sure you take yourself and as many people as you care about to the theater when it opens. Those people who choose not to see it because of what they may think of Michael Moore, or what they might think universal coverage represents, are keeping themselves as close-minded as the Flat Earth Society.

So take a few cues from Slashdot (Michael Moore's New Film Leaked To BitTorrent) and Webomatica (Watch Sicko at Google Video) and get your copy. It is bound to change the way you think about how you go to the doctor and pay your bills today. I know I'll be watching it again.