Thoughts on Michael Moore's SICKO

I am wondering how do you guys feel about the coming movie SICKO by Michael Moore. I cannot hide my excitement, I admit, mostly because this will bring healthcare and how messed up it is in the US to the forefront, hopefully becoming a serious topic of discussion during this upcoming election and something that we can change for good!

Here’s a video I posted on YouTube with my thoughts about diabetes and health insurance, in reply to a video posted by Moore.

Scott and Amy posted on their blogs some great comments about the movie. What do you guys think?

If our collective future depends on Michael Moore, we’re totally ■■■■■■. That’s what I honestly think.

I wouldn’t say having “our collective future” depending on him, but I don’t mind more voices pushing to make this something that gets addressed in the short term. Would you say that is something worthwhile?

You might want to take a scan at my Flickr site:

Tomorrow we’re doing a walk for Children’s Hospital Boston.

I’m thankful for them AND Blue Cross & Tufts Pilgrim, etc. for saving my son through a series of four brain surgeries, one VNS pace maker.

I’m thankful for Beth Israel Deaconess / Joslin Clinic for keeping my father going till 79.

At one point I would leave the ninth floor of Children’s and walk about five hundred feet to Beth Israel, go up seven floors to see my father.

I couldn’t believe how many folks come from all around the world to seek care in the US, I feel blessed to live here.

There are problems but if folks think Michael Moore going to Cuba is the answer, that’s fine. Me? I’m going to continue to support the folks doing the real work now.

I see what you have gone through, C. I didn’t mean to disrespect you in any way. I have also seen great health providers when my dad was treated back here in Orlando, at Florida Hospital during the days he was there being observed as his liver cancer progressed.

By the same token, I have witnessed and experienced some crazy things that I remember to this day, which have made me feel over time that we do have a problem with our health system.

I don’t think going to Cuba is the answer (I came to this country from Venezuela, leaving Chavez behind, so you can imagine how I feel about that kind of system). But I don’t think supporting the people that do a good job necessarily changes the fact that the system at large has some serious issues that need to be addressed.

When I hear Michael Moore’s name & then “the system at large has some serious issues that need to be addressed”, I get worried.

I think the system has problems but I really question how serious they really are. Like should we overturn the applecart like Clinton or Moore would like or perhaps should we keep the system basically as is but chip around at the problems?

Clinton wanted to turn healthcare over to the US Government (of Katrina, Iraq, etc fame). I think Moore is all for that too.

No doubt you don’t remember the days of Ma Bell, when she was the only phone company in America. For the most part folks had one phone jack, one black phone, crappy service, etc. It sucked.

That’s what these folks want for our medical system, one big pig that THEY benefit from.

I’d rather battle a doctor, a hospital, an insurance company than the US Government.

I’m not sure what you envision as a solution, but I have a rough idea about what Clinton & Moore want, & I think it is bad medicine.

Mr. Irons is right about battling the government. But why battle anyone? We are in full control of everything, as individuals. The answer is not “universal health care” as we currently think of it. Moore’s film will open a lot of eyes, and get the big boys upset, and maybe even stir up some legislation. I don’t want any ‘health care’ from any officials, or current systems. They are very old. The social network you are on right now is the beginning of very big changes for not only health, but all life.
(when I say 'they are very ‘old’ it means ‘a blinded viewpoint’, not as in time reference)

The current medical systems have served their purpose, and Moore’s film is part of the process too, so I will definitely go see it, but I already know the content, the argument and the comparisons.

The real issue, IMHO, is not the “for-profit” elements that drive much of our system, but the fact that our healthcare system is really designed to handle acute illnesses, not chronic illnesses, is a serious issue that the industry is not adequately prepared to address. Because of this, the healthcare industry has tried to minimize its exposure to this risk. In that regard, the U.S. lacks sufficient governance of the healthcare insurance industry. For example, “pre-existing” conditions such as diabetes enables the healthcare industry to deny coverage … to me, that sounds a lot like redlining, which is illegal when it comes to other types of insurance, yet is tolerated in the healthcare insurance industry. The practice is not only legal, but since management of for-profit insurance companies have a fiduciary responsibility to serve their shareholders, its encouraged under our current laws. These things really do need to be addressed by legislators.

While Next Dimensions suggests that individuals are in control of everything, I believe the reality isn’t quite so simple. For example, as individuals, we cannot prescribe for ourselves insulin (which is absolutely required in order to sustain life in the case of type 1 diabetes), syringes, testing supplies, etc., so we must interact with the healthcare system in order to get these things, and we also rely on labs for routine bloodwork required to effectively manage the condition. As for managing things as individuals, its really no surprise, but individuals cannot buy medical services at comparable costs as large group policies can. For example, insurers negotiate prices for various services, medicines, etc., yet the cost passed along to an uninsured individual may be 8000% higher than what insurers pay for the identical services. Not really equitable, is it?

Again, regulators can and should be doing something here. True, individuals cannot negotiate prices as an insurer might, but we could if we were represented as a buying collective. So far, no one has bothered to look into that, either.

I am not necessarily opposed to a single-payer system (some systems work very well, such as Sweden’s), nor do I want to end the current for-profit system. Both have merits, virtues and drawbacks. But we have let the system govern itself for so long that now 46 million Americans lack healthcare coverage (most of whom are employed full-time, according to the Kaiser Foundation), and the industry gets upset when someone tries to “regulate” them because they believe in free markets … but if it were a truly free market (which it isn’t), their protected little oligopoly would not exist, and we might have some competition.

I’m excited to see the movie and to hear people discuss our healthcare system. I get really angry when I think about the quality of healthcare for chronic illnesses in our country. How many times have we all heard from someone with diabetes who had a GP say, “Looks like your A1c is 8.5. Here are your prescriptions. I’ll see you in a year”? Or someone newly diagnosed who is given a monitor and a prescription and sent on home? I had diabetes for 20 years before a doctor ever checked my feet. Whenever I asked about it, I was told, “Oh, you’re too young to have problems with your feet.”

The US is a great place to be if you need an organ transplant or if you have a heart atack or any immediate emergency, but under the current system chronic illnesses require a high level of education, organization, and committment.

Scott is right about the legislation. And he is right about prescribing insulin to oneself, and needing access to what people need to manage the ‘condition’. But remember, this ‘condition’ was pushed by people with power and control of making money off of YOUR condition. There ARE simple solutions to chronic disease with no ‘cures’ in life. We, as a human community, are EXTREMELY oppressed and in the dark, and we are kept that way because we ourselves perpetuate the belief that our bodies are doing something wrong and the only way to fix it is from an outside source.

"…your body is always on your side, never against you, even if it appears to attack itself (as in the so-called autoimmune disorders, such as type I diabetes, lupus, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis). Just as there is a mechanism to become diabetic, there is also a mechanism to reverse it. To call diabetes, regardless whether it is type I or type II, an irreversible disease reflects a profound lack in understanding the true nature of the human body. " - Andreas Moritz

How was diabetes pushed onto anyone? I don’t always have a high opinion of healthcare, but I certainly don’t think the medical community is keeping anyone in the dark about a cure for diabetes. Many people with diabetes would like to see more research done on causes of diabtes and possible cures and less done on effects and drugs to treat those effects. But that’s not oppression, it’s a bad system.

Bodies do sometimes “go wrong.” Diabetes is irreversible disease for now. We all hope and work for a cure, but there just isn’t one now.

I won’t go into a long diatribe on the health care system as it is (others can do so more eloquently than I ever could) - but I will say that I am glad to get any attention, even if it’s via Mr. Moore. He may not be our best or most accurate advocate, but he’ll get folks talking about it. That is something, anyway.

Without ourselves even realizing it, we are promoting all diseases just by dealing with them the way we have been. We are the ones doing the pushing. WE perpetuate the same beliefs, over and over, unless someone comes along and teaches a new thing. This is what societal evolution does, we progress each other along the path to pure health and happiness (with many wars and lessons exercised along the way). Simply, we are the ones oppressing ourselves.

The medical community isn’t keeping anyone in the dark. The medical community is in the dark themselves. But their are promising views of light here, and, as I said in numerous other places, social networking is a part of this light.

I guess we have different views of reality. I trust western science to be generally right, and I believe in the scientific method. Thanks for explaining your point of view.

Can’t wait to see the movie. Whether one is a fan of Michael Moore or not, it is bound to raise some interesting points. I , too, feel very blessed to live here, but I also get so frustrated with the way our medical system is set up. I don’t blame the caregivers, the doctors, the nurses and researchers who work endless hours to make our lives better. But I do think something is inherently wrong with our system when people who could manage their diabetes and live long, healthy productive lives are forced into a situation where they are choosing between putting food on the table or medication into their bodies.


I’m with you on the redlining. The point of insurance is to pool risk. I don’t understand why this is allowed. We’ll see how the mandated health insurance participation works here in MA. It’s bound to hit a few bumps.

My husband lost his job 3 days before Griffin was diagnosed. I have a great job with great insurance. I hate to think about what shape we would be in if that wasn’t the case.

I am a private home inspector and I am code certified. I have seen how local governments have succeeded and failed in enforcing the International Residential Bulding Code, which the State of Georgia (United States) adopted into State Law. Last year I got so mad that I notified the State of Georgia about a house that had numerous serious code defects. The response was one of helplessness, but I was informed that the homeowner could sue the builder (if they had the money to afford such an endeavor).

While I see the conflicts, and short falls, of having our health care system ran as a for profit enterprise, I am deeply concerned about having the US Government manage our health care. How are they going to be held accountable? I think that steps are desperatley needed to expand affordable health care coverage, but hasn’t the States and Federal Government tried to do that through the respective Medicaid and Medicare Systems? How has that worked?

The only way we can gain our collective health back, is to to take FULL responsibility for OUR health. I agree with Travis, giving control to the Government is a horrible shot in the foot; look at what they have done over the years. Everything in the government is a huge bureaucratic ball of red tape that is so sealed and confusing, you would spend your life fighting through it to find your health.

Unless we are speaking of a trauma event, there is no reason to go to a traditional doctor or hospital. Why would you? Look at where we are: 100 years into advanced medicine and we have 90% of sick people with chronic disease that has ‘no cure’. When this cycle first started, it was only 10%

Please read about how to cleanse your filter organs (liver & kidneys) and how to cleanse your colon. Please read about how Psychosomatics are involved in your health. Please stop eating like the 10 year old kid on the videos page (the soccer kid).

I think it’s unfortunate that Michael Moore made this film. Yes, it’s a subject that needs serious addressing, but just the fact that it’s Michael Moore, along with the way he goes about saying what he wants to say (which he has every right to do), will turn people away from it. It ticks me off that he just had to choose Cuba. Yes, I’m Cuban, and I have my feelings about it’s government, etc. etc., but that’s not my point. There are other countries with excellent healthcare. However, seeing as no one can remember the last time Denmark pissed anyone off, it just doesn’t do it for him. He has every right to say what he wants and how he wants to, but Moore should realize that it’s his way of saying things that get people mad, rather than what he’s saying. I sat down once to watch his 9/11 film, just to see what it was all about. Fifteen minutes in I was tired of his narration. It sounded like he was talking to a bunch of slow minded kindergarten kids.

I can understand your point, Kristofer (my mom is Cuban-born and fled Cuba in 1959 and my uncle was a political prisoner of the Castro regime, so I grew up listening to Alvarez Guedez anti-Castro stories).

I haven’t seen SICKO yet (here’s a post about SICKO from Caro, another member who saw it), but everyone I’ve talked to about it so far seems to be on the same page in terms of it being good that this is being brought to the forefront.