I thought, or at least hoped, we were done talking about Sicko, Michael Moore’s film on America’s health care system. But with a lull in the action up in Sacramento, the movie is having a bit of renaissance — or maybe it’s just the inevitable backlash. Recently, John Stossel of ABC’s 20/20 news program took Mr. Moore to task for distortions and inaccuracies in Sicko. The first segment focused on Mr. Moore’s claim in the film that Cuba’s health care system is superior to America’s. It’s less than six minutes long. The next week, however, the entire program was devoted to Stossel versus Moore in an examination of health care systems here and abroad.
Who won depends on where you stood before the interview, but most neutral observers seem to think Mr. Stossel came out ahead. The interview can be viewed at on You Tube in six segments: Part 1. Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5; and Part 6.
For the past several months, if not years, advocates of government run programs have been bombarding the public with horror stories about health care in the United States and, especially, about the evils of our current insurance system. ABC’s 20/20 is the first national broadcast I’ve seen questioning this drumbeat. To defenders of the current system it will be reassuring. To those attacking the system it will be an example of corporate America defending one of its own: the insurance industry. To non-partisans I think it will be eye opening and educational. It’s also the kind of program agents will want to share with their clients. Those wishing to can buy a DVD of the program at ABC’s online store.
For those in Los Angeles, there’s Sicko-related event worth taking a look at. On Thursday, September 27th, the Pacific Research Institute and Americans for Free Choice in Medicine are presenting a program entitled “Sicko and Its Malcontents: Health Care on Film” Promised is a debate on the accuracy, impact and purpose of films like Sicko and of others which attack the Canadian and European health care systems as vehemently as Mr. Moore attacks America’s. PRI and AFCM are both conservative/libertarian-leaning groups, so the emphasis is likely to be that government-run systems increase taxes while reducing access to health care. Interestingly, however, the moderator will be Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl. For many years before entering politics, he hosted a cable talk show and is, I believe he is a single payer advocate. The event should be interesting — and it’s free. (Really free. Taxes will not rise as a result of the event. OK, parking at the event is $8.00, but you might find something on the street).
Soon the Legislature will fully engage in health care reform again. Until then, well, we’ll always have Sicko.