Thursday, June 14, 2007

michael moore, sicko and oprah

Michael Moore appeared on Oprah Winfrey's afternoon program to discuss his latest documentary, Sicko, a thorough dissection of health care and insurance in the U.S. Though insured, my husband and I faced steep medical bills when he became ill several years ago. The expenses were shocking ~ beyond anything we would ever have anticipated ~ and we were fortunate that our insurance company moved from a $1 million lifetime payout to an unlimited payout two years after he became ill. Had that not been the case, we'd have been uninsured by the 4th year of his being sick. I am grateful we had insurance. It was actually considered to be a top notch policy, and the fact that we had a preferred provider plan ~ meaning we could see any doctor on the list, at any time, without having to get approval or go through committee ~ probably saved his life.

Michael Moore discusses horror stories far worse than ours in his newest work. It is a timely piece, this country being the only industrialized "first world" nation not providing single payer universal coverage to its citizens. It is time, truly, and this is an issue that really cannot wait any longer. None of the candidates from either party are suggesting anything that will really help. As Moore notes, when healthcare is a profit-making venture, service to the sick will suffer.

When you have a minute, check out TruthDig's post on the Moore-Winfrey encounter. Then come back and tell me whether or not you wanted to smack Oprah Winfrey? She never thought about the uninsured? Miss Generosity herself? Something about her attitude in this interview really gets under my skin. As far as I'm concerned, Moore's an American hero for this work. I am hoping Sicko, opening nationwide June 29, generates some serious discussion and, even better, some real action on this critically important issue. Meanwhile, y'all stay healthy.

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Blogger Ms. Place said...

From what I understand, Lynette, even some of the Republicans in Congress are taking notice of Michael's new film, which is a reversal from previous conservative attitudes. It is sickening to know that American medical care ranked 37th in the world 7 years ago:

The findings are published in The World Health Report, 2000 – Health systems: Improving performance.

The U. S. health system spends a higher portion of its gross domestic product than any other country but ranks 37 out of 191 countries according to its performance, the report finds. The United Kingdom, which spends just six percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on health services, ranks 18th . Several small countries – San Marino, Andorra, Malta and Singapore are rated close behind second- placed Italy.

Just this morning, a New York Times editorial discussed the fact that there was no correlation between the cost of medical care in the U.S. and the excellence of care. (I believe this conclusion was based on a study of hospitals in Pennsylvania.) Here is the URL.

As for Oprah, thank God I am a working woman. I tired of her shtick a long time ago.

June 14, 2007 7:22 PM  
Anonymous Dennis said...

The Copyright Police have already taken the clips down.

I'll try to stay awake long enough to watch the late night repeat. Yes, here in Chicago we get Oprah twice a day.

Do you think the clips were taken out of context? I'm not trying to make Oprah out to be a saint but she's almost always on the correct side of an issue, is philanthropic and seems to genuinely care about the plight of others.

June 14, 2007 8:04 PM  
Blogger kiltmaker said...

Ooh! I've been waiting for the right venue to voice my opinion of Ms. Winfrey:

Oprah Winfrey has to be one of the most disingenuous people I have ever encountered.

I cannot stand her.

She did a guest spot on Ellen earlier this year, and since I'm on disability at the moment, I got to watch. The "Big O" walked on to the set to greet Ellen and gave her the most pathetic, plastic, Hollywood hug I've ever seen. Standing three feet form Ellen, she leaned in, touched shoulders and patted her back. No full body contact, no squeeze.

I don't trust anybody who can't give you a good bear hug in public.

June 14, 2007 10:22 PM  
Anonymous Tater said...


More good than bad, I would say.

Mr Moore.

Thank you!

Now why the fuck can't our lame ass politicians address this issue with anything except soundbites? Once again it all boils down to the need for publicly funded elections. Corporate law purchasing and manipulation has just got to fucking stop. It is the downfall of this nation.

June 15, 2007 7:25 AM  
Blogger Debbi said...

Tater's got it right ... publicly funded elections are so badly needed in this country. As long as politicians have drug and insurance companies in their back pockets, what hope do we have for anyone in Congress doing the right thing?

For a sensible, viable solution to this country's health-care woes, visit Moore lists them on his website, as well.

I watched the Oprah episode and agree completely with your thoughts about her. How could she not have ever thought about it?

I just hope and pray the film does for health care what "Bowling for Columbine" did for ammunition sales at K-Mart.

June 15, 2007 7:35 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Oprah should shut up sometimes. She becomes less relevent the more out of touch she seems with her audience. Wastn't it bad enough on her famous "road trip" with Gayle last year that she didn't know how to pump gas?

Amazing a women with her intelligence and resources can be so uneducated about American healthcare, one of the most common problems and campaign issues of the last 20 years. Where has she been?

June 18, 2007 2:06 PM  

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