Friday, July 13, 2007

Michael Moore and Olbermann on Sicko

I've written before that I think this film, Sicko, is something every American citizen should see. Michael Moore has been taking heat lately, from bought-and-paid for Gupta on CNN, from the vast realm of nitwits from the right wing nuttery. Tonight, he was on Countdown with Keith Olbermann. The clip is here, and it's worth watching.

If you've not seen the film yet, please do. If you've seen the film and are as outraged as I am, please go to and read what's happening. Head over to for an easy, efficient way to take action. Go to, the outfit behind SickoCure, and read why physicians favor single payer universal health care. Nothing will change unless we all unite and take action. Meanwhile, stay healthy.

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Blogger Colin said...

Have you seen Malcolm Gladwell’s criticism of “Sicko”? A description is on my “Arts of Innovation” blog. Also there: my critique of Gladwell’s flawed argument. (It's at

July 12, 2007 11:52 PM  
Anonymous tater said...

If I were The Queen of America honey, both of these men would be knighted. It was so sad and pathetic that CNN and other "News" outlets, rather than taking up the issue of Universal Health Care, immediately came to the rescue of Insurance companies and the pharma industry. The first words that were issued were to defame Mr. Moore, instead of to impartially examine the broken system. How can we not be cynical, when advertising dollars, determine who gets to set the tone for our national debates? I am very upset with Mr. Gupta, and "Wolf Blitzer". The very idea of him choosing that name for himself sends me into orbit (that is a stage name, no?). Nice to see Mr. Olbermann on the case again, trying to keep it real. Thanks for the clip, I wasn't watching last night. I have a very early call time today...

July 13, 2007 5:11 AM  
Blogger Doralong said...

Most physicians indeed favor single payer universal care. The millions of dollars spent on the overhead alone just to feed the machinery of the insurance industry is insane.

Having to spend hours on the phone fighting with these assholes to get an approval for a very necessary test for a patient is infuriating.. The entire system needs very serious reform.. Oh yeah- my mistake, it's run by a bunch of very, very rich guys that don't want to see it happen.

Part and parcel of any solution is going to have to involve serious reform of Med/Mal as well. Family Practices and general Internists are paying the equivalent of a damn nice luxury automobile annually for coverage. These are people that do no invasive procedures, those folks you depend on for routine care, 30K and on up.. and it's not like you can shop around either- the huge scandals within the industry the last few years has seen many companies drop out of underwriting Med/Mal all together. A few years ago the largest carrier in VA went under- thankfully the state went after the asshats that were running the show and they are now doing 10-20 for fraud. Some states are seeing a huge exodus of doctors due to this mess. Meanwhile the medical carriers are denying routine claims over bullshit. Unless you're a cardiologist or plastic surgeon you ain't getting rich practicing medicine these days. Would you wait in excess of 120 days for your paycheck? Makes it kinda hard to pay your bills.

Sorry about that ranting mess Lynette- but much like you this is one subject that pisses me off royally. Both as a person who spent years trying to help patients navigate the system and get what they need and as a person that got screwed by the insurance companies quite royally.. Took us 4 years to pay off the bills after our daughter was born with complications. And like you- I had full coverage!

OK, gonna hush up now.

July 13, 2007 5:37 AM  
Blogger Debbi said...

Keep talking, everyone. That's what needs to happen. Call or write your U.S. Congressmen/women to support HR676. That needs to happen, as well.

I didn't see Olbermann last night because I was at a PNHP meeting. So thanks, Lynette, for the link. Maybe in an hour or so it'll finish loading.

Can that be our next big cause? High-speed internet for everyone? Kidding!

July 13, 2007 7:14 AM  
Blogger Red7Eric said...

I'll have to watch the clip when I get home tonight; I'm in a day-long meeting today (it's really exciting and engaging; can you tell?). Looking forward ...

July 13, 2007 8:47 AM  
Anonymous GRRSteve said...

Great clip, Lynette. Thank you! And tater, I agree. These guys are medal-worthy.

I can't believe how many stupid people are still out there thinking it's funny or relevant to make a snide comment about Mr. Moore's weight. EVERY TIME there's an opportunity to comment on his work, there'll be at least two of them, so pleased with themselves for saying something they think will be mortally hurtful and hilarious.

Idiots. There's no dealing with them. Some people, I'm afraid, are too dumb to change themselves.

July 13, 2007 9:20 AM  
Anonymous lynette said...

steve, that's annoying to me too, but no surprise given the tone of public discourse these days.

what really irks me is the folks who insist that if everyone would lose weight, there would be no need for healthcare. i'm not discounting the part obesity plays in health, and it's certainly an issue in healthcare. but stress is too, and as an eating disordered person, stress affects me more than any other factor. i gained almost 100 pounds when my husband was sick, working 80+ hours a week just to keep afloat with the medical bills. it wasn't just the $$, but what a horror that was! i used to wake up in the middle of the night running figures through my head, listening to him breathe, thinking he was going to stop, knowing i needed to lose weight, knowing i wouldn't be able to continue to work like i was if i continued to eat, being completely unable to stop because i am a stress eater and that was the single most stressful period of my life, those five years he was sickest.

what a comfort it would have been to have simply not had to worry about the finances, whether we could buy that next precious prescription of interferon.

i was able to get that extra $30,000+ per year for all those copays and out of pocket maximums and unpaid meds and ER visits and surgeon's fees because i had no kids and had a hobby that was easily turned into a business. i don't think we're typical. i think it's more typical for people to end up facing bankruptcy or worse, going untreated.

he was in the ER about two months ago late one night and we were listening to the man in the cubicle next to us. he was hacking away with a real liquid-y cough that was awful. it just went on and on. we were there long enough (no wait in america! but we eventually left because they couldn't get an IV started for him and we'd been there 12 hours) that we heard the doc come in and tell him he had metastatic lung cancer with spots on his liver and in his brain.

obviously, that man is going to die. but the telling thing was that he told the ER physician he had been diagnosed with lung cancer three years before, had surgery, took some rounds of chemo, then never had a follow-up appointment because no one would see him without insurance.

i know lung cancer's usually a death sentence anyway, but damn, this man never even saw a doctor after four rounds of chemo!

and george fucking bush's answer is "no one goes without medical care! just go to the emergency room!" fucker.

July 13, 2007 9:52 AM  
Blogger ClipedWingAngel said...

Thanks for writing this and putting the link to the video. Also, thank you for all who have written and become involved in a dialogue to make change happen. I was too sick and don't have the premium channels only basic on my dish.

It's amazing after all the talk, that some still believe that:
1- chronic illnesses can be managed by going to the ER when you cant afford to pay a doctor for maintenance visits becuase you have no insurance
2- that no one is denied care in america when it happens all the time, if you need a CT Scan and dont have insurance, you dont get if in an ER, they tell you to schedule it!
3- we have all been chidren and will all be OLD someday, therefore this can happen to us, no money for meds, bankrupt, living homeless...
Reggie Cervantes
WTC Survivor Rescue Worker
Sicko Cuban patient

July 13, 2007 11:37 AM  
Anonymous lynette said...

Reggie, I hope things are going better for you now. I can't imagine the frustration you must feel going through this nightmare, having responded to 9/11, then finding yourself abandoned by your country.

I cried all the way through this film, but one of the parts that just killed me was the look on your face when you said "five cents?" ~ the evident betrayal was heartbreaking.

Thank you for what you did on 9/11 and thank you for participating in this film. I believe there will be change because of what you were willing to do.

July 13, 2007 12:14 PM  
Blogger Ms. Place said...

Excellent post as usual, dahling. And I totally agree.

July 13, 2007 7:48 PM  
Blogger Ms. Place said...

Well, that previous statement was cryptic. That's what you write when you're in a hurry. I reread this post more closely and all the comments as well. My heart just broke for Mr. Cervantes.

My bright, talented, and compassionate father who cries when he sees a human or an animal suffer left his practice as a physician when his insurance coverage equaled his income, and after he was told to go to classes to learn which words NOT to put in medical charts. He retired saying wryly, I became a doctor to heal the sick not watch my back for lawyers and insurance companies.

My father volunteered his services on a hospital ship off Liberia and recalls his best time as a physician working in a tubercular hospital (the last one in the States before they closed it down.)
So he wasn't in the profession for money.

My mom urges me to save more money and eat out less. Why? I ask. All those years of savings won't mean one thing if I contract a catastrophic illness. I'm willing to bet that my medical bills will eat up all my savings in three months or less before I qualify for food stamps. That's the reality of the medical system today. She, by the way, is in the donut hole, which she reached in April. She and Dad have to count all their pennies until she reemerges from the donut hole and gets coverage again for the drugs that are keeping her alive and healthy.

I have severe asthma. Three years ago an HMO doctor would not approve a visit to the emergency room because my peak flow meter reading wasn't low enough. I tried to convince the doctor that I know my body and that something was "off". He suggested nebulizer treatments and prescribed prednisone. Nothing worked. After three days of agonized breathing, this jerk said I could go to the hospital but he couldn't guarantee that the bill will be covered by my insurance company. My father insisted we go regardless of cost because I was turning gray. That physician, by the way, had the charges reversed (I was calling from out of town) even as he must have heard me struggle to breathe.

Well, I wound up spending 6 days in the hospital, suffered from blurred vision for a few weeks as a result of the prednisone treatment, lost two weeks of work, paid through the nose for portions of the bills that weren't covered, and still have elevated blood sugar levels thanks to the prednisone. All this would have been prevented if that physician hadn't been so cost conscious.

I should have sued. But it wasn't really the physician's fault. It is the system's.

July 15, 2007 8:51 AM  
Blogger Ms. Place said...

My bad. Dad's insurance reached 50% of his income.

July 15, 2007 9:03 AM  

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