Reviewed on 2007 July 25
Michael Moore can get a little too carried away with himself, and his potshots against Republicans is a little monotonous, but I think he tries to accomplish some good with his movies. Here, he comes out with guns blazing against the medical insurance industry. Good. Someone had to.
He interviews several patients who were either denied coverage by their HMOs due to pre-existing medical conditions or a gnome in the finance department locating a weasel clause that lets them escape payments. One poor soul lost a husband because her company claimed that his cancer treatment was experimental and therefore not covered. Another couple had to move in with their adult child when her cancer and his strokes left them with astronomical bills. He spends most of the documentary comparing our health care system to Canada, France and England, and while I’m sure he cherry-picked the stories he used to make his point, we looked pretty primitive in comparison.
To be fair, he didn’t cover the times when everything goes smoothly stateside, or relay any horror stories from places that have a socialized medicine system. It also made me smile when he said it was “free” — no, their taxes pay for everything. I also have to question his assertion that the whole mess started while Nixon was in the White House — I heard that tape and while it was creepy, and I’m left as cold as anyone else by Nixon, how come things only got so bad recently? Moore also seems to think Democrats will solve everything. I disagree. I’m neither a Democrat nor a Republican, and I think it’s dangerous to blindly think either party is going to have our best interests at heart. He also seems to think that when we hear “socialized medicine” over here, we think of something out of the old U.S.S.R. No, I don’t. I just have reservations about it. I want to be sure I’ll get what I pay for in the increased tax rates. (Ever been to D.C. and see a solid phalanx of Mercedes parked along the curb?)
Moore’s very right about one thing: when you lose two fingers in an accident and your coverage is so weak that you can only afford to reattach one, there’s a drastic problem. If you really want to work up a righteous anger, watch it as a double feature with Roger & Me.
Two chocolate morsels. It’s entertaining but it only tells half the story.