Jabba the Butt
By Michael C. Moynihan
And that's not all. Government officials, the Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine director told reporters, are so anxious about his paean to Cuba's health care system that he stashed the master reel in Canada, lest the Bush administration try to seize it.
But the administration needn't worry about Sicko. As with much of his previous work, Moore's latest film is, by turns, touching, naïve and maddeningly mendacious, a clumsy piece of agitprop that will likely have little lasting effect on the health care debate. Moore is right that the American system is sick—on this, there is bipartisan and public consensus.
The United States has the highest per capita health care spending in the world, with comparatively disappointing results. But his radical prescriptions, which include a call for a British-style, single-payer system, will likely have little resonance with viewers.
Indeed, according to a recent ABC News/Kaiser Family Health study, insured Americans are overwhelmingly (89 percent) satisfied with their own care, while broadly concerned about rising costs of prescription drugs and critical of the care others receive.
Sicko starts off rather well, with an effective montage of health care and bureaucratic nightmares, from insurers slithering out of active policies and denying coverage retroactively (with conditions as insignificant as a previously undisclosed yeast infection used as justification) to the rejection of new applicants for reasons both bizarre and abstruse (like the 6'2", 135 pound applicant turned down for being "too thin"). But as is often the case, Moore quickly overreaches, implying that such horror stories are de rigueur, a uniquely American problem that could only be solved with further government intervention.