Monday, May 21, 2007


From the late 70s to the mid 90s I worked first at a Free Health Clinic and then at a large federally funded community health center. Let me just say this from personal experience if you are poor in the United Snakes it would be best to just not get sick. While it is obvious that a capitalist system will never be able to do what little Cuba has done in the field of health provision, community care, and preventive health care and education, you'd think the big old US of A could do a little something. Like how about a universal single payer system? How simple it would be to just make Medicare available to everyone regardless of age. Sure that wouldn't be the greatest thing in the world, but it would be one hell of a lot better then the mess we've got now. And it would be easy to set up. It's all there already.

Oh well, dream on. After all, the health insurance parasites have to keep up with the oil maggots.

Michael Moore's dissection of the US heath care system won rave reviews as it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this last weekend and has dominated the early festival buzz.

Moore said, "So many Americans have been hurt by our health care system and I'm very confident that people will take to this movie."

Moore says the US health care system is driven by greed in his new documentary , and asks of Americans in general, "Where is our soul?"

The documentary, Sicko, asks why 50 million Americans, 9 million of them children, live without coverage, while those that are insured are often driven to poverty by spiraling costs or wrongly refused treatment at all. In Sicko, Moore features stories of Americans, who have been refused vital treatment and are facing financial ruin because of the U.S. health-care system.

Moore told reporters he could go to jail for taking a group of volunteers suffering ill health after helping in the September 11, 2001 rescue efforts on an unauthorized trip to Cuba, where they received exemplary treatment at virtually no cost. The ailing U.S. citizens and 9/11 rescue workers came to Cuba, where they hoped to receive the same medical care, in a wry sequence, as detainees in America's Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Denied access, Moore sought and received treatment for the Americans at Havana's central hospital, instead.

John Graham, who was working near the Twin Towers when the planes crashed into the buildings, spent 31 hours helping out initially, and returned for several months to sift through the carnage.

Graham was later diagnosed with lung problems, burns on his esophagus, chronic sinusitis and post-traumatic stress disorder. He stopped working in 2004, split from his wife and can barely keep up with support payments.

The Cuban hospital provided Graham with five days of medical tests as well as medication for his reflux problems.

"I think when Americans see this they are not going to focus on Cuba or Fidel Castro," Moore said. The director says he wants Sicko to be a "call to action."

The trip led the US Treasury Department to investigate Moore for possibly breaking the US trade and travel embargo on Cuba.

"I'm the one who's personally being investigated and I'm the one who's personally liable for potential fines or jail, so I don't take it lightly."

On the advice of lawyers, the filmmakers spirited a master copy of Sicko outside the US in case the government tries to seize it. As for whether the inquiry could prevent the film opening in the US as planned on June 29, Moore said: "We haven't even discussed that possibility."

"We are never going to have real change in the United States if the public doesn't see that it will only happen when they rise up out of their theatre seats and do something about it," Moore declared.

The following is a press release from the California Nurses Association.

Michael Moore's Stunning New Film Could Help Reframe the National Healthcare Debate

LOS ANGELES, May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Michael Moore's tour de force on the U.S. health care crisis -- which premiered to overwhelming acclaim today in Cannes -- could help "reframe and move the national healthcare toward genuine reform for a more humane healthcare system," California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro said today.

DeMoro notes she was "privileged to get to be among 50 people" mostly those in the film or who worked on the film who were invited to an intimate special viewing of "Sicko" this week in New York. She called the film both an "indictment of an indefensible healthcare industry in the U.S. and a rejoinder for those who think we can fix the soulless monster by tinkering with an unconscionable system."

The film, she said, "should bolster the spirits of those dedicated to achieving fundamental reform and embarrass those who promote the lowest common denominator with proposals that reinforce the existing system."

"Sicko" presents an emotional portrait of an array of people, including volunteer rescue heroes of the September 11 attack, who are denied needed care -- despite the fact that most are insured. And it points a finger at the source of the crisis, a profit-driven insurance industry whose "biggest accomplishment is buying our U.S. Congress" to prevent real reform.

The film also presents a solution to the crisis -- the type of medical system in place in other industrialized countries, where care "doesn't depend on your premiums, it depends on your needs." Such a transformation in the U.S., said DeMoro, "is not just a dream -- it's legislation." CNA/NNOC is campaigning for HR 676 in Congress and SB 840 in California, both of which would establish a type of an expanded Medicare for all system.

"Michael Moore has demonstrated compassion and courage in a film that, true to his career, doesn't bend to political expediency," DeMoro said. "He goes right at the treachery of abandoning people in our country, and contrasts that with other countries where when it comes to the nation's health, they know the distinction between the 'we' and the 'me'. "Sicko" offers "inspiration, vision, and hope and the nurses of CNA/NNOC look forward to working with Moore to bring that promise to all Americans," DeMoro said.

The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing represents 75,000 RNs from California to Maine. Learn more at


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Check out Jackie Mason's YouTube Vid on the subject