I saw this last night. It is on DVD now. I generally concur with Mike's comments and assessment that it is a good one, and I'll add some more.
I have a fair amount of skepticism for all documentaries because of the filmmaker's great power to skew the view. Obviously, Moore gives us a certain political view here, but besides generally agreeing with it, I think he covered this topic well without some of the over the top stuff he has done in other films (e.g. picking on old man Charleton Heston, or giving a lot of space to conspiracy ideas about the House of Saud). He also does some other things that are often missing in documentaries:
(1) He has a great sense of humor. I was howling at the scene where socialized medicine was bedeviled. Otherwise, Moore as man on the street in this film reminds me of a WC Fields or Walter Matthau character--funny even when serious.
If I were doing music for the film, I might have added this song:
"I was a fat man in Paris, I felt unfettered and alive..."
(2) As Furches mentioned, Moore is able to find regular people and present them in a way we can relate. The woman whose son died in Iraq (L___) was clearly the star in Farenheit 9-11. There was not someone who stood out the same was in Sicko, although I immediately took a liking to all the NY/NJ EMTs like Reggie Cervantes. The South Central LA woman who's young daughter died after she was forced to shuffle between hospitals was one of the saddest stories.
(3) Great constrast between health systems--not only in Canada, but in Great Britain, France, and Cuba--all with a slightly different take. He did an even better thing by giving us a taste for the people and cultures in different places--how they live and what they do. This is so often lacking in the media I see on a regular basis. And it was consistent with my own experiences having been to those places (except Cuba).
And each time I thought he was not going to address an obvious question (e.g., how do they pay for health care in France? (where doctors will make house calls)), he got around to the question. It was skillfully done.
Do you now see how American public is so much uninformed by so called "Free media" about many "unfriendly" issues
I agree that insurance companies operate on the bottom line, but they're not the only ones -- we all do. You and I operate on the bottom line. THe government does not do it very often. Those who think a balanced budget and decreasing the national debt are good ideas are asking the government to operate on the bottom line.
Originally Posted by matclone
But, I think it is misleading to assume that eliminating insurance companies (middle man) and putting government in its place will reduce costs. I think that eliminating insurance companies AND keeping government out of it altogether will drive down costs. I can't see hospitals asking high prices for services that no one is buying. Insurance benefits allow costs to increase, since the hospitals know that the price will be paid, even if the consumer can't pay it -- that is what the insurance is for. But, if there is no insurance company, the hospital has a choice: it can ask the same price for the procedure and sell very few of them, or it can reducethe price and sell more.
We have already seen that government is wasteful and inefficient -- just look at Walter Reed Med Center (a shambles), Social Security, or any welfare program. I think we can do better than what government provides. We should let the market decide what certain procedures are worth. When they discover that their target market won't buy their products or services at the current price, they will change the prices.
Of course, Big. As you say, media isn't free. Most of it is controlled by corporations who treat news as a commodity to be bought and sold and packaged for public consumption. There are many powerful interests in the U.S. who are vested in maintaining the status quo in health care, that is, wanting to keep their share of the pie. In Sicko, Moore has this funny scene where a bunch of Congressmen (including H. Clinton) are entering a room, and he has a pop-up showing how much each one rec'd from the drug industry (often hundreds of thousands of dollars).
Originally Posted by Big