"Sicko," Michael Moore's ferocious and funny attack on the U.S. health care system, got a warm welcome at the Cannes Film festival Saturday. At home, it has started a firestorm.I've only ever watched one Michael Moore documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11, and I found it interesting. However, one must always consider the source when receiving any information. I think that Moore has some good points to make, but I don't think that he always makes them in the best possible ways. And any incendiary material in the film is doubtfully there by chance.
The movie doesn't open until late June, but it has already been criticized by conservative politicians and sparked a U.S. government investigation that could land Moore a fine or jail time.
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Moore's previous films were praised and reviled in equal measure. Americans will likely be just as divided by "Sicko" -- especially scenes in which Moore takes the sick 9/11 rescuers to Cuba for treatment.
The trip led the U.S. Treasury Department to investigate Moore for possibly breaking the U.S. trade and travel embargo on Cuba.
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Moore says the criticism of the Cuba trip is misplaced. He said he intended to take the workers to Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. naval base on the island where terror suspects are held -- and, the film claims, receive top-notch medical care.
"The point was not to go to Cuba but to go to America, to go to American soil ... being in Cuba was just an accident in a sense," he said.
This country does need health care reform. Too often it seems like insurance is nothing more than a racket. People pay and pay believing that they will be covered if they have medical problems, but when a problem actually arises, the insurers want to do as little as they can get away with. It is true of all types of insurance, not just health insurance. I'm not really sure how Michael Moore's film is going to change that any though. The people who already agree with him will watch it and agree with him. Those who do not agree with him will likely not watch it and dismiss it out of hand because of the source from which it originates.
It ultimately boils down to entertainment. For those who agree with Moore, it can serve as a cathartic device or a voice for what they already believe. For those who hate Moore already, it just gives them further justification for the hatred. Ultimately it affects nothing and changes nothing.