Long Island Coalition for a National Health Plan

March 2, 2008

The Birth of the movie “Sicko”

Filed under: Health, healthcare, Insurance — Tags: , , , , , , — nhplan @ 3:05 pm

The Birth of Sicko: An Educational Tale
from the January 2008  LICNHP  Newsletter

Our organization is concerned about the role our media play in preventing the public from getting honest information about our health care mess, or about the single payer alternative.

Recently, Michale Moore was on Amy Goodman’s program, Democracy Now. He was asked what gave him the idea to make “Sicko.” His story tells us what we’re up against:

I had a TV show on back in the 90’s called TV Nation, and one day I just – I thought it would be interesting to have like a race. So we sent a camera crew to an emergency room in Fort Lauderdale, a camera crew to an emergency room in Toronto, and then one to Havana. And, they would each wait until someone came in with a broken arm or a broken leg. And, then they were going to follow that person through and see the Health Care Olympics.

And so, it was a race between the US, Canada and Cuba. And to make a long story short, Cuba won. They had the fastest care, the best care, and it cost nothing.

We turn the show in to NBC that week, and we get a call from a censor. They’re not called “the censor”, they’re called Standards and Practices. And so, this woman calls. She’s the head of S&P – Dr. Somebody, she had a “Dr.” before her name, but I forget her last name. But she calls, and she says, “Mike, Cuba can’t win.”

I said, “What? Cuba can’t win? They won.”

“No, we can’t say that on NBC. We can’t say that Cuba won.”

“Well, yeah, but they won! They provided the fastest care. They were the cheapest. And, the patient was happy, and the bone got fixed. No it’s not against regulations here.”, I said. “Oh well, I’m not changing it.”

Well, they changed it. Two days later, when it aired, they changed it so that Canada almost won, but they charged the guy $15 for some crutches.


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