Sicko May Have Political Impact But Goes Further Than Democratic Candidates

Reports on the opening of Michael Moore’s documentary Sicko have different takes on the movie. ABC News does briefly note some of the criticism, as well as the fact that no Republicans attended the opening, but takes an optimistic tone that the movie might influence health care legislation:

Moore joined Reps. John Conyers, D-Mich., and Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, who are co-sponsoring legislation that would create a comprehensive, publicly financed national health insurance program covering everything from dental to emergency care by the physician of the individual’s choice.

“This is not a political issue,” Moore said. “I can’t imagine anyone that doesn’t believe that every American has the human right that when they get sick they have the right to go to a doctor and not have to worry about whether or not they can afford it.”

The Los Angeles Times, however, sees Sicko as potentially creating political problems for Democrats as their health care proposals do not go as far as Moore (as I previously discussed here).

With the release of Michael Moore’s “Sicko,” a movie once again is adding sizzle to an issue that’s a high priority for liberal politicians — this time comprehensive health insurance for all. But unlike Al Gore’s film on global warming, which helped rally support on an equally controversial problem, “Sicko” is creating an awkward situation for the leading Democratic presidential candidates.

Rejecting Moore’s prescription on healthcare could alienate liberal activists, who will play a big role in choosing the party’s next standard-bearer. However, his proposal — wiping out private health insurance and replacing it with a massive federal program — could be political poison with the larger electorate…

Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois and former Sen. John Edwards of South Carolina all have staked out positions sharply at odds with Moore’s approach. But none of them is eager to have that fact dragged into the spotlight.

If Moore’s fire-breathing proposal catches on among party activists, who tend to be suspicious of the private sector and supportive of direct government action, the candidates’ pragmatic, consensus-seeking ideas could look like weak-kneed temporizing — much the way their rejection of an immediate pullout from Iraq has drawn heated criticism from antiwar activists.

In “Sicko,” the filmmaker calls for abolishing the insurance industry, putting a tight regulatory collar on pharmaceutical companies and embracing a Canadian-style government-run system.

I have previously posted a review of Sicko, along with a preview, here.

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    Hard to insure says:

    Maybe “Sicko” will make Dennis Kucinich no longer an outsider fighting for the benefits of the unserved(medically and representatively). I see this movie as a must see for anyone that believes health care truly needs to be changed in this country. It’s a sad commentary when a documantarist is relied on to create public debate, and not the elected officials.

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