How it is, asks documentarian Michael Moore, that the US, which is among the richest nations in the world, ranks so low--just above Slovenia, in fact--in the health care provided for its citizens? The answers to that question form the thesis of Sicko, the film in which Moore traces the HMO system back to the Nixon administration and shows how Republican politicos defeated Hillary Rodham Clinton's initiative for universal health care coverage. He also follows several middle class Americans who've been denied treatment by their profit-motivated health care insurers and have, as a result, gone bankrupt or, worse yet, die. Moore travels to Canada and Cuba, among other countries, where socialized medicine provides free health care of all citizens, and shows that they've found another, better way. He even interviews his own Canadian kin who, although they admire the US, won't cross the border without purchasing health insurance for the day because they're afraid of possible financial disaster should they need medical care while they're away. Moore, who appears on camera, as he does in his other films, clearly articulates his point of view. You know where he stands on this issue. That said, his blatant editorializing and dramatic style annoy some viewers. But, to be fair, he very wisely presents AMA spokespersons, doctors and other people who claim socialized medicine puts health care into the hands of the government, and that's a very bad idea. Moore's films are always well-made, timely, thought-provoking and about subjects that really matter. In Sicko, he's at the top of his game.
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