A Feebleminded Defense of Socialism and Castro’s Cuba
Release Date: June 29, 2007
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 123 minutes
Distributor: Lionsgate and The Weinstein Company
Director: Michael Moore
Executive Producer: None
Producer: Michael Moore and Meghan O’Hara
Writer: Michael Moore
Address Comments To:Bob and Harvey Weinstein
The Weinstein Company
345 Hudson Street, 13th Floor
New York, NY 10014
Phone: (646) 862-3400
Fax: (917) 368-7000
SICKO begins with Michael Moore talking down to the audience, like they were little children, while introducing several sad cases from the healthcare system in the United States. It then jumps to Canada. There, Mr. Moore shows how two of his older relatives, a couple other Canadians and an American woman are using the benefits of Canada’s healthcare system, which is probably the most socialized system of all the 28 countries with a nationalized healthcare system, except for Cuba. The movie then adds a few more tragic American cases of people caught in the unforgiving care of health insurance companies and the medical system, including three volunteer workers at the World Trade Center after 9/11. While doing that, Mr. Moore visits England, France and, finally, Cuba to show viewers how good the socialized healthcare systems are in those countries.
SICKO’s take on healthcare is disingenuous at best and deliberately deceptive at worst.
During the movie, Moore briefly mentions the possibility of higher tax rates in France, England and Canada, but fails to give the statistics showing that they are, indeed, much higher. He also falsely claims that the life expectancy in Canada, France and England is about three years higher than in the United States. This is a miniscule amount in the first place, but the fact is that (according to the U.S. government and the United Nations) the life expectancy in Canada, France and England is only 2.3, 1.9 and 0.7 years higher, respectively, than the United States (Cuba’s life expectancy is 0.9 years lower), not three years. Furthermore, compared to the United States, Canada, France and England are more homogeneous societies. Thus, if you factor out the infant mortality rate and life expectancy rate for African Americans, let alone Latinos, in the United States, life expectancy and infant mortality in the U.S. looks even better!
Of course, the unemployment rate also is much lower in the United States compared to Canada and France, and only slightly worse than the unemployment rate in England. Or, take a look at Japan, which has the highest life expectancy of any industrialized nation and one of the lowest infant mortality and unemployment rates, but also has one of the highest taxation rates for individual income taxes. The differences are even more stark when you look at percentage of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) that taxes comprise in these countries.
Thus, while it can be argued that the United States healthcare system is in need of reform, the fact is that France, where SICKO spends a lot of time, has a much higher unemployment rate than the U.S., even counting the higher unemployment figures for American blacks and Latinos. Thus, it can be argued pretty successfully that the higher tax rates and socialized healthcare policies in Canada, France and other countries are creating higher unemployment rates. It is telling that Mr. Moore fails to mention this important fact.
Furthermore, according to the Christian Science Monitor, a 2002 study by the Fraser Institute, a public policy think tank in Vancouver, showed that Canada’s socialist healthcare service ranks lower than England and France, where privatization is part of the policy, and only slightly higher than Hungary, Poland and Turkey. Also, the waiting lists for specialized care (such as most cancer treatments and hip replacements) in Canada, as well as in France and England, are higher than the U.S. and have been increasing in Canada.
Mr. Moore points to the fact that the U.S. spends significantly more per capita for healthcare than other countries. According to the United Nations in 2006, however, public health expenditures in the U.S. are about the same percent of its GDP as Canada, England and even Japan, the country with the highest life expectancy. This indicates that creating a new tax and spending more taxpayer money will not really improve healthcare and life expectancy in the United States.
Michael Moore’s visit to Cuba in SICKO shows that, like the leftists who defended the murderous regimes of Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-Tung, truth and justice are the last things on Mr. Moore’s mind. He even interviews the daughter of Che Guevara, the Communist murderer who, along with Fidel Castro’s brother Raul, led Castro’s execution squads during the “Revolution.” Even if Cuba has a better healthcare system overall than the U.S. (a claim that cannot be supported by infant mortality and life expectancy statistics), that country’s economic, social and religious life is controlled by a rich, absolute Communist dictator, who has exported most of his discontents and criminals to the United States! We doubt if Michael Moore wants President George Bush to treat dissidents and criminals here like Castro has treated them in Cuba. The fact that Mr. Moore never challenges the obvious moral and political shortcomings of Castro’s Communist dictatorship shows that he’s only interested in making propaganda movies, not real documentaries.
It is interesting to note that, in SICKO, Michael Moore blames President Richard Nixon (the most liberal Republican President we’ve had) for the “managed care” policies of most Health Maintenance Organizations. Mr. Moore leaves out the fact that the other politician most responsible for the creation of this healthcare system in the U.S. is Senator Ted Kennedy, who led the fight in the Senate for the HMO Act of 1973! Of course, Sen. Kennedy is a socialist politician who has long been a supporter of socialized medicine in the U.S. He also is one of the supporters for and sponsors of the federal government’s Medicare system created in the 1960s, another example of socialized medicine that has been a virtual disaster for American doctors, patients, senior citizens, and taxpayers, not to mention the federal budget deficit and America’s national debt. Medicare is a precursor to the Canadian healthcare system enacted in 1971 and the American HMO system begun in 1973.
Finally, much has been reported in the media about Michael Moore’s boat trip to the prison for Muslim terrorists at Guantanamo Bay in the U.S.-controlled part of Cuba. Using a bullhorn, Mr. Moore asks for the same healthcare privileges for the three sick Twin Tower workers as the Muslim terrorists get in that prison.
This is nothing more than a publicity stunt. First, Michael Moore could have done the same thing for these people by going to a free medical clinic or other such medical charity in the United States, without going to Cuba. Also, most prisoners in the United States, as well as in Canada, France and England, generally get free healthcare treatment. But, these people are in prison! And, a kind of prison is exactly what doctors, patients and workers in the United States will get if they accept the kind of bloated, government-run healthcare system that Michael Moore favors! After all, that is exactly what Fidel Castro has created in the evil Communist “utopia” of Cuba.
In the end, SICKO is just another example of left-wing lies and propaganda, but there is no need to go out of our way and say that everything is hunky dory in the global economy that the world’s “capitalists” have established for society. In fact, many of these so-called capitalists actually support socialist systems that have harmed the average citizen and taxpayer.
Thus, we should take a serious, but cautious and prudent, look to reforming our healthcare systems, not only in the U.S. but also in Canada, France and England. One of those reforms to be considered, however, is to encourage people, including rich, well-fed filmmakers like Michael Moore, to take better care of one another, without any help from the government whatsoever. More socialism is certainly not the answer, but a little more voluntary Christian charity, including pro bono work from hospitals, doctors and nurses, could go a long way toward curing the ills of the Americans that Michael Moore focuses on in his documentary. As always, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is not a socialist gospel, is the ultimate answer.
Please, Mr. Moore, stop making mindless Communist propaganda movies disguised as documentaries. Your ideas are not liberal, or progressive. They are reactionary. They are leading millions of people astray, and giving aid and comfort to neo-fascist and Communist dictators and Islamic terrorists. Hollywood and the national news media should be ashamed of promoting them so mindlessly.
There are few objective facts in SICKO, which mostly consists of anecdotal evidence and some case histories. What few facts there are in this alleged documentary are fudged. Michael Moore also fails to consider facts that destroy his argument in favor of socialized medicine, such as the higher unemployment and tax rates in Canada and especially France, the lack of freedoms in Cuba, and the relatively low infant mortality rates and high life expectancy in the United States. We don’t need more socialized, government-run healthcare systems like Medicare in the United States. We just need more voluntary Christian charity based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.