Moore does a real service in bringing these stories to light — some of them are horrifying, and then infuriating. One giant health-maintenance organization, Kaiser Permanente, is so persuasively lambasted in the movie that, on the basis of what we're told, we want to burst into the company's executive suites and make a mass citizen'sarrest. This is the sort of thing good muckrakers are supposed to do.
Unfortunately, Moore is also a con man of a very brazen sort,and never more so than in this film. His cherry-picked facts,manipulative interviews (with lingering close-ups of distraught people breaking down in tears) and blithe assertions (how does he know 18million people will die this year because they have no health insurance?) are so stacked that you can feel his whole argument sliding sideways as the picture unspools. The American health-care system is inurgent need of reform, no question. Some 47 million people are uninsured (although many are only temporarily so, being eitherin-between jobs or young enough not to feel a pressing need to buy health insurance). There are a number of proposals as to what might be done to correct this situation. Moore has no use for any of them, saveone.
That answer would be socialism, for Moore, but MTV news vet Kurt Loder attacks some of the problems with that:
In the case of Canada — which Moore, like many other political activists, holds up as a utopian ideal of benevolent health-care regulation — a very different picture is conveyed by a short 2005documentary called "Dead Meat,"by Stuart Browning and Blaine Greenberg. These two filmmakers talked to a number of Canadians of a kind that Moore's movie would have you believe don't exist:
A 52-year-old woman in Calgary recalls being in severe need of joint-replacement surgery after the cartilage in her knee wore out. She was put on a wait list and wound up waiting 16 months for the surgery.Her pain was so excruciating, she says, that she was prescribed large doses of Oxycontin, and soon became addicted. After finally getting her operation, she was put on another wait list — this time for drug rehab.
Fairness and insight from MTV? Spring break will never be the same again.