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Released: 2007

Genre: Documentary

Runtime: 1 hr 53 min

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Director: Michael Moore

Starring: Michael Moore

Documentarian/provocateur Michael Moore takes on the for-profit American health care system.

His most emotional documentary since "Roger and Me."

Review by: JerrySaravia

Added: 8 years ago

There is no dispute (except among pharmaceutical CEO's) that the health care system in America is a joke. Nobody needs Michael Moore to remind us of that either, yet Moore does something unusual here. In his former, incendiary documentaries, he would attack the establishment for not catering to the needs of the helpless and less fortunate, whether it was a former GM employee or the outsourcing of American jobs to the Mexicans who make next to nothing. Moore tried to get cooperation from the pharmaceutical companies to find out why they need to profit from our misery. They declined any participation. Thankfully, this sheds a new light on a pressing problem - Moore gets to hear stories from American citizens who have been defeated by the health care system. Wise move.

We hear several sad stories in "Sicko." One person accidentally severs two of his fingers while working on a saw. He is told that re-attaching one finger is worth less than the ring finger (Perhaps a representative from a pharmaceutical company would've told him that he shouldn't have been working on a coverless saw). A child has problems hearing, but only one ear can be remedied because surgery on both would be "experimental" (a term you hear often in the film). A young woman has to pay for ambulance fees because her insurance doesn't cover the ride to the hospital - she should've let her insurance know she was using an ambulance despite being unconscious. Two working adults, one a schoolteacher, have to move into their daughter's house and use a room not big enough for a rambunctious 4-year-old, all because they lost their mortgage thanks to skyrocketing medical costs that didn't cover such anomalies like cancer!

Michael Moore swings between America's health care crisis to the socialized medical care in Europe. Who would've thought that a visit to a hospital would be free in Britain, Canada and France, regardless of procedure or operation? Who would've thought that a cashier's office in a hospital actually provides reimbursement for transportation? And to top it all off, there is a doctor that makes house calls to any called-in emergency, like a taxi service. Most unbelievable to anyone living in the United States - if you are sick and need time off from work, you will be 100% covered in your paychecks. Depending on where you work in the U.S., 65% is all that is covered if you are on medical leave.

Recently, an episode of "Oprah" had Michael Moore and a CEO of a pharmaceutical company going at it. The CEO merely said that she hoped nobody would ever get sick, like have any liver disease or any cancer. God forbid, because such diseases would suck you dry financially. But it is only fitting that we never hear from any representative of a pharmaceutical company or any American hospital explaining why they are in the business of profiting from people's misery. They couldn't possibly answer why this crisis is ongoing, but we know why. Thus, Moore focusing on the people affected by the crisis makes this his most emotional documentary since "Roger and Me."

There is one harrowing scene in "Sicko" that I will not soon forget. An elderly woman is dropped off by someone and left in front of a clinic/homeless shelter, walking around in her hospital gown, pacing back and forth on the street. Eventually someone from the clinic takes her in. All of this is captured by a surveillance camera. The woman had no insurance, thus left to rot in the outside world. The moral of "Sicko" is that America considers you worthless if you have no medical insurance, even if you volunteered to help firefighters dig through the asphalt rubble remains of the World Trade Center and have asthma. Cuba will take better care of you than the U.S., and they take excellent care of the Guantanamo Bay prisoners which include terrorists. Prescriptions cost next to nothing (and don't email me with comments like their medicine is not FDA-approved. Neither are the medicines doctors are prescribing now with such memorable names like Cialis). America can't treat health care as anything but a business venture, a luxury that fewer than 50 million Americans can afford. This explains why there are so many lobbyists in Washington giving donations to senators, like Hilary Clinton. The mind boggles.

Moore has no answers in "Sicko" except give us socialized medicine. Of course, this means more taxes which Moore avoids pointing out, and the last thing Americans want is to pay more taxes. However, you will get better health care than what you have now and the government will even do your laundry. Now that's progress.