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Moore’s Cuban Tour

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Posted on Apr 15, 2007

For his next documentary, “Sicko,” provocateur Michael Moore apparently invited a group of 9/11 responders to accompany him to Cuba and sample the country’s socialized healthcare system.  Harmful stunt or good medicine?  The New York Post’s Janon Fisher chooses the former option.

New York Post:

The trip was to be filmed as part of the controversial director’s latest documentary, “Sicko,” an attack on American drug companies and HMOs that Moore hopes to debut at the Cannes Film Festival next month.

Two years in the making, the flick also takes aim at the medical care being provided to people who worked on the toxic World Trade Center debris pile, according to several 9/11 workers approached by Moore’s producers.

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By d_2e_2, April 16, 2007 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I find it difficult to believe that the U.S. pharma and HMO industries alone are responsible for the mess our health care system is in.

Doctors, after all, founded most of the companies which control the supply of medical services and drugs. They also control who is accepted into our medical schools, how many are accepted and who gets a license to practice.

I’m talking about a syndicated monopoly called the AMA. What is different between the U.S. health system and the Cuban health system?

The Cuban health education system does not indoctrinate those who aspire to serve humanity with capitalist propaganda, it actually allows a free and open market place the liberty to over supply qualified medical professionals forcing the cost down to virtually nothing.

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By Louise, April 16, 2007 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RE: toussaint31, and the HMO Act of 1973.

Silly me!
I should have realized it began during a Republican administration!

But wait!
That was during a Democrat majority congress!

Which only goes to prove good people can do bad things!
Or bad things can come from the best of intentions.
Or unintended consequences can happen when people fail to think or plan ahead.

Or maybe we all need to revisit Fahrenheit 911.
(Lots of worth while stuff in there)

Like when Michael Moore asked Representative John Conyers (D Michigan)
How come Congress could pass the Patriot Act without reading it?
And Conyers replied ...

“Sit down, my son. We don’t read most of the bills.”

Unintended consequences.

Now, who remembers when the Drug companies took over the Medical Schools?

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By Bill Blackolive, April 16, 2007 at 9:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Roger, Please begin some better allusion to the 9/11 coverup, or, get somebody to light this fire.

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By G. Anderson, April 16, 2007 at 8:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Meanwhile, now that many millions of American’s are turning to alernative health care, or rather “self-care”, via supplements, and vitamins…

The FDA, is doing it’s best to outlaw such things, thereby protecting the profits of it’s buddy-big pharma.

They would much rather that the profits of Big-pharma be protected, than actually protecting the health of American’s..

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By toussaint31, April 16, 2007 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

LOUISE SAID: ” How about the thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands who have been forced into bankruptcy or lost their homes because their health insurance didn’t cover what they had been told it would? How about those who have a history of cancer, or heart disease, or diabetes who are denied health care insurance?...  And finally why does the Drug Industry and the Insurance Industry control our health care anyway? At what point in time did they become more important than the physicians. At what point in time did patients become Weighted Dollar Units?”

You can find your answer in the HMO Act of 1973.  Government decided FOR US that our health care is best handled by HMOs and best paid for through employers.  Thanks to the morons in Congress, unemployment often means lack of access due to the spiraling costs caused by forcing people into HMOs, and the illogical linking employment with health care.

No one seems to recognize that this health issue was caused by the same organization that now claims that it can fix it!

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By James Yell, April 16, 2007 at 7:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is surprising at how bent some people get, because we have “free speech”, sort of.

Mr. Moore is providing a service by focusing on issues largely ignored by the press. Perhaps it is tasteless to involve 9/11 people in this expose, but then again if he asked and they understood the point, which is the gross over pricing of American pharma and health care—-“that is a good thing, isn’t it?”

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By Bukko in Australia, April 16, 2007 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

RAE, how RAEght you are, and you didn’t even tell the half of it! Those hard-working business folk who head the military-industrial companies are helping to reduce the amount of money wasted on medicine and treatment by ending many peoples’ lives before they need such costly things. Unfortunately, they’re doing it to people OUTSIDE the good ol’ USA, which is not helping the American federal budget all that much. But I have a feeling the target of their attention is going to be closer to home soon…

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, April 15, 2007 at 10:16 pm Link to this comment

Hey Larry… the US isn’t “...wasting billions on redundant weapons systems…”. The money is going into the pockets of hard-working American business folk who just happen to own and control the military-industrial complex in the USA. And of course, these honorable folk pay full taxes on all that income.

So really, the US government is just giving back to the US people their own money!

However, to give the money to the 40 million sick and poor would be really wasting it. They’d blow it all on drugs and treatments… and STILL die in the end. Where’s the payback on that move?

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By rowdy, April 15, 2007 at 10:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

mike might not be a saint, but some of his targets are pure evil. if his goal is to fill his own wallet, at least he does it in good old american fashion. he has amused and informed for profit. he definitely has an agenda. his agenda is much less despicable than oreilly,or rush or hannity or coulter. he says many things that need to be said. the right wing needs to be attacked frequently and vociferously. he doesn’t throw racial and ethnic slurs to promote himself and i have yet to find him guilty of personal hypocrisy.

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By Bukko in Australia, April 15, 2007 at 8:17 pm Link to this comment

This is the first time I ever read anything in the New York Post (except for its infamous headlines, i.e. “Headless Boby Found in Topless Bar.”) About what I’d expect from Rupert Murdoch’s flagshit paper. Did I misspell that? No.

Reading between the lines, I see nothing “sicko” about his conduct. Moore never promised these guys any cure, and his staffer was apologetic to the person who was left behind. Sad fact of life is, not everybody gets on the bus. I’d be curious to hear from the people who went, not that I have any tremendous admiration for Cuban health care. Too bad we live in an age of non-disclosure clauses, “I’m not authorised to discuss that” and “No Comment.” The truth is out there! It’s just that everyone is afraid to mention it.

What I didn’t see in the story is what Ernest pointed out—there was no mention of how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “America’s Mayor” Rudy the Cousin Marrier Giuliani and other officials said nothing about the witch’s spew of asbestos dust, human remains and incinerated toxics that filled the air. If they had taken proper precautions like providing N-95 masks to protect these men in the days after the disaster, maybe many of them wouldn’t be dead men walking.

I can’t wait to see MM’s latest. Sure, he’s a one-sided provocateur. He’s got a VIEWPOINT, not a wishy-wash. When I hear people criticise him for his slant, I come back at them with “What FACTS did he get wrong?” They can’t name any, but they’re sure they don’t like him.

BTW, Moore is considered a hero down here. I notice that even leftists in the U.S. couch their comments about him with some tut-tutting qualifiers, but Australian culture adores people who “take the piss” at authority. I’ve chatted to more people down here who have watched “Farenheit,” “Bowling” and even his “TV Nation” show that used to run on the Fox network than I did when I lived in lefty San Francisco.

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By Louise, April 15, 2007 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t know about the worker being stiffed, or the worker who was offended, but I do know this film is legit!

Back when Moore first started putting the show together, he asked those on his email list, and those who visit his web site to send in experiences they have had with our current health care system. I understand the response was mind boggling!

Can anyone out there honestly say they have no personal knowledge of someone, perhaps themselves, suffering needlessly because of the way our health care system functions? If so, you are the rare exception!

The sad fact is, there are so many examples of people getting stiffed when they tried to get their health care insurance to come through, people dieing because they couldn’t get medical help, people being denied access to a doctor or a hospital because they didn’t have the ‘right’ insurance, it would take dozens of movies to tell them all.

How about the thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands who have been forced into bankruptcy or lost their homes because their health insurance didn’t cover what they had been told it would? How about those who have a history of cancer, or heart disease, or diabetes who are denied health care insurance? How about the documented cases of death by prescription drug? Plenty of them out there. And how about that doughnut hole senior citizens who need drug prescriptions are floating in (and paying for) right now?

And finally why does the Drug Industry and the Insurance Industry control our health care anyway? At what point in time did they become more important than the physicians. At what point in time did patients become Weighted Dollar Units?

Strange thing about Michael Moore. Those who hate him will continue to do so and will probably never see the film, which is their loss. But they wont hesitate to critique the movie to anyone dumb enough to listen.

Those who love him will be the first to see the film. And then try to get people they care about to come and see it. Like Fahrenheit 911, they’ll buy it and have family over to watch it, and listen to the thanks as every one sitting in shock mumbles,  I had no idea?

Irregardless, the attack and smear campaign will be something to behold. We know that, because it has already begun.

But also be aware good people. When you defame the movie ‘Sicko’ based on nothing, which is pretty much what this article tells you, you are becoming a mouthpiece for the Drug and Insurance Industry which badly DOES NOT WANT you to see the movie.

The last thing in the world these Corporation$ want is an HONEST revelation of the health care crisis in America!

They don’t want you to realize they are the problem!

There’s a very good reason why Moore named the movie ‘Sicko.’ Maybe you’ll have to go see it to figure out why.

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By cann4ing, April 15, 2007 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

Isn’t it typical of the corporate media to describe Mr. Moore’s effort to secure appropriate and affordable medical care to 9/11 responders as a “stunt” because Mr. Moore, in the process, seeks to demonstrate the superiority of socialized medicine over a corrupt system in which 47 million Americans are left with no insurance; a system where those who are insured often find that they are not “covered” because health insurance carriers have a million and one schemes to evade liability and where extortionate drug prices—running three to four times what Canadians pay for the same medications—were locked in by a President and a Congress, bought and paid for by Big Pharma, was concerned only with the pharmaceutical industry bottom line.

Where is the outrage in this New York Post article that 9/11 responders, like the Iraq veterans at Walter Reed Army hospital, have been left without adequate medical care from illnesses they never would have incurred but for the failure of FEMA and former Mayor Giuliani to inform them of the toxic chemicals that they were exposed to at Ground Zero?

Where was the outrage when, in the wake of Katrina, Bush refused Cuba’s generous offer to send physicians with backpacks to New Orleans because he was more concerned with adverse publicity than with the lives of the stranded African-Americans who had been abandoned to a toxic soup of flood waters filled petrochemicals and bacteria from decaying bodies, courtesy of the administration’s criminal neglect?

All that said, I do believe Moore owes an explanation and perhaps an apology to the 9/11 responder who was first promised a trip to Cuba by Moore’s staff, and then left behind.

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By toussaint31, April 15, 2007 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment

Larry, while I agree with you on the “defense” spending, the fact of the matter is that the U.S. government created the health insurance problem.  It was Congress who decided to virtually connect healthcare with full-time employment with the HMO Act back in the early 1970s. 

The Act was a boon to HMOs - it made doctors responsive to them instead of their patients and it drove up the cost of healthcare.  The government screwed up our health care to begin with, so I’d be a fool to trust them to fix it.

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By Larry, April 15, 2007 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

Whatever Moore’s flaws, at least he directes attention to issues of greater import than which dick fathered the late Anna Nicole Smith’s child.  Our medical system is broken, and the fact that over 40 million Americans don’t have health insurance is, well, SICKO.  What’s even sicker is that even though fiscal conservatives assure us there’s no money for a national health plan, we can still afford to spend more money on “defense” (har de har har) than Europe, Russia, and China COMBINED. Our leaders are more concerned with wasting billions on redundant weapons systems to destroy Iraq than with helping our own citizens.  Ain’t we got fun?

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