The Alan Katz Health Care Reform Blog

Health Care Reform From One Person's Perspective

Discussing Sicko: Agent Resources

Posted by Alan on June 23, 2007

June 29th marks the release of Michael Moore’s latest film, Sicko. The movie is a brutal attack on America’s health care system. It reflects Moores stated hope that the film sparks a movement “to eliminate private, profit-making health-insurance companies. There’s absolutely no room for them in this country,” he has said.

Michael Moore is an Ocsar-winning director and is generating tremendous publicity for his film. He has or will be appearing on Oprah, Leno and Letterman. He’s already testified on behalf of SB 840, the single payer bill now be considered by California’s Legislature. So it is highly likely you’ll be asked by clients and friends as to what the fuss is all about.

Fortunately, there are several resources available to help you respond to these questions:
The “Three Myths of a Single-Payer Health Care Delivery System” Presentation. This PowerPoint presentation — complete with speaker’s notes — debunks the myths of single-payer system superiority.

Janet Trautwin’s Letter to the Editor Published in Time Magazine.
NAHU’s Executive Vice President and CEO directly takes on Michael Moore and Sicko. The text of her letter is below.

Daniel Weintraub’s Column in the Sacramento Bee. While Weintraub usually writes favorably concerning single payer reform proposals, in this column he writes a thorough critique of the errors in Moore’s film.

On the Fence Films This is independent film maker Stuart Browning’s site with several short films on powerfully illustrating the failings of Canada’s single payer system.

Agents should review these resources prior to June 29th and to make use of them. The tremendous publicity for Sicko will mean local radio stations, community organizations and others will be receptive to hearing alternative views to Michael Moore. Become the expert they want to hear from and get the message out: yes, America’s health care system needs reforming, but what Moore proposes isn’t the way.

Fortunately, Health Underwriters has alternatives. In addition to CAHU’s Healthy Solutions plan, the National Association of Health Underwriters will be unveiling it’s health care reform plan during its national convention in Denver this coming week.Agents have an important perspective on the health care system. We also have a responsibility to share it. I hope these resources help.

The following is Janet Trautwein’s letter to the editor published by Time Magazine on June 6th:
“Filmmaker Michael Moore romanticizes the government-run health-care system in Canada [May 28]. I wonder if he really understands what a single-payer system would mean for Americans. The government would hold a monopoly over health-care coverage, offering one insurance plan with no alternatives. If the government decided to reduce funding or deny coverage for certain medical technologies or procedures, patients would have to forgo their use or pay for it out of pocket. Under the current system, if people are dissatisfied with their plan, they can simply switch insurance carriers. No one denies the moral imperative for reform to provide health-care access to all Americans, but a single-payer system is not the answer.”


6 Responses to “Discussing Sicko: Agent Resources”

  1. Why are you americans so bent out of shape over “Sicko”, Michael Moore goes abroard to compare healthcare – he wants US to be a better country for you !
    I live in a country with universial healthcare (free for people who work and/or live here).
    We think that healthcare is like police and firebrigade, something basic to exist. My quality of life would be poor if I was not sure of that.
    Every country needs a Michael Moore and should pay attention. We have several !

  2. john said

    Insurance agents should go back to the jobs they came from, selling used Cars!

  3. Lynn said

    As a parent of a special needs child, standing in line waiting for a ‘DMV like’ system to approve, schedule diagnostic tests, and perform treatment would have resulted in the death of my child. The healthcare system needs to have flexibility and competition. Just visualize the United States postal system. While they get the mail through, if you know or have spoken to employees who work for the postal system, there is little or no incentive to perform or excel in their jobs. Imagine hospital workers; lab technicians, nurses and physicians, etc. in that kind of a system. Healthcare would plummet to a new level of mediocrity. And what about the concept of healthcare rationing with a government bureaucracy that has the power to decline healthcare services all together? There needs to be incentive for hospitals and physicians to perform and provide excellent service with choices for patients. I do not believe that will happen in a California State or Federal government system. I agree reform is due, but waiting for our government to take over is not the answer.

  4. akatz said

    Thanks to Arizona and Tony for their comments. Concerning Tony’s referral to his blog “Public Health Crunch”: there’s some interesting posts on it concerning Sicko and public health issues like patient dumping and the behavior of pharmaceutical companies.

  5. Tony said

    Want some insight into Michael Moore thinking? Read the entire “Public Health Crunch” blog before you see the movie! (
    Past topics included: “Patient dumping” and “Me too drugs”
    Take care.

  6. There are not a lot of government run programs that are run well, not in the long run any way. I can just imagine the bureacracy and paperwork it would require once the government is in charge. It sounds great having universal care but imagine the department of motor vehicles running your health insurance. Doesn’t sound so romantic, does it.

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