Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sicko DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Michael Moore‘s Expose on Healthcare System Out on DVD

Michael Moore has made quite a career out of exposing corporate and bureaucratic hypocrisy. Now he takes aim at America’s healthcare system by contrasting the horror stories of patients mistreated by insurance companies here with the relatively-utopian benefits of socialized medicine enjoyed by citizens of other countries.
Only the most closed-minded conservatives are likely to reject, out of hand, the case Moore makes for universal healthcare. For he has wisely opted to rely less on his trademark self-aggrandizing in favor of simply allowing his subjects’ nightmarish experiences speak for themselves.
This couple goes bankrupt and moves in with their daughter due to medical bills. That widow tearfully recounts how her late husband had died of kidney cancer after being denied coverage for a potentially life-saving bone marrow transplant, despite the fact that he had a willing donor in a brother who was an exact match.
A father talks about how his insurance company approved cochlear implant surgery in only one of his totally deaf daughter’s ears. A guy who accidentally sawed off two fingers recalls having to choose which one he wanted reattached. And a woman knocked unconscious in a car accident recounts how she was forced to pay for her ambulance ride because it hadn’t been pre-approved by her HMO. And so forth.
It doesn’t take long to figure out that the insurance industry is currently dictating to doctors how to practice medicine, and that healing has taken a back seat to making money. By film’s end, Moore has made it abundantly clear that this country is a very dangerous place to be any combination of poor, sick and old.
A flick which subtly suggests that the AMA ought to consider changing its solemn Hippocratic Oath from “First, do no harm,” to the much more honest “First, maximize profits.”

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG-13 for brief strong profanity.
Running time: 123 minutes
Studio: Genius Products
DVD Extras: Theatrical trailer, interview gallery, “A Different Kind of Hollywood Premiere,” plus seven additional featurettes.

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