New Michael Moore documentary praises national public health care
Ottawa (29 June 2007) - Canada's public medicare system is about to be thrust into the international spotlight of movie audiences worldwide with the general release today of Michael Moore's new blockbuster documentary, SiCKO.
The film praises public health care while making a scathing indictment of the privately-run American health care system and the behavior of major pharmaceutical and insurance companies.
Moore contrasts the shortcomings in the U.S. system, the most expensive on the planet despite leaving 47 million Americans uncovered, with the successes of government-run health care in countries such as Canada, France, Britain and Cuba.
"The United States has slipped to 37th in health care around the world, just slightly ahead of Slovenia," Moore says.
The film highlights horror stories from American patients, offers inside accounts from disillusioned former insurance company employees and provides insight into the relationship between health industry lobbyists and Washington politicians.
On May 19, an audience of more than 2,000 people gave SiCKO an ovation when it was screened for the first time at the Cannes Film Festival in France. A special advance screening also took place June 8 in London, Ont., the home of several patients featured in the film.
"When you think about 18,000 (people) dying each year simply because they don't have health insurance - 18,000, that's six 9/11s," Moore says. "The only reason they're dead is because they didn't have health insurance. It's just criminal. We shouldn't allow it. I'm embarrassed by it."
The solution is simple, Moore argues. "National health insurance. Push the politicians to pass legislation so that we can have the system they have in, say, Canada."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring that our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE