Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Michael Moore vs. Dr. Sanjay Gupta.. On health care! Does Michael Moore make anyone else "Sicko"?

Ok, first of all, let me say that I agree our health care system could use some help, and does appear to be "broken," but that doesn't mean getting universal health care! I have not heard one good thing about universal health care. On the surface, it seems great, but it does not end up being cheaper, as many facts have shown. It also means longer wait times, which many reports have also shown. Also, I am not a huge fan of Michael Moore, but I do believe he brings up some valid points in his films, I just believe they are very skewed to make a lasting impression.

I don't understand how Michael Moore can sit on any TV show and preach about "fudging facts," when his "documentaries" (which are NOT documentaries at all!) are totally based on fudging the facts! Does Moore present some good information, OF COURSE, but he goes into production with his own biases and he finds whatever information he can, or skews it, to fit into the direction he wants his film to go... This is NOT the definition of a documentary, at all.

When Moore would repeatedly say things like, "your facts are so skewed and wrong," I would have loved to see Dr. Sanjay Gupta respond by simply saying, "Mr. Moore, how can you, of all people, sit up here and accuse me of "skewing facts"?

While I wish Moore would present his facts accurately and abide by real journalism and documentary ethics, I do think his film "Sicko" does bring up some important issues. As a consumer, we just need to know the facts, rather than taking Mr. Moore at his word, or any reporter/journalist for that matter.

Part 1:

Part 2:

If you are interested in reading the article by CNN, I have included it below, for you to read:

"(CNN) -- Filmmaker Michael Moore, whose new documentary "Sicko" takes on America's health care system, faced off Tuesday with CNN chief medical correspondent and practicing neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Michael Moore and CNN's Sanjay Gupta argued Tuesday about Gupta's report on Moore's film "Sicko"

Moore criticized a report Gupta did on CNN Monday on "Sicko."

"He said the facts were fudged," Moore said, referring to Gupta, on CNN's "Larry King Live."

"That's a lie. None of the facts are fudged."

Moore and Gupta shouted and argued over data Gupta used and data Moore used. Moore said his staffers backed up the film's facts to Gupta before the report aired and that Gupta aired it knowing his facts were wrong.

Gupta disputed that.

"We try and look for some of the best sources we can possibly find," he said. "Michael has a lot of different numbers. ... You're sort of cherry-picking data from different reports."
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Both agreed, however, on the basic premise of "Sicko": Problems abound in America's health-care system and need to be fixed.

"I thought it was a good movie, and I wanted to say that," Gupta said. "I think it strikes at the irrefutable fact -- it's broken. We get it."

He praised Moore for raising awareness of the issue.

However, Gupta said he was concerned that the movie -- which notes that other developed nations such as France and Canada have universal health care --suggests that health care in those countries is free.

While patients may not pay for services at the doctor's office, they do pay high taxes to fund such a system, something Gupta said he was concerned that "Sicko" audiences might not realize.

Moore responded by saying Americans pay more in copays, deductibles and insurance premiums. "We [America] have a system built on profit," the moviemaker said.

He asked Gupta if the current system, which requires him to receive approval from an insurance company before performing some procedures, is cumbersome to him.

"It's a shameful system, especially when I'm dealing with some of my patients," Gupta said.

But he questioned Moore's apparent solution -- putting health care in the hands of the Bush administration, which Moore fiercely criticized in the past, particularly in his film "Fahrenheit 9/11."

"The government actually used to do things right," Moore said in response. "The problem is who we put in power."

Moore has adamantly opposed the war in Iraq and said the government should re prioritize -- a position he took many years before skepticism of the war's success abounded in Washington.

"I am sorry we've taken so much time trying to correct [Gupta's] facts here tonight instead of talking about the real issue" -- the ailing health care system, Moore said"

*Courtesy of

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Anonymous KingFish said...


So let me get this straight...are you saying you're not a fan of Michael Moore? ;)

Nice Post

July 11, 2007 at 9:44 PM

Blogger Ugly Naked Guy said...

"We have a system based on profit"

No duh, Moore! That's why we are capitalists and not socialists.

July 11, 2007 at 11:22 PM

Blogger Di said...

haha, ya, you could probably tell I am not a huge fan of I think he raises some good points that we need to fix things with our health care system, but universal healthcare would bring down quality and cause other problems.. not to mention ugly naket guys point, we dont want to be socialists! well, Hillary Clinton does, but not many others of us..haha

July 11, 2007 at 11:54 PM

Anonymous Dr.Walter Rohloff, MD Albuquerque said...

I am a physician and I have tried in vane to post a comment on Dr. Sanjay Gupta CNN blog regarding his very biased review of SICKO. Unfortunately, it was not published. May I share it with you?


Dr. Walter Rohloff, MD, Albuquerque

Dear Dr. Gupta,

I have seen both Michael Moore's recent interview with Wolf Blitzer and later with Larry King and yourself and I feel that your review on CNN was quite unfair and it would serve you well to admit its shortcomings. You have nowhere made a convincing argument that Michael Moore indeed "fudged the facts" as you claim. If your presentation about mildly different health care cost estimates in the USA or CUBA that you and Moore have found should justify "fudged facts", it would only be one more of the trivial nit pickings that hardly matter in comparison to your own distortions (like calling universal health care as it exists elsewhere a "Utopia" and "not truly free") and omissions (Not to talk about the humane and financial benefits of Universal Health Care ) . Instead, your "fact check" parades a conservative hit man for the health for profit industry as an "expert - only associated with Vanderbilt University" and allows him to make unreferenced claims against the film that are hilariously misleading or plain false. I have grown up in Germany under the universal health care system there and worked and studied medicine in Great Britain for many years and can well confirm that Michael Moore's film presents no "utopia" and that indeed basic health care is unrestricted and rapidly available for everyone. Your "fact check" again repeats the false litany preached to the public by greedy insurers and uninformed doctors about the "long waiting times" in Canada, England, Germany etc. without mentioning that waiting time for emergency access is shorter than in the USA and longer mainly for non urgent (elective) procedures - and this is quite acceptable. In the USA on the other hand, 47 million uninsured americans cannot get other than emergency medical care no matter how long they wait! The insured rest may also not get it because of a ruthless denial by some HMO cubicle clerk, no matter how long they wait! You even challenged Michael Moore to decide whether he would rather be seen in the USA or elsewhere for cardiac emergency care. As the National Institute of Health has recently concluded, an enormous number of cardiac interventions are done in the USA without proper need and benefit for the patients, possibly because of the wrong kind of incentives. I found the interview with Tony Benn in Michael Moores SICKO the most significant contribution: The British NHS Universal Health Care system was born during and despite the economic hardship of the postwar years because people understood that to take care of each other in such a vital matter as health care should be a human right in an industrialized country - and even Margaret Thatcher never tried to do away with the NHS. I can tell you from my personal experience in Germany and Britain that there are few if any citizens who would want to exchange their Universal Health Care system for some for profit or individualized health care system instead as it is glorified in the USA. America's Health system needs an aggressive overhaul, bold vision and infusion from good examples elsewhere.


Dr. Walter Rohloff, Renal Medicine, Albuquerque

July 13, 2007 at 7:15 PM


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