Thursday, June 28, 2007

MICHAEL MOORE (fair press)

Re; SiCKO, the new Mocie by Michael Moore

download the movie here:

Here an example of a FAIR press article. Very very very rare in USA:

=== The Christian Science Monitor ===

from the June 18, 2007 edition -

Michael Moore refocuses healthcare debate

His latest film, 'Sicko,' may boost efforts for a national healthcare
system, an idea that still faces stiff resistance in Washington.

by David R. Francis | Columnist

Filmmaker Michael Moore is making headlines again. His new documentary,
"Sicko," promotes a national healthcare program like Canada's. The film,
due to open in theaters June 29, got a big boost when the US Treasury
Department sent Mr. Moore a letter acknowledging a probe into his trip
to Cuba to obtain medical treatment for three 9/11 rescue workers . and
film a segment for his movie.

An "appalling" form of harassment, declared Moore, saying his work as a
journalist is protected by the United States Constitution.

Advocates of a single-payer national healthcare system welcome Moore's
movie. With millions of viewers likely to see the film, it's
"unquestionably" helpful, says a spokesman for Physicians for a National
Health Program. PNHP, with a membership of 14,000 physicians, has been
campaigning for a national system for 20 years. But the prospects of
success for PNHP are not great yet, figures Henry Aaron, an economist at
the Brookings Institution in Washington.

One reason is the power of various medical industry lobbies. Americans
spend as much on healthcare today as the entire gross domestic product
of France and Spain combined, notes one economist. If health-related
costs continue to rise rapidly, spending could soon equal the entire GDP
(that is, the output of goods and services) of Germany.

The $2.1 trillion the US spends per year on healthcare creates "strong
interest groups," notes Mr. Aaron. These include a host of politically
powerful private health insurance companies and for-profit hospitals.

But a cofounder of PNHP, Steffie Woolhandler, a Harvard Medical School
associate professor, is more hopeful for radical reform . though not
under the Bush administration. That's because she sees a slow-motion
collapse of the present employer-based health insurance system.

Faced with globalization and severe competition from abroad, American
companies are moving to reduce their health insurance costs. They are
raising deductibles, requiring bigger copayments, and trimming the
medical services covered. As these trends hit the middle class, the
political result will be a "big storm," Dr. Woolhandler predicts.

As it is, the US devotes about twice as much to healthcare as a
proportion of GDP than do other rich nations with nationalized health

Economists at the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
said last February that, if current trends continue, $1 of every $5
spent in 2016 will go toward healthcare. Today, healthcare takes close
to $1 of every $6, or about 16 percent of GDP. "We must do something
large and serious and soon," says Alain Enthoven, a healthcare expert at
Stanford University in California.

If a Republican president is elected in 2008, reform will be "relatively
timorous," says Aaron, possibly involving deductions for health
insurance premiums on income and payroll taxes. Changes will probably
most benefit the well-to-do, he says, and not much will be done to cover
the 47 million Americans without health insurance.

If a Democrat is elected president, reform could be more ambitious. The
"implicit taboo" on a large-scale health plan that followed Hillary
Clinton's failed effort in 1993 is gone, says Aaron. But no Democratic
candidate is advocating a national health insurance plan, a move that
would substantially redistribute national income and impact strong
health-industry interest groups.

Aaron would like to see Washington help fund state measures to broaden
health insurance coverage, such as the plan in Massachusetts. In
California last week, Moore joined the Cali­fornia Nurses Association to
push for a statewide, single-payer healthcare system at a legislative
briefing and rally. But Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill in 2005
that would have broadened coverage in the state in favor of working with
insurance companies.

So far, such Democratic presidential candidates as John Edwards and
Barack Obama are advocating plans that keep the private health insurance
industry intact. "Different flavors of the same plan," complains a PNHP
spokesman. Insurance companies would still strive to insure the healthy
and exclude the sick, he says, noting this process adds to
administrative and other overhead costs.

A study by Woolhandler and others published in 2003 calculated that, in
1999, health administration costs in the US amounted to at least $294
billion. That's $1,059 per capita, compared with $307 per capita in
Canada. By now, administrative costs are probably about $350 billion, a
sum big enough to provide insurance coverage for uninsured Americans,
reckons a PNHP spokesman.

Americans would like to have the federal government guarantee health
insurance to everyone, especially children, according to a recent New
York Times/CBS News poll. They say they'd be willing to pay as much as
$500 more in taxes a year and forgo future tax cuts to do so. But a
campaign against a national health insurance plan is already building.

Harry and Louise, the couple portrayed in TV ads by America's Health
Insurance Plans that helped kill Hillary Clinton's health plan, may yet

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posted by u2r2h at 1:31 AM


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