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Moore Movie Takes Aim at American Health Care

Filmmaker Michael Moore's newest movie, "Sicko," opened in theaters nationwide Friday. NewsHour health correspondent Susan Dentzer reports on the film's criticism of the health care and insurance industries, and the debate it has sparked.

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  • MICHAEL MOORE, Filmmaker:

    … four health care lobbyists for every member of Congress.

  • SUSAN DENTZER, NewsHour Health Correspondent:

    In "Sicko," filmmaker Michael Moore looks at the way America pays for health care and hates what he sees.

  • INTERVIEWEE:

    The intent is to maximize profit.

  • SUSAN DENTZER:

    In previous films, Moore attacked everything from General Motors to the gun lobby to the policies of President Bush. Now he takes on health care in a manner much of the public may or may not agree with.

    "Sicko" comes amid growing public dissatisfaction with U.S. health care and rising momentum for reform. In a recent poll for the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, voters rated health care second only to the war in Iraq as the issue they most wanted presidential candidates to address. And 74 percent of voters said they'd support a reform plan that provided health insurance for everybody and involved at least some increase in spending.

    In a reprise of the managed care bashing of the 1990s, "Sicko" criticizes insurance companies for denying coverage for care.

  • MICHAEL MOORE:

    Laura Burnham was in a 45 mile-an-hour head-on collision that knocked her out cold. Paramedics got her out of the car and into an ambulance for a trip to the hospital.

    LAURA BURNHAM, Interviewed in "Sicko": I get a bill from my insurance company telling me that the ambulance ride was not going to be paid for because it wasn't pre-approved. I don't know exactly when I was supposed to pre-approve it, you know, like, after I gained consciousness in the car, before I got in the ambulance?