MICHAEL MOORE’S new film Sicko, opens in town this weekend and to celebrate the fact some of the comedian/agitator’s supporters have bandaged London statues.
As publicity stunts go, it’s pretty funny, but, as with the film itself, the humour is there to point up the misery of the US health system. When does it hurt? Only when I laugh.
For British audiences, Moore’s use of our own often bumbling National Health Service as a happy contrast to the American model can grate a bit, but Moore is interested in the bigger picture, which he sees as being about access to healthcare in the first place.
In short, you pay a lot more at the point of use over there than you do here and one in six Americans can’t afford the prices.
Most reviewers haven’t heaped as much praise on Sicko as on Moore’s previous efforts, such as Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11 and Roger and Me.
One reason for this is the sloppiness of some of Moore’s arguments. For instance, Sicko takes as the starting point of things going bad for US health care Richard Nixon’s 1970s government. In fact, debates about the lack of a socialised system go back to the early decades of the 20th century.
Obviously, Moore’s heart is in the right place in Sicko, but it would have been nice if his head had been where it belonged, too.