Friday, July 27, 2007 4:23 PM

Protesters Offer Free 'SiCKO' to Aetna CEO

"Aetna's enormous profits and huge executive pay packages are at odds with any real comprehensive health care reform." -- Joe Dinkin, Connecticut Working Families

Union Rallies Around 'SiCKO' in NYC

"We want to be able to treat any patient that comes to our door." -- Monica Shah, pediatrician, Bellevue Hospital Center

"Due to an Unusually Heavy Volume of Calls"


Well, that’s easy, I said, change the address and send me a new one. That’s not possible, the human said, you have to have your provider send us your new address. But, I said feebly, I have just given you all the information that proves that I am me: my S.S. #, my H.M.O. number, my birth date, my mother’s maiden name. That may be, he said, but we must receive your address change from your provider.

Go to round five of voicemail hell back to my provider where, after a good half hour, I punched into my cell phone everything a robot asked about me: my S.S. #, my H.M.O. number, my birth date, my mother’s maiden name. When the robot was satisfied, I had only three more circles of hell to go through before I found a human, who asked me the exact same information the robot had. After ascertaining that I was really me, she listened to my problem and said that she couldn’t possibly change my address, because such a change had to come on a form provided by the employment benefits office of my workplace.


[CLiCK here to read more]

Jay Leno Goes Completely 'SiCKO' with Michael Moore

CLiCK Here to Get Your 'SiCKO' Health Care Card

Clayton Redfield Played the 'SiCKO' Card and
Look What Happened to Him! (VIDEO)

'SiCKO' 9/11

CLiCK Here to Help the 9/11 Rescue Workers

Mike's Challenge

Mike's Challenge to the Presidential Candidates
(CLiCK Here to Tell the Presidential Candidates to
Take the Sherrod Brown Challenge

'See the Movie, Start the Revolution'
...a letter from Michael Moore

Thursday, July 26, 2007 6:06 PM

Daily News Photographer an American SiCKO


David Handschuh, the NYPPA intergovernmental affairs chair and a photographer for the New York Daily News, says he has heard from about a dozen 9/11 media workers who are experiencing health problems. Handschuh, who was hit by debris and suffered a broken leg while covering the attack, said he is among those now experiencing breathing problems.

Much attention has been devoted to public safety workers who suffer from breathing problems and other health issues years after inhaling dust while working near Ground Zero. The plight of these rescuers features prominently in the Michael Moore film "Sicko."


[CLiCK here to read more]
Vivid Memories (VIDEO)
"Not just building parts but body parts..."

Send him to Gitmo!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007 4:43 PM

American 'SiCKOS'

If you have a health care horror story that is completely SiCKO, contact your local media and let them know just how sick our health care system is.

With the awareness 'SiCKO' has raised, they're more likely than ever to cover your story. Here are some examples:

Health Care Gypsies; Rare form of cancer keeps Dona and Jack Mitchell on the run

The Mitchells’ insurance company is probably as bad as the ones Moore attacks, she said. The Georgia company denied paying for a large part of a treatment doctors think could save Jack’s life, she said. The treatment was denied because it was a clinical trial and considered an experimental procedure, she said.

It’s particularly frustrating, she said, because the couple has worked all of their lives, been relatively healthy and has always paid for insurance. But now, they are faced with paying off Jack’s medical bills for the rest of their lives, she said.

Dona has also cashed out most of their retirement money so they can move from place to place, fighting Jack’s disease.


[CLiCK here to read more]

Bowling for SiCKO; 12-year-old shot in head, family forced to barbeque

Alderman Ashanti Hamilton sponsored a barbeque fundraiser for Rahjeen Saturday. Her mother Renay is thankful for people coming forward to assist with mounting medical bills.

“A lot of things need to be taken care of that we don’t have the means for right now,” said Renay. “That’s why we are asking for help.”

Strangers like Homer Blow, WNOV radio program director, stopped by Rahjeen’s house to offer a donation.

“To be able to meet her and almost come to tears accepting the donation really touched my heart,” said Blow.

Former Milwaukee Brewer first baseman Larry Hisle met Rahjeen in her hospital room.

“To see her today walk and talk and laugh, it’s truly one of the biggest joys in my life,” Hisle said during the fundraiser in the Mitchell family backyard.

Rahjeen’s father said the family has health insurance, but he doesn’t know how much of the bill the insurance will cover. He said the family has trouble paying for commutes to and from Rahjeen’s medical appointments.


[CLiCK here to read more]

War Correspondent Gets His Health Care on eBay; "Moore has the courage to call it what it is."

I think that attitude about money and health care that I found at Salem, Oregon's hospital, is exactly what Moore is talking about in Sicko. We have dropped to a point where healthcare is only a business in this country; the heart was removed from it long ago.

That is not to say that there aren’t dedicated professionals because there are, but far more seem to be in it for the pay and the golfing.

I went to the war carrying about 120 pounds of gear. The kidney belt worked remarkably well, and I was able to always tighten it just a little more when necessary to put my hernia back inside the old lower stomach wall.

So at the end of my story about hernias and war, a $15 kidney belt from Ebay was the saving grace. I had far better things to say about that Internet commerce group at the time than my local hospital, that’s for sure.


[CLiCK here to read the rest of this story]

Journalist Denied Coverage, Does His "Patriotic Duty" on July 4th

I have a heart condition. Last week, on the Fourth of July, I went to my box to retrieve the previous day's mail. In it was a letter from my health insurance provider. It began:

“Dear Mr. Gddon:”

That was only the beginning of the insult. Paragraph two: “We have completed our review of your application (for Long Term Disability coverage) and have concluded that we are presently unable to approve your request for coverage.” The letter then cited health conditions “taken into consideration,” including two that I have never suffered from.

Deflated and angry, but it being Independence Day and bound to do my patriotic duty, I proceeded to the nearest movie theater and bought a ticket to see “Sicko.”


[CLiCK here to read more]

Local 'SiCKO' Action

Getting Together Around SiCKO

Across the country, 'SiCKO' has been lighting a fire under people who want to see our broken health system dismantled and free, government-run care given to everyone.

Here is just a sampling of what people across America are doing to make the film's message a reality:

Texas church group congregates at 'SiCKO':
SHERMAN — Grand Avenue Presbyterian Church activities begin at 9:45 a.m. Sunday with a breakfast/snack reception. Worship starts at 10 a.m. with Rev. Lander Bethel’s sermon based on Luke 10: 25-37. Sandra Miller will read 2 Kings 5:1-14 and Luke 10: 1-11, 16-20. Hugh Moody will read the scripture lessons from Amos 7 and Col. 1 and sing the anthem. Lunch will be served after worship.

Friday, July 13, a group is attending the Michael Moore film “Sicko” in Plano. Call the church for details.

[CLiCK here to read more]

Activists in Hanover, IL distribute flyers outside a 'SiCKO' screening, and meet at a local pancake house afterwards to discuss the film:

"What do we do now?"

We sat at a table cluttered with empty coffee cups, crumpled napkins and crumb-filled plates. Although the showing of "SiCKO" had ended nearly two hours before, the dozen-plus members of our party had lingered at the nearby pancake house to discuss the movie, a satirical documentary about the U.S. health care debacle. Of all the comments offered over the course of our late-night meal, that simple question, posed by a HanDI friend from Barrington, has stood out most prominently to me: "What do we do now?"

In the week-and-a-half since then, I have heard echoes of that question in other blog entries, in conversations with friends, and at our HanDI members' meeting on Monday. Of course, we already took a small step by distributing nearly 100 flyers with information about health care and HanDI at the AMC South Barrington following our showing of "SiCKO." And now thanks to luck, a little curiosity and the wisdom of others, I have found further resources for learning and activism that I share in my next blog entry. First, a few more words about why change is necessary.


[CLiCK here to read more]

Strangers talk to strangers as an impromptu health care discussion group convenes outside of the women's bathroom in a Texas movie theater. The group pledges not to check the film's message at the door as they exit the theater:

The talk gradually centered around a core of 10 or 12 strangers in a cluster while the rest of us stood around them listening intently to this thing that seemed to be happening out of nowhere. The black gentleman engaged by my redneck in the restroom shouted for everyone’s attention. The conversation stopped instantly as all eyes in this group of 30 or 40 people were now on him. “If we just see this and do nothing about it,” he said, “then what’s the point? Something has to change.” There was silence, then the redneck’s wife started calling for email addresses. Suddenly everyone was scribbling down everyone else’s email, promising to get together and do something... though no one seemed to know quite what. It was as if I’d just stepped into the world’s most bizarre protest rally, except instead of hippies the group was comprised of men and women of every age, skin color, income, and walk of life coming together on something that had shaken them deeply, and to the core.


[CLiCK here to read more]

Activists in Wisconsin organize meetings around 'SiCKO' and talk about bringing the film's message to the state level:

Trudell was part of a four-member panel, "From 'SiCKO' to Sanity: Why Our Health Care System Doesn't Work and What We Can Do About It," on Thursday night at Escape Coffee Gallery on Williamson Street.

About 70 people crammed into the coffee shop's back room and vowed to start a movement and lobby for Healthy Wisconsin, the Democratic-controlled state Senate's comprehensive health care insurance proposal. They plan to meet again at 7:30 p.m. next Thursday in the same location.


[CLiCK here to read more]

A group in Valencia, CA demands their local theater play 'SiCKO' and then organizes meetings about the movie:

Lutness, who supports universal health care, and her allies are hoping to bring the debate over the contentious single-payer health care plan to Santa Clarita as the movie continues to play.

They're sponsoring a health care forum on July 31 at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Valencia.

A panel of experts is scheduled to address the issue of health care in the United States and includes a speaker from the California Nurses Association and other advocates for universal health care.


[CLiCK here to read more]

Californians leaflet for a week outside 'SiCKO' screenings - and get told by the cops to 'scram.'

"Did Michael Moore's 'Sicko' make you sick about our broken health care system?" their leaflet reads. "You can do something about it!"

The leaflet goes on to urge support for Senate Bill 840, the California Universal Healthcare Act.

The theater's manager politely asked Bailey and Alspaugh to leave the area under the dome that covers the theater box office and entrance, Bailey recounted.

Which they did; they stood nearby in adjacent Janet Leigh Plaza holding a "Sicko" poster and handing out the flier to anyone who expressed interest, she said.

A gray-haired retiree, Bailey said she was not aggressive. The encounters were "very positive. ... People stopped and told some of their horror stories about their experiences with the insurance industry."

After about 20 minutes, two Stockton police bike patrol officers pedaled up and - very politely, very professionally, Bailey says - told Bailey and Alspaugh to scram.

They obeyed. But Bailey objects. "We believe we should have the right to exercise our free speech," she said.


[CLiCK here to read more]

Tuesday, July 24, 2007 4:03 PM

Sailing On

Insurance premium day has columnist feeling SiCKO and he lets Hillary have it:

Today, Stroger Cook County Hospital is in critical health, with care to the sick and needy compromised by a budget crunch and a "Sicko" medical system. An impoverished client of mine who was hit by a Chicago Transit Authority train two years ago was sutured but not X-rayed.

"How can a patient be sent to physical therapy without first getting X-rayed?" I asked an orthopedic physician who treats the poor.

"Welcome to medical care for the poor," he explained.

One-third of surveyed Stroger physicians say they are looking for the exit door.

Meanwhile, my family doctor, who owns two homes each worth over a million bucks, is taking three months off to sail his new 45-foot sailboat up and the down the East Coast.

According to Michael Moore's movie, figuratively speaking, Sen. Hillary Clinton -- although she once piloted U.S. health-care reform -- is on board.

Takes the wind out of my sails.

[CLiCK here to read the rest of the culumn by James E. Gierach]


Mr. Bush's Polyps

American SiCKO Donna Smith tackles the grand wazoo:
OK, so this discussion may be a little graphic for some, so bear with me, I do have a point to make. President George W. Bush had a colonoscopy done on Saturday morning, as you may already know since he had to give the vice president the reins of power for a couple of hours. President Bush has had other colonoscopies to remove polyps in his colon which could have become cancerous if left alone. So far, so good. Perfect medical strategy and just as I would want for any American.

CLiCK here to dig deeper into George's health care

'SiCKO' Stirs Pots and Pols in Canada

"The film was a real eye-opener for me in terms of where we don't want to go. I was planning on going to see the movie, but it was interesting to see it with two nurses and hear their perspective. I think it has strengthened my conviction (that our system is on the right path)." -- Peter Fonseca, M.P.P., Mississauga East, Ontario, Canada

[CLiCK here to read more]

Eleven Years Later

"I read your very moving tribute to your father. It impressed me so much that I cut it out and carried it around, re-reading it from time to time. I have been trying to start a discussion in the country on what we owe each other on the edge of a new century. Your wonderful piece certainly will help." -- Bill Clinton, in a 1996 handwritten note to journalist W.E. Gutman

W.E. Gutman on 'SiCKO':

Eleven years later, I am now under the care of an otherwise excellent doctor who recognizes me only by my chart and grants me less than three minutes of his time. He recently complained that he is at the mercy of “vulgar paper pushers” who dictate how he is to practice his craft and what medicines he can dispense.

To say that the U.S. medical establishment may be hazardous to your health is an understatement. It is in fact sicker than the patient and the prognosis, deftly rendered by Michael Moore in his latest blockbuster, “Sicko,” offers a somber assessment of an industry more interested in profits than human health and lives.

The film could be the catalyst Americans have waited for to demand a radical resuscitation of a moribund medical care system.


CLiCK here to read Gutman's full piece

Monday, July 23, 2007 2:43 PM

6,000 Canadian Nurses Served

July 23rd to 26th, 2007: More Free 'SiCKO' for Canadian Health Care Workers

Sunday, July 22, 2007 11:19 PM

Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington

Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo. (center), met with Larry and Donna Smith, and their daughter Heather Bennett, just hours before Donna testified before the House Judiciary committee. Senator Salazar applauded the Smiths for their advocacy and said he was "open" to the idea of universal health care.

Saturday, July 21, 2007 11:42 AM

'SiCKO' Night Out in Columbia, Missouri

Discussing the film over microbrew and snacks.

"Moore's masterpiece provided great fodder for our post film discussion at the Flat Branch Restaurant. 27 people turned out for the film and discussion. We were all inspired by the film and made preliminary plans for follow up forums, DVD screenings when DVD versions are available, and a letter to the editor campaign in support of Rep Conyers' HR 676 Single Payer Universal Health Care bill. For more info on Single Payer (English, French, Canadian, etc health care) see Physicians For A National Health Program:"

CLiCK here for more photos

Wednesday, July 18, 2007 11:11 AM

'SiCKO' Unleashes a New Fight

From The Kansas City Channel:
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The widow of a man who lost his battle with kidney cancer and his health-care provider is taking that fight to a larger stage.

Tracy Pierce died in February 2006. His family said his battle to beat cancer was not a fair fight because despite being fully insured, Pierce's insurance provider refused to pay for many of the treatments prescribed by his doctor, saying they were experimental or not a medical necessity. In the end, Pierce's family called it "death by denial."

"I just can't believe you've got this insurance company that's just willing to let you die," said Tracy Pierce's wife, Julie.

KMBC's Jim Flink started following Tracy Pierce's story two years ago, documenting Pierce's fight against kidney cancer and against an insurance provider, which rejected many of the treatments Pierce's doctor requested.

"I just hope we can get something done about this. I'm not done with this," Tracy Pierce said in his final interview. Flink reported that Pierce died an hour and a half after giving the interview.

Flink's news report spawned a firestorm of interest. Julie Pierce was contacted by documentary filmmaker Michael Moore. Moore said the Pierces' situation is part of a national trend.

In his documentary "Sicko," Moore lays out the argument that profit and health care do not mix.

"The thinking of how we can make money off the patient is all wrong. It should be how can we make the patient well," Moore said in his film.

The movie gave Julie Pierce a voice and a stage.

"It made me feel that I wasn't alone, that there were other people out there willing to stand up," Pierce said.

National notoriety has brought a bigger platform after the movie's release. Julie Pierce was called to Capitol Hill to testify before Congress.

"We were fully insured through my employer St. Joseph Medical Center," Pierce told lawmakers.

"I was talking to Congressman Conyers and he was saying he didn't realize the people he worked with every day had a story to tell until that hearing," Pierce said.

Flink reported that the movie has released some demons for Pierce and it has unleashed a new fight to educate, inform and carry the spirit of her husband's life as a legacy.

"It's important to look at your health plan. It's important to get checkups. It's important not to put anything off. I don't care if it's a pain in your pinky finger because it might be something," Pierce said.

[CLiCK here to read the rest of this article]

t r u t h o u t "'SiCKO' goes to Washington" video:

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 7:58 PM

'SiCKO' Gets Congressional

Donna Smith (Right, black shirt) with (from left to right) her mom, Ina,
daughter Heather, and granddaughter Lauren.

'SiCKO' star Donna Smith testified before Congress today. Here is some of what she had to say:
You have the power to carry this onward to action. I ask you to search you hearts and your own value systems. Remember hard-working people, put yourselves in the shoes of your constituents and act accordingly. Their bankruptcy shame due to medical crisis really is your shame. You are the body that could have acted and has not. Move forward now, and please do not wait for a new president or for favorable political winds. That course takes no courage whatsoever, and I know each of you has shown courage in stepping up to serve this nation. I just think many of you have lost your way in remembering who elected you and who needs your bravery now.

CLiCK here to read the rest of Donna's congressional testimony

UPCOMING: Listen to Donna Smith on AIR AMERICA's
"This IS America with Jon Elliott" this Thursday,
July 19th at 10:30 PM MT (12:30 AM ET)

Saturday, July 14, 2007 9:38 PM

Mike vs. the Machine; CNN meets its match

An Open Letter to CNN from Michael Moore
"I'm about to become your worst nightmare."

CNN Gets Blitzed by Michael Moore (VIDEO) | Wolf Blitzer, Round II (VIDEO) | Mike and Sanjay Gupta on Larry King Live (VIDEOS: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)

'SiCKO' Truth Squad Smackdown:
CNN vs. THE TRUTH Round I | Round II
"If we get that confirmed, obviously, we'll correct the record." -- Wolf Blitzer, live on The Situation Room

Dr. Gupta's Fans Turn on Him
Biased | False Claims | Take Back the Media!
Demand Corrections,
CNN President Jonathan Klein: (212) 275-7800

Friday, July 13, 2007 4:07 PM

What Goes Around Comes Around

Alberta Nurses Hand Out 150 Free 'SiCKO' Tickets
Generosity is contagious

Thursday, July 12, 2007 6:24 PM

Dealing With Insurance Companies One More Symptom

"I often wonder if his world isn't better than the one we're in."

Let Independence Blue Cross and Keystone-Mercy know they are on the radar.

Monday, July 9, 2007 2:29 PM

Support the 9/11 Rescue Workers

"We're at 6 years, and it's catastrophic now."
-- 9/11 first responder John Feal

Saturday, July 7, 2007 3:49 PM

Universal 'SiCKO'

Universal 'SiCKO'
Everyone gets in in Ithaca

Capital BlueCross CEO Anita M. Smith

$1,200,000 in '06
Capital spokesman Joe Butera puts Barclay Fitzpatrick's talking points memo to use

Labels: ,

Friday, July 6, 2007 4:04 AM

A Letter from Michael Moore

BlueCross Secret Memo Re: 'Sicko'
"You would have to be dead to be unaffected by Moore's movie..." -- Barclay Fitzpatrick, Vice President of Corporate Communications, Capital BlueCross


Thursday, July 5, 2007 6:27 PM

Fox News: Universal Health Care Breeds Terrorists

If we get universal health care, the terrorists win? Who wins if we don't?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007 6:43 PM

Treat This Like it's a Murder Case

Treat This Like it's a Murder Case

Tell Assurant Health They Are on the Radar

United States Senator Recommends 'SiCKO'

"Senator Maria Cantwell says the current health care system has failed to provide access to everyone.

"She told people attending a forum last night in Olympia to see Michael Moore's movie 'Sicko' for a good exploration of the system's pitfalls." -- Associated Press

Tuesday, July 3, 2007 11:45 PM

'SiCKO' Went Down to Texas

"Hell, yeah!"

You Can't Call San Francisco 'SiCKO'

"I've wanted something like this to happen
for a long time.
" -- Ying Fei Feng, 54

Bush Blew it and 'SiCKO' Knows It

"He Can Take Out His Bullhorn and Yowl All He Wants"

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