More Sicko

MORE SICKO….Jonathan Cohn saw Michael Moore’s Sicko last night and confirms that there are places in the film where Moore plays a little fast and loose. Still, he says, “Sicko got a lot of the little things wrong. But it got most of the big things right.”

And that’s a helluva lot better than getting both the little things and the big things wrong, as Moore’s critics so often do. Michael Tanner, for example, the Cato Institute’s one-man hurricane of healthcare obfuscation, wrote a “pre-buttal” of Sicko that criticized Moore for touting France’s great healthcare system but failing to mention their “shortages of modern health-care technology.” Shortages? Cohn called Tanner to ask what he was talking about, and long story short, he was basically just making stuff up. Which prompts this summing up from Cohn:

Tanner’s op-ed was a good reminder of the proper context for considering Sicko — the fact that opponents of universal health care have been spewing half-truths and outright falsehoods for decades. If anything, the proponents of universal health care have probably been too honest, getting so caught up in nuance and policy accuracy that they undermine the very real moral power of their own argument. As another great health care debate begins, it’s worth remembering that the fundamental challenge isn’t technical. We have plenty of good ideas for achieving universal coverage. The challenge is political. Our side needs some passion and, yes, perhaps a little simplicity, too. That’s what Moore has supplied. No wonder the health care industry is spooked.

I wish they were more than spooked. But I guess that will do for a start.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation