Disease of Distraction

I just watched Michael Moore’s “Sicko” for the very first time. I knew a lot about the movie because we did our fair share of stories about it on “The Situation Room.” You might even remember Moore’s interview ginning up some press. At the time, I felt perhaps Moore was doing himself a disservice by being so belligerent and testy. After seeing the film, I’m convinced of it.

The movie is powerful and proves excellent points. Working as a freelancer and having to shell out money for both emergency care and then independent insurance, I’ve been frustrated for years. Seeing just how prevalent the issues are – and deep-seated the corruption is – made me furious.

But Moore shot himself in the foot by coming out swinging. Then, he took the foot right off by going to Cuba to prove a point. The film would have been just as powerful, if not more so, without that component. Having been born and raised in Miami, I am very familiar with the anti-Castro sentiment and know it’s not based on some flimsy government-sponsored plot to encourage unfounded hate. I also know that Moore’s controversial trip to the island shifted focus onto that excursion in particular and away from the broader theme of fixing our healthcare system. In fact, it did such a good job of masking the real agenda that I was shocked that more than an hour-and-a-half into the movie and still no sign of the 9/11 workers and the Cuban hospital. I mean, that’s what was all over the news. That’s what everyone was up in arms about, right? The trip makes up less than 20 minutes of the two-hour flick, and yet that’s the takeaway?

It’s a shame because so much needs to be done to make patients better off, doctors better off, and the overall health of our nation better off. We’re ignoring the concussion to tend to the scraped knee. And by tend to I mean complain that the injured’s getting blood on the rug.

Sometimes less is more, and in this case, Moore would have been better off with a little less.

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