124 mins - Culture | Society
Average Rating: 9.3/10

According to the documentary film Sicko, almost fifty million Americans are uninsured while the remainder, who are covered, are often victims of insurance company fraud and red tape. Interviews are conducted with people who thought they had adequate coverage but were denied care. Former employees of insurance companies describe cost-cutting initiatives that give bonuses to insurance company physicians and others to find reasons for the company to avoid meeting the cost of medically necessary treatments for policy holders, and thus increase company profitability.

Moore contrasts U.S. media reports on Canadian care with the experiences of Canadians in hospitals and clinics there. He interviews patients and doctors in the U.K. about cost, quality, and salaries. He examines why Nixon promoted HMOs in 1971, and why the Clintons’ reform effort failed in the 1990s.

He talks to U.S. ex-pats in Paris about French services, and he takes three 9/11 clean-up volunteers, who developed respiratory problems, to Cuba for care. He asks of Americans, “Who are we?”

Released May 19, 2007. Director: Michael Moore. Documentary Film.

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  • UK Luke

    No video available in UK. Can this be fixed?

    • Jonas

      Its up again

  • Yo Ho

    I don’t usually like Michael Moore documentaries because they are so preachy. However, that said, I really liked the people he interviewed in this documentary. I am a European and it is not unusual for Europeans of my generation to mock America and resent its foreign policy. Politics to one side, one has to like and admire these Americans. They should treat themselves better. The world would be a better place. Also, I liked the soundtrack. I must emigrate to France — for the French cover versions of 1960s pop songs if nothing else. :-)

  • Lakota

    Well I don’t know know why Germany was not included! And like France & GB we have the same policy!

  • Americanmurse

    As a healthcare worker in America and an injury prone person in general with a long history of injuries requiring surgery, doctors visits, physical therapy, rehab, medical equipment (braces, canes, crutches, automated joint mobilizers, etc) I can attest to the major flaws in the healthcare system. The government does spend a large amount of money on healthcare (19 % of our GDP) however, the problem is that it only covers certain people (the disabled, single mothers, the elderly, etc. who all previously had difficulty getting insurance prior to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. And while I think the ACA is a step in the right direction, it still is not an adequate solution.

    Affordable is a very speculative term. While my healthcare insurance is currently not the best plan available, it’s far from the worst, yet I still have a deductible of $1,000 that I must spend on healthcare services out of pocket prior to my insurance being willing to accept a claim. Once I cover my deductible, I then have co-payments that I must pay prior to seeing a doctor (around $35 for a normal doctor visit and $50 for a specialist) and then I have what they call a 20% co-insurance. Which means that after all that, my insurance only covers 80% of their contracted rate, leaving me responsible for the other 20%. Despite having insurance, I’m currently facing a $2,000 bill from a trip to the ER a few months ago for chest pain and a blood pressure of 210/135 (Which is obscenely high for those of you who don’t know. Normal is 120/80)

    And that’s not even including $330 the hospital is charging me for a blood test done while I was in the ER that my insurance company denied payment for saying it was unnecessary. For those of you who don’t know, a blood test is one of the most standard diagnostic tests for chest pain (especially with high blood pressure as it can indicate a heart attack). The results of the blood test give a level of certain cardiac enzymes of which an elevated level indicates that someone is having a heart attack.

    The problem is that insurance companies are privatized and have no obligation to approve or pay for anyone (until very recently though it’s not much of an improvement). As a result, people don’t seek preventative treatment and often don’t seek treatment for what could have been a curable illness until the disease has progressed beyond a reversible point. And I can’t really blame them. I avoid going to the doctor for things I should because I honestly just can’t afford to seek the treatment I need.

  • 3wqd

    hardsubs ruined the translations.

  • Candi

    This is a most enlightening piece on what health care insurance companies are doing to the people who buy into their insurance thinking they are covered. Every American is entitled to have the exact health insurance our senators, representatives, and our president. how dare they have the very best that we as their constituents pay for and we get cheated out of what we pay for to cover our families and deny the less fortunate insurance. It is time for all Americans to decide it is time to get rid of our present legislators and vote in those that want what we want and prove to us who they say they are. It is time to get rid of those who strangle our government for their convenience. It is for the people and by the people. Not for those we have voted into office to screw over the American people. Our Government have allowed these companies that they are invested in heavily. They use threats of not giving them some sort of incentives if they disapprove this of that. Now our government will charge us if we do not have insurance. What happens if we do not have a job?

  • dario

    I can’t believe what I am watching!This cannot be true!!!!

    • Krista Estrella

      It IS true. Things will be slightly better for some with the ACA, but on the whole, the insurance industry will continue to soak us for all it can while denying care whenever possible.

  • kandis

    I was so touch on how other countries come together to take care of each other WE NEED UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE IN AMERICA :-)

  • Coalition

    Honestly anything Micheal Moore is not a credible source of info, when he was evaluating the rifle/safety deposit bylaw he got the banker to hand him a rifle he bought before hand just trying to make a bias opinion on the bylaw, he tells half truths and only turns his camera on when he wants to catch something effectively taking out half the story…

    • Francois

      You choose to look the other way? For me the point is he makes people aware of things many people are a slave to. If all he brings awareness he’s already done something good.