Saturday, July 11, 2009

“Sicko” Needs to Be Seen on Public Airwaves

It has been two years since Michael Moore debuted Sicko, his outstanding documentary on how health care is so broken in America. I had a hard time finding a theater here in Red Texas where I could go and see it. I finally found one in Houston. I got there just before the movie started after driving through a blinding rain that slowed freeway traffic to a crawl.

The theater was about a third full. I found myself sitting in front of someone who saw universal health care as nothing short of out and out socialism and was so vocal about it that I was considering moving. But my seat was a good one and the guy did finally shut up when the previews ended and the movie began.

Moore did a masterful job of explaining the problem and showing how France, Canada and the UK have it all solved. After it ended I came across the same guy who sat behind me coming out of the restroom. He was so critical of universal health care at the beginning of the movie, but he came out a changed man. “We have to do something about this. We have to tell people to see this movie,” is what he was saying.

This convinced me that Michael Moore’s Sicko could become more than a theater blockbuster, it could also be a colossal secret weapon that could help turn the tide and get the Blue Dogs to stand in line and support passage of meaningful universal health care legislation.

And now it appears we have our best chance to get it done this year. But we still need a final nudge to get America talking about universal health care. We need to start a conversation.

We need Michael Moore to release his movie to the public airwaves.

We need as many people as we can get to see this movie so that what happened to that one guy in that Houston theater 2 years ago can happen in television-watching households across the nation.

I checked.

Michael Moore’s Sicko is still being aired on premium cable channels. The next time it will air in the next two weeks is at 8 PM on Thursday, July 16th.

On The Movie Channel.

Now, it’s none of my business what Michael Moore wants to do with his property. That is his concern. All I am saying is that if he wants his film to do more than enrich him, if he wants it to actually be a force for positive change, he needs to release Sicko to the public airwaves and let those who haven’t seen this very persuasive movie, see it.

And he needs to do it soon.

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