An Open Letter to Michael Moore

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Hey there Mike,

I just left the theater where I saw SiCKO. While I am still all charged up on the evils of Capitalism, I thought that I’d dash this note off to you.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being as good as it gets, I rate SiCKO a perfect 10. I would have given a score of 12 – a score reserved for the best film ever produced – except for about 45 seconds of SiCKO that should have been left on the cutting room floor. You made two mistakes. When you went to Gitmo, you said that you were on U.S. property. I can show you a few thousand Cubans who might challenge that statement. Your second mistake was a more serious one. You implied that the Gitmo prisoners are well cared for. You ignored the fact that, although they might receive good medical care, they are also tortured. How many suicides have there been among the Gitmo prisoners?

OK, now that the negative part of the movie review is done, I can say that SiCKO is a masterpiece. You succeeded in exactly the right balance of emotional appeal, fact giving, and humor. Anyone, who does not see this movie, is missing a treat and an education. It is a film that should be included in every high school curriculum.

One of the important points made in the film is the comparison between the U.S. and other countries. The locations selected for the filming were perfect. I almost felt like I was in the apartment in France. The differences in culture and attitude were apparent. In the U.S. we have an "every man for himself" type philosophy. In other countries, there is compassion for fellow citizens.

While watching the movie, I was impressed with the teeth of those in the film. That may seem like a minor detail – but not if you live where I do. Many take dental health for granted but in some areas of the United States dental care is considered a luxury. One of my friends actually relocated to Costa Rica because she needed a dentist.

You made the often-overlooked point that in the USA, 18,000 die every year from lack of access to medical care. That is like having a 9/11 every 60 days, but worse. We are imposing those 18,000 deaths on ourselves. You also made the point that the quality of care in the U.S. is often deficient, as when the sick and elderly patients in California were thrown out of taxicabs on the pavement.

The most important point of the film might be the explanation about the cause of the problem in the United States. You very clearly show the deadly effect of the greed of politicians and insurance companies. I was left wondering who are the real terrorists. Insurance company "denials-of-care" kill more people than foreign enemies invading our shores do. Though the film does not exactly come out and say it, the solution is obvious. We have to get Wall Street out of the health care industry. A single-payer system would save lives and money.

Your film might cause an exodus from the United States. You say that in Canada it helps to be married to a Canadian. I wonder if I can make it to the border before dark and if I can "hook-a-Canuck " there. I do windows and make a great pot of chicken soup.

Thanks for this one, Mike. I can’t wait for your next project.

Rosemarie Jackowski

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Rosemarie Jackowski is an advocacy journalist living in Vermont. She was arrested, tried, and convicted for her participation in a peaceful protest of the war. The conviction was appealed and overturned in the State Supreme Court. The government then announced plans to retry the case. Finally, after years of legal proceedings, all charges were dropped. She contributed this article to Media Monitors Network (MMN) from the US.

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