June 10, 2007, 4:52 pm

Sicko – To Know, I Have To Go


Poor Dr. Cyclops!

So misunderstood.

He isn’t diabolical!

He simply discovered a unique way to address emergency department crowding.

Shrink the patients.

The smaller the patients, the more you can fit in a room at any given time.

The movie was made in 1940 – the good doctor was 67 years ahead of his time.

By the way, Dr. Cyclops used radium to miniaturize his patients.


As we can see here, radium is restoring health to thousands!

Think about it!

Shrink your way to better health with Degnen’s Radio-Active Solar Pad.


Two forms of alternative energy!

What I don’t understand is why a radioactive device had to be “charged” via sunlight.

And for the record, this device really did exist!



It isn’t a comfortable feeling for me.

So what’s the problem?

“Sicko”. The new movie by Michael Moore.

That is the problem.


I found a single-payer health plan I can support when I found the Physicians for a National Health Program.

I was happily surprised to find that my state professional organization, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee endorsed the same plan.

On June 12, 2007 California nurses will have the opportunity to view this new movie that purports to take on the state of health care in the United States. This special preview of “Sicko” will occur in Sacramento. Michael Moore is going to testify in front of the California State Legislature.

Nurses will be bussed to Sacrament for a rally free of charge. Lunch and dinner will be provided free of charge. The movie is free of charge. The nurses who attend will get a “Sicko” scrub top free of charge.

This raises some red flags for me.

  • Who is paying for this? Me, through my professional dues? Michael Moore? The company who is distributing the film? The tax payers of California?
  • Why is Michael Moore testifying in front of the state legislature? Where are my nursing colleagues? Why aren’t my nursing leaders testifying? How ’bout some doctors? Why not put a few patients in front of the legislature – there are some dramatic stories on CNA/NNOC related sites.

This has all the earmarks of a publicity stunt.

And I have all the earmarks of a closed mind:

  • Michael Moore and I are not on the same page. On anything.
  • I have always had an issue with professionals standing in the hallways and on the steps of the state capitol shouting slogans and waving signs to make their point. I do realize that I have nursing colleagues who feel called to that style of activism. It just isn’t my style.

Normally this would not even be a cloud on my horizon, but this movie is going to stimulate an avalanche of dialogue in the medical blogosphere.

Which means I have to see the movie.

Which means I have to pay to see the movie (I won’t be going to Sacramento).

Which means I will be supporting Michael Moore.

This does not make me a happy camper.

But what if the movie is not a huge piece of political propaganda. Maybe “Sicko” will make some valid points/observations. What if Michael Moore hits the proverbial nail on the head?

Do you know how hard that will be to admit?

Maybe that’s what I’m afraid of.


  • Rachel

    June 10, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    I feel much the same way about not liking Michael Moore…but this doc about health care may be too important to miss.

  • ERMurse

    June 10, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    This Nurse, who is represented by CNA, will not be attending the screening on the 12th, even though I have a personal invite, for the following reasons. Micheal Moore has no credibility. Farinheight 911, need I say more. CNA is foolish to wrap themselves in his lastest hit piece on anything to do with capitalism. He will be a distraction from an important issue and put them on the fringe. Hey, Newsflash to CNA. Most rank and file people who belong to CNA have political views that are much more mainstream or conserative than the political agenda you are pushing. Please get back to the job of representing workers rather than your political agenda. Does anyone really think that Health Care is better in Cuba? Not even Fidel Castro as he brought in outside help for his ailment. We already have a form of National Healthcare, its called EMTALA and Medicaid and can be found in your local ER.

  • Sean

    June 10, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    I’m a big Michael Moore fan and agree with his politics (A vast majority of Canadians do). However, I have heard that the movie has nothing to do with left/right politics. It is just about healthcare.

    But…I haven’t seen the movie…so you never know.

  • Sean

    June 10, 2007 at 7:38 pm

    I should edit that to say “a lot of Canadians,” rather than “vast majority.” I really don’t know statistics on how many of us support Michael Moore. However, it is a left wing, socialist country with public health care, gun control, and all the things that he supports…

    And to the above poster…assuming that Cuba has worse health care is incredibly ethnocentric! To that I ask you, how do you know? Just because the best surgeon that Castro could find wasn’t Cuban doesn’t mean that Cuba doesn’t have great health care! We have a patient on my unit that was sent here from the U.S. because our Surgeon was considered THE BEST! This doesn’t mean the U.S. has horrible health care.

    Please don’t assume that your health care is better than other countries…it’s ignorant!

  • Margaret

    June 11, 2007 at 7:57 am

    Kim, I think it’s the CNA and PNHP that are paying for it. I found this press release: http://www.pnhp.org/news/2007/june/michael_moores_sic.php on their website.

  • Jen

    June 11, 2007 at 8:14 am

    As a Canadian I can agree with the sentiment of Sean’s post–many Canadians agree with Moore on a number of topics. Of course, many deny it when the statement is linked to Moore as he’s a bit of a tough character to take. I don’t need him, as an American, telling me how to vote in a Canadian election for example as he did in our last one.

    I’m sure a large number of Americans agree with Moore on many of his issues, but again the personality can be disagreeable or the film is heavy-handed (Columbine) so they dismiss the arguments in a knee-jerk fashion. Avoid the fiasco, see the film and try to separate it from the hype.

    Personally, in response to ERMurse re: Farenheit 9/11–I don’t see how that film undermines Moore’s credibility as he generally let Bush’s and the gov’ts words and actions speak for themselves…I’m just sayin’. Also, health care is universal in Cuba and it’s quality (or lack of) is related more to the economic situation (thanks largly to US embargos)than the socialist political situation. They’ve long been recognized as forward/upstream thinkers in prevention (e.g.: polio vaccination in the sixties).

  • TC

    June 11, 2007 at 8:59 am

    Kim, sorry about your existential crisis. I am glad that you’re at least going to give the movie a try before you comment on it. Unlike ERMurse. FYI, he didn’t bring people to Cuba to try Cuban healthcare. He brought them to Guantanamo(sp?) to make the point that the terror detainees are getting better healthcare BY OUR GOVERNMENT than our own people.

    We spend enough money on Halliburton alone that we could probably provide health coverage to every child in America.

  • laura

    June 11, 2007 at 9:47 am

    i’m no fan of michael moore so this cna member will not be attending. oh, and it really has nothing to do with the fact that i am working.
    i do, however, feel this industry we are professionals in is critically ill and needs interventions stat.

  • ERMurse

    June 11, 2007 at 10:03 am

    Hey TC, Moore didnt need to go to Gitmo (that was pure pandering to the left) to make that point. He could of gone to the any County or State Jail anywhere in the US where medical care is pretty good even by Cuban standards.

    Before we all jump on the Govenment run healthcare bandwagon has anyone taken into serious consideration what such a change would do to Nurses wages, opportunities, and working conditions. Taking the “profit” out of healthcare may sound good but are you sure the profit that we enjoy wont be equally effected. In my area Nurses are pulling in 500-700 for a 12 hour shift. We are profiting from the “profits” the institutions we work for get. When everyone gets put under the same healthcare plan dummed down to the lowest common denominator (just to make everyone equal) and the institutions we work for dont make money how do you think it will effect us?

  • Kim

    June 11, 2007 at 10:07 am

    Re: nurses wages…

    I wrote to the head of the Physician’s for National Health Care (see the link on the side of Emergiblog) and asked where nurse’s salaries stand in their program (this is before I realized CNA/NNOC was involved).

    Because hospitals will be paid a budget based on they used the year before, increases such as contract mediated raises for nurses will be budgeted in to the new year’s money, so our salaries are safe under this plan.

  • Nurse K

    June 12, 2007 at 6:19 am

    Re: Radon….There was a museum of quack medical devices around here once, and one of the exhibits had to do with radon. My favorite was the radon dinner plate set which promised to release some radon into your food with every meal.

  • Artemis

    June 12, 2007 at 10:50 am

    Hey Kim — I agree with everything you’ve said here, from disliking Michael Moore and all he’s stood for (and done in the past) to concern that maybe he’s gotten one right this time. (I think that if I buy a pass for my local movie theatre and see the movie during an “off” time, I won’t be supporting him as much…)
    Keep up the great work.

  • marachne

    June 12, 2007 at 11:53 am

    Hey Kim,

    I’m at the other end of the political spectrum from you, and while I find Michael Moore occasionally grating, I think he mostly gets things right.

    That said, I’ve also heard that a lot of folks on the right who have never seen eye-to-eye with Mr. Moore have found themselves in complete agreement and support of what is shown on SICKO. So be prepared for more existential angst.

  • type1emt

    June 12, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    I don’t like Michael Moore either but I guess we’ll see where this goes.

  • Sid Schwab

    June 13, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    I think Michael Moore is right more than he’s wrong, although I think his shtick is more grating than it needs to be. It may be of interest to you that Fox news, of all sources, has said good things about the movie. Of course, they said good things about my blog, so you never know. On the other hand, they said good things about yours, too.

  • me

    June 21, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    You want to see the movie but you don’t want to pay, that’s fair then download the movie it is already online everywhere, it is a pirated copy from the Cannes festival.


    March 1, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    Hmmmm…what is it that you don’t ‘like’ about Michael Moore? Nobody has really stated reasons.

    Are his facts incorrect (sicko)…such as how much money politicians receive from insurance companies?

    Or…is it untrue (Fahrenheit) that Bin Laden’s family was ‘spirited’ out of the country before the FBI could speak with them?

    Is he incorrect when he says that CNN (and other networks) do not address the healthcare issue for fear of losing advertising revenue?

    Perhaps those who do not ‘like’ Mr. Moore are confusing the messenger with the message!

About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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