Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

To Your Health: A Talk with Sicko's Michael Moore
by Richard Knight, Jr.
2007-06-27

This article shared 13939 times since Wed Jun 27, 2007
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Michael Moore ( right ) and film critic Richard Knight, Jr.

___________

Filmmaker/activist Michael Moore is back with Sicko—the movie that has the health care industry shaking in its boots ( and rightly so ) . Moore has been touring the country promoting the film and speaking at rallies ( including a recent one at Chicago's Daley Plaza ) —trying to incite people to demand long-overdue changes in the insurance industry.

Windy City Times took part in a roundtable with the director:

Windy City Times: Whenever I see a film of yours I feel like it's a call to action, but what does one person do? What can I do walking out of the theater besides casting my vote or whatever?

Michael Moore: Well, that's important. Most people don't vote most of the time, right? I'll have things on my Web site; you'll be able to get involved and get behind a bill that's in Congress—HR676.

WCT: What does that cover?

MM: National health insurance; it creates a single-payer system. Nurses in towns all over America are organizing this issue. Push for this. Push the politicians to pass legislation so that we can have the system they have in, say, Canada or whatever.

WCT: How do nurses fit in the larger scheme of all this?

MM: Nurses are on the front lines of this problem. They see it every day. They see the doctors after they diagnose what the patient needs and, instead of just immediately giving what he or she needs, they've got to call and make sure the insurance will cover it. That doesn't happen in a single other country in the western industrialized world. A doctor sees you need something, [ and the ] doctor goes and gets it. That's the way it should be.

WCT: Americans, by nature, are impatient people. Is there a way to fast-track this process?

MM: We have to start somewhere. I mean, how about this: We already have one of the largest socialized medicine systems in the world—Medicare and Medicaid—okay, so we already cover tens of millions of people as it is. Then we have veterans; how many millions of veterans do we have that are covered by the VA? That's a socialized medicine system. So we have that.

Why don't we take the next step and let's cover the 9 million kids? I mean ... who wouldn't support the fact that a kid should have the right to see a doctor and not have to worry about paying for it? There's 9 million more. You know, maybe it will happen like that; I mean I hope it does. I hope it happens faster than that but I think it can expand and start taking care of more and more people. Maybe the easy way to think about this is Medicare for all.

WCT: We actually have ACT UP to thank for faster access to experimental drugs and for first putting the spotlight on the insurance companies—these clever tactics they use to deny coverage.

MM: That's true.

WCT: A militant organization 20 years ago did this kind of thing and affected a lot of change. Would an organization like that have a chance today?

MM: That's a good question.

WCT: Would those tactics work?

MM: Yes, I do believe that. I believe that's exactly what we need. We need that kind of direct action and I think it would work.

WCT: 'ACT UP. Fight Back. Fight AIDS.'

MM: For instance, what happened in the emergency in L.A. a couple of weeks ago where they were calling 911 because nobody was helping the person that was dying?

WCT: Right.

MM: I actually had a scene I was going to put in the movie encouraging people if the health insurance company is telling the doctor they can't treat you when you go to the hospital to call 911 and report an attempted murder. Because this is attempted murder and, in fact, sometimes it is murder because they're making the decision—as the doctor said in her testimony, 'I signed 'Denied' and I knew when I was doing that, that person was going to die.' It's a form of murder and I would like to see criminal charges brought against these people, and they won't do it until we the people stand up and demand it.

WCT: What was the most challenging part about putting Sicko together? What was the most surprisingly difficult thing you had to do?

MM: Reading those letters from the 25,000 people that were sent us. We read them all. I had my whole staff ( 10 people ) . It took 2 1/2 months to read. All we did was read e-mails everyday, and it was depressing. It was really tough.

WCT: Did you consider some gays and lesbians because, you know, we have special troubles getting our partners covered, I mean there's an actual level up of horrific stuff they can do. I'm just wondering if there was a person…

MM: No, but let me say this: I could have made a whole film about pharmaceutical companies, just a film about them. Twenty-five years ago there were 30 pharmaceutical companies that were working on cures and vaccines; today, there are five. There's no money in it.

There's a lot more money in dealing with HIV—in producing those drugs and the [ drug ] cocktail and the pills and everything you'll have to take for the rest of your life, as opposed to actually working on the cure or the vaccine for it. Because once you cure it you can't sell any more pills, right? And that's not the way it used to be.

We used to have people like Jonas Salk who would find the polio vaccine or work on it. You know, we had scientists and doctors who were committed to that and you take a guy like Jonas Salk—he wouldn't patent it. He said, 'This belongs to everybody.' The guy that invented the kidney dialysis machine wouldn't patent it. He said, 'This belongs to everybody.' These guys could have been billionaires but that wasn't the way they thought. You know, it was a different time. People thought differently. Now it's all about the money. It's all about the Haliburtons of the drug industry.

The whole thing with HIV is this: It should've been a full-frontal, full-force effort from the get-go and we all know the history of this. It wasn't, it was shoved aside and it was ignored; Reagan took seven years before he even said the word. A lot of people died that maybe didn't have to die and now, okay, there's some money in it, so let's not talk about trying to cure it—let's just try to maintain it. But, no, I know … I mean, I'll tell you, there's so many things we could do.

WCT: Where does your fire come from? What keeps you motivated? What keeps you pissed off all the time?

MM: Geez, I wish I knew that. I don't know. I was raised in an Irish Catholic home—maybe that says it all. I don't know. [ Laughs ]


This article shared 13939 times since Wed Jun 27, 2007
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Actress Anne Heche declared brain-dead at age 53 2022-08-13
- Anne Heche—the actress who starred in a string of high-profile late '90s movies including Six Days Seven Nights, Donnie Brasco and Wag the Dog as well as Emmy-winning TV shows such as Men in Trees and ...


Gay News

Haven Chicago presenting first-ever Festival Au Cinema on Aug. 26-28 2022-08-09
-- From a press release - CHICAGO (August 8, 2022) — Haven Chicago is pleased to present its first annual Festival au Cinéma, the company's new platform for visionary and innovative filmmakers and media artists staking their claim in the future of ...


Gay News

Chicago filmmaker releases documentary about activist, writer Joseph Beam 2022-08-09
- A Chicago filmmaker's desire to learn more about the quote "Black men loving Black men is a revolutionary act" led him to a community of writers and activists who helped tell the story of the man ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Jane Lynch, Dwayne Johnson, 'Star Trek,' Beyonce, Shea Coulee 2022-08-07
- NBC has renewed the Jane Lynch-hosted game show Weakest Link for a third season, Variety noted. Season three will run for 20 episodes. The series is based on a British format distributed by BBC Studios that ...


Gay News

TELEVISION 'They/Them' cast members reflect on making the film 2022-08-06
- They/Them (pronounced "They-slash-Them") is a new 2022 film from Blumhouse Productions in which the terrors of an LGBTQ+ conversion camp invade the lives of a diverse group of young people who spend a summer together. The ...


Gay News

Actress Anne Heche in critical condition after car crash 2022-08-06
- Actress Anne Heche reportedly crashed her car into a house in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles on Aug. 5, setting both the vehicle and the house on fire, according to CNN. She is now ...


Gay News

TELEVISION Darwin Del Fabro ('They/Them') talks horror, love scenes and inner strength 2022-08-04
- Queer Brazilian singer/actor Darwin Del Fabro is one of the cast members of the horror movie They/Them (pronounced "they-SLASH-them")—a slasher movie (get it?) set ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Cabaret' coming to Metropolis Arts on Sept. 15 2022-08-02
- Musical Broadway classic and hit film Cabaret re-creates the decadent and complicated world of 1929 Berlin at the Arlington Heights venue Metropolis Performing Arts Centre on Sept. 15-Oct. 22. Cabaret is Kander and Ebb's legendary musical ...


Gay News

Billy Masters 2022-08-01
- "Mike, you's in danger, man."—Whoopi Goldberg paraphrases her line from Ghost (or, as Barbara Walters always called it, The Ghost) in response to Pence's former aide Marc Short revealing what almost happened to the VP on ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Comic Con, WNBA player, Timothee Chalamet, Kate McKinnon 2022-07-31
- Out Magazine listed at least seven LGBTQ+-related characters and projects that were unveiled at San Diego Comic Con. Some of them include Michaela Coel (from TV's I May Destroy You) as a queer character in the ...


Gay News

Gene Siskel Film Center running 'Pioneers of Queer Cinema' 2022-07-31
- In partnership with the UCLA Film & Television Archive, the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. Clark St., presents differing, often radical explorations of sexual orientation and gender identity in the series "Pioneers of Queer Cinema." ...


Gay News

Billy Masters 2022-07-24
- "First of all, I'm glad to have a president who can ride a bicycle."—Pete Buttigieg's response to Rep. Troy Nehls' quip that Biden "falls off bicycles." Anyone can sue over anything. There is no guilt or ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Broadway, 'Game of Thrones' prequel, Dexter Mayfield, Shania Twain 2022-07-24
- The Broadway League announced that theaters will continue their recently adopted mask-optional policy for audiences at least through August, Deadline reported. The mask-optional policy—in which audiences are encouraged but not ...


Gay News

Quidditch organizations cite Rowling's anti-trans statements in acquiring new name 2022-07-21
- Major League Quidditch, the real-life semi-pro league inspired by the magical contests played by wizards in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels and their film adaptations, now has a new name. ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Queen + Adam Lambert, Spider-Man, 'Victoria's Secret,' 'Friends' 2022-07-10
- Queen + Adam Lambert announced details of "Rhapsody Over London"—an exclusive concert spectacular filmed live at London's O2 Arena during their current sold-out European tour that will premiere live on July 24 via Kiswe's global streaming ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS






Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.