The Washington Times - June 21, 2007, 03:25PM

Critics of Michael Moore, who was in Washington last night to preview his latest documentary, “SiCKO,” acknowledge the gaps in the United States health care system, but say his film’s oversimplifications are “liberal red meat offered up to the masses for monetary gain.”


“SiCKO presents the cure or panacea for America is in Canada or France when these governments themselves admit they have serious problems,” said Dr. David Gratzer, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a New York think tank advocating economic liberty and individual responsibility.

Dr. Gratzer, who was born in Winnipeg, Canada, said he used the terms “Canada” and “wait times” in a Google search and the Canadian Health System’s Web site was the first link that came up, containing links to statistics on wait times for Canadian hospitals.

The movie, which had its global premier at the Cannes Film Festival in late May, compares the health care experiences of insured Americans to the expriences of patients in Great Britain, Canada and France and indicts insurance companies and government as the primary causes of poor health care in the United States. (Find Michael Moore’s synopsis here.)

In an interview at, Michael Moore said: “The reason we don’t have a better system is because we’ve been made afraid of socialized medicine, the Canadian system, whatever, and trying to scare the American people, using ignorance as a way to increase the level of fear in the country.”

However, Dr. Getzer said there is “no vast conspiracy with drug companies, Dick Cheney, because he’s got to be in there, and malcontempts to rob the American people of health care.”

The documentary opens across the country on June 29. Moore’s D.C. appearance was at a screening for members of Congress and some health care lobbyists at Uptown Theater on Conneticut Avenue in Northwest Washington.

Here’s the trailer.

— Brandon Leonard, intern, The Washington Times