Liev Schreiber Calls for 'Sicko' Replay to 'Shock' People to Action on Health Care

Actor, director and screenwriter Liev Schreiber thinks America needs a replay of propagandist filmmaker Michael Moore's "Sicko."

According to Schreiber's June 5 remarks on The Daily Beast's Buzz Board, Moore's movie would be "worthwhile" as the health care debate begins.

"As the health-care debate gets under way, a replay of Sicko is worthwhile. It's preposterous that there still isn't affordable health care in this country," wrote Schreiber.

Schreiber admitted that "Moore's approach to filmmaking is the theatrical equivalent of Artaud; he just wants to shock people into action, and he does a damn good job of it. I don't have a problem with that style if the intention is good, and in this case, the intention is good."

Well, Moore's film certainly shocks. Too bad it isn't honest. As the Business & Media Institute pointed out, throughout the movie Moore refers to health care in Canada, France, Britain and Cuba as "free." Nothing's free. National health care in those countries is actually being paid for by taxes.

A USA Today article from June 22, 2007 reported the drastic difference between the tax rates in France and Britain (42 and 27 percent respectively), compared to the U.S. (12 percent).

According to Grace-Marie Turner of the Galen Institute, a non-profit group that supports free market health care reform, Moore also ignored serious flaws of nationalized health care programs. "Moore ignores the limits, restrictions on access, and rationing of care in single-payer health care systems in Canada, the United Kingdom and elsewhere," Turner explained.

Turner also pointed out that "In Canada, more than 800,000 people are on waiting lists for surgery and other medical treatment, with some forced to wait months or even years for the care they need."

The timing of Schreiber's comments was right in line with liberal plans to jumpstart the health care reform push in Washington, D.C. My.BarackObama.com is staging "Health Care Organizing Kickoffs" around the country as part of what some are cheaply referring to as "D-Day" for health care.

A message from Obama's former campaign manager David Plouffe said, "Remember this date: Saturday, June 6th, 2009. We will look back on that day as the moment when the fight for real health care reform began in your neighborhood -- perhaps even in your own living room."

Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour is the Assistant Managing Editor for the MRC's Business and Media Institute.