“Sicko,” Michael Moore’s new film, has hardly hit the movie theatres as of this writing, but already it is causing a lot of stomach-churning within the health insurance business.
I just got back from the annual convention of the National Association of Health Underwriters, where, as it happens, Michael Moore was a large presence, both spoken and unspoken. You might say he was the 800-pound gorilla in the room, but that would not be accurate since Moore is heavy, but not that heavy.
In any case, Moore and his new movie got a blasting from David L. Fear, NAHU’s outgoing president. He was also on the mind of Janet Trautwein, NAHU’s executive vice president and CEO.
The “Michael Moores of the world are 180 degrees opposed to our solutions,” Fear said.
OK, that’s probably true. But it’s what Fear said next that really bothered me. He said he had no intention of seeing “Sicko.” He did warn his listeners that millions of Americans probably would see it and hear its message in favor of a government-run system.
What’s my problem? It’s Fear’s admission that he’s not going to see the film. How on earth can you go into battle with something when you refuse to acknowledge your enemy?
There was also an unconscious irony here since Fear also said that “we live in a society that thrives on sound bites” and that the industry had to be able to counter Moore’s arguments in “Sicko.” If Fear isn’t going to see the movie, what is he responding to but sound bites about it?