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Moore Film Sparks Discussions Of Health Care: Survey

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Only 4% of U.S. adults have seen Michael Moore’s documentary “Sicko,” but plenty more have heard about it and agree with its main thesis, a survey finds.

“Sicko,” a Moore documentary released early this summer, takes a critical view of the U.S. healthcare system in general and health care insurance companies in particular.

According to a poll by Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, Calif., 46% of Americans had either heard of “Sicko” or had actually seen it.

Among those who know of the film, 45% said as a result of the movie, they had discussed the U.S. health system with friends, coworkers, or family; 43% said they were more likely to think there is a need to reform the health system; 37% were more likely to think other countries have a better approach to health care; and 27% said they were paying more attention to the positions of presidential candidates on health care.

Also among those aware of the movie, 26% thought it accurately portrayed problems in the U.S. health system, while 33% thought it exaggerated them. Favorable impressions of “Sicko” outweighed negative ones, 48% to 33%.

The film’s main targets–health insurers and health maintenance organizations– were viewed unfavorably by the public overall (51% and 46%, respectively), which is similar to perceptions of drug companies (52% unfavorable) .

By contrast, hospitals and doctors were viewed largely favorably by the public.