Arclight gets a little SiCKO

sicko2_large.jpgI was biting my blog tongue on this one for two reasons:

1. I complain too much about the Arclight, even though it remains my all time favorite movie theatre, and
2. After seeing the sneak preview “SiCKO” at the theatre last Saturday night, I walked away being even more pro-publicly funded healthcare than ever before.

Here’s my gripe:

I spent $14 bucks for my ticket at the Arclight, their usual cost of a first run film over the weekend. I didn’t think twice about this, because, as you know, the Arclight not only has reserved seating, but they also don’t show advertisements before the movie.

Unfortunately, before walking to my seat I was stopped by a group of people identifying themselves as from the Weinstein Company, who released the film. They let me know that there was a card in my seat they’d like me to fill out before and after the movie to let them know what I thought of the film.

I’m mildly annoyed. I don’t mind filling out these cards, but only when its one of those free screenings. Quid pro quo, y’know? Not when I’m spending $14.

Then, I walk to my seat. Before I’ve even had a chance to put my Coke into the cupholder, a woman walks up to me with a clipboard asking me if I’m interested in free public healthcare.

Thats right: the Arclight allowed lobbyists into its movie theatres.

I told the woman flat out “no, I wasn’t interested”, but she handed me some “literature” anyway, something about Senate Bill 840, “the California Universal Healthcare Act”, and a John Edwards for President flyer. A few minutes later, I overheard the same woman trying to give the same stuff to some other moviegoers, who started challenging her on the details of the bill – they were apparently also annoyed with the pitch.

I secretly hoped I hated the movie and that Michael Moore’s theatrics would backfire just so I could write a bitter blog post about the pre-show advertising… but, like I wrote at the beginning, walked out more convinced than ever of the need for public healthcare. I can’t cite exactly what part of the movie did it for me, but it had something to do with all the Conservatives who say public healthcare would be a mess, and point to the Canadian system as an example – to which my Patriotic side gets all pissed off and says, “You don’t think we can’t do better than the frackin’ Canadians if we wanted to? Since when?”

So, yay on public healthcare, but a big fat nay on the Arclight breaking their promise of no pre-show advertising.

(Oh, and on a L.A.-centric movie note, the downtown patient dumping controversy is featured in the film around the beginning of the third act.)

23 Replies to “Arclight gets a little SiCKO”

  1. You should have immediately asked the Weinstein stooge for 14 bucks as your consulting fee.

    Then you should have demanded your money back from Arclight for allowing LOBBYISTS to molest you in their theater.

    And the worst part? Even if you ended up UP 14 bucks, you’d still have been doubly abused.

    Nice going, Arclight!

  2. Countdown to Frazgo’s anecdotal, simplistic, fact-lite arguments against publicly-funded healthcare: 3…2…1…

  3. What seems to be the problem Mr. Moore? How about try not hoarding the hoagie so your co-patients don’t turn into a sack of bones.

    “A few minutes later, I overheard the same woman trying to give the same stuff to some other moviegoers, who started challenging her on the details of the bill – they were apparently also annoyed with the pitch.”

    Gold. Publicly-funded healthcare already exists, they come into us in forms that you might already be familiar with: Drew-King County hospital, Walter Reed Memorial, etc.

  4. Yeah, on second thought, don’t bother watching it.

    The ad hominem response is a much better way to go.

    Ching Chong Ching Chong.

  5. Ugly American: Your “ad hominem” comment would have more weight if your response was better than “watch this 25 minute video” and avoiding my initial point entirely.

    But sorry for associating you with the Republicans.

  6. It would have been more appropriate for her to have set up a table in the lobby or outside, rather than bugging people in their seats.

  7. I’ve never understood why rational, sane people would want to hand over the administration of our health care system to the bloated, inefficient, fucked-up bureaucracy that is the federal government, a clusterfuck-generating nightmare that they constantly (and rightly) complain about in every other circumstance in which they are forced to interact with its awfulness.

    Ever try to track a lost package through the Post Office, or try to make sense of your income taxes? Now imagine doing it with a gunshot wound, or a tumor…

    Having said this, I completely agree that our current system is a mess. I just think that handing it over to the evil pinheads in Washington would only make it an even bigger mess.

  8. Well, since you asked… ; )

    The problem isn’t that Americans don’t have “proper healthcare” (i.e. hospitals are required to treat you), it’s that almost no one can afford it.

    Quite frankly, I think that movie poster relates more to countries with socialized healthcare than to our own. I fear that may be our future too if we adopt a universal healthcare system.

    Another issue that no one seems to want to talk about is the giant elephant in the waiting room….namely the effect of illegal immigration on our healthcare system.

    Just a show of all the vacant hospitals here in the San Fernando Valley alone, is enough to demonstrate its devastating effects.

    One solution….allow those of us with existing healthcare the ability to write off *ALL* medical expenses on our taxes. Make the government pay and just leave me the hell out of it.

    Perhaps, once they see how much money is being sucked away from their tax coffers, they’ll finally be willing to deal with the insurance companies and hospitals.

    In short, make Congress do their damn job.

    Just my 2 cents.

  9. universal health care is a great idea

    just as long as the illegal immigrants get it too

    if not, then know one should be that lucky

  10. Thanks, Ugly.

    I think the greater point of Sicko is that have insurance companies and HMOs running medical care is simply that they naturally put profit before actual healthcare. I don’t think anyone is disagreeing that the system is fubar, but besides the people pushing for national public healthcare, I haven’t heard of anyone with a plan to fix this.

    But to say we can’t afford it, even with the unfortunate burden of illegal immigrants, is really a fallicy. To be sure, implementing national health care will be expensive at the start, but we’d only have to spend a fraction of what we’re spending on national defense.

    To be sure, the biggest benefit of national healthcare would be in letting those who otherwise couldn’t afford regular checkups some degree of preventive care which will help offset the cost of what taxpayers now have to pay to take care of these same people for diseases and complications that could have been avoided in the first place.

    Bottom line: nobody should have to think twice about seeing a doctor when they feel the need because they’re afraid they can’t afford it. Keeping fellow citizens healthy should be as equal a burden on the taxpayers as keeping us safe from terrorists.

  11. I HAVE insurance and I was forced to spend 9 months jumping through hoops to get surgery to fix my hearing. Gee, isn’t that wonderful.

    There is actually very fine government health care in this country, it’s called the VA system (and that scandal a few months back, despite some people’s attempts to conflate things, was NOT with VA health care, but health care for active duty soldiers).

    The simple solution to making sure that a federal single-payer system works properly: Start by combining VA, Medicare, Medicaid and all the health plans for goverment employees (ESPECIALLY those used by congress and the executive branch) into a single system. Then start letting people/companies opt into the system.

    We’ll see universal health care in our lifetimes because employers are sick of being in the healthcare business. It’s worth noting that just about EVERY major labor dispute of the last 10-20 years has been over healthcare. Take that out of the equation and labor costs drop and there will be a great improvement of productivity.

    The anti-Canada/France/Japan/England FUD is largely a product of the health insurance industry who don’t want to lose their supply of cash that comes from preventing people from seeing doctors.

  12. We’ll see Universal Healthcare because we live in Democracy where the people have figured out that we can vote ourselves money. Before the war for Independance was over, Touqueville(sp?0 predicted that.

    I’m very much on the fence about this since the current medical system is a rather lucerative racket with insurance companies raping all. The medical profession gave away the keys for short term gains with the rise of HMO’s. Talk to any older doctor and they can tell you.

    And that was a short sighted shame, since now doctors are being squeezed out of their overpaid $100-300K salaries. Boo hoo. Having worked with Doctors, who went to Medicall school for years and years, and Physician Assistants, with a two year program, I can tell you that doctors are highly overpaid and not as necessary as they would tell you.

    Now, having talked to my local rep, or rather her aides that handle her healthcare intiatives, I can also say that our elected “leaders” don’t have a good handle on what needs to be done to fix the healthcare system. This is getting debated in “medically oriented sound bites” but it’s still a Dem vs Republican debate. No one is really on the side of science and the patients.

    Before I’d turn over my healthcare to government, I’d ask why can’t they fix the VA system? The answer I got is that it’s underfunded. But aren’t they the ones who allocated the funding?

    And, I really liked the original post and responses. I’d ask, did you fact check every fact that helped reaffirm your position on healthcare? Michael Moore is notorious for not having the facts straight.

  13. Imagine the local urgent care center like the DMV or the parking office. Take a ticket, and wait, then speak to an under trained, under paid, under motivated goverment employee listening to you explain the pain in your chest and ask you to wait another hr to see if they pain goes away on it’s own…

  14. “I walked away being even more pro-publicly funded healthcare than ever before. ”

    In other words, you went to see a propoganda movie, and it had the desired effect?

  15. That’s for sure, Sam –

    Nobody ever went to see a Michael Moore movie expecting (or getting) a well-rounded, unbiased opinion.

  16. Moore has never claimed that his docs are unbiased. They are his opinion, and he presents an argument for that opinion. You either agree or you don’t. And is there such thing as an “unbiased opinion”?

  17. I fail to see Sam’s point.

    I go into any documentary, especially one thats pushing a message, with a high degree of skepticism.
    But what really convinced me was a simple notion by Moore that we’re America – we can do anything we set our minds to.

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