Michael Moore's documentary looks at the state of the insurance-based healthcare system in the United States, and compares it with the universal healthcare systems available in other countries, such as France, Canada, Britain and Cuba. His conclusions are that healthcare is more accessible, more affordable and of a higher quality in other countries. [2:03]
SEX/NUDITY 2 - Several scenes of couples in romantic embraces, kissing and hugging while a song with the lyrics "Je t'aime" plays in the background.
► The genitals of a newborn infant are seen briefly and a man's bare buttocks are shown when he is given an injection. A couple of women wearing bikinis are shown in photographs, and a woman wears a low-cut top that reveals cleavage. We see a bare-chested man receiving a medical examination.
► A woman talks about having had a yeast infection and a woman talks about her child complaining that his "wee-wee is burning."
VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - We see a large, rather deep cut on a man's knee (there isn't much blood) as he threads a needle and stitches himself up (we see the thread passing through his skin and tugging the wound closed) while stating that he cannot afford to go to the doctor for stitches. We see a person on an operating table while a doctor stitches up a wound on the side of the head (a small amount of blood is visible).
► We see an infant being born: he is held up by his feet, he is covered with goo, and the umbilical cord is shown.
► We see a man dislocate his shoulder while walking on his hands (we hear a loud crack and see him fall to the ground).
► We see newsreel footage of a war-torn England and see injured people being led out of a building (bandages are discernable, though blood is not evident). We see several hospital waiting rooms and operating rooms throughout the film (we see bandaged people, with limbs in braces, and people in pain). We see medical examinations of several people.
► We hear that a young woman had been diagnosed with a cancer, the treatment was delayed, and she ended up with cancer throughout her body. A woman talks about her young daughter having a high fever, being refused treatment at a hospital, and being transported to another hospital where the child went into cardiac arrest and died. We hear that a woman died from a brain tumor that her insurance company called "non-life threatening." We hear that a man died from kidney cancer because his insurance company denied a bone marrow transplant, calling it "experimental."
► A man talks about having cut off part of two of his fingers and having to choose the less expensive finger to be reattached because he couldn't afford to reattach both. We hear that a husband and wife had to move in with their daughter because after the husband suffered three heart attacks and the wife was diagnosed with cancer they were in serious debt despite the fact that they had health insurance. We hear that sick indigent people who are refused treatment at hospitals because insurance companies refuse to pay them are dropped off on streets near shelters and clinics (we see video tape of one such woman and we hear that she had broken ribs, a broken collarbone and a stitched wound on her head that was not healing properly). We hear about a child who had a high fever, stopped breathing and turned blue (the child recovered).
► We hear about the debilitating illnesses suffered by many of the rescue workers at the World Trade Center site after 9/11 and that they are not being treated.
► Three children cry inconsolably when their father leaves home to work in Iraq. We hear a doctor for an insurance company speaking in front of a congressional hearing saying that she blamed herself for the death of a man whose insurance claim she had denied.
► A scene from a movie shows a woman on her knees cleaning a floor and another person kicks her to make her work harder.
► We see a figure burning in effigy and it is referred to as being of Hillary Clinton.
PROFANITY 5 - 1 typed F-word, 2 sexual references, 1 scatological term, 1 anatomical term, 4 mild obscenities, name-calling, 1 religious exclamation. [profanity glossary]
SUBSTANCE USE - People are shown drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes in a couple of scenes.
DISCUSSION TOPICS - The health insurance industry in the U.S., universal health care in other countries, the 50 million Americans who are uninsured, denial of insurance claims, pre-existing conditions, maximizing profits, cervical cancer, socialized medicine, the beginning of the HMOs as a private and profit-making institution, Cuba, Fidel Castro, dictatorships, self-sacrifice, experimental treatment, the hopelessness of being poor, power through fear and demoralization.
MESSAGE - The U.S. is the only industrialized country without free health care provided by the government, and with millions of people who cannot seek medical help when in need and therefore many people die. Health insurance companies maximize profits by denying as many health care claims as possible. Countries should be judged by how they treat their citizens.