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The healthcare crisis has become a hot-button issue in American politics. As bills pile up, the cost of medical care is the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States. On average, treatment for a brain tumor costs $200,000. A stroke—$140,000. Leukemia can cost up to $600,000. Would you be covered?

Oscar®-winning filmmaker Michael Moore takes on the healthcare industry in his eye-opening documentary, Sicko, released in June 2007. The film compares the American healthcare system with those of countries that support universal healthcare—and brings to light the hardships faced by patients who thought their needs would be covered by their insurance.

After Michael's first appearance on The Oprah Show, thousands of viewers wrote in to share their healthcare stories. "After seeing Sicko, I cried for hours, then became enraged," wrote a viewer named Teri. "While I'm searching for affordable healthcare, my daughter may die. Why can't we join together to change this? Where is the collective American heart?"

"Even though we have insurance, I cannot afford the medication for my rheumatoid arthritis," Kathy writes. "I have two sons in the military and feel it is a shame that my sons are willing to die for this country, and the same country cannot provide healthcare for their mother."

Oprah says the film changed the way she looked at the issue of healthcare in America. "It's an eye-opening experience, I think, for Americans, many who are like myself ... who feel like, 'Well, I'm taken care of. My family's taken care of, and we're okay,'" she says.
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FROM: Sick in America: It Can Happen to You
Published on January 01, 2006

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