Michael Moore - about those HMOs

Michael Moore - mini documentary on HMOs Michael Moore at Bernie’s Queens Rally

The text overlay on the video is a little hard to read (and the audio is from 1971), so I transcribed it for you.

Michael Moore: How did we get to the point that doctors and health insurance companies are actually being responsible for the deaths of patients? Who invented this system? Where did the HMO’s start?

We have now narrowed down the vice-president’s problems on this thing.

to one issue, and that is should we include

these health maintenance organizations like Edgar Kaiser’s Permanente thing.

Nixon: Now let me ask you,

You know I’m not too keen on any of these damn medical programs.

This is a private enterprise one.

Nixon: Well that appeals to me.

Edgar Kaiser is running his Permanente deal for profit.

And the reason he can do it…

I had Edgar Kaiser come in and talk to me about this.

And I went into it to some depth.

All of the incentives are toward less medical care.

Because the less care they give them, the more money they make.

Nixon: Fine.

And the incentives run the right way.

Nixon: Not bad.



The purpose of this program is simply this.

I want America to have the finest health care in the world.

And I want every American to be able to have that care when he needs it.


Michael Moore: The plan hatched between Nixon and Edgar Kaiser worked.

In the ensuing years patients were given less and less care.

Newscaster: Bigger log jams and less and less medical care…

Emergency room px: Been here 18 hours, since 7 this morning.

Newscaster: What looks cramped and unsightly can also be dangerous.

Michael Moore: While the health insurance companies became wealthy, the system was broken.