Michael Moore: ‘It's Absolutely a Good Thing’ for Government to Drive Private Health Insurance Out of Business

October 2, 2009 - 5:58 PM
Michael Moore told CNSNews.com that "it's absolutely a good thing" for government to drive private health insurance out of business.
(CNSNews.com) - Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Moore told CNSNews.com "it's absolutely a good thing” for government to drive private health insurance companies out of business and replace them with a single-payer system.

President Obama, Moore said, should stop trying to sneak a single-payer health care system through the “backdoor” and come straight at it instead. Moore said he would advise the president to tell the American people: “Look, we should be like every other Western Democracy and have a single-payer health care system. Pure and simple.”

CNSNews.com spoke with Moore on the red carpet at the Uptown Theatre in Washington, D.C., last Tuesday night before the premiere of his documentary, “Capitalism: A Love Story."



CNSNews.com asked Moore about comments he made to Rolling Stone in August.

Moore told the magazine: “If a true public option is enacted--and Obama knows this--it will eventually bring about a single-payer system, because the profit-making insurance companies won't be able to compete with a government run plan and make the profits they want to make. I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but I’m counting on the fact that Republicans won’t be reading Rolling Stone.”

CNSNews.com asked Moore if he stood by his comment that creating a government-run health insurance provider—the “public option”--would eventually lead to a single-payer health care system.

“I think that’s probably true,” Moore said. “But what I would say to President Obama is: ‘Why backdoor this thing? Why not just come at it full force, right in front of them and say, “Look, we should be like every other Western Democracy and have a single-payer health care system. Pure and simple.’”

CNSNews.com asked Moore whether it would be a good thing or a bad thing for a public-option health insurance provider to drive private health insurance companies out of business.
 
“Oh, it’s absolutely a good thing,” said Moore. “We should have no talk of profit when it comes to helping people who are sick. The profit motive should be nowhere involved in this. And you know what? It’s not fair to the insurance companies either because they have a fiduciary responsibility to make as much money as they can for their shareholders. Well, the way they make more money is to deny claims or to kick people off the roles or to not even let people on the rolls because they have a pre-existing condition. You know, all of that is wrong.
 
In the same interview in front of the Uptown Theatre, Moore, who has made millions from the proceeds of his films, told CNSNews.com: “Well, capitalism did nothing for me, starting with my first film.”

Here is a transcript of CNSNews.com’s discussion with Michael Moore about driving insurance companies out of business:
 
CNSNews.com:
“I want to ask you about comments you made in a recent interview with Rolling Stone—actually it was a couple of months back. You said that a public option would eventually lead to a single-payer system and put private insurance companies ultimately in a position where they can’t compete. Do you stand by those comments?”
 
Moore: “I think that’s probably true. But, why, I mean--But what I would say to President Obama is: ‘Why backdoor this thing? Why not just come at it full force, right in front of them and say, “Look, we should be like every other Western Democracy and have a single-payer health care system. Pure and simple.’” 
 
CNSNews.com: “If the public option does put private insurers out of business over time, do you think that’s a good thing or is that a bad thing?”
 
Moore: “Oh, it’s absolutely a good thing. We should have no talk of profit when it comes to helping people who are sick. The profit motive should be nowhere involved in this. And you know what? It’s not fair to the insurance companies either because they have a fiduciary responsibility to make as much money as they can for their shareholders. Well, the way they make more money is to deny claims or to kick people off the roles or to not even let people on the rolls because they have a pre-existing condition. You know, all of that is wrong.