In my documentary about the morbidly obese Michael Moore, a camera crew would follow him around and shoot a full day of his food vacuuming. We'd bust into his house and capture the contents of his freezer, as the high-BMI provocateur desperately tries to hide the incriminating gallons of Rocky Road. Cut to another scene, where we'd stick a microphone in front of the guys behind the counter in his local Krispy Kreme and ask them if they'd ever see Moore inhale down a dozen for breakfast.
And in the real crowd-pleaser, we'd wait outside his doctor's office and insist that he release Moore's weight, cholesterol, and triglycerides. Refusal, bullying and humiliation would ensue, and then we'd cut to a montage that juxtaposes a typical Moore pig-out with shots of poor kids waiting for hours in the emergency room.
And why not? Michael Moore has no shortage of culprits for the millions of uninsured in America, but he neglects to point the camera at himself -- in wide-angle format -- and to address the devilish issue of personal responsibility. How can you talk about health care in America today and not consider the millions just like him who are bankrupting the system, people who live recklessly, eat tons of crap, smoke, and then want to flee accountability, insisting that a single-payer system cover their treatment from dollar one.
Obesity-related medical costs are estimated to be around ten percent of the $2 trillion dollar annual price ticket for health care. Ten percent of that is $200 billion, more than the cost of ensuring every American in John Edwards' health care plan. And if you look at other preventable illnesses, like lung cancer, the cost is even higher. If the millions of Americans who are as self-destructive as Michael Moore decided to stop shifting the burden of their behavior onto others, then the economics of the health care system would profoundly change, and grandstanding forays to Cuba would be unnecessary.
But in Moore's Manicheistic view of the world, you've got blameless consumers versus an evil system. By pointing his chubby finger everywhere except at himself, Moore is essentially arguing that there should be no personal responsibility, that when it's time for his stents to be inserted, or for his bypass surgery, or his gastric bypass, that you and I bear the price of his years of undisciplined consumption (even though his years of undisciplined film-making could fund it).
I'm sure that Moore would be quick to find a reason that he's not responsible for his very own contribution to the health care crisis. He'd probably blame McDonalds and the rest of the obesity-industrial complex for his problem -- his version of the Twinkie defense -- as moves into his full-on plebe-pomposity mode and celebrates his struggle for (sic) the little guy.