LAWFUEL – The New York Times reports – Few of them may become Michael …

LAWFUEL – The New York Times reports – Few of them may become Michael Moore fans. But some insurance industry officials and health policy experts acknowledged yesterday that the film documentary “Sicko,” Mr. Moore’s indictment of health care in this country, taps into widespread public concern that the system does not work for millions of Americans.

The movie, which had its first showing at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday and received many favorable reviews, presents a series of heart-rending anecdotes meant to illustrate systemic failures and foul-ups under the nation’s insurance industry — even if many of the major pieces of evidence are ones that have been widely reported elsewhere and in some cases date back 20 years.

The film, which will be released in this country on June 29 after a well-calculated publicity campaign by Mr. Moore, is arriving as health care has become the leading domestic policy concern in many national polls, second only to the Iraq war. Although they have not had a chance to see the film yet, many American health care and insurance industry experts have been tracking it intently, based on media reports.

Without commenting on the movie’s central criticisms of the insurance system, the head of America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade group in Washington, suggested that discussion of the movie could advance the industry’s interest in obtaining more government money for people who do not have insurance.

“If the movie results in members of Congress and governors putting this issue squarely on the table as the No. 1 priority, we will be part of that discussion and will welcome it,” said Karen Ignagni, president of the health plans group.

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