Tvrdik campaigns for better healthcare

Michael Moore is used to being a political antagonist in the U.S. But, willing or not, he’s become a player in the Czech Republic’s healthcare debate as well.

Social Democrat party chief Jaroslav Tvrdik announced (apparently without consulting Moore) that he wants to use footage from “Sicko” to illustrate the dangers of privatizing teaching hospitals and health insurance companies, a plan pushed by the opposition Civic Democrats.

The campaign, which the Social Dems plan for autumn’s regional elections, would tap into the ire of many a Czech pensioner over the nominal fees imposed recently for hospital visits. Americans can scarcely imagine paying $1.84 per doctor’s visit (double that for a day in a hospital and triple it for after-hours visits), let alone being outraged by it. But many Czechs, used to free services, are.

Tvrdik does note that his party stops short of recommending the Cuban-style health care seen in “Sicko.” The island nation has been a bitter rival of the Czech Republic since 1989.

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