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Moore praises Italian healthcare system

Aug. 25, 2007 at 1:50 PM

ROME, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Controversial film director Michael Moore took time from opening his new film "Sicko" in Rome this week to praise Italy's healthcare system.

The Oscar-winning director, whose new film exposes apparent flaws in the U.S. healthcare industry, said at a news conference Friday that Italians should be pleased with the health services available to them, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

"Whether the government is right or left, you have a national health system which gives you the right to see a doctor. We don't have that right in the United States, and it's a disgrace," Moore said.

But Moore did take time during Friday's conference to criticize former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The "Bowling for Columbine" director accused Berlusconi of attempting to emulate the United States while in office by limiting spending and nearly cutting welfare nationwide.

ANSA reported Moore's comments were followed by a screening of his film, which Italian Health Minister Livia Turco said was an important film about the human condition.

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