Director Michael Moore has defended his decision to take sick 9/11 rescue workers to Cuba because he wanted to prove Al Qaeda detainees were receiving better healthcare.
In his new documentary Sicko, Moore chronicles the struggles of everyday Americans as they attempt to get adequate healthcare and sparked controversy by accompanying a group of sick 9/11 rescue workers to Cuba, where they were hoping to receive free treatments for their ailments.
But Moore says he was stunned to find the detainees in Guantanamo Bay were receiving improved healthcare compared to the American emergency workers.
In an interview on Larry King Live on Friday (29Jun07), Moore says defend his decision to take the workers to Cuba.
He says, "The irony of the fact that the Al Qaeda detainees in Guantanamo, who we accused of plotting 9/11, receive full free medical, dental, eye care, nutrition counselling.
"You can get the list from the Congressional records of how many teeth cleanings they've done and how many colonoscopies - the whole list of this.
"And I'm thinking jeez, they're getting better care than a lot of Americans. And, in fact, I knew these 9/11 rescue workers who weren't getting any care at all. They have now respiratory ailments as a result of working down at Ground Zero.
"And it just seemed highly ironic to me that the people who tried to save lives on 9/11 weren't getting help. The people who helped to plot 9/11 were getting all this free help. So I thought why don't we take them down there and see if we can get the same kind of help.