Cuba portion of Michael Moore's 'Sicko' film riles some Florida parents

As the debate over health care reform intensifies, one Florida teacher at Doral Middle School sought to engage his students by showing them a documentary depicting countries offering universal health care coverage — France, Canada and Cuba.

It's the inclusion of the latter country that has irked some parents and Cuban-American activists who are upset by the teacher's choice: Sicko — a film by controversial filmmaker Michael Moore.

When the film hit the big screen in 2007, it was largely protested by leaders of South Florida's Cuban exile community who said it glorified the communist island's medical system.

In the film, Moore takes a a group of 9/11 rescue workers suffering from respiratory problems to receive free medical services in Cuba that they could otherwise not afford in the United States.

Before showing the film to his social studies students, teacher Eudelio Ferrer-Gari, 41, sent permission slips home with students and had parents sign off on whether their child could view the film.

Out of 102 students, only two opted out.

Those who opted out were told on the form that they would still be responsible for knowing about differing healthcare systems as covered in the film and in class.

To read the complete article, visit

Related stories from McClatchy DC