Dr. Linda Peeno, not much of a party woman to begin with, resented the festive atmosphere of a premiere party last week for Michael Moore’s new film, “Sicko.”
The Hodgenville native, who appears in the movie, left after just a few minutes — even before getting Leonardo DiCaprio’s autograph for her granddaughter. Laughter at the party bothered her.
Despite all the attention, Peeno seems despondent about the country’s health care situation. When Moore’s team called the 56-year-old, she told them not to interview her — “I don’t have anything good to say.” So the director used clips from her congressional testimony and another interview.
Peeno’s hopelessness became so bad last summer, she didn’t want to turn on her computer anymore, in part because of sad e-mails from patients pleading for assistance when nothing could be done.
The problems with health care, she recently told the California Legislature, are “unimaginably worse” than they were when she testified in Washington — when she explained to lawmakers how her insurance company career got a boost after she caused a man’s death by denying him an expensive heart operation.
While Peeno admits Moore can be over the top at times, she said he tackles “hard subjects nobody wants to think about.”
She thinks “Sicko,” which opens in theaters across the country Friday, will play a role in the health care debate.
“It’s going to have a shock effect,” she said.