However, even when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) kicks into high gear in 2014 and many of the state’s uninsured residents are able to purchase insurance through the Health Insurance Exchange, major challenges will remain. Will the insurance, even with subsidies provided through the Exchange, have affordable premiums, co-pays and deductibles? And will we have access to quality, coordinated care that is centered around patients’ needs and keeping people healthy?
A newly released documentary film, Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue Healthcare, playing in local theaters this month, provides valuable insights into what is wrong with our current system, and also offers an uplifting message of hope that our broken system of health care finance and delivery can indeed be transformed.
Part of the award-winning film’s success can be attributed to the filmmakers’ storytelling abilities. They compiled a series of deeply affecting personal stories and vignettes that go straight to the heart of the health care system’s failures and their devastating, sometimes tragic, consequences. The film spotlights how the system can be biased toward improving the balance sheets and income statements of insurers or pharmaceutical companies rather than to improving health; how we spend far too much on costly procedures and emergency room visits and far too little on prevention and wellness; how mental health needs are woefully unmet. To further explain the complexities and unintended consequences of our current system, the filmmakers present an all-star cast of health policy experts able to speak in plain, commonsense language without a lot of jargon.
But what’s really heartening is that the movie shows us the way forward. It uses its portrayal of stories and experts to show us how we CAN make the changes necessary to fix our broken health care system. It reminds us that more is not necessarily better; that high touch is just as important, if not more important than high tech; that preventing chronic illness is a much more cost-effective strategy than treating those conditions like heart disease and diabetes after they develop.
The Connecticut Health Advancement and Research Trust (CHART), the parent organization of Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, is sponsoring the two showings of the movie:
Bow-Tie Cinema City at the Palace
Date: Monday, 11/26
Time: 7:30 PM
Bow-Tie Criterion Cinemas at the Palace
Date: Wednesday, 11/28
Time: 7:30 PM
Join us after the movie for a short panel discussion and time for questions and answers. A panel of experts will be available.
To reserve tickets and watch the trailer click here.
Jill Zorn is the senior program officer at Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut.