Health Care and Media

In high school, I learned a lot about how our culture and media reflect the deep longings of society.

It\’s kind of late at night and TBS / Peachtree TV have been running some old movies that they have rights to occasionally – The Rainmaker and John Q.  John Q is the newest one and was made in 2002. Both reflect on the health insurance issue in the United States.

In The Rainmaker with Matt Damon, Danny Devito, and John Voit, Matt Damon plays a recent lawyer who gets a case with a young adult male who has leukemia and is insured by Great Benefit (door to door private health insurance) who refuses to pay for his bone marrow transplant claim. In the end it shows that the insurance company was basing their business on NOT PAYING claims or for uncommon practices that were so common that their investment partners suggested investing in. The movie was released in 1997.

John Q is with Denzel Washington and a handful of other major actors Robert Duvall, etc whose son has an enlarged heart and an HMO that won\’t pay for the needed transplant (in fact, I believe there are off the list, on the list practices mentioned.) John Q takes the hospital hostage until the surgery is eventually performed.

Seriously though, over a decade has passed since the rain maker suggested that health care insurance was the wrong system. In 10 years the system has reportedly gotten worse – as insurance companies have been putting more and more money into advertising than actual medical procedures. It\’s 2009, and people don\’t see a need for reform. Newsflash, you\’ve seen the need, you\’ve seen or heard of the movies, you thought the movies made great points, and now you just don\’t want to act — have a financial interest from insurance companies (congressmen and senators) – or are to arrogant to put yourself in other people\’s shoes.