Free Film Screening – "Health, Money and Fear"

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ProAging Members,

Health Care Reform is an issue that concerns many Americans from all political persuasions these days. There is general consensus that our current system is beset with many problems. Meaningful change will not be accomplished by an overly simplistic “quick fix.” It is imperative that voters, as well as policy wonks, understand as much as possible about the underlying causes of the current crisis and join in a serious and respectful dialogue about solutions. In an attempt to educate the public, stimulate discussion, and promote reform, Paul Hochfeld, an emergency room doctor in Corvallis, Oregon, has produced a 48 minute video that addresses the question of why health care cost so much, and suggests what should be done about it.

“Health, Money and Fear” includes interviews with, among others, Dr. Arnold Relman, Dr. Marcia Angell (both former Editor-in-Chief NEJM), Dr. Stephanie Woolhandler (Co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program), Dr. John Kitzhaber (fellow ER Doctor/former Governor of Oregon), Paul Ginsberg (Director of the Center for Studying Health System Change, Washington, D.C.), and Dan Callahan (a pioneer in the field of Medical Ethics). A review of the film can be found at:

Here are two local showings of the film that are free and open to the public in the near future. It is not necessary to RSVP.

  • Thursday, September 25th, 7:00 pm, at the Washington Ethical Society,
    7750 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20012

    . Followed by an open discussion which I will facilitate.

  • Sunday, October 12th, 7:00 pm, at the River Road Universalist Unitarian Congregation (formerly known as the River Road Unitarian Church),
    6301 River Road, Bethesda, MD 20817

    , Followed by a discussion facilitated by Dr. Paul Hochfeld, the films’ creator, who will be visiting the DC area at the time.

Please join us at one or both of these events. The film is so packed with information, you would actually benefit from seeing it more than once if you can. I have seen it many times by now and still find it compelling. Please spread the word and feel free to bring your friends. Those of you who are health care professionals may be familiar with much, though probably not all, of the conceptual material, although the statistics may be new to you. You will find the film an excellent tool to clarify the issues, provoke discussion and even debate, and educate others who may be less familiar with the inner workings of the health care system. Your input into the discussions that follow the film will be valuable and I am sure you will find the experience worthwhile. Those of you who are not health care professionals may be surprised to learn about the reasons health care costs so much and how complex fixing the problems will be. Much needs to be done, and we are quickly approaching a crisis, as care becomes more fragmented and problems with access, even for people who have insurance, mount.

Legislators who care about health care reform are currently crippled by the political process, which is heavily influenced by powerful lobbyists invested in the status quo. It is imperative that voters themselves become informed, join the debate and exert more influence if meaningful reform is to be achieved.

If you have questions or if you cannot make either of these events but would like to see the film at another time, feel free to e-mail me. Because I feel so passionate about this issue, I have volunteered to coordinate showings of the film in the DC area and appearances by Dr. Hochfeld while he is in the DC area in October. As time passes, it is likley that there will be more public showings scheduled.

Barbara Blaylock, M.D.

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