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on September 3, 2009
A look at the crappy Health Care system in America that about sums it up. This is an in depth investigation of the unproductive health care system in America. Very few will say that the Health Care system is great in this country, by most opinions the Health Care system in U.S. is a giant failure. Of course most of the problems in the health care industry are obvious, but Frontline does a nice job of providing all the facts especially for those still in denial that the health care system sucks.

First of the problem is that Health Care system is ruled by greed and profit. In a capitalistic system like the US that plays right into its hands. Premiums are high, the cost is high, even the coverage itself may or may not even cover you. It's such a bad system it's not funny.

It definitely wasn't going to be fixed under the corrupt George W. Bush administration which failed to make any headway with keeping health care affordable.

Frontline presents these problems in more detail presents several cases with Americans where the Health Care system either failed, misled, or completely ignored their cries for help. The show presents the rather corrupt process of rescinding coverage.

How crappy is the health care system in America?

Even the Ceo of Kaiser is interviewed who admits how inadequate the health care system is. Imagine that.

As mentioned several stories are presented. Probably the most persuasive cases are the Jennifer Thompson story and Nikki White story.

Thompson was initially awarded medical coverage even though she might have cancer. Then after undergoing surgery to Thompson's surprise, the medical insurance company said they weren't going to pay for her coverage. Thompson was left with almost a half million dollars in bills. Way to go Health Care!!!

The Nikki White story is even more disgusting. A girl diagnosed with Lupus and no medical company will give her coverage.

It seems that the practice of a lot of these insurance companies is to award you coverage but only while you are healthy to begin with which contradicts the whole effort of getting coverage to begin with which is to get help for sick.

There are idiots who will claim these are isolated cases but the millions of Americans who either can't pay for coverage or are denied medical coverage are living proof that the Health Care system in America sucks and it needs a major makeover.
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on February 5, 2010
Mr. Reid disagreed with the final edit of this program and withdrew his support of it. The reason being it totally distorted the truth about what is needed to correct America's sick healthcare system.

For those familiar with Mr. Reid's ground breaking program (video), "Sick Around The World", they know that the producers of this new video totally distorted the conclusion of Mr. Reid's findings from his investigation. Karen Ignagni, Pres. of the insurance company lobby group, America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP),and primary force behind the "Harry and Louise" ads that killed Hillary Clinton's healthcare reform in 1992, was given the spotlight in this video; at the expense of Mr. Reid's narrative of Single Payer Healthcare being the most viable solution to America's healthcare crisis.

It is unfortunate that Frontline allowed the insurance lobby to distort and betray Mr. Reid's work. PBS should be ashamed.
22 comments15 of 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This fine documentary from Frontline explores the current health care issues and problems in our nation. Too many people are uninsured; too many doctors wouldn't want to be paid less if costs were regulated under a system similar to those in other developed countries with universal health insurance; too many hospitals wouldn't want their own costs to be controlled under any new health care system--and the list of complaints goes on when Frontline asks what others think and feel if we were to have universal health insurance in the United States.

On the other hand, the alternative to a new system can be mighty frightening. This documentary takes a close look at just how badly several people all over the nation have been financially devastated by the current health care system. We meet a realtor who is seriously considering going back to her native New Zealand where she can get coverage until she's 65 years old--and then she could return to the US where she would be eligible for Medicare. There's also the case of a man who never thought he needed health insurance--until he returned from a trip overseas and had a heart attack which cost him huge amounts of money. We also see the remarkably tragic case of a beautiful young woman with lots of promise die from a case of lupus that she and her family could not afford to pay for because they didn't have insurance to cover it.

Frontline also explains issues surrounding pre-existing conditions and medical underwriting; this helps to educate the viewer. I learned a lot!

In addition, we get interesting interview footage with people at the top of several health insurance companies; and the footage of Obama's health care conference in March, 2009 is also very good for this film.

Hopefully we can achieve a resolution to the health care crisis in the near future. I recommend this DVD for anyone interested in the issues presented here; indeed, any American should consider getting this because the solution to this issue will have a direct impact on all of us.
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on March 9, 2014
Think America has "the best health care in the world?" This film would be my first answer to that claim! This was recorded during the heat of the American healthcare debate, back in 2009, and it shows how the insurance and medical industries have some major flaws that need MAJOR repair. I had this debate with many right-wingers, and bought this film to loan out to anyone who needed a bigger picture. This film doesn't take sides. It just shows a lot of problems, which every concerned American should be aware of. Sadly, even though it didn't have Michael Moore's name attached to it in any way, and it wasn't too long, most warily viewed this documentary as lefty propaganda and didn't want to sit still for its urgent message. (Perhaps they needed more flashy special effects?)

How can you have an intelligent healthcare discussion, when you only bring Fox News' points to the table?

I also purchased, FRONTLINE: Sick Around The World, which I consider the sequel of this. It shows what OTHER countries are doing wrong and right. I thought that dvd was even better, and would have loved to pick out dozens of practices used in other nations that would beautifully solve some of the gaping flaws in our own system. Between the two shows, I am convinced we need "single-payer" or "universal" healthcare for all Americans. Even if you don't agree, I think everyone should understand these complaints and proposals before opening their mouths. Instead, most will call it "Social" medicine and run away in terror. Be brave. Get the WHOLE picture. THEN run away, if you must.
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on March 21, 2010
worth seeing. very comprehensive. the main issues are addressed. eye-opening and well worth a view for a good overall introduction to the basic problems of healthcare coverage.
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HALL OF FAMEon December 8, 2012
Produced prior to the passage of ObamaCare, 'Sick Around America' still serves as a reminder of why change was needed - patients putting off surgery etc. because they couldn't afford it, an estimated 700,000 bankruptcies/year in America primarily due to medical expenses, great difficulty getting individual coverage for anyone with prior medical problems - and even if one does, the coverage generally incorporated high deductibles and co-pays, incorporates important exclusions, and is subject to rescission. An estimated 20,000 die each year in America for lack of access to needed medical care. Massachusetts is often portrayed as the wave of the future, but the film also showed a family still unable to obtain affordable care. About one-fourth of U.S. health care expenditures is eaten up in administrative overheads.

Where the program falls short is its failure to emphasize enough the underlying access to care problem is driven by (relatively) expensive health care. U.S. health care is the world's most expensive - consuming about 18% of GDP, vs. #2 Switzerland at only 12% GDP. Japan/Taiwan are at about 8%, and Singapore at 4%. Thus, if American health care cost only 8% of GDP fewer people would not be covered, and even those not covered would be more likely able to cover their medical costs. A related problem - Medicare, for example, generally pays only 10 - 40% of billed charges; if the uninsured paid only what their insurers paid, far fewer would become bankrupt as well.
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on July 15, 2014
This was a rather frightening film about how American health care can be so terrible for its people while still being one of the richest and biggest superpowers in the world. This film shows that there is no excuse for this to be the case. I think films like this should be shown to all students at an age before they can vote to give them the knowledge to make decisions for themselves and for what they want their government to do.
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on December 22, 2009
I recently viewed this "Frontline" video on public television. The need for healthcare reform legislation in America seems obvious. I decided to spread the word, one DVD at a time. So, I purchased copies for: 1- my doctor, 2- my congressman, 3- my sister (nurse), 4- my sister (physician assistant), 5- the arch-bishop of my church. If you're concerned about the quality and cost of your healthcare, then share the information in this video with the other people in your life. Also, I recommend the video entitled "Sick Around the World".
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on March 13, 2015
Everyone should have this!!!
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on April 21, 2014
I use this for my nursing class. it is a great introduction to the topic of healthcare that nurses should be aware of.
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