THE WAITING ROOM
(directed by Peter Nicks, 2012)
****+ (out of 5)
* * *
> This powerful, wrenching documentary should be REQUIRED VIEWING for all American adults who face the looming assault on Obamacare.
. THE WAITING ROOM trains an unflinching eye on the emergency room at Highland Hospital in Oakland, California for 24 intense, grueling, exhausting hours that starkly reveal the total gridlock and dysfunction of emergency care in America, as well as the indisputable everyday heroism of the staff and caregivers who man the front lines of America’s Kafkaesque healthcare system for the poor and uninsured. I DEFY ANY THINKING, FEELING HUMAN BEING WITH EYES AND EARS AND HALF A BRAIN TO WATCH THIS FILM AND THEN DECLARE THAT THE HEALTHCARE SYTEM IN THIS COUNTRY DOES NOT NEED A COMPLETE OVERHAUL AND REIMAGINING. For my money, the naysayers who want to leave things as they are, are total idiotic morons- completely lacking in the most rudimentary cognitive skills- or they’re making a shitload of money off the old system.
. It is appalling, horrific, insulting, disgusting and immoral the way suffering people are dealt with here- not by the amazingly compassionate staff struggling hard to help people in a sick and perverted system, but by a two-tier paradigm that embodies the principle that competent healthcare in America is for the insured- and insurance is for the pampered wealthy class. One after another, embarrassed people in need of emergency help feel compelled to tell their stories as part of their treatment (when they are lucky enough to receive ANY treatment!) apologizing for seeking help. They are bewildered. Having done everything right- everything they could possibly do to take care of their own needs, they still find themselves broke, uninsured and in need of immediate care that is difficult to impossible for the average citizen to access. They are stunned by the dysfunction, shocked that the wealthiest country THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN would treat them so horrifically in their time of greatest need.
. No, it’s not a film about Obamacare directly, but the looming changes fill in every square inch of background, and it’s impossible to divorce this shameful documentary from the context of our times. Obamacare is deeply flawed. It is not, and never will be the far superior single-payer system our president was too cowardly to fight for in his eager rush to find a system that would keep the rich insurance companies rich. But it IS progress- DESPERATELY NEEDED PROGRESS, and to oppose it is heartless and cruel and vindictive and elitist and UN-American! The time for EQUAL ACCESS TO HIGH QUALITY HEALTHCARE IN AMERICA IS today, now… YESTERDAY. Anything less than this is capitulation to the moneyed forces of evil that reduce human needs to a cost-effectiveness spreadsheet.
. Are you an adult citizen of the United States? Then do the right thing and SEE THIS IMPORTANT FILM before you make up your mind on the issue.
© Kevin Paul Keelan and lastcre8iveiconoclast, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kevin Paul Keelan and lastcre8iveiconoclast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.