RESISTANCE CINEMA Presents “THE HEALTHCARE MOVIE” A documentary by LAURIE SIMONS and TERRY STERRENBERG, narrated by KIEFER SUTHERLAND (2012,65 minutes)
WHEN: Sunday February 3, 2013 1:15 PM
WHERE: Community Church NY, Gallery Room 28 East 35th St. btwn Park & Madison Aves.
ADMISSION: Free, donations appreciated
This documentary provides the real story of how the health care systems in Canada and the United States evolved to be so completely different, when at one point they were essentially the same. Most people under the age of 50, in both countries, are not aware of the intensity of the political struggle that led to the universal medical care system in Canada. Nor are they aware of the public relations campaigns, still active today, that have been prevalent in the United States since the early 1900’s to dissuade the public from supporting national health care.
Produced by Canadian/American couple Laurie Simons and Terry Sterrenberg, The Healthcare Movie reveals the personal and emotional impact on Canadians who now have access to universal health care because of the heroism of people who took a stand nearly 50 years ago. It also reveals the continuing struggle in the United States between the fear of government intervention and the right to quality health care for all people.
The film recounts the epic struggle to get universal health care. It was a struggle led by a legendary Canadian, Tommy Douglas, considered the most popular Canadian of all time and widely hailed as the father of Medicare.
In the summer of 1962, Saskatchewan became the centre of a hard-fought struggle between the provincial government, the North American medical establishment, and the province's physicians, who brought things to a halt with the 1962 Saskatchewan Doctors' Strike. The doctors believed their best interests were not being met and feared a significant loss of income as well as government interference in medical care decisions even though Douglas agreed that his government would pay the going rate for service that doctors charged. The medical establishment claimed that Douglas would import foreign doctors to make his plan work and used racist images to try to scare the public.
But Douglas prevailed and the Saskatchewan program was finally launched in 1962. The success of the province's public health care program was not lost on the federal government and eventually it became a full national program.
Every day people are dying or going bankrupt due to the ills of the United States system. Who are we in the face of this human tragedy? If you agree that people are more important than profits, then you must watch this film.
LAURIE SIMONS and TERRY STERRENBERG are a married couple of mixed cultural heritage. Laurie is Canadian, and Terry is American. From 1982 to 1992, Terry joined Laurie in Canada and during that time their two sons were born in a Calgary hospital. They moved to the Seattle area in 1992, and experienced the culture shock of switching from the worry-free health care system in Canada, to the complicated, expensive, and anxiety-provoking system in the United States. In making this documentary they learned that the story of the battle for national health care in both countries has been an adventure story, fraught with heroes and villains. And they learned how two neighboring countries ended up taking such drastically different paths.