John Q., I Fooled You

John_Q_film_poster

Last night, I watched a movie that I had never seen presented on one of the TV cable channels. The movie was entitled, “John Q.,” and starred Denzel Washington, James Woods, and Robert Duvall. While the actors are talented indeed, the underlying theme of the film caused me to wonder if citizens of the USA should be required to earn a Ph.D. before viewing anything produced by Hollywood.

John Q. is an American dramatic film following the harrowing experience of John Q. Archibald played by Washington. The plot is simple: John’s son is diagnosed with a rapidly failing heart and he can only be saved with a heart transplant. Of course, he cannot receive a transplant because HMO insurance will not cover the expense. John decides to take a few patients hostage in a hospital until the administrators agree to proceed with the operation.

What prompts me to select this movie as the subject of a post was the fact that cameo appearances by Hillary Clinton and a dozen Hollywood activist wackos, who would rather grow pineapples on Mars than live in capitalist America, implied that health care reform, in the nature of Obamacare, would resolve the problem. Although the movie preceded our new healthcare system, the message is clear. This type of reform is a panacea.  

We need health reform in the United States. It is disgusting that in the richest nation on Earth, 20-30 million citizens are without healthcare. I hate insurance companies as much as the next guy. I have no love for the greedy medical profession. I have plenty of sympathy for the plight of the poor. What I find distasteful is watching politicians and Hollywood elites that couldn’t care less about the average American attempt to fool misguided, ignorant, uneducated, or misinformed citizens into believing that a plan such as Obamacare is the solution.

In reality, the current attempt to provide insurance coverage to 30 million Americans lacking it has thus far resulted only in denying coverage to 15 million additional citizens previously enjoying benefits. Now, we have 45 million Americans without adequate health care, and no one knows what is yet to come.

But it has begun. Currently, cancer patients are being denied coverage. The government is determining which tests are the most cost effective before approving cancer treatments. The Hollywood hoax that implies Obamacare recipients will now receive heart transplants without resorting to hostage-taking is shameful.

America should assure its citizens that children will not die because they are poor. Heart surgeons earning $2 million dollars per year working at hospitals with $100 million dollar profit margins should perform their skills at cost for the impoverished. However, the problem is much deeper than rhetoric in election years. When millions of people flood into emergency rooms each year for free cold treatments and bandages, the system is not sustainable. When innocent people bleed for hours at the ER because the doctors on duty are treating drunks picked up by the police, hobos with headaches, and homeless citizens looking to escape the cold, all at no cost, the system is not sustainable.

By all means, build homeless shelters. Definitely provide clinics so the poverty-stricken in our country can receive flu shots. Help those unable to help themselves. Rein in the lawyers filing excessive malpractice claims necessitating every conceivable medical treatment know to man since leeches each time a patient has a pain. Rein in the doctors galloping to the banks. Regulate hospitals releasing patients too soon in order to increase profits. Require plain language insurance contracts that ordinary people can understand, and that are actually binding on the out-of-control insurance conglomerates. Just do it in a way that makes sense.

The line from the movie that sickened me came when John Q. told the hospital administrator that his work hours had been cut, but he was still working part-time and was not on welfare. She responded, “That’s too bad.” At least on welfare, he would have had coverage. That, my friends, is a failed political ideology that has never worked in any country and will not work in the USA.

Yes, we desperately need an overhaul of the healthcare system. However, pulling the wool over the eyes of simple folks who rely on the rhetoric of politicians is a national disgrace.

. . .

Comments

  1. Hard to argue with any of your assertions...it is especially difficult as I agree with almost everything you say. My only hope for Obamacare is that it's flaws will be so obvious that it will force action to adjust, amend and improve on a system that needs so much improving.

    Nancy Pelosi said, we needed to pass health reform so we could find out what was in it. As ridiculous as that sounds, and I am a mostly conservative Republican, I think I understand it. Pass something, anything and then we will be forced to tear it apart and make it work. Sometimes it seems that is what we do best...But yes, stop the ideological do-gooding nonsense and lets improve the system.

    My heart goes out to someone that needs a transplant and can not get one...Some will point to our system as being at fault, I would point out it is our system that made organ transplants common place when 40 years ago they were a science fiction pipedream.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. joeh: I agree. My heart goes out to anyone ill or less fortunate than most of us. We must also use our brains. As for Nancy - a space cadet - she would have been right, if they came up with one or two practical changes to help jump start the reforms, instead of 2500 pages of wealth re-distribution buried amidst legalese.

      Delete
    2. I am trying to be optimistic about our ability to turn this mess into something that will work, especially as it so far seems to be benefiting nobody. Sadly I fear the glass may be half empty and with a slow leak.

      Delete
    3. Me too. Everything changes. 300 million years ago, Central Illinois sat right on the Equator.

      Delete
  2. Wow, your post completely describes why I decided from the beginning never to see this movie! I enjoy all the main characters too, especially Denzel. I'm happy to say my feelings were right on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen: Denzel is one of my favorites as well. He did the best he could with the plot, but it was not Crimson Tide.

      Delete
  3. I saw about thirty seconds of this, while I was searching for cartoons for the kidlet. I remembering thinking, 'Huh, something w/Denzel that I haven't seen before.' Thanks for the breakdown!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Leandra: I think Denzel is terrific, but I wish I had seen the cartoons.

      Delete
  4. It is unfortunate that healthcare is such a mess although I can't relate to it. I never do allopathic. I allowed an allopath to deliver my kids at the insistence of my husband but other than that, I'd never been to one nor will I ever. I could never get by with that today because if I didn't take the babies to a doctor and have shots, iI hear they remove the kids from the home.
    I did happen upon that movie some time ago when I was flipping around on the TV and I watched a little of it. I thought it was a little crazy. To me, getting all nutty over drugs is like fighting to be first in the kool aide line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Manzie: I agree, but you and I will never live until age 50 without them!

      Delete
    2. Manzi just celebrated her 86th birthday!!!

      Delete
  5. I am sick and tired of the political machine using Hollywood to push their political agenda. The fact that this movie came out BEFORE, and not after, Obamacare is significant. It was one more mechanism put into play to convince people that we needed Obamacare, Obamacare is the solution, blah blah blah. Once you become aware that the politicos and Hollywood are working arm in arm to turn you around to their way of thinking... you see it everywhere. And it is sickening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robin: You could not be more correct. It is sickening. I thank you for your comments. I sometimes think I am alone, which would not change my opinion in any event. Enroll Sean Penn, Michael Moore, and the other Hollywood know-nothings into Obamacare, or even better, enroll the entire U.S. Senate, and the program ends quickly.

      Delete
    2. Robin and JJ
      Well said, Robin..... like Diane Feinstein who thought the spying on American citizens was OK until she found out they were also spying on congress. That is a good laugh.

      Delete
  6. Hey you... I totally agree... I was watching just a segment of some movie with Will Smith... about his son having some medical need... and the same Liberal do-gooders bragging about what national health care would do for our country... if we would just be willing to raise taxes...

    Look at how much Obamamamamamama has raised taxes... and we are ALL worse off than we were before... yet, those low information voters keep electing and re-electing the same people to congress and the White House...

    Lame...

    ~shoes~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shoes: Margaret Thatcher said it best. Sooner or later they run out of other people's money, as they have in Greece and much of Europe. No child in this country should die because some bum is on the dole or college students want free birth control. We must shift our priorities to survive as a nation. It is imperative to care for the needy and less fortunate. It is how we go about it that is ruining us.

      Delete
  7. I never saw the movie, but something tells me that it had a happy ending before Denzel got hauled away. Sadly, many people never get their Hollywood ending.

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julie: That is exactly the point. The very people who need the help support the wrong methodology because they trust the wrong people and remain uninformed. Sadly, many people never get their Hollywood ending.

      Delete
  8. Well said, JJ! Where I work, our company has already warned us that next year they will determine whether we still have coverage or not, thanks to Obamacare. Nice, huh? And I will go from paying $2500 a year to $8000. That is just insane. It's a socialistic solution that just won't work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex: You have stated the problem with precision.

      Delete
  9. Alex: You have stated the problem with precision.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I said this on my own blog a while back, but after reading about all of the pitfalls of ObamaCare (excellent one cited above by Alex), I still think that ObamaCare was put into place to fail. It is intended to make everyone so miserable (particularly those people who were okay with their health insurance pre-ObamaCare, which is something like 80% of the population) so that those same 80% will be begging for relief before it is done. And the solution... a single payer system run by the government. Ironically, everyone will be pushed so far into the wall that this system will SEEM like the miracle, the answer, the financial relief that will be so necessary before this is over that it will be embraced enthusiastically by everyone who would have given it a resounding "No" before ObamaCare. It won't be better than health insurance pre-ObamaCare, but it will be better than where ObamaCare is taking us. The only way to get the public behind it is to make the existing system SO BAD that they government brings you around to where they wanted you in the first place... that single payer system run by the government (and for the government). You know... they have done so well spending our money with all of their other programs. I am sure that taking over our health care will be a resounding success.

    "That government is best which governs least, because its people discipline themselves." – Jefferson

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robin: That is a very interesting observation, with which I agree. The purpose is a single-payer system. No matter what anyone's political beliefs might be, it is all about Big Brother, Big Government taking care of the dependent people (which it never does), versus freedom, independence, and self-sufficiency. Why would anyone want to be a slave to government?

      Delete
  11. And now I'm depressed ..... lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pk: Please don't be. We live in a democratic country, where we can still freely express our views and concerns - for now.

      Delete
  12. Hey JJ, Just wanted to let you know that I dedicated something to you (again!) on the Thursday post. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robin: Thank you for the heads-up. I'll check it out.

      Delete
  13. And people still ask me why I hardly ever watch movies?! I tell them I'm waiting for something worth about 2 hours of my life...I'm still waiting...
    Isn't it funny how everybody hates insurance until it saves their butt in some way? Hey, my husband is in property/casualty and he cares more than most, but we did consciously avoid having any part of healthcare when he chose his career.
    If you think it's tough to battle with insurance companies over coverage, just wait until you're battling with the government!
    My favorite medical professional ever was my dentist who recently retired. He went to third world countries to give of his services for free on a regular basis.
    Isn't is funny how the same people who get miffed over someone in the medical field making a bunch of money usually have no trouble with those in Hollywood who make a mint?
    Somehow, like my love of California that I have only recently come to terms with, I STILL believe that Americans can and will find their way out of the mess this country has become. I never would have thought I could be so optimistic about this at this point. Sure, I have my days of being absolutely sickened by it all and then I remember that we are the truly exceptional country that has come further and helped more people to realize their potential in about 200 years, rather than never having come that far in over 2000 years, and I know in my heart that things will somehow work out. Maybe not in my lifetime though...

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Other Works by JJ Botta

My books are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and numerous Bookstores. Amazon.com AND Barnes and Noble