Thursday, August 18, 2011


I recently saw a terrific video about healthcare reform, "Health, Money and Fear." Produced by emergency physician Paul Hochfeld of Corvallis, OR, it comprehensibly addresses the obscenely high cost-to-benefit ratio of our healthcare quasi-system by tracing it to its guiding values, our notions about self-image, lifestyle and responsibility. You can view it free online and purchase it, if you like, at

When I mentioned to a friend that I'd bought a copy, she told me she had one, too. Turns out there are several in this community, owned by excited fans who, like me, want to show it to others.

Maybe we're drawn to it because it heralds a shift in the argument. Until now, discussions have been limited de facto to the economic realm, reform as who's-going-to-pay-for-what. This supplies the media with no end of side debates about rationing, entitlements, malpractice suits, and "socialized" medicine, slowly convoluting the issue into a Gordian knot. "Health, Money and Fear" is a deep slice through complexity to the problem's core, the values that drive healthcare's economics. The people interviewed in Hochfeld's film--like Dr. John Kitzhaber, emergency physician and former Governor of Oregon--know what they're talking about, both medically and civicly.

This is heartening progress. I plan to show the film locally, publicly, along with friends who agree it's a document whose time has come. If you see the film, please let me know what you think. 

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