A U.S. nonprofit founded to give medical care to people in the Amazon rain forest with no access to healthcare is now–mostly giving medical care to Americans who can’t afford healthcare. That nonprofit would be Remote Area Medical, whose temporary free medical treatment center in Kentucky pretty much got mobbed by Americans desperate for medical care.
This desperate scene is what an episode of the BBC’s documentary show Panorama opens with (via The Raw Story). Titled “What Now, Mr. President?” this program covers the sad state of healthcare in America for a British audience–an audience that enjoys nationalized healthcare system with a far superior ranking than the U.S..
“What Now, Mr. President?” includes the now-too-familiar profiles of individual Americans who’re suffering with inadequate healthcare and crushing healthcare-related debt–including a woman who’s reduced to living in a tent while getting chemotherapy. However, the program goes further to take a more macro look at our health care crisis. To begin, “What Now, Mr. President?” places the health care debate within the context of economic disparity, where the rich have gotten richer while the number of working poor has gotten bigger.
This helps set the context for the many challenges Obama has in keeping his promise for universal healthcare. After all, the health industry lobby is powerful–and even Obama himself has taken money from that industry.
If, after watching the film, you’re wondering exactly what hoops Obama will have to jump through to make his healthcare a reality, check out Health Care for America Now‘s nifty interactive graphic about a screen length down their “Steps to Win” page. Scroll over the graphics to find out what committees need to pass the healthcare legislation before it comes to a vote on the Senate and House floors, what happens if the Senate and House versions of the legislation are different, and what options Obama will have once the bill gets to his desk.