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Movie Review: Screwed by the Greedy Business of American Healthcare

In the blazing heat of an early September evening, dozens of people arrived at Ann Arbor’s Goodrich Quality 16 Theater to watch a free screening of Flint neurosurgeon (and award-winning independent film maker) Vivekand Palavali’s excellent, impeccably researched documentary, Screwed by the Greedy Business of American Healthcare.

Members of Michigan for Single Payer Healthcare were there to enjoy the movie, and to share information, gather signatures, and fly Prayer Flags for loved ones who have been screwed by the greed of our profit-driven healthcare system.

Lucas Warner, Al DuBruck, Vivek Palavali, MD, Eli Rubin, Sarah Rosenthal, RN

Screwed opened with mesmerizing music accompanying the fantastic (and unforgettable) visual of a glass representation of the human spinal column in rotation. Riveting views of CT scans of the human brain, and a frame featuring a deliberately wielded surgical screw driving through a portion of the model of the nervous system followed. The shock of the juxtaposed music and images set the scene for the well-paced, intense, and informative chapters of the movie.

Designed like a book, with chapters and lessons, the movie leads viewers through a history of the healthcare crisis we face in America. Stories from real people suffering serious health crises and facing death - due to lack of insurance and inability to pay for healthcare - are peppered throughout this documentary. The documentary faithfully portrays healthcare and insurance policy developments from the time of the creation of the ACA to the present day - using news clips, interviews, and commentary. Noting the failures of the ACA, the movie also examines the even bigger problems presented by the American “Health” “Care” Act (“Trumpcare”), while also giving serious consideration to the popular movement and legislative struggle for Medicare for All, or universal single payer healthcare. Offering a balanced and accurate historical perspective, Screwed also assumes a wonderfully broad geographical perspective; taking us to visit citizens, patients, physicians, and policy-makers from several different countries where universal and single payer healthcare delivery works to keep people healthy and free from economic hardship.

Screwed is an amazing movie, made by a very talented film maker, whose care and respect for people and their health and welfare is evident throughout. A work of the heart, Screwed is a movie for our times, about the hottest political issue of our times. With the latest polls showing that at least 75% of the American public (and 52% of those who identify as Republicans) want universal single payer healthcare, it’s time we all learn how to effectively educate, advocate, and agitate for this issue. Screwed by the Greedy Business of American Healthcare is a gripping, moving, and educational documentary that provides the framework and information we need in order to do that. If Screwed is showing in a theater anywhere near you, go attend the screening!! You will LOVE it!!

Some Prayer Flags for Those Screwed by Profit-Driven Healthcare

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