Dr. Jeff Milliken, host and organizer of a community discussion about health care reform was pleased to see dozens of people funneling in Founders Hall in East Blue Hill. Over forty people showed up Sunday evening, March 19th to screen the documentary film FIX IT – Healthcare at the Tipping Point.

The Downeast Chapter of Maine AllCare has been showing the film before community groups and at house parties to help inform people about how we can improve our current dysfunctional and costly healthcare system. The current “repeal and replace” confusion about the Affordable Care Act – 24 million Americans would lose their health insurance if the proposed Republican alternative is passed by Congress – got many people interested in finding out more.

The film is produced by Richard Master, founder and owner of MCS Industries, a world leader in the picture frame and decorative mirror business. He decided to tackle the reasons behind his company’s $1.5 million health care burden. He hoped to find a diagnosis and maybe even a solution.

FIX IT film
The film documents his journey: interviews with some of our nations leading health policy experts, fellow business executives, as well as doctors, nurses and ordinary working people. His team also traveled to Canada and Taiwan, speaking with private operators of hospitals and doctors’ practices. Master and his team discovered that these countries’ publicly funded single payer systems lowered health care costs by half compared to the US; and they had better outcomes.

In a public letter about the film Masters states, “I’ve come to realize that insurers comprise a completely unnecessary middleman that not only adds little value to our health care system, it adds enormous costs to it. Costs that are passed on to Americans and their employers.”

Following the film an attentive crowd asked questions from a panel local experts including Moira O’Neill, Professor of Nursing and member of Maine AllCare state Board and Lynn Cheney former corporate CEO and Deputy leader of the Downeast Chapter of Maine AllCare.

There were also numerous good suggestions about how to advance the cause of health care for all. Gary Brinn suggested that we gather stories of friends and neighbors and their interactions with a non-universal system. These stories then need to be written and sent in to the papers. Others suggested that we meet with businesses, the local hospitals, doctors’ offices and medical staffs, school boards and faculties, selectmen and the Chambers of Commerce.

Maine AllCare is an nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization dedicated to bring quality, affordable health care to all Maine residents. Our monthly meetings are open to the public. Our website is maineallcare.org. There is a link to the film FIX IT that you can watch online.

Some of the audience who came to screen an effective health care film from a business point of view. FIX IT – Healthcare at the Tipping Point investigates which health care financing system is best for business and employees alike. It turns out, a publicly funded single Payer system cost half as much as in the US, and with better outcomes.