National Nurses United

National Nurse Magazine June 2012

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 18 of 19

JOEL SIMPSON PHOTOGRAPHY WWW.JOELSIMPSONART.COM Medicare coverage, but as a single mom who cannot work due to her 9/11-related health issues, she is teetering on the brink of poverty. Dawnelle cares for her mother and works hard in her daily life to help families whose children have special needs.��Adrian works for the publication Labor Notes in Detroit and loves her post-SiCKO job, but has had two more recurrences of cancer that have left her financially ruined at 30 years old, and she mourns over not being able to have any more children. Julie and Tracy, Jr. recently lost the home they shared as a family before Tracy, Sr., died, though Julie tried so hard to work with the bank to save their home. But the bank preferred foreclosure and auction to negotiating with the family. Lee Einer is working in his New Mexico community to support locally sustainable foods and he bakes at a local restaurant. I now work as a legislative advocate for NNU, but Larry and I still grapple with medical bills and the loss of personal relationships as I face a new cancer struggle and Larry has had two more major health scares and surgeries.��Billy Maher lost both of his parents and continues to struggle with the demons that have haunted him since 9/11. Clearly, we sickos are still hurting and trying hard to rebuild our lives, and the audience learned more as we recounted our most recent challenges and life updates. One by one, we outlined how difficult it still is to access appropriate medical care when we need it and how the financial devastation has continued.�� Einer then spoke about his role as an industry whistle-blower in SiCKO, and introduced Wendell Potter, a former vice president of corporate communications for the insurance giant CIGNA.��When SiCKO was first released, Potter in his capacity for CIGNA posed as a moviegoer to spy on audiences during the film���s premier. His job was to gauge public response and help format the industry���s JUNE 2012 methodical public relations campaign to discredit both Moore and the film.��But in 2008, just a year after the film���s release, Potter underwent what he terms a ���crisis of conscience��� and has since become one of the health insurance industry���s most outspoken whistle-blowers and critics, authoring a book titled Deadly Spin about his career working for the industry. At the reunion in Philadelphia, Potter formally met Michael Moore for the first time. Then, together, we American ���Your stories struck sickos introduced Director a real serious nerve Michael Moore. Though he had with people because been sitting among the audience they knew that they members, as Moore made his weren���t alone: that way to the stage, the crowd they, or people they know���people in their cheered.��The Plays and Players Theater where the event was families, people in held was packed to capacity. their neighborhoods, people at work���were Since the air conditioning in the century-old building had failed going through the earlier in the evening and the same thing.��� ���MICHAEL MOORE weather outside was nearly 100 degrees, we all suffered terribly in the heat. It reminded us all of the day back in 2007 when the SiCKO bus first rolled up to Independence Plaza in Philadelphia. Once Moore took the stage, he acknowledged all of those who worked to put the reunion together.��He discussed the making of the movie and the power of movies to persuade and change people���s minds. Moore related how he originally planned to make a movie about the plight of the uninsured, but that 90 percent of the letters that flooded his email inbox when he asked for healthcare horror stories were from those with insurance coverage. He thanked us again for sharing our stories with the world. ���Your stories struck a real serious nerve with people because they knew that they weren���t alone,��� said Moore, ���that they, or people they know ��� people in their families, people in their neighborhoods, people at work ��� were going through the same thing.��� The audience then got into the act with a question-and-answer period during which Moore was asked what he is working on now and he was pushed to address so many issues of importance to working people and those who care about education, the environment, and beyond. Finally, we American sickos closed out the evening by challenging Moore and Potter both.��One by one, the film subjects pointed out that what happened to them pre-SiCKO that made them perfect fodder for the film could and would still happen to them under the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare reform law passed by President Obama in 2010 that was just recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.�����The problem isn���t fixed until that isn���t true anymore,��� we told them.�����The work���s not done until it���s done. We���re still SiCKO.��And until we say the system is fixed, the work remains ahead.��� Donna Smith was featured as a subject in the film SiCKO and is now a legislative advocate for National Nurses United. W W W. N AT I O N A L N U R S E S U N I T E D . O R G N AT I O N A L N U R S E 19

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of National Nurses United - National Nurse Magazine June 2012