Must see TV: The award-winning documentary Escape Fire will be broadcast on CNN this Sunday. The movie will air on Sunday night March 10th at 8:00pm on CNN. It will re-air at 11pm ET and again on March 16th. Set your DVR.
American healthcare costs are rising so rapidly that they could reach $4.2 trillion annually, roughly 20% of our gross domestic product, within ten years. We spend $300 billion a year on pharmaceutical drugs – almost as much as the rest of the world combined. We pay more, yet our health outcomes are worse. About 65% of Americans are overweight and almost 75% of healthcare spending goes to preventable diseases that are the major causes of disability and death in our society.
It’s not surprising that healthcare is at the top of many Americans’ concerns and at the center of an intense political firestorm in our nation’s Capitol. But the current battle over cost and access does not ultimately address the root of the problem: we have a disease-care system, not a healthcare system. The film examines the powerful forces maintaining the status quo, a medical industry designed for quick fixes rather than prevention, for profit-driven care rather than patient-driven care.
ESCAPE FIRE also presents attainable solutions. After decades of resistance, a movement to bring innovative high-touch, low-cost methods of prevention and healing into our high-tech, costly system is finally gaining ground. Filmmakers Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke interweave dramatic personal arcs of patients and physicians with the stories of leaders battling to transform healthcare at the highest levels of medicine, industry, government, and even the U.S. military.
ESCAPE FIRE is about finding a way out of our current crisis. It’s about saving the health of a nation.
The film includes substantial commentary from Don Berwick, and draws its title from a talk he gave in 2002. There’s lots of information about the film on their web site, including the ability to set up a viewing party and get a discussion guide (pdf).