A Critical Look at Critical Condition
The rapid beeping of the heart monitors, the rush of pressured oxygen from a ventilator, the shrill alarm sounding the Code Blue alert are all evidence of a “Critical Condition.” In the touching documentary of the same name, it isn't a patient that teeters on the brink of demise, but rather our system of health care insurance. With more than 47 million Americans uninsured, the battle now centers less on fighting illness and more on affording health. This lack of insurance has become the sixth leading cause of death in America, above even diabetes. The movie provides fundamental insight into the issues surrounding the expense of health care delivery and the difficulty acquiring quality health insurance. The unforgettable subjects profiled in Critical Condition are living proof that the quest to be insured can cost their livelihoods, while the absence of coverage can risk their lives. Based upon the struggles of uninsured Americans, Roger Weisberg’s Critical Condition is an 83-minute journey of heartbreak and triumph in the quest to obtain proper health care in our flawed, expensive, and inaccessible system. The 2008 documentary follows the lives of four uninsured Americans in desperate need of health care. The first man we meet is Hector Cardenas, a warehouse manager in Los Angeles who has diabetes and a debilitating infection in his foot. Next, we are introduced to Joe Stornaiuolo, a doorman who is suffering from chronic liver disease and cannot afford his medications. We also meet Karen, a middle-aged woman fighting to get a proper diagnosis of breast cancer. Finally, we are introduced to Carlos Benitez, an uninsured chef with an incapacitating curvature of the spine. These four individuals, desperate for care, yet lacking health insurance, represent the plight of millions of similar hard-working Americans. Their personal, heart-wrenching profiles in Critical Condition evoke emotion worthy of protest and change...
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