by Sandra Bean, HCAO Communications chair
When former Oregon-resident filmmakers Laurie Simons and Terry Sterrenberg began shooting Now is the Time- Healthcare for Everybody, they had no idea the U.S. health care system was about to be thrown into disarray by the new administration’s effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, potentially causing millions of Americans to lose their health care access. But the threat of impending major changes to the health care system makes their film even more timely.
Playing in a premiere Oregon tour February 18-23, Now is the Time- Healthcare for Everybody captures the drama of the growing nationwide movement to achieve the type of universal, publicly funded health care enjoyed by all the other advanced industrialized nations in the world.
The film features interviews of national figures in the movement, including Representative John Conyers of Michigan, author of HR 676, the Improved Medicare for All Act; Dr. Margaret Flowers, a physician activist who was arrested lobbying for universal health care at the Obamacare hearings; Dr. Deborah Richter, MD, a leader in Vermont’s effort to pass single-payer legislation; and Gerald Friedman, University of Massachusetts-Amherst economist and author of state and national studies on financing universal health care. The film explores the spectrum and recent history of the movement to provide health care for everyone.
But for Laurie and Terry, the film is also a personal journey. Facing the expense, complexity and frustrations of the U.S. health care system after having lived in Canada under its universal and comprehensive system (Laurie is Canadian, Terry from the US), they share details of Laurie’s bout with cancer treatment and Terry’s encounter with high emergency room expenses. The film is much more personal than their first film The Healthcare Movie, narrated by Kiefer Sutherland, which explored the 100-year history of advocacy for national health care in America. The new film also includes updates on many of the more than 25 state campaigns for single payer, including Oregon’s.
Now Is the Time: Health Care for Everybody will be screened and discussed (with speakers from Health Care for All-Oregon and Physicians For a National Health Program) in the following cities:
Portland- Sat. Feb 18, 7 p.m., doors open 6:30, 1st Unitarian Church of Portland, Eliot Chapel, SW 12th and Salmon, Portland. Admission: $5-20, no one turned away for lack of funds. Contact David Delk, 503-232-5495.
Eugene- Sun. Feb 19, Noon, Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene, in Sanctuary, 1685 W 13th (west 13th and Chambers- parking off Chambers), Eugene. Admission: Free. Contacts: Pat Bitner, 541-485-3971 or Kathy Filip, 248-891-9890.
Corvallis- Mon Feb 20, 6 and 8:30 p.m., Darkside Cinema, 215 SW 4th St, Corvallis, Admission: Free (Donations accepted), Contact: Mike Huntington, 541-829-1182.
Salem- Tues Feb 21, 7 pm, doors open at 6:15 pm, Salem Progressive Film Series, Grand Theatre, 191 High St NE, Salem, Admission $5 Contact: Cindy Kimball, 503-385-1876.
Beaverton- Weds Feb 22, 6:30 -8:30 p.m., Beaverton Library Rm B, 12375 SW 5th St, Beaverton, Contact: Amanda Coulter: (503) 334-6203
Hillsboro- Thurs Feb 23, 6-8 p.m., Hillsboro Public Library, 2850 NE Brookwood Pkwy, Hillsboro, Contact: Jo Six: (302) 354-3003.
Listen HERE as Lou Sinniger, Marc Shapiro and Charlie Swanson of HCAO Eugene discuss HCAO and Now is the Time on “Train of Thought” with Rob Tobias, for KEPW Radio, a new station in Eugene.