Last year, former Washington Post reporter T.R. Reid made a great documentary for the PBS show Frontline titled Sick Around the World.
Reid traveled to five countries that deliver health care for all – UK, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Taiwan – to learn about how they do it.
Frontline then said to Reid – okay, we want you to go around the United States and make a companion documentary titled Sick Around America.
So, Reid traveled around America, interviewing patients, doctors, and health insurance executives.
The documentary that resulted – Sick Around America – aired Monday night on PBS.
And the film didn't present Reid's bottom line for health care reform – don't let health insurance companies profit from selling basic health insurance.
They can sell for-profit insurance for extras – breast enlargements, botox, hair transplants.
But not for the basic health needs of the American people.
Instead, the film that aired Monday pushed the view that Americans be required to purchase health insurance from for-profit companies.
And the film had a deceptive segment that totally got wrong the lesson of Reid's previous documentary – Sick Around the World.
During that segment, about halfway through Sick Around America, the moderator introduces Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, the lead health insurance lobby in the United States.
Karen Ignagni: Well, it would work if we did what other countries do, which is have a mandate that everybody participate. And if everybody is in, it's quite reasonable to ask our industry to do guarantee issue, to get everybody in. So, the answer to your question is we can, and the public here will have to agree to do what the public in other countries have done, which is a consensus that everybody should be in.
Moderator: That's what other developed countries do. They make insurers cover everyone, and they make all citizens buy insurance. And the poor are subsidized.