Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare (2012)

by: Katie Grimmer

October 9, 2012

President Barack Obama is trying to improve America’s health care coverage with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Mitt Romney has pledged to repeal that legislation (aka Obamacare), and enact his own reforms (although the details are sparse). Regardless of who is wrong and who is right, America’s health care system is failing many of its citizens.

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Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Health Care  seeks to lay out the problems of the system, and while it points fingers, it also proposes solutions to this heated and popular debate. The documentary takes its name from a technique used to escape forest fires by burning grass to create an exit.

“We’re spending almost twice as much in America as any other country on Earth, but our lifespan isn’t even in the top 20,” one of the movie’s talking heads point out.

Escape fire, as defined by the movie’s Web site, is “an improvised effective solution to a crisis that cannot be solved using traditional approaches.” And that’s exactly what award-winning filmmakers Susan Fromke and Matthew Heineman offer in this documentary. Instead of relying on expensive drugs and unnecessary medical procedures, they offer secondary options, such as alternative medicine for an Afghanistan veteran who was on a strict pill regimen.

Escape Fire hopes to revolutionize healthcare in every sense of word: medicine, the industry, government and in the military, the Web site says. “Escape Fire is about finding a way out. It’s about saving the health of a nation.”

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