Magazine article Workforce

Hollywood and the Evil HMO Empire

Magazine article Workforce

Hollywood and the Evil HMO Empire

Article excerpt

In the movie John Q, Denzel Washington plays the role of a human resources poster child who has a string of terrible luck. He has been reduced to working part-time, is told he's overqualified for a second job, and then learns that his medical insurance won't pay for his son's heart transplant.

Enough is enough. He takes the hospital emergency room hostage. And then things really get bad.

Ever since the action-thriller was released in February, the film has served as a lightning rod for discussions about the evils of managed care. You don't have to be an HR professional, a health-policy analyst, a transplant coordinator, a managed-care advocate, or a health-insurance executive to know that health care is one of the most compelling stories of our time.

Nor does it take the frantic father of a dying child to illustrate the emotional significance of the health-care issue. A new study conducted by global consultants Hewitt Associates in Lincolnshire, Illinois, shows that workers want more control and choice in health care, are interested in new consumer-choice models, and rank health care as the most important benefit. …

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