The struggle to find access to adequate health care was the subject of a new documentary by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) that premiered to a packed house in Birmingham’s Sidewalk Cinema this evening. The short film titled “On the Edge: Health Care in Alabama” follows individuals, families, and health care professionals from across the state as they strive to take care of themselves, their families, and their communities.
The documentary features stories from Greene County, Centre, and Autaugaville. It was produced by award-winning filmmaker Ky Dickens and is the second in a series of three documentaries set in three different states.
The screening event included a panel discussion and question and answer period with Adrea Jones from Centre who is featured in the film, Danne Howard with the Alabama Hospital Association, Jim Carnes with Alabama Arise, and ACS CAN leadership.
“This documentary came out of an education project we’ve been working on which is different from our traditional advocacy work,” said Ginny Campbell, Alabama government relations director for ACS CAN. “While ACS CAN has been involved in efforts to protect and increase access to health care – including Medicaid – for decades, over the past year we began this deeper conversation about Medicaid.
The film and premiere event are part of ACS CAN’s “Medicaid Covers US” education project, intended to foster a conversation about the value of Medicaid for the health and wellbeing of people, communities, and the country. The campaign aims to bring together decision makers, community members, and the public in dialogue about the critical services Medicaid provides and focuses on six key states: Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, North Carolina and Virginia. By telling stories of the important role this program plays for individuals and communities, ACS CAN is working to elevate the positive impact Medicaid has not just on beneficiaries but on economies across the nation.
“In the fight against cancer, we know that affordable access to health care is critical, and Medicaid plays a big role in helping people get and stay healthy in both Alabama and across the country,” said Lisa Lacasse, president of ACS CAN.
ACS CAN released polling earlier this year conducted by Perry Undem and Bellwether Research and Consulting that found 92 percent of Americans feel that Medicaid is an important program. These numbers cut across political parties. It also found 72 percent of those surveyed support raising Medicaid’s income eligibility levels. Finally, it found that changes to Medicaid programs that could result in eligible residents losing coverage are unpopular. For example, a majority of voters (seven in 10) agree – across both sides of the aisle – that their states should not rush into imposing new reporting requirements as a condition of receiving coverage.
“The Medicaid Covers US project is a conversation about how we as individuals and families, as a state, and as a country take care of ourselves, our families, our neighbors,” said Campbell. “It’s a conversation about how health care professionals can provide lifesaving care to the communities they serve every day. Ultimately, it’s a conversation about what’s working, and not working, in our approach to health care in Alabama and across the country.”
Medicaid is a health insurance program for low-income children and adults, seniors and people with disabilities.
To see the film or trailer, click here: https://www.medicaidcoversus.org/alfilm