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In 15 seasons, ER exposed the problems with the health insurance industry that have never gone away

  • Gen

    "ER would explore a lot of societal issues over its 15 seasons," says Elizabeth Skoski. "Major storylines would focus on drug addiction, discrimination against HIV-positive employees, and spousal and parental rights for LGBTQ+ individuals. And minor storylines would highlight issues that wouldn’t otherwise get widely spotlighted for years, including minors’ access to abortion and the horrors of gay conversion camps. But the big baddie on the show, the one storyline that never dimmed, was the inherent inhumanity of America’s insurance system. Ambiguous and peripheral during my childhood watch, it now dominated my new binge, my mind alert to both the growing pile of bills on the kitchen table, filling a folder that I was afraid to shred for a year, lest I need proof of a payment, and the realization that the mess of private insurance was still as problematic as ever. Twenty-five years later, the private insurance industry still haunts patients and doctors. Twenty-five years later, medical bills are reported to be the number one cause of U.S. bankruptcies. Twenty-five years later, the United States is the only industrialized country without universal health care. Twenty-five years later and for the first time in a decade since the Affordable Care Act’s passing, the number of uninsured Americans increased."

    TOPICS: E.R., Retro TV