The documentary Sick Around America was filmed before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) reform law enacted in March in 2010. Before the ACA, insurance companies were allowed to deny health coverage to an individual with pre-existing conditions. So that means that health care markets were able to avoid the sick and sell their products to healthy individuals or what they called profitable customers. After the ACA individuals cannot be turned away by healthcare companies due to pre-existing conditions. However, for individuals who are not covered under an employer, buying health insurance might be out of their reach due to high premiums. So, even though the ACA was designed to end health insurance disparities, that has not been accomplished. As it was mentioned in the movie there are many factors that play a role in health disparities, and one of them is the stakeholders, who are not willing to get less financial benefits. Since I started this course I have discovered how little I knew about our health insurance system, it was almost like I was brainwashed to think that the United States had an inclusive system where everyone had access to health care.
This documentary was filmed almost a decade ago, but the stories that were covered in the documentary are still relevant in 2019. Like Linda and Mark, there are individuals who have the privilege to have health insurance through their employer. And because of that privilege, Linda and Mark’s premature baby, health care bills were fully covered. Somehow I can relate to their story but not completely. I was 13 years old when my family and I moved to Boston. My parents have always been self-employed and their income qualified us for free health care. However, that quickly changed when I enrolled in college. Due to the high cost of insurance, I had to enroll in school part-time. That was the only way of going to college without paying health insurance. I started my first semester in college in the Fall of 2009 and it was in the spring of 2013 when I was approved for affordable health insurance due to the ACA reform. Due to this change in health care, I was able to afford the nursing program. I always knew that health insurance was one of the obstacles I faced during my college carrier, but now that I know better it deeply saddens my soul because I know that there are students out there who are struggling to finish their college education due to the inability to afford health insurance. I was so naive to think that my story was unique. Finally, the only reason I stated that I can somehow relate to Linda and Mark story is that now after almost 15 years of living in Boston I’m fully covered under my husband's health insurance policy.