Editorial Note: I typed this up and thought I was original, but it turns out Film School Rejects had a similar idea, and beat me to the punch. Luckily, their list doesn’t mix with mine too much, so I’m hoping we can share and expand upon the idea. Great minds think alike 😉
With United States President Barack Obama signing his health care reform bill into law, it got me thinking: how will things be different for me from here on out and, more importantly, which movie characters would’ve most benefited from health care reform? To the former, hopefully I’ll be able to finally get real asthma inhalers instead of those over-the-counter yuck-sprays (poor, uninsured asthmatics know what I’m talking about), and for the latter… well, the longer I think on it, the more characters I come up. So instead of aiming for getting the definitive top five, I’ve decided to just go with five period, and hopefully you can all add suggestions to the list in the comments below. So, without further ado, Five Movie Characters That Could Have Benefited from Health Care Reform:
1.) Padmé Amidala, “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”
With a real health care system in place, maybe Padmé’s mystery “lost the will to live” sickness could’ve been cured. It’s obvious that the robots caring for her were not a part of any good health care provider; they delivered her babies with a scooper-arm! Sure, this might not actually apply, since “Star Wars” doesn’t take place in the United States, but I like to think of universal health care as just that: universal.
2.) Captain Hook, “Hook”
I watched a documentary about prosthetic limbs in New Zealand, and I was appalled. Over there, jamming a shoe-shaped block of wood on your peg leg passes as a prosthesis. Here in the States, though, I’ve seen the prosthetics that not only look natural, but can also be rigged up to the muscles and nerves to react almost identical to regular limbs. Which makes me think, if Captain Hook had universal health care, maybe he never gets that hook hand, maybe he never sours on Peter Pan and maybe he lives a productive life as Dustin Hoffman with f****d-up teeth and some bad wigs. You know, like Dame Edna.
3.) Practically Everyone, George A. Romero’s “…Dead” Films
I know they’re dead with little money or job prospects (until “Land of the Dead”), but, come on, if they just got the extra medical attention they needed, maybe they could’ve reversed the zombification or something. Not like the zombie fucks move fast, all you’d have to do is wear some armor so they couldn’t bite you, and trap them in a small room. Take some samples. Figure it out. Hell, at least while they’re quarantined you could infect them with some head-exploding virus, right?
4.) Alexander James Murphy, “RoboCop”
If health care reform was in place, maybe Murphy has enough insurance to make sure that his bullet-ridden body doesn’t get scooped-up by some heartless corporation and then maybe he doesn’t get turned into a criminal-stopping machine. Sure, as RoboCop, he looked cool and sounded cool, but he also had to suffer through that whole “directive” crap and, on top of that, he was just unhappy and under-appreciated. He (somehow) survived getting shot repeatedly before the hospital f****d him over, so maybe, with proper insurance, he never makes it to the “discard cops’ corpses for corporate testing” pile.
5.) The Joker, “The Dark Knight”
Get that guy some mood-stabilizers and a good plastic surgeon, and half of Gotham City doesn’t need to fall into chaos. I mean, they were going to fix Harvey Dent’s face, so we know their health care system at least worked with the ones who had insurance (because what district attorney doesn’t have insurance, right).
Like I said, there are more, and no doubt you’ll think up a few, so go ahead and post your suggestions in the comments below, and let’s see how much cinematic history would be different, for better or for worse, if universal health care had happened sooner.