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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A Compelling and True Story

Author: MrQuackie from White Plains, NY
5 June 2002

"Damaged Care" is an often-poignant, always compelling look at the true story of HMO whistle-blower Dr. Linda Peeno.

Laura Dern's portrayal of a somewhat naive and vulnerable Linda Peeno is outstanding, with excellent supporting work from a solid cast. (One odd bit of miscasting is James LeGros as her husband, Doug. Inches shorter -- and looking ten years younger -- LeGros' character seems no match for Laura Dern's Linda. It might have worked better for LeGros and to switch roles with Adam Arkin, who did a fine, if thankless, turn as a health-claims lawyer.) Michelle Clunie gave a good performance in the interesting minor role of Linda's antagonistic secretary, Gemma, along with Suki Kaiser's underplayed (how could it be otherwise?) Dawn Dubose.

The lovely, haunting musical score and poetic narration cleanly underline and enhance this well-written, well-acted drama. Beyond that, the clear and present dangers of HMO practices that "Damaged Care" warns about are all too real. That alone would make this a must-see movie of 2002, though it offers much more.

Look for this one in the Emmy nominations.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

definitely worth a watch

Author: naturalpat (naturalpat@hotmail.com) from dubai, UAE
28 November 2004

Very nice movie. runs for around 1 hour and 50 minutes. Laura Dern does an amazing job in portraying the character of Dr. Linda Peeno who plays a medical adviser for 2 HMOs. An HMO is a Health Maintenance Organization, somewhat similar to an insurance company. She plays the whistle-blower in the movie who exposes the corruption in the system people are unaware of. A very thought provoking movie which at moments leaves you shocked and at times frustrated with the existing medical system. The supporting cast is also very good (except for the person playing her husband's part) but Laura Dern steals the show. This movie falls in the Erin Brokovich category. It is one of the few movies which you MUST watch with your family.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Is this really how health care works in America?

7/10
Author: kiwibeca from Christchurch, New Zealand.
19 October 2006

I saw this movie again recently. The first time I saw it I was incredulous, and the second time, even more so. Is this really truly how health care is funded in America?? Isn't there any kind of public system at all?

I just can't get over the apparent fact that a country that claims to be the most advanced of the so called developed countries would only have private health care. It's ridiculous.

Here only elective surgery is rationed, hip replacements, cataract surgery, that kind of thing. If you've got insurance, then you can go private, but otherwise, if you've got enough points, you get put on the waiting list and you eventually get your op for free. (The thing with the heart transplant would *never* happen here, that sort of thing isn't covered by our main health insurance company, as it's fully funded by the government.)

Although people are constantly winging and moaning about expensive doctor visits, (about NZ$50-$60 for an unsubsidised adult) if you need to go to A & E, you just go. In an ambulance, or otherwise. You don't have to ask permission.

What, prey tell, do people do if they can't afford health insurance?

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Refreshingly Candid

10/10
Author: Gina999 from New York City
5 July 2004

Damaged Care is an excellent, must see movie which centers around the state of ethics in medical care and what happens when corporations get involved in medical decision making and make the bottom line take precedence over sound medical care. It delivers it's message both intelligently and poignantly, and without any over-dramatization; showing the dilemmas faced by the doctors, as well as, the plight of their patients. The script, acting, and direction were all realistic and superbly done. Laura Dern's performance as Dr. Linda Peeno is totally engrossing and believable. You'll stay riveted to the screen. Go see this movie, but be forewarned: even though most people are aware from the media or their own experience of what's going on today, watching this movie may make you become motivated enough to go out and help change things, if even in some small, personal way.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

I love a true story - only thing better is a documentary

9/10
Author: Milbourne Whitt (milwhitt70@cs.com) from USA
8 March 2006

I didn't even know Laura Dern existed until 6 month ago when I saw "Wild At Heart". Maybe I did see her in Jurrassic Park, but she didn't leave a mark on me. This time she did!! Wow!! what a great, super actress!! I found that after seeing LD in several movies, she is great in factual stories, like October Sky. Whatever she does, she makes a believer out of me!! Here, she is a top grade doctor who blows the whistle on the HMO doctors. Well, I always thought there was something wrong with this system, anyway. There is something wrong with the new American people, that whenever they can steal a dollar, they'd rather do that than earn it. This is a story about such people. Not about poor people, but about rich people who want to get richer and they use the poor peoples money to do it. Thanks, Laura, I love you more today than I did yesterday. By the way, if you ever see this, I only give "10" rarely, but your best movie, a brave movie, was without question, was "Citizen Ruth". I ought to know, I've watched it 10 times or more. Please give my best to Alexander Payne, greatest Director of all time.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Excellent Performance

Author: intelboy from Phoenix, Arizona
30 June 2002

This is one movie that is in the range of HBO's 'WIT', or 'And the Band Played On.' Showtime has done a very wonderful, and extremely honest play on Linda Peeno, backed by a very good cast she puts on an act that makes you really feel that she is a woman torn by ethics and family and career. Like the other films mentioned this is not only a wonderful play, but a commentary on the state in which we live in as a society. This film make you think that would you do the same, have the same convictions to do what is right. This is a Emmy contender. Too bad it cannot be an Oscar nominated movie. Watch this movie, and bring your friends to see this. Bring Grandma, she would like it too.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Damaged Care == Good Point == Too One Diminsional

7/10
Author: lord woodburry (deanofrpps@aol.com) from The Society NY
3 August 2006

This movie wasn't a blockbuster though it did make an important point about US health care with its rising cost and declining quality. This made for TV movie portrays an honorable doc called to be the hatchet - woman for the dishonorable insurer out to save its Yankee green. Theee is much feel good liberal predictability in the denouement. To an extent the movie does show how doctors are willing conspirators or accomplices in the process. The acting flagged in places but overall the film did portray the essential ethical conflict between being a doctor and being the hatchet person kaboshing medical procedures treating doctors thought necessary. Too much feel - good liberalism enters the picture. In real life, insurers have little trouble finding replacements for such as the honest doc portrayed here and few docs if any ever become whistle blowers.

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1 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

This movie Concentrates Too Much Fire-Power on HMOs

Author: murray_johnc from Canada
20 October 2005

A pivotal point of this movie which raised my ire was when a self-righteous transplant surgeon accused the HMO of committing "murder" by its refusal to bankroll a one-million dollar heart transplant procedure. Suppose the HMO officer had countered by saying: "O.K., we'll put up half the money if your team at the hospital hospital agrees to do the procedure for half price"; hopefully that would have given the doctor pause for thought - I suspect in most cases the outraged retort might have been something like "no way! we're running a hospital not a charity!" The crux of the matter is that the progress of medical science has made it technically possible to treat more and more formerly fatal conditions, but it has not made it affordable in most cases. Is any health care provider morally obligated to treat a patient regardless of cost or patient circumstances - even if it deprives other patients of the care they need? Some years ago, the British National Heath Service was excoriated by the tabloid press for refusing to finance a second bone marrow transplant for a young cancer patient whose first transplant had failed. The NHS management team replied that there was about zero chance of another transplant saving the girl's life and what right did they have to spend another million pounds on just one patient and deprive thousands of other patients the care they needed. Utilitarianism is a theory of ethics based on quantitative maximization of good for society or humanity - sometimes summarized as "The greatest good for the greatest number." All health care professionals should remember this principle; there isn't ever going to be enough cash available to do everything you would wish to do. Medical ethics become comparatively simpler in an emergency situation, e.g. a war zone or terrorism situation - doctors use the triage system, i.e. separate the wounded into three groups: (a) the seriously wounded who can be helped with the resources available (b) those with slight wounds who will survive anyway without treatment (c) those so badly injured they will inevitably die even if treated. Start with group (a), continue with group (b) if resources permit, leave group (c) to die.

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