Wednesday, June 5, 2024

"South Park," Actually Did a Great Job Skewering the Corporate Aspects of Healthcare

Out of all the shows riffing on weight-loss drugs and their monetary costs that we've seen of late, "South Park: The End of Obesity," summarized certain aspects remarkably well. I've missed some of the other recent specials but I did want to see this one as someone who has worked in the health field. It mostly didn't, "Punch down," about people needing weight-loss drugs, instead focusing much of its ire on health insurance companies. A lot of time is spent in the show discussing how if you have certain medical conditions or are wealthy you can get drugs like Ozempic or Wegovy. However, if you're poor you are prescribed body positivity via listening to music by artists such as Lizzo (she gets a little bit of shade). One scene, in particular, summarized the nightmare of dealing with healthcare insurance in regards to getting a service you need (but insurance wants to decline to assist you with). Take a look:

"South Park," with this mini-movie/extra-long episode (it is about 50 minutes) makes it clear that a lot of people could benefit from these drugs but can't get them due to shortages (sometimes from those buying the drugs who don't need them nearly as much to lose some vanity weight), insurance being a pain, or how some companies would prefer folks keep eating large amounts of junk food--there are a number of satirically sharp scenes with corporate mascots acting like mobsters. Healthcare shouldn't be a business where companies make loads of money off people, but the American Healthcare System is quite broken. I've studied it a lot as someone with a Master's in Public Health, and I tip my hat to, "South Park," for a straightforward critique of the kind of entities that make getting needed care so difficult. You can watch this new episode on Paramount+ and I'd recommend it.

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