Having done absolutely no research on this myself and relying solely on what this movie has told me: the Affordable Care Act classified addictions as a must-treat disease, creating the opportunity for an economic boom in the health care industry. There are thousands of beds to be filled; the trick is in finding the bodies.
The Premise: Utah (Jack Kilmer) goes to treatment after a decade of crack and heroin.
The Verdict: This isn’t a story about an addict in recovery. This is the story of corruption in the treatment industry. The movie feels, and it’s probably fair to say that writer-director John Swab feels, that treatment centers are a scam. An actual multi-billion dollar fraud that relies on repeat customers so isn’t exactly invested in full recoveries, uses its few success stories to recruit other addicts into empty beds to keep the cash flowing in, and profits from relapse. It’s a scathingly cynical view of the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It reminds me of I Care A Lot – which dealt with corruption in nursing homes – in content if not delivery. Body Brokers lacks a certain gloss, a certain finesse, but if you’re in the mood to rage against the machine, this will get it done, and a grounded performance by Michael Kenneth Williams makes it go down that much easier.
R.I.P. Michael Kenneth Williams.
So indeed NPR had a piece recently that I heard, this is what turned up when I did a superficial search:
Thanks for the review, Jay.
Of course there’s corruption. When one uses helping industries to make a profit… Movies are a great way to point out these issues.
Nice review with plot that is so In tune with the times.