CRANFORD, NJ —If you have your health, you have everything the saying goes. But for millions of Americans, that health is directly tied to economic advantage, or disadvantage. President Barack Obama attacked that sobering reality with a plan. One that would be far reaching and inclusive in giving America a clean bill of health. His vision was realized in the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But as Obama’s Deal shows, the process was arduous, convoluted, serendipitous and strident.

Open My Eyes (OME) is sponsoring a free screening of Obama’s Deal. The documentary will be shown at 7:30 pm on Thursday, February 27, at the Cranford Community Center, 220 Walnut Avenue in Cranford, NJ. Obama’s Deal is a FRONTLINE series production by WGBH Boston, broadcast nationwide on PBS.

A post-screening discussion of the film will follow. The speaker will be Joel C. Cantor, distinguished professor of public policy and the founding director of the Center for State Health Policy at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Established 1999, the Center is a leader in health policy research and development nationally, with a special focus on informing policy in New Jersey. Dr. Cantor is published widely in the health services and policy literature on innovations in health service delivery and the regulation of private health insurance markets. He serves frequently as an advisor on health policy matters to New Jersey state government.

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Moderating will be Carole Kahrs, co-chair of the Westfield 20/20 Healthcare Committee and a member of the NJ for Health Care Coalition that is led by NJ Citizen Action. She previously worked for Johnson & Johnson, where she was in Global Strategic Marketing for the Pharmaceutical Group. 

The screening is co-sponsored by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Westfield, NJ, Westfield 20/20 Healthcare Committee and Action Together Union County.

“The passage of the Affordable Care Act was monumental in our nation’s history,” said Cathy Brennan, chair of OME. “But its consequences continue to reverberate today. It has become one of the hallmarks of the divisive and polarized views reflected in the debate over whether health care is a right or a privilege.

Open My Eyes (OME) is a documentary film series dedicated to educating, informing and initiating conversations in communities on topics ranging from social justice and the environment to political, cultural and societal issues. Each screening is followed by a panel of experts and public discussion designed to engage individuals in the issues that affect our lives every day. OME is nonpartisan and all perspectives are welcomed.

OME is partially funded by a HEART Grant given by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and by donations from supporters.