Monday 19 April 2021
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theguardian - 2 month ago

Body Brokers review – drug abusers feed addiction to profit

Michael K Williams stars as a hustler on the hunt for addicts to place in insurance-funded treatment centres in this cynical take on US healthcare fraudWhile films such as Traffic and Sicario focused on the supply side of the US war on drugs, John Swab’s third feature takes on the demand part of the equation. An expletive-spattered prologue fills us in on how the Obamacare act’s obligation for healthcare-providers to cover drug-abuse treatment created a market for recovery facilities worth $12bn a year in southern California alone. Swab then zeroes in on pasty Ohio junkie Utah (Jack Kilmer), plucked from heroin deadendsville and offered free rehab on the west coast by Wood (Michael Kenneth Williams), a broker acting on behalf of treatment centres to find addicts whose stay will be funded by insurance companies.After completing the programme, Utah graduates to becoming an apprentice to Wood and quickly realises the size of the fraud at hand. Wood hauls in patients at scale by offering them a cut of the insurance the system has no incentive to see them permanently recover because relapsing addicts mean repeat business. Wood also runs the same ploy on subcutaneous implants that inhibit opiate addiction, delivering a stream of punters worth $60,000 each to a local surgeon. The cynicism and human collateral of it all makes it the narco-industrial complex’s version of sub-prime. Continue reading...


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