The film was produced and written by Dr. Robert Zarr, a pediatrician in Washington, D.C., and directed by Kaylen Larson, an undergraduate student from Sioux Falls, S.D., who interned with Dr. Zarr in the fall. (More detailed biographies and contact information appear below.)
The video comes at a time when a growing number of prominent voices have expressed support for single payer, sometimes called “an improved Medicare for all,” including Colin Powell, former secretary of state; Dr. Steven Nissen, chief of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic; John Podesta, the former chief of staff under President Clinton who is now joining the Obama administration; and Dr. Donald Berwick, former head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
It also comes three days after Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont introduced his single-payer bill, S. 1782, the American Health Security Act. (On the House side, Rep. John Conyers’ bill, H.R. 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, currently has 53 co-sponsors.)
Much of the renewed interest in single-payer health reform has undoubtedly been driven by the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act and new disclosures about some of the law’s limitations, e.g. the prevalence of high deductibles and co-pays under many private health plans and the insurers’ narrowing provider networks.
Both Zarr and Larson are available for interview.
Kaylen Larson is studying global studies and political science at South Dakota State University. Upon graduation in 2015, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in public health administration. Kaylen has been a youth health-and-safety advocate since her early high school years, with a focus on road safety concerns.
Robert L. Zarr, MD, MPH, FAAP – pediatrics, Washington, D.C.
Dr. Robert Zarr is a board-certified pediatrician at Unity Health Care in Washington, D.C., where he cares for a low-income and immigrant population. He is past president of the DC chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and he holds adjunct professorships at Children’s National Medical Center, George Washington University and Georgetown University. He also serves as board member of Physicians for a National Health Program and co-directs the PNHP DC chapter.
Dr. Zarr is fluent and literate in Spanish and has worked in the U.S. and abroad with Spanish-speaking populations. He is currently active in a variety of quality improvement initiatives including asthma management, injury prevention, literacy promotion, breastfeeding awareness, youth advocacy, tuberculosis prevention, and compliance with early and periodic screening, diagnostic and treatment standards.
Dr. Zarr graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and completed his pediatric residency at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. He also has a master’s degree in public health, specializing in international health, from the University of Texas School of Public Health.