Reason Cinema Promotes New Documentary Bitter Pill on Improving America’s Health Care System

For Immediate Release

Contact: Brian Magee,, 202-238-9088 ext. 105

(Washington, DC, Feb 27, 2013)—Brain surgeon and filmmaker Dr. Vivekanand Palavali has released his second documentary, Bitter Pill, which takes an in-depth look at the problems with American health care that unnecessarily drive up costs, reduce access and drag down the quality of care.

Bitter Pill is partnering with the American Humanist Association’s Reason Cinema to promote the film. The American Humanist Association previously promoted Dr. Palavali‘s first documentary, Creator of God: A Brain Surgeon’s Story, which addressed how the concept of “God” came into human existence and chronicled his personal journey toward becoming an atheist.

“When it comes to the well-being of its people, the wealthiest democracy in the world that is supposed to be by the people, of the people and for the people has failed to be for all the people of the nation,” said Dr. Palavali. “The ‘bitter pill’ that is necessary to rid the country’s health care system of the cancer that’s killing it is the single-payer system that has been proven to work in countries all over the world.”

Dr. Palavali’s new film arrives at the heels of the February 20th TIME Magazine cover story, “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us,” by Steven Brill. Though not connected with the film, the article discussed the need for a better, less costly health care industry.

The film reveals issues not as deeply covered in the popular TIME exposé, including greed, corruption, defensive medicine and the revolving door of lobbyists from the medical industry that have stopped Washington from properly dealing with these issues. The film argues that the improvements brought about by Obamacare do not address the greed that currently drives U.S. health care, including those who run the health industry’s biggest insurance, hospital, pharmaceutical, and supply companies.

Dr. Palavali is also the author of A Mindful Life: A Brain Surgeon’s Personal Experiences and Philosophical Reflections on Living Life Fully.

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The American Humanist Association ( advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 160 local chapters and affiliates across America. Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.

Reason Cinema is a film series project sponsored by the American Humanist Association. Since 2008, the AHA has hosted free screenings of films with humanist or progressive themes open to the public in Washington DC and other cities in the United States. These screenings are followed by informative discussions with directors, producers, and leading philosophers and policy experts on humanist issues. We aim to advance a secular agenda through innovative films that connect humanism and the arts. Reason Cinema has helped promote the award-winning documentary FUEL, PBS’s miniseries Becoming Human, comedian Bill Maher’s Religulous and the major motion picture The Golden Compass.