Health care has increased its role in popular culture over the years. In movies in particular, we’ve seen health care costs and hassles play featured in plotlines in As Good as it Gets [theme: health insurance coverage], M*A*S*H [war and its medical impacts are hell], and Philadelphia [HIV/AIDS in the era of The Band Played On], among dozens of others.

And this year’s Oscar winner for leading actor, Anthony Hopkins, played The Father, who with his family is dealing with dementia. [The film, by the way, garnered six nominations and won two].

When I say “Oscar” here on the Health Populi blog, you’re conjuring up an image of the health plan insurance innovator founded in 2012.

But when it comes to health care in today’s post, I’m referring to one of the most resonant moments of the 93rd Academy Awards broadcast which came from an ad for Power to the Patients. The organization’s tagline: “Now prices are a patient’s right.”

The ad featured Oscar-winning actors Susan Sarandon and Cynthia Erivo along with the artist Shepard Fairey, all talking about….health care prices and transparency.

Yes, during the Academy Awards broadcast.

The organization Patient Power launched this week, press release for the Oscars PSA here.

This year’s Oscar show, airing on Sunday 25th April at 8 am Eastern, was different from other years of this annual fashion and cinema spectacle, with distanced seating in movie-family pods at the Union Station in Los Angeles.

But the ad for Patient Power was up-close-and-personal with Shepard Fairey painting in his iconic style a poster for empowered health consumers.

Sarandon, Erivo, and Fairey each have their own patient stories…

“I’m happy to be part of this campaign because people need transparency and consistent pricing in the healthcare industry in order to make educated decisions in every aspect of their lives. I look around and I see families devastated by medical bills and escalating prescription costs. No one should lose their livelihood, their home, their life because they can’t afford or understand the prices of their medical treatment. Until there is a universal healthcare system in this country, we need transparency and consistent pricing in the healthcare industry. Dealing with health issues is stressful enough without having to deal with hidden prices,” Sarandon said.

“This is an incredibly important issue and I’m honored to join this campaign. A patient’s right to access information regarding their healthcare is crucial and with this movement I hope we can engage and shed a light around this conversation,” Erivo asserted.

“I’m a Type 1 Diabetic, my wife has Multiple Sclerosis and I’ve seen friends with cancer be bankrupted. So, of course, healthcare and healthcare costs are important to me. I also see the way that art can affect people and draw them into an issue that they might otherwise reject or ignore. That’s what I’m trying to do with my art for the Power to the Patients movement, to make sure that it connects with people emotionally and intellectually. I want to pull people in and make them think and decrease the amount of suffering in the world,” Fairey explained.

Shepard Fairey is well-known as a muralist painting popular and politically-inspired images. Power to the Patients is motivating muralists around the U.S. to paint the movement on outdoor walls to promote health citizenship and the importance of health care access and affordability for all people in America.

You can follow #PowerToThePatients on Instagram and @PowertoPatnts on Twitter.

Here’s the ad you can watch for yourself. Health care price transparency is not only in the movies….it’s real, legislated in the law as of January 1 2021, and now Hollywood is on the case in real life…not just in the movies.