Last weekend, Congress approved the historical health-reform bill. Now it has to make a metaphorically long trek across Washington DC to the Senate.

Senators will be bogged down in debate and literature from lobbyists and activists -- possibly for months to come. While they cannot escape their duty, they will need occasional movie breaks for sanity -- or at least we'd highly recommend them.

Here are eight films they can watch and still technically be working on health care reform. Last weekend, Congress approved the historical health-reform bill. Now it has to make a metaphorically long trek across Washington DC to the Senate.

Senators will be bogged down in debate and literature from lobbyists and activists -- possibly for months to come. While they cannot escape their duty, they will need occasional movie breaks for sanity -- or at least we'd highly recommend them.

Here are eight films they can watch and still technically be working on health care reform.

'The Rainmaker' (1997)
Post-'80s Francis Ford Coppola and film versions of John Grisham novels are spotty at best. While the film has plot holes that LeBron James could walk through, its portrayal of an insurance company denying a dying man care is gruesome. It's no 'Saw'; the fear it inspires comes from knowing that this actually happens. Jon Voight plays the company's lawyer, a villain with Michael Myers-like emotions, and Matt Damon is the babysitter in lawyer's garb.

'Like Father Like Son' (1987)
Kirk Cameron's brief '80s stardom seems as far from the health care bill as Leonardo DiCaprio is from 'Growing Pains.' However, the B-story in this staple 'The-Parent-is-Really-the-Child' comedy is a hospital's reluctance to provide care to the uninsured. Dudley Moore's character, Jack, doesn't believe that poor people deserve to be healthy. Of course, a sexy yet intelligent female doctor, played by Catherine Hicks, tries to change his mind. Only when his teenage son (Kirk Cameron) enters his body does Jack learn humanity. Look senators, even an '80s teen got it, and '80s teens liked mullets.

'M*A*S*H' (1972)
There is a comparison one could make to the current health care situation and a war zone, but that's not why this black comedy is appropriate now. Patients often believe that doctors are larger than life. But while most are brilliant minds, they're still fallible humans, just like politicians. Robert Altman's masterpiece does a superb job of showing how even talented surgeons are normal people in incredible situations. Senators, keep this in mind when deciding how much power doctors should have in setting health care costs.

'John Q' (2002)
If this movie were a tool, it would be a sledgehammer ... a sledgehammer with a propensity for melodrama. Denzel Washington's character hijacks an ER when his fascist insurance company won't pay for a heart transplant his son will die without. Nick Cassavetes based it on a true story, even though the film became distorted and over the top. Still, while skewed, many politicians only respond to blatant screaming.

'Sicko' (2007)
This has to be the only health care film more deliberate than 'John Q.' The Oscar-nominated doc mocks the American health care system in Michael Moore's signature 'Fight-the-Man-with-Strong-Research-and-Smirks' style. Like all of his work, he only shows the side of the Little Man. However, since senators are usually on the Big Man side, it wouldn't hurt them to see. They will even see footage of the much-derided socialized health care systems abroad and its happy customers.

'Malice' (1993)
The soaring costs of health are not just because cat scans are pricier. It's also because of unnecessary medical procedures and malpractice lawsuits. Aaron Sorkin and Scott Frank wrote this at the height of sue-happy USA. It depicts how health insurance can be defrauded out of millions and what legality doctors must face. If nothing else, Alec Baldwin's "I am God" speech will hold an unsettling mirror up to those Senators trying to play God.

'Critical Care' (1997)
This hospital comedy, evermore poignant than 'Scrubs', set health insurance in its sights a decade ago. Albert Brooks is a doctor who is against treating uninsured patients -- but not opposed to sucking in every dime from insured patients, even if they'd be better off having their plug pulled. James Spader plays an young idealist doctor, who quickly becomes disenchanted by murky logistics. The satire proves a better system needs to be in place.

'Juno' (2007)
Not only did this quirky film catapult Diablo Cody and Ellen Page to stardom, it also successfully portrayed a teenager's abortion dilemma. While Juno is far from typical, she has to deal with the same considerations all pregnant teens do. Ultimately, the image of little fingernails, and not lack of health care, dissuades her from getting an abortion. The House-approved health-reform bill has a provision that denies abortion coverage to the 36 million people who would receive subsidized insurance. Maybe the cute image of Ellen Page furrowing her brow will help Senators furrow their brows in debate.
CATEGORIES Hot Topic