First Aired: August 6, 2004
Tom Brokaw charts the cases of patients at Staten Island (N.Y.) University Hospital as he explores reasons why the U.S. health-care system has become “a financial mess of historic proportions.” Among the patients: a 24-year-old man with no insurance who lost both legs in the October 2003 Staten Island Ferry accident that killed 11. Another victim, a 62-year-old woman who fractured a hip and shoulder, has private insurance, but it didn't cover the rehabilitation equipment she needs. Brokaw also interviews doctors and administrators at the hospital and receives conflicting opinions on the problem's solution from Heritage Foundation economist Stuart Butler and Princeton health economist Ewe Reinhardt.
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- Premise: The newsanchor explores topical issues in-depth in a series of occasional specials. (more)