Today in the United States there are an estimated 46 million people-that is almost one in six Americans-who don't have health insurance. The numbers continue to grow as health insurance costs rise and more Americans find health insurance impossible to afford. In this important hour-long special, Peter Jennings' last documentary for ABC News, reports on how this country's broken health insurance system is threatening America's families, America's businesses, and America's health.
Mr. Jennings reports from hospitals in Houston, Texas, where the large numbers of uninsured people who flood the emergency rooms are affecting the emergency care everyone gets - the insured and uninsured alike.
Mr. Jennings also goes inside the once mighty General Motors, the largest private sector provider of health insurance in the nation. He reveals how the uniquely American system of employer-based health insurance really works, and why GM - in part because of this system -- is struggling today to remain competitive in the global market.
Though Americans often blame insurance companies for the rapidly increasing cost of health insurance, Mr. Jennings explains why health insurance costs are really going up and how we all bear some responsibility. We use more health care than ever before and Mr. Jennings asks the question that very few are asking - does all this money that we spend actually result in better medical care?
Our health insurance system, with its growing inequities and spiraling costs is revealed as a broken system, in desperate need of comprehensive reform.