Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen.
In 2004, 24-year-old Manny Lanza urgently needed surgery for a life-threatening brain condition. But he didn’t have insurance, so his hospital refused to schedule the treatment — until it was too late. Manny died waiting.
In the months that followed, Manny’s parents, Reynaldo Prieto and Levia Lanza, fought to make their son’s story known — and to make sure it didn’t happen again. They came up empty … until a reporter from the New York Post took their call. Then, things changed fast.
What Manny’s parents didn’t know: The fight had already begun years before Manny’s illness. Folks like Elizabeth Benjamin, then a Legal Aid attorney, and Dr. Rosemarie Guercia, a retired Long Island, New York, physician, had spent those years campaigning for laws that would require hospitals to extend financial aid to uninsured patients. And with Manny’s story in the news, it was finally their time.
This episode of “An Arm and a Leg” focuses on how New York enacted a charity care law, one of the precursors to the federal provision on charity care in the Affordable Care Act.
“An Arm and a Leg” is a co-production of KHN and Public Road Productions.
To keep in touch with “An Arm and a Leg,” subscribe to the newsletter. You can also follow the show on Facebook and Twitter. And if you’ve got stories to tell about the health care system, the producers would love to hear from you.
To hear all KHN podcasts, click here.
We encourage organizations to republish our content, free of charge. Here’s what we ask:
You must credit us as the original publisher, with a hyperlink to our khn.org site. If possible, please include the original author(s) and “Kaiser Health News” in the byline. Please preserve the hyperlinks in the story.
It’s important to note, not everything on khn.org is available for republishing. If a story is labeled “All Rights Reserved,” we cannot grant permission to republish that item.
Have questions? Let us know at [email protected]