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tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  November 9, 2013 9:00pm-10:01pm EST

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>> welcome to al jazeera america. i'm jonathan betz. here are today's top stories. efforts to reach a nuclear agreement with iran has failed. progress was made in this iran of talks. the u.s. is still determined to prevent iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. diplomacy takes time and all the parties need time to fully consider the issues. very complicated technical difficult issues that we discussed here in the last days. >> we're getting new reports that up to 10,000 people is now have been killed when typhoon haiyan slammed into the philippines. search and rescue teams are
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still look for survivors. a 5. 5.5 magazine any taught ace has struck eastern japan. it's estimated 25 miles northeast of tokyo. the quake shook buildings in the capitol city but officials say they are not worried about a possibility of a tsunami. those are the headlines on this saturday night. i'm jonathan betz. keep it here because "america tonight" is up next. remember, you can always find us online with the latest on have a good night. ♪
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♪ >> good evening and welcome to "america tonight" the weekend edition, i'm joie chen. reeling from super storm sandy. in the after math the american red cross took action. the red cross promised to care for survivors and help them recover but it turns out many have been left wanting and waiting. >> reporter: one year on, this is breezy point, one of the new york communities most devastated when hurricane sandy churned up the's coast. waves crashed into homes. the power went out, and then
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more than 100 houses burned. visible scars left in drifting sand. beach towns like this one, and some homes are so damaged they'll never be inhabitable again. you'll hear story after story getting the financial aid needed to completely recover from the storm. sandy cost the state of new york about $42 billion. and for many families the personal costs will be a burden to bear for many years. up and down the low lying barrier coasts the debris has been cleaned pup there are signs of regeneration. construction crews are everywhere. but for many of sandy's victims the long nightmare of destroyed or damaged homes is not yet over. at the search for help is frustrating, so frustrating.
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>> there is no liability. it was just a betrayal. >> reporter: rose lean is a high school spanish teacher. with her three children she's now living in a tiny apartment. it was all she could find or afford after sandy. >> i had lost everything. i lost my car, my furniture, the kids clothes. >> reporter: a block away from jamaica bay she lived on the second floor of this building. a year later still not repaired. >> this floor was completely washed out. there was mold, funky smells, water. >> reporter: bay water met see water met sewage. then there was the fully stocked del. >> i we lived above a deli. there was the food that went bad. it was pretty bad. >> and fema told you that you needed to get out. >> they just looked at the outside and said why you are still here? for months they were forced to live in a hotel.
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and then the red cross said they could help. >> i spoke to the case worker, who also said that there was the government assistance program. he said that i would be eligible for money to move into a new place, and that all my household items would be replaced. [♪ music ] >> reporter: the red cross raised more money to help the victims of hurricane sandy. $308 million. they created the move-in assistance program to help people get back in their storm damaged homes or to find new ones. they spent $15 million helping 28 households on that program alone. >> the red cross said they could give you how much money? >> they said $10,000. the max for household items was $6,000. the other would be for brokers fees, deposit, and for first month's rent. >> what did they tell you that they needed for to you get the
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money from the red cross. >> find a place, submit a w-9, application, and that was all i needed. >> you will get the money as soon as you find a police. >> yes, as soon as we find a place. >> but that's not what happened. not for fernandez or what current red cross workers say happened for 1,000 others sandy-devastated households. families denied badly needed assistance when the red cross changed the interpretation of its eligibility try rear i can't last may. the founder of disaster accountability project, a non-profit aiming to improve transparency in relief organizations. >> there are hundreds of people across new york that were all told that they would be eligible for assistance, and they did home work for the red cross, jumped through hoops, only to
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find out they weren't eligible in the first place. >> people like car parts salesman tom clemens. >> i'm 5'8" if you take where my neck is, it's right around here. >> reporter: clemens home in freeport, new york, backs on to a canal. sandy's tidal surge sent water in his fires floor. a year later water-rotted walls are half gone and papers are still drying out in what had been his office. >> just like you could say, it's at one foot, three feet, that's when i knew this was going to be a problem. anything that i had propped up down here was not high enough. and things floated that i never would have imagined. >> these are the documents you received from the red cross. >> yes, ma'am. >> reporter: he also applied for red cross assistance. >> suffered loss, i suffered damage to my place of resident.
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i do not have adequate financial resources. i have not exhausted or been reimbursed by insurance programs. that's it. >> that's it. >> you go around in circles. >> reporter: he found a contractor who prepared a detail estimate all at the request of the red cross. then he said he got two phone calls telling him that thinks application was denied. >> that was it. nothing else. i haven't heard from them since. probably my application is in the garbage pail. >> reporter: now look inside american red cross with the whistle blower who explains what happened when the relief agency changed its interpretation and guidelines, hundreds of families were left without the desperate help that they believed they had been promised. we should add here that we did ask the red cross for an online camera interview, however that request was declined. >> i was in new york working with the sandy recovery for many
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months. >> we have protected this man's identity and changed his voice because he still work with the red cross. highways direct knowledge of the move-in assistance program. >> why have you decided to help us. >> clients promised help from the red cross. these people have been homeless or de placed for about a year. there were made promises from the red cross and the red cross failed to honor these promises. >> in the aftermath of sandy the red cross launched its move-in assistance program last december. red cross workers in new york told us they were instructed how to interpret the program criteria. each case passed through multiple layers of atravel until last may. >> why arwhy were there people e pipeline and then it changed. >> the guidelines changed
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drastically. >> is review an accurate word? >> no. >> so this is frequently asked questions, and it seems to date from may. >> we showed him an internal red cross document we were told was intended for red cross case workers to use as talking points with now disqualified victims. it reads, we are committed to being good stewards of donated dollars and regularly evaluate our work. we conducted a review as part that have due diligence and to insure that open cases are following program guidelines. >> is that an adequate statement. >> no, it is a nice statement, and i believe in germ the red cross intends to be good stewards of the donor dollar but on may 6th it didn't seem to have anything to do with that. there were clients who received commitment from the red cross of money that would assist them to recover from the storm. then they were deemed ineligible. that's not assisting clients, that's lying to victims of the
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storm and survivors of the sandstorm. >> reporter: they insist that the criteria were consistently applied from february onward. but that's not what red cross workers tell pups we spoke to two former and one red cross worker. from may 6th there whereas so much confusion they were ordered not to speak to their clients. >> case work effectively stopped for a week, almost two weeks. case workers and case managers were told not to speak with clients. >> we're told not to speak with clients at all. they didn't know how to communicate the changes. they weren't sure of the affect of the changes some red cross workers were so upset about having to eventually tell hundreds of clients they were no longer eligible for assistance that they quit their jobs. one former worker described the changes as, quote, arbitrary.
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at the same time the red cross was disqualifying hundreds of families who believed they were eligible for help, the red cross publicized this story. a 95-year-old woman able to return to her storm-damaged home in part because of red cross money. under the changed criteria she and many others who had already been given assistance would have been deemed ineligible and denied funding. >> i had never seen this type of behavior from a relief organization. an organization that is supposed to help people and is-for-have this type of mess up and inconsistently. numerous staff coming forward with what happened, frustrated. >> reporter: at the disaster accountability project ben collected the stories of dozens of sandy victims promised and then denied funding by the red cross. >> some were actually told they would get a certain amount of money in the mail, and that it
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was coming in two days via fedex. >> the cut has been cut. you're fine. this is what you're going get. >> yeah. >> and the check never came they had to stop work on their home. >> reporter: there were hundreds of other cases in the pipeline where the case worker was working with a client, had probably given a positive indication to the compliant that the case was going to be moving forward. everything looked like it was good, and then the case was then frozen. this was not a small hiccup. these were not small headaches in the program. these are enormous migraines. >> in response to a letter asking for an explanation of changes to the program, the red cross told congressional staff members they would review and make good on cases where promises were made. a red cross spokesperson told america tonight, quote, if client believed they were promised assistance by a red cross case workers and documentation supports this, we will honor their request even if they do not fully meet program
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criteria. >> the red cross will continue to worker with us on sandy relief. >> last month at a news christians held on one of the most damaged streets on long island, new york's attorney general said that after investigate of complaints including in the disaster accountability project, the red cross would now contribute more money to helping sandy victims. >> they are working to correct some problems and go back and review cases where people might have been denied relief that maybe should have gotten it. >> reporter: but america tonight obtained this internal red cross e-mail. you're blurring all names to protect our source. it's dated september 20th and reveals further changes to the implementation of the program denying more assistance to a storm victim who previously received a small amount of money and believed she was 1908 intelligible for more. her request refused, quote, guidelines are being more strictly enforced now. they never came back. laura is one of those who have had her case reviewed and denied
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a second time. >> then it started to leak. i am hoping that my boilers will hold out. if they don't, i'll borrow money. i'll use my credit cards again. she was told that she was not eligible now because she did not stay in a hotel paid for by the government after the storm. but she has a pet. >> that would have been the exceptions that they should have allowed. because most hotels will not take a pet. >> those tr criteria of those wo stayed with family or friends or stayed in the damaged homes to protect them one of the ways the workers described the ways as arbitrary. after a year of uncertainty, after losing her home in almost everything else, rosaline is trying to move forward. she said that door after door has been shut on her and her family. what hurts most is the refusal
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of the red cross to help. >> what did you think when you got that phone call saying that you were not going to get that money? >> it was wrong. i thought it was wrong. and i said that to him. you know, this is unfair. there was never that idea that i was not going to be uneligible. there was never that conversation. it was always this is--you have met all the requirements to make you eligible. and then all of a sudden the requirements change and you're no longer eligible. >> that investigation from our "america tonight" senior correspondent sheila macvicar. kenya, tools to confront change. we preview the key next
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i'm phill torez. coming up this week on techknow. they may look like smokers. >> oh my gosh, it actually smells like pizza. i would eat this. >> they're not. >> wow. >> welcome to the world of vapor. >> there's like hundreds of variations that you can make. >> we tend to regulate that in this country. >> we don't like people making their own moonshine. >> the science behind e-cigaretts. >> wow, ya, now we're actually spiking.
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>> in the wake of kenya's election ballot, and in the mist of a silver war an unique and unconventional player arrived on the scene. the charts co-ed, multi ethnic soccer players. the audience, ethnically divid divided. >> for me not a reflection of the true nature of the relationship that exists in the kenyan society. we are not a society where people are looking across the fence saying, the first opportunity i'm going to get i'm going to go in there and steal that man's chickens. we are living in a society where people can convince us in a grouping in various human greek
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tragedy in a way that the fellow across the fence is an enemy, and wouldn't it be nice to rape his wife to teach him a lesson. we learned a frightful lesson. but i'm also convinced that come elections of 2012, the brigade are getting ready again.
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[ screaming ] >> i thought, now, this is not acting. this is reality.
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>> some how i you rushed back to the real thing happening to this country. i don't want to see this happen because next time there might be a victim. and who knows what might have happened, having done a thing like that i was almost crying. >> asking a friend or a brother who is not really from a family or from a tribe. i feel proud. i tried my best. even though the crowd was threatening me, i felt as a hero, you know.
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>> there is a tremendous gap between the haves and the have nots. we have a population of 40 million people. 35 million people who are starving, trying to survive, and make it to the next day. so the tensions are extremely real. ethnicity, tribalism, communityism is alive and well because it's a wonderful match that can fuel, to confuse people to the real issues about the governance and the corruption of the politicians. >> to follow up now joining us is christopher dickey, for the daily beast. he has written as an agent of social change. soap opera. i have an american sense of soap
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opera. a little sex, and a little crazy. these are quite sophisticated productions. >> they are. they are the same as a soap opera in a sense that people come to identify request the characters. anyone who watches soap operas in the united states gets to know all the women and men involved, gets to know the romances and relationships almost as if they're part of their own families. what these open operas for social change is act on this kind of emotion. so you bring the public into the situations of the characters and the open some ar are soap operat just selling soap but inside, ideas for social change whether its birth control, or bringing society coming together to work as a team. >> isn't the aim to make the messages ex-polithe's if you have a fight then this will happen? this sort of violence results in this? i don't know, no, joie.
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if it's didactic like that then no one will watch it, and no one will learn anything from it. they have to be persuasive dramas or melodramas if you will. in india there is a radio drama that is very popular, very much oriented toward family planning, towards equal rights for little girls, things like that. but the stories are told about giving birthday parties, things like that, rather than didactic like let's look at the chalkboard and this is how you run your life. but this woman runs her life and make she's like you, and it has impacts. >> i wonder if governments get
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behind these productions, and whether producers even want them involved? >> well, some governments do, and some governments don't. generally speaking the producers don't want the government of these countries to be hostile to them, but they don't want to be beholden to them either. you could hear the segment on the screen was the division in the community, corruption of the politicians and a lot of people in the kenyon government don't want to address directly. >> we appreciate your being with us, chris dickey, who as you see paris bureau chief and for the daily beast. thank you so much for being with us. al jazeera america presents the team on sunday evening at 9:00 eastern. you can see it then. coming up just barely making it. the daily struggles of the other america. we watch an "america tonight" special series next.
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and to contact the centers and
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>> this may have come as a bit of a surprise. more than half americans will spend a year in poverty or near poverty. that's below 150% of the official poverty line. in other words, poverty is quite mainstream. and the stereotypes most of these folks have worked extensively. let's go to the other america. meet stacey. [ alarm clock ] >> get up, baby. now, please. that's it, you did it. come on. come on, baby. get up, child. >> i introduce myself as maude. i call myself master of skies. >> did you hear me? >> yeah. >> all right. have a good day. >> i say that because most days i'm in tears by the time i get to work because i'm frustrated. but then i think about it. something is worse than me, you know, so i end up smiling
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because if i don't i cry. >> are you up? >> i have three kids, and i work with toddlers, quiet is definitely not something i get. if i don't hear him moving, he's not getting up. >> he's my oldest, he's 12. he's in middle school, seventh grade. my daughter, she's nine and she's in fourth grade this year. she's my little mama. my youngest is jad jaden, he's x and definitely the baby. i pac make the lunches the night before and pack them in the morning. >> last minute check, make sure that the book backs are packed. normally we're out the door by 6:30, 6:35 if all goes well. most morning prayer is essenti essential.
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i don't have reliable transportation because i don't have a car. it's a hindrance. in order for me to go to their school i have to catch a cab. that's $40. for me to go to award ceremonies or pick up a sick child, it's not in my budget. >> here. >> buy, behave. be good, little boy. other than that i normally still get the kids out on their bus on time. it's just a matter of whether or not i'll make my bus. >> i take the bus, two trains and then another bus. >> i like to get out of here a few minutes early because i normally catch their bus as they're passing by. my daughter is standing up waiving. and here comes our bus now. i catch the 121 at 6:50 in front of my argument. if i miss that bus i run about a block naft and a half up the stt
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to catch that next bus so i make my 7:09 train. when i make that i get to the train station about 7:08. next we're going to the train. westbound to five point. >> then i get to five point about 7:25. the next train comes at 7:28. two minutes to get downstairs and get to that train if that's on time. and then i'm normally to brook haven about 7:45. the bus leaves at 8:12. >> rain or shine i'm like the mailman, i still deliver. this is my same routine even in the cold, the rain, every day. on a bad day when it's raining i leave out on time. i leave a little before time. but i still make it to work late unless i catch a cab which again gets expensive.
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i'm not sure how many miles it is. it takes me an hour and a half to two hours on an average day. if i were to drive to work it would take me 10 or 15 minutes. i started off our routine this morning at 6:45. finally here at 8:30. i actually looked into moving closer to my job, but if i go to apply for something i feel like i'm prejudged before i even get there. everybody want the same thing. they want me to make three times the rent. the fact that i've been on the job for eight years is not enough credit for me. even when i moved in here my food stamps were considered part of my income. that gave me the three times the rent. it's okay for me to have it here, but if i want a better quality life and to move somewhere else that's not acceptable. so i feel like i'm just kind of stuck in this.
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after taxes are deducted i bring home for the month a little less than $1,200. i do have a mass blackout at my house so there is nothing on until 5:00. i don't turn on my air. normally we'll use a fan but only if it's super hot. i'll go to the laundry mat instead of washing at home even though i have a washer and drier. my my goodness, i spend out right around $1,180, so i normally have $20 for the month. >> this is the renewal letter that i have to renew by. as my food stamps did today. how do i feed my children. i received a letter in the mail saying i need to send my
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paperwork in again because there was an error. they may be delayed or reapplied. this morning i checked to see if they were on, and they weren't. which meant that i'll have to turn off a bill or pay a portion on it until i get that situation resolved. >> what gets us to 24, two times 12, just write out your example. >> i feel defeated. guy to work every day. i'm on time every day. i've been on the same job for eight years. never had any problems. but i can't afford to move to a better environment for my children. so kind of makes me feel like a failure, like i let them down. the track you start out on will feel like the one you might take a few more before you're done. i'm up every day whether i'm sick, whether i'm tired, and i'm out the door and i'm off to work. i do that because i have to take care of my children. i don't want anybody else taking
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care of my kids. just trusting myself. you climb every hill and say i think i can, and guess what, you will. today you made it through, today. they're in one piece. they're in their beds. they're resting. my kids are my world. everything i do is for them. >> okay, baby. >> it makes it fun. it gives me what i need to do to get up in the morning and do it again. >> good luck to her. life in the other america. our special series this time with stacey. coming up here are the super users of healthcare follow up to obamacare. promises rough spots of its accountable care organizations.
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>> it's been a rough start so far, and it's just not measuring up, but obamacare promises to cut costs for the sickest of americans. here is how it works. >> reporter: at 43 alicia said she's happy just to be able to breathe. inside her up ypsilanti apartment, oxygen tanks are stacked up like furniture. they serve as vivid reminders of things that took over her life and forced her to quit her job. >> that's when out of control blood pressure and diabetes and issues with my back and all that have. i couldn't stand. i couldn't do it any more. >> reporter: she has a lot of medical problems, and they're quiet severe. she's morbidly obese, and that is in part connected to a syndrome of heart and lung dysfunction from not breathing
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deeply enough. it's created a damage to her heart which in term created damage to her circulation. she also has diabetes. >> all those ailments put alicia in an unusually health category qualifying for benefits under medicaid and medicare. such duel eligibility are why patients like alicias are users of the federal healthcare system. >> two weeks at home, two weeks in the hospital, two weeks here, a month there, a month there. just constantly trading hands with a nursing home or a hospital. >> the cost to taxpayers for chronically ill patients is staggering. alicia is among 5% of americans who consume half of all healthcare spending. in 2010 that added up to nearly $1.3 trillion, but the healthy americans, the 50% who relied least on federal programs used
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less than 3% of government healthcare spending. alicia lives with her 20-year-old daughter tiffany. her own mother was diabetic, struggling for years with similar chronic health problems until the day she had a fatal heart attack. >> she went to the hospital, and me and my brother were, she goes to the hospital, she'll be out. this time she didn't come out. she didn't come out. >> alicia started to follow her mother down the same path. at one point weighing nearly 500 pounds. her health problems forced her in and out of the hospital, then into an acute care nursing home where she need advent later to breathe. >> and then of course the only thing i could do is think about my daughter. i feel like my mother deserted me. i feel like she didn't try hard enough. i really do. my daughter feels the same way.
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>> it's been almost a year since then. >> good morning, how are you? >> this morning alicia is headed to an appointment with her primary care physician. she now has a completely different model of care. it's called an accountable care organization, or aco, and it's the hottest three letter word in obamacare. an aco is a network of doctors, hospitals and providers that aims to reduce costs and improve care all while turning a profit. alicia arrives at the university of michigan health center as one of more than 30 pioneer acos around the country. >> i'm checking in to see dr. hudson. >> here's how it works. if the aco can deliver a higher quality of care to patients like alicia for less than the status quo they split the savings with medicare. if they don't, they lose money. dr. tim peterson heads up the pioneer aco at the university of michigan. >> the cost savings by looking at that patient group compared to another group of patients
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with similar conditions that are not enrolled in an aco program at all, and at the end of the year all the costs to provide care, the aco has to be more efficient by a certain threshold to share in cost savings, and also has to meet quality metrics to share in any savings at all. >> reporter: they found that the best way to initially save costs is though identify those patients most at risk, and those making repeated visits to the hospital. patients such as alicia. the idea is preventive care at home instead of emergency care in hospitals. >> so we know that she was costing medicare and/or medicaid somewhere between 100 and $250,000 for 2011 and 2012. >> and hello. >> hello, sweetie. >> now dr. stephanie hudson, alicia's primary care physician is the gatekeeper for her
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treatment. >> why don't you tell me about your healthy eating plan. how are you doing these days? >> dr. hudson decides which specialist she sees and monitors her precipitation. >> it's really a team sport. her team consists of nurses here, our social worker here, and knows her quite well, and then julia, her care manager who she has had since december, is also an integral part of the team as well. >> good, i think we have a good plan. >> reporter: back home julia is making a house visit. >> i will definitely call them tomorrow. she's one of the specialized care managers assigned to super users like alicia to is see that they have what they need to stay healthy at home. >> i made home visits to see what she had and what she didn't have. making sure she had meals at least once a day, setting up meals on wheels.
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>> anything that i need medically or not even so medically, but anything i need periodic just ask them. and if she can't get it, she can get me references to get it. >> reporter: when alicia first arrived home she was unable to walk. she needed a wheelchair and she needed a special hospital bed with custom size sheets. >> with custom care the follow up we do is imperative to how well the patient does. >> did you get your blood drawn today? >> did you forget such and such? oh my gosh. don't worry about it, i'll call and reschedule for you and she set the whole thing back up for me, yeah. but she's mother hen says on me, yes, she does. >> alicia's healthcare costs paid for by federal government programs have dropped dramatically.
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in 2011 medicare paid $215,000 for her care, and in 2012 medicaid and medicare together paid $289,000. this year it's much less. >> 2013 so far she has had just one hospital stay, and no nursing home, obviously. that was three days long. >> if you would have known me a couple of years ago, i guess could you say you could see death all over me. >> reporter: alicia is now able to get around her apartment with the help of a walker. she and those on her care team have taken many steps to lower her medical costs while improving her health. alicia said she comes a long way since doctors told her a few years ago that they had given up on her. >> you never want to hear nothing like that. we did everything that we can. can't figure out where this
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infection is coming from. and if your blood pressure keeps going oh up, if you stroke out, have a seize, it's a wrap. you're about to go meet your maker. >> did you get some good stuff from the farmers market? >> reporter: for the last year alicia has been on a weight management program, and so far she has lost 100 pounds. dr. hudson also closely monitors her diet. >> i still manage to stay away from sugar. >> in five years i see alicia walking into the examine room. without a wheelchair or other assisted device, without a take, and a healthy body weight. smiling and laughing like she always is. >> reporter: in the short term alicia is hoping for gastric by pass surgery. she hopes to one day get rid of the oxygen tanks cluttering her living room. for now she says she's just
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grateful to be home and out of the hospital. >> being back is just, i can breathe now. >> reporter: our report. when we return, off the cutting room floor of history. did hollywood refuse to showcase hitler's reign of terror? >> audiences are intelligent and they know that their
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>> a look back to a dramatic event in world history. 1930s germany as hitler came to power and created a killing machine. did the world know? a bold effort to expose the threat, one that could have captured america's attention if only movie goers had been watching. >> i had never heard a man so able to sway people. >> the production seems crud by today's standards, but in his 1933 film, neil vanderbilt tried to warn the world about what he saw as a serious threat in adolf hitler. >> in the hour and a half that
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hitler talked to that packed audience he was as effective. >> as a son of one of the most powerful families he is set out to produce his own exposé on hitler. >> they were ready to accept the promises of anyone who held out some hope for the future. >> reporter: in this era before beforeiphones vanderbilt had two items that put him in an unique position, film camera and a well-known name that gave him direct access to key figures in germany just as hitler's power was growing. >> i'm a newspaper man, your sently. what message have you for the american people? >> vavanderbilt understood the power of drama, using an actor in the role of hitler what a chilling conversation they had.
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>> this is crucial in the history of humanity. tell them adolf hitler is the man of that power. tell them adolf hitler has been sent by the almighty to a nation they wanted with disintegration and dishonor for 15 long years. >> and what about the jews, your excellency? >> my people are waiting for me. see this man here. he will tell you about the jews and all the other things that seem to bother america. >> film professor tom doherty wrote "hollywood and hitler," and he finds vanderbilt's clarity quite remarkable. >> when you look at the film with modern eyes i think you'll be struck about how prophetic the film is. >> reporter: doherty points out america was far more focused on issues at home. >> anything happening in europe was sort of a real distant trumpet, something was far away and really not on many people's
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radar. but in this film you have cornelius vanderbilt jr. and the reporter who interviews him, edwin c. hall, they're very cleared high about the jews which is brought up repeatedly in this film in a way that you will not see brought up in hollywood cinema until years later. >> reporter: vanderbilt saw the threat and the uproar his film was likely to generate going so far as to smuggle the film canisters in a spy movie caper. >> some adhesive tape, i climbed under the car and glued the cans to the bottom with tape. >> reporter: but what happened next may have come as a shock to the filmmaker. the "hitler reign of terror" was panned. it was called heavy handed, and they dismissed the notion that hitler could be any global
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threat. and then vanderbilt's movie faced the kind of pressure that document aariens would never imagine. hollywood gave hitler's "reign of terror" the cold shoulder. >> in the 1930s motion pictures had no first amendment rights. that seems incredible to us today, but in 1915 the u.s. supreme court ruled that movies were, quote a business pure and simple and as a business movies could be regulated the same way that food and drug administration regulated a quality of meat. in the same way that it could demand a film or that it film be cut. motion picture makers had to go through a series of obstacles, a real hurdle to get controversial films played in the 19 30's which is one of the main reasons
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that the hollywood studios stayed away from that kind of controversial content. >> reporter: so in chicago the title was clipped to "hitler's reign." no terror. a san francisco theater manager was arrested for merely showing the film, and then the movie all but disappeared. destined for the cutting room floor of film history. doherty knew the film had existed but suspected he might never find it. >> there was no trace of it in any of the usual archives scholars looked for. the library of congress didn't have it. you ucla didn't have it. moma didn't have it. it seemed to have vanished from the map, which is very curious. >> reporter: then, just when the trail seemed cold a chance discovery deep in the tax of the royal belgium film archives. >> we are in a huge project of those films, and i came across on this title in the database it was there, and i looked at it, and there it had the names of
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hitler and vanderbilt, i was curious about it. why are they together? so i made some inquiries, and before we knew it we had something--something unique in our collection. >> reporter: something unique, something that is believed to be the only surviving copy of "hitler's reign of terror" imported in 1995 by whom or why, only history only knows. >> probably somebody wanted to release this film here in belgium or europe. we don't know who it was, or what the intentions was, but to release it here, but yeah, the events advanced him, and so he couldn't--he didn't have the time to release it. >> reporter: the working theory is that the film was ordered before the nazis invaded belgium in may of 1944 after that it was probably just too hot to handle. >> german embassies all over the world were checking out film
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programs, and if someone was screening an anti-german film they would file a complaint. in many countries you have some kind of censorship or self-censorship, so it's quite possible that somebody decided not to pick it up because he knew he would not be able to screen it any way. >> reporter: so the abandoned film was most balled, forgotten in the belgium archives until it was rediscovered last year. it emerged just as film historians are looking at hollywood's role and keeping the lid on the truth of li hitler in the 1930s. they accuse hollywood of forging a pack that it he claims stretches to the hitler propaganda campaign to movie houses. >> they demanded that the studios fire half of their sal
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jewish sales men. they did this, they fired half of their jewish sales men. and then they fired all of their jewish sales men. the studios went along with it. for an american business to go along with each of those demands is collaboration in the sense the term is understand. >> reporter: but the notion that hollywood was complicit to keep filmmakers from the rise of the nazi threat is challenged by the reminder that the 1930s in german and the united states was a very different time. >> words like collaboration and complicit are really overblown. we have to remember that it is the 19 30's, and that the nazis of our nation are a post-war construct not just because of what they did but because of the motion picture media, and the imagine of the nazis are so vivid and what they did is so present in our imagination today
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that we have a hard time believing that the nazis were not always this universal emblem of absolute evil. in the 1930s world war ii had not happened. the holocaust had not happened. for the hollywood studio to be importing a film into germany in the 1930s would not be the error that we consider today with 80 years of historical hindsight. >> reporter: the film screened for public audiences in new york city, and it will likely see more air dates. as historians ponder the film and our understanding of hitler's rise to power. that's it for us here. if you like to comment on any stories here tonight log on to our website at tonight. and good night. we'll have more "america tonight" tomorrow. ♪
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>> welcome to al jazeera america. i'm jonathan betz with tonight's top stories. efforts to reach iran has filled. despite differences, secretary of state john kerry praised the efforts. >> diplomacy takes time. and all the parties here need time to fully consider the issues, a very complicated technical difficult issues that we discussed here in the last days. >> we're getting new reports that up to 10,000 people may have been killed when typhoon haiyan slammed into the philippines


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