Tuesday 03/05/13 Batchelor First Hour

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Hour One

Tuesday  5 March 2013 / Hour 1, Block A:  Mary Kissel, WSJ editorial board, in Australia, in re:  . . .   Chinese buying  hotel in ht warmer and sunnier climes of Australia; not initially welcomed, but not vociferously rejected as was, for example, the US reaction to the proposed CNOOC deal.  Assuies concerned that "Asian pivot" does not mean more US naval forces to the East, and were worried abt Washington's dealings with PM Abe.  Are clear-eyed - incl Labour - abt the new Chinese leadership.

Tuesday  5 March 2013 / Hour 1, Block B:   Uwe E. Reinhardt , Princeton economics professor (and has some financial interests in the health care field, in re: (astounding) "extreme billing" by nonprofit hospitals of patients.  Phrase from "extreme fighting." When middle-class uninsured people arrive at a hospital, they’re billed "charges" – a mysterious thing. Every hospital has a Chargemaster, 20,000 list prices; no one know s how they're set. Ins co's negotiate a reduced pries, sometimes more than 50%. The middle class [victim], which I call a "mark," is billed up to three of four times actual cost.    We need an annual report, in writing, of how we bill middle-class Americans.  Yale pursued a man, a Mr Whitehead, so viciously that they were sued by the Attorney-General. There exists a national recommendation, which nonprofits generally fail to follow.  The great fdns – Robt Wood Johnson an others, ever pooled resources to research into what’s going on. Of course, Congress knew, as did all readers of the Wall Street Journal., yet never did anything.   A local hospital in NJ said, "We can charge up to 115% of what Medicaid charges."  A livery driver took his three-year-old son, who had pus in his eyes, to the ER, was given a little cream and charged a thousand dollars.

     If you're uninsured and being pursued by a "nonprofit," you have recourse.

Capt. Louis Renault’s famous line in the movie “Casablanca” comes to mind as I behold the reaction to the journalist Steven Brill’s 36-page report “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us,” published in a special issue of Time last week. Mr. Brill was swiftly invited to appear on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and on “Charlie Rose.”

Tuesday  5 March 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: Lanhee J Chen, Hoover, in re: What Obama Isn’t Telling You About Sequestration . Incentivize growth by reforming the tax code, exploring intl trade - above all, certainty for investors and getting the debt under control. This is what a Pres Romney would have focussed on; instead, we have Gene Sperling speaking [with Schadenfreude] of "pain." Our natl nongrowth is a result of both size of govt and esp of the leadership structure in Washington.

Tuesday  5 March 2013 / Hour 1, Block D:  Mark Dradgem, Bloomberg,  in re: Natural Gas Gains With Fracking-Friendly Nominees