Wednesday, January 7, 2004

  • State Secret: Why Are Uninsured Patients Paying The Highest Prices For Hospital Care?


    Inequality in the U.S. medical billing system leaves the uninsured paying far more for medical care than those with insurance. We speak with a patient who was uninsured when she received an emergency appendectomy and was charged five times higher than what Medicaid would have paid and others including the Legal Aid Society’s Elisabeth Benjamin author of the report, "State Secret" which finds New York City hospitals aren’t informing patients about available state government charity funds. [includes transcript]

  • Are Debtor Prisons Returning To America?


    Hospitals hound uninsured patients for bill payments and now rank among America’s most aggressive debt-collectors using one of the harshest and least-known collections tactics of all: seeking the arrest of no-show debtors. We speak with Jim Bean who was jailed in Illinois in part because he failed to pay a hospital bill and we hear from the CFO of the hospital that sought his arrest as well as a member of a grass roots citizen action organization in Illinois. [includes transcript]

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Full News Hour


    Juan González on How Puerto Rico’s Economic "Death Spiral" is Tied to Legacy of Colonialism
    Could Puerto Rico become America’s Greece? That’s a question many are asking as the island faces a devastating financial crisis and a rapidly crumbling healthcare system. Puerto Rico owes $72 billion in debt. $355 million in debt payments are due December 1, but it increasingly looks like the U.S. territory may default on at least some of the debt. Congress has so far failed to act on an Obama administration proposal that includes extending bankruptcy protection to Puerto Rico and allocating more equitable Medicaid and Medicare...


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