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FROM THIS EPISODE

For decades, spending on healthcare has jumped each year by more than ten percent. Now it's increasing by four percent. Is that good news or bad? Are people giving up what they don't really need or delaying necessary treatments, drugs and operations that will cost much more in the future? Also, President Obama asks Congress for the power to shrink government, and more trouble for the Eurozone.

Banner image: People bundle up against the morning chill while waiting more than nine hours overnight to enter a free dental clinic in Brighton, Colorado. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

Producers:
Anna Scott
Caitlin Shamberg
Katie Cooper

Making News President Asks Congress for Power to Shrink Government 7 MIN, 36 SEC

President Obama said today it's time that the federal government was run more like a business. He called on Congress to reinstate the authority held by past presidents "to streamline and reform the Executive Branch," as would a private business owner to "make sure that his or her company keeps pace with the times." David Nakamaura is a staff writer at the Washington Post.

Guests:
David Nakamura, Washington Post (@davidnakamura)

Main Topic Healthcare Spending Is on the Decline, but at What Cost? 35 MIN, 50 SEC

The good news is that America's historic expansion of healthcare spending has slowed to its lowest rate in 51 years, though that could change fast. The reason for the decline is the recession, which left millions unemployed, uninsured and less able or less willing to pay for doctors, hospitals and drugs. Maybe they're just eliminating unnecessary care. However, if they're foregoing what they really need, they could get sicker and require much more in the future. We ask consumers why they've cut back and ask experts, will spending go up again when the economy improves?

This story was informed in part from sources in the Public Insight Network. Find out more at our website, www.kcrw.com/insight.

Guests:
Joanna Worthington, uninsured massage therapist
Susan Dentzer, Health Affairs journal
Doug Holtz-Eakin, American Action Forum (@djheakin)
Mark O'Connell, unemployed attorney
Kavita Patel, Brookings Institution

Reporter's Notebook Euro Nations to Get Debt Downgrade 7 MIN, 34 SEC

The credit rating of Europe's second largest economy, France, was downgraded today by Standard & Poor's. Word is that one more Eurozone nation will be hit with a downgrade before day is over. Peter Coy is Economics Editor for Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Guests:
Peter Coy, Bloomberg BusinessWeek

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