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FROM THIS EPISODE

The massive non-profit health-insurance company Blue Shield has been stripped of its long-time exemption from paying state taxes. But nobody's saying why. Has it failed its "mission" of serving the poor? Has it paid its executives too much? Is it because of reserves worth $4 billion — four times more than it needs to pay off potential claims? Are other healthcare non-profits acting more like their for-profit competitors? Also, jardineros and the good life of Southern California.

Photo: Healthcare reform protest at Blue Shield (Steve Rhodes)

Producers:
Andrea Brody
Evan George

Big Money in Healthcare Non-Profits 17 MIN, 30 SEC

Blue Shield is California's third largest health-insurance company. It was founded as a non-profit company in 1939 with an exemption from paying state taxes. Last August, the Franchise Tax Board revoked the tax exemption — but that was not made public until the LA Times reported it yesterday. 

Guests:
Dave Jones, California Department of Insurance (@CA_DaveJones)
Chad Terhune, Kaiser Health News (@chadterhune)
Rick Cohen, Nonprofit Quarterly (@cohenreport)

More:
Prohibition on Health Insurance Sales (AB 1434)
Jones on revocation of Blue Shield's tax-exempt status
Cohen on California pulling Blue Shield's tax-exempt status

Economics and Culture of the 'Jardineros' 6 MIN, 54 SEC

Drought or no drought, suburban lawns and year-round residential gardens are part of the good life in Southern California. To tend them, homeowners have long relied on a workforce of newcomers.

KCRW's Saul Gonzalez tells us about the men who call themselves jardineros.

Guests:
Saul Gonzalez, KCRW producer (@SaulKCRW)

Paradise Transplanted

Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo

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