In Iraq, Voting; In California, Rising Insurance Rates
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Most voters had never heard of Anthem Blue Cross, but the Obama White House has made it a household name. How did it stumble into that distinction? How could Anthem's now infamous rate-increases impact entrepreneurs important to California's economy? Plus, the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Director. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, bombing attacks may have hardened the resolve of some Iraqis to take part in yesterday's voting. But the results won't put an end to widespread corruption. What's likely to happen when US combat troops start pulling out in August?
Banner image: Anthem Blue Cross headquarters in Woodland Hills, California. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images
The Iraqi People Have Voted Again: What's Next? ()
Nineteen million people were eligible to vote for 6200 candidates nationwide with 325 parliamentary seats at stake. Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission says 62% turned out nationwide in yesterday’s election -- 61% in the Sunni province of Anbar and 80% of the Kurds. In Baghda, though, only 51% went to the polls.
- Leila Fadel: Baghdad Correspondent, Washington Post, @LeilaFadel
- Judith Yaphe: Middle East Project Director, National Defense University
- Joost Hiltermann: Middle East Deputy Program Director, International Crisis Group
- Michael Rubin: Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute, @mrubin1971
- Abbas Kadhim: Assistant Professor of National Security Affairs, Naval Postgraduate School
Anthem Blue Cross Rate Hikes Galvanize Healthcare Reform ()
Anthem Blue Cross of Woodland Hills provides health insurance for 800,000 Californians who aren’t covered by their employers. In early November, the company notified regulators in Sacramento that it was raising rates. The average increase was 25%--with some policy holders hit for 39%, but Anthem didn’t expect a big reaction. Then, the Obama White House got the news.
- Mark Barabak: Political Reporter, Los Angeles Times
- Patrick Johnston: President, California Association of Health Plans, @calhealthplans
- Jerry Flanagan: Healthcare Policy Director, ConsumerWatchdog.org, @jerryflanagan
Kathryn Bigelow and Her Career ()
Last night, The Hurt Locker became the lowest grossing movie to win the film industry’s highest award, beating out Avatar in every category that mattered. Not only did it win Best Picture, it also won Best Director for Kathryn Bigelow, the only woman ever to get that award. But that’s not what Bigelow herself emphasized on stage or behind the scenes. Sharon Waxman is editor in chief of the website she founded, TheWrap.com.
Which Way L.A.? is made possible in part by the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, which supports study and research into policy issues of the Los Angeles region.
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