FROM Christopher Weaver
Medicare Costs and Your Doctor Bills Last year, Dow Jones persuaded a court to lift an injunction against the release of Medicare data, an injunction first granted to the American Medical Association in 1979. Last week, as a result, there was a massive " data dump " that's being called a watershed moment in establishing greater transparency. That data data shows that some doctors get millions of taxpayer dollars more than others for similar treatments. A few were already under indictment for fraud, but others have explanations. We talk about that with the president of the American Medical Association. The AMA helps set prices for Medicare, which then become standard for all procedures. Does the system encourage doctors to enrich themselves? What have the data revealed about pharmaceutical companies? Can they inflate prices under the cover of law?
FDA Aims to Strengthen Security on Medical Devices As American medicine becomes more computerized, cybersecurity is an increasing concern. Pacemakers, fetal monitors, and computers used to view XRays and CT scans are subject to malicious hacking. Incidents that used to occur once or twice a year are now happening monthly or even weekly. So today, the FDA asked medical device makers to fortify their products against hackers and malware. Christopher Weaver covers medical technology for the Wall Street Journal .
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.