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.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.