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 .
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.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?