Whistleblower suit says health plan cheated government out of more than $1 billion

By Fred Schulte

Lawsuit: executives worried health plan would be ‘screwed’ if feds heard of overcharges.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Healthcare":

"… er government health official claims, he discovered that the plans — MMM Healthcare and PMC Medicare Choice — had been cheating Medicare out of hundreds of …"

"… ts 2012 annual financial report to insurance officials in Puerto Rico, MMM Healthcare stated that it had not been subject to a CMS payment audit. However, in l …"

Montana state senators raise big bucks with secretive nonprofit

By Michael Beckel

Secretive group connected to GOP state Sens. Jason Priest and Ed Walker raised $900,000 in 2012, new documents show.

The health care industry's campaign of fear, uncertainty and doubt

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: health insurers use a host of tactics to erode support for Obamacare.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Healthcare":

"… pecial interests collaborated under the auspices of organizations like the Healthcare Leadership Council, a coalition that encompasses executives from insurance …"

Education groups battle teachers unions in state races

By Rachel Baye

Groups funded by billionaires back state-level candidates who want to weaken teachers unions and promote charter schools.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Reed Hastings":

"… York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, hedge fund manager Dan Loeb and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. However, the full list of funders opening their checkbooks for the educat …"

Top U.S. corporations funneled $173 million to political nonprofits

By Michael Beckel

Analysis of company disclosures reveals steady flow of cash from corporations to social welfare organizations, trade associations.

Security clearance lapses stemmed from Washington’s heedless emphasis on speed over quality

By Rebecca LaFlure

Profits and politics, plus a sudden growth in secrecy-obsessed institutions, played key roles in misguided security clearance decisions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Government Accountability Office":

"… Brenda Farrell, director of defense capabilities and management at the Government Accountability Office, which has published many reports on clearance problems over the past deca …"

One-fifth of female veterans from Iraq, Afghanistan show signs of sexual trauma

By Caitlin Cruz and Asha Anchan

News21 investigation reveals that the VA is struggling to deal with female vets who have been sexually assaulted.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Rape":

"… very traumatizing,” said Jennifer Norris, an advocate with the Military Rape Crisis Center who was assaulted while serving with the Air Force and Air N …"

Obamacare facts separated from spin by Wendell Potter, FactCheck.org

By Bill Buzenberg

Navigating the politicized issue of the Affordable Care Act is made easier by Wendell Potter and FactCheck.org.

Hospitals request government help in curbing possible billing abuses

By Fred Schulte

Federal help sought to create billing guidelines and oversee electronic medical records

Excerpts from this story referencing "HHS Secretary":

"… services than they actually deliver — a practice known as “upcoding.”HHS Secretary Sebelius and Attorney General Eric Holder on Sept. 24 warned five hospital …"

"… ology subcommittee, expressed concerns about safety in a Nov. 14 letter to HHS Secretary Sebelius. She noted that a year ago the Institute of Medicine had urged HH …"

Daily Disclosure: Public employee union opens attack on GOP Senate candidates

By Rachael Marcus

The nation's largest public employee union opened an advertising campaign, taking aim at Republican U.S. Senate candidates.

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees":

"… choice of a running mate in “Americans are Celebrating Paul Ryan.” …"

Donor profile: Service Employees International Union

By Paul Abowd

Quick stats on the biggest financial backers of Election 2012

Excerpts from this story referencing "president":

"… Mary Kay Henry, the Service Employees International Union's first woman president, put SEIU squarely in the 2012 campaign early on. In November 2011, she re …"

"… s endorsement of president Barack Obama.    Andy Stern, SEIU's president from 1996 to 2010, was one of the most frequent visitors to the White Hous …"

"… 's controversial multinational organizing strategy. Henry, the SEIU's new president, has continued Stern's legacy of major political donations to Democratic c …"

DOD has a hand out on April 17

By Aaron Mehta

And where did you think your tax money was going?

FACT CHECK: The Gingrich counterattack in Florida

By FactCheck.Org

The Gingrich side has finally begun to fight back with TV attack ads of its own in Florida

Weekly Watchdog 1/26/12

1/25 watchdog

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pentagon":

"… d two-thirds, to nearly $720 billion. Before Obama announced his plan, the Pentagon was counting on an annual boost over the next 10 years. While there may be …"

Gingrich's health center was power player in a host of Washington policy debates

By Fred Schulte and Joe Eaton

Gingrich's Center for Health Transformation was power player on host of issues

Excerpts from this story referencing "Healthcare":

"… urance giant WellPoint, management consultant firm Booz Allen Hamilton, GE Healthcare, Siemens, Allscripts, UPS, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and the BlueCross Blue S …"

"… west that created personal health records for patients with the help of GE Healthcare. GE Healthcare, a subsidiary of General Electric, is a “platinum member …"

"… ed personal health records for patients with the help of GE Healthcare. GE Healthcare, a subsidiary of General Electric, is a “platinum member” of the healt …"

"… loping standards for their use. He cited three such companies, Siemens, GE Healthcare and Allscripts, all center clients.David Merritt, then the center’s proj …"

FACT CHECK: Gingrich’s ‘baloney’-filled attacks on Romney

By FactCheck.Org

New ad and web video from Gingrich make misleading claims about the GOP front-runner

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mississippi":

"… llot initiative was recently rejected by more than 55 percent of voters in Mississippi. And of course, it wasn’t the law in Massachusetts.Our view is that the …"

Ask Wendell: How to find health insurance

By Wendell Potter

How to find affordable health insurance when options are limited

Excerpts from this story referencing "insurance":

"… er and I both have some made-up preexisting conditions, according to a few insurance companies that we've applied to, even though my doctor says that mine is n …"

"… husband and I are self-employed and my daughter's employer doesn't provide insurance. I don't really want to go without insurance for six months in order to ge …"

"… er's employer doesn't provide insurance. I don't really want to go without insurance for six months in order to get on Pennsylvania’s high-risk plan so I hav …"

"… fit plans, which are often very inadequate and often little more than junk insurance, will be phased out.Before you decide, be sure you see in writing exactly …"

ANALYSIS: The mythical benefits of tort reform in Texas

By Wendell Potter

Texas Gov. Rick Perry boasts of the benefits of malpractice reform, but average citizens are still waiting

Excerpts from this story referencing "Healthcare":

"… tate.  The Dallas Morning News, citing statistics from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and other sources, reported that a smaller percentage …"

GAO says at least 3,700 stimulus recipients are delinquent on taxes

By Laurel Adams

Stimulus recipients who got $24 billion owe $750 million in taxes

Club for Growth says “enough” of Arizona Democrat

By Josh Israel and Aaron Mehta

While much attention has focused on attack ads aired by the new, well-funded 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) groups in this election, other big inde

Excerpts from this story referencing "Harry Mitchell":

"… th PAC just released a new ad blasting second-term Arizona Democratic Rep. Harry Mitchell as a big spender and bank bailout supporter. The ad, titled “Enough,” …"

"… d “Enough,” begins with a male narrator asking “What’s happened to Harry Mitchell?” With images of file folders on the screen, the narrator says that “M …"

"… e Mae and Freddie Mac.”The 30-second spot concludes with the tagline, “Harry Mitchell: He’s already been in Washington too long.”The Club for Growth’s own …"

India struggles to confront climate change

By Murali Krishnan

A billion people, a growing economy, and rising emissions

Financial industry getting off easy on IRS audits

By Nick Schwellenbach

With a week before tax day and the nation facing a massive deficit made worse by billion-dollar bailouts of financial companies, PaperTrail

Excerpts from this story referencing "spokesman":

"… cial services arena than in other sectors, pointed out Frank Keith, an IRS spokesman, with audits there representing almost 29 percent of all large and mid-siz …"

Canada's boom in smuggled cigarettes

By William Marsden

Gary Godelie has been a tobacco farmer most of his life, struggling to keep alive a family farm that produces what most everyone agrees is a

Study finds $565 million spent on lobbying in the states in 2000

By John Dunbar and Leah Rush

The Center finds nearly half a billion spent in 34 states on lobbying

Excerpts from this story referencing "Missouri":

"… ls at all. They are Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode …"

New types of health care delivery are improving the 'patient experience'

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: eliminating role of insurers could improve health care delivery.

Excerpts from this story referencing "federal government":

"… his organization is working with Blue Cross of Illinois for that work. The federal government works with insurers in the same way to handle claims for Medicare benefici …"

Praise for UK-style health system vindicates spurned nominee

By Wendell Potter

Former Medicare chief's support for UK's health care system may win votes in race for governor of Massachusetts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Martha Coakley":

"… assachusetts primary. State Treasurer Steven Grossman and Attorney General Martha Coakley were the other two qualifiers. Two days after securing a spot on the Sept …"

A different way of thinking about health care

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Canadians take pride in their health care system.

Massachusetts tackles next phase of health care reform: controlling costs

By Wendell Potter

Massachusetts leading the way in effort to control costs.

Advocates for nursing home reform push back against proposed health watchdog cuts

By Fred Schulte

Groups alarmed by proposed cuts for HHS inspector general.

ANALYSIS: Despite GOP claims, U.S. health care nowhere near 'best' in the world

By Wendell Potter

Americans pay more for health care than anyone in the world, but our system is not the best