Archive for September 1st, 2009

Bill Moyers: Money-Driven Medicine – The Real Reason Health Care Costs So Much

By Bill Moyers and Maggie Mahar, Bill Moyers Journal. Posted September 1, 2009.

Bill Moyers teams up with financial journalist Maggie Mahar and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney to bring you the truth about America’s health-care system.

Editor’s Note: Maggie Mahar’s book, Money-Driven Medicine: The Real Reason Health Care Costs So Much (HarperCollins, 2009), forms the basis for a new documentary by Alex Gibney, an Academy Award-winning filmmaker (Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.) The film, Money-Driven Medicine aired on Bill Moyers Journal on Friday.

Warning: it will make you really, really mad.

Mahar, who covered finance for Barron’s, began her research by randomly calling doctors to get their side of the health-care story. To her surprise, nearly all of them (most of whom did not know her) called her back — so eager were they to ring the alarm on a system they see as having strayed far from its mission.

The filmmakers are making this presentation available to community groups, high schools and public libraries for a reduced price, and are providing resources for using the film to jump-start discussions and debates about health care reform. For more about the film, go to the Money-Driven Medicine Web site.

Below you’ll find Bill Moyers’ introduction to the segment he aired on his show and a clip from Money-Driven Medicine’s site, along with the transcript from the video:


Bill Moyers: Welcome to the Journal.

The world of medicine has changed radically since I was a kid in East Texas. Back then, Dr. Sam Tenney made house calls for a couple of bucks a visit. Dr. Granbury raced to a patient’s side with such speed you could hear his tires screeching around the courthouse square blocks away. And if you needed a prescription, Dr. Wyatt would offer to drop it off at your door on his way to the hospital — a non-profit community hospital, by the way, run by civic-minded citizens who counted every penny.

If any of them were around today, they would surely marvel at our high-tech medicine. But as prudent folks, they would also marvel – in a horrified way, I think — at the cost of it all. How did we get here?

Maggie Mahar wanted to find out. She’s one of our best financial journalists — now, after years of research, she has written:

Money-Driven Medicine: The Real Reason Health Care Costs So Much.

During their summer recess, if every member of the House and Senate would read it before returning to Washington, the outcome of the health care debate might be very different.

In this broadcast we will share with you a film based on Maggie Mahar’s work. The book and the film couldn’t be more timely as our country wrestles with what to do about money-driven medicine.


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Mötley Crüe – Dr. Feelgood

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controlsframestoryAmerican photographer Julien Bryan arrived in Warsaw by train on September 7, 1939, two days after the Polish government and the Yank press corps had exited the capital and just two days before the city was cut off by advancing German forces. Bryan spent his nights huddled with others in the American embassy basement; by day, shooting for the next two weeks, “I had the siege of Warsaw all to myself,” he later wrote, “but I wasn’t too happy about it.”

The photo was taken after a strafing by Stukas on September 14. In it, a 10-year-old girl mourns her younger sister, who was killed in the attack. Recalled Bryan, the elder sibling “leaned down and touched the dead girl’s face and drew back in horror. ‘Oh my beautiful sister,’ she wailed, ‘What have they done to you?'”

Bryan exited Warsaw on September 21. The German army entered the city on September 30. World War II was one month old.

Error: The dead girl is in fact 10-year-old Kazimiera Mika’s older sister.

Perhaps not as well known as that other picture of children caught up in the horrors of a murderous and cowardly attack from the air, but every bit as telling.

For more photos by Julien Bryan of this incident and a commentary in Spanish (don’t worry if you don’t read Spanish, the pictures tell the whole story), click here.

Warning: Some readers may find these pictures distressing.

World War II: 70 Years and We’re Still Fighting

Truthdig, September 1, 2009

The Germans invaded Poland on this day 70 years ago, and so began what many consider the greatest conflict in human history. An estimated 60 million people would die, including 27 million Soviets and 12 million Jews, Gypsies, gays and other victims of the Nazi holocaust. Most of the dead were civilians.

The war radically altered the cultures of its participants and the map of the world. It created two superpowers that would fight over the ashes of Europe and the kingdoms of Asia for a generation.

World War II continues to captivate, though it has become a tragic pop culture caricature (with a few notable exceptions). The nightmares of combat are now fodder for dozens of video games while Hollywood has made an art—and business—of flag-waving. Heroism and glory survive in our cultural memory better than fire bombings and ovens and the countless horrors of war. Perhaps that’s why we have had so many since. —PS

Related: The BBC reports on Poland’s commemoration of the anniversary. Truthdig contributor and WWII veteran Gore Vidal on empire and history. Daniel Ellsberg reflects on the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Chris Hedges writes on the horrors of war. Robert Scheer on the permanent war economy.

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