AirTalk for February 5, 2010

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Is Anthem gouging its customers?

Health insurer Anthem Blue Cross is increasing its rates for Californians with individual policies, with reports of premium increases of as much as 39%. Individual policies are often used by those who are self-employed, or who do not receive coverage through their employer. In response, state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has called for an investigation of the rate hikes. Under California law, insurers can increase rates an anytime, but must notify the state Department of Insurance and prove that they are spending 70% of premiums on medical care.
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The City Council held off, but yesterday Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa ordered layoffs for 1,000 city employees. Will the salary savings plug the city’s budget hole, allowing continued funding for arts and social services? Or will further cuts be necessary? We get the latest on LA’s budget crisis.
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Florida gets ready for Super Bowl XLIV

The Indianapolis Colts face off against the New Orleans Saints on Super Bowl Sunday. This is the Saints’ first trip to the Super Bowl, and while the Colts are favored to win, the City of New Orleans celebrates Mardi Gras and football fever. The City of Miami will host the big game with a halftime performance by The Who, kicking off at 3:28 pm Pacific Time.
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Larry Mantle and KPCC critics Jean Oppenheimer and Andy Klein of Brand X discuss the week’s new film releases including From Paris with Love, Dear John, District 13: Ultimatum, and Frozen. The critics will also discuss the Academy Award nominations and the Best of British Noir series at the NuArt. TGI-FilmWeek!
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True stories from Up in the Air

In the film Up in the Air, George Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a corporate frequent flier whose job is to tell others that they've lost theirs. But to cast Bingham's subjects, director Jason Reitman searched for people who had been laid off in real life. He placed an ad in the paper about a documentary seeking interviews with people who had lost their jobs. After initial interviews about their experiences, Reitman used several participants in the film. Larry Mantle talks with two people who answered the ad and took part in the movie.
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