Patt Morrison for May 9, 2006

Blue Cross Under Fire

Five Southern California hospitals filed suit Monday alleging improper conduct by the state's largest health plan operator. The suit, filed by Long Beach Memorial and four sister hospitals in LA and Orange Counties, accuses Blue Cross of California of approving expensive treatments for its members and later refusing to pay. The latest allegations follow on the heels of 23 lawsuits filed on behalf of individual policyholders, who claim Blue Cross and Blue Shield dumped them for trivial mistakes on their applications, after receiving bills for their medical care. The company has denied any wrongdoing in the individual's suits. Host Patt Morrison is joined by Lisa Girion, staff Writer for the Los Angeles Times, who has been covering this story.

Health Insurance Week on the Hill

Senate Democrats threatened to filibuster Republican-backed legislation they said would scale back health insurance for millions. The legislation, SB 1955, would enable businesses to join across state lines to buy health insurance. Democrats blocked action on two other GOP-supported bills on Monday. Both sought to limit the amount of money that patients can receive from medical malpractice cases. Patt takes a look at the legislation coming out of the so called 'health insurance week' in D.C. with Jerry Flanigan, health Care Policy Director at the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, and Julie Rovner, health policy correspondent for National Public Radio.

Norman Mailer

Among America's major living writers, Norman Mailer has gained an acclaimed top spot both in the United States and internationally. His lengthy career has been as successful as his works have been controversial and prolific, and his literary accomplishments have been simultaneously commemorated and reviled. Presented with a National Book Award, a Polk Award and two Pulitzer Prizes among others, Mailer is still collecting awards for his impressive achievements. In this occasion the Los Angeles Public Library is celebrating Mailer's career with the Los Angeles Public Library Literary Award. Mailer joins Patt to talk about his accolades and career.
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