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The Health Insurance Industry and Reform

Health insurers helped defeat reform in the '90s, but this time around industry leaders say they're on board. They back reforms like guaranteeing coverage for everyone, eliminating pre-existing condition clauses and making sure unhealthy people don't pay higher premiums. But they're against President Obama's so-called public plan that would provide government health care to anyone who needs it. Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, is our guest.

Surgical Errors at Philadelphia's Veterans Hospital

Congress is asking questions about why, over the past several years, so many brachytherapies for prostate cancer were botched at a now-shuttered unit of the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center. An investigation by The New York Times pins the blame on one doctor — Dr. Gary Kao — who denies the allegations. The newspaper also says Dr. Kao was part of a larger systemic failure. We speak with Walt Bogdanich of The New York Times and Rev. Ricardo Flippin, whose health was damaged by his 2005 surgery.

Spc. James D. Wertish (Minnesota Army National Guard/AP)
Spc. James D. Wertish (Minnesota Army National Guard/AP)

Remembering Spc. James Wertish

Three soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard were killed last week in Basra, Iraq. One of them was 20-year-old James Wertish of Olivia, Minn. We speak to David Wertish about his late son — and about his daughter who is about to be deployed to a war zone.

Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi smiles as she poses for a picture in front of a portrait of her late father, independence leader Aung San, who was assassinated in 1947. (AP)
Aung San Suu Kyi smiles as she poses for a picture in front of a portrait of her late father, independence leader Aung San, who was assassinated in 1947. (AP)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is blasting the military rulers of Myanmar for human rights abuses, including the ongoing detention of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. She's on trial, accused of violating the terms of her house arrest. A BBC correspondent traveled across the country and found that Suu Kyi has become a symbol of hope for the Burmese people. He is not identified because journalists are not allowed to operate freely there, and also for the safety of the people he interviewed.

Author Kate Walbert

Author Kate Walbert discusses her critically acclaimed novel, "A Short History of Women". It tells the story of five generations of women from one family, against the backdrop of two world wars and 9/11.

Music from the Show

  • Dave Douglas, "A Single Sky"
  • Four Tet, "Slow Jam"
  • Maserati, "Closer Than You Know How"
  • Euphone, "Island I'd Love To Live On"
  • Mark O’Connor, “Strings & Threads Suite -1. Fair Dancer Reel” performed by Mark O’Connor with the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra

This program aired on July 22, 2009.

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