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this week in tarbell

On the surface, selecting a hospital with a large research budget might seem like a way to ensure the best quality care. But when picking the best place to have a procedure, wouldn’t you rather know that hospital’s readmission or infection rates? Trudy Lieberman explores the ways that hospitals can mislead customers about their quality and performance via advertisements.

Click Here To Read Trudy’s Latest Column — “Hospital Ads May Mislead” — On

Physician Dr. Raymond A. Feierabend recently watched two health care systems merge in the rural regions where he works. The hospitals claimed it was necessary for their survival, but these mergers have most impacted the communities’ economies and access to care.


Click Here To Read Dr. Feierabend’s Column — “Health Care Monopolies Are A Gamble. Will More States Make The Bet?” — On

Tarbell Members should have received a message from our founder, Wendell Potter, at the beginning of this week. If you haven’t received that message, please reach out​ to check your membership status.

Last week’s House Committee hearing on Medicare For All was a historic first for the advancement of single-payer health, but the insurance industry is leaning into its same old tactics to deride the movement. Tarbell Founder and health insurance whistleblower Wendell Potter spoke on the radio newsmag Between The Lines to reveal those tactics.

Click Here To Listen To The Episode — “Insurance Industry Working Hard To Stop Growing Support For Medicare For All”


notable reporting and solutions

Tarbell’s founder, Wendell Potter, wrote an op-ed in the Tennessean about his recent trip through his home state of Tennessee. Potter writes about how the closure of McKenzie Regional Hospital in Carroll County last fall is another example of why Tennessee’s rural health care system has failed.

Click Here To Read The Story

Campaign finance data for the first quarter of the 2020 cycle is now on the Federal Election Commission’s website, and at least one interpretation is unanimous:  2020 will be another looooong election cycle. There are some great analyses all over the internet, — I’ve included three below — but if you see one that’s particularly interesting, I’d love to see it or reach out to us via Tarbell’s Facebook page.

The corporate PAC donations that progressive Democratic candidates have denounced found a willing recipient: the DCCC. The Daily Beast explored the first quarter of 2020 fundraising results and found DCCC accepted $1.93 million from corporate PACs.

Click Here To Read The Story

However, the Democratic National Committee got a rough start compared to its GOP counterpart, which raised a record-breaking $15.5 million in the first quarter, OpenSecrets notes.

Click Here To Read The Story

When he announced his long-anticipated 2020 run, former vice president Joe Biden said he would not accept donations from corporate PACs, following the trend among progressive Democrats. However, the PAC he founded to create Democrats in 2018 has already accepted a new $30,000 for the 2020 cycle from corporate contributors.

Click Here To Read The Story

Presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand is tackling Citizens United with a plan to give all citizens a $600 voucher to contribute to the federal election campaign of their choice, funded by ending a corporate tax deduction for CEOs.

Click Here To Read The Story

The shortages that drug distributors and pharmacies experience at an overwhelming rate generally result from business decisions made by the  pharmaceutical industry. Bloomberg Opinion this week explores those decisions, as well as how to prevent future shortages in the industry.

Click Here To Read The Story: Part 1 | Part 2

Not only are big oil and gas companies benefiting from federal tax income breaks, they’re taking in major rebates. According to a new report, 40% of the companies that are collectively earning $4.3 billion from the tax system are utilities and fossil fuel companies.

Click Here To Read The Story

Elizabeth Warren ripped fellow 2020 candidate Joe Biden’s big Philly fund-raiser. But last year, she did an event with some of the same rich donors, the Philadelphia Inquirer notes.

Click Here To Read The Story

Spotlight on local reporting

Florida lawmakers passed legislature to import cheaper drugs from Canada and the bill got a nod from President Trump, but PhRMA and other drug lobbyists are urging the state’s governor to veto the bill.

Click Here To Read The Story

Arizona’s former GOP representative for Tuscon, Todd Clodfelter, launched his lobbying career this year after losing his seat in 2018, and now the Secretary of State is investigating whether he is truly assisting his wife’s lobbying or if he is violating state law.

Click Here To Read The Story