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HMOs blow big bucks

Mar. 14, 2000

While Medicare gets its share of criticism, at least it’s reassuring to know that none of it seems to be hurting a great number of the HMO employees who get their money from the federal program. The KANSAS CITY STAR reports that HMOs across the country are spending roughly $1 billion a year on non-patient expenses, according to an investigation by federal auditors. These expenses include season football tickets, dinners at exclusive restaurants, political lobbying and public relations.

Naturally, this perturbs some people. “HMOs must include only proper charges, and not expect taxpayers to help foot the bill for lavish parties,” says Nancy-Ann DeParle of the Health Care Financing Administration.

But while such spending may be immoral, it is apparently not illegal. “We have followed all the rules,” says Jose Marques, spokesman for a Louisville-based HMO. “We did it by the book.”

Read the KANSAS CITY STAR story here.

JG

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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