Show Details for the week of April 15th, 2013

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On this week’s show:

  • Drones in your backyard – an interview with Michael Figura
  • Obama administration intervenes to give $71.5 billion to overpaid, for-profit Medicare Advantage plans – an interview with Dr. David Himmelstein

More about this week’s guests:

Michael Figura, legal fellow of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, which just released two model ordinances to assist local communities in the battle against domestic surveillance drones across the US.

Michael Figura  is a recent graduate of City University of New York School of Law (CUNY). During law school, Michael was an Ella Baker Fellow at the Center For Constitutional Rights, and interned with the CUNY CLEAR (Creating Law Enforcement Accountability and Responsibility) Clinic, the Guantanamo and Bagram Defense Clinic, and the Office of the Appellate Defender of New York.  At CUNY, Michael was an Executive Articles Editor of the New York City Law Review and was awarded several fellowships, including the Haywood Burns Fellowship for Civil and Human Rights and Charles H. Revson Law Student Public Interest Summer Fellowship. Prior to law school, Michael graduated from Wesleyan University and worked at the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board. Michael’s legal fellowship with BORDC is made possible through a generous grant from the Muslim Legal Fund of America.

The Associated Press reported yesterday: “At the start of what could be a new era in police surveillance, an Illinois legislator is proposing a limit on how law enforcement agencies can use drones highly sophisticated, unmanned aircraft that authorities are eyeing for aerial surveillance.”

David U. Himmelstein, MD, FACP – internal medicine, New York/Boston

Dr. David Himmelstein is professor in the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College and visiting professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. His research interests include health care finance and policy, health services research, health care inequality, and social justice.

He has served as chief of the division of social and community medicine at Cambridge Hospital, where he has been a practicing internist for many years.

Dr. Himmelstein received his medical degree from Columbia University and completed internal medicine training at Highland Hospital/University of California San Francisco and a fellowship in general internal medicine at Harvard.

Dr. Himmelstein is a co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program, co-edits PNHP’s newsletter and is a principal author of PNHP articles published in the JAMA and the New England Journal of Medicine in conjunction with Dr. Steffie Woolhandler. Among his more notably studies in recent years is one that shows 45,000 deaths annually are associated with lack of health insurance and another that shows 62 percent of personal bankruptcies are linked to medical bills or illness, and that 78 percent of those so bankrupted had insurance coverage when they first became sick. A partial list of these and other studies appears here.

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