With just a handful of prescriptions to his name, psychiatrist Ernest Bagner III was barely a blip in Medicare's vast drug program in 2009.
But the next year he churned them out at a furious rate — not just psychiatric drugs, but expensive pills for asthma, cholesterol, heartburn and blood clots.
By the end of 2010, Medicare had paid $3.8 million for Bagner's drugs — one of the highest tallies in the country. He added another $2.6 million the following year, records analyzed by ProPublica show.
Good morning, I'm David Greene. We hope you don't think we ham it up too much on this show, but apologies for this morning's traffic report here at the bottom of the hour. Let's get an update on that interstate ramp outside Atlanta. It was clogged yesterday, not with cars, but ham - 40,000 pounds of it. A semi truck hauling the ham overturned, spilling pork and fuel everywhere. Fortunately the driver was not hurt but that's a lot of wasted holiday ham, unless you like it with a side of diesel.
Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 7:11 am
"The women of the Senate who led the fight to change how the military deals with sexual assault in its ranks are hailing passage of a comprehensive defense bill that now heads to President Barack Obama for his signature," The Associated Press writes this morning.
NPR's business news starts with more changes to Obamacare.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: Millions of Americans facing canceled health insurance policies under the Affordable Care Act will no longer be fined for being uninsured in the new year. Instead, they can now enroll in basic coverage, previously available only to those with a hardship exemption.