RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us!
What’s News With This Story:
–Bob Barker, the tv icon and former longtime host of “The Price Is Right” participated in a PETA video released yesterday.
-In the video Barker asks Miami Seaquarium to release the orca Loilta from captivity.
–Loilta has lived at the Seaquarium since being caught in 1970. She was brought from the waters near Puget Sound, Washington.
–Her release has been the subject of activist activity for decades.
RISE NEWS is South Florida’s digital news magazine. Follow us on Facebook to make sure you never miss a story!
Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it on in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Do You Think?
You Might also like
This article was originally published on www.risemiaminews.com on April 10, 2015.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s public political beliefs and personal financial gain seem to have been at odds during his time as a member of the board of directors of Tenet Healthcare.
The potential republican candidate for president stepped down from the company in late December, a move that came as no surprise to political watchers. But with the announcement, new attention is focusing on what Bush actually did at the nation’s third largest for profit hospital chain and whether he supported the corporation’s embrace of the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare.
Just to put into perspective how big of a boon ObamaCare has been for Tenet, it’s CEO Trevor Fetter reported in a November 2014 press release that the company’s net earnings grew over 59% from the same time in 2013. Fetter said that 40% of that growth had come as a direct result of ObamaCare reforms.
Specifically, the additional revenue came from the Medicaid expansion in five states which Tenet operates in and a decrease in uninsured and “charity” hospital admissions.
“We drove an accelerating contribution in the third quarter from healthcare reform, with sequentially higher declines in uncompensated care and increases in Medicaid volume,” Fetter said in the release. “We achieved another quarter of strong performance across every dimension of our business.”
“It would make sense to pay Jeb Bush, because he’s a well connected guy.”
Bush joined Tenet soon after leaving public office in early 2007 and served until the last day of 2014. Bush came on the board shortly after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accused the company of wide spread Medicare fraud between 1999 and 2002.
The government said that Tenet’s strong earnings in those years came about because of the company’s “exploitation of a loophole in the Medicare reimbursement system.”
Tenet refused to admit or deny the allegations made in the SEC complaint and agreed to pay a $10 million civil penalty. However, it did also pay $725 million to settle a Justice Department inquiry on the same matter.
Bush was brought on in part to help clean up Tenet’s corrupt image and instill greater public confidence. That strategy seemed to have worked.
And Bush was not the only politician on the ten-member board. Former Democratic senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska spent over a decade on the board starting in 2001, then temporarily stepped down in order for run for senate in 2012 and quickly rejoined it after losing. Kerrey did not respond to a request for comment.
According to multiple experts on corporate finance and governance, it is not unusual for politicians to be brought into the fold of companies.
“It is to most boards advantage to have people from both sides [of the political spectrum]”, Carlos Parra, a professor and Corporate Sustainability expert at Florida International University (FIU) said. “It would make sense to pay Jeb Bush, because he’s a well connected guy.”
That “well connected guy” happens to be a conservative leader and a son and brother to American presidents. Bush is also according to multiple polls, an early frontrunner in the 2016 republican presidential primary.
He also really doesn’t like ObamaCare, at least not in public.
In an interview on ABC’s “This Week” in October 2013, Bush emphatically said that, “Obamacare, flawed to its core, doesn’t work.”
But while he was publicly opposing President Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement, he and his company were profiting from its successes.
According to an SEC filling, Bush was paid $128,000 in cash and received $170,000 in stock options, for just under $300,000 in total compensation from Tenet in 2013.
2013 was a banner year for Tenet as it turned out. The company finalized a blockbuster deal to buy up Vanguard Health Systems, which increased the number of hospitals under Tenet’s management from 49 to 77.
Fetter told CNBC that the merger was sought after because of Vanguard’s footprint in states that had embraced the Medicaid expansion, or soon would. In other words, Fetter sounded confident that the law would be staying in place.
“Any board member has a higher calling to the shareholders than his political beliefs”
“The more you’re exposed to states with large numbers of uninsured people today, the better it is for a hospital in the future,” Fetter said in the cable interview.
Some find Bush’s perceived cognitive dissonance on the issue to be potentially problematic.
“If it were to come out that he were opposing ObamaCare but while on the board he was privately supporting it, then that would be a huge conflict,” Everett Wilkinson, a South Florida Tea Party leader said in a phone interview. “If I was on the board of Tenet Healthcare, I would not be happy that the president of the company came out and supported the legislation.”
A Bush spokesperson told the Washington Examiner that the former governor strongly opposed ObamaCare in Tenet board meetings.
Tenet declined to release copies of the minutes to the meetings from board gatherings during Bush’s tenure, saying through a spokesman that they were not publicly available.
It’s worth noting that many business insiders see nothing wrong with the situation.
Bruce Foerster is the president of South Beach Capital Markets Advisory Corporation, a company that offers advice to firms and corporate boards. He said that he found Bush to be an upstanding businessman who played by the rules and liked the ideological balance on the Tenet board.
“Any board member has a higher calling to the shareholders than his political beliefs,” Foerster said. “The CEO of Tenet [Fetter] has the courage to have differing opinions in the board room, which is a rare trait for a CEO.”
But Qiang Kang, a professor of finance at FIU took a different view, saying that if Bush was making a profit directly from ObamaCare than he should disclose it. “I would not call it a conflict of interest but I do think it is an interesting issue,” Kang said.
Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? (No matter how big or small!) Send it to us- email@example.com.
Cover Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 225
What Do You Think?
By Chance Willie
An anonymous Tuscaloosa, AL stargazer reported an almost poetic UFO sighting early Tuesday morning.
The account appeared on a message board hosted by the UFO Stalker website, which catalogs UFO sightings from around the country.
The sighting allegedly occurred when the observer stepped outside to smoke a cigarette and was greeted by an object resembling a shooting star darting across the sky, abruptly changing directions and leaving trails of green and orange light in its wake.
The observer reports being stricken by a mysterious headache as the object shot away into the dusk. Whether the account was fact or fiction, it makes for an interesting read.
RISE NEWS has reached out to the website to try to get in touch with the person who made the post. We’ll update with any additional information.
Here’s the full account posted to the website:
“At exactly 4:01 A.M. I went outside on my balcony to smoke a cigarette. I spend a lot of time looking up at the sky at night, and I have seen many shooting stars. Shootings stars move extremely fast and appear to zoom across your range of vision in an instant. The “light” I saw tonight did no such thing. While it did vanish in an instant, it did not zoom across my range of vision. Directly in the center of the sky, what appeared to be a large aircraft, lit up in the darkness–without making a sound. It instantly propelled itself into the distance leaving behind a momentary trail of green and orange light. What was most unusual about this sighting was that the object changed direction. The object also moved much more quickly than any shooting star that I have ever seen. I could not determine its exact location or distance. However, initially after lighting up, the size of the object appeared three to four times larger than the stars in the sky. This means that the object was either much larger and/or much closer than our closest stars. After the incident, I felt slightly uncomfortable–as if I had a headache, but only in the front half of my brain.”
Ever see anything strange? Either in the sky or on a city council balance sheet? Send us a news tip to firstname.lastname@example.org
H/T to Tuscaloosa News reporter Stephen Dethrage
Cover Photo Credit: maxime raynal/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 243
What Do You Think?
Many people have been concerned about how the Brexit will affect citizens on both sides of the debate in the UK.
Negotiations on trading, treaties, and even immigration will have to be redefined, and many people’s jobs and school careers could be challenged in the process.
The wizarding world is already facing obstacles in the aftermath of the Brexit
Berite Bott’s Every Flavored Beans Can No Longer Make Every Flavor
Due to Europe’s resentment towards the UK, they are no longer granting the jellybean company access to ingredients needed to make every flavor.
It looks like Bertie’s flavors like lemon and soap that were imported from France are now being replaced with UK accessible ingredients like spotted-dick and haggis.
The QWCA (Quidditch World Cup Association) Has Decided To Exclude The UK From Participating In All Future Tournaments
Hogwarts fears that fewer athletes will choose to attend their school if it no longer feeds into the professional league.
Professor Hooch has been sending her star players off to the wizarding school in Spain, but many of their UK fans are outraged by what they feel is an absolute betrayal.
“They have to play,” Hooch pleaded. “I don’t care what is happening with this country, my players have to make it”.
Gringots Has Gone Bankrupt
Now that so many of their wizards have had to pull their accounts and transfer to EU banks, the famous treasury has taken a huge blow.
Many homeless goblins have been seen wandering the streets of Hogsmeade with signs reading, “will work for access to Europe portkey”.
Students Are Disillusioned By The System
Hogwarts was expected to host the Triwizard tournament this year, but with previous fatal incidents, the Ministry of Magic was weary to grant them the opportunity.
Now, they’ve received word that Romania is refusing to lend them dragons for the competition, and students are feeling disheartened by the whole event now.
“It really is a shame”, said dragon handler, Charlie Weasley.
“I wish I could help my alma mater, but I have to due what’s best for my dragons,” Weasley told RISE NEWS. “Let’s face it, the Ministry of Magic has always underpaid us for our dragons, and at this point, the paperwork needed to bring them over is more than anyone can do in a lifetime”.
The Ministry Of Magic Is In Tatters And It Is Spreading Hate Worldwide
Wizarding leaders are divided between those that wish to host European wizards, and those that wish to push current ones out.
From across the pond, a Brexit advocate, Drump Trumpledore praised the UK for leaving what he calls, “the failing European Union”.
He commends them for “taking control”, and spews out rhetoric concerning his similar intentions for the wizarding world of the USA, (The Umbridge Sectumsempra Americas).
“We’re gonna put up a wall of dementors”, he told our reporters.
“But we’re gonna make Mexico pay for the charms we use to keep that wall strong”.
Trumpledore told citizens to protect themselves from immigrating wizards.
“If Americans want to feel safe and in control, they should go buy more wands,” Trumpledore said. “Good guys with wands stop bad guys from using their wands”.
When asked on her thoughts, J.K. Rowling mentioned her disappointment with the choice to leave the UK.
In her usual eloquence, she stated, “My values are not contained or proscribed by borders. The absence of a visa when I cross the channel has symbolic value to me. I might not be in my house, but I’m still in my hometown”.
It is a shame that villainous belief conjured up the majority of votes to cast out a union for the people.
It eradicated an identity that had been granted as a privilege to citizens of the UK and of Europe alike.
No one is truly clear on how this Brexit will affect the Western world, but everyone is anxious to find out.
The UK is in big trouble now that the Brexit has taken place, and Hogwarts worries whether it will remain a school for all young witches and wizards in the years to come.
For now, Bertie Bott is readapting his recipes, the dragons are staying in Romania, and Trumpledore is still a bigot and the source of annoyance for every intelligent mind on this side and on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Ravi Shah/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 593
What Do You Think?