5/1/2019

ESSENTIAL #1: “MUELLER COMPLAINED THAT BARR’S LETTER DID NOT CAPTURE ‘CONTEXT’ OF TRUMP PROBE” DEVLIN E. BARRETT AND MATT ZAPOTOSKY, THE WASHINGTON POST

Note from the Editor-in-Chief: Attorney General Barr will testify this morning in front of the House Judiciary Committee.

From the article: “Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III wrote a letter in late March complaining to Attorney General William P. Barr that a four-page memo to Congress describing the principal conclusions of the investigation into President Trump “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of Mueller’s work, according to a copy of the letter reviewed Tuesday by The Washington Post.

The letter and a subsequent phone call between the two men reveal the degree to which the longtime colleagues and friends disagreed as they handled the legally and politically fraught task of investigating the president. Democrats in Congress are likely to scrutinize Mueller’s complaints to Barr as they contemplate the prospect of opening impeachment proceedings and mull how hard to press for Mueller himself to testify publicly.”

ESSENTIAL #2: “JOE BIDEN’S ‘MODERATE’ PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN” EDITORS, NATIONAL REVIEW

From the Article: “That Joe Biden, at this writing the most recent candidate to file for the Democratic presidential nomination, is considered a moderate is a testament both to how far and rapidly his party has moved to the left and to the portward skew of the national press.”

ESSENTIAL #3: “VENEZUELA'S GUAIDO CALLS FOR 'LARGEST MARCH IN HISTORY' IN UPRISING EFFORT” LUC COHEN AND ANGUS BERWICK, REUTERS

From the article: “Venezuelans were expected to take to the streets on Wednesday for what opposition leader Juan Guaido pledged would be the “largest march” in the country’s history, a day after he called for the military to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

In his boldest effort yet to gain the support of the armed forces, Guaido appeared early Tuesday morning outside a Caracas air force base with dozens of National Guard members. That triggered a day of violent protests, leaving more than 100 injured but without any concrete signs of defection from the armed forces leadership.”

ESSENTIAL #4: “THEY WANT IT TO BE SECRET: HOW A COMMON BLOOD TEST CAN COST $11 OR ALMOST $1,000” MARGOT SANGER-KATZ, THE NEW YORK TIMES

From the article: “It’s one of the most common tests in medicine, and it is performed millions of times a year around the country. Should a metabolic blood panel test cost $11 or $952?

Both of these are real, negotiated prices, paid by health insurance companies to laboratories in Jackson, Miss., and El Paso in 2016. New data, analyzing the health insurance claims of 34 million Americans covered by large commercial insurance companies, shows that enormous swings in price for identical services are common in health care. In just one market — Tampa, Fla. — the most expensive blood test costs 40 times as much asthe least expensive one.

If you’re a patient seeking a metabolic blood panel, good luck finding out what it will cost. Although hospitals are now required to publisha list of the prices they would like patients to pay for their services, the amounts that medical providers actually agree to accept from insurance companies tend to remain closely held secrets. Some insurance companies provide consumers with tools to help steer them away from the $450 test, but in many cases you won’t know the price your insurance company agreed to until you get the bill. If you have an insurance deductible, a $400 — or even a $200 — bill for a blood test can be an unpleasant surprise.”