BTS 8/17/09: Health Care Reform; 21st Century Book Publishing; South Korean Strike

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Robert Reich, Berkeley professor and former Labor Secretary under President Clinton, had a seat at the table at the last attempt to overhaul our then-ailing and now broken healthcare delivery system. As the Obama administration signals they are willing to let go of the ‘public option’ it looks like the insurance industry’s twisted tactics Wendell Potter warned about here a few weeks ago – plus the $1.4 million per day the opponents of health care reform are spending -- are winning. We’ll ask Reich what he thinks can be done to get to meaningful reform of health care delivery, why fear mongering demagogues seem to define the agenda, and why the Democrats back down so easily on the only ingredient in reform—the public option— that can actually help repair the system.

Colin Robinson, formerly of Verso Books, The New Press and Scribner knows up close and personally what is going on in the world of publishing. Does Kindle and electronic publishing raise the question, whither books? Colin Robinson remains upbeat and his new start-up in publishing may indicate what is possible in the new world of publishing ideas.

Plus: Loren Goldner, who splits his time between New York and Seoul, South Korea updates us on the factory occupation/strike at Ssangyong Motors at Pyeongtaek that he reported on a few weeks ago.