HEALTH: 60 MINUTES This Sunday: GOP Activist K.B. Forbes Defending the Uninsured - Southern Maryland Headline News

HEALTH: 60 MINUTES This Sunday: GOP Activist K.B. Forbes Defending the Uninsured

News Magazine Segment Has Embattled Hospital Industry Abuzz; Activist Uses Political Skills to Bring Major Concessions for Uninsured

NEW YORK, NY- K.B. Forbes, former spokesman to Republican presidential candidates Patrick J. Buchanan and Steve Forbes, will be part of a CBS 60 Minutes news segment on hospitals that overcharge uninsured patients that will air this Sunday, March 5, 2006.

"Hospital associations and industry insiders have been on pins and needles since it became known that 60 Minutes was investigating the allegations of hospital price gouging," said K.B. Forbes, now the Executive Director of the Consejo de Latinos Unidos, a leading national advocacy group that educates and assists the uninsured. Forbes, who is the son of a Hispanic immigrant, was interviewed by Dan Rather in December.

After the Presidential election of 2000, Forbes founded the Consejo de Latinos Unidos, which is the pioneer group that launched the first investigation into hospital price gouging over five years ago. Forbes, using savvy news releases, explosive investigative reports, and hardball grassroots tactics, has caused major changes in the hospital sector including forcing the second largest for-profit hospital system, Tenet Healthcare, to change its practices in 2003. Tenet now charges the uninsured the same discounted prices as insured patients.

Typically, hospitals will charge uninsured patients three or four times more than what the hospital would accept as payment in full from an insurance company.

In December 2002, under Forbes' pressure, the American Hospital Association acknowledged that hospital price gouging and aggressive collection practices were a problem. "The reality in 2006, half a decade after exposing the problem, is that many hospitals are still price gouging and failing to treat middle-class uninsured Americans fairly," said Forbes.

Posted on the CBS News Website is simply the following: "IS THE PRICE RIGHT? - Are hospitals discriminating against patients without insurance by making them pay more than insured patients for the same services? Dan Rather investigates. Michael Rosenbaum is the producer."

CBS 60 Minutes airs Sunday nights at 7:00 p.m. EST. Check local listings for channel and time.

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