Jun 28, 2017

Houston hospital system cuts workforce

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Memorial Hermann Health System, the largest hospital system and employer in Houston, has trimmed its workforce by 460 people this year, the Houston Chronicle reports. The latest round of layoffs come a week after Dr. Benjamin Chu abruptly resigned as CEO.

Why it matters: Hospitals have been on a hiring binge since 2014, but the growth of employee costs has outpaced the revenue hospitals collect from Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurers. Layoffs at hospitals are inevitable if that trend continues. Memorial Hermann, a not-for-profit system that has watched its operating income plunge 65% this year, wants to cut $500 million in costs over five years.

Worth noting: Dennis Laraway, Memorial Hermann's chief financial officer, told bondholders Wednesday the system's financial struggles also stem from Houston's struggling oil and gas economy, which has led to fewer high-paying jobs with private insurance.

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Debate night: Candidates' last face-off before Super Tuesday

Sanders, Biden, Klobuchar and Steyer in South Carolina on Feb. 25. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to keep his momentum after winning New Hampshire and Nevada, while former Vice President Joe Biden hopes to keep his own campaign alive. The other five candidates are just trying to hang on.

What's happening: Seven contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination are in Charleston, South Carolina, for the tenth debate, just days before the South Carolina primary and a week before Super Tuesday. They're talking about health care, Russian interference in the election, the economy and race.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Sanders to Putin: You won't interfere in any more elections if I'm president

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images.

Sen. Bernie Sanders sent a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the debate stage Tuesday, stating, "If I'm president of the United States, trust me, you're not going to interfere in any more American elections."

The big picture: It was unveiled last week that Russia has been interfering to boost Sanders' campaigns in an apparent attempt to strengthen President Trump's bid for reelection. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that "Vladimir Putin thinks that Donald Trump should be president of the United States, and that's why Russia is helping [Sanders] get elected.

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