Stephanie Mencimer

Stephanie Mencimer

Reporter

Stephanie works in Mother Jones' Washington bureau. A Utah native and graduate of a crappy public university not worth mentioning, she has spent the last year hanging out with angry white people who occasionally don tricorne hats and come to lunch meetings heavily armed.

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Stephanie covers legal affairs and domestic policy in Mother Jones' Washington bureau. She is the author of Blocking the Courthouse Door: How the Republican Party and Its Corporate Allies Are Taking Away Your Right to Sue. A contributing editor of the Washington Monthly, a former investigative reporter at the Washington Post, and a senior writer at the Washington City Paper, she was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2004 for a Washington Monthly article about myths surrounding the medical malpractice system. In 2000, she won the Harry Chapin Media award for reporting on poverty and hunger, and her 2010 story in Mother Jones of the collapse of the welfare system in Georgia and elsewhere won a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.

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Reason #2,359 to Support Universal Health Care

| Mon Jan. 14, 2008 10:51 AM EST

American businesses seem to have a never-ending supply of creative ways for dropping people off their health care plans. The latest: employee insurance audits. Big companies have started demanding that employees prove that their dependents are really dependents and eligible for the company health care coverage. Naturally, consulting firms have sprung up to assist with the purges, demanding tax returns, marriage licenses and other personal documents from lowly service workers in the hopes of catching some cheaters, or at least people without good filing systems.

Newhouse News reporter Katherine Reynolds Lewis notes that the Ford Motor Company used audits to drop 80,000 people off its health care plan. Such numbers have apparently inspired a rush to audit. GM is currently auditing its entire 1 million strong workforce. A GM spokesperson told Lewis that the audits were worth the expense: "For every one that we drop, it's about a $1,000 savings," she said. If only the American auto industry managed to devote such innovation to producing cars! At some point, though, the auto makers and other big companies ought to just ask the government to take health care off their hands. At the rate they're going, it won't be long before none of their employees have health insurance anyway. They might as well just make it official and do something constructive about it.

Roger Clemens' Strikeout Secret: Vioxx?

| Thu Jan. 10, 2008 12:50 PM EST

Looks like Yankee pitcher Roger Clemens is getting a reprieve from Rep. Henry Waxman, who has rescheduled part of next week's hearings on steroid use in baseball until after the sentencing of former Mets batboy and MLB steroid dealer Kirk Radomski. Too bad, because I was looking forward to Clemens' testimony, especially in light of his claim on "60 Minutes" this week that he never took steroids, but that at the peak of his career, he was "eating Vioxx like Skittles." (Clemens was referring to the painkiller withdrawn from the market in 2004 after it was linked to an increase in heart attacks and strokes.)

I was hoping that Clemens might elaborate on his Vioxx consumption for Congress after seeing a Power Point presentation earlier this week by American Enterprise Institute scholar Ted Frank that cheekily charted Clemens' win record before and after Vioxx was pulled off the market. Ted was kind enough to share his slide, which is posted below. So, was it steroids, or was it Vioxx that led to his amazing strikeout record? You be the judge!

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So Much Porn, So Little Time--For Accounting

| Wed Jan. 9, 2008 2:03 PM EST

sunrisephoto.jpgLast year, the SEC opened an investigation into accounting irregularities at Sunrise Senior Living, one of the nation's largest chains of retirement communities and assisted-living facilities, after the company restated its earnings by some $130 million. If anyone was wondering how the company might have misplaced so much money, it might look to former CFO Bradley Rush, who apparently was using his office computer to check out a lot more than the company's finances.

After Sunrise sacked Rush last year, he sued for wrongful termination, arguing that he was rooting out fraud at the time he was fired. However, during the litigation, the Washington Post reports that Sunrise disclosed that it had found some 25,000 unique pornographic images on Rush's laptop, including movies, after he left the firm. With his hard drive so crowded with T&A, it's hard to imagine there was much room there for Sunrise spreadsheets.

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