Early Briefing: Health Care and Six Flags

More than $19 billion in stimulus money intended to revamp the nation's health system has piqued the interest of some local tech companies that have in the past shied away from the complex health-care industry. And for companies with expertise in the business, stimulus dollars mean new opportunities, Kim Hart reports in the Download.
"Health care is thought to be a safer place right now because more money is coming from the government, and it's not really something anyone can cut back on," said Michael Slage of Arlington, founder of HealthEngage, a firm that develops applications that help patients manage conditions such as diabetes and asthma. "Everyone senses that there's all this money out there."

Michael Rosenwald looks at Six Flags, four years after Daniel Snyder waged a brutal proxy battle to become chairman of the company. The firm, which announced last week that its stock was being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange, faces a more than $300 million payment to preferred stockholders in August that the company says it cannot afford. Fitch Ratings recently warned that a "default is imminent or inevitable." Its shares ended the week worth 26.6 cents.
"We can't operate with this noose around our neck," Mark Shapiro said the other day, walking around Six Flags America in Upper Marlboro as it prepared to open for spring break. "We need to resolve our balance sheet one way or another."

By Terri Rupar  |  April 13, 2009; 9:02 AM ET  | Category:  Download , Economy Watch , Morning Brief
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