National

It's All Politics
6:20 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Congressional Staff Pay Caught Up In Health Care Fight

Congressional staffers, as well as some in the executive branch, could end up getting hit with a large pay cut if a plan to cut a subsidy related to the Affordable Care Act moves forward.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 8:20 pm

The big fight among members of Congress over the Affordable Care Act could spell big pay cuts — as much as $12,000 — for their employees.

How is this possible? Congressional staffers are most likely wondering the same thing.

Look back to the drafting of the act four years ago. At the time, Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley argued that if the health insurance exchanges were good enough for ordinary Americans, they should be good enough for members of Congress and their staff members. Democrats went along with his argument, and it was included in the law.

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Around the Nation
5:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

New Maryland Firearms Law Rides In On A Wave Of Gun Sales

A sign warns would-be buyers at the Annapolis Gun Show in Annapolis, Md., in September of the state's pending gun control law. The new law, which took effect Tuesday, bans the purchase of many types of assault rifles.
Andrew Harnik The Washington Times/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 8:05 pm

One of the strictest gun laws in the nation went into effect in Maryland on Tuesday. The new law bans assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, and it makes Maryland one of only six states that require handgun purchasers to get fingerprinted and take gun safety courses.

Gun owners in the state aren't happy, and in recent weeks, they've been flocking to snap up firearms. On Monday, outside Fred's Sporting Goods in Waldorf, there was a huge crowd and a countdown sign advertising: "1 day left."

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Shots - Health News
5:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

In Florida, Insurer And Nonprofits Work On Enrollment

Nonprofits are looking to help people sign up for insurance coverage in Florida.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 7:05 pm

Florida Gov. Rick Scott and other Republican leaders have worked to block the Affordable Care Act since it was first proposed.

As Tuesday's opening of enrollment approached, Florida's Health Department said it wouldn't allow navigators and others to use its offices to educate and counsel people on the new law.

But others are eager to help. "We're ready to serve our community," says Efraim Monzon, director of a Florida Blue retail center in Miami. "We've been ready since 2010 when we heard it was coming."

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Shots - Health News
5:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

First Step In Health Exchange Enrollment: Train The Helpers

Assisters get up to speed on how best to explain the new health coverage choices during training on Sept. 25 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Morgan Walker NPR

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 2:06 pm

Even as the Affordable Care Act's new health exchanges open for business, polls show the public is still pretty confused about how they're supposed to work.

The latest monthly tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, in fact, found that two-thirds of those without insurance said they don't have enough information about the law to know how it will affect them.

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Around the Nation
5:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Government Shutdown Takes A Toll Across D.C.

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 6:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Of the hundreds of thousands of federal workers not working because of the shutdown, many are, of course, here in Washington, D.C. The region is home to dozens of federal agencies, from Homeland Security to the Environmental Protection Agency. NPR's Allison Keyes spoke with some of those affected.

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Around the Nation
5:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Head Start Shut Down By Government Shutdown

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 6:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. It hasn't even been a day since lawmakers failed to come to an agreement over a spending bill to keep the government open, but in less than 24 hours, the impact of the shutdown is already evident around the country and we're not just talking about government workers. Children are affected, too. About 19,000 kids won't be able to attend Head Start, a federal education program for preschoolers.

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Health Care
5:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Ill. Governor Touts Health Exchange Legislature Rejected

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 6:38 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Amidst all this talk of a government shutdown, another big story has gotten less attention today. It's the first day people can sign up for health coverage on the new insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act. To get a sense of how things are going, we'll hear several reports throughout the program. In a moment, we'll take you to Florida, where Governor Rick Scott has fought hard against the law.

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Youth Radio
4:24 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Puberty Is Coming Earlier, But That Doesn't Mean Sex Ed Is

A growing number of children are entering puberty at younger ages — sometimes as young as 6 or 7. But in many schools, sex education classes don't begin before the fifth grade.
Cuneyt Hizal iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 5:54 pm

For kids growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, there's a standard introduction to puberty at many schools: an educational play called Nightmare on Puberty Street.

It's a fictional play, and in it, character Natalie raps about how quickly her body is growing — and how her classmates call her names.

"I didn't pick how my body would grow, and I don't feel normal, 'cause I'm not in control."

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NPR Story
4:23 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Health Exchange Day One: A View From California

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 6:38 pm

Transcript

PAULINE BARTOLONE, BYLINE: I'm Pauline Bartolone in Sacramento.

California, like Colorado, has been full speed ahead in creating its own health insurance marketplace. Melissa Martinez has been looking forward to using it. She works at home as a consultant. She also lives with an autoimmune disease.

MELISSA MARTINEZ: This last bout of insuring myself it was about $600 a month, and my meds - because I have lupus - are about $600 a month. And so I had to pick one or the other. So I let my insurance go.

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NPR Story
4:23 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Some Snags As Health Exchange Sign Up Starts

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 6:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

At the White House today, President Obama acknowledged some early hiccups with the government's website where people can compare plans and sign up for coverage.

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The Salt
4:11 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Shutdown Leaves Program Feeding Women And Infants In Lurch

At a farmers market in Washington, D.C., recipients of federal food assistance like the WIC program can use vouchers to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 5:23 pm

Among those affected by the chaos of the government shutdown are 9 million low-income women and children who may be worrying where next week's meal is going to come from.

They rely on the government for food assistance through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, known as WIC.

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All Tech Considered
3:48 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Agency Websites Shut Down With The Government

The message users will get when they try to go to Census.gov during the shutdown.
Census.gov

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:50 pm

If you or your child has a school report due tomorrow, the Census Bureau site will not be available to help. Census.gov and its affiliates, like American FactFinder and online surveys, are offline as part of the federal government's shutdown. The same goes for the Federal Trade Commission's site, the Agriculture Department's USDA.gov and the Library of Congress' site, which can also be a rich resource of reference information.

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Shots - Health News
3:22 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

For Middle-Aged Women, Stress May Raise Alzheimer's Risk

Stressed out? Who isn't? Stress can cause physical changes in the brain that may be linked to Alzheimer's.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 5:27 pm

Like most middle-aged women, I am stressed out. The work, the family, the aging parents — all things that jolt me awake at 3 a.m.

Does this mean I'm setting myself up for Alzheimer's in old age? Well, maybe.

Researchers in Sweden say that women who reported stress in midlife from experiences like divorce or a family member's illness were more likely to have dementia or Alzheimer's disease in old age.

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The Salt
2:33 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

These Folks Went Vegetarian Back When It Was Way Uncool

This gang founded Zurich's Vegetarians' Home and Teetotaller Cafe in 1898. Ambrosius Hiltl bought the joint and changed the name in 1903.
Courtesy Hiltl

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:09 pm

These days, many people wear their vegetarianism as a badge of honor — even if it's only before 6 p.m, as food writer Mark Bittman advocates. (Actually, he wants us to go part-time vegan.) There's even a World Vegetarian Day, which happens to be today, FYI.

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Food
2:04 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

300 Sandwiches: The Secret To Boyfriend's Heart?

"Weekend Productivity" Mozzarella and Homemade Pesto BLT
Courtesy of Stephanie Smith

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 2:56 pm

What makes a guy put a ring on it? New York Post reporter Stephanie Smith hopes 300 sandwiches will be her answer.

It all started after one particularly tasty turkey sandwich she made for her boyfriend. Smith says that the sandwich was so good, he said, "You're, like, 300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring."

So Smith got cookin' and is sharing her journey of food and love through her blog, 300sandwiches.com. It features a daily gourmet sandwich recipe.

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