National

Planet Money
5:01 am
Thu November 29, 2012

A Huge Pay Cut For Doctors Is Hiding In The Fiscal Cliff

How much is it worth?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 9:53 am

Yesterday, in the Bronx, Chris Veres took his grandfather to see Dr. Bob Murrow. He was worried about his grandfather's heart. Dr. Murrow talked to the family and ordered a cardiogram, which came back normal.

It was a pretty routine visit. But what happens next for the doctor — getting paid by Medicare, the government-run health insurance program for the elderly — is suddenly sort of a big deal.

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Shots - Health News
5:00 am
Thu November 29, 2012

The Hidden Costs Of Raising The Medicare Age

Keith Gresham, 65, lines up four medications he takes at his home in Detroit in 2011. The self-employed painter was without health insurance for about a decade and was happy to finally turn 65 last year so he could qualify for Medicare.
Patricia Beck MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 9:18 am

Whenever the discussion turns to saving money in Medicare, the idea of raising the eligibility age often comes up.

"I don't think you can look at entitlement reform without adjusting the age for retirement," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on ABC's This Week last Sunday. "Let it float up another year or so over the next 30 years, adjust Medicare from 65 to 67."

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Business
5:47 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Propeller Planes Come Back Amid High Fuel Prices

Turboprop planes make up the entire fleet at Silver Airways. Airlines are increasingly using propeller planes to cut costs.
Courtesy of Silver Airways/SBPR

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 6:41 pm

Record-high fuel prices have hammered airlines, forcing executives to eliminate flights, cut back on unprofitable routes and make passengers pay for many perks that used to be free.

Now the airlines are looking at other ways to save money. That means a new opportunity for a plane from the past.

On a typical day at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the "Plane Train" ferries some 200,000 travelers a day between terminals. One of those passengers, Rebecca Hamilton, is on her way home to Florida.

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It's All Politics
5:30 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

In Fiscal Cliff PR War, Obama Seeks Help From A Public Already Leaning His Way

President Obama speaks Wednesday while meeting with citizens at the White House. Obama called on Republicans to halt an automatic tax hike for middle-class Americans.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 7:18 pm

In Washington's latest game of chicken, President Obama is counting on voters who see things his way to give him the edge in his quest to get congressional Republicans to accept tax increases on the nation's wealthiest as part of any fiscal cliff deal.

To energize those voters, the president is ramping up a series of campaign-style events meant to educate the public about the stakes, as he sees them, of letting the Bush-era tax cuts for middle-class Americans expire if no agreement is reached by year's end.

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Shots - Health News
4:59 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Flame Retardants From Furniture Found In Household Dust

Scientists say that the best way to reduce a person's contact with the flame retardant chemicals in sofas and other furniture is to vacuum more.
SINAN DONMEZ iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 9:54 am

Sofas and other cushy furniture often contain chemicals intended to reduce the risk of fire. But those chemicals may pose health risks of their own, and some researchers are trying to build the case for getting them out of the house altogether.

Eighty-five percent of couches tested in a new study contained at least one flame-retardant chemical in the foam cushioning.

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Religion
4:53 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Mormonism: A Scrutinized, Yet Evolving Faith

temple
George Frey Reuters

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 5:58 pm

Mitt Romney refused to mix religion with politics in this year's presidential campaign, but that didn't repress people's curiosity about Mormonism. His candidacy brought the homegrown faith into the spotlight.

Patrick Mason, a professor and chairman of the Mormon Studies program at Claremont Graduate University, says attention paid to his faith has been twofold. On one hand, it's been good for attracting new converts. On the other hand, it's turned Mormonism into something of a cultural punch line.

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Energy
4:43 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

EPA Bans BP From Bidding On Federal Contracts

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 5:47 pm

The Environmental Protection Agency announced on Wednesday that it is temporarily banning BP from doing new business with the federal government. The agency cites BP's lack of business integrity as a reason, pointing to the company's conduct during the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster. The suspension doesn't affect current contracts.

Shots - Health News
4:01 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Evidence Mounts On Shortcomings In Whooping Cough Vaccine

At a Los Angeles media briefing in 2010, Mariah Bianchi describes how her own case of whooping cough caused the death of her newborn son.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 4:00 pm

Whooping cough went on a tear in California back in 2010.

There were more than 9,000 pertussis infections in the state, a 60-year high. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of the disease across the country.

Why?

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Health Care
2:34 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Preparing For The Looming Dementia Crisis

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:08 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The number of us affected by dementia, nearly five and a half million for Alzheimer's alone, can only go up as the huge cohort of baby boomers ages. Doctors and researchers have thus far made more progress toward early diagnosis than to any effective treatment, but institutions, from long-term care facilities to state and federal agencies to doctors' offices, seem unprepared for what science reporter Stephen Hall describes as the dementia plague.

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

This Just In: No One Was Shot Or Stabbed Monday In New York City

At least for one day and night, the city that never sleeps was peaceful.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters /Landov

Police officials in New York City tell the Daily News that they can't remember the last time this happened:

"Not a single person was reported shot, stabbed or slashed" in the Big Apple on Monday.

"Nice way to start the week," Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne told the newspaper.

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Monkey See
12:56 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Top Ten Things I Am Not Going To Do During This 'Les Miserables' Screening

Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 12:44 pm

It's just about that time when members of the press begin to attend screenings of Les Miserables. I hereby vow to engage in none of the following conduct.

1. Throw crusts of bread at the screen and yell, "HEY, JEAN VALJEAN, ARE YOU HUNGRY?"

2. Do my imitation of Amanda Seyfried singing "There are so many questions and ah-nswers that somehow seem wrong," even though it's really funny and quite terrifying.

3. Refer to the short-haired Anne Hathaway as "Ruth Buzz-y."

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Shots - Health News
12:14 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

SARS-Like Virus Resurfaces And Infects A Family In Saudi Arabia

An artistic model of a coronavirus infecting a cell. The family of viruses can cause mild infections, like the common cold, and severe pneumonia-like infections, such as SARS.
Peter Kohama MCT/Landov

After a two-month hiatus, the mysterious coronavirus that killed one man and hospitalized another is back on the scene. This time it has infected members of the same family.

The new cases raise the known total to six, including two deaths.

Scientist are trying to figure out if the involvement of a family says something new about the virus.

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The Salt
11:27 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Milk: Symbol Of Purity, Symbol Of Conflict

European dairy farmers spray police officers with milk during a demonstration outside the European Parliament in Brussels on Monday.
Geert Vanden Wijngaert AP

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 12:19 pm

Food fight!

Earlier this week, European Union dairy farmers decided to protest milk price controls by spraying police with high-pressure hoses filled with milk. It certainly wasn't the first time that food has been both subject and symbol of unrest (see food riots). But this one stands out because of the dramatic images.

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Shots - Health News
10:44 am
Wed November 28, 2012

More Women Choose Double Mastectomy, But Study Says Many Don't Need It

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 4:10 pm

It's a startling trend: Many women with cancer in one breast are choosing to have their healthy breast removed, too.

But a study being presented later this week says more than three-quarters of women who opt for double mastectomies are not getting any benefit because their risk of cancer developing in the healthy breast is no greater than in women without cancer.

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The Two-Way
9:42 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Winning Powerball? It's More Likely A Vending Machine Will Kill You

Don't shake it.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 8:26 am

Update at 12:25 p.m. ET: Since we first posted, the jackpot's been increased to $550 million from $500 million when the day began, so we've changed that figure below. That doesn't do anything to change the odds of winning.

Our original post:

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