The Two-Way
7:49 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Health Care Rules Relaxed Again, 'Backlash' Follows

HealthCare.gov

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 9:06 am

  • From the NPR Newscast: Julie Rovner on the latest changes to the health care program (with an introduction from Jean Cochran)

Word from the Obama administration that Americans who recently had their health insurance canceled will be allowed to buy "catastrophic policies" mostly intended for young adults has upset the insurance industry, NPR's Julie Rovner tells our Newscast desk.

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State News
7:16 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Gov. Quinn leaving the door open to running a third time

Governor Pat Quinn is leaving the door open to running for governor three times, but even that would not put him on pace to set a record as the state's longest-serving chief executive.

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State News
7:07 am
Fri December 20, 2013

U of I grad to go on first spacewalk

A University of Illinois graduate aboard the International Space Station goes on his first spacewalk this weekend. NASA Astronaut Mike Hopkins will fix a broken cooling line. The walk is set for Saturday, and it will take about six hours. Speaking from space in October to U of I students, Hopkins talked about his experiences.

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State News
7:01 am
Fri December 20, 2013

President commutes Rockford man's life sentence

Credit Families Against Mandatory Minimums

A man serving a life sentence for a drug-selling conspiracy in Rockford will be free this Spring. President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of eight people he says were serving overly harsh sentences for drug crimes. That includes Reynolds Wintersmith, Jr., who was sentenced 20 years ago under mandatory minimum guidelines, which are tougher on crack cocaine than powder cocaine.

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Shots - Health News
6:49 am
Fri December 20, 2013

How Fraud Flourishes Unchecked In Medicare's Drug Plan

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 3:47 pm

With just a handful of prescriptions to his name, psychiatrist Ernest Bagner III was barely a blip in Medicare's vast drug program in 2009.

But the next year he churned them out at a furious rate — not just psychiatric drugs, but expensive pills for asthma, cholesterol, heartburn and blood clots.

By the end of 2010, Medicare had paid $3.8 million for Bagner's drugs — one of the highest tallies in the country. He added another $2.6 million the following year, records analyzed by ProPublica show.

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Around the Nation
6:43 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Overturned Truck Spills Holiday Hams

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 10:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene. We hope you don't think we ham it up too much on this show, but apologies for this morning's traffic report here at the bottom of the hour. Let's get an update on that interstate ramp outside Atlanta. It was clogged yesterday, not with cars, but ham - 40,000 pounds of it. A semi truck hauling the ham overturned, spilling pork and fuel everywhere. Fortunately the driver was not hurt but that's a lot of wasted holiday ham, unless you like it with a side of diesel.

Latin America
6:43 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Cuba Loosens Restrictions On Buying New Cars

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 10:13 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Visitors to Cuba describe a journey back in time. The government of the Castro brothers restrained the auto market, leaving ancient cars on the streets, many made in the U.S. But the market is loosening.

The Two-Way
6:10 am
Fri December 20, 2013

'Huge Win For Victims Of Sexual Assault' In Defense Budget

Tim Shaffer Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 7:11 am

"The women of the Senate who led the fight to change how the military deals with sexual assault in its ranks are hailing passage of a comprehensive defense bill that now heads to President Barack Obama for his signature," The Associated Press writes this morning.

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Business
6:05 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Shop On The Web Or In The Store; Each Has Risks

A customer prepares to sign a credit card slip Thursday at a Target store in Miami. The giant retailer says 40 million payment cards nationwide may have been compromised by data theft.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 7:37 am

Back in ye olden days — say, a decade ago — many holiday shoppers worried about using credit cards to buy gifts online. They feared their information would end up in the hands of computer hackers.

Turns out, walking into a store and swiping a credit card can be plenty risky, too.

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The Two-Way
5:33 am
Fri December 20, 2013

When Obama Takes Questions Today, What Should He Be Asked?

President Obama's most recent news conference at the White House was on Nov. 14.
Fang Zhe Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 9:05 am

Update at 10:02 a.m. ET. News Conference Set For 2 P.M. ET:

The White House just announced that the president will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. ET.

So, we've changed our original headline from "If Obama Takes Questions ..." to "When."

Note: The president's sessions with reporters often get started a little late.

Our original post picks up the story:

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