Wonder why you can't get a straight answer on how much a treatment or test will cost you? One big reason: State laws that allow hospitals and other providers of health care to keep costs hidden until they send you the bill.
A report card on price transparency released Monday gives 29 states an F and seven states a D for policies that keep patients and their families in the dark on prices. The failing grade went to those with practically no transparency requirements.
Is a strong U.S. dollar a good thing, or is it overrated as a policy goal?
Some argue that a policy aimed at keeping the dollar strong would hurt U.S. economic growth because it would make American goods and services more expensive, lessening global demand for them. Others say having a weak and unstable unit as the basis of the economy makes commerce harder and creates financial bubbles that then burst disastrously.
In a Guatemalan courtroom Tuesday, prosecutors will present their case against a former military dictator who ruled during one of the bloodiest periods in the Central American nation's 36-year civil war.
Efrain Rios Montt is accused of genocide in the murder of tens of thousands of Guatemala's Indians. Human rights advocates and the families of victims have struggled for years to bring him before the court, and they say it is the first trial in Latin America of a former president in the country where he ruled.
Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 3:48 pm
Bassist Todd Sickafoose is heard often in two cities — his native San Francisco Bay Area and his adopted New York City. Ani DiFranco fans know his sound, too, as he worked with the singer-songwriter for the better part of a decade. In 2008, he released Tiny Resistors, a lushly textured record that put him on the map as a composer and bandleader. Swamped in horns and violin and twin guitars and rock rhythms, Tiny Resistors the band has become an expansive compositional outlet for Sickafoose.
Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 12:44 pm
Americans are abandoning their long-trusted news outlets in high numbers. According to a Pew Research Center report, 31 percent of Americans say they have deserted a particular news outlet because it no longer provides the information they want.
Ten years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. This is an NPR news special. I'm Tom Gjelten. Neal Conan is away. March 2003, U.S. troops sped up across the desert from Kuwait into Iraq. The goal was to topple Saddam Hussein, a brutal dictator. Resistance to the invasion was light. Within weeks, the Hussein regime had fallen.
Top of the Lake, a new seven-part miniseries premiering tonight on the Sundance Channel, was co-created and co-directed by Jane Campion, who teamed with Holly Hunter 20 years ago on the movie The Piano. Hunter is back for this new project, playing a mysterious New Agey guru of sorts. She's started a small commune for emotionally damaged women, on a remote strip of land in New Zealand.
Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 12:26 pm
A zoo in Indonesia is now home to seven bouncing baby Komodo dragons. Before you recoil in disgust, have a look at this video from the BBC — "cute" may not be the operative word, but the hatchlings do exude a certain endearing quality.
Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 11:34 am
As the 2013 South by Southwest festival was winding to a noisy end — sirens, car horns and even a helicopter passed could be heard on the streets of Austin, Texas — there were plenty of smaller, quieter moments worth singling out. On the festival's final night, the All Songs Considered gang gathered to talk about what they saw, heard and felt during their last few hours in Austin.
One of the two men killed Sunday when a small plane crashed into a house near South Bend, Ind., was former University of Oklahoma star quarterback Steve Davis, the St. Joseph County (Ind.) coroner's office says.
In January 2011, writer Emily Rapp was a happy new mother when she and her husband found themselves in a pediatric ophthalmologist's office with their 9-month-old son, Ronan. They were worried about Ronan's development and had gone to the eye doctor to rule out vision problems as the culprit. Checking Ronan's retinas, the doctor saw "cherry-red spots on the backs of his retinas," Rapp writes in her new memoir, The Still Point of the Turning World. Ronan's diagnosis that day was Tay-Sachs disease, a genetic and degenerative condition that is always fatal. There is no cure.
Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 11:14 am
Ten years ago this week, U.S. troops invaded Iraq. NPR's David Gilkey was there and shares his memory of aphotograph he made that first night.
The photos that David Gilkey took the night of the Iraq invasion were among the first pictures of U.S. troops in combat to come out of Iraq. And among the images he captured was one of a soldier running through an abandoned Iraqi army post that had, just minutes before, been hit by U.S. rocket fire.
Those photos would not have been possible without a night vision optic for his camera.
NPR's business news starts with a new labor secretary.
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MONTAGNE: President Obama has chosen justice department lawyer Thomas Perez for the post. Perez is the son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic. He ran the labor department in his home state of Maryland and he will add a high profile Latino voice to the cabinet. But, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports, his nomination is not without controversy.
As Syria's revolt enters a third year, Syria's political opposition is meeting in Istanbul this week to choose a rebel government, despite opposition from the Obama administration.
Twelve candidates are in the running to lead the efforts, including an economist, a former agriculture minister and an IT specialist who is overseeing the Syrian National Coalition's aid operation on the Turkish border.
Sonic Trace is a multimedia project that follows Latinos living in Los Angeles travelling back to their families' native lands. Led by radio producer Anyansi Diaz-Cortes, it examines the link between what some Latinos consider home – before and after they or their families came to the U.S.
Rhythm and Blues musician Brian McKnight has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide. He's earned 16 Grammy nominations and worked on projects with Justin Timberlake and Mary J. Blige. He's also an actor, father and has an arts education foundation. Host Michel Martin talks to McKnight about his life and new album, More Than Words.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, R&B heavyweight Brian McKnight has sold more than 20 million albums over the course of his 20 year career. He'll tell us about his latest and he pushes back against some critics and the fans who think he may have gotten just a little too grown for their taste. We'll tell you what we mean in just a few minutes.
The fatal police shooting of teenager Kimani Gray in East Flatbush, Brooklyn led to days of protests and some violence; it also heightened tensions in a community already distrustful of the police. Host Michel Martin discusses the shooting, and its aftermath, with WNYC talk show host Brian Lehrer and community activist Shanduke McPhatter.