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Medicare Project May Provide Better Care Less Expensively

Fort Dodge, Iowa, is not exactly what you'd think of as a hotbed of health care innovation. But the small town in the western part of the state is part of a Medicare pilot project that economists say could be a pathway to the holy grail of health care: providing better care at a lower cost.
NPR

Kids Pay The Price In Fight Over Fixing Philadelphia Schools

One of the nation's largest school systems has been pushed to the brink of insolvency. Not long ago, Philadelphia was touted as a "laboratory of innovation," a promising model for urban public education. But something went wrong. So who is responsible for the district's descent into academic and financial ruin?
NPR

How HealthCare.gov Is Giving A Once-Obscure Bill A Boost

The disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov is giving an otherwise wonky piece of legislation new momentum. It's called the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act, or FITARA, for short. And its two key sponsors are among the most unusual bedfellows in Congress.
NPR

Organic Farmers Bash FDA Restrictions On Manure Use

Many organic farmers are hopping mad right now at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Their reason? Fertilizer. The FDA, as part of its overhaul of food safety regulations, wants to limit the use of animal manure, which organic farmers call a precious resource and a basis of their farming practices.
NPR

National Book Awards Go To McBride, Packer, Szybist, Kadohata

James McBride won the National Book Award for fiction Wednesday for The Good Lord Bird, about a young slave who meets and travels with abolitionist John Brown.
NPR

FAA Orders Apnea Testing For Overweight Pilots, Controllers

The FAA says physicians need to evaluate anyone with a body mass index of 40 or higher for possible obstructive sleep apnea which could cause fatigue on the job.
NPR

With Nominees Stalled, Democrats Reprise Filibuster Threat

With Republicans blocking the nominations of one African-American and two female judges to a key appeals court, Senate Democrats are again pondering a rules change to curtail the minority's ability to filibuster judicial appointments. But even Democrats themselves are split on whether to proceed.
NPR

What A Bitcoin Political Debut Could Mean For Transparency

The Federal Election Commission is expected to vote Thursday on a proposal to allow virtual currency contributions to political action committees.
NPR

Illinois Joins Growing List Of States With Same-Sex Marriage

After months of wrangling among lawmakers and opposition from powerful religious groups, Gov. Pat Quinn signed the law on Wednesday.
NPR

How A Vitamin D Test Misdiagnosed African-Americans

By a standard test most African-Americans have low levels of vitamin D. But most African-Americans also have strong bones. It turns out that the problem is with the test, which was looking for a form of D more common in Caucasians. The variation is a result of human evolution.

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