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Planet Money
5:59 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Does Medicaid Make People Healthier?

Karen Roach iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 5:08 pm

A while back, Robin Boros lost her job, and she and her husband couldn't afford health insurance.

One time, Boros passed out, and her husband called an ambulance.

"The hospital bill, it was atrocious," she says. "We couldn't pay it."

They never figured out why Boros passed out. But after that, she and her husband avoided going to the doctor. At times, she says, she even bought blood pressure medication on the street.

"That was awful," Boros says. "But you do what you got to do."

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Latin America
5:31 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Colombia Relives Escobar's Reign Of Terror, On TV

The TV series Pablo Escobar: Boss of Evil, starring Andres Parra as the eponymous Colombian drug lord, is revisiting a dark period in the country's history.
Caracol Television

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 8:21 pm

A generation ago, he terrorized Colombia with a wave of bombings and assassinations that nearly brought the state to its knees.

Now, nearly 20 years after Pablo Escobar was shot dead following a long manhunt by Colombian and American agents, the flamboyant chief of the Medellin cocaine cartel is being resurrected by Colombian television.

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The Two-Way
5:00 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Proposed California Bill Would Allow For More Than Two Parents

State Sen. Mark Leno.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 5:52 pm

It seems that around the country, the most fervent legal debate around modern families revolves around gay parents.

A California lawmaker is adding to that debate by challenging the notion that a child only has two parents. A bill proposed by Sen. Mark Leno would allow a child to have multiple parents, The Sacramento Bee reports.

Currently California law permits no more than two parents per child.

The Bee adds:

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The Two-Way
4:30 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Woman Sentenced To Read The Bible? Yes, But There's More To The Story

iStockphoto.com

There's news from South Carolina that's beginning to get attention because of headlines like this:

-- "Judge Sentences Woman To Read Bible For Drunk Driving Conviction." (CBS Local in Charlotte)

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Health
4:04 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Treating HIV: From Impossible To Halfway There

Francois St. Ker, 55, was on the brink of dying from AIDS in the spring of 2001. Today, he's a successful farmer and is in good health, thanks to treatment for his HIV.
John Poole NPR

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 2:20 pm

This story begins 11 years ago. It was a time when many, if not most, experts said it was unthinkable to treat people with AIDS in developing countries using the triple-drug regimens that were routinely saving the lives of patients in wealthier countries.

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The Two-Way
3:17 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Fewer Fireworks This July 4th; Wildfires, Drought And Derecho To Blame

U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va." href="/post/fewer-fireworks-july-4th-wildfires-drought-and-derecho-blame" class="noexit lightbox">
Fireworks over the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on July 4, 2008. Photo taken from hear the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

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Shots - Health Blog
3:14 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Glaxo Settlement Pulls Back Curtain On Drug Marketing

This week, GlaxoSmithKline agreed to the largest single health fraud settlement in U.S. history. Details from the case paint a rich picture of alleged abuses.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 4:30 am

As part of a landmark $3 billion settlement of health fraud charges by GlaxoSmithKline, the government released a slew of documents that serve as a one-stop guide to alleged sales practices that ran rampant for years.

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The Two-Way
3:05 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

IMF Dims U.S. Outlook, Warns Against Dramatic Spending Cuts

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde speaks during a news conference on Tuesday in Washington.
Haraz N. Ghanbari AP

Like the Federal Reserve before them, the International Monetary Fund lowered its growth projections for the U.S. economy. The Los Angles Times says that in its annual report, the IMF calls the U.S. recovery "tepid" and warns U.S. lawmakers that hitting the brakes too hard on spending and tax cuts could threaten the weak recovery both at home and abroad.

The Times reports:

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U.S.
3:00 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Illinois Services Threatened As Pension Hole Grows

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says the pension system is putting a grip on the state's budget. As a result, other services may lose funding.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 2:16 pm

Fallout from the recession continues to hobble state finances, particularly in states crippled by pensions they can't afford to pay.

Chief among them is Illinois, which has racked up the largest unfunded liability in the nation. Politicians there pledge to fix it.

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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
2:55 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Oakland Turns A Corner As Calif. Faces Budget Woes

Ryan Curtis leans in for a kiss from Love Kovtun on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland's Uptown neighborhood in April. New businesses and investment have helped revitalize the city's downtown over the past decade.
Laura Morton for NPR

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 2:17 pm

The city of Oakland, Calif. has long been associated with crime, poverty, urban decay and, more recently, violent protests tied to the Occupy movement.

So it may have been a surprise to New York Times readers when the newspaper listed Oakland as No. 5 among its top "places to go" in 2012.

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