National News

How Obamacare will change the emergency room

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-01-02 12:32

A new report looking at the Oregon Medicaid program compares emergency room use between the uninsured and people with Medicaid – the healthcare program for primarily low income and disabled people.

And the report already has pundits worked up, especially with 9 million Americans projected to newly sign up for Medicaid this year under the Affordable Care Act.

The reason this is so hot – at least politically - is because the report over turns conventional healthcare thinking. Harvard health economist Amitabh Chandra describes the theory.

“If we insure the uninsured, they are not going to use the emergency room and they are going to use less healthcare. So in the long run, insuring the uninsured saves us money,” says Chandra.

Affordable Care Act advocates have used this argument to say insurance should be expanded.

There’s just one thing: that’s not what happens.

“Its basic economics that I would teach my students,” says MIT economist Amy Finkelstein – one of the report’s authors.

“When you lower the price of something, people buy more of it," says Finkelstein. "That’s true of apples and bananas and it turns out it’s true of healthcare too.”

Finkelstein explains in Oregon the emergency room is free if you are enrolled in Medicaid. What she and her team found is that people on Medicaid use the emergency room 40 percent more than people without insurance. But it’s not just emergency room use that’s up.

Co-author Katherine Baicker says its primary care, preventative care, prescription drugs.

“That doesn’t mean that it’s inefficient, good or bad. It just means that insurance makes healthcare more affordable," Baicker says. "And that has both financial consequences and health consequences."

Based on this report, there are already estimates that increased ER use will cost taxpayers half a billion dollars a year. This is the very definition of a political football, which is why details in this report matter.

First, nearly 60 percent of all the people on Medicaid in the study didn’t go to the emergency room at all over 18 months.

Second, when people with private insurance were given more generous private health coverage they healthcare use went up, too. And perhaps most important, Harvard’s Amitabh Chandra says when it comes to money, this isn’t where the action is.

“The spending is not in the emergency room. The spending is on high cost patients. These are cancer patients. Many of them in the end of life,” he says.

The Oregon report found emergency room use accounted for between 10 and 15 percent of patient costs.

Chandra says it would be easy to use this report and argue that the Affordable Care Act is too costly.

He says the big question – the tough question – is how to limit the care everyone agrees is inefficient and expensive, regardless of who gets it or where that care is received.

Holocracy: How Zappos could change corporate America

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-01-02 12:27

First it was open office space, and now its open management.

The tech world continues to turn traditional office structure on its head with a radical operational system of self-governing with no job titles and no managers. It's called holocracy and the term derives from the greek word 'holon,' which means a whole that's part of a greater whole.

Nancy Koehn, historian at Harvard Business School, relates the organizational structure to an early tech startup.

"[They] work like little villages, everyone pitches in, everyone is responsible for solving the next problem or putting out the next bonfire," Koehn says. "There's very little attention and very little formal structure around things like job titles, the purview of one's responsibility, or how one's measuring up."

Holocracy is not a new concept in the tech world. Twitter co-founder Evan Williams uses the system to run his 50-employee publishing platform Medium. But this doesn't end the role of bosses entirely, especially when it comes to pay.

According to Koehn, CEO's are going to have to "give up some of the gold and some of the scepter."

Pope Francis drew 6.6 million to Vatican in 2013

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-01-02 11:47


Lizzie O'Leary at Palm Sunday Mass, 2013.

Our final note on the show today is about a CEO, of sorts, who had a banner year revitalizing a brand and essentially tripling business.

Pope Francis isn't always thought of as an executive, but these numbers are pretty startling. Pope Francis drew more than 6.6 million people to his masses, audiences and events in Vatican City from March 2013 until the end of the year. That contrasts with 2.3 million for Pope Benedict in all of 2012.

I was there for Francis's Palm Sunday Mass. Crowds farther than I could see.

How Language Seems To Shape One's View Of The World

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-02 11:32

Research suggests that speaking another language fluently changes what you pay attention to and how you remember events. But some say the idea that language can make you see and think differently is overblown.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

How Language Seems To Shape One's View Of The World

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-02 11:32

Research suggest that speaking another language fluently changes what you pay attention to and how you remember events. But some say the idea that language can make you see and think differently is overblown.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

California High Court OKs Law License For Undocumented Immigrant

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-02 11:26

The state's Supreme Court rules that Sergio Garcia, who has lived and attended university in the U.S., can become a member of the state bar.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

Best Video Of The Day? MIT's 3-D Remote 'Touching' Device

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-02 10:36

Imagine being able to be in one place and use your hands to move something somewhere else as if you were in that remote room. Other possibilities abound. Watch and wonder.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

Alleged Hackers Explain Reasons For Posting Snapchat Data

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-02 09:47

After millions of Snapchat usernames and other data were posted online, a claim of responsibility includes a motive: The service didn't do enough to increase its security, those allegedly involved say. Snapchat allows users to send images that vanish 10 seconds after they're seen.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

Expected Flow Of Bulgarians, Romanians Raises Hackles In Europe

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-02 09:46

On Jan. 1, workers from the two countries became free to move across the EU in search of jobs. But the prospect of new workers from two of the bloc's newest and poorest members has prompted fears of "poverty migrants" – especially in Britain and Germany.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

Warring South Sudan Factions Arrive In Ethiopia For Peace Talks

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-02 09:13

The talks in Ethiopia will focus on a cease-fire, as well as political prisoners and the 2015 presidential elections. But the fighting in the world's newest country continued even as delegates gathered.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

Michael Schumacher Remains In Coma On Eve Of 45th Birthday

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-02 08:54

The race car legend fell while skiing in France on Sunday. A blow to his head caused extensive bleeding in his brain. Doctors induced a coma and have operated twice. They aren't talking publicly about his chances for recovery.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

New Year's resolution: Don't get hacked

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-01-02 08:07

For some tech companies, hopes to not get hacked in 2014 have already been dashed.

Self-destructing messaging app Snapchat is on the defensive this week. 4.6 million user names -- and their associated phone numbers -- were leaked in a security breach. And Microsoft calling service Skype has become the latest victim of the hacking unit calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army. That's after the S.E.A. apparently hacked into Skype's Twitter and Facebook accounts and started broadcasting messages telling people not to use Microsoft because the company sells data to governments. The BBC's Dave Lee joins us to help explain.

Click the audio player above to hear more.

Moved By Emotion: This Story Changed A Photographer's Lens

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-02 07:56

Kristie McLean traveled to Ethiopia to photograph women with obstetric fistula, a hole formed between the birth canal and bladder or rectum during labor. The terrible injury results in incontinence, and rejection by society. One story affected McLean more than any other; later, she learned its power was in its telling.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

After rescue, a question: Who owns Antarctica?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-01-02 07:33

Down in Antarctica, those researchers trapped in the ice are finally on their way home.

The rescue operation was an international one. A Chinese helicopter shuttled stranded researchers from the Russian ship to an Australian icebreaker.

International cooperation is sort of the theme in Antarctica; a place for science, not business. But considering its untapped natural resources, can Antarctica remain unpolluted by economic interests?

For a long time, there’s been speculation about the natural resources buried under Antarctica. It remains only speculation for a good reason.

“At the South Pole, the ice is over 9,000 feet thick. So even getting down to terra firma to find out whether or not there were minerals or resources there would be very difficult,” says Frank Klotz, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Klotz says the U.S. should keep a presence in Antarctica in order to maintain influence over how the continent is governed.

Under an international treaty, Antarctica is kept as an icy lab for scientists.

Ohio State University geologist Berry Lyons is headed to Antarctica next week.

“The international cooperation is probably unique. And a really good model for international cooperation,” says Lyons.

But that international model cuts both ways. For example, the governing body in Antarctica works on consensus.

“Their version of consensus is that everyone unanimously has to agree to a proposal in order for it to move forward,” says Andrea Kavanagh, director of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Southern Ocean sanctuaries project.

She’s been working to extend protections for the marine life around Antarctica because fishing boats are finding their local waters are all fished-out.

“And that’s why Antarctica has become a great, new, lucrative fishing ground,” says Kavanagh.

The big prize in those waters is Chilean sea bass. Because of its high price per pound, fishermen call it ‘white gold.’

Instead of cooperation, there’s international competition to net the Antarctic fish.

Who owns Antarctica?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-01-02 07:33

Down in Antarctica, those researchers trapped in the ice are finally on their way home.

The rescue operation was an international one. A Chinese helicopter shuttled stranded researchers from the Russian ship to an Australian icebreaker.

International cooperation is sort of the theme in Antarctica; a place for science, not business. But considering its untapped natural resources, can Antarctica remain unpolluted by economic interests?

For a long time, there’s been speculation about the natural resources buried under Antarctica. It remains only speculation for a good reason.

“At the South Pole, the ice is over 9,000 feet thick. So even getting down to terra firma to find out whether or not there were minerals or resources there would be very difficult,” says Frank Klotz, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Klotz says the U.S. should keep a presence in Antarctica in order to maintain influence over how the continent is governed.

Under an international treaty, Antarctica is kept as an icy lab for scientists.

Ohio State University geologist Berry Lyons is headed to Antarctica next week.

“The international cooperation is probably unique. And a really good model for international cooperation,” says Lyons.

But that international model cuts both ways. For example, the governing body in Antarctica works on consensus.

“Their version of consensus is that everyone unanimously has to agree to a proposal in order for it to move forward,” says Andrea Kavanagh, director of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Southern Ocean sanctuaries project.

She’s been working to extend protections for the marine life around Antarctica because fishing boats are finding their local waters are all fished-out.

“And that’s why Antarctica has become a great, new, lucrative fishing ground,” says Kavanagh.

The big prize in those waters is Chilean sea bass. Because of its high price per pound, fishermen call it ‘white gold.’

Instead of cooperation, there’s international competition to net the Antarctic fish.

Juanita Moore, Groundbreaking Actress, Dies

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-02 06:58

Her role as Annie Johnson in the 1959 film Imitation of Life led to an Oscar nomination — just the fifth at that time for a black actor or actress. Moore was 99 when she died on Wednesday.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

PODCAST: Fiat buys the rest of Chrysler

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-01-02 06:39

The FT100 in London is down about a tenth percent on this first day of trading in 2014. Dow, S&P and Nasdaq futures are all down. The number of people signing up for unemployment benefits dipped slightly in the last week, a hint that the job market is holding steady.

The Italian carmaker Fiat has reached a deal to buy the rest of American automaker Chrysler, something it has wanted to do for years. Fiat hopes the deal will make it easier for them to compete with companies like Toyota and Volkswagen. Perhaps more importantly, Fiat desperately needs some of Chrysler’s cash.

And, foreclosures are way down from the worst of the housing crisis. But as we start this new year, don’t be surprised if some places see a rise in foreclosure sales. That’s because foreclosures that have been slowly working their way through judicial pipelines are now coming to market. That may prove a rude awakening in some areas.

Accident Or Not? Palestinian Diplomat's Death Is A Mystery

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-02 06:20

The Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic was killed Wednesday by an explosion at his home in Prague. At first, officials said he may have triggered a bomb meant to explode only if a safe was tampered with. But other officials are disputing that account.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

Fiat hopes Chrysler deal will help it compete with VW, Toyota

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-01-02 06:07

The Italian carmaker Fiat has reached a deal to buy the rest of American automaker Chrysler, something it has wanted to do for years.

“The main reason is it will allow them to fully integrate as one company,” says Michelle Krebs, senior analyst with Edmunds.com.

Fiat hopes the deal will make it easier for them to compete with companies like Toyota and Volkswagen. Perhaps more importantly, Fiat desperately needs some of Chrysler’s cash.

According to analyst Dave Sullivan, with AutoPacific, Europe’s anemic economy hasn’t been good for auto sales.

“Chrysler is really helping to keep Fiat afloat during these difficult times,” he says.

Fiat’s relationship with Chrysler goes back to 2009, when Chrysler was in bankruptcy.

“I mean, you could say that Fiat was basically gifted a stake in Chrysler,” Sullivan says.

The rest of the company went to the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, which had considered an IPO to sell its shares.

With this agreement, that won’t happen. The UAW will sell its ownership stake in a deal valued at more than $4 billion.

Fiat reaches deal to buy rest of Chrysler

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-01-02 06:07

The Italian carmaker Fiat has reached a deal to buy the rest of American automaker Chrysler, something it has wanted to do for years.

“The main reason is it will allow them to fully integrate as one company,” says Michelle Krebs, senior analyst with Edmunds.com.

Fiat hopes the deal will make it easier for them to compete with companies like Toyota and Volkswagen. Perhaps more importantly, Fiat desperately needs some of Chrysler’s cash.

According to analyst Dave Sullivan, with AutoPacific, Europe’s anemic economy hasn’t been good for auto sales.

“Chrysler is really helping to keep Fiat afloat during these difficult times,” he says.

Fiat’s relationship with Chrysler goes back to 2009, when Chrysler was in bankruptcy.

“I mean, you could say that Fiat was basically gifted a stake in Chrysler,” Sullivan says.

The rest of the company went to the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, which had considered an IPO to sell its shares.

With this agreement, that won’t happen. The UAW will sell its ownership stake in a deal valued at more than $4 billion.

KBBI is Powered by Active Listeners like You

As we celebrate 35 years of broadcasting, we look ahead to technology improvements and the changing landscape of public radio.

Support the voices, music, information, and ideas that add so much to your life. Renew here or visit KBBI by April 21 to enter to win one round-trip airfare with Era between Homer and Anchorage. Thank you for supporting your local public radio station.

ON THE AIR
Paradigm Shift
Next Up: @ 09:00 pm
Beggar's Banquet

FOLLOW US

Drupal theme by pixeljets.com ver.1.4