One-stop science shop has become a favorite of industry—and Texas

By Rosalind Adams and Lisa Song

The EPA's sluggishness in assessing chemicals has created opportunities for a consulting firm with ties to chemical and tobacco interests.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… onsultant who once worked as a Health scientist at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.  "So there is a large potential for bias, …"

"… on said, according to minutes of a 1995 meeting of the American Industrial Health Council, a now-defunct trade group funded by  the tobacco industry. …"

"… d for industry groups such as Dow Chemical. Most of the rest were done for Health Canada, the Canadian national Health agency.   Unlike the indus …"

"… the industry studies whose funders are not clearly identified on ITER, the Health Canada studies that pass TERA's review are conspicuously labeled as Health …"

FEC gets modest budget boost

By Dave Levinthal

The election watchdog's 2015 funding level reverses years of cuts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "chairwoman":

"… t. Ravel's commission colleagues on Wednesday voted 5-0 to appoint her FEC chairwoman.     …"

New FEC chief on 'dark money' mission

By Dave Levinthal

New Chairwoman Ann Ravel says she'll fight to out people behind secretive political cash, regardless of party.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… irman who now leads pro-campaign deregulation group Center for Competitive Politics, says the agency might have some measure of success next year. “Commiss …"

Advisory panel tells Congress the nuclear weapons complex is too big and too old

By Douglas Birch

A congressional advisory panel says the nuclear weapons complex can be scaled down and modernized with less regulation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Tennessee":

"… ons — and works with the Bechtel Corporation to manage the Y-12 plant in Tennessee and the Pantex plant in Texas, where key nuclear weapons components are ma …"

Who's responsible for the CIA's torture policy?

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Who's who in authorizing the CIA's brutal treatment of detainees.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… News Bruce Jessen screengrab from ABC News …"

"… ton believed they were withholding information about future attacks on the United States. As it turned out, some of those who were harshly treated had no such info …"

A long-term blank check for 'war' spending

By Julia Harte

In the federal budget, emergency spending for combat operations is the new normal.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Air Force":

"… , includes $55 million to retain the “air superiority presence” of the U.S. Air Force. Another $351 million of OCO funds would go to Israel for its Iron Dome mi …"

Senate report says CIA repeatedly misled policymakers about interrogation program

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Senate report says CIA repeatedly tried to mislead policymakers about interrogation program to escape scrutiny and criticism

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… w policies for detaining and aggressively interrogating such captives. The Senate Intelligence committee chairman, Bob Graham (D-Fla.), responded by sending …"

"… nstein (D-Calif.), the committee’s current chairwoman, said in a lengthy Senate floor speech unveiling the 2012 report that the CIA’s actions were “a …"

"… attack plans, capture terrorists and save lives.” Republicans from the Senate committee said in a lengthy minority report that they agreed with the CIA, …"

"… g the continued use of EIT. Then-CIA director Michael Hayden told the Senate committee in April 2007 that interrogators did not deliberately withhold m …"

Scientist with deep industry ties being considered for key EPA job

By David Heath

Michael Dourson is one of two candidates to lead the EPA office that determines which chemicals make people sick, and in what doses.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… e chemical industry is one of two finalists to lead the office at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that determines which chemicals can make people sick, …"

Don't wait 'til last minute to enroll in Obamacare

By Wendell Potter

Not all health insurance plans are created equal. Shoppers should get to work now on finding the right policy.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… in: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans and Obamacare: What’s in It for M …"

Governors and oil industry work hand in hand in offshore drilling group

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Lobbying firm, advocacy organization did much of the work.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… yet begun substantive work on the next one. The coalition wrote letters to Congress and the Obama administration (two of which appear to have been edited by S …"

"… omic benefits of drilling, saying, “the key is to echo these messages to Congress and the Obama Administration, encouraging them to pursue a sensible path t …"

"… a lead role in delivering the messages below to the Administration and to Congress.” According to notes from the meeting prepared by CEA’s Joubert, Rand …"

PR firm busts disclosure deadline while representing Burkina Faso

By Carrie Levine

CD Global Strategies took months — instead of 10 days — to inform the Justice Department of its work for Burkina Faso.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… West African nation, traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress and other U.S. officials. Helping arrange the meetings: CD Global Strateg …"

Congress' never-ending political money chase

By Dave Levinthal

Congressional lawmakers are hard at work raising campaign cash in D.C. as lame duck session begins.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… Day 2016 is 721 days away: Lawmakers (and soon-to-be lawmakers) are using Congress' lame duck session to generate cash wherever they can get it. Some are be …"

"… tober.   Rep.-elect Bob Dold, R-Ill., this month won back a seat in Congress he lost in 2013. On Wednesday evening, he will host a reception at the Cit …"

"… ublican Martha McSally that ended with her less than 200 votes up on him. "Congressman Barber is committed to ensuring that every lawful vote is counted and t …"

"… D.C.-based lobbyist. "As it will be weeks before this process is complete, Congressman Barber's campaign will need additional resources to cover costly legal …"

Obama administration let opponents define the Affordable Care Act

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Obama administration let foes define Affordable Care Act.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… ch Massachusetts lawmakers enacted in 2006. During remarks he made at the Health Economists Conference at the University of Pennsylvania last year, Gruber …"

"… in: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans and Obamacare: What’s in It for M …"

Nuclear weapons lab used taxpayer funds to obtain more taxpayer funds

By R. Jeffrey Smith

A government auditor uncovers a textbook case of lobbying by a contractor at federal expense.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… and then use the profits to hire lobbyists — including former members of Congress — to meet with federal officials, lawmakers and others who can help orch …"

"… uencing or attempting to influence an officer of any agency or a member of Congress” about an extension. Sandia’s officials planned nonetheless to use th …"

"… s not a lobbyist for Sandia and I did not contact any federal official — Congressional or Executive — for Sandia to try to extend the Sandia contract,” …"

Poorly rated nursing homes got HUD-guaranteed mortgages anyway

By Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

Hundreds of poorly rated facilities received mortgage guarantees.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… ;Charlene Harrington, an emeritus nursing professor from the University of California at San Francisco, says that the insurance pattern raises serious questions …"

"… e largest number, 30, of these homes. Illinois, with 20 homes, was second. California was third. With $242 million worth of HUD mortgage insurance, New York had …"

"… ranteed mortgages since 2001, according to HUD records. Michael Thamer, a California lawyer who was the lead attorney in a landmark nursing home staffing case …"

Hate political ads? Skip morning shows

By Dave Levinthal

'Today,' 'Good Morning America' were top draws for U.S. Senate message machines ahead of the 2014 midterms.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… ne ahead of the 2014 midterms, as Republicans this month seized control of Congress' upper chamber. Among non-news programming, game shows "Wheel of Fortune" …"

Analysis shows widespread discrepancies in staffing levels reported by nursing homes

By Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

Analysis shows staffing levels lower than what's reported on public website.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… 007 academic paper found significant levels of over-reporting in Texas nursing homes that could suggest preparing for inspectors’ visits by rai …"

Health insurers win midterm election!

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: midterm results create a friendlier Congress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… of the Affordable Care Act that the insurance industry would like the next Congress to change. If insurers get what they want — and with the GOP in control …"

"… urers get what they want — and with the GOP in control of both houses of Congress, it’s a decent bet they will — Wall Street will be exuberant indeed. …"

"… e exuberant indeed. Just the anticipation of what a Republican controlled Congress might be able to pull off has put insurance company shareholders in good h …"

"… t we can expect Republican lawmakers to quickly introduce bills in the new Congress that would strip the law’s “root and branch,” to use a favorite McCo …"

GOP rides cavalry to U.S. Senate majority

By Michael Beckel, Dave Levinthal and Carrie Levine

Super PACs, 'dark money' nonprofits help make Election Day difference as Republicans seize a U.S. Senate majority

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kay Hagan":

"… nal $14 million.) Similarly, in North Carolina, incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and state House Speaker Thom Tillis, her Republican rival, collectively ra …"

FEC hunts political ghosts on Halloween

By Carrie Levine

On Halloween, the elections agency sent disclosure demands to hundreds of candidates — including those no longer alive.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Lee Goodman":

"… the commission’s frequent deadlocks on enforcement cases. FEC Chairman Lee Goodman, a Republican, could not immediately be reached for comment. The only way …"

More scrutiny coming for Medicare Advantage, Obamacare

By Fred Schulte

New round of audits coming; Obamacare too.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… erly to Health plans rapidly expanding under the Affordable Care Act. The Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, which investigates Medicar …"

"… ting illness, according to Richard Kronick, director of the HHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. “I would not be surprised if there is some fr …"

'Banking Caucus' member aims for Senate

By Alison Fitzgerald

Republican candidate for Senate U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito defends little banks but big banks benefit too.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… top 20 donors to Capito’s Senate run, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. She also has the support of many energy companies. Capito is not among th …"

U.S. Senate races to attract 1 million TV ads

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Super PACs, nonprofits help fuel relentlessly negative messaging in U.S. Senate races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate race":

"… ng the shots and where the money is being spent. After this year’s U.S. Senate races are run and done, the notoriously nasty contests will likely limp into hi …"

"… c Integrity’s analysis of estimates provided by Kantar Media/CMAG. U.S. Senate races in Louisiana, Kansas, Kentucky and Arkansas all saw about one TV ad …"

"… date dropped out of the race in early September — and the state’s U.S. Senate race has unexpectedly turned into a dead heat. Conversely, in Michigan, TV vie …"

"… Democratic Sen. Carl Levin. In early and mid-September, Michigan’s U.S. Senate race ranked among the hottest in the country, attracting nearly one TV ad …"

Pennsylvania congressman launches frack waste investigation

By David Hasemyer and Zahra Hirji

Congressman Matt Cartwright, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, is asking state officials to review environmental exemptions for fracking waste.

Excerpts from this story referencing "House Energy and Commerce Committee":

"… rborne contaminants. Cartwright cites a 2011 minority staff report of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. It identified 29 chemicals found in fracking waste that are possible huma …"

Super PACs exploit disclosure loophole

By Dave Levinthal

Several political committees that materialized in recent days aren't required to reveal donors until after Election Day.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… peka, Kansas, and Constitutional Veterans for Freedom Super PAC of Wilmer, Texas. Futhermore, a South Dakota-based super PAC calling itself Many True Cons …"

GAO takes on Medicare Advantage spending

By Fred Schulte

GAO will investigate program spending.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… subsidiary of New-Jersey based Aveta, Inc., denied the allegations. …"

"… ars every year. The Government Accountability Office, the watchdog arm of Congress, is conducting the probe at the request of the House Ways and Means Commit …"

"… care Advantage has grown explosively under the risk-scoring formula, which Congress put in place in 2004. Officials expect the program to cost taxpayers as mu …"

"… essive. The Medicare Advantage industry has enjoyed bipartisan support in Congress as the program has grown. In recent years, the industry has successfully l …"

A call for more scrutiny of private Medicare Advantage plans

By Fred Schulte

Researchers say aggressive billing by private plans may require more scrutiny

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… “upcoding.” Researcher Richard Kronick, director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, said off …"

"… ick, director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, said officials should consider tightening audit …"

"… ed to kill or scale back planned pay cuts to the Health plans. America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s primary trade group, spent nearly $5 mil …"

"… p overpayments. Clare Krusing, director of communications for America’s Health Insurance Plans, did not respond directly to a question about the payment …"

California coverage plan for undocumented echoes earlier call by Schwarzenegger

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: former governor supported plan allowing coverage for undocumented residents.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… s law does allow the undocumented to receive state-funded care through the Health Safety Net program for low-income persons). Schwarzenegger was feeling pre …"

"… ented immigrants is nearly a billion dollars a year,” Schwarzenegger’s Health and Human Services Secretary, Kim Belshe, told PBS NewsHour’s Gwen Ifill …"

"… . Among the many businesses and organizations supporting Lara’s bill is Health Access California, a statewide Health care consumer advocacy coalition. " …"

"… munities, and they need to be fully included in our Health system, too,” Health Access executive director Anthony Wright told me. “This (expanding cover …"

How a coal miner's autopsy proved a top doctor wrong

By Chris Hamby

When a coal miner's lungs finally gave out, his autopsy proved a top doctor was wrong — giving hope to thousands of other miners.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicine":

"… onary and critical care Medicine at the West Virginia University School of Medicine and, before that, ran the X-ray-reading program at the National Institute …"

A life-and-death struggle for asylum in America

By Susan Ferriss and Amy Isackson

Teens' tortured road to asylum in America.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… g people like Maria will be tested as never before — on U.S. soil and in Central America as well. The challenge to the system’s integrity and humanitarian oblig …"

"… or refugee status — the equivalent of asylum — from inside those three Central American countries if their parents are in the U.S. with legal status, including, …"

"… of Defense, a nonprofit in the nation’s capital, is scrambling to match Central American minors with counsel from a pool of 8,000 potential pro bono lawyers natio …"

"… efings. And if they are from “non-contiguous” countries, like those in Central America, they must be given a date to appear before an immigration judge before th …"

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