Black lung claims by 1,100 coal miners may have been wrongly denied

By Chris Hamby

Black lung opinions by Dr. Paul Wheeler of Johns Hopkins should be assumed to lack credibility, senators are told at a hearing.

Excerpts from this story referencing "director":

"… ses focused on the role of doctors, particularly Wheeler. John Howard, the director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, said that Wh …"

Families sick from fracking turn to scientists

By Lisa Song

A Pennsylvania nonprofit provides free health consultations to people who live near gas drilling sites and complain of health effects.

Excerpts from this story referencing "natural gas":

"… But because there are no comprehensive studies about the health impacts of natural gas drilling, it's hard to determine if their problems are linked to the gas w …"

"… cience to help people deal with their ailments. "As far as unconventional natural gas drilling goes, we are the public health service of the United States right …"

"… s of shale gas development. provide tips on how to reduce exposure to natural gas activities, perhaps by using indoor air filters or keeping daily logs of s …"

Even low doses of arsenic trigger cancer in mice, study finds

By David Heath

Study by the National Institutes of Health found levels of arsenic similar to what some people consume caused cancer in mice.

Excerpts from this story referencing "director":

"… humans might be exposed,” Michael Waalkes, lead author on the paper and director of the National Toxicology Program Laboratory, said in a press release. …"

"… ossibility that no level of arsenic appears to be safe,” Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the Nationa …"

What to do if your drinking water contains arsenic

By David Heath

Millions of Americans unwittingly consume arsenic, a potent carcinogen also linked to IQ deficits in children, in their drinking water.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Arsenic":

"… f other Americans have no idea that they are regularly consuming Arsenic. Arsenic is an element found in the Earth’s crust, and it finds its way into food …"

"… as many as 3 million consume water that wouldn’t meet the EPA standard. Arsenic is especially common throughout the western United States. Some states hav …"

Praise for UK-style health system vindicates spurned nominee

By Wendell Potter

Former Medicare chief's support for UK's health care system may win votes in race for governor of Massachusetts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "president":

"… y.” Obama didn’t give up entirely on Berwick. The Constitution allows presidents to make short-term appointments without Senate approval when Congress is …"

Home is where the money is for Medicare Advantage plans

By Fred Schulte

Medicare Advantage home visits may not improve health, but boost risk scores and cost taxpayers billions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "president":

"… free of charge? Where is the downside in that?’’ said Sy Zahedi, president and CEO of MedXm, in Santa Ana, California, which does home assessments. …"

"… restrict home visits didn’t sit well with health plans. Karen Ignagni, president of the industry’s powerful trade group, America’s Health Insurance Pla …"

"… rishnan, who led the home visit expansion for three years as a senior vice president at XLHealth, said it helped bring in more than $600 million in revenue in …"

"… rts are skeptical of the importance of home visits. Dr. Reid Blackwelder, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, said that in his experience …"

Health insurers have their way with regulators

By Fred Schulte

Billions in Medicare Advantage overpayments likely gone for good.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Justice":

"… similar future reviews as part of a budget cut. Robert Trusiak, a former Department of Justice prosecutor, said that “at the very least” federal officials should hav …"

Labor Department issues warning about Hopkins doctor's findings on black lung claims

The U.S. Department of Labor warned its officials to view with skepticism any X-ray readings by Dr. Paul Wheeler of Johns Hopkins.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Labor":

"… or Public Integrity/ABC News investigation continued this week as the U.S. Department of Labor warned its officials to view with skepticism any X-ray readings by a Johns …"

Why Medicare Advantage costs taxpayers billions more than it should

By Fred Schulte, David Donald and Erin Durkin

Critics warned of billing abuse in Medicare Advantage health plans, but oversight is lagging.

Excerpts from this story referencing "president":

"… of risk-scoring for causing confusion about billing. Jim Redmond, a vice president at Excellus Health Plan, which federal auditors in 2012 said couldn’t al …"

Medicare Advantage made simple: a glossary

By Fred Schulte

Definitions for lesser-known terms relating to Medicare.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… rnment Health plan for low income people. CMS is part of the Department of Health and Human Services. Dual Eligibles: The term refers to people who ar …"

"… These patients are generally considered the most costly to treat. In-Home Health Assessments: Medicare Advantage plans tout these free “house calls …"

"… $9,900 per person in 2011. Risk Adjustment Data Validation (RADV) audits: Health plans collect medical data used to calculate patient risk scores. But mist …"

Center sues in an effort to make Medicare Advantage files public

By Fred Schulte

Center sues to make records public.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… r stories. …"

Forcing health insurers to do what's right

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Policyholders benefit from Obamacare provision.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate Commerce Committee":

"… e first time I blew the whistle on health insurance companies was during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in June 2009. Last Wednesday, almost five years later, I appeared …"

A different way of thinking about health care

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Canadians take pride in their health care system.

Excerpts from this story referencing "South Carolina":

"… s high deductible, would be among the first to tell us that. …"

Keeping an eye on insurance companies that refuse to pay claims

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Arizona case resolved after victim became a 'squeaky wheel'

Excerpts from this story referencing "injuries":

"… got a letter from Aetna telling him that the company didn’t believe his injuries were “sufficient to warrant” a weeklong stay in the burn unit. As Ang …"

The Canadian health care system I disparaged

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: health care system up north is more efficient.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicine":

"… RAND Corporation found in a 2004 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine that the VHA outperformed all other sectors of the U.S. health care system …"

Be the 'squeaky wheel' if health claim denied

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Obamacare may squeeze insurance industry profits, subscribers should know their rights when it comes to claim denials.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… of Sacramento. CPR found after analyzing several years of data compiled by California’s insurance department that patients won about half of the appeals they …"

American-style health care system pushed in Canada

By Wendell Potter

Canada's conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants to remake nation's health care system.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Canada":

"… o believe that, nearly seven years later, I’m on a cross-country tour of Canada warning our neighbors to the north about the dangers of “heading down th …"

"… land and New Brunswick. Andre Picard, a columnist for The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, last week did the math in a way the Harper governm …"

"… to attract paying customers. Like every country with an aging population, Canada will have to implement some changes to make sure care continues to be acce …"

GOP opposition to Obamacare baffles Dr. Sullivan

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: former HHS Secretary Sullivan says Obamacare resembles plan crafted by Republicans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Judge":

"… Assistant Secretary of Labor William Brooks and former Ohio Supreme Court Judge Sara J. Harper), he now heads the Sullivan Alliance to Transform the Healt …"

The health care industry's campaign of fear, uncertainty and doubt

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: health insurers use a host of tactics to erode support for Obamacare.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Michael Moore":

"… ssroots organization. One of the first targets of Health Care America was Michael Moore, whose movie SiCKO was about to have its U.S. premier. The objective of He …"

"… released the following statement in response to a California rally held by Michael Moore and a variety of advocates in support of a government takeover of our heal …"

Sri Lanka bans Monsanto herbicide citing potential link to deadly kidney disease

By Sasha Chavkin

Sri Lanka orders ban on glyphosate, an active ingredient in Roundup, citing kidney disease outbreak; Monsanto said the evidence is unproven.

Excerpts from this story referencing "director":

"… ies, and glyphosate is used widely in the country. Dr. Carlos Orantes, the director of El Salvador’s national research program into the epidemic, said his t …"

Dental chain may be booted from Medicaid program

By David Heath

Small Smiles, under federal scrutiny for performing unnecessary dental treatments on children, could be barred from the Medicaid program.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kool Smiles":

"… ic Integrity and PBS Frontline exposed similar practices at another chain, Kool Smiles, in a 2012 report titled “Dollars and Dentists.” Small Smiles’s own …"

Dizzying array of options in Obamacare can lead to expensive mistakes

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Health insurers offer a wide range of plans on exchanges, customers should pay attention to the details.

New Fed study says health reform can reduce financial stress

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Massachusetts law eases financial stress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "economics professor":

"… wrote. The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch quoted MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber as saying that the Federal Reserve study supported similar …"

Massachusetts tackles next phase of health care reform: controlling costs

By Wendell Potter

Massachusetts leading the way in effort to control costs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… al readmission rate in Massachusetts was higher than the national rate for Medicare beneficiaries for many major conditions. The group also concluded that dia …"

A challenging two-step: cutting costs and covering the uninsured

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: the political challenges of both cutting costs and providing health care coverage.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… f the law’s provisions that should help — such as the requirement that Medicare reduce payments to hospitals that have a high rate of readmissions — the …"

Obamacare and emergency rooms: a bit of perspective needed

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Oregon study cited by critics requires perspective.

Excerpts from this story referencing "WellPoint":

"… ees away from the ERs and to more appropriate and cost-effective settings. WellPoint subsidiary Amerigroup described in a recent policy brief, for example, how …"

As glitches fade, Obamacare approval will rise

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: as website improves, customers are finding insurance deals.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Michael Moore":

"… might be because you’ve seen her in the movies. When she wrote filmmaker Michael Moore about her plight, he included her in the 2007 documentary, SiCKO. Since th …"


By Ben Wieder

'Puppet states' project required collection of data from 38 states, plus extensive analysis.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican Governors Association":

"… rom out-of-state donors and whether national political groups, such as the Republican Governors Association or Democratic Governors Association, were among the donors. Groups were c …"

Separating myth from reality on Obamacare

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: media scare stories, website snafus obscure opportunities to save.

Excerpts from this story referencing "media coverage":

"… que, that a lot of the people she talks to who have been frightened by the media coverage are pleasantly surprised to learn that they will get better coverage for l …"

A century of denial on black lung

By Chris Hamby

A congressman's words 44 years ago, citing the coal industry's efforts to limit its liability for black lung, resonate anew.

Excerpts from this story referencing "diseases":

"… breathing problems. In the 1990s, the industry fought attempts to include diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis in the definition of black lung, …"