Pro-McConnell nonprofit hit with IRS complaint

By Michael Beckel

A watchdog organization wants the IRS to investigate a nonprofit that spent millions backing Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kentucky Opportunity Coalition":

"… cs in Washington has asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, a conservative nonprofit that spent millions of dollars supplied by undis …"

"… rom Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. Ahead of the November election, the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition spent more than $14 million on advertisements, according Scott Jennings, a …"

"… al consultant who serves as its spokesman. That spending spree earned the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition the distinction of being the top-spending group in the race — airing abo …"

"… comment, but in October, he told the Center for Public Integrity that the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition “abides by all rules and regulations governing an organization of its ki …"

Court case pushed by think tank could leave uninsured out in the cold

By Wendell Potter

Supreme Court case backed by think tank hinges on single sentence in Affordable Care Act.

Reporter's toolkit: Investigating sexual assault on your campus

By Kristen Lombardi

How to investigate the ways your school deals with sexual assault allegations.

Grover Norquist nonprofit funded pro-Republican women’s group

By Michael Beckel

Conservative-leaning Independent Women's Voice got 13 percent of its revenue last year from Americans for Tax Reform, new documents show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitch McConnell":

"… for Tax Reform itself spent $122,500 on ads backing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst of Iowa, according …"

Nursing homes serving minorities offering less care than those housing whites

By Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

Nursing homes serving blacks, Latinos provide less daily registered nurse care than those housing whites.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… and Medicaid, said Rachel Seeger, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights. Seeger said that anti-discr …"

"… f quality and regulatory affairs at nursing home organization the American Health Care Association, did not address the disparity issue directly, but said i …"

"… llion verdict in a class-action lawsuit against nursing home chain Skilled Healthcare Group Inc. for failing to comply with California’s minimum nurse sta …"

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 "Obama":

"… form with both Mitt Romney, when he was governor of Massachusetts, and the Obama administration. In fact, he’s one of the reasons Obamacare looks so much …"

"… chusetts, and the Obama administration. In fact, he’s one of the reasons Obamacare looks so much like Romneycare, which Massachusetts lawmakers enacted i …"

"… rence at the University of Pennsylvania last year, Gruber claimed that the Obama administration and Congressional Democrats had no choice but to keep the p …"

"… ob in 2008 was because of those abuses. When he was running for president, Obama often cited those abuses, but after he became president, he and those arou …"

Koch-backed nonprofit raised $44 million in 2013

By Michael Beckel

ObamaCare-bashing Americans for Prosperity, a nonprofit backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, raised $44 million in 2013.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mary Landrieu":

"… 3: embattled Democratic Sens. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, Kay Hagan, D-N.C. and Mary Landrieu, D-La. All ranked among the most vulnerable incumbents. On Nov. 4, Hagan …"

Health insurers win midterm election!

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: midterm results create a friendlier Congress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "president":

"… OP in control of Congress, insurers are in the catbird seat. They know the president won’t allow the law to be repealed or even altered substantially, which …"

More scrutiny coming for Medicare Advantage, Obamacare

By Fred Schulte

New round of audits coming; Obamacare too.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… ending on managed health care in the new fiscal year, ranging from private Medicare Advantage groups that treat millions of elderly to health plans rapidly ex …"

"… Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, which investigates Medicare and Medicaid waste, fraud and abuse, said it would conduct “various revi …"

"… aid waste, fraud and abuse, said it would conduct “various reviews” of Medicare Advantage billing practices with an eye toward curbing overcharges. Result …"

"… lent sign ups. The Inspector General’s office did not say if individual Medicare Advantage plans would be audited, but indicated it would focus on concerns …"

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 "California":

"… steer a boat with folks hanging off the sides of the ship." …"

"… zenegger’s plan had one notable difference: it would have required every Californian — including all of the state’s 2.6 million undocumented residents — …"

"… t pay their bills were taking advantage of the state’s taxpayers. “In California, the cost of emergency room care for undocumented immigrants is nearly a b …"

"… least appropriate, most costly setting. And that is a huge tax burden that California taxpayers are experiencing.” Like Romney’s reform plan — and Obamac …"

Obamacare helps millions, but falls short in many ways

By Wendell Potter

The Affordable Care Act has reduced the ranks of the uninsured, but cost of care must be addressed.

Excerpts from this story referencing "physician":

"… of medical inflation. That will require taking on the hospital companies, physician organizations and drug makers in ways the White House and members of both …"

Controversial Republican telemarketer forms super PAC

By Dave Levinthal

Gabriel S. Joseph III's past political efforts include an anti-Obama spam text message campaign that prompted legal complaints.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… wrong," said one of several messages that primarily targeted people in the Washington, D.C., area. "Obama supports homosexuality and its radical social agenda. …"

"… m. This prompted advocacy group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington to file a formal complaint with the FEC accusing Joseph of violating discl …"

"… it's effective." The year before, responding to questions about from the Washington Times about text messages in Virginia political races, Joseph said, "Every …"

"… s. In its complaint to the FEC, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington slammed Americans in Contact PAC as a "scam" that "duped people into contr …"

Obama takes star turn in state political ads

By Ben Wieder

President and his policies take center stage in political ads, with more than 300,000 mentions, including in lower level state races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate races":

"… r Media/CMAG. Comparatively, more than one-third of political ads in U.S. Senate races have mentioned the president, according to the Center’s analysis. Combi …"

Contractor, Hispanic worker deaths up in 2013, BLS says

By Talia Buford

The number of contractors and Hispanic workers who died on the job increased in 2013 even as the overall tally of worker deaths declined.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… new tranche of data came on the same day that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a final revised rule requiring employers to n …"

"… gel, executive director of the National Council on Occupational Safety and Health, a coalition of local and state worker safety groups. “That’s one reas …"

Activists say gun debate overlooks gun-related deaths of children

By Kate Murphy and Jordan Rubio

An investigation found that at least 28,000 children and teens 19-years-old and younger were killed with guns in America over 10 years

Firearms more likely to be used in suicides than in homicides

By Carmen Forman and Jacob Byk

At least 50 people died per day from firearm suicide; 26 died from firearm homicides.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… eking suicide data for 2012, the most recent year available, but Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island denied requests fo …"

"… stics or could not be reached. The FBI received limited homicide data from Illinois and Alabama and none from Florida. That firearm suicides outnumbered fire …"

Docs, drug companies, insurers drive up Medicare costs

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: reform drove down hospital costs, creating Medicare savings, but insurers, doctors and drug companies escaped cuts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… ays privately run health plans a set monthly rate for each patient. As the Center for Public Integrity reported in a series of investigative reports this past June, about 16 mil …"

‘Dr. Evil’ fuels dogfight between AKC, Humane Society

By John Dunbar and Erin Quinn

Public relations pro, food industry behind website, ads blasting Humane Society.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… the lawsuit was a former employee.   …"

"… less of how they are treated. The Humanewatch.org ad currently running in Washington’s metro trains says that HSUS gives 1 percent of its budget to pet shelt …"

"… early $16 million in a settlement reached in a U.S. District Court in Washington. Heymann said its share of the settlement, which was not disclosed, will b …"

How Medicare Advantage plans code for cash

By Fred Schulte

Federal study criticizes Medicare Advantage and calls for changes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Insurance":

"… boost payment rates. Clare Krusing, a spokeswoman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s trade group, said the higher billing resulted from …"

Flurry of new legislation targets sexual assault on campus

By Kristen Lombardi

New legislation follows landmark Center series

Excerpts from this story referencing "Iowa":

"… ., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, among others — has been drafting the legislation for months, collecting …"

Federal complaint challenges Texas town's new ban on housing any border kids

By Susan Ferriss

Civil rights groups are challenging ordinances that prohibit cooperation with federal officials if they ask to shelter kids in towns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund":

"… rdinance adopted July 8 by League City, a Houston suburb, was filed by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, and Appleseed, a Texas public-interest law group. Appleseed ha …"

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.

Obamacare-driven competition lowering rates in some states

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: much-maligned Affordable Care Act attracting for-profit insurers, driving prices down in some states.

Trains, amputations and the roots of why kids are on the run

By Susan Ferriss

Reports have long warned of chaos in Central America many minors say they want to escape.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… o provide minors with legal representation in immigration hearings, as the Center for Public Integrity reported. Meanwhile, a debate is raging over whether a 2008 anti-trafficki …"

"… uced a report this year called “Children on the Run,” as the Center for Public Integrity reported in March. The report presents surveys of children explaining …"

New scrutiny on campus sexual violence highlights Center findings

By Gordon Witkin

New efforts are aimed at both assisting schools and putting pressure on them to assist victims of sexual violence.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… Capitol Hill and the Obama administration is drawing new attention to the Center for Public Integrity’s landmark investigation of campus sexual assault. Published in a six-p …"

Class-action suit: Wrong to put kids into immigration court with no lawyers to help

By Susan Ferriss

Kids whose dad was killed by gangsters are among the plaintiffs in a suit arguing that children should have lawyers in immigration court.

Excerpts from this story referencing "legal counsel":

"… . Neither adults nor children have an established right to appointment of legal counsel in immigration proceedings. But lawyers on behalf of these children argue …"

Feds seek new authority to recoup Medicare Advantage overcharges

By Fred Schulte

Impact: Feds act to recoup overcharges following Center investigation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Chairman":

"… ey said in a statement.  Grassley said that he and Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., have previously supported a competition to pay as much …"

Will migrant kids lose access to child-welfare and legal specialists in rush to deport?

By Susan Ferriss

Child advocates are worried possible legal changes could cut off migrant kids' access to social workers, asylum lawyers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama":

"… iation to home countries.      Changes that President Obama may seek in anti-trafficking laws — which were developed in recent …"

"… iate Central American minors more quickly, according to a letter President Obama wrote to congressional leaders. But multiple advocates believe giving age …"

"… he current flood of Central American kids, Podkul and other advocates say, Obama may suggest that Congress amend laws so that Border Patrol agents can trea …"

"… inen of Florida. This week, Roybal-Allard released a statement supporting Obama’s request that Congress allocate more than $2 billion to address the eme …"

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