Medicare Advantage patients find themselves in regulatory limbo

By Fred Schulte

States lack oversight but feds are struggling to keep with fast-growing health plans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… sota retiree Doug Morphew needed surgery last year, he expected his Humana Medicare Advantage plan to step up and pay the lion’s share of the bill. Morphew …"

"… t Morphew’s formal complaint, and about two dozen others, to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator Marilyn B. Tavenner. Swanson ask …"

"… .” CMS said it is satisfied that Humana has largely fixed any problems. Medicare pays the privately run health plans — an alternative to traditional Medi …"

"… care pays the privately run health plans — an alternative to traditional Medicare — a set monthly rate for each patient. About 16 million Americans have s …"

Education groups battle teachers unions in state races

By Rachel Baye

Groups funded by billionaires back state-level candidates who want to weaken teachers unions and promote charter schools.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… named billionaire New Jersey hedge fund manager David Tepper, a major Mitt Romney supporter, among StudentsFirst’s funders. The article also named the Bro …"

Shining a light on ALEC's power to shape policy

By Wendell Potter

Conservative group's power has been under-covered.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Walmart":

"… ocracy reported, the corporate co-chair of that task force at the time was Walmart, the country’s largest seller of rifles. Since then, more than two dozen …"

"… gal son” ALEC hopes to welcome back: that big retailer and rifle seller, Walmart. The loss of Walmart alone undoubtedly was a major contributor to the budg …"

"… to welcome back: that big retailer and rifle seller, Walmart. The loss of Walmart alone undoubtedly was a major contributor to the budget shortfall, conside …"

Women veterans face stereotypes on and off the battlefield

By Asha Anchan, Kelsey Hightower and Caitlin Cruz

News21 investigation finds that more than a quarter-million post-9/11 veterans are women, but fair treatment is lacking.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Walmart":

"… f. She walks everywhere because she doesn’t have a car — to school, to Walmart, to the Kent Church of Christ. On one Sunday, she leaves at least 45 minu …"

ATF's struggle to close down firearms dealers

By Fred Schulte

Agency's crippled oversight of the industry means troubled gun dealers can stay open for years.

Excerpts from this story referencing "dealer":

"… contentious and, some critics say, weak-kneed, procedure for policing gun dealers nationwide. Some dealers don’t see an ATF inspector for eight years or …"

"… tics say, weak-kneed, procedure for policing gun dealers nationwide. Some dealers don’t see an ATF inspector for eight years or more. By law, ATF can ins …"

"… ’t see an ATF inspector for eight years or more. By law, ATF can inspect dealers once a year only and may revoke a license only when it believes the deale …"

"… ealers once a year only and may revoke a license only when it believes the dealer “willfully” violated gun control laws. Some revoked dealers have hande …"

Walmart added to lawsuit alleging wage theft at California warehouse

By Jim Morris

A federal judge ruled Thursday that Walmart can be added to a lawsuit alleging widespread wage theft at a Southern California warehouse.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Walmart":

"… people completely independent of us.” …"

"… neider Logistics warehouse in Mira Loma, Calif. – whose sole customer is Walmart – had moved to add the retailer to the case in November. Thursday's  …"

"… Thursday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder will force Walmart to defend itself against allegations that Schneider, at Walmart’s behest …"

"… will force Walmart to defend itself against allegations that Schneider, at Walmart’s behest, cheated as many as 1,800 low-wage workers out of millions of d …"

Warehouse worker lawsuit targets Walmart

By Jim Morris and Adithya Sambamurthy

Warehouse laborers, citing oppressive conditions and unpaid wages, contend Walmart is among those responsible.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Labor":

"… about inaccurate pay stubs, investigators with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement raided the complex Oct. 12, 2011. The agency cited S …"

"… know what they had earned for the work that they were doing,” California Labor Commissioner Julie Su, who ordered the raid, said in an interview. “We f …"

At Wal-Mart and elsewhere, jobs provide few hours, little stability

By Joe Eaton

Black Friday retail protests highlight nationwide lack of job stability for workers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wal-Mart":

"… , is has meant the end of a dependable weekly paycheck. …"

Mystery firm is election's top corporate donor at $5.3 million

By Michael Beckel and Reity O'Brien

Supreme Court decision paves way for $75 million in corporate donations to super PACs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… analysis by the Center for Public Integrity and the Center for Responsive Politics shows that companies have contributed roughly $75 million to super PACs in …"

"… tion between the Center for Public Integrity and the Center for Responsive Politics. For up-to-date news on outside spending in the 2012 election, follow our …"

Voting rights battles re-emerge in the South

Photo ID laws and other new voting restrictions in a number of Southern states raise questions about impact on minorities.

Excerpts from this story referencing "George W. Bush":

"… e secretary of state’s budget. The Georgia law was cleared by President George W. Bush’s Justice Department. South Carolina’s 2011 photo voter ID law became …"

ALEC scraps task force behind support for voter ID, 'Stand Your Ground' laws nationwide

By Gordon Witkin

Move follows pressure from liberal groups.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Walmart":

"… of corporate members, including Koch Industries, Exxon Mobil, AT&T and Walmart. In addition, two thousand legislators pay $50 a year to be members.ALEC …"

Beer and wine wholesalers behind legislators pushing controversial voter ID laws

By Paul Abowd

Wholesalers among those behind legislators pushing controversial new election rules.

Excerpts from this story referencing "America":

"… shouldn’t get a free pass on ALEC’s policies,” said Robinson. …"

"… Some of America’s best known brands are dropping their membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council at least partly in response to controversy o …"

"… National Beer Wholesalers Association and Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America — are among them. Since 2007, the wholesalers have also pumped substanti …"

"… r ID bills in their states.Founded in 1973, ALEC, a coalition of corporate America and almost exclusively Republican state lawmakers, had operated quietly an …"

Solyndra excutives stonewall Congress

By Matthew Mosk

Officials from failed solar firm Solyndra duck questions about $535M loan

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… t me just warn you and the other folks involved in this taxpayer rip-off," Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) told the Solyndra executives. " …"

"… cer W. G. Stover to repeatedly refuse to answer questions about Solyndra's Energy Department loan guarantee was the latest twist in an unfolding investigati …"

"… ared bankruptcy. Friday's hearing was the second in two weeks by the House Energy and Commerce Committee's investigative subcommittee, intending to unwind t …"

"… s of Solyndra's financial trouble had been overlooked by the Department of Energy. "I want to ask Mr. Harrison if he thinks the American people who investe …"

Analysis — ‘Reframing’ the debate to make insurers look poor

By Wendell Potter

While the country was struggling to emerge from a recession, and more and more of us were struggling with no medical coverage, the big for-p

Excerpts from this story referencing "Walmart":

"… est and best-known companies that sell us groceries and other necessities. Walmart’s and Target’s profit margins were a mere 3.89 and 4.33 percent respec …"

Romanian weapons modified in the U.S. become scourge of Mexican drug war

By Rick Schmitt and Rick Young

Center story focused on Romanian weapon now targeted by Feinstein legislation

Excerpts from this story referencing "Montreal":

"… r a photo of a rebel with his foot on an empty case of ammo marked “CIA, Montreal, Canada,” turned up in Soldier of Fortune magazine.Business boomed in th …"