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 "Humana":

"… n Minnesota 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. …"

"… operation to repair an aortic aneurysm. Less than a month later, however, Humana hit him with a bill for $6,461.66, claiming the surgery was not covered be …"

"… ks part-time as a transportation industry consultant. “I am insulted by Humana’s runaround. It seems as though Humana is denying my claims hoping that …"

"… consultant. “I am insulted by Humana’s runaround. It seems as though Humana is denying my claims hoping that I will give up and pay the out-of-network …"

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 "Seattle":

"… onsin State Assembly in the run-up to an election on Nov. 19, 2013. Great Seattle Schools, an education reform-focused political action committee, spent jus …"

"… e Chris Larson, a former Microsoft executive who owns a minor stake in the Seattle Mariners , and venture capitalist Nicholas Hanauer. At the helm of this m …"

"… s. A special legislative election in Wisconsin and a school board race in Seattle proved ripe battlegrounds for political spending arms races between educat …"

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 "Paul Ryan":

"… eir time, despite the fact that Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., were on the agenda. And despite the fact that even with …"

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 "Kent State University":

"… o help other families. She also is pursuing a degree in public health from Kent State University, where she used the Post-9/11 GI Bill to pay for online classes. It’s b …"

"… e Pew Research Center. Now, Siska’s working on a biochemistry degree at Kent State University while caring for two young children. Her goal is to go to medical school a …"

"… Rachel Anderson, director of the Center for Adult and Veteran Services at Kent State University. The Independent Budget — an annual VA budget and policy analysis prepa …"

"… o use the Post-9/11 GI Bill to get her degree and join the ROTC program at Kent State University. After she graduates and becomes a commissioned officer, Hawkes plans to r …"

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 "New York":

"… egal procedures to protect dealers’ rights. Christopher M. Chiafullo, a New York attorney whose firm defends gun dealers at revocation hearings, calls the …"

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 "Walmart":

"… orkers. The protestors, who are organized by the union-supported group OUR Walmart, are asking the nation’s largest private-sector employer for dependable …"

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 "Dick Armey":

"… rks for America, which is affiliated with former GOP House Majority Leader Dick Armey.FreedomWorks’ super PAC has spent more than $19 million on political adv …"

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 "Barack Obama":

"… aid such comparisons are moot because of the unprecedented enthusiasm that Barack Obama generated among young and minority voters. A July 2012 National Urban Leag …"

"… be blocked in nearly 20 years. The Texas law also was blocked by President Barack Obama’s Justice Department. Hans von Spakovsky, the former Bush Justice Depart …"

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 "Koch Industries":

"… iples. ALEC receives funding from hundreds of corporate members, including Koch Industries, Exxon Mobil, AT&T and Walmart. In addition, two thousand legislators …"

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 "South Carolina":

"… 2012. Since December, the Justice Department has rejected voter ID laws in South Carolina and Texas, subject to review by the courts. Under the Voting Rights Act of …"

"… 11, five ALEC-member legislators in Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, Kansas and South Carolina were primary sponsors of voter ID bills and relied in part on the flow of …"

"… , for which candidates usually raise less than $100,000.Parade of statesIn South Carolina, the Justice Department struck down a law sponsored by Rep. James Harrison …"

Solyndra excutives stonewall Congress

By Matthew Mosk

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

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 "Jack Patterson":

"… orm 4473 — are sufficient to prosecute dealers.“It is a no brainer,” Jack Patterson, a retired senior ATF lawyer says of the Iknadosian case. “During my tim …"