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Patients in Alexandria, La., were the friendliest people Dr. Muhammad Tauseef ever worked with. They'd drive long distances to see him, and often bring gifts.

"It's a small town, so they will sometimes bring you chickens, bring you eggs, bring you homemade cakes," he says.

One woman even brought him a puppy.

"That was really nice," he says.

Tauseef was born and raised in Pakistan. After going to medical school there, he applied to come to the U.S. to train as a pediatrician.

Episode 753: Blockchain Gang

Feb 10, 2017

Charlie Shrem had a prison epiphany. Instead of using packets of mackerel to buy and sell things, inmates should use something more like the digital currency Bitcoin. He even came up with a way it could work in prison, never mind that it was Bitcoin that got him arrested in the first place.

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Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has opened an inquiry into potential abuses of the Orphan Drug Act that may have contributed to high prices on commonly used drugs.

In a statement, Grassley said the inquiry is "based on reporting from Kaiser Health News" and strong consumer concern about high drug prices.

"My staff is meeting with interested groups and other Senate staff to get their views on the extent of the problem and how we might fix it," Grassley wrote.

Migrants from Latin America and the Caribbean are sending more money to their families back home than ever before.

Back in 2014, federal officials settled on what they thought would be a straightforward fix to curb abusive pill pushing: Require doctors and other health providers to register with Medicare in order to prescribe medications for beneficiaries.

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Things got testy last night when Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz held a town hall meeting. The Utah lawmaker runs the House committee responsible for investigations.

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The promise of automated cars is that they could eliminate human-error accidents and potentially enable more efficient use of roadways. That sounds, at first blush, like self-driving cars could also mean traffic reduction and lower commute times.

But researchers aren't so sure.

Hesham Rakha is an engineering professor at Virginia Tech who studies traffic's flow — or lack thereof.

Kristen Hotopp stands in the front yard of her well-worn East Austin home, where she has lived for the past 17 years. She points across the street at an attractive, nearly new, two-story home — by far the nicest on the block.

"There are two units on this lot," Hotopp says. "There's a house in the back that's smaller and a house upfront. We're getting investors descending upon the area and buying up a lot of these properties."

It's hard to find a place in Mexico more transformed by the North American Free Trade Agreement than Tijuana. The border city has exploded in growth since the trade pact was signed in 1993, when about 100 international manufacturing plants dotted the hilly dry landscape. Today, according to Luis Hernández, the current head of INDEX, Tijuana's Maquiladora Association, there are now about 700 multi-national factories making everything from flat screen TVs to trucks to pacemakers

Updated at 8 p.m. ET

Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser to President Trump, may have violated federal ethics rules Thursday when she urged shoppers to buy Ivanka Trump's retail brand, following the decision by several retail companies to drop the line because of poor sales.

"Go buy Ivanka's stuff, is what I was [saying] — I hate shopping and I'm going to go get some myself today," Conway said in an interview on Fox & Friends.

Ask anyone about his or her health care and you are likely to hear about doctors, hospitals, maybe costs and insurance hassles. Most people don't go straight from "my health" to a political debate, and yet that is what our country has been embroiled in for almost a decade.

A study published Thursday tries to set aside the politics to look at what makes or breaks health insurance markets in five states.

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Getting people to change what they eat is tough. Changing a whole farming system is even tougher. The southern Indian state of Karnataka is quietly trying to do both, with a group of cereals that was once a staple in the state: millet.

Until about 40 years ago, like most of India, the people of Karnataka regularly ate a variety of millets, from finger millet (or ragi) to foxtail millet. They made rotis with it, ate it with rice, and slurped it up at breakfast as porridge.

With the Dakota Access Pipeline now cleared to cross under a reservoir in the Missouri River, one of the two Native American tribes fighting the pipeline has filed a legal challenge to the plan, according to the Associated Press.

President Trump met with airline executives on Thursday morning and had a message they were happy to hear, vowing to roll back regulations, lower corporate taxes and modernize the air traffic control system.

Trump said his private pilot, "a real expert" and a "smart guy," has told him that the government has been buying the wrong type of equipment in its years-long effort to upgrade the current control system. He said U.S. airports "used to be the best, now they're at the bottom of the rung."

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives Thursday in Washington for talks on Friday with Donald Trump, an effort by this longtime Asian ally to get a better read on the way forward with the unpredictable new U.S. president.

Premiums for Obamacare plans sold by New Mexico Health Connections could rise as little as 7 percent next year, said Martin Hickey, the insurance company's CEO. Or they might soar as much as 40 percent, he said.

It all depends on what happens in Washington. Such is the vast uncertainty about how the Trump administration and Republican-controlled Congress are approaching their promises to repeal, repair and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Ever since Genghis Khan used tree bark as legal tender and backed it up by threatening anyone who didn't use it with death, governments have manipulated paper money to suit their purposes.

When India abolished its highest-value rupee notes last November, it sought to rein in hoarders of big bills who evade tax. However, the move sucked so much cash out of circulation that it destroyed the wages of millions of Indians who earn in cash, and deprived millions more of access to their money.

CEOs of major U.S. airlines are scheduled to meet with President Trump on Thursday morning.

The session comes after airlines had to deal with what one CEO called "turmoil" over the president's travel ban.

The focus of the meeting will more likely be on airport infrastructure, the air traffic control system and what the airlines say is unfair foreign competition. Airline pilots and flight attendants are on the same side as their bosses when it comes to foreign competition, and their message should sound familiar to President Trump.

Federal Judge Blocks Merger Of Anthem And Cigna

Feb 8, 2017

A federal judge has blocked the merger of two major health insurance companies, Anthem and Cigna, after the Justice Department concluded that the deal would reduce competition in the health insurance market and raise prices.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia made the ruling.

Announcing last summer that the Justice Department would oppose both the Anthem-Cigna merger and one by Aetna and Humana, then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch said:

Days after retail giant Nordstrom announced that it will no longer sell Ivanka Trump's clothing label, the president struck back, accusing the Seattle-based department store chain of treating his daughter "so unfairly."

The blast came in a tweet posted on his personal account.

Trump wrote, "My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!"

A version of this episode originally ran in 2013.

There's a lot about U.S. immigration policy that doesn't add up, that just doesn't make sense. It's much more than who gets to enter and who doesn't and from where. There's a mix of visa types, quotas, preferences and incentives adding up to a messy tangle of laws that make it all so complicated that both political parties have tons to complain about.

Customers who walked through the door of Everyman Espresso, a cafe in New York's East Village, last weekend got a pitch at the check-out counter to support a fundraiser to help defend immigrants.

"We're donating 5 percent [of our proceeds] to the ACLU in response to the travel ban," Eric Grimm, a manager at the cafe, explained.

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