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Republicans in the Senate on Thursday unveiled their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare. The long-awaited plan marks a big step towards achieving one of the Republican party's major goals.

In May 2015, then-President Barack Obama signed into law legislation that created a new kind of public emergency notification — the Blue Alert.

It's similar to the well-known Amber Alert for abducted children, but is meant to help catch people who credibly threaten or actually harm law enforcement officials.

Updated at 2:32 p.m. ET

Senate Republicans unveiled their long-awaited health care overhaul proposal on Thursday. The Senate bill, called the "Better Care Reconciliation Act," would repeal major parts of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The broad outlines of it look a lot like the House bill, the American Health Care Act, which was passed in May.

Republican Arkansas looks to cut its once-expanded Medicaid rolls

8 hours ago
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Sarah Whites-Koditschek

Willie Freeman works in the meat department at Edward’s Food Giant in Little Rock, Arkansas. He is 54 and has been insured through the Affordable Care Act for four years.

“All the time. I use it all the time,” he said.

His job pays $9 an hour, too much for him to be on traditional Medicaid, which covers low-income people, and too little to be in the health care exchange.

But because Arkansas opted to expand Medicaid to fill the gap, Freeman was able to start going to the doctor.

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Marketplace staff

Many view the divisions in our current political environment through a "conservative vs. liberal" or "Democrat vs. Republican" filter. After all, a large number of people in both of the major political parties have said that the other group elicits feelings of fear and anger

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And NPR's Alison Kodjak, who covers health policy issues and is covering this bill, has been listening in with us. And she's on the line. Alison, what did you hear that was significant there?

One of the biggest threats to global agriculture these days is a tiny, bright red weevil.

These little crimson devils eviscerate coconut, date and oil palms, and are native to South Asia. But thanks to globalization, and the fact that these tenacious buggers can fly up to 30 miles a day — over the last three decades they've spread to more than 60 countries from the Caribbean to Southern Europe.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

06/22/2017: Disagreement in the Fed over another rate hike

11 hours ago

As of the late, Janet Yellen and co. had seemed keen on another rate hike, but the mood appears to be shifting. Diane Swonk of DS Economics stopped by to explain why there's some dissent among Fed members. Afterwards, we'll talk about why the major banks are required to take "stress tests," and then look at how America's productivity rate is doing. 

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Tony Wagner

Politicians love to talk about the national debt and especially the deficit. But as different factions jockey for their plans and policies, things can start to get confusing. Whose plan is going to cost more? How important is it to be "deficit-neutral"? How does the debt ceiling factor into all of this?

On this week's Make Me Smart, we asked "The Budget Guy," Stan Collender, about  it all. He says don't worry if you don't get it, you're not alone.

How to prevent a financial crisis

12 hours ago

The Federal Reserve is releasing the first part of its annual stress tests for big banks today. All of the major banks are expected to pass this year, which is good news if you want to see the U.S. financial system survive a future crisis. The test applies to more than 30 of the biggest banks in the country, and aims to ensure that banks have enough cash reserves to withstand a severe global recession like the 2008 financial crisis.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's ask why some of the nation's biggest energy companies say they're willing to support the fight against climate change. They say they are willing to be taxed for the pollution they create.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

For the hundreds of rural U.S. hospitals struggling to stay in business, health policy decisions made in Washington, D.C., this summer could make survival a lot tougher.

Social media companies are under pressure to block terrorist activity on their sites, and Facebook recently detailed new measures, including using artificial intelligence, to tackle the problem.

The measures are designed to identify terrorist content like recruitment and propaganda as early as possible in an effort to keep people safe, says Monika Bickert, the company's director of global policy management.

Steven Somsen's farm got a new addition last year, breaking up fields of wheat and soybeans that span as far as the eye can see from his rural North Dakota home.

"We ended up with some towers on our property," he says, nodding toward the giant, spinning, white wind turbines dotting the farmland around his house.

Xcel Energy, a Midwest-based utility, installed three on his land, among the 100 turbines placed near his remote community of Courtenay.

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