NPR Health

It's hardly unusual for athletes, both amateur and professional, to have pregame rituals. But the NBA's peculiar commitment to one grade-school snack goes deep: ESPN Magazine calls the PB&J sandwich the league's "secret addiction."

"In every NBA locker room, you'll see a variety of different foods on the table, but PB&J — if there's a locker room that doesn't have it, I haven't seen it," ESPN reporter Baxter Holmes tells Scott Simon.

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And now we're back with NPR's congressional correspondent, Sue Davis. Hi there again.

SUSAN DAVIS, BYLINE: Hey there.

MCEVERS: And we have White House correspondent Scott Horsley also. Hi, Scott.

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And we have Congressman Bradley Byrne of Alabama. He actually supported this bill. Welcome, Congressman.

BRADLEY BYRNE: It's good to be back on the program.

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We are back with NPR congressional correspondent Sue Davis, who's still on the line. Hey there again.

SUSAN DAVIS, BYLINE: Hey, Kelly.

MCEVERS: And we also have White House correspondent Scott Horsley, too. Hi there, Scott.

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Right. Congressman Mike Kelly is a Republican from Pennsylvania. He had supported the Republican health care bill. He joins us now. Welcome to the program, Congressman.

MIKE KELLY: Thank you, Audie. Thanks for having me.

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The big story at this hour - President Trump has told Congress not to vote on Republicans' long-awaited replacement for the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare. Let's go first to NPR's Susan Davis who is at the Capitol. Hey there, Sue.

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The House was supposed to vote this afternoon on the Republican bill to replace the Affordable Care Act. But instead, at the president's urging, House Speaker Paul Ryan abruptly pulled the bill. Ryan described it this way.

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In the coming days, there will be lots of digging into what brought down the Republican health care bill. Here's what House Speaker Paul Ryan had to say just after the vote was called off.

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Updated at 5 p.m. ET

House Republicans scrapped a vote on their health care replacement plan on Friday after defections from both the right and center that made it clear the bill would not pass.

"Obamacare is the law of the land. It is going to remain the law of the land," House Speaker Paul Ryan admitted shortly after he pulled the bill. "We're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future. I don't know how long it's going to take us to replace this law."

Doctors say it all started eight years ago, when a urology clinic in Oregon ran an ad promoting the benefits of scheduling a vasectomy in March.

"You go in for a little snip, snip and come out with doctor's orders to sit back and watch nonstop basketball," the voice-over promises. "If you miss out on this, you'll end up recovering during a weekend marathon of Desperate Housewives!"

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A plane flies over a field in South Sudan. Out of the sky drops a cascade of pallets, sacks or boxes filled with emergency food supplies that, once they reach the ground, can make the difference between sustenance and starvation.

The House Republicans' embattled health care bill has plenty of detractors: Democrats, hospitals, the American Medical Association and the House Freedom Caucus all oppose it. But the insurance industry is not on that list, even though it stands to lose millions of customers.

One reason is that insurers' profits are expected to fatten under the bill.

A last-minute attempt by conservative Republicans to dump standards for health benefits in plans sold to individuals would probably lower the average person's upfront insurance costs, such as premiums and deductibles, say analysts on both sides of the debate to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

But it will very likely also induce insurers to offer much skimpier plans, potentially excluding the gravely ill and putting consumers at greater financial risk if they need care.

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Painfully Funny.

About Kevin Breel's TED Talk

The image of the "sad clown" can seem like a cliche. But for Kevin Breel, it's very real. He describes how he struggled with depression while performing as a standup comedian.

About Kevin Breel

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Painfully Funny.

About Maysoon Zayid's TED Talk

Maysoon Zayid teases herself for all the ways she's different: she has cerebral palsy, she's Muslim, she's Palestinian. By making us laugh at it, she gets us to think about acceptance.

About Maysoon Zayid

Throughout the campaign, President Trump billed himself as a master negotiator who would make the "best deals" for the American people.

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When the Food and Drug Administration created controls in January on how farmers can give antibiotics to livestock, scientists concerned about antibiotic resistance and advocates for animal welfare called it a historic shift in how meat animals are raised.

But a new federal report, released last week, says the long-awaited FDA initiative — first attempted back in 1977 — falls short in so many areas that it may not create the change that backers hoped for.

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You're going to hear a lot of this kind of wordplay today. The Republican health care plan is on life support...

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In a bid to improve the health insurance purchasing clout of small businesses, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives dusted off a piece of controversial legislation more than a decade old and passed it this week as part of their effort to remake the market after they throw out the Affordable Care Act.

The bill, the Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2017, had the support of 232 Republicans and 4 Democrats. It now heads to the Senate, where its fate is uncertain, experts say.

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And to help us understand what's happening on Capitol Hill tonight, I am joined by NPR's Ron Elving. Hello there, Ron.

RON ELVING, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Kelly.

Who Will Listen To The Suffering Syrians?

Mar 23, 2017

Dr. Hussam Jefee-Bahloul, a Syrian psychiatrist, writes poetry that reflects his deep longing for a lost homeland.

"Poetry and art is another way to cope," he says, "we are all grieving in our own ways. The country is no longer the one that I left and it still haunts me in my dreams." (Click here to read one of his poems.)

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I'm going to turn things over to Kelly because we have a congressional member on the line at the Capitol now, right, Kelly?

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