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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

To talk more about the politics of health care, I am joined here in the studio by Ana Kasparian. She's co-host and producer for the online news network The Young Turks. Welcome.

ANA KASPARIAN: Thank you for having me.

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Congressman Charlie Dent is a Pennsylvania Republican who's announced that he is not seeking re-election. He sits on the House Appropriations Committee and joins us now. Welcome to the program.

The operating theaters of 19th century England were dirty, crowded spaces where patients screamed and spectators bought tickets to watch life and death struggles.

Surgeons wore blood-encrusted aprons, never washed their hands, and speed was prized over skill, since most patients were awake during surgery in the pre-anesthesia days. Many patients died of infections soon afterward, if they didn't die from shock or blood loss right on the table.

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

Oct 13, 2017

The biggest news stories this week included President Trump questioning news networks’ broadcasting licenses, proposing an IQ test for him and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and escalatingd his feud with Senator Bob Corker, but there was some movement on actual policy and governance.

Updated at 11:29 a.m. ET

President Trump's decision Thursday to end subsidy payments to health insurance companies is expected to raise premiums for middle-class families and cost the federal government hundreds of billions of dollars.

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Manipulation.

About Elizabeth Loftus's TED Talk

Years of research have taught Elizabeth Loftus just how unreliable our memories are. From tweaking a real memory to planting a completely fabricated one, tampering with our minds is surprisingly easy.

About Elizabeth Loftus

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Manipulation.

About Steve Ramirez's TED Talk

Neuroscientist Steve Ramirez used lasers to enter the brains of mice and edit their memories. He imagines a future where this technology might be possible in humans as well.

About Steve Ramirez

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Yesterday, when President Trump signed an executive order on health care, he made a promise.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Today is only the beginning.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Air pollution in counties of the San Francisco Bay Area this week has been the worst since 1999 when officials began collecting data.

"The pollution is so high it's comparable to high pollution days in China," says Lisa Fasano at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

The worst hour so far was measured on Tuesday in Napa, Calif., with an Air Quality Index of 404 for small particulate matter — so high it's off the chart, as you can see below.

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

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

An outbreak of the plague is growing in Madagascar.

Gene therapy, which has had a roller-coaster history of high hopes and devastating disappointments, took an important step forward Thursday.

A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee endorsed the first gene therapy for an inherited disorder — a rare condition that causes a progressive form of blindness that usually starts in childhood.

The recommendation came in a unanimous 16-0 vote after a daylong hearing that included emotional testimonials by doctors, parents of children blinded by the disease and from children and young adults helped by the treatment.

President Trump signed an executive order Thursday that is intended to provide more options for people shopping for health insurance. The president invoked his power of the pen after repeated Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, have failed.

"The competition will be staggering," Trump said. "Insurance companies will be fighting to get every single person signed up. And you will be, hopefully, negotiating, negotiating, negotiating. And you will get such low prices for such great care."

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

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

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Abstinence may have found its most impressive poster child yet: Diploscapter pachys. The tiny worm is transparent, smaller than a poppy seed and hasn't had sex in 18 million years.

It has basically just been cloning itself this whole time. Usually, that is a solid strategy for going extinct, fast. What is its secret?

Rethinking Rx

Oct 11, 2017

One thing often gets left out of the continued debate over healthcare: the care part.

As Congress weighs how best to insure Americans, some doctors are placing renewed focus on better medical treatment by connecting the dots between what happens in the exam room and America’s growing problem with addiction to prescription pain medicine.

A panel of physicians join us to discuss inefficient exams, malpractice and why pain can be a good thing.

GUESTS

Days before there was any sign of fire, Nicole and Ben Veum, who live in Santa Rosa, Calif., had already been waiting and waiting for their baby to arrive.

Nicole's due date came and went. Her doctor called her in to the hospital — Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital — to induce labor. That was Friday.

"So we were very excited at that point," she says. "And then day after day after day, with not a whole lot of progress."

The doctors and nurses tried three different ways of inducing labor. Then, on Sunday, the third day, with the third attempt, it started working.

A proposal to simplify cervical cancer screening could end up missing some cancers, researchers and patient advocates say. And that could be especially true for minority women.

Latina and black women already have the highest rates of cervical cancer in the U.S., and more than half of women with the disease were not screened in the five years before their diagnosis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Oct. 11 is the "International Day of the Girl" – proclaimed by the U.N. as a time to look at the challenges girls face and to promote their "empowerment" and human rights.

What kind of year has it been for girls? We looked at the stories we've done over the past year, and the headlines alone captured both the tragedies and the triumphs. In many ways a horrible year for girls. But even at the bleakest moments, there are stories of hope and triumph.

Here is a sampling of our stories about the world's girls:

"It won't happen to me." Maybe that sentiment explains the attitude of many employees toward long-term-disability insurance, which pays a portion of your income if you are suddenly unable to work for an extended period because of illness, injury or accident.

Nicole and Ben Veum had been waiting and waiting for their baby to arrive. Nicole's due date came and went. Her doctor called her in to the hospital — Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital — to induce labor. That was Friday.

"So we were very excited at that point," she said. "And then day after day after day, with not a whole lot of progress."

They tried three different ways of inducing labor. Then, on the third day, with the third attempt, it started working.

It's not often you'll find these 24 names in the same place. They are historians and musicians, computer scientists and social activists, writers and architects. But whatever it may read on their business cards (if they've even got business cards), they now all have a single title in common: 2017 MacArthur Fellow.

California Gov. Jerry Brown defied the drug industry Monday, signing the most comprehensive drug price transparency bill in the nation that will force drug makers to publicly justify big price hikes.

"Californians have a right to know why their medical costs are out of control, especially when pharmaceutical profits are soaring," Brown says. "This measure is a step at bringing transparency, truth, exposure to a very important part of our lives, that is the cost of prescription drugs."

President Trump is poised to sign an executive order that he says will make it easier for people to join together as a group and buy health insurance from any state.

The president tweeted about his plans on Tuesday morning.

"Since Congress can't get its act together on HealthCare, I will be using the power of the pen to give great HealthCare to many people — FAST," he wrote.

It’s hard to fight for a cause if it can’t be discussed above a whisper. But a growing number of activists are speaking out loud in favor of what’s being called menstrual equity.

On any given day, more than 800 million girls and women around the world are menstruating. And for many of them, in the U.S. and elsewhere, it’s a problem — sometimes with life-or-death consequences.

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