NPR Business

Shots - Health News
3:04 am
Wed April 3, 2013

In South Jersey, New Options For Primary Care Are Slow To Take Hold

Dr. Madhumathi Gunasekaran examines John Pike at the Northgate II clinic in Camden, N.J.
Emma Lee

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 8:19 am

Camden, N.J., has serious health problems, with too many people going to local emergency rooms unnecessarily. But progress is being made, albeit slowly.

John Pike, 53, is a Camden resident who used to be a frequent flier at the ER.

Pike has a smoker's cough, and when that cough or pain in his bad hip flared up, he'd go to the ER — maybe eight or nine times a year. But when he did, ER staffers didn't really remember him or his medical history.

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Planet Money
12:53 am
Wed April 3, 2013

H1-B Visas Applications As An Economic Indicator

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 8:19 am

The demand from American companies for high-skilled immigrants seems to be up this year. And that could mean something is about to change for the overall economy.

There is a cap on the number of visas the government gives out for these kind of workers every year. Lately, that cap has been 85,000. Demand always outstrips supply, but for the past couple of years, it has taken at least a few months to hit the quota. But this year, the H-1B visas might be gone by the end of the week.

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The Two-Way
6:25 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

No April Fool's Joke: Samoa Air Charges Passengers By Weight

A screen grab of Samoa Air's website.
www.samoaair.ws

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 9:00 pm

OK, we've checked the date, and it's April 2, but this story from the Pacific island nation of Samoa left us scratching our heads: Samoa Air says it's charging passengers based on what they weigh.

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Business
5:17 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

For Legal Pot Sellers, A Big Tax Problem

Erica Freeman of Choice Organics weighs medical marijuana for a customer.
Grace Hood for NPR

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 9:56 pm

An obscure tax code provision crafted for drug dealers is giving state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries a headache.

In Colorado, federal income tax rates for dispensaries can soar as high as 70 percent because of a tax code section that does not allow businesses to claim certain deductions.

The section is known as 280E, and it was originally written for illegal drug traffickers. But today it's a thorn in the side of licensed dispensary owners like Erica Freeman.

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The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

In Spain, A Mattress That Lets Your Money Rest Easy

My Mattress Safe retails for about $1,120.
Courtesy of Descanso Santos Suenos

Spaniards wary of trusting their life savings to their country's shaky banking system can now buy a mattress that has an armored safe equipped with a keypad combination lock hidden in one end.

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Shots - Health News
12:20 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

The Hidden Limitations Of Health Savings Accounts

In order to get the tax advantages of a health savings account, the health plan it's linked to has to meet certain criteria.
iStockphoto.com

Health plan deductibles keep getting higher — the proportion of workers with a deductible that topped $1,000 for single coverage nearly tripled in the past five years, to 34 percent.

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Fannie Mae Posts Record Profit; Paid Taxpayers $11.6 Billion In 2012

Fannie Mae's headquarters in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The government-controlled mortgage giant Fannie Mae, which needed a $116 billion federal bailout after the housing bubble burst in 2007, said Tuesday that it earned a record $7.6 billion in fourth-quarter 2012 and $17.2 billion for the year.

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Around the Nation
5:31 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Budget Cuts Silence Some Air Traffic Control Towers

David Greene talks to Yvette Aehle, director of the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport, about her plans to shut down the airport's air traffic control tower. Because of sequestration, the FAA will no longer pay for air traffic controllers at 144 smaller airports.

Business
5:28 am
Tue April 2, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 6:47 am

Paco Santos' mattress company started selling My Mattress Savings Bank last month. The price tag is a little more than $1,000. His initial supply sold out in just 24 hours.

Business
5:28 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Novartis Ruling Reverberates Past India's Borders

India's Supreme Court says drug maker Novartis can't hold onto its patent for the pricey cancer drug Gleevec simply by tweaking its chemical formula. That means generic drug makers can keep making a form of the drug at a tenth of Novartis's price — for the Indian market and for other low- and middle-income markets. Consumer advocates call it a major advance for access to generic drugs. Novartis and drug industry allies say it will chill companies' willingness to produce innovative products.

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