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4:39 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

In Massachusetts, Health Care Prices Remain Hard To Get

The price for an X-ray is murkier than the image.
Ivica Kljucar iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 8:08 pm

I threw out my back in September playing squash and went to the doctor. She sent me down the hall for X-rays. I may need more of them.

So I'm curious, how much does an X-ray cost? It sounds like a simple question. In most places, it's impossible to find out, but I live in Massachusetts, where a new state law says insurers must be able to tell members, in advance, how much a test, treatment or surgical procedure will cost.

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Movie Interviews
4:39 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Jake Gyllenhaal, Going After What's Real

Jake Gyllenhaal plays the stoic Detective Loki in Prisoners, trying to track down two missing girls.
Wilson Webb Warner Bros.

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 8:08 pm

In the movie Prisoners, now in theaters, a detective investigates the abduction of two young girls. Things get a little more complicated when the father of one of the girls takes matters into his own hands, kidnapping and torturing the man he thinks is responsible.

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NPR Story
4:39 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Sitting At Her Son's Bedside, A Mother Re-Defines Religious Nut

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 8:08 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Health care insurance is designed to pay the bills but when we're faced with a life-threatening illness, what really sustains us? Writer Nancy Slonim Aronie was loathe to turn to religion, so she was surprised by what she found next door.

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Parallels
4:36 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

France Rethinks The Sanctity Of Its Day Of Rest

A woman walks amid both open and closed shops during a Sunday morning stroll at the Butte Montmartre in Paris, in July. Under France's Byzantine rules on Sunday trading, shops at the top of the hill are in a designated tourist area and so can open, but those at the bottom cannot.
Christian Hartmann Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 8:34 pm

There's a fight going on for the soul of France. Since 1906, Sunday has been deemed a collective day of rest in the country, and French law only allows stores to open on Sundays under very specific conditions — for example, if they're in a high tourist area. Sunday work is also tightly controlled.

But some people are questioning the sense of such a tradition in a languishing economy and 24/7 world.

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The Salt
4:32 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Can We Eat Our Way To A Healthier Microbiome? It's Complicated

While no one's sure which foods are good for our microbiomes, eating more veggies can't hurt.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 10:27 am

When our colleague Rob Stein got his microbiome analyzed recently in the name of science journalism, we were totally fascinated.

As Stein noted, it may be possible to cultivate a healthier community of bacteria on and inside us by modifying our diets.

Stein was advised to eat more garlic and leeks for his. But we wondered: Are there other foods that promote a healthy microbiome in most people?

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The Two-Way
4:06 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Mental Health Moves Closer To Parity In New Insurance Rules

Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (left) is welcomed by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, during a hearing about mental health parity rules Thursday. A new rule issued by the Obama administration aims to increase parity for how insurers handle mental health issues.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 8:28 pm

Many health insurers must treat coverage of mental health and substance abuse in the same way they handle treatments for physical illness, according to a new rule issued Friday by the Obama administration.

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All Tech Considered
3:11 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Tech Week: Twitter Takes Off, Audie Cornish In Silicon Valley

Will It Fly? The Twitter logo decorated a post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
Richard Drew AP

It's time for our Friday round-up of the tech and culture stories from NPR and beyond. Here we go ...

ICYMI

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The Two-Way
2:56 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Philadelphians Elect First Whig Since 19th Century

Robert "Heshy" Bucholz is seen in an undated photo provided by Bucholz. A member of the Modern Whig party, Bucholz campaigned door to door and beat his Democratic opponent 36-24 to earn a four-year term as an election judge in Philadelphia's Rhawnhurst section.
AP

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 4:46 pm

After winning an election on a platform of pragmatism and compromise, Robert "Heshy" Bucholz, 39, is set to become what many believe will be the first Whig to hold elected office in Philadelphia since before the Civil War. A member of the upstart Modern Whig Party, Bucholz won the post of judge of elections in one of the city's wards.

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The Two-Way
2:14 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

House Lawmakers Seek Federal Probe Of Black Lung Program

Two Democratic congressmen have formally asked the Labor Department's Inspector General to investigate "allegations of misconduct by doctors and lawyers working on behalf of the coal industry" and their roles in the denials of benefits for coal miners stricken with black lung disease.

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It's All Politics
1:50 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

California Congressman Wakes Up To Tough Re-Election Fight

Rep. Mike Honda speaks during the Fremont Legislative Brunch at Tesla Motors in California in May.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 6:49 pm

As a general workplace rule, it's never a good idea to fall asleep on the job. That's especially true if you're a member of Congress.

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