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Even after workplace deaths, companies avoid OSHA penalties

A Center for Public Integrity data analysis has found that federal and state agencies have only collected at least 40 percent of the monetary penalties initially assessed after workplace inspections, forgoing $1.3 billion in the process.... Read more»

Temp worker injuries often go unrecorded

America currently has 2.5 million temporary, or contingent, workers — a growing but mostly invisible group of laborers who often toil in the least desirable, most dangerous jobs. Such workers are hurt more frequently than permanent employees and their injuries often go unrecorded. ... Read more»

Medicare budget-cutters are targeting extra charges by hospitals

The root of these increases are controversial charges known as "facility fees," and they are routinely tacked on to patients’ bills not just for services actually provided in hospitals, but also by outpatient care centers and doctors’ offices simply because they’ve been purchased by hospital-based health care systems.... Read more»

NRA clout still formidable

The National Rifle Association is keeping silent in response to calls for gun control measures in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Yet the massive trail of political money spent by the group shows the potent force any proposals for new restrictions will likely face when the anger and dismay over the shootings recede.... Read more»

Flawed background checks don't contain firearm sales

Guns galore, inadequate checks: The background check system is supposed to keep firearms away from potentially dangerous people, but the system is plagued by data problems, loopholes and disputes over just who should be barred. "There is a problem with a system like that. It is harder for a high school kid to get a job at McDonald’s." (with video)... Read more»


Potter: The behind-the-scenes battle that could subvert Obamacare

Complex state level battle over stop-loss coverage could eliminate crucial consumer protections. ... Read more»

FEMA program finances dubious counter-terror toys

Billions have been spent on FEMA's urban security program but no one knows if it produced any appreciable new security.... Read more»


Potter: Health insurance needs tougher regulation

I've often said that the Affordable Care Act is the end of the beginning of health reform. It addresses many problems associated with health insurance, but more must be done to control costs and access real universal coverage. And flaws in the law need to be fixed.... Read more»1

Last-minute mega-donations fueled super PAC attacks

Sheldon Adelson, Michael Bloomberg among eleventh-hour donors to drop millions into super PAC coffers.... Read more»

Nukes likely to decline in Obama’s second term

The Pentagon’s budget is almost assuredly going down in coming years, but it looks like a specific type of weaponry, the nation’s stockpile of nuclear warheads, is also headed down, with Barack Obama’s reelection. ... Read more»


Potter: 'Disrupt' the new buzzword of Obamacare opponents

Disruption. Get ready to hear that word many times in the coming weeks, especially if you hang out inside the Washington beltway.... Read more»

Steve King

GOP immigration hardliner told constituent to take family to Mexico

t every congressional Republican is joining the GOP rush to mend fences with Latino voters by embracing the pursuit of comprehensive immigration reform. Rep. Steve King of Iowa made it plain after the election that he doesn't approve of the chatter from his party's "establishment" on the issue.... Read more»2


Potter: Translating insurance-speak

The political action committees of the 11 largest health insurers and their biggest trade group gave $10.2 million to federal politicians between 2007 and 2012. Most of that money went to Republicans who pledged to repeal or gut the Affordable Care Act. ... Read more»

Major fight looms over defense spending

President Obama and Congress now have just over seven weeks to reach an agreement on the federal budget that would avert a round of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts in defense and social programs that members of both parties have depicted as draconian.... Read more»


Crossroads: Rove-affiliated groups lose big in election

If Karl Rove was an NFL coach and not a political strategist, he would probably be looking for a new job about now. Organizations co-founded by the GOP’s most effective fundraiser spent more than $175 million only to see President Barack Obama win a second term and Democrats actually gain seats in the U.S. Senate.... Read more»

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