National

Politics
10:04 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Pensions Become Less Certain For Government Workers

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn smiles during the signing of the pension overhaul legislation bill on Dec. 5 in Chicago. Looking on from left are Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington; Senate GOP leader Sen. Christine Radogno; Rep. Darlene Senger, R-Naperville; Rep. Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs; House Speaker Michael Madigan and Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 11:18 am

Federal workers have reason to be nervous. The budget agreement announced Tuesday — if it passes — would raise revenue by making employees contribute more toward their pensions.

It's part of a trend. Governments at all levels have been cutting back on pension benefits in recent years, in an attempt to fix funding problems caused by the recession and years of fiscal mismanagement.

In many cases, states and localities have made benefits less generous. But that has, for the most part, only affected newly hired workers.

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Shots - Health News
9:10 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Enrollment Jumps At HealthCare.gov, Though Totals Still Lag

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' shadow appeared behind the lectern as she spoke about the implementation of the federal health law in Detroit in November.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 12:56 pm

Enrollment in the federal government's new health insurance exchange picked up sharply in November, but the number of people signing up for coverage still trails original forecasts. Officials from the Obama administration say they expect the pace of enrollments will continue to increase now that the insurance website is working more smoothly.

Users have until Dec. 23 to sign up for coverage that begins in January.

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Politics
8:20 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Sen. Murray On Budget Deal: A 'Compromise' With 'Smarter Cuts'

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 10:10 am

Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan announced a bipartisan budget proposal Tuesday. For more details on the plan, Steve Inskeep speaks with Murray, who led her party in the negotiations.

Business
7:19 am
Wed December 11, 2013

GM's New CEO Marks A Return To Tradition

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 10:10 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And here's even bigger news from General Motors, it has chosen a woman as its next chief executive officer, a first in America's auto industry. She's an engineer at the company insider - which could be a lot more important to GM's future than her gender.

Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports.

TRACY SAMILTON, BYLINE: Mary Barra follows in the wake of two CEOs from outside the auto industry. Dan Akerson ran a large private equity fund before taking the helm of GM. Before him, it was Ed Whitaker - a telecommunications guy.

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The Two-Way
7:09 am
Wed December 11, 2013

'Something For Everyone To Dislike' In Budget Deal

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., crafted the budget deal.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 4:37 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tamara Keith reports on the budget deal
  • On 'Morning Edition': Sen. Patty Murray speaks with Steve Inskeep

The reviews are coming in for the bipartisan budget deal crafted by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and as the Los Angeles Times says, the package seems to have "something for everyone to dislike."

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Politics
6:56 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Kerry Urges Lawmakers To Hold Off On Iran Sanctions

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 10:10 am

Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on lawmakers not to impose further sanctions in Iran as negotiations on reining in Tehran's nuclear program continue. Iranian officials have said new sanctions would kill off any hope of a final deal between Iran and world powers.

U.S.
6:56 am
Wed December 11, 2013

What's The Interim Iran Nuclear Deal Really Worth?

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 10:10 am

Renee Montage talks to David Cohen, the U.S. undersecretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, about the sanctions against Iran and their role in curtailing the Iranian nuclear program.

Politics
6:56 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Budget Proposal Is No 'Grand Bargain'

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 10:10 am

For years, there's been talk in Washington, D.C., about the "grand bargain" — a big deficit-reducing budget deal that rewrites the tax code and trims from the long-term costs of Medicare and Social Security. Tuesday night, Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Paul Ryan announced what can only be described as a small bargain. But if it's approved by the House and Senate, it would avoid another government shutdown in January.

Health Care
6:56 am
Wed December 11, 2013

What's At Stake For States That Reject Medicaid Expansion

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 10:10 am

The Affordable Care Act has produced a surge in the number of people signing up for Medicaid. The ACA offers billions of federal dollars to states to expand Medicaid coverage for the poor. But only 25 states have accepted the federal government's offer, and those that haven't could face economic and budget losses.

World
6:56 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Does Obama-Castro Handshake Signify Shifting Relations?

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 10:10 am

Shortly before eulogizing Nelson Mandela in South Africa on Tuesday, President Obama shook hands with Cuban leader Raul Castro and set off much discussion about a possible shift in U.S.-Cuba relations. David Greene talks to Dan Restrepo, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and former adviser to Obama on Latin America.

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