In Other News . . .

Bill Hogan has been covering Washington for longer than he can remember. He is the author of three books, most recently, "Are Your Prescriptions Killing You?"”How to Prevent Dangerous Interactions, Avoid Deadly Side Effects, and Be Healthier with Fewer Drugs" (with Dr. Armon B. Neel, Jr.).

Kris Kristofferson’s Coolest Concert Ever

Kris Kristofferson’s career as a singer-songwriter spans nearly 50 years, and his career as an actor nearly that, so it saddened me a little to learn that he’s struggling just a bit with memory loss. “I wish my memory weren’t so bad,” Kristofferson, 77, told Fox News on Nov. 4, following a screening of the indie film “The Motel Life,” in which he plays a used-car salesman. “They tell me it’s from all the football and boxing and the concussions …

Is Your Hospital in Medicare’s Penalty Box?

Is your hospital being penalized for providing care that falls short of what Medicare thinks it should be? Measures range from nighttime noise to following basic clinical standards of care. If so, your hospital isn’t alone. Some 1,451 hospitals nationwide are being paid a little bit less for each patient they treat in the second year of Medicare’s “quality incentive” program, compared with 1,231 hospitals that will be paid more, according to Kaiser Health News. Here are the hospitals at …

Who Knows All, Sees All, (and Now) Tells All? Your Dog

Researchers at Newcastle University in England are onto something big: Your dog may know lots more about how you’re feeling – and about how you’re doing generally – that anyone has heretofore believed. Except maybe you. Using high-tech movement sensors, the researchers tracked the behavior of 17 types of canine companions – from mutts and miniature Jack Russell Terriers to Labrador Retrievers and Great Danes – both at home and out and about. They did this by attaching “a wearable …

Social Security Enters the Debt-Ceiling Fray

There’s a lot on the line in the showdown over raising the federal debt ceiling – including, President Barack Obama says, retirement and disability benefits for millions of Americans. The nation’s economic situation could go from bad to worse if Congress fails to increase the government’s borrowing authority by the Oct. 17 deadline, according to Obama. “In a government shutdown, Social Security checks still go out on time; in an economic shutdown – if we don’t raise the debt ceiling …

Which Is Better: Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act?

Praise be to Jimmy Kimmel, the late-night talk show host, for exposing what people might like the least about Obamacare. Could it be the fact that President Obama’s name is part of it? On the eve of the rollout of health insurance marketplaces created by the health care law otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act, Kimmel planted a camera crew on the street to put the following question to passersby: “Which is better – the Affordable Care Act or …

Social Security’s One-Two Punch

You may not think of Social Security as an economic stimulus program, but it is. A new report from AARP, in fact, shows that every $1 paid out by Social Security generates, in turn, about $2 of total output for the U.S. economy – or nearly $1.4 trillion in 2012. Economists call this the “multiplier effect.” Simply put, that’s when one person’s spending (in this case, spending generated by Social Security benefits) becomes a second person’s income, then the second …