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Marketplace with host Kai Ryssdal produced and distributed by American Public Media focuses on the latest business news both nationally and internationally, the global economy, and wider events linked to the financial markets.
The only national daily business news program originating from the West Coast, Marketplace is noted for its timely, relevant and accessible coverage of business, economics and personal finance.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 4:42pm
During these hot summer days, lots of kids are taking advantage of the closest swimming pool, but only a few are diving in for the local swim team. That’s why USA Swimming has kicked off an aggressive campaign to remind kids that swimming is, in their words, “the funnest sport there is.”
One of the ads in the Swim Today campaign shows a girl wearing goggles, dropping into a pool of blue water in slow motion. Then, you hear a voice saying, “Basketball... softball... cannonball... Which sounds the most fun to you?”
Matt Farrell is Chief Marketing Officer of USA Swimming. He says he wants kids to know there are other sports to consider. Farrell says their survey shows parents are one major problem when it comes to getting kids in the pool - 80 percent of parents overlook swimming as an organized sport.
“It was as if parents said, 'I’ve taught my kid to swim, I’ve checked the box, I’m a good parent, I’ve made them safe. Now let’s go play soccer, let’s play basketball,'” says Farrell.
Misha Neal, 15, of Durham, North Carolina swims for her high school team and for the YMCA. She remembers when it was time to make that big decision.
“I was doing a lot of sports at the time... I was also in gymnastics and track, and I had to pick. I remember Daddy telling me that I was better at swimming,” she says.
Misha has thrived, often coming in number one in the 50 Freestyle. USA Swimming is working to remind more kids of all the positives the sport has to offer, like teamwork, confidence, health and fitness.
Mark Anthony Neal, Misha’s dad, says Misha adores her teammates and has overcome the obstacles of swimming competitively.
Even the hair issue: "We knew that our daughter was serious about swimming, you know, when she was told matter of factly she wouldn’t be able to get a perm, she wouldn’t be able to put any chemicals in her hair, [and] she said 'That’s fine.'”
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 3:27pm
One of the arguments in favor of the Affordable Care Act was that it would reduce dependency on emergency rooms by covering more people with basic preventive care. Now, millions of people are newly covered by Obamacare. So are emergency departments seeing a slowdown?
Not so much.
On the street in downtown Dayton, Ohio, Rebekah Jacobsen says before the Affordable Care Act, she racked up thousands in medical bills.
“I didn’t have health care. I didn’t have anything,” she says. Now, she’s on Medicaid, the health insurance program for low-income people. Ohio’s one of the 27 states that expanded their program with federal funds available under the new law. But Jacobsen was in the emergency room just last month—admittedly not for the most serious problem.
“I thought I had lice, and I didn’t,” she says. Her head was itching, and it turned out to be dandruff.
An ER visit for dandruff is just the kind of situation some people will point to as burdening the whole system. Jacobsen says she would have gone to a regular doctor to see if she had lice, but it was the middle of the night. With her new insurance, the ER trip didn’t cost her anything.
Up the road at Miami Valley Hospital, Dr. Darin Pangalangan, an emergency doctor and head of the Emergency and Trauma Institute for Premier Health, says he thinks people should be able to use the ER when they need to - or even just think they need to.
“You cannot go to your family doctor at midnight. They’re not open at midnight,” he says. He says it’s not an abuse of the system to access an ER if you think you may have a problem, and you can’t get in to see a regular doctor. What’s more, emergency doctors are bound by law to help anyone who comes in the door— regardless of their ability to pay —to at least investigate to see if they have a serious problem. Most people who walk through the doors come in with problems that need immediate attention.
The still-looming Obamacare question though, is this: Will people actually depend on ERs less for basic care once they’re insured, driving costs down for everyone? Or will more people, like Rebekah Jacobsen, go to the ER because, well, now they can?
“The cost of going to the emergency department might be a major deterrent for the uninsured,” says Katherine Baicker, a Harvard health economist who worked on a study of new Medicaid recipients in Oregon. She found that people who got on Medicaid then went to the ER more. “Once they have access to insurance, they can go to the emergency department without being concerned about being presented with an enormous bill at the end.”
“Most emergency departments have actually seen an increase in the amount of people coming through the door,” Mell says. “It’s not a huge increase, but it’s certainly noticeable.”
But the experts don’t all agree: another study in Massachusetts found expanding to near-universal health coverage led to fewer people using emergency rooms in cases when it wasn’t really an emergency. And still another study looking at Medicaid recipients in Ohio found that expanded Medicaid coverage could help reduce ER visits and increase the use of primary care. Doctors at MetroHealth, the county hospital at the center of that study, say integrating patients into a “patient-centered medical home” model of care helps keep people focused on primary and preventive care, and makes them less likely to show up at an ER when they don't need to.
Overall, the jury is still out—some 13 million people are just now settling into having health insurance, either through Medicaid or the ACA exchanges. It’s not clear yet how all those people might use the ER differently, and what strategies providers might use to cut costs to the overall system. Regardless, one recent study found emergency rooms in the United States are generally profitable, and predicted a rise in revenues and profit margins for ERs as more people get covered.
Still, emergency care is an expensive way to get help to people who don’t have immediate, severe conditions, which is why health networks like Premier in Dayton are trying to offer alternatives. Kathryn Lorenz is a doctor at what’s called an "after hours clinic" in Troy, Ohio—they’re open from 5 to 9 p.m. weekdays, and offer weekend hours.
“You can walk in up to the last minute and we would see you,” says Lorenz. The clinic helps folks who can’t get a quick appointment with a family doctor for something acute like back pain, poison ivy or lice. It’s a less costly option than an ER, but Lorenz also says there are things she can’t do for patients here. “A lot of times I’m wrestling them to go to the ER, and telling them, 'yes, you must pay your co-pay and get in there because you have a life-threatening illness.'”
It’s not like most people are in a huge rush to go to an emergency room. Take Dayton resident Roberta Gilliam. She says she recently got Medicaid, and she’s been taking advantage of it by getting preventive care, not by going to the ER.
“I’ve had my pap smear, I’ve had my mammograms, I’ve had my dentures, my X-rays, I’m getting ready to get a partial,” she says. “It’s been a blessing.”
It’s the safety net she’s grateful for.
“When anybody can get insurance, you know they’re happy to have insurance,” she says. “Especially the ones that can’t afford insurance.”
Emergency care is really just one small piece of the puzzle: more people getting coverage is likely to mean more use of all kinds of health services. The basic economic principle is, when something becomes cheaper for people, they use more of it.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 10:17am
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 7:00am
In spite of typically slower summer months, analysts are watching today's meeting of the Fed and wondering what the content of the forthcoming announcement will signal. Plus, the white house is arguing that global warming needs to be addressed for both the environment and the economy. More on that report. Plus, as tech companies get larger, so do their voices. More on a new crop of tech lobbyists who are hoping to shape policy.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 6:00am
Veterans often face unique challenges getting conventional employment when returning from military service; challenges which can be compounded when trying to found or staff their own business.
“The first thing they have to do is learn the language,” he said. In fact, one of the chief benefits of an incubator that is veteran-focused is that it teaches participants the language of the business world, which becomes important when pitching the venture to others.
Additionally, he advised veterans reach out to former colleagues in the military who can vouch for their character.
Click the media player above to hear Joseph Kosper in conversation with Marketplace Tech guest host Noel King
September 27, 2013