NASA has released the first picture of Jupiter taken since the Juno spacecraft went into orbit around the planet on July 4.

The picture was taken on July 10. Juno was 2.7 million miles from Jupiter at the time. The color image shows some of the atmospheric features of the planet, including the giant red spot. You can also see three of Jupiter's moons in the picture: Io, Europa and Ganymede.

The Senate is set to approve a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.

My husband and I once took great pleasure in preparing meals from scratch. We made pizza dough and sauce. We baked bread. We churned ice cream.

Then we became parents.

Now there are some weeks when pre-chopped veggies and a rotisserie chicken are the only things between us and five nights of Chipotle.

Parents are busy. For some of us, figuring out how to get dinner on the table is a daily struggle. So I reached out to food experts, parents and nutritionists for help. Here is some of their (and my) best advice for making weeknight meals happen.

"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither version of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

After an international tribunal invalidated Beijing's claims to the South China Sea, Chinese authorities have declared in no uncertain terms that they will be ignoring the ruling.

The Philippines brought the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, objecting to China's claims to maritime rights in the disputed waters. The tribunal agreed that China had no legal authority to claim the waters and was infringing on the sovereign rights of the Philippines.

Donald Trump is firing back at Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after she disparaged him in several media interviews. He tweeted late Tuesday that she "has embarrassed all" with her "very dumb political statements" about the candidate. Trump ended his tweet with "Her mind is shot - resign!":

Donald Trump wrapped up his public tryout of potential vice presidential candidates in Indiana Tuesday night with Gov. Mike Pence giving the final audition.

The Indiana governor's stock as Trump's possible running mate is believed to be on the rise, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also atop the list. Sources tell NPR the presumptive GOP presidential nominee is close to making a decision, which he's widely expected to announce by Friday.


New Republic: Obamacare Means Higher Employment

Jul 12, 2012

Jonathan Gruber is a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a technical consultant to the Obama administration during the development of the Affordable Care Act.

Forget death panels. Lately critics of the Affordable Care Act have been promoting a different claim — that "Obamacare" is a job-killer. Specifically, they say, it will stifle the economy with regulations and taxes. But the economic literature doesn't support this claim. If anything, it suggests the opposite: The Affordable Care Act will boost the economy.

By now, most people who follow politics know that the law will result in more than 30 million additional Americans getting health insurance. But what few realize is that, by expanding insurance coverage, the law will also increase economic activity. These newly insured individuals will demand more medical care than when they were uninsured. And while it takes many years to train a family physician or nurse practitioner, it doesn't take much time to train the assistants and technicians (and related support staff) who can fill much of this need. In many cases, these are precisely the sort of medium-skill jobs that our economy desperately needs — and that the health care sector has already been providing, even during the recession.

More immediately, the increase in economic security for American families will also mean an increase in consumer spending. Many uninsured consumers are forced to set aside money in low interest liquid accounts to make sure they have enough to cover unexpected medical costs. With the security provided by health insurance, they can free that money up for consumption that is much more valuable to them. When the federal government expanded Medicaid in the 1990s, my own research has shown, the newly insured significantly increased their spending on consumer goods. More purchases of consumer goods will provide short-run stimulation to the economy and more hiring.

But what about the financing — and all those "job-killing taxes"? The law does indeed apply new taxes, primarily on three sources. The first is on parts of the health care industry — medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and insurance. But these taxes are effectively asking those sectors to "kick back" some of the revenue increases that the law will provide, by creating so many new paying customers. On net, these sectors are major winners from health care reform.

The second is an extension of the Medicare tax on the wealthiest Americans, those with incomes above $250,000 per year. There is now a large body of literature examining the impact of tax changes on the highest income taxpayers. This literature finds that those taxpayers will avoid some of those taxes by re-categorizing their incomes in ways that minimize taxes. But there is no evidence that they will actually work less hard, invest less, or do anything which reduces their "real contribution" to the economy.

The third major tax provision is a "free rider penalty" of $2000 to $3000 (per employee) on medium and large businesses that fail to provide workers with affordable coverage, forcing those workers to get subsidized insurance via the new insurance exchanges. This will indeed impose a new financial burden on businesses that, unlike competitors, do not pay their fair share of health insurance costs. But the overall impact is likely to be very small. Only 2.6 percent of businesses will pay this assessment, and the revenue raised will amount to 1.4 percent of existing spending on health insurance in the U.S. — and only 0.1 percent of wages. The amount of stimulative spending that is put in place by the ACA is sixteen times as large as the revenues raised by this equity assessment.

Opponents of the ACA have frequently cited a Congressional Budget Office projection that the ACA will lead to a small reduction in the labor force. But it's the explanation for that reduction that matters. CBO believes the reduction will be largely voluntary, among workers holding onto jobs primarily to keep their health benefits — the wife who holds down a job to provide health insurance for her self-employed husband, rather than staying home to raise the kids; the 62-year-old who hates her job and would happily retire but for the fact that she would be uninsured until age 65. Economics research has shown clearly that when health insurance is available, both secondary earners and older workers will take advantage of this new opportunity by moving out of the labor force to opportunities which make them happier.

This same research has shown that a major cost of our employment-based health insurance system is "job lock" — that is, individuals clinging to jobs, rather than switching employers or starting their own businesses, because they fear losing their existing health benefits. Extensive research shows that job lock reduces the mobility of those with health insurance by as much as 25 percent, reducing their ability to move to positions where they could be more productive and happier. The Affordable Care Act will address job lock by providing protection Americans don't have right now: A promise of comprehensive coverage, at affordable prices, no matter what their source of employment. For the first time, Americans with pre-existing conditions or other barriers to the discriminatory individual insurance market will be free to pursue the job opportunities where they can be most productive and happiest.

Of course, the long-term goal of the Affordable Care Act is to reduce spending on health care. And the best projections suggest that it will. Although the law will boost spending initially, the effect is likely to be modest. The official Medicare Actuary projects that, by 2019, the ACA will raise health spending by 1 percent, or 0.2 percent of GDP; this is less than one-sixth of one year's growth in national health expenditures. Over time, however, the multiple initiatives in the ACA will kick in to help "bend the cost curve," through increasing consumer incentives to shop for low-cost insurance, moving towards prospective payment methodologies that reward value rather than treatment intensity, and assessing which strategies are cost effective for managing illness. The reforms in the ACA represent the most ambitious initiatives to control health care costs that we have seen in federal legislation. If successful, these can ultimate provide the most important stimulus to job growth in this legislation — by freeing up resources for other, more efficient uses

In sum, we know that the ACA will increase jobs in the medical sector in the short run, above and beyond any partial offsets from new excise taxes on that sector. We know that the ACA will improve the functioning of our labor market in the medium run, by allowing workers to move to the positions in which they are most productive and satisfied. We know that there will be little economic drag from taxes on the wealthy or the small equity payments imposed on employers. And there is a good chance that the ACA will greatly improve the economy in the long run by controlling the rate of health care cost increase. The choice between protecting our most vulnerable citizens and improving our economy is a false one — fully implementing the ACA will make both our citizens and our economy more secure.

Copyright 2012 The New Republic. To see more, visit