PS Picks: The 'New York Times' on High Drug Prices in America
PS Picks is a selection of the best things that the magazine's staff and contributors are reading, watching, or otherwise paying attention to in the worlds of art, politics, and culture.
Drugs That Companies Promote Are Rarely Breakthroughs
A comprehensive analysis of drug company spending on doctors in the last five months of 2013 shows the most-promoted products typically were not cures, breakthroughs, or top sellers.
Tightening the Rules on Restraining and Secluding Students
Under new rules, Massachusetts schools will not be allowed to use certain techniques to restrain or isolate students as frequently and will have to report all restraints and injuries.
New IRS Rules on Dark Money Won't Be Ready By 2016
The IRS faces a number of hurdles before its new regulations for social welfare non-profits can be finalized, including potential opposition from Congress.
What Is the NYPD Using Unmarked X-Ray Vans for?
The NYPD has a secretive program that uses unmarked vans with X-ray machines designed to detect bombs. ProPublica tried to find out more about it, but the NYPD refused to answer for three years. Now, a judge has stepped in.
How Bankers Manipulate Rating Agencies to Get Their Way
Wall Street pressed S&P, Moody’s, and Fitch to assign more favorable credit ratings to their tobacco bonds deals and bragged that the raters complied. Now many of the bonds are headed for default.
Is This Man Responsible for the Murders of Five Nuns?
In an interview with ProPublica, Christopher Vambo, a former lieutenant to Charles Taylor, acknowledged that the brutal 1992 killings might have happened under his command.
When a Patient's Death Is Broadcast Without Permission
The ABC television show NY Med filmed Mark Chanko’s final moments without the approval of his family. Even though his face was blurred, his wife recognized him. “I saw my husband die before my eyes.”
A School With a History of Giving Kids Electric Shocks
New York City kids make up the vast majority of the students at Massachusetts’ infamous Judge Rotenberg Center, and keep getting sent there despite repeated evidence of abuse.
How Non-Profit Hospitals Are Seizing Patients' Wages
One Missouri hospital has sued thousands of uninsured patients who couldn’t pay for their care, then grabbed a hefty portion of their paychecks to cover the bills. “We will be paying them off until we die,” one debtor said.
Feds Bar Companies' Long-Distance Lawsuits Against Soldiers
In the latest move against companies targeting military customers, federal regulators prohibit two Virginia-based lenders from suing out-of-state debtors in Virginia courts.
In Alabama, a Public Hospital Serves the Poor—With Lawsuits
Public hospitals can be among the most aggressive in collecting debts from poor patients, not only garnishing their wages, but cleaning out their bank accounts. “It makes me sick,” said one legal aid attorney.
Ignoring One of the Big Problems With Charter Schools
A top official in the New York State Comptroller’s Office has urged regulators to require more transparency on charter-school finances. The response has been, well, non-existent.
Pill Mills and the Rise of Controlled Substance Use in Medicare
Despite warnings about abuse, Medicare covered more prescriptions for potent controlled substances in 2012 than it did in 2011. The program’s top prescribers often have faced disciplinary action or criminal charges related to their medical practices.
Fear of Occupy Wall Street Undermined the Red Cross
Red Cross responders say there was a ban on working with the widely praised Occupy Sandy relief group because it was seen as politically unpalatable.
The Red Cross and Where Donors' Dollars Are Going
The charity has become closely associated with one remarkable number in recent years: 91. That's the percentage of donor dollars that goes toward services, according to organization leaders. But it's unclear where that number comes from.
Schools Pin Down Kids and Then Say It Never Happened
All school districts in the country are required to tell the federal government how many times kids have been restrained in their schools. But some districts aren’t following through.