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Alison Kodjak

Alison Fitzgerald Kodjak is a health policy correspondent on NPR's Science Desk.

Her work focuses on the business and politics of health care and how those forces flow through to the general public. Her stories about drug prices, limits on insurance, and changes in Medicare and Medicaid appear on NPR's shows and in the Shots blog.

She joined NPR in September 2015 after a nearly two-decade career in print journalism, where she won several awards—including three George Polk Awards—as an economics, finance, and investigative reporter.

She spent two years at the Center for Public Integrity, leading projects in financial, telecom, and political reporting. Her first project at the Center, "After the Meltdown," was honored with the 2014 Polk Award for business reporting and the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi award.

Her work as both reporter and editor on the foreclosure crisis in Florida, on Warren Buffet's predatory mobile home businesses, and on the telecom industry were honored by several journalism organizations. She was part of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists team that won the 2015 Polk Award for revealing offshore banking practices.

Prior to joining the Center, Fitzgerald Kodjak spent more than a decade at Bloomberg News, where she wrote about the convergence of politics, government, and economics. She interviewed chairs of the Federal Reserve and traveled the world with two U.S. Treasury secretaries.

And as part of Bloomberg's investigative team, she wrote about the bankruptcy of General Motors Corp. and the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill. She was part of a team at Bloomberg that successfully sued the Federal Reserve to release records of the 2008 bank bailouts, an effort that was honored with the 2009 George Polk Award. Her work on the international food price crisis in 2008 won her the Overseas Press Club's Malcolm Forbes Award.

Fitzgerald Kodjak and co-author Stanley Reed are authors of In Too Deep: BP and the Drilling Race that Took It Down, published in 2011 by John Wiley & Sons.

In January 2019, Fitzgerald Kodjak began her one-year term as the President of the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

She's a graduate of Georgetown University and Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

She raises children and chickens in suburban Maryland.

The Benioff Children's Hospital at the University of California, San Francisco is a sleek new building with state-of-the-art facilities — a place where the sickest children go for leading-edge treatments.

Which is why it might be surprising to find Robyn Adcock, who practices acupuncture and acupressure, walking the halls.

The children's lawyer was incensed. Her two tiny clients — one of them blind — had been in a shelter for three months, separated from their mother.

The family had traveled from Mexico to the United States, reaching Nogales, Arizona, on March 1, 2018. Officials at the border found that the mother, Nadia Pulido, had "credible" reasons for seeking asylum from an ex-partner who, she says, beat her and stalked her after their relationship ended.

Louisiana officials announced a deal Wednesday with Asegua Therapeutics, a subsidiary of Gilead Sciences, that would allow the state to provide hepatitis C treatment to its Medicaid and prison populations. They also secured the necessary clearance from the federal government Wednesday for a novel approach to paying for the drugs and expect the program to start July 15.

More than 130 people in the U.S. die of an opioid overdose every day. One of the most effective ways to save lives is to get those struggling with addiction treated with medication to stop their cravings. But a loophole in federal law might block at least one new opioid-addiction drug from coming to market for years.

Many patients have to try several medications before finding one that works for them and that they can stick with.

Updated at 6:01 p.m. ET

The federal Department of Health and Human Services is proposing to roll back an Obama-era policy intended to protect transgender people from discrimination in health care.

The Trump administration issued a new rule Thursday that gives health care workers leeway to refuse to provide services like abortion, sterilization or assisted suicide, if they cite a religious or conscientious objection.

The rule, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, is designed to protect the religious rights of health care providers and religious institutions.

According to a statement issued by HHS's Office for Civil Rights, the new rule affirms existing conscience protections established by Congress.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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If there's a single issue that's defining the Democratic field of 2020 presidential candidates, it's health care, Medicare for All, to be precise.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Consumers, lawmakers and industry players all seem to agree that prescription drugs prices are too high. What they can't always agree on is whom to blame.

On Tuesday, though, fingers are expected to point toward pharmacy benefit managers, the industry's mysterious middlemen.

The Senate Finance Committee will hear from executives from the biggest pharmacy benefit managers, led by CVS Caremark and Cigna's Express Scripts.

As the heat turns up on drug manufacturers who determine the price of insulin and the health insurers and middlemen who determine what patients pay, one company — Cigna's Express Scripts — announced Wednesday it will take steps by the end of the year to help limit the drug's cost to consumers.

Express Scripts, which manages prescription drug insurance for more than 80 million people, is launching a "patient assurance program" that Steve Miller, Cigna's chief clinical officer, says "caps the copay for a patient at $25 a month for their insulin — no matter what."

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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