Award-winning journalist Patti Neighmond is NPR's health policy correspondent. Her reports air regularly on NPR newsmagazines All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition.

Based in Los Angeles, Neighmond has covered health care policy since April 1987. She joined NPR's staff in 1981, covering local New York City news as well as the United Nations. In 1984, she became a producer for NPR's science unit and specialized in science and environmental issues.

Shots - Health Blog
2:26 am
Mon November 14, 2011

Why Doctors And Patients Talk Around Our Growing Waistlines

Many doctors and patients aren't discussing the health consequences of weight.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue November 15, 2011 12:07 pm

Part of an ongoing series on obesity in America

OK, so you're overweight. So are two-thirds of all Americans. Maybe you need a nudge to get going on a diet and exercise plan. Maybe you've thought about talking with your doctor about weight-loss strategies. Well, a number of studies suggest you're probably not getting the advice you need.

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Around the Nation
11:01 pm
Sun November 13, 2011

Rhode Island Struggles With Pension Overhaul

Rhode Island has dug its pension system into a big hole: It's $9 billion in the red.

The nation's smallest state doesn't even have half of the money it needs to pay future retirees. Lawmakers are debating a bill to overhaul the entire system. If they do nothing, it's predicted that in seven years, 20 percent of the state budget will be mailed out in pension checks.

There's a slate of reasons why the pension system is in such bad shape.

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Europe
11:01 pm
Sun November 13, 2011

Carlos The Jackal: On Trial Again, And Still Defiant

Carlos the Jackal, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, sits in a Paris courtroom in 2000 with his French lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, who later became his wife. Carlos is already serving a life sentence, but is on trial again, charged with terrorist bombings in France in the 1980s.
Michel Lipchitz AP

Originally published on Mon November 14, 2011 6:13 am

Carlos the Jackal, the man who sowed fear during the Cold War with terrorist attacks in Europe and the Middle East, has now been in prison for close to two decades.

But he's once again on trial in France, and the case has riveted the country.

French television footage showed Carlos being taken to the Palais de Justice in an armored van guarded by policemen darting about with machine guns. In this case, Carlos is accused of masterminding four bomb attacks in France in the early 1980s that killed 11 people and wounded more than 100.

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Politics
11:01 pm
Sun November 13, 2011

On Capitol Hill, Rand's 'Atlas' Can't Be Shrugged Off

The Russian-born American novelist Ayn Rand testifies before the House Un-American Activities Committee on Oct. 20, 1947.
Bettmann CORBIS

Originally published on Mon November 14, 2011 7:25 pm

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The Impact of War
11:01 pm
Sun November 13, 2011

Veterans To Create World's Largest Medical Database

Carl Schuler is one of 10,000 vets to have donated blood samples to the Million Veteran Program.
Amy Standen for NPR

Originally published on Mon November 14, 2011 3:31 am

What haunts Carl Schuler about his two tours in Iraq is the fact that he came out of them largely unscathed.

This was not the case for his best friend, who was badly injured when his truck was hit by a roadside bomb.

"You start thinking about, well, how fair is that? You know, here's my best friend, this is how he ends up, 80 percent burns, two members in the vehicle were killed, and here I am in a similar situation, and all of us ended up being OK," Schuler says. "It's a tough thing to deal with."

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Conflict In Libya
11:01 pm
Sun November 13, 2011

Libya's Economy Faces New Tests After Gadhafi Era

A worker walks in front of a refinery inside the Brega oil complex in Libya.
Hussein Malla AP

Originally published on Mon November 14, 2011 7:27 am

Some Americans are old enough to remember pulling up to the pump at gas stations advertising fuel in cents per gallon, not dollars. For many Libyans, that's the way it has always been and should continue to be in this sparsely populated oil-producing country.

At a Tripoli gas station on a recent afternoon, popular opinion among local Libyans appears to be that the government would keep the prices low, around 60 cents a gallon, or bring them down even further.

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Politics
5:04 pm
Sun November 13, 2011

Finding The Cure For Pendulum Politics

It should have been a quiet Election Day this year, but two states drew national attention at the polls.

The proposed personhood amendment in Mississippi that would have effectively outlawed abortion was struck down. In Ohio, voters rejected a measure that would have restricted the rights of unions.

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Latin America
3:37 pm
Sun November 13, 2011

In Venezuela, An Abduction Highlights A Scourge

Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, seen here at a news conference on Saturday, has much to smile about: He was rescued just two days after he was kidnapped. Not all Venezuelans are that lucky. The government's own statistics show that 895 kidnappings were reported last year.
Leo Ramirez AFP/Getty Images

Wilson Ramos came home to a hero's welcome in Valencia, Venezuela, to neighbors celebrating his rescue by commandoes just two days after the Washington Nationals catcher was abducted.

His mother wrapped her arms around him, crying, "How good God is."

It ended happily for Ramos, who was in the country to play in the Venezuelan winter league. But it's not uncommon for hostages to die in Venezuela, and the usual path to freedom involves paying a big ransom.

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Politics
12:06 pm
Sun November 13, 2011

Supercommittee Debt Deal Appears Elusive

The Republican co-chair of a committee in charge of slashing the nation's deficit on Sunday called deliberations a "roller-coaster ride" and gave no indication that a deal could be struck before the panel's Thanksgiving deadline.

Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling said the panel will fail unless Democrats agree to significant "structural" changes to entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security. When asked whether that could be done in a matter of days, he said "we haven't given up hope."

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