The NFL is about to get its first openly gay player: University of Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam revealed on Sunday that he is gay, just months before the draft. The announcement may end up hurting Sam's earnings potential – but by how much?
Scott Rosner, sports business professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, joins Morning Report host David Brancaccio to break down the numbers.
Big philanthropy came roaring back in 2013, after a handful of years in which the economic downturn lead to the shrinkage of charitable giving.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan came in first on the list, with a gift of nearly $1 billion to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, marking, Palmer said, the first time someone under 30 has topped the list.
Nike co-founder Phil Knight and his wife Penelope Knight were third on the list, with a pledge of five hundred million dollars to the Oregon Health and Science University Foundation.
"This is an incredible gift, and we're extremely grateful to the Knights," said Dr. Brian Druker, who directs the Knight Cancer Institute. Druker said the money will be used for cancer research. Knight's gift comes with strings attached. OHSU must also raise $500 million within the next two years, or forfeit the money altogether.
"It was a complete surprise to all of us," Druker said. "And the surprise was they would donate $500 million to the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, if we raised $500 million within two years. So the amount was shocking and staggering, as was the timeframe and deadline."
And while it might sound odd to attach strings to a gift, Dr. Druker calls it "a brilliant move," explaining that simply handing over $500 million with no conditions might make other donors believe the center didn't need more money. In fact, Dr. Druker said, a full billion is needed in order for the center to have the kind of impact it desires.
Some philanthropy watchers found the list largely unsurprising.
"Overall what strikes me is how completely conventional their giving strategies seem to be," said Lucy Bernholz, a visiting scholar at Stanford University's Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society. "It's going to foundations or community foundations. You don't get much of a sense that they're working with new technologies, that they're thinking about the intersection of politics and charity."
And while she found notable the number of young people and tech entrepreneurs on the list, Berhnolz said, "It looks like a list of activities that could easily have been pulled together 10, 20, years ago, well before the advent of the internet or the creation of social entrepreneurship."
A Congressional Committee today will dive deeply into the world of drug shortages. Namely why manufacturers continue to run out of cancer drugs and other medications. It turns out this is a classic healthcare problem, trying to control costs and maximize value.
Drexel Health Professor Robert Field says shortages started to crop up about ten years ago, in large part, after the feds lowered reimbursement rates for generic oncology drugs.
“The purpose was admirable, it seems that it went too far,” he says.
Field says putting the squeeze on manufacturers has prompted drug makers to look for greener pastures.
“The companies that make these drugs tend to be operating close to the margin. And if they can’t make a profit, they find a better use of their facility is to manufacture something else,” he says.
According to a new report, physicians facing shortages often change or delay dosages, sometimes even refer patients to different providers.
University of Pennsylvania oncologist Susan Domchek says that puts patient’s health at risk.
“It is a very difficult thing to explain to a patient, why you can’t get a very standard chemotherapy regimen because you don’t have access to the medication,” he says.
The solution – ironically – may be bumping up those same reimbursements that got cut a decade ago.
With images of the thousands of vehicles abandoned on Atlanta's highways last month still fresh in their minds, authorities are trying to get out ahead of another round of winter weather that's bearing down on the city. Meanwhile, things are expected to start thawing in ice-covered Portland, Ore.
It’s 1987, and Rudy Penner is winding up his fourth year as head of the Congressional Budget Office, wishing he had a magic 8-ball. He regrets missing the recessions of 1987 and 1990.
“The forecasts for those years were way off,” he says.
Then came the ‘90s, and with them a big uptick in wealth, especially in the financial sector. Uncle Sam’s share of Wall Street’s riches created a surplus nobody expected.
Penner says it’s a difficult proposition to make accurate predictions about the economy and budget deficit. And, he says, Congress’s fuzzy math doesn’t make it any easier. Lawmakers budget 10 years out.
“A very distinct budget horizon of 10 years does allow you to cheat by pushing costs beyond that budget horizon,” he says.
The Roth IRA is a good example of that. Money is taxed as it goes in, meaning revenue in the short-term. But Roth IRA earnings are tax-free. So the government loses out in the end -- though that accounting is outside the 10-year budget horizon. But Congress cheerfully ignores that. Another trick? Counting spending that we always knew would wind down -- like the cost of the Afghan and Iraq wars -- as savings
“So it’s not really savings," says Harvard public policy professor Linda Bilmes. "It’s like buying stuff on sale that you never intended to buy and saying, look how much I saved.”
It’s not logical. But it’s how humans have evolved to think: Forget about the past, distort the future, and focus on the present.
“When we were out in the world foraging for food, we had to take what we could get immediately,” says Connecticut College psychology professor Stuart Vyse. He says members of Congress are similarly driven by pressures like the 24-hour news cycle.
"The sort of immediate feeback you get on every single decision does tend to focus you on the battle of the moment," he says.
When it comes to returning the sense of hearing to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, technology is far from perfect. Hearing aids can feed back. And there are other problems, but this week there's been a leap forward in one particular area. Cochlear implants. A new processing computer chip for these implants has been developed at MIT's Microsystems Technology Laboratory and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmiry. Dr. Konstantina Stankovic is a surgeon who worked on the project and joined us to help explain.
Click play on the audio player above to hear the interview.