For decades, the primary goal of those who would fix the U.S. health system has been to help people without insurance get coverage. Now, it seems, all that may be changing. At least some top Republicans are trying to steer the health debate away from the problem of the uninsured.
The shift in emphasis is a subtle one, but it's noticeable.
Nurse Maria Vatista draws blood from a Greek drug addict for an HIV test in a mobile testing van in Athens last year. HIV infection rates are rising, as Greece's financial crisis has led the government to cut health and social services, including a successful needle exchange program.
Credit Yannis Behrakis / Reuters/Landov
Vicky, a 40-year-old, Canadian-born, Greek drug addict, takes a drop of her own blood from a syringe as she prepares to inject herself with a mix of cocaine and heroin on a central Athens side street, April 30.
One of the alarming consequences of the financial crisis in Greece appears to be a sharp rise in the rate of HIV infection.
The country, which is struggling through a historic debt crisis and a deep recession, still has one of the lowest HIV infection rates in Europe. But budget cuts to health and social services seem to be driving a recent and dramatic increase, especially among injecting drug users.
Timothy Ray Brown, shown in May 2011 with his dog Jack in San Francisco, is the only man ever known to have been fully cured from AIDS. Brown is known as the "Berlin patient" because he had a bone marrow transplant in a German hospital five years ago.
The so-called Berlin patient is famously the only person in the world who has been cured of HIV. But he may soon have company.
Two people in Boston also seem to be free of HIV after undergoing bone marrow transplants for cancer, just as the Berlin patient did five years ago. The crucial difference is that the Boston patients have not yet stopped taking anti-HIV drugs — although that may happen in the coming months.
What people in New Jersey like about Gov. Chris Christie is his candor — the sense that he's speaking from his heart, instead of a script.
Last summer, as Hurricane Irene barreled toward the Jersey shore, the Republican governor offered a particularly memorable moment during a press conference: "Get the hell off the beach in Asbury Park and get out," he said. "You're done. It's 4:30. You've maximized your tan. Get off the beach."
Abbas attends a meeting of his Fatah movement at its headquarters in Ramallah on Jan. 29.
Credit Majdi Mohammed / AP
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who succeeded Yassir Arafat in 2005, is a longtime proponent of a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But Palestinian discontent toward Abbas is growing.
Credit AFP/Getty Images
Palestinian demonstrators chant slogans in the West Bank city of Ramallah last month during a protest against a meeting between Abbas and Israel's deputy prime minister.
The Kalandia checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah in the West Bank is best known as a flashpoint between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces. Images of masked youths throwing rocks by the painted concrete wall here are ubiquitous.
Protesters gathered at Kalandia again last week, but their focus wasn't Israeli soldiers: It was Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.