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Never mind the November election or the US Supreme Court. The biggest challenge to President Obama's Affordable Care Act is a shortage of doctors. Will we have to rely on practitioners who require less training and the hope that medical-school graduates will choose specialties that aren't in their own economic interests? Also, US generals meet on Afghan attacks, and Romney, Ryan and the furor over a Republican Senatorial candidate's remarks about abortion in cases of what he called "legitimate" rape.

Banner image: Medical students use the medical simulation center at Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii, to hone their skills. Photo by Stephanie Bryant/flickr

Making News US Generals Meet on Afghan Attacks 7 MIN, 36 SEC

The chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, is in Kabul for private talks about NATO's mission in Afghanistan. In the past two weeks, ten American service members have been killed by Afghans they were supposed to be training. That raises disturbing questions about the American strategy for withdrawal. Graham Bowley is in Afghanistan for the New York Times.

Graham Bowley, New York Times (@Graham_Bowley )

Main Topic Is the US Ready for Universal Coverage? 31 MIN, 45 SEC

America's shortage of doctors has been growing for years, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is going to make it much worse. Even supporters of "Obamacare" agree that, with 30 million new patients in 2014, there will be 62,000 fewer doctors than needed. That's just two years away, but it takes ten years to train a doctor, so there's a crisis just around the corner. Nurse practitioners and clinics in pharmacies can take up some of the slack, but can they really replace MD's? Will the gap in quality care between wealthy Americans and the poor grow bigger than ever?

Sarah Kliff, Vox (@sarahkliff)
Ateev Mehrotra, RAND Corporation
Mary Rimsza, University of Arizona College of Medicine
Phil Kerpen, American Commitment (@kerpen)

Red State-Blue State Is Abortion Back on the Political Agenda? 11 MIN, 39 SEC

Missouri Congressman Todd Akin is the Republican candidate for the US Senate seat of Democrat Claire McCaskill. In an interview on local TV he was asked about his opposition to abortion, even in cases of rape. "From what I understand from doctors, that's [pregnancy resulting from rape] really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down… I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment should be on the rapist and not attacking the child." Both President Obama and the Romney-Ryan campaign responded quickly and clearly to Akin's statement.




Carla Marinucci, Politico (@cmarinucci)
Wayne Slater, journalist and author (@WayneSlater)

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