Health & Science

That bag of frozen cauliflower sitting inside your freezer likely sprang to life in a vast field north of Salinas, Calif. A crew of men and women here use a machine to drop seedlings into the black soil. Another group follows behind, stooped over, tapping each new plant.

It is backbreaking, repetitive work. Ten-hour days start in the cold, dark mornings and end in the searing afternoon heat.

As the tax bill moves through Congress, an issue has risen that hits dangerously close to U.S. efforts in science.

Editor's Note: This story was originally published on December 1 and has been updated.

World AIDS Day was December 1. The White House hung a red ribbon. Hundreds of red balloons were released in the air in Brazil. And Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made their first appearance as a royal couple at an AIDS charity event in Nottingham, U.K.

The power grid in South Australia now includes a huge Tesla battery tied to a wind farm, allowing the system to supply electricity around the clock. The battery was installed well before Tesla CEO Elon Musk's 100-day guarantee lapsed — and just in time for the start of summer.

"This is history in the making," South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill said of the battery system, which sits next to wind turbines at the Horndale Power Reserve.

Having failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Congress is now working on a tax overhaul. But it turns out the tax bills in the House and Senate also aim to reshape health care.

Here are five ways the tax legislation could change health policy:

1. Repeal the requirement for most people to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty

Opioids In The Family

Dec 1, 2017

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The Empire State building, pizza and Broadway are just a few things synonymous with New York City — and then there's the rats.

Like many other major metropolitan areas, New York City has a rat problem. But that doesn't mean that all the rats are the same.

A new government report says the number of children in the U.S. foster care system has increased for the fourth year in a row, due largely to an uptick in substance abuse by parents.

The report, issued annually by the Administration for Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services, shows that 437,500 children were in foster care by the end of fiscal year 2016. A year earlier the number was 427,400.

Knopf Books for Young Readers

A few weeks ago, Lake Effect introduced you to Kathy Sullivan, a pioneer among women astronauts.  Sullivan flew on three Space Shuttle missions and was the first woman to walk in space. She was in town earlier this year to talk about her book for young readers, To the Stars! The First American Woman to Walk in Space.

This week, Colorado became the first state to notify families that children who receive health insurance through the Children's Health Insurance Program are in danger of losing their coverage.

For 17 years, Chalfonte LeNee Queen suffered periodic episodes of violent retching and abdominal pain that would knock her off her feet for days, sometimes leaving her writhing on the floor in pain.

"I've screamed out for death," says Queen, 48, who lives in San Diego. "I've cried out for my mom, who's been dead for 20 years, mentally not realizing she can't come to me."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

President Trump has said over and over again that the tax overhaul now being debated by Congress would actually hurt him and other wealthy people, not help them.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The ice bucket challenge became a viral sensation a few years ago.

(SOUNDBITE OF WATER SPLASHING, LAUGHTER)

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Pages