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United HealthCare wants to get on the Covered California bus, but the state marketplace isn't inclined to allow insurers on board that weren't part of the launch in 2014. Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Dallas insurance agent Jo Ann Charron has worked with clients to help clear confusion over subsidies offered by plans on the federal health insurance exchange. This sort of free guidance can save insurance shoppers time and money, agents say. LM Otero/AP hide caption

itoggle caption LM Otero/AP

Blue Cross Blue Shield takes aim at Target — or, rather, at Target shoppers in San Antonio who might be interested in buying health insurance. Veronica Zaragovia/KUT hide caption

itoggle caption Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

Jose Ramirez and Mariana Silva speak in December with Yosmay Valdivia (right), an agent from Sunshine Life and Health Advisors, at the Mall of the Americas in Miami about plans available from the Affordable Care Act. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Lori Lomas, an insurance agent with Feather Financial in Quincy, Calif., has noticed that her clients in San Francisco have many more health carrier options than her mountain neighbors. Pauline Bartolone for KXJZ hide caption

itoggle caption Pauline Bartolone for KXJZ

One demonstrator advocates for paid sick leave at a 2013 rally outside New York's city hall. The city is now one of several in the U.S. to have passed a measure mandating paid sick days. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Scientists reprogrammed the common bacterium E. coli so it requires a synthetic amino acid to live. BSIP/UIG via Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

A Kaiser mental health worker with the National Union of Healthcare Workers looks through a pile of signs Monday during day one of a week-long demonstration outside of a Kaiser Permanente hospital in San Francisco. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

U.S. funding for medical research by source, 1994-2012. (Data were adjusted to 2012 dollars using the Biomedical Research and Development Price Index.) American Medical Association hide caption

itoggle caption American Medical Association

Steven Brill is a journalist who also founded Court TV, American Lawyer magazine, 10 regional legal newspapers and Brill's Content Magazine. He teaches journalism at Yale. Courtesy of Random House hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Random House

Palliative medicine physician Michael Fratkin gets off a plane after visiting a patient on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation. He's recently launched a startup to support this kind of work. April Dembosky/KQED hide caption

itoggle caption April Dembosky/KQED