Michael Hiltzik

Michael Hiltzik Columnist
Are daily fantasy sports contests gambling or games of skill?

If Californians — indeed, all Americans — had a thoughtful, consistent approach to gaming, daily fantasy sports sites such as FanDuel and DraftKings would be treated as gambling and their sponsors regulated and taxed. They'd be subjected to government oversight, background checks of employees, audits of their books and certification that their games aren't rigged — just like most other forms of U.S.

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Can Canada show us how to fix income inequality? A talk with International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland

There must be few government ministers anywhere in the Western world better prepared to address issues of economic growth and income inequality than Chrystia Freeland.

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Why UnitedHealth's threat to pull out of Obamacare isn't as scary as it seems

The Affordable Care Act's friends and foes alike were in full hyperventilation mode Thursday after the nation's biggest health insurance company, UnitedHealth, signaled that it was considering withdrawing from Obamacare's individual insurance business by 2017.

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Sorry, parents: Genetic tests won't show if your kid will be a sports superstar

The business of selling genetic tests to parents hoping to determine whether their kids are fated to become sports stars has just sustained a couple of body blows from scientific papers published in two international journals. 

Their mutual conclusion is that genetic testing can't tell us anything about kids' predisposition to skill in any particular sport or in athletics generally, and therefore

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Healthcare shocker: Medicaid is very good for kids

Medicaid is the healthcare family's poor relation. It's taken for granted. Its quality is widely derided, even as it's typically saddled with the lowest provider reimbursement rates of any government health program. Republican governors and legislatures refused to accept the central role it was given as the insurance plan for their poorest constituents (though that's been changing).

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Pfizer's creative merger plan revives concerns about tax-avoiding 'inversions'

A corporate tax dodge known as "inversions" had a moment in the spotlight about a year ago, when a number of such high-profile mergers got U.S. Treasury officials, politicians and voters steaming. 

Inversions are mergers in which a big U.S. company buys a smaller foreign company and reincorporates in the foreign land to take advantage of its lower corporate tax rate.

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