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Tax bill guts unpopular 'Obamacare' insurance mandate
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans didn't get their wish to repeal former President Barack Obama's health care law, but the tax bill barreling toward a final vote in Congress guts its most unpopular provision, the requirement that virtually all Americans carry health insurance....



Italy OKs living wills amid long-running euthanasia debate
ROME (AP) -- Italy's Senate gave final approval Thursday to a law allowing Italians to write living wills and refuse artificial nutrition and hydration, the latest step in the Roman Catholic nation's long-running and agonizing debate over euthanasia and end-of-life issues....



California lawmakers propose health coverage for immigrants
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California, flush with cash from an expanding economy, would eventually spend $1 billion a year to provide health care to immigrants living in the state illegally under a proposal announced Wednesday by Democratic lawmakers....






Cautious Texas among last states to OK medical marijuana
MANCHACA, Texas (AP) -- When California rings in the new year with the sale of recreational pot for the first time, Texas will be tiptoeing into its own marijuana milestone: a medical cannabis program so restrictive that doubts swirl over who will even use it....



Mental health care worries linger 5 years after Sandy Hook
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Anguished mothers with mentally ill children have sought out Liza Long for help ever since she wrote an essay, "I am Adam Lanza's Mother," comparing experiences with her son to the emotionally troubled 20-year-old who carried out the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting....



Addiction, mental illness complicate help for the homeless
EVERETT, Wash. (AP) -- This is the lesson that the working-class city of Everett has learned: It takes a community to rescue the hardcore homeless....



With obesity on rise, Paris reflects on mirrored 'fatphobia'
PARIS (AP) -- France gave the world butter croissants and foie gras, yet it has often been a place where being overweight was seen as almost sinful....



AP PHOTOS: Poverty and addiction grip Los Angeles' Skid Row
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Skid Row area of downtown Los Angeles is home to thousands of chronically homeless people....



Opioid crisis strains foster system as kids pried from homes
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The case arrives with all the routine of a traffic citation: A baby boy, just 4 days old and exposed to heroin in his mother's womb, is shuddering through withdrawal in intensive care, his fate now here in a shabby courthouse that hosts a parade of human misery....