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Preview: Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Science Health & Science News From the Associated Press


Outlook good as formerly conjoined twins leave NY hospital

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 01:48:54 UT

Outlook good as formerly conjoined twins leave NY hospital The twins will receive physical therapy as outpatients before returning to the Dominican Republic with their parents, Abel Camacho and Laurilin Celadilla.

No repeal for 'Obamacare' — a humiliating defeat for Trump

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 23:01:41 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a humiliating failure, President Donald Trump and GOP leaders yanked their bill to repeal "Obamacare" off the House floor Friday when it became clear it would fail badly — after seven years of nonstop railing against the health care law. Thwarted by two factions of fellow Republicans, from the center and far right, House Speaker Paul Ryan said President Barack Obama's health care law, the GOP's No. 1 target in the new Trump administration, will remain in place "for the foreseeable future." Instead Trump, who campaigned as a master deal-maker and claimed that he alone could fix the nation's health care system, saw his ultimatum rejected by Republican lawmakers who made clear they answer to their own voters, not to the president. For the president, this piles a big early congressional defeat onto the continuing inquiries into his presidential campaign's Russia connections and his unfounded wiretapping allegations against Obama. The GOP bill would have eliminated the Obama statute's unpopular fines on people who do not obtain coverage and would also have removed the often-generous subsidies for those who purchase insurance. Republican tax credits would have been based on age, not income like Obama's, and the tax boosts Obama imposed on higher-earning people and health care companies would have been repealed. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the Republican bill would have resulted in 24 million additional uninsured people in a decade and lead to higher out-of-pocket medical costs for many lower-income and people just shy of age 65 when they would become eligible for Medicare. Republicans had never built a constituency for the legislation, and in the end the nearly uniform opposition from hospitals, doctors, nurses, the AARP, consumer groups and others weighed heavily with many members.

California air regulators vote to keep tough fuel standards

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 22:39:12 UT

Environmental groups predict Trump will weaken the standards that were affirmed in the waning days of the Obama administration to control greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. [...] if Trump relaxes the standards, California and the other states likely would keep the 36 mpg rule in place, potentially creating two standards. Since about 40 percent of the nation's vehicles are in states that follow California rules, automakers might conform to them rather than build two different vehicles for the U.S. market.

More big brands pull ads from YouTube in widening boycott

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 22:15:19 UT

PepsiCo, Wal-Mart Stores and Starbucks on Friday confirmed that they have also suspended their advertising on YouTube after the Wall Street Journal found Google's automated programs placed their brands on five videos containing racist content. The company has pledged to hire more people to review videos and develop even more sophisticated programs to teach its computers to figure out which clips would be considered to be too despicable for advertising. "The content with which we are being associated is appalling and completely against our company values," Wal-Mart said in a Friday statement. Besides suspending their spending on YouTube, Wal-Mart, PepsiCo and several other companies have said they will stop buying ads that Google places on more than two million other third-party websites.

Mississippi lawmaker discloses dementia diagnosis from floor

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 22:02:15 UT

(AP) — A colorful Mississippi state lawmaker who is an undertaker by trade drew a standing ovation from colleagues Friday after announcing from the House floor that he has dementia, vowing to live out his days with "the gusto of a hound dog." Holland said he learned only last week of the diagnosis and discussed keeping it private with his wife but decided to go public to raise awareness of the condition. Dementia, which affects millions in the U.S., is generally described as a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life — with Alzheimer's disease its most common form. The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said better understanding the diverse forms of dementia as the U.S. population ages is essential to the future of public health. After Holland's announcement, lawmakers gave him a standing ovation with extended cheers and whistles, and Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn led a prayer for his colleague.

The Latest: McConnell disappointed about GOP health bill

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 21:56:29 UT

The Kentucky Republican says in a statement that "Obamacare is failing the American people" and says he appreciates the efforts of House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump to keep a Republican promise to try to repeal and replace the health care law. President Donald Trump says he would be willing to reopen negotiations for a health care bill with Democrats if the Affordable Care Act fails. Speaker Paul Ryan says the collapse of the House Republican health care bill means former President Barack Obama's health care law will be around for the foreseeable future. [...] spokesman Sean Spicer says President Donald Trump is confident that the White House has done "every single thing possible" to corral the 216 votes needed to pass legislation to repeal the Obama-era health care law. According to GOP lawmakers and congressional aides, House Republican leaders were short of the votes needed for the bill to pass. Separately, Vice President Mike Pence was meeting near the Capitol with recalcitrant members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus in a last-ditch effort to secure support. Democrats and some veterans groups say a provision of the Republican health care bill could raise costs for millions of veterans who use tax credits to buy private insurance. Minnesota Rep. Tim Walz, the top Democrat on the House Veterans Affairs panel, called the GOP plan "shameful" and said it would leave many veterans without affordable insurance options. The legislation is the GOP's long-promised bill to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama's health care law. After each Republican speaks on the House floor in favor of the bill, Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., cites the number of people in their congressional district who will lose health insurance under the bill. GOP moderates are unhappy that it would cause millions of voters to lose coverage and boost medical costs for others. President Donald Trump is telling