Tag: Washington

Now what? Options for consumers as health law drama fades

BY TOM MURPHY As the political drama over health care legislation in Washington fades, the rest of the country faces a more immediate concern: Getting insurance for next year. The Republican health plan designed to replace the Obama-era health law known as the Affordable Care Act would not have taken full effect for a few years anyway – and now it’s dead. “We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said Friday. That means millions of Americans will have to navigate a current federal health care system that, while not “imploding” as...

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Trump signs bill authorizing NASA funding, Mars exploration

BY DARLENE SUPERVILLE WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump signed a bill into law Tuesday that updates NASA’s mission to add exploration of Mars and authorizes $19.5 billion in spending for the U.S. space agency for the current budget year. It’s the first time in seven years that there has been an authorization bill for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, also known as NASA, said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a chief sponsor of the bill. Cruz joined several astronauts and other lawmakers in the Oval Office to watch Trump sign the bill. Last week, Trump sent Congress a...

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FDA issues warning about risky vein opening procedure

BY LINDA A. JOHNSON TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday again warned patients and doctors to avoid a risky, experimental procedure promoted as a treatment for several nervous system disorders, including multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. The procedure involves inflating a tiny balloon in narrowed veins, usually in the neck, to widen them and improve blood flow. The FDA said it has seen no evidence the procedure – called transvascular autonomic modulation, or TVAM – is safe or effective. It’s similar to balloon angioplasty, which is commonly used to open up clogged heart arteries....

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Child porn case dropped as US refuses to show software code

SEATTLE (AP) — Federal prosecutors have dropped child pornography charges against a Washington teacher after the U.S. Justice Department refused to disclose information about a software weakness it exploited during an investigation last year. Charges against Vancouver, Washington, teacher Jay Michaud in U.S. District Court in Seattle were dismissed Monday. In 2015, Michaud was arrested and accused of downloading child pornography. During the child porn investigation, the FBI allowed a secret child porn website on the largely anonymous Tor network to run for two weeks while it tried to identify users by hacking into their computers. The child porn...

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New help for that bane of middle-age: blurry close-up vision

BY LAURAN NEERGAARD – AP MEDICAL WRITER WASHINGTON (AP) — Squinting while texting? Always losing your reading glasses? An eye implant that takes about 10 minutes to put in place is the newest in a list of surgical repairs for the blurry close-up vision that is a bane of middle age. But who’s really a good candidate to toss their specs? “It’s not bringing anybody back to being 20 again,” cautioned Dr. Shilpa Rose, a Washington ophthalmologist who tests whether patients’ eyes are healthy enough to qualify. “But it decreases the need to rush to get that pair of...

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