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Federal government to give states $300 million for child health coverage

To qualify for the bonuses, states needed to surpass a specified enrollment target under the Medicaid program for low-income Americans and adopt procedures that make it easier for children to enroll and retain coverage under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The performance bonus payments are designed help…

New York unions sue over retiree health-care change

ALBANY, New York (Reuters) – Seven New York state unions filed federal lawsuits on Wednesday seeking to prevent Governor Andrew Cuomo from increasing the amount that retired workers pay for health care. The increases enacted this year were unconstitutional because the state has no authority to unilaterally raise retirees’ health-care…

Photo ID not required to vote in Iowa Republican caucus

Republicans participating the the Iowa caucuses will be able to cast a ballot for the presidential candidate of their choice without presenting a photo ID, according to voting watchdog Brad Friedman. Republicans have pushed for stricter voting regulations, such as voter ID laws, to protect against alleged voter fraud. More…

Hispanic voters favor Obama by wide margin: poll

WASHINGTON — More than two-thirds of Hispanics prefer President Barack Obama to any of his Republicans rivals, despite wide disapproval of his policies on illegal immigrants, a new poll showed Wednesday. If Obama were to face former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in November 2012, 68 percent of Hispanics polled would…

Still waiting for cleanup in foreclosure mess

If last year was the year in which faulty foreclosures and bank errors became a full-blown scandal, this has been the year of waiting for something to be done about it. First, there’s the still-to-come multi-state settlement over alleged fraud on the part of the country’s five largest mortgage servicers.…

Police deaths in U.S. rise to 173 in 2011

WASHINGTON — Police fatalities in the United States rose in 2011 for a second year running, with shootings overtaking traffic accidents as the principal cause of death, a year-end report said Wednesday. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund said 173 local, state and federal law enforcement officers, including prison…

Gary Johnson launches third-party White House bid

SANTA FE, New Mexico — Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson launched a long-shot, third-party bid for the White House Wednesday that could hurt Republican efforts to oust President Barack Obama in 2012. Johnson announced his intention to become the nominee of the Libertarian Party, seeking to capitalize on massive…

Perry would defy Supreme Court to protect anti-abortion laws

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Tuesday night that as president he would ignore a U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down an anti-abortion law. During a debate sponsored by Personhood USA, Perry was asked what he would do if the Supreme Court ruled against a law “making clear that Fourteenth…

Romney: ‘Big Bird is going to have advertisements’

If Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has his way then toddlers could be getting a dose of fast food advertising with their Bert and Ernie. During a campaign event in Clinton, Iowa Wednesday, the former Massachusetts governor told supporters that there were a number of things he would do to…

5 strange things on which Occupy Wall Street spent donor money

While the Occupy Wall Street movement was raking in its more than $686,000 in donations from people all over the country determined to help the occupiers with food, shelter, sanitation and more, the Finance-cum-Accounting working group was allocating money based on General Assembly votes and other working group requests. Though,…

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