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Perry’s gamble on mortgage giants cost Texas tens of millions

Just when Gov. Rick Perry had to deal with one negative story, another one comes right his way. According to the Associated Press, in 2004 the Texas executive invited several big mortgage companies into his state to help increase jobs, but they all went out of business in four short…

Health policy advisory group urges free contraception for women

WASHINGTON — Birth control pills should be provided to women free of charge under US health insurance plans, a non-governmental health policy advisory group urged on Tuesday. Contraceptives and counseling to prevent unintended pregnancies, DNA tests for human papillomavirus (HPV) and lactation services for new mothers were among eight health…

Japan quake makes 2011 costliest disaster year

Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in March are set to make 2011 the costliest year on record for natural disasters, German insurance giant Munich Re said on Tuesday. Total economic losses for the first six months alone were $265 billion, easily exceeding the $220 billion recorded for the whole of…

Massachusetts city to provide extra stipends to married gay employees

The city of Cambridge, Mass. will this month begin to add an additional stipend onto the paychecks of its gay and lesbian employees who are married to their spouses and chose to include them on their health insurance, the Associated Press reported. The federal government taxes health insurance for married…

Blackwater sued for allegedly failing to pay benefits

WASHINGTON — Four former employees of Blackwater, the scandal-plagued security firm now called Xe, have filed a $60 million class action lawsuit claiming the firm failed to pay health and pension benefits to its employees. Their lawyer, Scott Bloch, said Wednesday that Xe improperly classified thousands of its employees as…

Obama administration to appeal healthcare ruling

ATLANTA (Reuters) – Lawyers for President Barack Obama will on Wednesday seek to stave off the biggest legal challenge yet to healthcare reform, his signature domestic policy achievement. The administration will present oral arguments as it appeals a ruling by a Florida judge who declared the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional,…

Electronics giant Sony expects to post losses near $3.2 billion

TOKYO (AFP) – Japan’s Sony on Monday said it expected to post a $3.2 billion net loss for the fiscal year ended March, after delaying its corporate results to gauge damage from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The expected third-straight annual loss for Sony comes as it tries to…

Study: Republican budget could leave 44 million more uninsured

WASHINGTON – The House-approved Republican budget could leave as many as 44 million more Americans without health insurance over ten years, according to a new nonpartisan report. The debate surrounding the blueprint has focused on the plan to replace Medicare with a system of subsidies to buy private insurance. But…

Bachmann backing away from GOP Medicare plan?

WASHINGTON – The constituent anger over the GOP-approved blueprint to erode Medicare is enough to make any Republican squeamish, but the latest sirens of concern come from an unlikely source: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). The tea party darling, an unabashed supporter of hard-right causes, took to the conservative blog RedState.com…

House GOP expected to defund state health insurance exchanges

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans in the U.S. Congress are launching a fresh attack on the healthcare law by targeting grants to states for creating insurance exchanges, just as congressional budget analysts said on Thursday setting up the marketplaces may be delayed. Next week, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected…

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