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Republican Ryan's budget sets political course for party in 2014

By David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Representative Paul Ryan, the leading Republican voice on budget policy, rolled out a fiscal blueprint on Tuesday that calls for deep cuts in domestic programs, increased defense spending and a goal of erasing annual deficits within a decade.

Obama signs bill making temporary Medicare fix for doctors, avoiding sharp cuts in fees

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama Tuesday signed into law legislation to give doctors temporary relief from a flawed Medicare payment formula that threatened them with a 24 per cent cut in their fees. A 64-35 Senate vote Monday cleared the measure through Congress.

U.S. insurers fear backlash over new Obamacare rate increases

By Caroline Humer and David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As the first Obamacare enrollment period comes to a close, U.S. insurers are already anticipating the need to raise prices for 2015 and fear that it will put them at the center of the political blame game over President Barack Obama's healthcare law.

Missed the health insurance deadline? Here are 5 ways to get covered, maybe avoid a fine

WASHINGTON - It's not too late to get covered. A few routes remain open for those who missed the health care law's big enrolment deadline. Millions may be eligible for a second chance to sign up for subsidized insurance this year. And people who get coverage after the deadline can still avoid, or at least reduce, the fine for going uninsured. Here are five options for those still without insurance: ___ 1. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE GRACE PERIOD

U.S. says HealthCare.gov functions unavailable to new users

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. administration said key segments of its Obamacare website, HealthCare.gov, were unavailable to new users for a second time on Monday, as record numbers of people tried to access the site hours before the enrollment deadline for health insurance. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is responsible for implementing the healthcare law, said new users were unable to access HealthCare.gov's application end enrollment tools around midday.

Q&A: It's hard to define success as health care overhaul marks a milestone - sort of

WASHINGTON - Like so much about the government's health care overhaul, Monday's deadline to sign up for coverage in 2014 didn't turn out quite as planned: Many people still are eligible for extensions that will let them enrol. The change of plans shouldn't come as much of a surprise, given the disastrous HealthCare.gov rollout last fall, the mass policy cancellation notices that shocked even the president, and other set-in-law deadlines that turned out not to be not so firm.

Congress approves bill to avert Medicare pay cut for doctors

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate gave final congressional approval on Monday to legislation to avert a pay cut for doctors who participate in the Medicare insurance program for the elderly and disabled. By a vote of 64-35, the Democratic-led Senate sent the measure, approved last week by the Republican-led House of Representatives, to President Barack Obama to sign into law.

Obamacare hits milestone, but detours ahead for U.S. health law

By David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's embattled U.S. healthcare law, having survived a rollout marred by technology failures, reaches a milestone on Monday with the end of its first enrollment wave, and with the administration likely to come close to its goal of signing up 7 million people in private health insurance.

Gilead says has discounted hepatitis C drug for some health plans

By Deena Beasley (Reuters) - Gilead Sciences Inc, under fire for pricing a new hepatitis C drug at $1,000 a pill, has discount agreements with a number of health insurers, a company executive said in an interview. The medication, Sovaldi, has a list price of $84,000 for a 12-week course of therapy and is seen as a breakthrough in the treatment of the serious liver disease.

Health law changes take hold but acceptance eludes "Obamacare" as sign-up season winds down

WASHINGTON - As a roller-coaster sign-up season winds down, President Barack Obama's health care law has indeed managed to change the country. Americans are unlikely to go back to a time when people with medical problems could be denied coverage. But Obama's overhaul needs major work of its own if it is to go down in history as a legacy achievement like Medicare or Social Security. Major elements of the Affordable Care Act face an uncertain future:
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