Inside Politics: :Bush helps renovate health center in Africa

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DALLAS — Former President George W. Bush has been helping to renovate a women’s cancer-screening center in Zambia during a weeklong trip to Africa.

Mr. Bush, clad in a T-shirt and jeans, painted and hauled lumber at the Ngungu Health Center in Kabwe, about 90 miles north of the Zambian capital, Lusaka. The center will start screening and treating women Tuesday for cervical cancer and precancer.

The former president and his wife, Laura, are in Africa to promote a partnership among the George W. Bush Institute, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, UNAIDS and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, that aims to fight cervical and breast cancer in sub-Saharan Africa.

The George W. Bush Presidential Center says the Bushes arrived in Africa over the weekend.

KENTUCKY

McConnell: Odds long to undo health care law

ELIZABETHTOWN — It’s on his to-do list, but U.S. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell says the odds are against repealing the health care law championed by President Obama.

The Kentucky Republican said Monday it’s hard to unravel something of the magnitude of the 2,700-page health care law, whas-tv reports.

“If you thought it was a good idea for the federal government to go in this direction, i’d say the odds are still on your side,” Mr. McConnell said. “Because it’s a lot harder to undo something than it is to stop it in the first place.”

Mr. McConnell discussed the law in comments to about 50 people at Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown. the state’s senior senator was making stops at Kentucky hospitals discussing what’s next since last week’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that the law was constitutional.

The high court upheld the law’s crucial mandate that individuals buy health insurance or face a penalty.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., a conservative, provided the pivotal vote in that decision by ruling that the penalty was legal under the government’s taxing authority. while technically handing a political victory to Mr. Obama, Chief Justice Roberts’ ruling invigorated Republicans eager to cast the law as a new tax.

Mr. McConnell still says he’ll do whatever he can to repeal the law.

If given control of the Senate next year, Mr. McConnell said he would support using budget reconciliation rules to repeal it. doing so would prohibit senate filibusters and require only 51 votes to succeed. In 2010, Republicans lambasted Democrats for relying on these rules to pass the health care bill, calling their tactics unusual and hyperpartisan.

IOWA

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