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Paige Winfield Cunningham

Articles by Paige Winfield Cunningham

The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington is pictured in March 2009. (Associated Press)

Supreme Court to hear health care suit in March

The Supreme Court has carved out March 26-28 to hear challenges to President Obama's Affordable Care Act, announcing Monday that it will hear oral arguments over the three-day period. Published December 19, 2011

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (Associated Press)

HHS stays flexible in new guideline for states setting benefits

Announcing a preliminary guideline on the benefits that insurers must offer under the new health care law, the Obama administration surprised some health care advocates Friday by remaining vague on details, choosing instead to let states largely set their own benchmarks. Published December 18, 2011

Sen. Joe Manchin III (left), West Virginia Democrat, and Sen. Mark Kirk, Illinois Republican, comment as the Senate approves legislation that extends Social Security payroll tax cuts for two months, at the Capitol in Washington on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Senate approves $1 trillion budget bill, payroll tax cut

The Senate cast its final votes for the year on Saturday morning, reaching agreement on a two-month payroll tax extension and a $1 trillion budget bill funding major government functions through September, ending a week of divide over the two bills that had led to more threats of a government shutdown. Published December 17, 2011

**FILE** U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius (Associated Press)

Administration gives states leeway on health rules

Announcing a preliminary guideline on the benefits insurers must offer under the new health care law, the Obama administration surprised some health care advocates on Friday by remaining vague on details, choosing instead to let states largely set their own benchmarks. Published December 16, 2011

GOP tries to reclaim overpayments

Looking for cash to pay for the payroll-tax cut, Republicans are trying to reclaim some of the funding going into President Obama's Affordable Care Act — a move that could make the law's signature health exchanges less attractive to the people Democrats were trying to help. Published December 15, 2011

House votes to repeal Obama's CLASS Act

Acting with bipartisan support, a House committee Wednesday voted to repeal the CLASS Act, part of President Obama's health care law that the administration has said is unsustainable, but also said it didn't want to see ended entirely. Published November 30, 2011

**FILE** Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat (Associated Press)

Bipartisan effort launched to end earmarks

One year after the Senate rejected a moratorium on earmark spending, a bipartisan effort to permanently ban legislators from favoring pet projects is under way but faces an uncertain reception. Published November 30, 2011

"States are moving at their own pace to get their exchanges up and running, This is a natural result of a process that gives states maximum flexibility." - Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services Department Secretary

No consensus among states on tack for health law

Love it or hate it, states across the country are facing a looming dilemma over whether to get to work implementing a key component of President Obama's massive health care overhaul. Published November 29, 2011

Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, says a Republican president "could absolutely gut the vast majority" of the health care law by executive order. (Associated Press)

Altering health law by executive order a no-go, report says

Despite promises by Republican presidential candidates that they would gut key parts of President Obama's health care law on their first day in office, Congress' nonpartisan research agency says that trying to repeal major components of the overhaul through executive order just won't work. Published November 29, 2011

** FILE ** President Obama signs the health care bill at the White House in Washington on March 23, 2010, flanked by smiling supporters from the House and Senate as well as Victoria Reggie Kennedy (behind Mr. Obama's right shoulder), widow of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who was a champion of the legislation. (Associated Press)

Money slated for health law gets detoured

In cash-strapped Washington, President Obama's $1 trillion health care law is presenting a tempting target for lawmakers seeking funds for other projects, as Congress last week raided the health care piggy bank for the third time in less than a year. Published November 24, 2011

Berwick

Temporary Medicare, Medicaid director quits

Don Berwick is resigning his temporary appointment as director of Medicare and Medicaid at the end of next week, making way for the Obama administration to nominate a candidate with a better chance of Senate confirmation. Published November 23, 2011

** FILE ** Former first lady Laura Bush introduces her husband, former President George W. Bush, at the "topping out" ceremony of his library on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. (Associated Press)

Bushes plan Africa trip to spotlight health efforts

George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush are bound for Africa next month to highlight female cancers and diseases such as malaria in developing countries, advancing their plan to focus on global health in the post-presidency years. Published November 22, 2011

**FILE** President Obama (Associated Press)

Obama tells insurer to reverse rate hike

The Obama administration on Monday called on a Mennonite-owned health insurance company to cancel its proposed 11.6 percent rate hike, marking the first time the government has tried to pressure a private company under the new health care law. Published November 21, 2011

California-based Genentech, Inc., makes the cancer drug Avastin. A new analysis raises fresh questions about the effectiveness and risks of Avastin. (Associated Press)

FDA nixes approval of Avastin for breast cancer

The Food and Drug Administration has revoked Avastin as treatment for breast cancer, citing evidence that the controversial drug carries serious side-effects without offering demonstrable benefits. Published November 18, 2011

** FILE ** Businessman Herman Cain (left), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (center) and Texas Gov. Rick Perry are pictured before a Republican presidential debate on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

GOP hopefuls diverge on alternate health law

The top Republican presidential candidates have all called for repealing President Obama's health care initiative, but that unity breaks down when it comes to their plans for what should replace it. Published November 15, 2011

**FILE** U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius (Associated Press)

Republicans move to kill long-term care plan

House Republicans on Tuesday moved to strike from the books the long-term care insurance program originally included in President Obama's massive health care law, approving a bill to repeal the program even though the administration already said it was abandoning the idea as financially unworkable. Published November 15, 2011

** FILE ** President Obama signs the health care bill at the White House in Washington on March 23, 2010, flanked by smiling supporters from the House and Senate as well as Victoria Reggie Kennedy (behind Mr. Obama's right shoulder), widow of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who was a champion of the legislation. (Associated Press)

Supreme Court will hear health care case

The Supreme Court said Monday it will take up challenges to President Obama's health care law next year, setting the stage for a ruling on the president's trademark achievement amidst his bid for reelection. Published November 14, 2011

Appeals court upholds Obama's health care law

In a frank ruling upholding President Obama's new health care law, a federal appeals court said Tuesday the individual mandate requiring all Americans to buy health insurance encroaches on individual liberty, but is still constitutional because it allows the government to solve a national problem. Published November 8, 2011

"There are a few who believe that 'In God We Trust' is just words, but I would say today it's more than just words," said Rep. J. Randy Forbes of Virginia, the bill's lead sponsor. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

House vote reaffirms 'In God We Trust'

The House paused from its focus on job creation Tuesday to reaffirm the national motto "In God We Trust," making a rare return to social issues that a few lawmakers called a waste of time. Published November 1, 2011

**FILE** President Obama (Associated Press)

Obama, lawmakers can't give up special tax breaks

Even as the government's dim fiscal picture pushes all sides to try to sweat savings out of the budget and all sides say carve-outs should be on the table, Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill are proposing their own special breaks, known as "tax expenditures" in legislative-speak, for items such as clean energy and student-loan repayments for veterinarians. Published October 31, 2011