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Rep. Sander M. Levin, Michigan Democrat, said that tax reform will likely have to wait while Congress wrestles over an increase in the nation’s borrowing limit and automatic spending cuts. (Associated Press)

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Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney wrote to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in November to declare the state’s intention to set up a state-run exchange under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. (Associated Press)

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While medicine and humanitarian supplies are not blocked by the economic embargoes on Iran, the pressures are clearly evident in nearly every aspect of health care with shortages at pharmacies and long lines at hospitals. (Associated Press)

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While medicine and humanitarian supplies are not blocked by the economic embargoes on Iran, the pressures are clearly evident in nearly every aspect of health care with shortages at pharmacies and long lines at hospitals. (Associated Press)

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House Speaker John Boehner, Ohio Republican, walks to the House chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 15, 2013, as lawmakers debate the details of an emergency spending package to assist victims of Superstorm Sandy that devastated parts of the Northeast coast in October. (Associated Press)

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House Speaker John A, Boehner, Ohio Republican, walks to the House chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 15, 2013, as lawmakers debate the details of an emergency spending package to assist victims of Superstorm Sandy that devastated parts of the Northeast coast in October. (Associated Press)

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Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley said immediate budget-saving measures are "reversible and recoverable" as the service braces for the threat of automatic spending cuts March 1. (Associated Press)

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Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley said immediate budget-saving measures are "reversible and recoverable" as the service braces for the threat of automatic spending cuts March 1. (Associated Press)

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20121230-172449-pic-322686118_3_mugshot_four_by_three.jpg

**FILE** Lance Armstrong speaks Aug. 24, 2009, during the opening session of the Livestrong Global Cancer Summit in Dublin, Ireland. (Associated Press)

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Vials of flu vaccine are displayed at the Whittier Street Health Center in Boston, Mass., Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. Boston declared a public health emergency Wednesday as the city tried to deal with a harsh flu season and the state reported 18 flu-related deaths so far. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

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With the number of cases of the flu climbing across the country, many employers are worried about consequences for their businesses if too many workers call in sick. Meanwhile, people are flocking to clinics to get a better-late-than-never flu shot. Sonia Despiar, a licensed practical nurse at Gouverneur Healthcare Services, injects Imelda Silva with vaccine last week in New York. “I have stuffiness,” Ms. Silva said. “I want to make sure I don’t get sick.” (Associated Press)

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Vials of flu vaccine are displayed at the Whittier Street Health Center in Boston, Mass., Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. Boston declared a public health emergency Wednesday as the city tried to deal with a harsh flu season and the state reported 18 flu-related deaths so far. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

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Sen. Ted Cruz, 42, a freshman Republican from Texas and darling of the tea party, has a skyrocketing political profile that fuels speculation that he already is setting his sights higher — possibly including a run for president in 2016. (Associated Press)

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**FILE** Dr. Steven Birnbaum works June 3, 2010, with a patient in a CT scanner at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center in Nashua, N.H. (Associated Press)

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**FILE** Dr. Steven Birnbaum works June 3, 2010, with a patient in a CT scanner at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center in Nashua, N.H. (Associated Press)

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**FILE** Vials of flu vaccine are displayed on Jan. 10, 2013, at Philly Flu Shots in Philadelphia. (Associated Press)

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** FILE ** Vials of flu vaccine are displayed on Jan. 10, 2013, at Philly Flu Shots in Philadelphia. (Associated Press)

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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon on Jan. 10, 2013. (Associated Press)

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** FILE ** Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon on Jan. 10, 2013. (Associated Press)