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Thursday, Jul 31st

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ObamaCare subsidies are legal after all, second appeals court rules

ObamacareA federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld ObamaCare's subsidies — the same day another appeals court ruled against them.

In a unanimous ruling, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the health care law permits the federal government to provide subsidies to people who purchase health insurance in every state. Plaintiffs had argued that a poorly-worded section of the law implied the government could only provide subsidies in states that opted to set up their own health care exchange programs, and not in states where the feds run those exchanges. The law specifically states that subsidies can go to people who buy coverage "through an Exchange established by the State," though the 4th Circuit said lawmakers clearly intended the law to be broader than that.

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Appeals court throws out IRS rule on Obamacare subsidies

Health care provision overruledA U.S. appeals court on Tuesday threw out a federal regulation that implements key subsidies that are vital to President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit accepted one of the main legal challenges to the policy by conservatives opposed to an expansion of the federal government.

A three-judge panel returned the case to a lower court with instructions to rule in favor of appellants who had sued to overturn the rule.

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HIV infection rate in the US falls by a third in a decade

HIV drops by a third in USThe rate of HIV infections diagnosed in the United States has fallen by a third over the past decade, researchers say.

After examining cases from all 50 states, the study found that the diagnosis rate fell to 16.1 per 100,000 people in 2011 from 24.1 in 2002.  Experts celebrated the findings as a hopeful sign that the Aids epidemic may be slowing in the country.

However, there was a rise in new cases of HIV among gay and bisexual men aged under 24 and over 45.

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Fla. Jury Slams RJ Reynolds With $23.6B in Damages

rj reynolds law suitA Florida jury has slammed the nation's No. 2 cigarette maker, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., with $23.6 billion in punitive damages in a lawsuit filed by the widow of a longtime smoker who died of lung cancer in 1996.

The case is one of thousands filed in Florida after the state Supreme Court in 2006 tossed out a $145 billion class action verdict. That ruling also said smokers and their families need only prove addiction and that smoking caused their illnesses or deaths.

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Crash claims top AIDS researchers heading to Melbourne

AIDS experts on Maylaysia planeAbout 100 of the 298 people killed in the Malaysia Airlines crash were heading to Melbourne for a major AIDS conference, conference attendees have been told.

Delegates at a pre-conference in Sydney were told on Friday morning that about 100 medical researchers, health workers and activists were on the plane that went down near the Russia-Ukraine border, including former International AIDS Society president Joep Lange.

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NC GOP mayor marches to DC to urge Medicaid expansion, prevention of 'medical deserts'

Myaor Adam O'NealThe Republican mayor of the small town of Belhaven, NC began a 273-mile walk to Washington, DC today to draw attention to the health care crisis threatening his rural coastal community following the closure of the area's only hospital. Vidant Pungo Hospital served over 20,000 people in Beaufort and Hyde counties -- a area of North Carolina with higher-than-average poverty rates and where many residents are uninsured.

After a prayer of blessing by NC NAACP President Rev. Dr. William Barber, Mayor Adam O'Neal set off on foot for the nation's capital, where he plans to ask President Obama and Congress for help. On July 1, Vidant Health closed the 49-bed hospital for financial reasons, forcing residents of the Belhaven area to travel more than an hour to receive emergency care. The town had tried to take ownership of the hospital to prevent its closure, but negotiations broke down. Vidant has opened a clinic in Belhaven, but it doesn't provide emergency care.

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Ebola crisis in West Africa deepens; 500+ dead

ebola crisisDeep in the forests of southern Guinea, the first victims fell ill with high fevers. People assumed it was the perennial killer malaria and had no reason to fear touching the bodies, as is the custom in traditional funerals.

Some desperate relatives brought their loved ones to the distant capital in search of better medical care, unknowingly spreading what ultimately was discovered to be Ebola, one of the world's most deadly diseases.

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