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Obama tries to woo reluctant Democrats

WASHINGTON — A small number of House Democrats who opposed health overhaul legislation on the first go-round may be President Barack Obama’s most important constituency when he unveils a revised proposal on Wednesday. At least nine of the 39 Democrats who voted “nay” when the House passed sweeping overhaul legislation 220-215 in November are now undecided or withholding judgment until ...

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Midwives oppose home-birth bill

JACKSON — Renata Hillman has been birthing babies in Mississippi for more than two decades, delivering some 500 children by her own count. Hillman, a certified professional midwife or CPM, said she became concerned about a bill in the Legislature that would put restrictions on who can perform home births. So Hillman, some traditional midwives and midwifery advocates organized and ...

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Buffett: Healthcare costs draining businesses

OMAHA, Neb.  — Billionaire Warren Buffett says health care costs are a major drain on U.S. businesses and act like an “economic tape worm.” The head of the holding company Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said Monday on CNBC that America’s health care system needs fundamental reform to attack costs because it’s not practical to continue devoting roughly 17 percent of the ...

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River Oaks makes 'temporary' staff changes

JACKSON — Officials at River Oaks Hospital have announced staff changes that employees say has meant layoffs of about 30 people. Employees told WAPT-TV that the layoffs happened Friday, mainly to administration and clerical staff. Hospital spokeswoman Yancy C. Ammons says the number of employees has not been determined. She said in a statement that after a thorough evaluation, “we ...

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Decision all that remains from hospital hearings

State Health Department hearings regarding a proposed $121 million St. Dominic Hospital Madison Campus concluded Feb. 25 with testimony from the public. Proceedings began on Feb. 4. Health Management Associates Inc. (HMA), owner of the River Oaks Healthcare network of five Jackson metro area facilities, is legally opposing the St. Dominic’s facility. HMA leases the 67-bed Madison County Medical Center ...

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BLS releases illness, injury report

There were 277,680 occupational injuries and illnesses with days away from work reported for state and local government combined in 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fifty percent occurred in service occupations, including healthcare support and protective service workers. In contrast, 22 percent of the injuries and illnesses in private industry occurred in service occupations. State government workers ...

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Democrats moving forward with healthcare reform

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama strongly signaled that Democrats will move forward on a health care overhaul with or without Republicans, preparing his party for a fight whose political outcome will rest with voters in November. Delivering his closing argument at a 7-1/2-hour televised policy marathon Thursday, Obama told Republicans he welcomes their ideas — even ones Democrats don’t like ...

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Lab to be named for Thompson

JACKSON — The new Mississippi State Public Health Laboratory currently under construction will now bear the name of the health official who pushed for its completion – former State Health Officer Dr. Ed Thompson. Thompson served as state health officer for the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) from 1993 to 2002 and was named interim state health officer in ...

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GOP says it has better healthcare reform idea

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama argued today that a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s broken health care system is imperative for the nation’s future economic vitality, setting off an immediate clash in an extraordinary live-on-TV summit with Republicans who want far more modest changes. “We believe we have a better idea,” retorted GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander. With the daylong policy ...

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Baptist mulling new hospital

OXFORD — Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi is in talks with local officials about buying its way out of a lease so that it can build a new $200-million regional hospital in Oxford. Baptist CEO Don Hutson tells the Oxford Eagle that several possible sites for the new hospital after being studied. In August, Oxford, Lafayette County and Baptist officials agreed ...

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