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April 6, 2013 at 10:03 PM   |   Comments

ACA implementation delay angers D.C. Dems

WASHINGTON, April 6 (UPI) -- Some U.S. Senate Democrats are criticizing President Barack Obama for delays in implementing popular portions of the Affordable Care Act.

Democrats who supported the measure -- particularly ones who hail from states that lean Republican -- said it will be more difficult to defend the overall healthcare overhaul in the 2014 elections if the parts people like haven't been implemented before people vote, The Hill reported Saturday.

Democrats are particularly upset that small businesses will only have one insurance option to provide to employees when a major selling point for the business community was increased competition and choice the law would provide, the report said.

Small businesses aren't expected to have more than one option until 2015.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., already facing an uphill battle for re-election, said the implementation of so-called Obamacare is problematic.

In a rare instance of a Senate Democrat criticizing Obama president publicly, she told The New York Times the failure to fully implement the law will "prolong and exacerbate health care costs that are crippling 29 million small businesses."


Rick Warren's son, Matthew, kills self

LAKE FOREST, Calif., April 6 (UPI) -- Matthew Warren, the 27-year-old son of widely known California evangelical pastor Rick Warren, has committed suicide, his parents said Saturday.

Warren and his wife Kay revealed their son's death in a letter to the congregation of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, the Los Angeles Times reported. The Warrens said their son had dealt with depression for much of his life.

Matthew Warren was an "incredibly kind, gentle and compassionate man," they said in the statement. "He had a brilliant intellect and a gift for sensing who was most in pain or most uncomfortable in a room. He'd then make a beeline to that person to engage and encourage them."

The statement said the younger Warren killed himself after spending an evening with his parents, but did not provide details of his death.

"Kay and I've been privileged to hold your hands as you faced a crisis or loss," the statement said. "Today we need your prayers for us."

Rick Warren is the author of "The Purpose Driven Life." He delivered the invocation at President Obama's first inauguration, The Warrens have two other children, Amy and Josh.


Children in U.S., S. Africa survive falls

OAKLAND PARK, Fla., April 6 (UPI) -- A 5-year-old American girl and an 18-month-old South African boy both survived seven-story falls days apart this week, authorities said.

The Broward County Sheriff's Office said the girl was recovering in a hospital after her apparently accidental fall in Oakland Park, Fla., Friday night, the Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale reported.

"The child was put to bed and at some point the family went to check on her," spokesman Mike Jachles told the newspaper. "She was climbing on the window sill and fell through the screen seven floors down and landed on the grass."

Jachles said the girl, who was reported in critical condition, but her injuries did not appear to be outwardly life threatening.

"She's very lucky," he said. "For somebody to survive a seven story fall is nothing short of a miracle."

Halfway around the world, the baby boy, whose name wasn't reported, didn't suffer any broken bones when he fell from the seventh floor of an apartment building Sunday, The (Johannesburg) Star reported.

"Maybe there was a guardian angel that was protecting him," a doctor who treated the child told The Star. "He did not have broken bones, ribs, limbs or any fractures. We kept him overnight just to make sure we did not miss anything. But the following day we still didn't find anything wrong with him and discharged him."

It wasn't known how the boy had fallen.


Kan. lawmakers OK broad anti-abortion bill

TOPEKA, Kan., April 6 (UPI) -- Kansas lawmakers have passed bill saying human life begins at fertilization and forcing doctors to give patients information critics call medically inaccurate.

The state Senate and House passed the bill Friday and sent it to Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican who has indicated he would sign it, The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle reported.

The legislation requires doctors to provide patients with information on a possible link between abortion and breast cancer, as well as information on abortion-alternative programs. Clinics where abortions are performed would be required to give women detailed information on gestational development.

The National Cancer Institute has said scientific evidence does not support the suggestion that there is a relationship between abortion and breast cancer.

The bill bans anyone connected to abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood, from providing any information on public school property and it bans deducting abortion costs from taxes as medical expenses.

Republican state Sen. Steve Fitzgerald said in urging passage of the bill abortion at any stage of pregnancy "results in a dead human child." He said the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe vs. Wade in 1973, which protected women's right to abortion, was "probably the worst decision ever to come out of this Supreme Court or any Supreme Court, including the Dred Scott decision."

The Scott decision in 1857 found African-Americans were not citizens and could be bought and sold as slaves.

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