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AMA backs key tenet of health care law

CHICAGO -- The American Medical Association will continue to support a key tenet of the health care law that requires Americans to buy health insurance.

By a margin of 2 to 1, the AMA's policy-making House of Delegates voted Monday for the organization to continue to back the so-called "individual mandate."

The action rejected efforts by dissident groups from within the nation's largest doctor group to snub a controversial part of legislation signed into law in March 2010 by President Obama. The AMA's support was seen as critical at the time the controversial proposal was being debated.

The debate comes after the filing of federal lawsuits by several attorneys general challenging the individual mandate.

-- Chicago Tribune


Senate passes bill on health benefits

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Bucking the state's powerful public employee unions, the New Jersey Senate passed a bill Monday requiring sharply higher contributions for health benefits and pensions from more than a half-million government workers, while suspending unions' ability to bargain over health care.

As a gallery full of raucous union members looked on, the upper chamber moved the legislation with support from Republicans and a few Democrats in a 24-15 vote.

It must still get through an Assembly committee and then pass the entire lower house before it reaches the governor's desk. The full Assembly is scheduled to hear the bill Thursday.

Republican Gov. Chris Christie, the driving force behind the landmark legislation, praised the Senate for its action.

"This is a watershed moment for New Jersey, proving that the stakes are too high and the consequences all too real to stand by and do nothing," he said in a written statement.


Quadriplegic man forced off plane

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) -- A quadriplegic Colorado man said Monday he was humiliated after he was forced off a Frontier Airlines plane because a pilot said it wasn't safe for him to fly.

John Morris and his family were trying to board a flight Sunday in Dallas to return home to Fort Collins.

The Colorado State University student, 24, said he has flown Frontier in the past, using an airline seat-belt extension to secure his chest and legs to the seat. But this time, the pilot refused to take off.

Frontier eventually arranged for Morris and his family to take the next flight.

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