GOP health bill on the brink hours from House showdown vote

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The GOP's long-promised legislation to repeal and replace "Obamacare" stood on the brink just hours before Republican leaders planned to put it on the House floor for a showdown vote. Short of support, GOP leaders looked to President Donald Trump to close the deal with a crucial bloc of conservatives, in the first major legislative test of his young presidency.

North Carolina editorial roundup

Recent editorials from North Carolina newspapers: ___ March 21 The News & Observer of Raleigh on "dark money" fundraising If you can't beat 'em, join 'em apparently is the new mantra for those of the Democratic political persuasion, who now are adopting tried-and-true methods of money-for-access fundraising by Republicans. It's not good and it frankly does not reflect well on Gov. Roy Cooper and his supporters.

Retirement dreams fizzle for some with 'Obamacare' repeal

CHICAGO (AP) -- Workers dreaming of early retirement are getting the jitters as Washington debates replacing the Obama-era health care law with a system that could be a lot more expensive for many older Americans. The uncertainty over the cost of coverage in the individual market has caused some in their 50s and early 60s to put plans on hold.

Ryan's legacy as speaker on line with health care vote

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The vote on the Republican health care bill is a defining moment for House Speaker Paul Ryan that could boost his aggressive agenda to overhaul the tax code and remake the federal government. Or send it off the rails. If he fails? "It will be very hard to manage this," the Wisconsin Republican told reporters ahead of Thursday's likely vote.

Leaders need votes for health bill on eve of House showdown

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The top Republican legislative priority in peril, President Donald Trump dangled possible changes to the health care bill Wednesday aimed at placating conservatives threatening to torpedo the legislation. The White House seemed to make progress with the hardliners while House leaders struggled with moderates ahead of a showdown vote.

Rice coach, former VCU assistant returning to coach Rams

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Rice coach Mike Rhoades is returning to VCU to become the Rams' head coach. The 44-year-old Rhoades spent five years as an assistant to Shaka Smart from 2009-14. He replaces Will Wade, who resigned Monday night to take the same position at LSU. Rhoades told Fox 26 TV in Houston the VCU job is a "dream come true.

Republicans shift NY Medicaid tab; Dems call 'Buffalo Bribe'

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Desperate to lock down votes for their health care overhaul, House Republican leaders are seeking to shift more than $2 billion in Medicaid costs from upstate New York counties to the state government -- a proposal Democrats quickly labeled the "Buffalo Bribe" and the "Knickerbocker kickback.

UNC Health Care: Patient information may have been leaked

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- UNC Health Care has sent out a letter alerting its prenatal patients that their confidential medical information may have been shared with their home county by mistake. On Monday, the University of North Carolina Health Care System sent letters to 1,300 patients who are thought to have completed "Pregnancy Home Risk Screening Forms" between April 2014 and February 2017.

Changes to GOP health proposal affect older adults, Medicaid

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican leaders hope that the latest changes to their health care bill win enough votes to drive the legislation through the House later this week. It's looking tight. A major goal of the revisions, unveiled late Monday night, is to create more options for older adults dealing with high medical bills, whose costs in many cases would have gone up markedly under the previous GOP bill.

Trump to GOP: Pass health care bill or seal your fate

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Time for talk running out, President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned wavering House Republicans that their jobs were on the line in next year's elections if they failed to back a GOP bill that would upend Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. The countdown quickened toward an expected vote Thursday on legislation undoing much of the law that has provided coverage to some 20 million Americans.

Lawmaker charged with child prostitution filed odd bills

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A Republican state senator charged with child prostitution once proposed a bill to prohibit the use of human fetuses in food and spent 17 years working with a program that introduces young people to government. Sen. Ralph Shortey, who was elected to represent part of the Oklahoma City area, planned to resign Wednesday after being accused of soliciting sex from a 17-year-old boy, according to his attorney.

GOP leaders propose health bill changes to help older people

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Top House Republicans hunting votes for their health care overhaul are proposing amendments aimed at providing more help for older people, curbing Medicaid and accelerating the repeal of some tax increases. The bill would let people deduct more medical costs from taxes. It would repeal many tax increases boosted by President Barack Obama's 2010 statute this year instead of 2018. Older and disabled Medicaid recipients would get more generous benefits.

Trump going outside Washington for support on health bill

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- President Donald Trump is deploying an outside and inside strategy to fulfill his campaign promise to repeal and replace "Obamacare," seeking support beyond Washington before making an in-person pitch on Capitol Hill. Top House Republicans unveiled proposed changes in their legislation in hopes of winning support, three days before the big House vote. Trump rallied supporters Monday night in Louisville, Kentucky, alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Already in peril, rural hospitals unsure on health care bill

CLAXTON, Ga. (AP) -- Talmadge Yarbrough had just sat down at his desk and opened a box of pecans when he let out a gasp that could have been his last breath. He'd gone into cardiac arrest in his office, a co-worker called 911, and an ambulance drove him two miles to the small hospital that serves this rural community in southeast Georgia.

Justices won't hear Menendez appeal in corruption case

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez's appeal of his corruption indictment, setting the stage for a federal trial in the fall. The justices let stand a lower court ruling that refused to dismiss charges including conspiracy, bribery and fraud against the Democratic lawmaker.

Home health aides: Minimum-wage hikes could deepen shortage

WEST CHAZY, N.Y. (AP) -- Only 17 snowy miles from the Canadian border, Katie Bushey's most basic needs are met by traveling health aides who come into her home to change her diapers, track her seizures, spoon-feed her fettuccine Alfredo and load her wheelchair into the shower. But that's only if someone shows up.

NC State turns to Kevin Keatts to revive Wolfpack program

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina State hopes it caught a rising star by hiring Kevin Keatts. The 44-year-old's career has been on the fast track: Six years after leaving his job at a prep school in Virginia, he earned his first head coaching job at a power conference school. During his formal introduction Sunday as the Wolfpack's coach, Keatts said he's a winner "and I've always been one.

Ryan: More help for older people needed in GOP health bill

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Days before a pivotal vote, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Sunday he will seek changes to a GOP health care bill to provide more help to older people. The new willingness to compromise was a bid for more support from moderate Republicans, who expressed continuing unease about the plan to replace Barack Obama's health law unless significant changes were made.

For many older Americans, costs rise under GOP health plan

NEW RINGGOLD, Pa. (AP) -- Among the groups hardest hit by the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act is one that swung for Donald Trump during last year's presidential race -- older Americans who have not yet reached Medicare age. Many of those who buy their own health insurance stand to pay a lot more for their coverage. That is especially true for the nearly 3.