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.

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.

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.

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.

How do insurers decide what medicines to pay for?

How do insurance companies decide what medicines to pay for and when to pay for them? Insurers and other payers look first at how well the drug works -- not its cost -- when they decide whether to cover the latest treatments, according to the nation's largest pharmacy benefits manager, Express Scripts.

Cholesterol drug cuts heart risks, spurs new debate on cost

A long-acting cholesterol medicine cut the risk of having a heart attack or some other serious problems by 15 to 20 percent in a big study that's likely to spur fresh debate about what drugs should cost. Statins such as Lipitor and Crestor are cheap and lower LDL or bad cholesterol, but some people can't tolerate or get enough help from them.

US consumer prices rose at a tempered pace in February

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumer prices rose at a slower pace in February. Clothing and housing costs rose last month, while motor vehicle and gasoline prices dipped. Consumer prices rose 0.1 percent in February, a sharp deceleration from the 0.6 percent jump in January, the Labor Department said Wednesday. The tempered increase comes as the Federal Reserve appears poised to raise a key short-term rate Wednesday for the third time since late 2015.

Ryan's gambit: Second health care bill to woo the reluctant

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Republicans are working on a companion to their bill replacing "Obamacare," a legislative second act that would ease cross-state sale of health insurance and limit jury awards for pain and suffering in malpractice lawsuits. The problem: the so-called "sidecar" bill lacks the votes in the Senate. Skeptics abound. Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas called it "mythical legislation" in an interview Tuesday on the Hugh Hewitt radio show.

Editorial Roundup: Excerpts from recent editorials

Excerpts from recent editorials in the United States and abroad: ___ March 7 The New York Times on Republicans' newly unveiled health bill: Republican House leaders have spent months dodging questions about how they would replace the Affordable Care Act with a better law, and went so far as to hide the draft of their plan from other lawmakers. No wonder.

A look at the opposing sides on the GOP health care bill

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A look at opposing sides as Congress considers proposed Republican changes to the Obama administration health law. ___ SUPPORTING THE BILL: President Donald Trump: "We're going to do something that's great and I'm proud to support the replacement plan released by the House of Representatives.

Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment:

CONGRESS-HEALTH-OVERHAUL House panel refuses to delay GOP health bill WASHINGTON (AP) -- In the day's first vote on Republican health care legislation, GOP lawmakers controlling the House Ways and Means Committee have blocked a Democratic attempt to delay the panel's work for a week. Texas Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett said there's been little time to understand what's in the legislation. The measure would unravel much of former President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

Global stocks waver after Wall Street losses

LONDON (AP) -- Global stock markets traded on a soft note Wednesday after Wall Street fell for a second day following U.S. President Donald Trump's comments about reducing drug prices. KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 0.2 percent at 7,325 while the CAC 40 in France was flat at 4,953. Germany's DAX was up 0.1 percent at 11,976.

Trump's promises vs. the Republican plan on health care

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump said he was "proud to support" House Republicans' proposal for replacing the Affordable Care Act," though he noted that he considered it the first phase of his planned health care overhaul and the beginning of a "negotiation." It's not clear exactly how the White House would like to change the bill. Trump has never put forward a detailed health care proposal.

Asian stocks lower after Wall Street losses

BEIJING (AP) -- Asian stocks declined Wednesday after Wall Street retreated for a second day following President Donald Trump's comments about reducing drug prices. KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index declined 0.5 percent to 19,246.64 and the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.1 percent to 3,237.70. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 shed 0.3 percent to 5,745.50 and Seoul's Kospi was off just under 0.1 percent at 2,092.81. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.1 percent to 23,697.

The Latest: Kasich warns against Medicaid phase-out

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on new Republican legislation to replace the health care law (all times local): 5:45 p.m. Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) says phasing out Medicaid coverage without a viable alternative is "counterproductive" and potentially risky. The Republican governor's tweet Tuesday comes in response to House Republicans' health care proposal.

What if there's no affordable insurance to buy?

Leslie Kurtz needed three plates, eight screws and a big assist from her insurer after breaking every bone in her ankle while white water rafting. Coverage she purchased through a public insurance exchange established by the federal health care law paid $65,000 toward surgery and the care she needed after the 2015 accident. But that protection may not exist next year because insurers have abandoned the Knoxville, Tennessee resident's exchange.

No surgery for Price; Strasburg sticks with stretch

After David Price consulted two renowned orthopedic doctors, the Boston Red Sox said Friday the star pitcher will not need surgery or an injection in his ailing left arm. Price traveled to Indianapolis on Thursday for a consultation with Drs. James Andrews and Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who were at the NFL Combine. Price is expected to return Saturday to Boston's spring training complex in Fort Myers, Florida.