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Millions of health care workers across the U.S. were supposed to have their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by this coming Monday under a mandate issued by President Joe Biden's administration. Thanks to legal challenges, they won't have to worry about it, at least for now.

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BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — With rising numbers of COVID-19 cases predicted this winter, President Joe Biden on Thursday appealed for Americans to get their boosters and get behind his plan to tackle the new omicron variant through wider availability of vaccines and shots, but without new major restrictions on daily life.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee on Wednesday halted dozens of exemptions that allowed businesses and public entities to require people to take COVID-19 preventive measures in spite of a state law severely limiting them, citing court rulings that blocked some of President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates.

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A federal judge on Monday blocked President Joe Biden’s administration from enforcing a coronavirus vaccine mandate on thousands of health care workers in 10 states that had brought the first legal challenge against the requirement.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Republicans at the North Carolina legislature on Monday rolled out their final two-year budget bill, hopeful that sweeteners on employee pay raises, infrastructure and tax cuts for individuals will attract enough Democratic support so the long-delayed plan can become law.

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MARKS, Miss. (AP) — For the past five years, anybody who broke a leg, had a heart attack or came down with appendicitis in rural Quitman County, Mississippi, had to be driven at least 30 minutes to the east or west to get the kind of medical attention they needed.

Medicare officials say complaints are rising from seniors lured into private plans with misleading information or enrolled without their consent. In response, officials have threatened to penalize the private companies selling Medicare Advantage and drug plans if they or agents working on their behalf mislead consumers.

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's extended budget negotiations will come to a head next week with the House and Senate voting on a final spending plan, officials said Wednesday. Gov. Roy Cooper has suggested he could sign it into law, even though he wouldn't get everything he wants, in particular Medicaid expansion.

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A coalition of 10 states sued the federal government on Wednesday to try to block a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for health care workers, marking a new front in the resistance by Republican-led states to the pandemic policies of President Joe Biden's administration.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana lawmakers are trying a new approach to determine how much the state will spend on Medicaid services each year, as the program has ballooned to more than one-third of the state's budget and added hundreds of thousands of people during the pandemic.

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Advocates for people with disabilities gathered at the state Capitol on Tuesday to protest what they say is the eroding quality of home care services under Pennsylvania's new managed care system, problems being accelerated by the pandemic.

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