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Healthcare bill vote delayed by House GOP leaders

Update, 3:36 p.m. : House GOP leadership has just announced that there will not be a vote on the health care bill today. The entire House GOP conference will meet tonight at 7 p.m. to discuss next steps. See below for more.


House Republican leaders were supposed to hold a vote on the  health care bill tonight, but this morning, they weren’t ready yet.

The Rules Committee, which determines how the measure will be debated and voted on in the House, met for 12 hours yesterday, and adjourned after midnight without agreeing on a path forward. 

The chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, Rep. Mark Meadows, had his own late night meeting -- with President Trump over the bill. Many of the “no” votes that threaten to scuttle the bill come from members of the Freedom Caucus, which is made up of the most conservative members in the House. Meadows said he was “encouraged” by his meeting with the White House -- their negotiations continued today. 

The Freedom Caucus wants to lower premiums by rolling back what are known as the Obamacare “essential benefits” -- like maternity care, emergency room visits, prescription drugs. But several moderates will likely reject this approach.

Republicans can lose up to 22 members, assuming that no Democrats will support the bill. Here’s the most current count of the “no” votes , according to CBS News.  

And here’s the latest:


3:36 p.m. House GOP leadership has just announced that there will not be a vote on the health care bill today. The entire House GOP conference will meet tonight at 7 p.m. to discuss next steps.

3:12 p.m.  Ryan’s press conference has been postponed for a second time, CBS News’ Catherine Reynolds reports.

1:47 p.m. The Freedom Caucus is currently meeting behind closed doors on Capitol Hill. Amash said that eliminating essential health benefits isn’t enough and that adding it alone would make the measure worse, CBS News’ Catherine Reynolds reports. 

Meadows said he wants the key provisions in the second phase of the repeal and replace strategy moved into this bill. He said that GOP leaders don’t have the votes to pass the current version. 

1:44 p.m. House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, and Rep. Justin Amash, R-Michigan, just said that there is no deal between the White House and their conservative bloc of lawmakers, CBS News’ Walt Cronkite reports. With no deal, it’s unclear how Republicans will move forward and whether the vote will still occur Thursday night.

12:45 p.m. President Obama issued a statement earlier in the day marking the 7th anniversary of Obamacare.

“Thanks to this law, more than twenty million Americans have gained the security and peace of mind of health insurance,” he said. “Thanks to this law, more than ninety percent of Americans are insured – the highest rate in our history. Thanks to this law, the days when women could be charged more than men and Americans with pre-existing conditions could be denied coverage altogether are

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For whites across America, deaths of despair are rising

For many white Americans without a college degree, life in America has devolved in a few short decades from one that offered ample economic opportunity into a socioeconomic dead end.

That’s according to new research from Princeton economists Anne Case and Nobel Prize-winner Angus Deaton, who grabbed headlines in 2015 with their finding that the death rate for middle-aged white Americans had sharply risen. The new research adds color to their earlier findings, helping to explain what’s driving mortality rates for less educated whites beyond that of blacks and their counterparts in other developed countries. 

The problems don’t hold true for all white Americans, since those with a college degree are enjoying lower mortality rates, they note. Yet for white adults without that piece of parchment, the world has gotten tougher. Long gone are the days of a healthy labor market for high-school graduates and strong social ties through marriage, religion and child-rearing. 

Instead, less educated whites face tepid demand for their skills and stagnant wages, with the opioid crisis adding “fuel to the flames,” Case and Deaton write. 

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The spike in mortality rates started in the Southwest but has now spread across the country, affecting both cities and rural areas as well as men and women. 

“Ultimately, we see our story as about the collapse of the white, high school educated, working class after its heyday in the early 1970s, and the pathologies that accompany that decline,” they wrote in a paper  published by The Brookings Institution.

While low wages and limited job opportunities are factors, the economists stress that the fundamental causes for rising death rates for less educated whites are globalization and automation. The impact of these forces has been widely debated, with some researchers finding that technology that replaces human labor  has already crimped the types of blue-color jobs that high-school educated whites traditionally held. 

President Trump campaigned on a platform that blamed globalization for the economic woes suffered by many of his supporters. Since taking office, he’s vowed to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada and signaled his administration will pursue protectionist policies. 

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Whether those moves will create good jobs for less educated Americans remains uncertain, although some experts warn that increased U.S. manufacturing activity won’t necessarily revive blue-collar jobs. The evidence is already there: American manufacturing output has increased 20 percent since 2009, yet factory employment has risen over that time by only 5 percent, according to Five Thirty Eight

How sharply have the lives of white, less-educated Americans veered off track? In 1999, this demographic had mortality rates that were about 30 percent lower than those of African-Americans. But by 2015, their mortality rate had eclipsed that of blacks by 30 percent, Case and Deaton found. They blame the spike in death rates partially on alcohol and drug poisoning, suicide, and alcoholic liver disease and cirrhosis. 

These “deaths of despair come from a long-standing process of cumulative disadvantage for those with less than a college degree,” they

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New vaccine could prevent thousands of childhood deaths

A new vaccine is safe and effective in preventing a deadly diarrheal disease that kills hundreds of children per day, according to a new large trial done in Africa.

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House GOP leaders postpone vote on healthcare bill

Update, 3:36 p.m. : House GOP leadership has just announced that there will not be a vote on the healthcare bill today. The entire House GOP conference will meet tonight at 7 p.m. to discuss next steps. See below for more.


House Republican leaders are supposed to be voting on their health care bill tonight, but this morning, they weren’t ready yet.

The Rules Committee, which is determines how the measure will be debated and voted on in the House, met for 12 hours yesterday, and adjourned after midnight without agreeing on a path forward. 

The chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, Rep. Mark Meadows, had his own late night meeting -- with President Trump over the bill. Many of the “no” votes that threaten to scuttle the bill come from members of the Freedom Caucus, which is made up of the most conservative members in the House. Meadows said he was “encouraged” by his meeting with the White House -- their negotiations continue today. 

The Freedom Caucus wants to lower premiums by rolling back what are known as the Obamacare “essential benefits” -- like maternity care, emergency room visits, prescription drugs. But several moderates will likely reject this approach.

Republicans can lose up to 22 members, assuming that no Democrats will support the bill. Here’s the most current count of the “no” votes , according to CBS News.  

And here’s the latest:


3:36 p.m. House GOP leadership has just announced that there will not be a vote on the healthcare bill today. The entire House GOP conference will meet tonight at 7 p.m. to discuss next steps.

3:12 p.m.  Ryan’s press conference has been postponed for a second time, CBS News’ Catherine Reynolds reports.

1:47 p.m. The Freedom Caucus is currently meeting behind closed doors on Capitol Hill. Amash said that eliminating essential health benefits isn’t enough and that adding it alone would make the measure worse, CBS News’ Catherine Reynolds reports. 

Meadows said he wants the key provisions in the second phase of the repeal and replace strategy moved into this bill. He said that GOP leaders don’t have the votes to pass the current version. 

1:44 p.m. House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, and Rep. Justin Amash, R-Michigan, just said that there is no deal between the White House and their conservative bloc of lawmakers, CBS News’ Walt Cronkite reports. With no deal, it’s unclear how Republicans will move forward and whether the vote will still occur Thursday night.

12:45 p.m. President Obama issued a statement earlier in the day marking the 7th anniversary of Obamacare.

“Thanks to this law, more than twenty million Americans have gained the security and peace of mind of health insurance,” he said. “Thanks to this law, more than ninety percent of Americans are insured – the highest rate in our history. Thanks to this law, the days when women could be charged more than men and Americans with pre-existing conditions could be denied coverage altogether are relics of

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Curious toddlers tragic victims of opioid epidemic

MILWAUKEE -- Curious toddlers find the drugs in a mother’s purse or accidentally dropped on the floor. Sometimes a parent fails to secure the child-resistant cap on a bottle of painkillers .

No matter how it happens, if a 35-pound toddler grabs just one opioid pill , chews it and releases the full concentration of a time-released adult drug into their small bodies, death can come swiftly.

These are some of the youngest victims of the nation’s opioid epidemic — children under age 5 who die after swallowing opioids. The number of children’s deaths is still small relative to the overall toll from opioids, but toddler fatalities have climbed steadily over the last 10 years.

In 2000, 14 children in the U.S. under age 5 died after ingesting opioids. By 2015, that number climbed to 51, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, alone, four children died last year of accidental overdoses. Another 2-year-old perished in January.

Each family who loses a toddler to opioids confronts a death that probably could have been prevented. Here are a few of their stories:

An energetic birthday girl, a methadone mystery

Cataleya Tamekia-Damiah Wimberly couldn’t sit still. She spent most of her first birthday party in Milwaukee dancing and diving into the cake. But her first birthday party was also her last. Nearly three weeks later, she was found dead of a cause her mother never suspected — a methadone overdose.

Helen Jackson, 24, was styling her older daughter’s hair when she got a call from Cataleya’s father, who shared custody of the little girl. He sobbed on the phone as he explained how he found their daughter unresponsive the morning of Feb. 16, 2016.

“I screamed so hard and so loud,” Jackson said. “The screams that came out of me took all my strength, all my wind. It was just terrible.”

Police were puzzled. They looked into whether the toddler was smothered while co-sleeping with her father and his girlfriend. They also investigated carbon monoxide poisoning because of a gas smell. Toxicology tests eventually revealed the methadone in her system.

Jackson said her daughter, while in the care of her father, was at a relative’s house when she swallowed the methadone that took her life.

Police are still investigating how Cataleya got the methadone . The case could be referred to the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office for consideration of criminal charges, said Sgt. Timothy Gauerke.

Since Cataleya’s death, friends and family have commented on what they perceive as Jackson’s strength in dealing with her loss. In reality, she said, she feels fragile and weak.

“I don’t know when I’m going to fall apart,” she said. “I don’t know when I’m going to explode. It’s all still in there.”

Mother’s prescription proves fatal for daughter

At just 2 years old, Londyn Raine Robinson Sack was protective of her baby brother, Liam.

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Londyn Raine Robinson Sack died on Oct. 19, 2014, after ingesting an opioid that was

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