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Alaska governor says will accept federal funds to expand Medicaid

By Steve Quinn JUNEAU, Alaska (Reuters) – Alaska’s governor said on Thursday he would use his executive powers to expand the state’s Medicaid health program for the poor, in a bid to sidestep political opponents and bring coverage to more than 20,000 uninsured residents the first year. Governor Bill Walker said Alaska would accept $146 million in federal funds made available under President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare reform law, citing nearly 30 other states that have expanded Medicaid coverage. “(They) have already made the commonsense decision to accept Medicaid expansion.

Egyptian court begins retrial of Mubarak in corruption case

An Egyptian court began a retrial on Saturday of former president Hosni Mubarak and his sons for allegedly diverting public funds earmarked for the renovation of presidential palaces to upgrade family properties. Mubarak, 86, toppled in a 2011 popular uprising, was sentenced to three years in prison last May and his two sons were given four-year jail terms in the same case. Egyptian state television aired brief footage of Mubarak and his sons inside a cage in the courtroom in the Police Academy.

New Jersey Governor Christie ducks media after vaccination comments

By Sam Wilkin LONDON (Reuters) – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a possible 2016 presidential contender, cancelled three scheduled media appearances in the UK on Tuesday, amid a controversy over his comments on measles vaccinations. His comments came a few hours after President Barack Obama said parents should have their children vaccinated, saying the science was “pretty indisputable.” Christie cancelled two question-and-answer sessions and a press statement he was due to make after meeting UK finance minister George Osborne. “We just decided we're not going to have availability today,” said Maria Comella, Christie's head of communications, after the last scheduled appearance was cancelled.

U.S. military pay reforms could save $12 billion yearly: panel

By David Alexander WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A congressionally appointed panel on U.S. military compensation recommended overhauling retirement and healthcare benefits on Thursday to improve services offered to troops and families while cutting costs by up to $12.6 billion annually. The nine-member panel, including former military leaders and lawmakers, recommended the Pentagon broaden its retirement benefits to provide 401(K)-style savings plans for most service members while retaining a slimmed-down version of its current 20-year retirement plan. It also recommended reforming the health system for military families and younger retirees, replacing much of the current Tricare system with commercial insurance that would improve access to care. The report’s release drew a muted response, with President Barack Obama and other senior leaders thanking the panel and promising to study its findings.