Consumer Confidential: Obama’s Budget Plan Would Allow Greater Scrutiny Of High Drug Prices

Buried deep within President Obama’s $4 trillion budget plan are a couple of health care proposals that could change everything for U.S. consumers. The fact that the drug industry wasted no time in dismissing the ideas — and that their Republican friends in Congress said they wouldn’t even look at them — should tell you something big was afoot. The Department of Health and Human Services broke out Obama’s health care proposals in a...

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Obama Preps Final State  Of the Union

Obama Preps Final State Of the Union

Washington — President Obama will deliver his final State of the Union address on Tuesday night to a nation whose economy is far sturdier than it was when he took office in 2009. Yet as 2016 begins, the stout job market is accompanied by tepid economic growth and stubbornly flat wages. More broadly, two things are on the rise, to the president’s dismay: global temperatures and Americans’ concerns about terrorism. A snapshot of the...

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Obama Talks Link Between Robots, Jobs

Washington — In one of his first attempts at selling the just-completed Trans-Pacific Partnership, President Obama made a statement about what’s actually ailing the American worker. Offshoring might have sent a lot of jobs overseas in recent years, he told the radio show Marketplace, but the current headwind is robots. “Frankly when you look at job loss and lost leverage, automation and technology has probably contributed more than...

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U.S.-China: First Step on Cybertheft

Washington — China’s pledge to help crack down on hackers who steal commercial secrets from the United States, even coming as it did amid a bit of arm-twisting by President Obama, is a big breakthrough that could reduce U.S.-China tensions and end huge losses for American companies. Analysts say the agreement between the world’s two biggest economies is just a start but could lead to real progress on the cybertheft issue — depending...

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Congress Returns to  Unfinished Business

Congress Returns to Unfinished Business

Washington — Congress returns on Tuesday with a critical need for a characteristic rarely evident through a contentious spring and summer: cooperation between Republicans and President Obama. Lawmakers face a weighty list of unfinished business and looming deadlines, including a stopgap spending bill to keep the government open beyond Sept. 30. The most intractable issues — a solution to a yearlong battle over agency budgets and a...

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