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Slowdown in health costs aids U.S. deficit

Washington

Slowdown in health costs aids U.S. deficit

A sharp and surprisingly persistent slowdown in the growth of health care costs is helping to narrow the federal deficit, leaving budget experts trying to figure out whether the trend will last. In figures released last week, the Congressional Budget Office said it had erased hundreds of billions of dollars in projected spending on Medicare and Medicaid. The budget office now projects that spending on those two programs in 2020 will be about $200 billion, or 15 percent, less than it projected three years ago. New data also show overall health care spending growth continuing at the lowest rate in decades for a fourth straight year. Health experts think changes in how doctors and hospitals deliver health care are playing a role in the changes.

Los Angeles

Reward prompts tips in manhunt

Los Angeles authorities have received more than 700 tips from the public about the whereabouts of Christopher Dorner, the former police officer wanted in connection with three killings, police said Monday. The number of calls about Dorner has increased since Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced a $1 million reward on Sunday for information leading to his arrest. Dorner was formally charged Monday with the murder of a Riverside officer.

Wilmington, Del.

3 dead in shooting in courthouse

A gunman who spent years in court battles over custody disputes opened fire Monday in the lobby of the New Castle County Courthouse in Delaware, leaving two women dead before being fatally shot, authorities said. Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams said one of the women killed was the shooter's estranged wife. Authorities did not release the names of the deceased. Two police officers were also shot, but were treated at a hospital and released.

Chicago

2 are charged in slaying of student

Two Chicago gang members were charged in the shooting death of a 15-year-old honor student, authorities said Monday. Michael Ward, 18, and Kenneth Williams, 20, mistook Hadiya Pendleton and her friends for rival gang members who'd shot one of the men over the summer, police said. She was shot a little more than a week after she performed with a band in Washington during inauguration festivities.

Fort Meade, Md.

Judge delays Gitmo hearing

The military judge in the Sept. 11 conspiracy case granted a defense request to halt the proceedings until today after lawyers for the five accused plotters said officials were spying on their confidential attorney-client discussions. The judge ordered three prison officials at the U.S. Naval Base in Cuba to testify today before he rules on whether the trial should go forward. The hearings are being simulcast at Fort Meade.

Times wires

Slowdown in health costs aids U.S. deficit 02/11/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 7:49am]
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