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Today’s Headlines – July 24, 2012

Today’s early morning highlights from the major news organizations, including news from the campaign season as well as reports from the international AIDS conference currently taking place in Washington, D.C.

The Wall Street Journal: Deloitte: One In 10 U.S. Employers To Drop Health Coverage
Around one in 10 employers in the U.S. plans to drop health coverage for workers in the next few years as the bulk of the federal health-care law begins, and more indicated they may do so over time, according to a study to be released Tuesday by consulting company Deloitte (Radnofsky, 7/24).

NPR: Budget Hawk Ryan Offers Romney Risk, Reward
Among those on Mitt Romney’s list of potential running mates, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan has youth and experience, he’s a conservative from a swing state, and he has big ideas and the policy chops to back them up. But the chairman of the House Budget Committee would not be the safest of choices. … The budget plan he introduced in 2010, or the “road map,” as he called it, ignited a major debate within Congress. … Ryan’s budget was instantly controversial. It called for sweeping cuts to social programs, and, most troubling for seniors, would have changed Medicare from a guaranteed benefit to a voucher program (Seabrook, 7/24).

For more headlines …

The Associated Press/Washington Post: His Tea Party Defused, One-Time Kennedy Partner Hatch Wants To Be Dealmaker On Taxes
The type of real, red-faced debate that delighted Hatch and Kennedy also produced landmark laws like the American Disabilities Act and children’s health insurance. With former Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, the bellowing begat federally subsidized child care. Tense talks with no less a partisan than Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., produced a patent exemption that cleared the way for the generic drug industry (7/23).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Health Insurer WellPoint Reports On 2nd Quarter Performance Thursday
WellPoint Inc., the nation’s second-largest health insurer, will report second-quarter results on Wednesday, nearly a week after competitor UnitedHealth Group Inc. saw its stock price slip despite posting a 5 percent increase in quarterly profit (7/23).

The Washington Post: Politicians Praise AIDS Investment, But Urge More Spending And Support
Some of Washington’s most powerful people delivered to the 19th International AIDS Conference pretty much the same message: Fighting AIDS is a good investment that is getting better every year, but current spending isn’t enough to end the epidemic. Whether the world’s richer countries, and especially the United States, will decide to increase spending or alternatively wring more from current investment is a matter of much discussion among the 25,000 researchers, clinicians and activists here through Friday (Brown and Botelho, 7/23).

Los Angeles Times: Scientists Make Curing HIV A Priority
An influential group of scientists gathered this week at the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., is committing to a goal that just five years ago would have seemed ludicrous: to cure HIV. After studying the virus for more than 30 years and developing potent drugs that transformed the disease from a death sentence into a manageable chronic condition, a growing number of researchers now say the search for a cure should be a major research priority (Loury, 7/23).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: US Adds Another $150 Million To Global AIDS Fight, Aims At High-Risk Groups Hit By Stigma
The U.S. is adding an extra $150 million to the global AIDS fight, taking a first step toward reaching some stigmatized populations. Despite tough fiscal times, “I am here today to make it absolutely clear the U.S. is committed and will remain committed to achieving an AIDS-free generation,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told the International AIDS Conference on Monday (7/23).

The Wall Street Journal: U.S. Pledges More Funding To Fight AIDS World-Wide
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday pledged new funding from the U.S. to curb the global HIV/AIDS pandemic and said the administration has significantly accelerated the pace at which it is getting lifesaving AIDS drugs to developing countries. The initiatives are part of a priority the administration set late last year for what Mrs. Clinton calls an “AIDS-free generation”—in which HIV infections are virtually eliminated in newborns, risk of infection in adults is far lower than it is today, and treatment is readily available (McKay, 7/23).

Politico: Hillary Clinton Vows ‘AIDS-Free Generation’ At Conference
Clinton spoke of leveraging public-private partnerships, in addition to coordinating with The Global Fund, which receives major support from The Gates Foundation to fund its efforts against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. She noted that the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDs Relief, known as PEPFAR, is now providing anti-retroviral treatment to almost 4.5 million people worldwide and is on pace to reach its goal of 6 million by the end of next year (Norman, 7/23).

NPR: AIDS Returns To The U.S. Spotlight
More than 20,000 people are attending the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington this week. The meeting features speeches from U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former first lady Laura Bush, health ministers from many countries around the world, Bill Gates, NIH scientists Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins and hundreds more (Neel, 7/23).

NPR: U.S. AIDS Cases Come Into View
The HIV epidemic in the U.S. started in 1981, mainly in major cities along the East and West Coasts. The first reports were from Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco among gay and bisexual men. Within months, it was clear that injecting drug users were also getting the virus. Even now, you can see the lingering geographic contours of how the epidemic unfolded (Neel, 7/23).

The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog: Challenge To Arizona Abortion Law Finds Prosecutors Taking Opposite Sides
A recent set of Arizona laws restricting abortion has gotten the kinds of responses you’d expect from various groups – Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit last Monday – but also has state prosecutors taking opposite positions on whether enforcement should be delayed (Favate, 7/23).