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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri has approved legislation seeking to reinstate a cap on some damages in medical malpractice lawsuits after the state Supreme Court struck down the existing limit.

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A 2005 law capped noneconomic damages in such cases at $350,000. It was part of a broader effort to curb liability lawsuits. The state high court ruled last summer that the cap is unconstitutional.

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House members voted 93-62 on Thursday to pass legislation that attempts to impose the damages limit while avoiding the constitutional problem referenced by the court. It now goes to the Senate.

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Supporters of limiting noneconomic damages contend it would reduce health care costs and help keep doctors in Missouri. Opponents say there is a fundamental constitutional right to a jury trial.

 

Thursday, 28 March 2013 14:26
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is continuing to push for a Medicaid expansion, but he's open to alternatives that could use federal money to buy private insurance for lower-income adults.

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Nixon said in an interview Thursday that he's willing to consider an Arkansas model that would use Medicaid money to purchase policies through an online insurance exchange created under President Barack Obama's health care law.

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The 2010 law called for states to expand Medicaid to adults earning up to 138 percent of poverty, or $32,500 for a family of four. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year made that optional for states.

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Nixon is visiting Hermann and Perryville to build support for a Medicaid expansion. Republican legislators have rejected his plan. But Nixon says he hopes for a compromise.

 

Thursday, 28 March 2013 14:24
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The USDA reports that farmers intend to plant 97.3 million acres of corn this year, the most since 1936.

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The spring planting survey released Thursday says the 2013 corn planting forecast is up slightly from last year's 97.2 million acres.

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Corn remains profitable, as prices are strong after last year's drought left the grain in short supply.

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Record corn acreage is expected in Arizona, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, and Oregon.

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But some Corn Belt states will continue to be affected by the worst drought since the 1950s, with slightly less planted acreage expected.

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The report says farmers plan to plant 77.1 million acres in soybeans, down slightly from 2012's 77.2 million acres but still the fourth-highest soybean planting on record.

Thursday, 28 March 2013 13:37
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NEW LONDON, Mo. (AP) - Authorities in the northeast Missouri town of New London are searching for the man who shot a child with a blow gun.

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The Hannibal Courier-Post reports that the incident happened Monday. The boy, who is about 10, had a tetanus shot and is OK.

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Police Chief Brad Sanders says two boys were walking along a street when a pickup truck approached. Someone inside the truck fired a dart, about 3-4 inches long, and it struck one of the boys in the arm.

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The weather was cold and Sanders says the boy's heavy coat prevented more serious injury.

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The boys ran to Casey's General Store where store manager Arlene Hudson tended to the injury until emergency crews arrived.

Thursday, 28 March 2013 12:39
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