Washington in brief
Compiled from Times wires
House backs later deadline on benefits
WASHINGTON -- The House on Thursday approved by voice vote legislation extending a welfare law and unemployment benefits, and restoring Medicare payments to doctors.
The bill would extend unemployment benefits for victims of the recession. Congress had approved a 13-week extension of unemployment benefits as part of an economic stimulus package it passed this year, but that extension expires Dec. 31. The House bill would provide for another five weeks of benefits for those who have not yet exhausted their extension. That's designed to give lawmakers time to return in January and examine the issue further.
Gore now favors single-payer health plan
Al Gore says he now favors single-payer health coverage, a proposal that would require a massive change in the nation's health insurance system.
With single-payer coverage, all money spent on health care would be collected by a public agency, which would then pay for comprehensive coverage for all citizens.
Gore, the 2000 Democratic presidential nominee and a potential candidate in 2004, offered his views Wednesday night in response to a question at a synagogue in New York during a tour promoting his book Joined at the Heart, written with his wife, Tipper.
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From the Times wire desk
From the AP