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The compounding pharmacy at the center of a meningitis outbreak that has put 14,000 patients at risk was not following the requirements of its license when it shipped more than 17,000 vials of a contaminated steroid to pain clinics in 23 states, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health says.

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During a speech at the White House on Wednesday, President Barack Obama hinted at the possibility that congressional Democrats would soon be obliged to play the reconciliation card to ensure that health care reform legislation reaches the finish line and he pushed Congress to "finish its work" -- as in pronto -- on that crucial and contentious issue.

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It doesn't seem possible, but it could maybe perhaps be the case that some kind of resolution in the health care reform saga might be achievable soon. At least that's the tone President Barack Obama struck in a letter he sent Tuesday to prominent members of Congress that included conciliatory language on the subject of four ideas advanced by Republicans at last week's health care summit.

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