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Despite fleeting promises by the administration to shut the place down, the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba is still up and running, complete with many of the terrible conditions we've all come to know and be ashamed of, according to transcripts recently obtained by the Associated Press.

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More and more troops are coming home from Iraq with brain damage, the result of repeated exposure to explosions, and doctors are having a difficult time keeping up. For many, the damage causes problems experts have never seen before and aren't sure how to treat.

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Cigarette smoking is even worse for your health than previously thought. Dutch researchers have found that smokers over the age of 55 are 50 percent likelier to develop some form of dementia.

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Listening to the Republican candidates for president warn against "socialized medicine," you might believe that national health insurance is really a plot to institute Soviet rule in the United States.

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In a case of life imitating art and vice versa, a New Orleans grand jury refused Tuesday to indict a doctor for the alleged mercy killing of four critically ill patients during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Dr. Anna Pou maintained her innocence throughout the affair, which was recently fictionalized by the left-leaning drama "Boston Legal."

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The rudimentary equation of the health insurance industry is that to make a profit, it must take in more money than it pays out in claims. This is why the public, as distinct from the political class, will intuitively understand and likely appreciate Michael Moore's new film, "Sicko."

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Documentarian Michael Moore takes clips from his latest to Oprah for a discussion of the healthcare crisis and why even Republicans are responding warmly to the film: "I don't want this to be a political issue When you get sick, you get sick The illness doesn't care whether you're a Democrat or a Republican".

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Meet the president's pick for our next surgeon general, Dr. James Holsinger, a man who once wrote that homosexuality is unnatural and unhealthy: "When the complementarity of the sexes is breached, injuries and diseases may occur." Injuries? Can't we just do without a surgeon general for a couple of years?

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A new proposal would make New Jersey the first state to require HIV testing for pregnant women and their babies, unless the women decline the test in writing. Currently four states test just mothers, and two others only newborns. The bill is opposed by the D.C.-based Center for Women Policy Studies on the grounds that it limits health rights.

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When it comes to abortion, the Christian right presents a false choice between self-condemnation and a life of struggle. Until the impoverished and imperiled, so frequently driven into the arms of demagogues, are truly cared for, the freedom of all women will be at risk.

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