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Eye on Washington

Medicaid money matters, seeking to restrict emergency contraception, nostalgia for the patient bill of rights

June is the month when, under ordinary circumstances, the US Congress really gets going with the appropriations process. But in the Senate wing of the Capitol this year, circumstances have been far from ordinary. The threat of the so-called nuclear option to prevent the minority from filibustering judicial nominations-averted by an 11th hour compromise (really just a "truce," according to Senator Orrin Hatch [R-Utah])-left senators of both parties bruised and weary. It will take time for their wounds to heal, allowing them to move forward with budgeting and transacting the nation's business.