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Expanded Medicare coverage for obesity is the result of the government's removal of language from the Medicare manual that states that the condition is not an illness. Although the Department of Health and Human Services stopped short of calling obesity a disease, the move will give Medicare leverage concerning what can be covered. "With this new policy, Medicare will be able to review scientific evidence in order to determine which interventions improve health outcomes for seniors and disabled Americans who are obese and its many associated conditions," HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson announced last month.... Earnings soared 36 percent for UnitedHealth Group in the second quarter. The company reported net income of $596 million.... The percentage of children who are uninsured decreased in 2003 to the lowest level ever, according to a survey by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

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