Prosecutors Finishing Case Against Branch Davidians

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PROSECUTORS in San Antonio are ready to wrap up their case against 11 Branch Davidian cultists accused of murdering four federal agents.

One piece of prosecution evidence still to come is an FBI surveillance tape that recorded conversations inside cult leader David Koresh's compound near Waco, Texas.

Government attorneys in the five-week-old trial were expected at press time to call their final witness late yesterday afternoon or today. The defense would then present its case, which defense lawyers estimate will take a week or two.

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A key piece of defense evidence is expected to be an emergency call to police made from the Davidian compound as gunfire broke out. Defense attorneys say the call bolsters their claim of self-defense.

Four agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were killed in a Feb. 28, 1993, shootout at the compound. The 11 Branch Davidians on trial are charged with murder and murder conspiracy. They face up to life in prison if convicted. Koresh and 80 followers died in the blaze. Eighteen were killed by gunshots, according to testimony.

Under Clinton health plan, states would spend less for poor, study says

STATES would spend $8 billion less on medical aid to the poor under President Clinton's health reforms, but there would still be wide disparities in federal help for those patients, an Urban Institute study concludes.

The savings might not materialize for states already accustomed to getting extra federal Medicaid money through provider taxes and donations, the researchers said.

But overall, the states that now contribute $61 billion toward the $140 billion Medicaid program would wind up spending about $53 billion under Mr. Clinton's plan, the report states. The president's proposal would subsidize insurance for low-income families and some small businesses.

Officials in some states have said that the Clinton reforms might eliminate most federal subsidies for the uninsured and leave illegal immigrants uncovered. A task force set up in New York recently claimed the state would lose $342 million in 1997, but would gain money in later years.

Clinton's plan, by contrast, claims its radical changes would save states $47 billion from 1996 to 2000, including $24 billion in the year 2000 alone. Under this plan, most of the 31 million people on Medicaid would get subsidies to buy regular health insurance through the same new alliances that would be used by much of the rest of the population. The federal and state governments would still pay for Medicaid for welfare recipients.

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