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Health care law to fund "innovation" jobs program

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November 14, 2011 12:24 PM EST | AP


WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is tapping the health care overhaul law to advance its economic agenda, a political priority for the White House.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Monday that her department will provide up to $1 billion over three years to create jobs in local programs that improve health care through innovation.

The effort is called the Health Care Innovation Challenge. Grants of $1 million to $30 million will be awarded next spring to organizations such as hospitals, nonprofits, and local government agencies.

While the money comes from the health care law, the program is part of the president's "We Can't Wait" initiative, a political effort by the White House to show the administration is acting to create jobs and boost the economy while Congress is gridlocked.