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WASHINGTON — Hospitals, health clinics, and medical schools across the country had hoped to cash in through Washington’s newly resurrected earmark program, but facilities in Missouri had an advantage: a well-placed senator from their home state.

Democrats in Congress brought back so-called earmarks earlier this year, rebranding the handouts of federal funds as “congressionally directed spending” with new transparency requirements. More than 660 awards went to health care providers and medical education programs, representing $1.1 billion in funding, according to a STAT analysis of a Bipartisan Policy Center database of health care-related earmarks sent through the Health Resources and Services Administration.

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