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In The Morning News

Posted By Dave Goldstein On March 25, 2008 @ 9:22 am In Bulletin Today | 1 Comment

BusinessWeek: Health Care Industry No Longer Seen As Immune To Recession
It is “accepted wisdom in the financial world that health care, the largest sector of the economy, is the most recession-proof. The thinking is that people get sick no matter what’s happening to the economy. That premise holds true to an extent for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, whose drugs are always in demand. But health-care providers are far more vulnerable to economic malady.” If there is a recession, “4.2 million people” could lose “health coverage, predicts the Center for Economic & Policy Research, a Washington think tank,” and “without insurance, many patients won’t be able to pay, leaving hospitals and doctors to absorb the resulting bad debt.”
AP: Fed Injects More Cash Into Market Full Of Delinquent Loans
The move’s aim “is to inject liquidity into a market that has seized up amid a global credit crunch sparked by rotten U.S. subprime loans.” Separately, Fannie Mae reported Monday that “its serious delinquency rate for home loans jumped in January to 1.06% of the $2.9 trillion in mortgages it holds.” Mortgages “are deemed seriously delinquent when the borrower has missed three or more consecutive monthly payments or the loan has been referred for foreclosure.”
Money: Health Care Costs Increasingly Viewed As Employees’ Responsibility
“For better and for worse, in a few years your insurance plan might” cost you more as “employers are desperate to curtail the ever-mounting cost of health care, and they are turning to high-deductible insurance plans to push more of the burden of paying back onto your shoulders.” Money offers a series of tips for holding down costs, such as “You can get more out of Medicare,” since “the system began offering prescription drug coverage – the catch is that you have to choose from among dozens of privately run plans.” Money notes that you “can also opt out of traditional Medicare coverage and join a private Medicare Advantage plan. ‘There’s a lot of choice now, and that’s a good thing,’ says Medicare expert Sarah Thomas of AARP. ‘But it may be a little overwhelming.’”


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