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In The Morning News

Posted on 05/2/2008 by |Archived Contributor | Comments

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CNN: Analyst Says Candidates’ Health Care Plans Lack Sufficient Detail
“Reducing health care costs — and insuring the 47 million Americans who have no coverage — is the Rubik’s Cube of policy puzzles. And it’s one that the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates say they can solve.” One expert said that “McCain’s plan may drive up insurance costs for older or sicker workers because the credit could encourage younger, healthier workers to look for cheaper plans outside of their company.” Another analyst said that companies “may balk at the cost of the mandates under the Clinton and Obama plans and hire fewer workers or pay lower wages to compensate.” Ultimately, though, “Policy experts say the candidates have not yet provided enough details of their plans to adequately assess their true cost, savings or effectiveness.”
US News And World Report: Medical Tourism Grows Increasingly Popular In Face Of High Health Care Costs
“Thousands of Americans — estimates range from an ultraconservative 5,000 to 500,000 annually if minor procedures are counted” are leaving the US “for surgery when they have to come up with funds themselves. They may be self-employed or work for a small business and lack health insurance, for example, or their procedure may not be covered. More than 1 in 4 workers earning at least $60,000 a year went without insurance in 2006, according to a Census Bureau survey; too well-off to be eligible for medical assistance, they can often wring tens of thousands of dollars out of hospital ‘rack rates’ by going abroad. Some employers and big insurers like UnitedHealth and Blue Cross and Blue Shield are so intrigued by ‘medical tourism’ that they’re beginning to sniff for signs that it might be smart to cover it.”
MarketWatch: Fraudsters Target Stimulus Rebate
Andrea Coombes writes, “Debate is swirling as to whether the fiscal-stimulus payments headed to taxpayers will recharge the economy, but there’s no question they’re stimulating plenty of scammers’ frauds, and at least one company’s marketing pitches.” Fraudsters “tell consumers the information is necessary if they want to get their stimulus payment processed. The data collected is then used to commit identity theft.” The IRS has issue warnings over one “telephone scam, the caller says the IRS sent a check to the consumer, and the IRS now needs to verify the taxpayer’s bank account number. The tax agency does not ask consumers for bank account information, other than on tax returns’ ‘direct deposit’ section.”