In The Morning News

AP: House To Begin Debating Medicaid Changes
"Congress is poised to take up a measure Tuesday that would put a temporary halt to Medicaid changes that critics say would cut services and cost the states $50 billion over five years." Michigan representative John Dingell "is leading the fight to pass the bill, which was scheduled for House debate Tuesday." A one year delay "would cost about $1.6 billion, but moratorium supporters say they'd cover the cost by cutting Medicaid recipient abuse and borrowing from a reserve fund."
UPI: Study Shows Employers Shifting Health Care Costs To Employees
"U.S. employers are transferring more healthcare costs to employees, currently at about one month's salary," according to Aon Consulting's 2008 Benefits and Talent Survey. The report found that the "median annual contribution for family healthcare coverage is $3,120, which is a 15 percent increase from 2007 and 22 percent increase from 2006." A survey of American organizations "found that 64 percent of employers now have a benefits strategy that promotes the importance of health and productivity to their employees," a "three-fold" increase last year.
USA Today: Housing Crisis Draw In Renters
"The most brutal real estate slump in decades is reverberating through the rental market. Renters in properties that are being foreclosed on are being evicted." Homeowners "forced into foreclosure are becoming tenants again and driving up rents. And renters not yet ready to buy a home -- shut out by stricter lending rules or hoping to buy after prices fall still further -- are creating a dynamic shift: Even as real estate is sputtering, the rental market is surging." Indeed, rents "are accelerating in many markets across the USA. Vacancy rates are down from last year, and average rent is projected to rise 5.3% in 2008, up from a 3.1% increase in 2007, according to the National Association of Realtors. In some cities, rents are climbing at a double-digit clip."

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