There's a battle brewing behind the scenes to keep health plans affordable for consumers. The Obama administration weighed in this week, sending letters to insurance regulators in every state and Washington, D.C., that ask them to take a closer look at rate requests before granting them.
Under the Affordable Care Act, state agencies largely retain the right to regulate premiums. So far only a handful have finalized premiums for the coming year, for which enrollment begins in November.
Anyone who's fought cancer knows that it's not just scary, but pricey, too.
"A lot of my patients cry — they're frustrated," says Dr. Ayalew Tefferi, a hematologist at the Mayo Clinic. "Many of them spend their life savings on cancer drugs and end up being bankrupt."
The average U.S. family makes $52,000 annually. Cancer drugs can easily cost a $120,000 a year. Out-of-pocket expenses for the insured can run $25,000 to $30,000 — more than half of a typical family's income.
In a development that comes after a German firm was reportedly close to reaching a deal to buy the Financial Times Group from the Pearson publishing company, the Financial Times will instead be bought by Japanese media company Nikkei, for 844 million pounds ($1.3 billion) in cash.
Earlier Thursday, the Financial Times itself had reported that the newspaper's publisher was on the verge of being sold to German media group Alex Springer. Other reports had suggested that Bloomberg or Thomson Reuters were potential buyers.
Greek lawmakers have approved a set of overhauls that were the last obstacles standing between Athens and a desperately needed 86 billion euro line of credit, which is being fronted by creditors along with a demand for domestic reforms.
The latest measures include a restructuring of the banking and judicial systems, passed easily (230-63 with five abstentions) despite thousands of anti-austerity protesters demonstrating loudly outside the Parliament building.
There aren't a lot of obscure government board meetings that warrant a watch party, let alone one with a marching band.
But that's how fast-food restaurant workers and their supporters celebrated Wednesday on a blocked-off street in Manhattan, as they watched a state panel recommend a $6.25 increase in their hourly wage, to $15.
If the nuclear deal with Iran is implemented, Tehran stands to gain a lot of money. There are differing estimates of exactly how much: The U.S. Treasury Department has said something on the order of $100 billion is in blocked overseas Iranian accounts, while Iran's Central Bank governor puts the figure closer to $29 billion.
Whatever the exact amount, critics like Republican presidential candidate Lindsey Graham say that kind of cash will allow Tehran to make bad situations in the Middle East even worse.