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BUSINESS
April 23, 2014 | By David Lazarus
Kathleen says the cost of her health insurance has soared. She wants to know why -- and who she can complain to. Kathleen isn't alone. A lot of people have seen their health-insurance premiums rise in recent months, and there's a reason for this. Obamacare. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions That's not to say all such rate hikes are unjustified. In most cases, the costs are rising because the quality of the coverage is improving. The Affordable Care Act requires that all health insurance meets certain standards, and some plans are going up in cost for the simple reason that they're complying with the law. For more, plus who's taking complaints about such things, check out today's Ask Laz video.
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BUSINESS
February 14, 2001 | NEDRA PICKLER, ASSOCIATED PRESS
The government released rollover risk ratings for 30 more vehicles on Tuesday, giving low marks to eight sport-utility vehicles and high grades to four cars. The ratings of the 2001 vehicles are based on a mathematical formula for measuring the vehicle's center of gravity and width. SUVs and pickup trucks are more top-heavy and thus more likely to get lower marks than a car or van.
OPINION
December 3, 2008
Re "U.S. tackles consumer debt market," Nov. 26 OK, I admit that I do not have a degree in economics. However, the information I am reading about "bailouts" defies any logic I know as a consumer. The latest is that the government plans to give billions to industries that will encourage consumer credit. Everyone I know is trying desperately to get out from under credit debt. Can someone who has credit-card debt explain how encouraging the use of further indebtedness through credit can help the average consumer?
BUSINESS
June 7, 2009
Re: David Lazarus' consumer column, "Finally, AT&T writes a contract in plain English," May 31: "The 8,000-word contract was a triumph of consumer-unfriendliness" -- and clearly was written by lawyers on steroids! Michael Lohnberg Agoura Hills
OPINION
March 15, 1992
As a previous insurance salesman, now a self-employed technician in Santa Barbara, I actively turn down all medical insurance coverage. Very little of the premium dollar goes to actual care. Insurance companies lobby for whatever laws would require all people to be on their books. They also have high-commission people working in high-rent buildings, while fraudulent claims go unchecked. Doctors are the least to blame. Hospitals charge $3 for aspirin and must show a bottom-line profit.
BUSINESS
December 10, 2013 | By David Lazarus
Godfrey is fed up with those subscription cards that come tumbling out of magazines. Why do publishers bother using them? The publishing industry calls these things "blow-in" cards, and they've been around for years as a way to attract new subscribers. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions In 2009, the New York Times reported that blow-in cards appeared to be falling out of favor as digital distribution grew. But there's not much evidence to back that up. So why does this pesky practice persist?
ENTERTAINMENT
May 1, 1988
When people attending the Bruce Springsteen concert pay scalpers $350-$850 for a $25 ticket, it is easy to understand why we have inflation. The consumer is being consumed. MONROE RUBINGER Beverly Hills
OPINION
September 15, 1991
In its editorial "Help Wanted From the Fed," Sept. 7), The Times wants the Fed to boost economic activity by cutting interest rates even more and "that should help fuel consumer spending and fire up the recovery." The Times seems to forget that millions of consumers depend on interest income to make ends meet. If their interest income goes lower, how would that fuel consumer spending and fire up the economy? C.B. MIRKIN Los Angeles
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