June 30, 2010 |
Many hard-working people need access to short-term credit in a pinch to cover the cost of an emergency room visit or replacing a busted stove or carburetor. Yet apart from asking friends and relatives for assistance, a wellspring that comes with its own costs and often runs dry, many families turn to alternative, "predatory" lenders to finance unexpected expenses. Although the products offered by these alternative lenders — such as payday or car-title loans — can help families weather a financial emergency, the eye-popping interest rates can be devastating.
September 20, 2009 |
The main problem with American healthcare is too much government. Let's reduce government control and let real competition create better services and lower prices. The shortest explanation of conservatives' approach to improving the best -- albeit still imperfect -- healthcare system in the world is: Do the opposite of what President Obama wants. I see four key components to the conservative approach. First, it's time for honesty from Democrats, Republicans and the health profession.
June 13, 2009
Re "A booster shot for insurers," June 7 I have some questions for the health insurance companies pushing a mandate: I'm apparently uninsurable, according to your own underwriting standards. Will you cover me? Will you cover my preexisting conditions? Will you be as expensive or more expensive than COBRA or California's high-risk pool? What will be my options as my divorce at this later stage of my life becomes final? Will I make too much money to qualify for assistance, or will I make too little to afford it in the first place, because I'm self-employed and my income in this economy is so uneven?
March 31, 2009
Re "Help for healthcare reform," editorial, March 27 Health insurers insisting they have the "same objectives as consumer groups, doctors, hospitals and the government" is disingenuous. Most insurers are for-profit companies whose primary goal is to pay high dividends to shareholders. Healthcare is essential to the welfare of all Americans. No portion of medical insurance premiums or other patient payments should be managed to generate a profit for shareholders, because that creates conflicts of interest between the patient and the insurer and its directors.
August 22, 2008
Re "Sold on food safety," editorial, Aug. 19 The Wal-Marts and McDonald's of the world have been requiring enhanced food safety from their suppliers for more than a decade, and, as your editorial notes, they may be the best advocates for consumers. Making customers sick is bad business. But many of the checks and balances on supplying fresh produce, like the kind involved in this year's salmonella outbreak, are hidden and poorly validated. Any commodity is only as good as its worst grower.
July 27, 2008 |
Schools run by private enterprise? Free iPods and laptop computers to attract students? It may sound out of place in Sweden, that paragon of taxpayer-funded cradle-to-grave welfare. But a sweeping reform of the school system has survived the critics and 16 years later is spreading and attracting interest abroad. "I think most people, parents and children, appreciate the choice," said Bertil Ostberg from the Education Ministry. "You can decide what school you want to attend and that appeals to people."