We Want to Hear From You: What Do You Think About the New Healthcare Law?
After months of controversy, political bickering and maneuvering, and intense media speculation and scrutiny, this week became a historically significant moment in the annals of U.S. healthcare when U.S. President Barack Obama signed the new healthcare bill into law. Thus begins a new chapter in the healthcare saga, when the country will feel the effects [...]
Drug Companies and Hospitals Get a Boost from Healthcare Reform
After months of trying to predict how the healthcare reform proposals would affect the respective futures of their industries, drug companies and hospitals are optimistic about the prospective long-term profits the final version of the health care reform bill could bring them.
President Barack Obama yesterday (Tuesday) signed the $940 billion health care reform bill with support from pharmaceutical companies and the hospital industry. Both will benefit from a sharp increase in the number of insured customers, as the bill expands healthcare to up to 32 million more people.
While the bill will cost tens of billions of dollars over the next 10 years, the planned reforms create something drug companies and hospitals can't live without: paying consumers.
Shaky CBO Deficit Projections Help Healthcare Reform Bill Pass House
When the comprehensive healthcare reform bill won approval from the House on Sunday, some of the swing lawmakers were won over by a new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis showing the bill will slash the deficit by over $1.3 trillion over the next 20 years.
But at a time when the U.S. budget is already saddled with hefty doses of red ink, there's a growing debate about whether the new bill will reduce the deficit or evolve into another entitlement program that will expand the country's debt beyond already record levels.
Even though the bill - which President Barack Obama has hailed as the "most significant effort to reduce the deficit since the Balanced Budget Act" of the 1990s - will cost the federal government $940 billion over a ten-year period, the CBO said it will increase revenue and cut other costs by an even greater amount.
Teva Pharmaceutical Wins Fight in the Generic Drug Market Battle
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA) will buy sought-after German generic producer Ratiopharm for $4.97 billion, continuing a trend of highly competitive merger-and-acquisition (M&A) activity in the pharmaceutical industry. Competitors have pursued Ratiopharm for nine months because of its position as the second biggest generic producer in Germany. It was put up for sale in [...]
Can Democrats Dislodge the Debate Over Healthcare Reform?
If U.S. President Barack Obama goes ahead with a plan to have Democrats invoke a parliamentary gambit known as "reconciliation" to pass healthcare reform, a little known provision in the budget cycle ensures that Washington politicians will get to the endgame in less than 60 days.
One of the peculiarities of reconciliation is that it is a creation of the 1974 Budget Act and is linked to the annual budget cycle in Congress. It has been used to pass more than 22 tax cuts and deficit reductions over the years.
But the Budget Act specifies that Congress must complete action on its budget resolution by April 15 of each year. Once the budget resolution conference report is adopted by both the House of Representatives and the Senate, its terms govern the remainder of the budget process for that year - meaning no further spending measures can be introduced, including healthcare reform.
Obama's Targets Insurers with $950 Billion Health Care Reform Plan
Health insurance providers are protesting this week as the government comes a step closer to strengthening its industry regulation by calling for new "common sense" practices.
This latest development in U.S. President Barack Obama's push for health care reform occurred Monday when the White House released a sprawling $950 billion proposal in anticipation of tomorrow's (Thursday's) scheduled summit.
Obama's plan, which combines the respective reform bills of the Senate and the House of Representatives, suggests drastic changes are coming for insurance providers.
Coming Soon: The Bill for the Massive U.S. Debt
Americans could be in for a rude awakening in coming months when they discover the true scope of the massive national debt racked up by the U.S. government.
In fact, the $1.6 trillion deficit expected for 2010, which is above 10% of gross domestic product (GDP), is only the beginning.
Since the current economic crisis began in late 2007, the U.S. Federal Reserve has tripled the size of its balance sheet, creating enormous amounts of new money by lending to hundreds of ailing banks and buying up more than $1 trillion of questionable asset-backed securities.
But that's only a small part of the story. Since the beginning of the crisis, the Fed has lent, spent, or guaranteed $11.6 trillion, including underwriting the entire system of mortgage finance in the United States, a system that currently shows a nearly $1 trillion loss.
Investment News Briefs
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Fannie, Freddie Get Blank Checks; Holiday Retail Sales Rise 3.6%; Fed to Banks: Set Up CDs with Us; Health Care Bill Likely to Resemble Senate Version; JPMorgan Sues Former Bank Exec; Oil Tops $79 for First Time in Four Weeks
- In what's been called a "perplexing" move by one analyst, the U.S. Treasury lifted a $200 billion cap on the amount of taxpayer dollars that can be injected into ailing mortgage firms Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) , providing unlimited support to them. The Treasury put into $60 billion into Fannie and $51 billion into Freddie, and were unlikely to need more than the $200 billion cap, wrote Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. analyst Bose George in a note to investors yesterday (Monday). George views the Treasury's move as a way to more aggressively prop the U.S. housing market, and said the government could step up efforts of its Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), a mortgage-modification program designed for homeowners who can no longer afford them. But so far, HAMP and other government props have failed to stop a continuing wave of foreclosures, as Money Morning reported last fall. Shares of the firms, both government-sponsored enterprises (GSE) skyrocketed in trading yesterday. Fannie was up 20.95% to close at $1.27, while Freddie gained 26.98% to close at $1.60.