News Clips Oct. 1, 2009

Study: Health-care rates to rise 6% in 2010

Health-care rates are projected to increase about 6 percent for employers in 2010, according to an analysis by Hewitt Associates, a global human resources consulting and outsourcing company.

In 2009, average health-care premiums also increased 6 percent, consistent with 2008.

According to Hewitt (NYSE:HEW), the average total health-care premium per employee for large companies will increase from $8,607 in 2009 to $9,120 in 2010. The amount employees will be asked to contribute toward this cost is $2,085, or 23 percent of the total health-care premium. This is up 10 percent from 2009, when employees contributed $1,890, or 22 percent of the total health-care premium.

Health care benefits: Workers to pay 10% more in 2010, Hewitt Associates study predicts

Employers’ share to rise 6%, Hewitt survey finds

The cost of medical benefits is projected to jump again next year with premiums and out-of-pocket expenses rising 10 percent, and that likely will mean more pain for workers, who have seen their share of the tab triple since 2001.

In 2010, the combined average premium and out-of-pocket costs for health care coverage for a worker are projected to climb to $4,023 a year, a 10 percent increase from this year, according to an annual study by Hewitt Associates released ahead of open-enrollment season for medical benefits.,0,7654162.story

Democrat stands ground after ‘die quickly’ health care remark

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Freshman U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson refused to back down Wednesday from remarks made on the House floor the night before, in which he said the Republican health care plan calls for sick people to “die quickly.”

Public option remains a flash point

By Jane M. Von Bergen

Inquirer Staff Writer
No one’s ready to bury the public option – not the health-care activists planning yet another protest today against Cigna Corp., the national health insurer with headquarters in Philadelphia, and certainly not insurance executives who stay resolutely on message about how the plan is a “distraction” to changing health care.

GOP Preparing Resolution Against Grayson

UPDATE 5 P.M.: Grayson continues to make clear that he won’t be apologizing for his remarks Tuesday night. On Wednesday afternoon he went to the House floor and said that the only people who deserved an apology were those who did not have health insurance. “I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven’t voted sooner to end this holocaust in America,” he said. Republicans are already seizing on his use of the word “holocaust,” and you can expect to hear a lot more about this Thursday.

Congressional Health Benefits Could Soon Change

Senators debating health-care reform legislation have unanimously approved a proposal requiring members of Congress and their staffs to obtain health insurance through new state-based purchasing exchanges set up by the health-care reform bill under consideration. Lawmakers and their staffs could no longer buy health insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program beginning in 2013 if the proposal survives the final health-care bill passed by Congress.

Wrong turn on highway may lead to WA man’s removal

By MANUEL VALDES (AP) – 4 hours ago

SEATTLE — All it took was a wrong turn for Jorge-Alonso Chehade to face deportation.

But that wrong turn also brought him attention and praise from Washington state’s congressional delegation, pro bono attorneys and maybe, just maybe, a chance to stay in the United States.

In March, the 22-year-old college graduate was visiting friends in Bellingham at Western Washington University. On the way back early in the morning, tired from a night’s fun and unfamiliar with the area, Chehade and a friend took the north Interstate 5 ramp instead of the southbound one.

Politicians can’t keep promise on this bill

The Obama administration cannot have it both ways.

President Barack Obama, members of his administration and congressional Democratic leaders assure us that the health reform legislation will not cover illegal or undocumented aliens. They have repeated this ad nauseam.,0,239472.column

Museums take on immigration debate with exhibits

CHICAGO (AP) — With little progress on immigration reform among lawmakers, the nationwide debate has entered a new space: museums.

A network of U.S. museums launched a program Wednesday in Chicago that aims to grapple with tough questions on immigration, including who should have access to health care, how borders should be controlled, and issues of citizenship and identity.

Groups Seek Better Count of Hispanics

A coalition of Latino groups backed by the Census Bureau will launch a campaign Thursday to pull off an elusive feat: getting an accurate count of Hispanics in the U.S.

The Hispanic population has exploded since the 2000 census, growing 33% to an estimated 47 million. But it is also one of the hardest groups to track.

Report: 1 in 3 loan applications denied

By ALAN ZIBEL (AP) – 15 hours ago

WASHINGTON — Nearly one in three borrowers who applied for a mortgage last year was denied as lenders kept their standards tight as the mortgage crisis accelerated, the government reported Wednesday.

In its annual look at mortgage practices among lending institutions, Federal Reserve said the denial rate for all home loans was about 32 percent last year — about the same as in 2007, but up from 29 percent in 2006. The denial rates for blacks and Hispanics were more than twice as high as the rate for white borrowers.

RNC Celebrates Republican Hispanic Heritage Month

It seems that Michael Steele and the Republican National Committee have a new video out:

Hi, I’m Michael Steele, Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Today I’m proud to join my fellow Americans in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Council to focus on economic development for Hispanics

RACINE – A new council of the League of United Latin American Citizens in Racine will focus on economic development for the local Hispanic community, the state director said.

State Director Darryl Morin of LULAC of Wisconsin said the adult council will offer financial classes on mortgages, loans and credit, as well as teach practical tips such as how to manage your budget or improve your credit.

Green Space

Local climate

By Kat Kerlin
More stories by this author…

Climate change appears to have moved to the back burner as the country’s residents and political leaders’ attentions have shifted toward health-care reform. A newly launched coalition of Nevada groups is trying to ensure that clean energy remains a focus. The Clean Energy Works campaign is centered on the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, which the House passed in June and the Senate is expected to take up in the coming weeks. The coalition’s goal is to get clean energy legislation passed this fall.

The Clean Energy Works coalition includes the Nevada Conservation League, the Sierra Club, 1Sky, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, Democracia Ahora, the Pew Environmental Group, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environment Nevada. This fall, the group will be collecting signatures and urging phone calls to Congress regarding the energy bill. For more information, visit


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