Treating diabetes costs government, private insurers and patients about $27.6 billion a year in California for such expenses as doctor visits, testing, medication, surgery and hospital costs, according to the American Diabetes Association. The state and federal governments shoulder most of that expense through Medi-Cal, which is California’s health program for those living in poverty, and the national Medicare system that covers seniors.
Last week’s ruling is particularly costly to roughly 10,000 city employees who started working for the city before April 1, 1986, and therefore did not qualify for Medicare.
They have been forced to choose between exorbitant premiums that, in some cases, are double their retirement checks or go without health insurance coverage at a time when they need it the most due to their age and declining health.
Several things happened over the last several months that affected the fund, including the elimination of a $97.4 million payment that the state was supposed to make in 2016. Lawmakers this year also delayed another $64 million payment, and they plan to delay another $194 million in payments next year, although those are scheduled to be repaid with interest over 20 years.
A drop in Canadian home prices has put some recent buyers under water, particularly in Toronto, the nation’s largest market, just as rising interest rates and record levels of household debt have put the squeeze on borrowers.
Yields on China’s sovereign and top-rated local notes climbed to the highest level in three years last week, while a measure of the nation’s core inflation — which excludes food and energy prices — has risen to a six-year high of 2.3 percent.
This normalization in bond yields is going to happen globally, said Darby. “China’s been the early warning signal for the rest of the world.”
In an essay released Monday, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan warned about “excesses” in the economy, pointing specifically to stocks and the government debt. The S&P 500 market cap is at 135 percent of GDP, the highest since 1999-2000, just as the dot-com bubble was about to pop, the central banker said.
The news media’s been so busy covering President Trump 24/7 that a really big story slipped through the cracks this summer: Social Security will begin paying out more than it takes in by 2021 — just three years from now, and come 2034 or so — just 16 years away — payouts could be slashed by about 23%, unless tough steps are taken to bolster the rickety program.
In Venezuela, a collapse in oil prices, along with nearly two decades of socialist policies, has sparked a severe recession and one of the world’s highest inflation rates. People often wait hours in line to buy bread. Prices for staples jump almost by the day. Medical shortages range from antibiotics to cancer drugs.
The letter said the agency found “the hairline cracks are a result of some of the design elements included to restrain the slabs and produce a robust and durable structure.”
The letter added that the cracking “was anticipated and is not expected to affect the integrity of the slabs.
Gold & Silver
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