Original Bailout Loses Its Luster
A recent poll released by the Gallup Organization says that for the first time since its passage by Congress in October, Americans have flipped from being more positive than negative on the Wall Street bailout. The first poll conducted just after the bill’s passage had it favored by Americans 50 percent to 41 percent; the same question in November prompted a 47 percent approval versus 45 percent disapproval. The last results show that now only 46 percent support the passage, while 47 percent think it has turned out to be a bad decision for the U.S. economy.
Healthcare Deductibles Increase
According to the National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans conducted by Mercer, the median deductible required by employers for individual coverage in PPO plans increased from $500 in 2007 to $1,000 in 2008. The study goes on to say that PPOs are still the most popular type of health plan, accounting for 69 percent of all covered employees. Since 2000, 30 percent more employers are imposing a deductible for PPO coverage. Additionally, employers held health benefit cost increases to approximately six percent in 2008, meaning more costs shifting to employees.
Free Broadband Network Raises Questions
Free-speech advocates are alarmed that M2Z Networks’, a national company, plans to build a free wireless broadband network with the intention of filtering content not deemed appropriate for children. The contentions regarding this issue are centered around who will ultimately decide what is considered “appropriate” for children. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will decide exactly how any filtering mandates would be implemented. M2Z Networks is attempting to position their free broadband network as a “family-friendly” network.