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Along with the historic overhaul of the nation's health-care system may come a sweeping change to our student-loan system.
While one version of health-care reform has passed and is on its way to President Obama for his signature, a separate reconciliation bill that now heads to the Senate has attached to it a move to end the federal government's subsidies to private student-loan lenders.
The House passed this legislation last year but the Senate has yet to take it up. Now, presumably, they will. And if it passes, it could be a good thing for some students.
Right now, the federal government assumes the risk for the loans that private lenders make to student borrowers. So why not have the government cut those subsidies to banks and instead give the savings to needy students? Under the proposal, as much as $60 billion would be freed up over 10 years, providing much-needed cash to the Pell grant program, as well as to help pay for other student aid and, too, for health-care reform. And banks would still be hired to service the loans.
Certainly, any way to cut government costs seems like a powerful idea right about now.
No more worrying about lifetime limits on health coverage, about whether your insurer will dump you when you get sick, or about whether your adult child will be booted off your plan when he turns 18. See Vital Signs.
Action on health care shifts to Senate
The fight over health-care reform shifts to the Senate this week, as lawmakers there are expected to vote on a package of changes to the historic bill that cleared the House of Representatives late Sunday. See story on health-care reform.
Historic health-care overhaul goes to Obama for signature
In a climactic vote after a year of wrenching debate, the House of Representatives on Sunday approved a Senate bill overhauling the U.S. health-care system, handing President Barack Obama a key victory on the most significant social-policy legislation in decades. See story on health-care reform.
Who wins, loses in health overhaul?
The pharmaceutical industry stands to gain with the passage of the health bill, while the insurance industry has mixed results, Stefanie Ilgenfritz reports on the News Hub. Watch Video Report.
Ford CEO cashes in on company's big year
While the rest of the U.S. competition struggled just to stay alive amid last year's historic downturn in the auto industry, Ford Motor Co.'s fortunes actually rose. And so did Alan Mulally's. See story on executive pay.
If this year you're stuck with a tax bill rather than your usual refund, you're not alone. This year and next, more than 15 million taxpayers may find they unexpectedly owe Uncle Sam because they received more of the Making Work Pay tax credit than they were entitled to, according to a November report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. See TaxWatch.
Do you have enough to retire? Do the math
Just how much are you going to need in order to retire comfortably? It may be the biggest financial question in your life. With 80 million baby boomers now heading into the flight path for retirement, it's a pressing one, too. See Brett Arends.
This week, the mobile phone business descends on Las Vegas for the giant CTIA Wireless trade show. Barron's Eric Savitz joins Stacey Delo on Digits to preview the next generation of wireless and smart phones. Watch Digits.
Hedge funds for the masses
Hedge funds enjoy a certain glamour that the humble mutual fund lacks, including wealthy investors, the promise of outsized returns and billionaire money managers. Now this rarefied club is open to individual investors, and many are eagerly signing up. See story on hedge funds for the masses.
Commentary: Buy-and-hold still works for mutual fund investors
There's a big difference between stock investors and mutual-fund investors when it comes to buy-and-hold strategies. Most funds are built for the long haul, aiming to provide professional management, strategy and investment diversification at a reasonable price. See Chuck Jaffe.
Investors mine new metals ETFs
New exchange-traded funds that target specific areas of the metals markets such as platinum, palladium and small-cap miner shares have been among the industry's most successful recent launches. See ETF Investing.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shares of Medicaid insurers, hospital companies and even drugmakers rose on Monday as many investors concluded that passage of landmark U.S. healthcare legislation will add millions of new paying patients.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google moved its China Internet search service offshore to Hong Kong on Monday, in a bid to provide uncensored search results while still maintaining some business operations in the country.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - With the housing sector still on the ropes, the Obama administration on Tuesday will begin to sketch out plans for the market's two biggest financing pillars, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apparel maker Phillips-Van Heusen Corp on Monday posted adjusted earnings that beat Wall Street expectations, boosted by the strength of its Calvin Klein brand around the world.
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Obama administration pay czar Kenneth Feinberg plans to review past compensation at 419 companies that received bailout funds, including JPMorgan Chase , Goldman Sachs , according to a source close to the Treasury Department.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Tiffany & Co reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly profit as sales of lower-margin rough diamonds rose faster than its pricier and more profitable jewelry, and its shares fell 2 percent.