Basic Access

Half of Americans Pay More Rent Than They Can Afford

Rent and utilities are considered “affordable” if they comprise no more than 30 percent of your income, but more than half of Americans are paying that much or more for a place to live, the New York Times reported April 15. An analysis by the real estate site Zillow found that rent and utility costs […]

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Report Says 5.4 Million Newly Insured Under Obamacare

For all of its flaws and stumbles, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) seems to have succeeded in one of its major goals: getting uninsured Americans enrolled in health-insurance plans. NBC News reported April 3 that a study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute says that 5.4 million formerly uninsured people have […]

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U.S. Can’t Crack Top 10 Percent in Social Progress Index

The U.S. ranks only 16th out of 132 nations in the Social Progress Index, a global ranking of each country’s overall livability. Columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote in the New York Times on April 3 that ”we underperform because our economic and military strengths don’t translate into well-being for the average citizen.” For example, the U.S. ranks 70th […]

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Santa Monica Develops First Local Well-Being Index

Just as the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index tracks quality-of-life indicators nationally, the city of Santa Monica, Calif., is hoping to use a local well-being index to help guide policy decisions that affect the lives of local residents. Fast Company reports that the initiative arose from a pair of tragedies — a gang shooting and the suicide […]

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Childhood Money Lessons, Good and Bad

Don’t underestimate how much your financial outlook is influenced by things you learned as a child, especially if you’ve fallen into bad habits you need to eliminate. CreditCards.com reported March 27 that parents often pass down their attitudes about money and debt to their children, not always with good results. Children who feel deprived also […]

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Healthcare Reform Opinions Strongly Informed by Politics

Do you love or hate “Obamacare”? Your answer probably has a lot to do with your political leanings, according to Gallup researchers. Only 10 percent of Republicans approve of the healthcare-reform law, while 67 percent disapprove. Contrast that with the 78 percent of Democrats who favor the law, with just 17 percent disapproving. Put another […]

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Consumer Reports Rates Hospital Safety

Hundreds of thousands of Americans die each year because of mistakes made in hospitals; new rankings from Consumer Reports can help guide you to facilities with better safety records and avoid those where preventable deaths are too common. Reuters reported March 27 that the report ranks 2,591 hospitals, with smaller facilities sometimes posing less risk […]

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Residents of Southern States Struggle Most to Pay for Healthcare

Almost one in four Alabama residents say they could not afford to pay for needed medicine or healthcare services within the past year, according to 2013 data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Residents of four other Southern states – West Virginia, Mississippi, Kentucky, and North Carolina – were also the most likely to report such struggles. In […]

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Deadline Flexibility Offered on Healthcare Signups

You may have more time to get enrolled if you have been trying to sign up for health insurance through one of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) insurance exchanges but haven’t completed the process, NBC News reported March 27. “If you are in line when March 31 deadline passes, you will be helped,” according to […]

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Many Americans Underinsured in 2012, Report Says

Discussions about healthcare reform often focus on the numbers of uninsured Americans, but there also are tens of millions of underinsured people — those who have healthcare coverage that’s inadequate to cover their expenses. NBC News reported March 25 that the Commonwealth Fund says that in addition to the 48 million Americans who lacked health […]

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