Elizabeth Warren has announced her first bill as freshman senator from Massachusetts: giving students the same discounted interest rate on their loans that big banks get. The Bank on Student Loan Fairness Act is controversial, reducing the federal Stafford loan rate from 3.4% to the discount window price of 0.75%, but as she told Huffington Post: “Every single day, this country invests in big banks by lending them money at near-zero rates. We should make the same kind of investment lending money to students…”
It’s a sound argument, but one that not everyone is accepting.
One of the reasons big banks like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase enjoy such tiny interests rates is that they’re considered low-risk investments. [click to continue…]
Ever receive a bill for a visit to the doctor’s office that just made your jaw drop? We all know that medical care can be outrageously expensive, but paying $400 for what amounts to three aspirin and a hearty clap on the back has a way of making you feel it in your bones. Still, there’s something even worse than overcharging, and that’s being charged for something that never happened at all. How do you detect errors in your medical bill, and what do you do when you find them?
For those of us who didn’t go to school for medicine or accounting, an invoice for complex procedures or multiple prescriptions can look like a document written in an alien language. The scientific nomenclature can be dizzying, and the judgments of the insurance company aren’t explained. [click to continue…]