Texas Ruling Puts Obamacare in Flux

Millions of Americans’ health insurance is in jeopardy now that a federal judge in Texas ruled the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. If upheld, it would wipe out not just protection for those with pre-existing conditions, but also a host of very popular features, including coverage for young adults, low-income subsidies, the closing of the “donut hole” for Medicare Rx drug coverage and Medicaid expansion. For employers, it could mean the end of the hated employer mandate and the looming Cadillac tax on employee health plans.

The judge determined that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and, since it can’t be severed from the rest of the ACA, the entire law is invalid. Eighteen Republican state attorneys general and two GOP governors brought the suit.  Continue reading “Texas Ruling Puts Obamacare in Flux”

Two High-Tech Sectors Poised for Rapid Growth in the Coming Years

Every December The Kiplinger Letter publishes a Year-End special issue that dives deeply into one topic, ranging from demographic changes to robotic advancements. This year, we focus on which segments of the economy are positioned for strong growth over the next five years.

For Alerts subscribers, we wanted to share some of that analysis. Below is the first installment looking at high-tech sectors set to register rapid growth through 2023. Keep an eye out for other tech-focused Alerts that cover high-flying tech sectors.

Drones Will Be Unleashed for an Array of New Business Uses, Including Package Delivery

Look for commercial drones to soar as red tape is cut and technology improves. The fleet of small commercial drones will grow from 111,000 in 2017 to nearly 500,000 in 2022, according to projections by the Federal Aviation Administration. If regulations are updated faster than expected, which is a real possibility, growth will be even stronger. Continue reading “Two High-Tech Sectors Poised for Rapid Growth in the Coming Years”

Mortgage Lending Will Decline Next Year as Demand for Refinancing Falls

Mortgage lending at U.S. banks will decrease in 2019 as rising borrowing costs reduce demand from homeowners to refinance their current homes.

Despite higher mortgage rates, demand for home-purchase loans will increase slightly in 2019 because of rising wages and slower home-price growth. Home-purchase loan originations should increase next year about 4% from 2018, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. This year, purchase loan originations should increase around 3% from 2017. Continue reading “Mortgage Lending Will Decline Next Year as Demand for Refinancing Falls”