Dangers of Keyless Ignition

March 19, 2012

No need to fumble with keys to open your car door.  Just push a button to start the engine.  The keyless ignition feature that many new cars have these days sure seems pretty cool, but there is a hidden danger, many don’t realize. We’re seeing a growing number of incidents of people dying of carbon monoxide poisoning because they forget to turn their cars off.  Click here to watch this report by ABC News on the call for a return to using keys.

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Scammers Target Credit Card Payers at the Gas Pump

March 5, 2012

If you use your credit card to pay for gas at the pump, it’s not just the sky-high gas prices you have to worry about these days.  High tech thieves have figured out a way to skim debit and credit card numbers from the pump.  Law enforcement officers are calling it the “crime of the future.” Click here to check out this report by Consumer Reporter Jackie Callaway at ABC Action News in Tampa.  She uncovers a series of these rip-offs taking place at gas stations through-out central Florida. Click here to watch now!

Why Americans Pay More for Health Care

March 5, 2012

From c-sections to hip replacements to MRI’s, the United States pays more for medical procedures than any other country around the world.  The cost of health care is one of the fundamental problems most of us deal with everyday.  If you’re lucky enough to have insurance, your co-pays and deductibles are on a steep incline to the moon.  And if you don’t have insurance, well, prices are often just flat out of reach.

Here’s how the numbers break down when you compare U.S. costs to others around the world.  In 2009, Americans spent $7,960 per person on health care. Our neighbors in Canada spent $4,808. The Germans spent $4,218. The French, $3,978.

The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein broke it down to a very simple reason: The prices are higher.  Painfully simple, but woefully true.  The big question is why.  A lot of it has to do with a major lack of transparency about how much things cost.  Just try to find out how much a hospital charged your insurance company for a service they provided to you.  It’s like you are just the vehicle by which money was transferred.  Isn’t this supposed to be about your health? Not really.   It’s about the money.  Negotiated rates between the government and providers, and negotiated rates between insurance companies and providers rule the day.

So how did we get to this point?  Click here to read more from Klein in the Washington Post’s WonkBlog.