Saturday, July 19, 2008

NY Pushes for Mandatory AIDS Testing for the Bronx

Is Universal Testing the Answer to Bronx HIV Problem?
by Cara McDonough

The New York City Department of Health wants to make HIV testing a routine part of medical care in the Bronx, but the plan is meeting resistance.

The death rate from AIDS in the Bronx—one of New York City’s five boroughs—is nearly 10 times the national average, which health officials attribute to the fact that about 25 percent of residents “only learn they are affected after the disease has progressed to full-blown AIDS,” Time magazine reports.

The new plan, announced at the end of June, would encourage, but not require, HIV testing for all residents older than 18 during regular medical visits.

To achieve this goal, the health department has agreed to simplify the testing process in the Bronx, eliminating pretesting counseling normally required, which has some in the health industry worried.

See: Bronx Announces Effort To Test Every Adult in Borough for HIV

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

GM to cut thousands more jobs, sell assets

Automaker suspends dividend, announcing second restructuring in weeks
Associated Press

DETROIT - General Motors Corp. said Tuesday it will lay off salaried workers, cut truck production, suspend its dividend and borrow $2 billion to $3 billion to weather a severe downturn in the U.S. market.

GM said the moves will raise $15 billion to help cover losses and turn around its North American operations, including $10 billion from internal cost-cutting and $5 billion from selling some assets and borrowing against others.

GM’s shares fell as much as 6 percent to a new 54-year low of $8.81, then rebounded to $9.94 in midday trading, up 56 cents from Monday’s close.

Chief Operating Officer Fritz Henderson said GM wants to reduce its total salaried costs in the U.S. and Canada by more than 20 percent.

A large chunk of the reduction, he said, would come from cutting health care benefits for salaried retirees over age 65. Those people would get a pension increase from the company’s overfunded pension fund to help compensate for Medicare and supplemental insurance, the company said.


Feds close down IndyMac Bank

Event is fifth and biggest bank failure this year
By Matt Carter
Inman News

In the biggest bank failure of the housing downturn to date, federal banking regulators today closed IndyMac Bank FSB, naming the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as conservator.

The FDIC said it will transfer insured deposits and "substantially all the assets" of IndyMac Bank, to a newly created successor, IndyMac Federal Bank, which will be operated by the FDIC.

IndyMac was one of the nation's largest independent mortgage lenders, and had been hard hit by delinquencies and foreclosures. Parent company IndyMac Bancorp Inc. announced Monday that it was no longer considered "well capitalized" by regulators and had stopped making most mortgage loans.

IndyMac Bank, FSB had total assets of $32.01 billion and total deposits of $19.06 billion as of March 31, including about $1 billion of potentially uninsured deposits held by approximately 10,000 depositors. The FDIC will begin contacting customers with uninsured deposits to arrange an appointment with an FDIC claims agent by Monday.

The FDIC will pay uninsured depositors an advance dividend equal to 50 percent of the uninsured amount. Based on preliminary analysis, the estimated cost of the resolution to the Deposit Insurance Fund is between $4 billion and $8 billion.