debt

The debt ceiling's days as a recurring sticking point for politicians, and a recurring worry for government employees, could be numbered, according to President Trump.

Ten years ago, Fumiko Chino was the art director at a television production company in Houston, engaged to be married to a young Ph.D. candidate.

Today, she's a radiation oncologist at Duke University, studying the effects of financial strain on cancer patients. And she's a widow.

How she got from there to here is a story about how health care and money are intertwined in ways that doctors and patients don't like to talk about.

Credit Agencies To Ease Up On Medical Debt Reporting

Jul 11, 2017

Millions of Americans have medical debt that's hurting their credit. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimated it's as many as 43 million people, according to data released in late 2014.

Now, some relief may be on the way.

Sergey Kuzmin, 123RF Stock Photo

Kentucky's public pension debt grew by roughly $2 billion on Thursday when state regulators made dramatic changes to long-held investment assumptions. 

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky university students rallied at the State Capitol Monday on issues like budget cuts, tuition rates and debt for close to two hours.

Even some of those seeking the nation's highest office have weighed in on college debt with payment plans and relief proposals. Voters and the media ask for details on the campaign trail. And that highlights a remarkable shift: Policymakers and politicians are paying attention to this issue like never before.

And it's not as simple or cynical as trying to woo the important student vote. The fact is, the student loan burden in America is second only to mortgages in consumer debt. The government estimates that some 41 million students together owe more than $1.2 trillion.

Here's what I remember about the beginning of the night: I'd planned to stay up late, for work. Later than usual, to watch President Obama's State of the Union address.

It was cold outside, January in D.C. A snowstorm was coming, and the digital antenna for my TV wasn't behaving. I was getting up often to adjust it.

I also remember the president had a lot of energy. It was 2014 and the economy was finally in shape. He wanted to make sure we knew.

About an hour into the speech, he got to the part about education, and said something that changed my life:

For most of us, debt is a big part of life. According to a new study by Pew Charitable Trusts, 80 percent of Americans have some form of debt — from student loans to credit card balances.

There are many among the so-called silent generation, those born before World War II, who are still paying off mortgages and credit cards.

Kittugwiki, Wikimedia Commons

A bill intended to reduce state debt over time is on its way to the Kentucky House. The Senate voted 28-8 Friday in favor of the measure, which limits general fund supported debt to six percent. 

Sponsor Joe Bowen says, taking into account courthouse construction borrowing, the Commonwealth's current debt ratio is eight percent. Somerset Senator Chris Girdler says attitudes about borrowing are troubling. 

Kittugwiki, Wikimedia Commons

Legislation aimed at reducing Kentucky's debt is headed to the Senate floor. The measure seeks to lower overall debt over time. 

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