The following is a rundown of the day’s news drawn from other media sources with topics curated just for Money and Markets readers: Obamacare, personal security and freedom, business and finance.
Confusion Over Obamacare Continues to Get Worse
As with any insurance plan, new enrollees still have to pay their first month’s premium to lock in coverage. But the deadlines for that task are different all over the country, adding to the confusion over an already perplexing sign-up process.
Chiara de Blasio Releases Video Acknowledging Drug, Alcohol Problems
“I wanted to speak out because people are suffering from this disease and dying from this disease every day and we really can’t do anything as a society to help those people until we start talking about it,” she said.
White House Uses Chiara to Promote Obamacare
“Chiara is giving a voice to the millions who suffer from substance use and mental health disorders, and we encourage others to join her. By expanding access to treatment to millions through the Affordable Care Act, we’ll be giving many more a chance to follow Chiara’s footsteps.”
Many Counties Lack Affordable Plans for Unsubsidized
More than half of the counties in 34 states using the federal health insurance exchange lack even a bronze plan that’s affordable — by the government’s own definition — for 40-year-old couples who make just a little too much for financial assistance, a USA Today analysis shows.
‘Literally Impossible’ to Buy New Policy in U.S. Territories
Obamacare was drafted so poorly that residents in America’s territories like the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam may literally be unable to purchase health insurance on the private market next year, even if they are healthy and want to voluntarily do so.
Edward Snowden’s Alternative Christmas Message
Privacy matters; privacy is what allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be. Together we can find a better balance, end mass surveillance, and remind the government that if it really wants to know how we feel, asking is always cheaper than spying.
Looters Repeatedly Ransack Home with Dead 94-Year-Old Woman Inside
Her family lived outside the state, so nobody was around to find out that she had passed away. Nobody knew she died, except for those people who looted her home — not once — but several times, leading up to Christmas Eve, say police.
How to Christmas Shop While Being Black
A reporter advised his African-American viewers that they should do their best to make themselves appear “non-threatening” by dressing well, waving to security cameras, speaking articulately, shaking security guards’ hands, and, if possible, bringing a white friend.
Thieves Steal Kids’ Presents, Including Their Dog
The small Christmas magic to the story is that several dispatchers and officers with the Tampa Police Department heard about what happened and stepped in, buying upwards of 30 gifts for the family so they could celebrate Christmas.
Christmas Display Prompts 911 Calls
A metro Atlanta homeowner says he hopes he didn’t offend anyone by his Christmas decoration of a mannequin with outstretched arms entangled in a string of Christmas lights and clinging to a ledge that prompted an emergency response to his house.
Spending on New Cars May Break Record in December
Automakers are expected to end the year with a bang. Total vehicle sales are expected to be up at least 4 percent year over year, with the industry anticipating all-time record consumer spending on new vehicles, according to a forecast.
Get the Biggest Bang for Your Donation Bucks
Charitable giving is always ennobling, but this year there are also ways to make it as effective as possible. If you maximize your charity tax deduction, you can give more, and if you embrace novel ways of working with a charity, your generosity can also have more impact.
Watch Out for These Three Stocks in 2014
Hasbro, Home Depot and General Motors are the stocks to own as the market continues growing, albeit more slowly than during 2013’s banner year, said the head of global equity research at TIAA-CREF.
U.S. Spending, Income Rise Briskly, Raise Hopes for Economy
The Commerce Department said Monday consumer spending rose 0.5 percent after advancing by a revised 0.4 percent in October. It was the seventh straight month of increases and matched economists’ expectations.
Video: FedEx Fails to Deliver
FedEx missed earnings estimates in the second quarter, as customers try to save money by using cheaper ground options. FedEx has said it expects shipping volumes to pick up during the holiday season.
The Money and Markets Team