Two policies using immigration to boost investment

Can foreigners be lured by favorable VISA treatment into creating new jobs and bolstering home prices in the U.S.?

Yesterday’s Boston Globe had an interesting article about a program designed to increase business investment in the United States.

The immigrant investor program, created in 1990 by Congress to compete with a similar initiative in Canada, helps foreigners slash through the red tape in the US immigration system while allowing businesses … to raise the money they need to expand.

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A bitter health care pill offsite [Boston Globe]

To contain ever-rising health care costs, a commission established by the state recommended a year ago that Massachusetts replace the traditional payment model in which each doctor is paid for delivering each medical service, with the “capitation” approach in which a group of doctors is paid an annual fee for providing a patient with all healthcare.

A case of regulatory jitters [Boston Globe]

Local banks, insurers, financial firms brace for a new regimen of rules. Tracking these investments [derivatives] is critical, according to many observers. More important even than putting them on an exchange, said Pozen, the chairman of MFS Investment Management, is having a central clearing firm that processes those trades and can be examined by regulators.

The US public debt hits its tipping point [Boston Globe]

CONGRESS RAISED the federal debt limit this month by $1.9 trillion to a record level of $14.3 trillion. Given the projected budget deficit for the next year, the gross public debt of the US government will probably hit that $14.3 trillion limit by the end of 2010. This huge expansion of public debt is not just an abstract concern of economists; it is likely to hurt the practical situation of most American families and firms.

How Rehospitalizations Are Hurting Medicare [The Boston Globe]

Getting Medicare costs under control is no easy job. Congress recently overrode a scheduled 11 percent cut in Medicare’s physician fees by freezing them for the rest of 2008 with a slight raise in 2009. But the program’s finances will continue to worsen as baby boomers retire. Avoiding deep cuts in physician fees from 2010 onward will require a $20 billion fix every year for the following decade. But there is a straightforward way to pay for half of this fix.