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Business Highlights

The Associated Press

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Ryan's Medicare plan would be tricky to pull off

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ The idea behind Paul Ryan's Medicare plan is to slow growing costs and keep the program more affordable for the long haul.

But it's all in the details. The Republican-backed shift to private insurance plans could saddle future retirees with thousands of dollars a year in additional bills.

That would leave the children of the baby-boom generation with far less protection from medical expenses than their parents and grandparents have had in retirement.

And there's another angle consumers need to look at: Medicaid.

The GOP vice presidential candidate has also proposed to sharply rein in that program and turn it over to the states. Usually thought of as part of the safety net for low-income people, Medicaid covers nursing home care for disabled elders from middle-class families as well.

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Phone companies lose broadband subscribers for 1st time

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Phone companies are losing the high-speed Internet game. In the second quarter, the landline phone industry lost broadband subscribers for the first time, as cable companies continued to pile on new household and small business customers, thanks to the higher speeds they offer in most areas.

The flow of subscribers from phone companies to cable providers could lead to a de facto monopoly on broadband in many areas of the U.S., say industry watchers. That could mean a lack of choice and higher prices.

Phone lines, designed to carry conversations, and often decades old, are poorly suited to carry Internet signals compared to the heavily shielded cables that carry TV signals. That means cable companies find it much easier and cheaper to provide fast Internet service compared to the digital subscriber lines, or DSL, that phone companies provide in most areas.

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Google cutting 4,000 jobs at Motorola unit

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