New Laws Govern Guns, Web, Banks
More Provisions of Health-Care Measure Also Begin This Year
By MELANIE TROTTMAN And NATHAN KOPPEL
A raft of new federal and local laws ring in the new year, governing a span of topics from health care and finance to texting, guns and smoking.
Among the most far-reaching pieces of legislation is the new federal health-care law which this year includes new taxes on drug makers, as well as lower prescription-drug costs for many seniors and restrictions on tax-free medical spending. The provisions come amid heated debate, with many lawmakers saying they hope to overturn the health-care law.
Another new federal law gives borrowers more specific information on the interest rates they pay on credit cards and other loans. Beginning this year, consumers have the right to find out why they didn’t get the best possible terms on a credit-card or non-business loan. Credit-card companies and other lenders must provide a risk-based pricing notice or a credit score to explain the reasoning behind interest rates.