When Obama and neo-liberals say middle-class they mean about $250,000 and climbing. The other 95% will get this Medicaid-level preventative care with third world clinic care. That is what expanded Medicaid is all about!I stated last time that a health care system with the likes of Carlyle Group, General Electric, and Lockheed Martin is likely not about giving quality care for all. We thank Colin Powell for coming out for Expanded and Improved Medicare for All. Let's look how corporate Obama has gone and how to reverse this ridiculous policy.
Obama has privatized most Federal agencies more than Bush and now he is getting rid of the Federal programs....Medicare and Medicaid. While acting as though he is compromising and shoring up these programs he is creating the structure of privatized systems throughout this Federal health agencies. We see it on steroids in Maryland as Johns Hopkins makes Maryland health care all about global corporations ready to suck all the money left from the entitlement trusts----health fraud skyrocketing to subprime mortgage fame!
As we see in Maryland the problem first and foremost is that Medicare expansion was the easiest and justice approach to this health care reform. Vermont did it and we will watch to see if they carry through with public interest or marginalize the public. The second problem was the fact that none of the neo-liberals elected and/or appointed to do the job have any talent....they simply graduated from an Ivy League school for the most part and got the job through the 'who you know' naked capitalism. NO TALENT, just the willingness to LIE, CHEAT, AND STEAL and the willingness to embrace the 3 monkey syndrome of SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL, SPEAK NO EVIL.......
THIS IS THE RECIPE FOR DISASTER! Everything that is public policy in Maryland is a disaster....education, environment, health care, transportation......
This is what ACA is creating.....US health insurance corporations are tying to health care abroad and US health systems are building their global health corporations to tap this market. So, Johns Hopkins has a health business in India that markets health tourism and does business without any US government accountability. Meanwhile, the huge medical campus built when billions of dollars in taxpayer money will be a global corporate headquarters managing this system with affluent foreigners coming in to access care while you and I head to an ever devolving MedStar or clinic health. Note that the health insurer is paying to fly US citizens to India for procedures....see where all the money is going. Who is getting these health insurance policies? The 5% of people in the US who will be able to afford the kind of health care we all had before BUSH/OBAMA.
Medical Tourism - Medical Travel Abroad - USA - Health Tour India - Overseas Surgery - Surgical
Tour...www.healthbase.comBad management plagues Obamacare: Ex-Obama advisor Published: Friday, 25 Oct 2013 | 10:46 AM ET By: Matthew J. Belvedere | Producer, CNBC's "Squawk Box"
Obamacare 'CEO' needed, says ex-Obama health adviser Friday, 25 Oct 2013 | 8:12 AM ET Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel told CNBC the goal when fixing the tech problems on the federal Obamacare website should be to create an "Amazon-like shopping experience." The technology problems with the federal Obamacare website were a function of poor management and implementation, said Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, former special advisor on health policy to President Barack Obama.
"The people who were in charge did not…assemble a good team and assemble the team that has competency in the exact area you need," Emanuel told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Friday. The bioethicist was part of the president's health care reform team for two years until January 2011 and is the brother of former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
The goal has to be an "Amazon-like shopping experience," he stressed, as the process moves forward to fix the glitches with Healthcare.gov—the federally operated health insurance online store, serving the 36 states that are not operating their own.
Is Obamacare in need of triage? Scott Gottlieb, American Enterprise Institute, and Ezekiel Emanuel, University of Pennsylvania, debate whether the Affordable Care Act will produce more problems than solutions for the health care community. "It's a flawed law. What you're seeing now, the IT problems, are just small compared to what we're going to see going forward," said Dr. Scott Gottlieb of the American Enterprise Institute.
"What's going to be most painful in the near-term is the subsidy calculations are wrong," he added. "So people [are] getting the wrong amount of money to offset the costs of these plans, and that's going to be clawed-back from them."
Jeff Zients, a problem-solver who served Obama in the past, has been brought in to oversee the so-called "tech surge."
"[He's] someone I have worked with at OMB. He's a very good manager. He's an excellent people-person," said Emanuel, referring to the Office of Management and Budget. "He's been a consultant in the health care industry. So I think he has the requisite knowledge."
Zients is scheduled to start in January as head of the National Economics Council. "For two months in the crisis he's a very good choice," said Emanuel, vice provost at the University of Pennsylvania. "I think they have to hire a permanent person who's really the CEO of this and go along for the long-haul over the next couple of, or three, years until everything is up."
Meanwhile, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa has asked Google, Microsoft, and three other U.S. companies to provide details on their possible involvement in the White House "tech surge."
Getty Images A message is seen on the computer indicating that there are too many visitors on the Affordable Care Act site to continue. What went wrong was at the center of the first congressional hearing Thursday into the botched rollout, with contractors on the project blaming the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)—a division of the Department of Health and Human Services. CMS was in charge of pulling together the work of many contractors for the Oct 1. launch.
"Assigning this to CMS, which doesn't have experience integrating these complex IT systems, doesn't have experience in e-commerce website development, was not a wise choice. I didn't make that choice," said Emanuel.
A CMS spokeswoman acknowledged the issues raised by the contractors—saying "due to a compressed time frame the system wasn't tested enough," but that's changing now.
Gottlieb, who served as an adviser to CMS during the George W. Bush administration, said: "The reality is they will get these IT issues sorted out. I think the risk is that the entire market in 2015 gets repriced off the experience in 2014."
Emanuel responded: "That's something that Scott and I agree on. If it's a very difficult market within the next five week … it could rebound in 2015."
"These are technical problems that are blocking and tackling, and that will be solved," he said. "Over the next year, it's going to be a much better shopping experience. Then we're all going to look back and say, 'Wow, this was a great restructuring of the health care system."
Gottlieb disagreed: "I think people are going to be surprised by the very limited choice they have. And the difficulty is once you go outside your network in these plans you're going to be faced with very high co-insurance."
Emanuel said the insurance companies learned from the managed-care backlash of the 1990s and they're going to put measures in place to protect against that. He said he has advocated that people who get serious illnesses such as cancer be allowed to get a second opinion out of network for in network costs. ________________________________________________Keep in mind that neo-liberals do not see the US as a first world country------they are building the conditions of third world Asia here in America to recreate the business environment they had when outsourcing to China. So, this will extend to health care as the ever deepening poverty through massive corporate fraud, ending of social safety nets, and deliberately high unemployment create these same social conditions.
Baltimore is clearly seeing this social construct.This article fails to address the costs of US health care vs performance.......massive health industry fraud steals 1/2 of health spending while citizens fail to get the health care that stats tell us they are......STEALING THE HEALTH CARE MONEY AND SKEWING THE DATA SAYING US CITIZENS ARE GETTING THE CARE SAID.......this is the problem. The solution here is simply take all the modern advances away from US citizens and tell them preventative care is all they need! Raise your hand if you think this push to see the poor in America get quality food and social services will really occur_____NO ONE! Raise your hand if you know that these preventative care plans are only about keeping 95% of Americans from accessing real health care!!!!!! EVERYONE!
YOUR NEO-LIBERAL REALLY WORKS FOR FAMILIES DON'T THEY!!!!! SO CUTE AND FUZZY!Below you see what Medicaid for All.......the state health systems created by ACA for most people.....will look like! Doctor and Patient July 26, 2012, 12:01 am 40 Comments
What We Can Learn From Third-World Health
Care By PAULINE W. CHEN, M.D. Béatrice de Géa for The New York Times
The young doctor had just returned from a month working in a country in Africa, familiar to the rest of us only through pictures of its impoverished population and news reports of recurring natural disasters and political upheavals. “You must feel exhausted but great,” a senior colleague commented. “You went in there and you really helped those people.”
Doctor and Patient Dr. Pauline Chen on medical care.
But my younger colleague felt neither exhausted nor relieved to be back home, she confided when the older doctor had left the room. She had cared for dozens of patients with abscesses and broken bones, tumors and arrow wounds, relying on nothing more than a single rickety X-ray machine, a handful of battered surgical instruments and the aid of one well-connected local nurse.
“We could get so much done with so little over there,” she said. “It’s like we’re not doing something right over here.”
Put another way, the American health care system has become the great international paradox, spending more but getting less.
With all the most advanced technology and equipment, spending far more on health care than any other nation — a whopping $2.6 trillion annually, or over 17 percent of our gross domestic product — the United States consistently underperforms on some of the most important health indicators. Our infant mortality rates, for example, are worse than those in countries like Hungary, Cuba and Slovenia. Our life expectancy rates are not much better; in global rankings, we sit within spitting distance of Cuba, Chile and Libya.
This quality conundrum dogs us, even as our best and brightest have tried to imagine a more cost-efficient system. Some have pursued the carrot-and-stick route, linking quality measures to reimbursement. Others have attempted to reduce quality to its most basic parts, creating checklists and to-do lists. And still others have rearranged networks of hospitals, clinics, physician practices and payments, conjuring up a breathtaking array of combinations, permutations and bundles of care in order to create more cost-efficient systems.
But, according to an essay published this summer in The Stanford Social Innovation Review, we might have saved ourselves the huge effort, the expenses and the disappointments of only marginally successful initiatives, if we had first looked to countries traditionally viewed as needing our aid and learned from their successes in facing challenges similar to our own.
In the essay, Rebecca D. Onie, a founder and the chief executive of Health Leads, a domestic health care organization; Dr. Paul Farmer, a founder of Partners in Health, a Boston-based medical nonprofit group; and Dr. Heidi Behforouz, medical and executive director of the Prevention and Access to Care and Treatment project, a community-based health care initiative in the United States that is part of Partners in Health, argue eloquently for “reverse innovation.” They contend that for decades, several nongovernmental and nonprofit medical organizations have delivered high-quality care in some of the most challenging circumstances possible. Applying the solutions these medical organizations have already discovered could allow us to bypass or at least foreshorten what has become an interminable trial-and-error search for the answers to our country’s health care woes.
Their own organizations offer several models of success. For nearly three decades, Partners in Health, for example, has delivered consistently high-quality care to more than 2.5 million people in a dozen countries like Haiti, Rwanda and Peru, places with widespread poverty, scarce numbers of providers and no health care infrastructure. But they have managed to achieve, among other successes, the highest rate of cure of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in the world and better rates of adherence to treatment regimens and follow-up than in much of the United States.
The key to their success is an unabashed disregard for some of our most cherished assumptions about what constitutes good care. Instead of providing antibiotics, CT scans and high-tech interventions, Partners in Health considers basic necessities like food and housing as critical components of the group’s medical work. Instead of asking patients to travel miles to the only clinic and see only the doctor or nurse, they train cadres of community health workers who can monitor, administer and advise in the heart of local villages and in people’s homes.
Applied to organizations in the United States, this approach has proved startlingly effective, as the Prevention and Access to Care and Treatment, or PACT, program has demonstrated. PACT targets some of the poorest and sickest patients with H.I.V. and other chronic illnesses in the greater Boston area. Just like Partners in Health, PACT relies extensively on community health workers who are trained in tasks like helping patients take their medications and make it to clinic appointments as well as reviewing their pantries and teaching them to prepare healthy meals. Applying these broad definitions of care, PACT has significantly decreased the number of emergency room visits and life-threatening opportunistic infections, cut hospitalization rates by 60 percent and yielded a 16 percent savings for Medicaid.
Health Leads has stretched these definitions even further, giving the terms “provider” and “care” a millennial twist. Each year, Health Leads trains a selected group of technology-savvy and tenacious college students to staff “resource desks” in primary care and prenatal clinics in cities like New York, Baltimore, Boston and Chicago. With these Health Leads volunteers in place, doctors can, for example, “prescribe” housing assistance for a family whose child’s severe asthma has been exacerbated by a cockroach infestation, healthy foods and nutrition resources for a man suffering from obesity, or transportation to a drugstore for an elderly woman who needs diabetes medications. At the resource desk, a Health Leads volunteer then “fills” these prescriptions by finding the best solutions for the problems at hand, whether that means tracking down the appropriate agency, navigating complicated online application processes or providing support as the patient makes the calls. In clinics where a single social worker may be responsible for as many as 25,000 patients, Health Leads volunteers have more than doubled the services provided.
The successes of PACT and Health Leads are no secret. But what does remain mysterious as our health care system threatens to implode is why more of us haven’t done the same and rushed to apply the lessons learned and proved elsewhere.
“We keep trying to reinvent the wheel,” Ms. Onie observed. “The humbling reality is that we are trying to recreate innovations that have been robustly developed in the developing world.”
In other words, we have yet to deploy what could prove to be the most powerful weapon in the fight to contain costs and improve the quality of health care: our own humility._______________________________________________Below you see what corporate health is becoming.....preventative policy that will take all the internet data collected on each person and use it to determine if you are meeting corporate standards. Think you can lie about how much you drink or smoke? Well, cash register data is now being collected and centralized that show when you use your GROCER VALUE CARD that you purchased so much alcohol and so many packs of cigarettes. It will show if you attend wellness programs to lose weight or control cholesterol and this will determine if that corporation will employ you or have to insure you....
THIS IS WHAT WILL BE ALL THAT IS LEFT OF CORPORATE HEALTH COVERAGE.....ACCESS TO REAL HEALTH PROCEDURES WILL NOT BE INCLUDED! Apollo Life
Most organizations look at corporate wellness from the point of view of the workplace only. But, there is much more that affects an employees work performance and attitude. it is impossible for a person to come for work and completely switch off his / her personal problems, complication, limitations etc.
No matter which area of a person's life a problem or a stress arises from, it will eventually reflect in all areas that the individual functions. it is important to address both work related and non work related issues of employees if a company is to be "Well".
Keeping this in mind Wellness Rx has designed a two pronged approach that is made up of the following two major plans that run parallel :
A. Corporate Wellness Plan that takes care of work related issues
B. Employee Assistance Program that takes care of all other issues
EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
To help employers identify and address productivity concerns in employees whose work is affected by personal problems and to provide support and practical help for employees and their families experiencing problems.
To help reduce absenteeism, conflict in the workplace, sickness and unwelcome staff turnover.
To promote mental, emotional and physical health, to aid improved performance and reduce incidence of disciplinary processes.
To contribute to the provision of a work environment which yields greater commitment and loyalty to the employers, leading to improved morale and motivation.
To enable employees to take responsibility for addressing problems either caused by or affecting their work. To make a positive contribution to human resources and help employees cope with change.
Individual employee and Family Wellness counseling
Elements of EAP may be available in stand alone form or in other combinations
Face to Face Counseling
24 telephone hour assistance
Marital and relationship difficulties
Alcohol and drug misuse
Loss of confidence
Stress & psychosoma
Bereavement & loss
_____________________________________________If you think PHARMA is expensive in the US wait until you see what Obama and TPP intend to do. Obama is working for US PHARMA in making drugs more expensive all around the world. The US has always been the one to charge its citizens the most. Well, now we will see costs soar as generic medication and patent-extensions make cost-effective drug manufacturing impossible.
We keep hearing that people with Medicare and Medicaid will only be allowed to have generic drugs subsidized but you do not hear that generics are under attack and may not be available in many cases. Think about Medicare D and the donut-whole Obama keeps saying he is filling-----we will see what seniors care access if generics are the only choice and generics become hard to find.The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Public Health
The TPP would provide large pharmaceutical firms with new rights and powers to increase medicine prices and limit consumers' access to cheaper generic drugs. This would include extensions of monopoly drug patents that would allow drug companies to raise prices for more medicines and even allow monopoly rights over surgical procedures. For people in the developing countries involved in TPP, these rules could be deadly - denying consumers access to HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis and cancer drugs.
The TPP would establish new rules that could undermine government programs in developed countries. The TPP would control the cost of medicines by employing drug formularies. These are lists of proven medicines that the government selects for use by government health care systems. Lower prices are negotiated for bulk purchase of such drugs and new medicines that are under monopoly patents are not approved if less expensive generic drugs are equally effective. Drug firms would be empowered to challenge these decisions and pricing standards. In the United States, these rules threaten provisions included in Medicare, Medicaid and veterans' health programs to make medicines more affordable for seniors, military families and the poor.
TPP would empower foreign pharmaceutical corporations to directly attack our domestic patent and drug-pricing laws in foreign tribunals. Already under NAFTA, which does not contain the new rules proposed for TPP, drug firm Eli Lilly has launched such a case against Canada, demanding $100 million for the government's enforcement of its own patent standards.
The TPP would also empower foreign corporations to directly challenge domestic toxics, zoning, cigarette and alcohol and other public health and environmental policies to demand taxpayer compensation for any such policies that undermine their expected future profits. Often initiatives to improve such laws are chilled by the mere filing of such an "investor-state" case. In other instances, countries eliminate the attacked policies. For instance Canada lifted a ban on a gasoline additive already banned in the U.S. as a suspected carcinogen after an investor attack by Ethyl Corporation under NAFTA. It also paid the firm $13 million and published a formal statement that the chemical was not hazardous.
Cases now underway include:
- In 2008, Uruguay began implementing its obligations under the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, including enhanced tobacco warning labels and requiring plain packaging for cigarettes. In 2010, Australia followed suit. Philip Morris responded by launching "investor-state" challenges against both countries' tobacco control policies, asking extrajudicial tribunals to order the governments to suspend plain packaging and compensate the corporate tobacco giant for "losses." Even though Australia's High Court upheld the country's plain packaging laws in 2012, Philip Morris continues to use a foreign investor-state tribunal to try to roll back this important public health policy.
- For years, Renco Group Inc., a company owned by one of the richest men in America, operated a metal smelter in La Oroya, Peru, which became notorious when the site was designated as one of the top 10 most polluted places in the world. Sulfur dioxide concentrations in La Oroya, which greatly exceed international standards and pose severe respiratory risks, doubled in the years after Renco's acquisition of the complex. Renco's Peruvian subsidiary promised to install sulfur plants by 2007 as part of a government-mandated environmental remediation program, but it sought (and Peru granted) two extraordinary extensions to complete the project. In December 2010, Renco notified Peru that it would use the U.S.-Peru FTA investor-state system to demand $800 million from the Peruvian government for not granting the corporation a third extension on its unfulfilled environmental commitments. Since the launch of the investor-state attack, the Peruvian government has allowed operations to begin again at the La Oroya smelter, resulting in reports of new pollution.
These three headlines BELOW show how global corporations and naked capitalism are under attack by people with a voice. Now, we understand that this may just be the 'now that we have all the money let's go back to the 1960s and save the poor' routine------that's why I am reserved about Warren.....but she is saying the right things and I think it is making neo-liberals uncomfortable. WE NEED MORE OF THIS!Neo-liberals are exposed and are trying to ram as much through Congress as possible before the elections. You see the TPP deal at the end of the blog. The American people need to remember that all of this is illegal and will be reversed and all we need to do is GET RID OF THE NEO-LIBERALS BY RUNNING AND VOTING FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE IN ALL PRIMARIES!Thursday, December 5, 2013
Elizabeth Warren Attacks Beltway Powerhouse Third Way as Fronting for Wall Street
Pope blames tyranny of capitalism for making people miserable
Date May 18, 2013
Rome: Pope Francis has attacked the ''dictatorship'' of the global financial system and warned that the ''cult of money'' is making life a misery for millions.
He said free market capitalism had created a ''tyranny'' and that people were being judged purely by their ability to consume goods.
_______________________________________Whether Socialists or Labor tickets, people are running for office and taking back Congress and the state house......and the 1% notice!Ohioans Elect Two Dozen City Councilors on Independent Labor Ticket
December 04, 2013 / Bruce Bostick
After one too many sell-outs by the local Democratic Party, the Lorain County central labor council decided to draw "a line in the sand" and run their own city council candidates on an Independent Labor Party ticket. Two dozen won seats—including union teacher Joshua Thornsberry, shown canvassing with his young son, who beat the head of the local Chamber of Commerce. Photo: Joshua Thornsberry.
Union-dense Lorain County, Ohio, is now home to an independent labor slate of two dozen newly elected city councilors—recruited and run by the central labor council there. All labor’s candidates had strong showings last month, and all but two were elected.
“This was a step we took reluctantly,” said Lorain County AFL-CIO President Harry Williamson. “When the leaders of the [Democratic] Party just took us for granted and tried to roll over the rights of working people here, we had to stand up.”
___________________________________________If you listened to the corporate NPR political discussion between two global corporate pundits......Brooks and EJ Dionne....you can hear the unease in both pundit's voice and the defensiveness in their discussion. THE GLOBAL PLUTOCRACY IS SHAKEN BY THE FACT THAT THE WORLD KNOWS THE TRUTH......speak truth to power
A phrase coined by the Quakers during in the mid-1950s. It was a call for the United States to stand firm against fascism and other forms of totalitarianism; it is a phrase that seems to unnerve political right, with reason.The founders of United States risked their lives in order to speak truth to power, that of King George. It was and is considered courageous, although is more commonly scorned today.
This happened through whistleblowers like Manning, Snowden, and Wikileaks/Assange. This release of truth was not in the plan of world dominance. It also comes as US citizens are seeing neo-liberal policy unfold......health reform, education reform, and the policies making the rich richer with a suspended Rule of Law and no justice for the public. IT REALLY IS IMPORTANT TO SPREAD THE WORD. YOU KNOW BY NOW THE PUNDITS THAT LED YOU ON......MSNBC AND THE NEO-LIBERALS LIKE EJ DIONNE. YOU KNOW I HAVE SHOUTED FOR YEARS THAT WHAT HAS HAPPENED WOULD HAPPEN, SO THESE PEOPLE WERE NOT SURPRISED.....THEY ARE FEEDING YOU MIS-INFORMATION!In these two days I showed were global corporations are now open about their plans to dominate. Whether ALCOA on the stage for SKILLS GAP telling us that we will not be hired if taxpayer funded community colleges are not made into corporate Human Resources job training or General Electric and now Lockheed Martin becoming the health care systems FROM ANYONE'S NIGHTMARE. Maryland is ground zero for any global corporation as health care provider.....remember, we have a hedge fund (Carlyle Group) owned Manor Care handling all our senior care centers!This is the point of today's blog......WE CAN TELL THESE GLOBAL CORPORATIONS TO GO TAKE A HIKE AND SEND THEM THE BILL FOR MASSIVE FRAUD THROUGH THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURTS. The US must return to a domestic economy with strong labor wages and small and regional businesses if we are to remain a democracy and return to first world. Mayors and governors are the executives at the state level to do that-----no state assembly needed. START THERE!
I want to remind people that Noam Chomsky said very clearly that the only thing that comes from corporate rule is totalitarianism. PERIOD. Hitler's fascism expanded through his takeover of business in each country he conquered and that is what is happening in today's politics......neo-liberals deliberately created this global empire as corporations to takeover the developed world's governing structure. Looking locally, that is why Baltimore is literally a corporate town run by Hopkins who says 'if you want to work, you will work for Hopkins' as they have much of the consolidated business in the city. No public sector since private non-profits run by these same people write the public policy etc......this is TOTALITARIANISM!SHAKE THE BUGS FROM THE RUG BY RUNNING LABOR AND JUSTICE IN ALL PRIMARIES AGAINST NEO-LIBERALS. MARYLAND DEMOCRATS ARE ALL NEO-LIBERALS!These 1% are afraid because now everyone knows that neo-liberals are the same as neo-cons---the same in Europe and once citizens organize all of this will disappear!Is Humanity Declaring Checkmate On The New World Order?
What is the line between confidence and acknowledgement of victory? Early celebration versus clear vision of how nature will handle a conflict within itself? Is victory and hope truly all imaginary or is there something more to it?
As humanity exponentially wakes up to the plans of the global elite (those in power, the ruling class, the “Illuminati” or whatever you want to call them), when will it officially become common knowledge that, yes, we are in trouble as a species unless and until we put a working system in place that holds all politicians, government and private corporations accountable for their actions? This expected new level of accountability is the mass awakening and official paradigm shift we have all been waiting for and I suggest that we are mighty close to at this point in history.
As the secluded and secretive government elite continue to struggle to push their global agenda only to run into increasing mass opposition, those at the very top of the control structure are no double worried that their time is up. They must know how humanity works as do we. Humanity generates thoughts which we share with each other. Governments are nothing more that organized thoughts and agreements among a set of people who also have logistical control and means to enforce their agreements (laws and statutes). Thankfully, grassroots movements, humanitarian efforts, and passionate displays of moral human consciousness also have a life of their own and ultimately have shown to have never-ending effects on humanity throughout history.
Fact is, humanity applauds those who have stood for morality, justice, and peace more than it esteems warmongers and tyrants. The jury was in on this issue long ago. Thankfully we do not have to debate on the meaning of what is wrong and what is right on a personal level. The argument for war, killing, torture, and oppression of humans is only offered to humanity from a political perspective barring the rare religious fanatical belief that promotes this ideology which we now know, in this generation was and has been an engineered radicalization of groups now known to have been sponsored, armed, educated, radicalized, and trained by the very corrupt secret government and individuals who we are now fully exposing. In other words, we now know that the radical (Muslim) fundamentalism which has been alleged and has led to supposed violence around the world in our times was and is politically engineered.
With no clear justification for the atrocities that the U.S. Empire and the new world order has brought on the world, the global elite stand alone, hoping that humanity simply doesn’t wake up politically to their agenda. We, the truth seekers of our time, are here to destroy that hope; the hope that the globalist had, that their Bilderberg meetings would remain secret. Yes that hope. The hope that the global elite had, to keep the masses believing their constant lies and their constant false flag operations in order to keep everyone in fear. That hope is now dwindling to nothing as humanity wakes up.
The globalists were hoping the 9/11 truth movement was going to go away; instead it grew into a worldwide phenomenon with more and more people waking up to the easy (9/11 was an inside job proving) 9/11 science every day. Then there was the hope that the global elite had to keep the NSA spying a secret, and that hope was shattered by Edward Snowden as the world now is fully awakened to this evil agenda of spying, recording, and filing mass records into fusion center databases.
We are all now well aware of the drone killing programs paid for and approved by the Obama administration; the power grab to suppress free-speech even at the Internet level; the push to take guns and gun rights away; the implementation of a global ‘climate religion’ carbon tax and international environmental laws to subvert and trivialize individual, local, and national sovereignty; the militarization of police nationwide including in states and towns with little to no crime.
We are now aware of how evil Obamacare is and how it will be used to force the globalist style control grid on all forms of human activity here in the United States. People everywhere are going into their own ‘shock and awe’ seeing and understanding what Obamacare is really all about. Activists nationwide are working on solutions to these now very clear problems, solutions to disempower the federal government and return the power back to the people. America has experienced this before, we were all due for a tough challenge; we all knew from history that freedom is not free and that the only people in the world who deserve freedom are those willing to fight for it.
I now hear the wake-up call nationwide. I see and hear the voices of freedom that make me feel like I should be doing more. More than ever before people are wondering what they can do to make a difference. This is a good sign for America and for our future. We may not see it yet, and the road ahead may still look dark. We all expect things to get worse before they get better. Deep down, however, many of us are now realizing this is the cycle we were waiting for. Things must get worse in order for more people to wake up. This is the reality we must all see before we truly realize we are all in control and where this is going.
With that said, I believe humanity arguably may be declaring ‘checkmate’ on the globalist elite. They are losing and we are winning the battle of information. We must prevail and we will prevail. We have the historic facts on our side and, more importantly, we have a source of human energy and a natural form of human conscious progression on our side that cannot be reversed.
Viewed holistically, this battle between freedom and fascism, controlling governments versus the people, good versus evil, and love versus hate seems to be the story of our lives and perhaps the central purpose of our journey on earth. The ruling class uses slavery, labor, intimidation, fear, coercion, and forcefulness to convert the existence of other humans into wealth. The wealth is then used to maintain this control. The rest of humanity on the other hand just wants to be free from this control. When simplified to its most elementary form it is and will not be very difficult for most humans to see this rational and to recruit their cooperation in a plan that involves creating a solution for the human race. Who doesn’t want this? Unfortunately for the global elite, they are the only ones in this planet who don’t want this and because of this they will eventually stand alone in their quest for full control.
A good chess player often knows several steps before the end of the game if he/she has the game clinched. In chess they call it checkmate. In this game of life we can call it anything we want. The most important thing is the concept which is now very clear to me. Looking back many years from now I believe many of us will be honored and thankful to have lived in times where we faced a historic and unprecedented real-time battle for freedom. This quest for freedom will be looked back upon as the driving force of our generation and to some like me, a candle of fire that lights our way.
Bernie Suarez is an activist, critical thinker, radio host, musician, M.D, Veteran, lover of freedom and the Constitution, and creator of the Truth and Art TV project. He also has a background in psychology and highly recommends that everyone watch a documentary titled The Century of the Self. Bernie has concluded that the way to defeat the New World Order is to truly be the change that you want to see. Manifesting the solution and putting truth into action is the very thing that will defeat the globalists.____________________________________________What Obama and neo-liberals have allowed these 5 years since the economic crash is massive global consolidation of all business industries. This is why the FED was feeding US corporations free money to spend on expansion and it is where all the trillions of dollars in 'job stimulus' money sent to corporations was spent......merger and acquisition.
Now, the US has anti-trust laws but as I showed with health care form......neo-liberals are allowing policy that completely ignores these laws. It is Europe that is taking US corporations to court for monopoly/anti-trust. ALL WE NEED TO DO IS REINSTATE RULE OF LAW AND ENFORCE THESE LAWS BEING IGNORED AND BETWEEN BRINGING BACK TENS OF TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN FRAUD AND BREAKING THEM UP WITH ANTI-TRUST----WE CAN REVERSE THESE ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES-----AND THEY ARE ILLEGAL.
This is why Obama and neo-liberals in Congress are in such a hurry to pass TPP because it rewrites the US Constitution making all those silly public justice and anti-trust laws void. It is why Obama and neo-liberals are pushing as hard as they can to enact the Affordable Care Act that consolidates and deregulates the health industry leading to the same mess. They are scared because they know the public knows and this is all being done illegally......
THEY ARE STAGING A COUP AGAINST THE US CONSTITUTION AND US CITIZENS AND THAT IS TREASON.Powering Alcoa
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Here you see a defense industry giant deciding it needs a little bit of this health care as global corporation business since the defense industry is on the cutting line now that the US has drones and kills people from Utah and Nevada.
You see this article makes it sound like this business brings something special to these umbrella health corporations that will make health care more 'affordable'. Remember, 1/2 of health care spending is lost to fraud and profiteering and Lockheed Martin is the fraud and profiteering of the defense industry......Lockheed Martin looks to grow health care role New Baltimore health care center comes amid military cuts By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun 7:58 p.m. EST, December 4, 2013 Lockheed Martin, a government contractor best known for its fighter jets, formally opened a health care center in Baltimore County Wednesday, part of a bid to expand the company's role in the medical sector.
While health care services still represent a small portion of Lockheed's business, company representatives said they see the opportunity to apply Lockheed's technology and security background to the rapidly increasing amount of data entering the medical field.
"We've done really large information systems in other domains, like defense intelligence … and health care is, I don't want to say just another domain, but it's going through the same pains and revolutions that we've seen in our other businesses," said chief scientist Michael Hultner.
Lockheed, one of the largest private employers in Maryland, has been hit in recent years by cutbacks in military spending, as the federal government has increased its role in health care through health care reform. Since 2008, Lockheed's workforce has shrunk from 146,000 to 116,000, and on Nov. 14, executives announced plans to cut 4,000 additional positions and consolidate operations.
About 2,000 of the company's 116,000 employees work in health care in roles that range from providing software support to performing medical evaluations, said Karoom Brown, a Lockheed executive director of strategy and business development. In the Baltimore area, Lockheed's health and life sciences division occupies six buildings and employs about 500 people, some of whom are based offsite.
"Over the last five years Lockheed's made a conscious decision to increase our focus and investments in health care," Brown said. Health care generates almost $1 billion in revenue per year for the company, he said.
The new center for health innovation is a glass-filled showroom with ergonomic chairs and portable touch screens located on the first floor of an office park on Lord Baltimore Drive near Milford Mill. The facility, which Lockheed formally opened Wednesday but has been in operation for about a year, includes a wellness center, where Lockheed employees can go for treatment and "tele-medicine."
The center will act as a hub where Lockheed can meet with clients and connect them to the company's technologies, which include developing the data processing systems and analysis that many believe will be critical to future advances in medicine.
"It's a good place where you can see all of Lockheed's technologies in one place; customers can touch and demo it," said Brown, noting that the location capitalizes on proximity to the Social Security Administration and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which use Lockheed for similar services, as well as other institutions, such as Johns Hopkins.
Lockheed's health care projects include efforts to design systems to sift and compress the hundreds of gigabytes generated by a single sequenced genome, streamlining the data into information that a doctor could use during an appointment with a patient, Hultner said.
David Seo, chief medical information officer and associate professor of medicine at the University of Miami, is working with Lockheed to develop computer programs that will use patients' medical data to ask and answer the questions the doctors want. He said the partnership is critical so that doctors can use data to help them prevent problems, instead of simply treating them when they arise.
"Most hospital systems — and even most university medical centers — they don't actually have the capability to do this work," Seo said. "It's really when you combine [efforts] that you can really push the field."
antitrust: an overview Trusts and monopolies are concentrations of economic power in the hands of a few. Economists believe that such control injures both individuals and the public because it leads to anticompetitive practices in an effort to obtain or maintain total control. Anticompetitive practices then lead to price controls and diminished individual initiative. These results in turn cause markets to stagnate and depress economic growth.
Because of fears during the late 1800s that monopolies dominated America's free market economy, Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890 to combat anticompetitive practices, reduce market domination by individual corporations, and preserve unfettered competition as the rule of trade. The Sherman Antitrust Act forms the foundation and the basis for most federal antitrust litigation.
As for the states, many have adopted antitrust laws that parallel the Sherman Antitrust Act to prevent anticompetitive behavior within local intrastate commerce. Since Congressional jurisdiction does not reach purely intrastate commerce, states needed to pass their own legislation to avoid having anticompetitive behavior depress their own local economies. See, for example, the Massachusetts Antitrust Act.
The Federal Antitrust Acts Congress derived its power to pass the Sherman Act through its constitutional authority to regulate commerce. Therefore, the Sherman Act can only be used when the conduct in question restrains or substantially affects either interstate commerce or trade within the District of Columbia. To satisfy this jurisdictional requirement, the plaintiff must show that the conduct in question occurs during the flow of interstate commerce or has an appreciable effect on some activity that occurs during interstate commerce.
The Sherman Act is divided into three sections. Section 1 delineates and prohibits specific means of anticompetitive conduct, and Section 2 deals with end results that are anticompetitive in nature. Sections 1 and 2 supplement each other in an effort to outlaw all types of anticompetitive conduct. Congress designed the supplementary relationship to prevent businesses from violating the spirit of the Act, while technically remaining within the letter of the law. Section 3 simply extends the provisions of Section 1 to U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
Because the courts found certain activities to fall outside the scope of the Sherman Antitrust Act, Congress passed the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 to further widen its scope. For example, the Clayton Act added the following practices to the list of impermissible activities: price discrimination between different purchasers, if such discrimination tends to create a monopoly; exclusive dealing agreements; tying arrangements; and mergers and acquisitions that substantially reduce market competition.
The Robinson-Patman Act of 1936 amended the Clayton Act. The amendment aimed to outlaw certain practices in which manufacturers discriminated in price between equally-situated distributers to decrease competition.
The Per se Rule vs. the Rule of Reason Violations under the Sherman Act take one of two forms - either as a per se violation or as a violation of the rule of reason. Section 1 of the Sherman Act characterizes certain business practices as a per se violation. A per se violation requires no further inquiry into the practice's actual effect on the market or the intentions of those individuals who engaged in the practice. Some business practices, however, at times constitute anticompetitive behavior and at other times encourage competition within the market. For these cases the court applies a totality of the circumstances test and asks whether the challenged practice promotes or suppresses market competition. Courts often find intent and motive relevant in predicting future consequences during a rule of reason analysis. A presumption exists in favor of the rule of reason for ambiguous cases.
Types of Prohibited Anticompetitive Schemes Congress designed these federal antitrust laws to eradicate certain frequently used anticompetitive practices of which the following are a few.
Section 2 of the Sherman Act prohibits monopolization, attempts to monopolize, and conspiring to monopolize. Any such act constitutes a felony. A monopoly conviction requires proof of the individual having intent to monopolize with the power to monopolize, regardless of whether the individual actually exercised the power.
Price-fixing occurs when a company or companies within a given market artificially set or maintain the price of goods or services at a certain level, contrary to the workings of the free market. Section 1 provides that price-fixing is an illegal restraint on trade, regardless of whether a vertical or horizontal scheme. A vertical scheme is a scheme among parties in the same chain of distribution. A horizontal scheme occurs among competitors on the same level.
In 1911 vertical price-fixing schemes became a per se violation of Section 1 when the Supreme Court interpreted the statute in Dr. Miles Medical Co. v. John D. Park & Sons Co., 220 U.S. 373. However, in the landmark case of Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v. PSKS, Inc., 551 U.S. __ (2007), the Supreme Court overturned the 96-year-old Dr. Miles precedent and held that courts should apply the rule of reason when analyzing vertical price-fixing schemes. The ruling renders all vertical limitation schemes subject only to the rule of reason.
Collusive bidding occurs when two or more competitors agree to change the bids they otherwise would offer absent the agreement. Under Section 1, collusive bidding is per se illegal.
A tying arrangement is an agreement by a party to sell one product only on the condition that the buyer agrees either to buy different products from the seller or not to buy those different products from another seller. Tying arrangements are subject to the rule of reason unless the arrangement shuts out a substantial quantity of commerce in which case the scheme is per se illegal.
Section 2 makes illegal a firm's refusal to deal with another firm if the refusing firm refuses for the purpose of trying to monopolize the market. Meanwhile, section 1 prohibits a group from refusing to deal with a particular firm. A group refusal to deal is known as a group boycott. Because of seemingly contradictory Supreme Court decisions over the years, the question of whether group boycotts are subject to the rule of reason or a per se rule has been left murky.
Exclusive dealing agreements require a retailer or distributor to purchase exclusively from the manufacturer. These arrangements make it difficult for new sellers to enter the market and find prospective buyers, thus depressing competition. However, because companies widely-use requirements contracts, which essentially are exclusive dealing agreements, for purposes that promote competition, exclusive dealing arrangements only face rule of reason scrutiny.
Below-cost pricing intended to eliminate specific competitors and reduce overall competition is known as predatory pricing. Section 2 disallows this conduct. In Brooke Group Ltd. v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco, 509 U.S. 209 (1993), the U.S. Supreme Court devised a two-part test to determine if predatory pricing had occurred. First, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant's production costs surpass the market price charged for the item. Second, the plaintiff must establish that a "dangerous probability" exists that the defendant will recover the investment in above-cost inputs. In Weyerhaeuser Co. v. Ross-Simmons Hardwood Lumber Co., Inc. (05-381) (2007), the Supreme Court said that this test also applies when determining if a predatory bidding scheme exists.
Exemptions Certain practices and organizations have received exemption from the federal antitrust laws. First, patent owners received an exemption in the Sherman Act because federal policy favors incentivizing innovation. Of course, the exemption does not go beyond the granted patent monopoly.
Second, the Clayton Act exempted labor unions and agricultural organizations from the Sherman Act's reach.
Third, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (SEA) heavily regulates securities trading; thus, certain activities that fall within the scope of the SEA are exempt from antitrust law. The U.S. Supreme Court took up this very issue in 2007 in Credit Suisse Securities (USA) v. Billing (05-1157). The Court decided that if securities regulation and antitrust law are incompatible, then the securities regulation prevails and individuals who would otherwise violate antitrust law receive antitrust immunity. Determining incompatibility requires the presence of the following four criteria: 1) behavior squarely within securities regulation; 2) clear and adequate SEC authority to regulate; 3) active and ongoing SEC regulation; and 4) a serious conflict between regulatory and antitrust regimes.
Federal Trade Commission The Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 (FTCA) bolstered the Sherman Act and Clayton Act by providing that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) could proactively and directly protect consumers rather than only offer indirect protection by protecting business competitors. Congress endowed the FTC with the power to fill gaps remaining in antitrust law or to stop new business practices not yet invented at the time of the Clayton Act's enactment but contrary to public policy. Section 5 of the FTCA gives the FTC broad powers to cope with new threats to the competitive free market.
___________________________________________We have lawyers letting Obama and Congress know they will be sued and TPP will be in court as illegal and unconstitutional so WE WILL TURN THIS AROUND IF THEY DARE TO DECLARE A COUP AGAINST THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!December 06, 2013, 10:40 am Lawmakers near deal to give Obama fast-track power By Ben Goad
House and Senate negotiators are close to an agreement that would give President Obama crucial authority to fast-track approval of major international trade deals now in the works, The New York Times reports.
The congressional discussions come as negotiators wrap up talks in support of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.
At issue is whether Congress should grant Obama trade promotion authority (TPA). Under TPA or fast-track authority, administration negotiators send completed trade deals to Congress for an up-or-down vote, affording lawmakers no opportunity to submit amendments.
More than 170 House members came out against fast-track authority last month, with many arguing that the trade talks have been too secretive and that Congress should play a greater role in the process, The Hill reported at the time.
However, the Times, citing a source with knowledge of the congressional discussions, says a deal could soon be struck.
"A congressional aide close to the negotiations said that both sides had made significant progress on reaching a fast-track deal, also known as trade-promotion authority," writes the Times’s Annie Lowrey. “But the aide, who declined to speak on the record because of the delicate nature of the talks, emphasized that an agreement was not complete.”
Fast-track authority is considered critical for passage of the trade deals, as international negotiators are generally reluctant to sign off on an agreement that could later be changed via an amendment process.
Check out The New York Times’s full story here.
Regarding health care reform in Maryland:
I listened to a meeting in Washington with health care reformers facilitating a panel of stakeholders. This is the commanding point of this meeting------FEE FOR SERVICE WILL BE REPLACED BY ACO BY 2016 SO GET USED TO IT! The doctors on the panel stated it would be impossible to consolidate all health systems and develop payment policy that fast------ keep in mind that ACO targets Medicare and Medicaid first but will include private health plans as well! Think your choice of MEDICARE doctors will not be limited by this? REALLY?
THE 1% INTEND TO DO IT BY THE END OF OBAMA'S TERM BECAUSE THEY KNOW THE NEXT PRESIDENT MAY WELL DISMANTLE THIS!
************************************* 'Consolidation. As most physicians become employed by a hospital or join an IPA for ACO participation, the healthcare landscape continues to grow more consolidated. Mr. Haley refers to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that established ACOs formally as a "get out of jail free card" for systems to consolidate the market without as strict of antitrust review. This, in turn, can lead to rising costs. Though some have argued that the higher costs associated with consolidation in healthcare are worth what consolidation is working toward — improved quality and eventually lower cost of care — Mr. Haley disagrees. "Over time — it doesn't matter what market it is — where there's a monopolist, costs go up," he says'.
************************************ ACO stands for Accountable Care Organizations. What neo-liberals are trying to do to US health care is allow corporations to determine what will make US health care affordable. Now, who among all the American people would think that US corporations would be the source of good cost containment policy that works in the public interest and not only for corporate profit??????NO ONE BELIEVES THAT....SO WHY ARE WE BEING SUBJECTED TO THIS GARBAGE?
NEO-LIBERALS WORK FOR WEALTH AND PROFIT AT THE EXPENSE OF LABOR AND JUSTICE. OBAMA AND CONGRESSIONAL POLS ARE NEO-LIBERALS AND NOT LABOR AND JUSTICE DEMOCRATS!
When I talk with Expanded and Improved Medicare for All advocates about ACO this is the overwhelming concern......the policy places in the hands of these health corporations the ability to profit the less they spend on health care.....it doesn't matter how they get there. So, if an umbrella group of health institutions develop a system that gets people out of the hospital as quickly as possible and not allow them back into the hospital as a re-admit no matter what------THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT GIVES THAT HEALTH SYSTEM A BONUS! Now, health institutions have defrauded entitlements for these few decades by many means, but one of the major methods of fraud is the 'billing coding fraud'. This is where a doctor or health institution deliberately enters a billing code that makes a patient seem sicker than they are so the doctor/health institution can charge Medicare/Medicaid more money than it should. We lose tens of billions each year with this fraud. It also skews the medical data by making Americans look sicker than they actually are. Look below for an investigative article that shows this medical fraud.
What does that have to do with the ACO and the plan to pay a lump sum for a health condition and bonuses for keeping people out of the hospital? IF DOCTORS/HEALTH INSTITUTIONS CAN CODE PATIENTS SICKER THAN THEY ARE TO GET MORE MONEY-----THEY CAN CODE PEOPLE MORE WELL THAN THEY ARE SO THEY GET MORE MONEY. Now, having too much health care is not good but it doesn't kill you in most cases. Having too little and deliberate blocking of the ability to enter hospitals for followup will kill you and THIS IS HUGE!
This is what Obama and your neo-liberal in Congress is making of the health care system under the Affordable CAre Act. They are taking a system of payment that did indeed need reform----fee for service----and making a system that will be deadly in placing the motive for profit on steroids. Why are they doing this to doctors who like the fee for service system and who know that simply building auditing and oversight in the medical billing will end all this fraud? Because ACO makes doctors employees to the hedge funds that will own these mega-health systems and hedge funds do not want doctors profiting from fraud......they want to profit from the fraud. So, billing code fraud that once went to the doctor/health institution will now go to the umbrella corporation overseeing this health group! NONE OF THIS HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH QUALITY HEALTH CARE OR ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE.....IT ONLY SHIFTS HEALTH CARE FROM A PUBLIC SERVICE WITH PUBLIC GUIDELINES TO MEGA-CORPORATIONS WITH CEOs DETERMINING HOW PROFITS CAN BE MADE------SUCH AS THE GENERAL ELECTRIC CENTRICITY ACCOUNTABLE CARE ORGANIZATION. All we need to do is get rid of these neo-liberals by running and voting for labor and justice in all primaries so we can reverse this bad policy and simply place Expanded and Improved Medicare for All in its place!
Below you see an article that shows where this policy leads......a business, in this case General Electric pretending that it knows how to make health care affordable. Remember, GE is notorious for being unscrupulous and a very bad corporate citizen! Accountable Care
Preparing for a Shift in Healthcare Reimbursement
To successfully navigate the move to greater accountability for patient care outcomes, healthcare organizations will require:
Strong governance models and change management strategies
Interoperable revenue cycle management and electronic medical record solutions
Standards-based health information exchange capabilities
For ACO insights from GE Healthcare customers, download the whitepaper: Accountable Care Organizations - Early Lessons Learned from Strong Revenue Cycle Performers
Accountable Care is not something that happens overnight. But early adopters like Healthcare Partneres, a Pioneer ACO organization, have shown that the accountable and integrated care models can be a success with thoughtful strategy and the right integrated information technology infrastructure.
Healthcare is shifting towards a reimbursement system that’s focused more on paying for quality than volume. Incentives are shifting towards more integrated care delivery, with a continued focus on managing populations of patients. Healthcare organizations today need to prepare for a world that involves more accountability.
The consensus on what ails the U.S. health system, as well as the availability of new technologies, has led to the creation of new models of delivery, such accountable care organizations (ACOs) and integrated health organizations. These healthcare models are designed to promote accountability, share risk and savings, and improve outcomes for the health of a defined population.
Meeting this challenge begins with a strong foundation in Healthcare Information Technology (HCIT) and appropriate technology solutions including revenue cycle management, electronic medical records and health information exchange. Starting with data capture and risk analysis, then sharing between locations and multi-vendor systems, and finally evolving to sophisticated care management and predictive analytics, HCIT helps make accountability an attainable goal.
What's Required Under Accountable Care Reimbursement Models?
Organizations that take on additional risk for managing a population of patients should consider how the following technologies can support their patient care goals:
An enterprise revenue cycle management with inpatient and outpatient integration
A high-functioning, up-to-date Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system with quality measurement and quality improvement capabilities that allow measurement at the physician level to support a continuous feedback loop
Standards-based health information exchange to link disparate partners and exchange info broadly in the community, since patients won't receive all their care within the accountable care organization
Informatics solutions to capture and analyze vast amounts of data
Patient engagement technologies such as portals that allow patients to contribute to their own clinical records, and engage in administrative functions like scheduling appointments and making payments
About Centricity Business
The advent of Accountable Care and evolving payment methodologies including bundled and episodic payments will highlight the gap in capabilities between "next generation" and "old generation" enterprise revenue cycle management systems.
Centricity Business is a proven, next generation healthcare revenue cycle management solution that supports traditional and accountable care reimbursement models for greater profitability, efficiency and enhanced quality of care. What differentiates Centricity Business in the market is enterprise-ready, high performance, and interoperable capabilities.
Our Financial Management and Business Intelligence solutions help you support various emerging payment methodologies associated with ACOs.
Download the complimentary ACO whitepaper using the form on this page and visit www.gehealthcare.com/centricitybusiness to learn more.
Medical Coding Fraud
April 21, 2012 by Laureen Jandroep Codingcertification.org
Medical coding fraud and other types of health care fraud are financial losses estimated to range from $70 to $240 billion per year, according to the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association. So, what can be done? A major fraud and abuse prevention strategy for physicians is to ensure that all coding staff has been properly trained and continues to receive ongoing medical coding education.
Intentionally submitting incorrect coding and billing information is fraudulent behavior and punishable by fines. Therefore, anyone considering going into the medical coding field, should be familiar with some of the most common medical coding frauds. They include:
Double billing: If you submit a single billing code multiple times when the procedure was only performed once; or if a provider attempts to bill Medicaid and either a private insurance company or the patient for the same treatment.
Upcoding: This is when a code that has a higher reimbursement rate is submitted, when a lesser-reimbursed code is more appropriate.
Downcoding: This may not sound like fraud, but it assigns the patient a lesser diagnosis and sometimes shows fake patient improvement, allowing for extended hospital stays or allotment of recovery benefits that would not otherwise be granted.
Unbundling: Some single codes encompass multiple procedures. Billing separate codes for a procedure covered by one code is fraudulent “unbundling.”
Incorrect codes: Assigning incorrect codes is a misrepresentation of patient services.
Fraudulent Medical Coding Penalties
Under the government’s 1986 False Claims Act (FCA), those charged with fraud may be assessed fines of $5,500 to $11,000 per claim.
According to Taxpayers Against Fraud, a nonprofit public interest organization, since 1986, False Claims Act recoveries (both federal and state) total more than $28 billion. Another nonprofit group, the Government Accountability Project, in 2011, reported that the Department of Justice recovered a record-breaking $2.8 billion in False Claims Act Cases.
The bottom line – don’t engage in medical coding fraud.
Remember that all the paperwork was a major complaint of doctors in processing Medicare and Medicaid patients? ACO is worse. So, it heightens the environment for fraud, it increases paperwork, and we already know that patient medical records will be bought and sold for profit. Bonuses for keeping costs contained is what Affordable means in Affordable Care Act----not affordable to the consumer. The ACA actually increases the paperwork and hands over to mega-corporations the ability to write how payments will be made. The problem with health costs in the US is too much paperwork and massive health industry fraud. So, the ACA is built to maximize the most expensive costs to health care. That's only if you look at it from a taxpayer position.....from a hedge fund ready for fraud and selling medical health record data....this is a gold mine! 2 of the Largest Problems With ACOs
Written by Heather Punke September 16, 2013 Becker's Hospital Review
Though accountable care organizations have grown more visible in the last three years — there are at least 488 commercial and Medicare ACOs spread throughout every state but Delaware — the model is still not fully refined, and plenty of challenges still face ACOs. Some stakeholders in the industry are not yet convinced ACOs will accomplish the triple aim of improved quality and patient experience and lowered costs.
According to Dan Haley, vice president of government affairs for athenahealth, there are two main issues holding back the success of the model.
Dan Haley from athenahealthExclusion of some physicians. The nature of the ACO model makes it difficult for small, independent physicians to get involved, and that drives independent physicians' wariness of ACOs. Compared to employed physicians, independent physicians are less likely to believe the shift to accountable care will improve care quality. Instead, they're more likely to believe ACOs will have a negative impact on profitability, according to athenahealth's 2013 Physician Sentiment Index.
Participating in an ACO requires physicians to spend time reporting on metrics and filling out more paperwork — putting a damper on the time independent physicians spend seeing patients. "The administrative burden of participating in an ACO is huge," Mr. Haley says. "These are hurdles that independent and small group physicians who want to spend their days in patient care, not administration, just can't jump. As it is designed, the ACO model excludes small practices and independent physicians."
Many ACOs are physician-led, but the model hardly appeals to all physicians, especially those in smaller practices. Though several independent physician associations have formed ACOs in the last three years, Mr. Haley says independent physicians in small practices still think of joining an IPA as similar to becoming employed by a hospital. "Physicians in IPAs decided to become business people," he says. "They're not caring for patients as usual, but instead decided to manage a larger care entity." This, according to Mr. Haley, is an unattractive option for physicians who want to remain independent focused on patient care.
Consolidation. As most physicians become employed by a hospital or join an IPA for ACO participation, the healthcare landscape continues to grow more consolidated. Mr. Haley refers to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that established ACOs formally as a "get out of jail free card" for systems to consolidate the market without as strict of antitrust review. This, in turn, can lead to rising costs.
Though some have argued that the higher costs associated with consolidation in healthcare are worth what consolidation is working toward — improved quality and eventually lower cost of care — Mr. Haley disagrees. "Over time — it doesn't matter what market it is — where there's a monopolist, costs go up," he says.
Though overcoming these issues with ACOs may seem impossible, because they are ingrained in the very structure of the model, Mr. Haley suggests one possible solution: an Independent Risk Manager model. Currently, the IRM model is in proposal stage. It is a way for independent physicians to participate in accountable care without joining another organization in an ACO.
Through this modification of the ACO model, an outside company could create an information technology platform allowing independent physicians to participate in ACO-like shared savings with no upfront investment. "It would allow independent physicians to participate without going under an employment or IPA 'umbrella,'" Mr. Haley says.
An IRM would use claims data to identify physician practices caring for similar patient populations and then group those practices into networks to share risk. Under the model, the physicians would assume risk and accountability for care quality and efficiency.
Ultimately, as ACOs stand today, independent physicians do not have a viable option for participating in accountable care models while remaining independent, according to Mr. Haley. The IRM model, or something similar, could alleviate that problem and allow independent physicians to move away from fee-for-service reimbursement but still run their own practices.
"It's not about replacing the ACO model, but making shared savings work," Mr. Haley says.
____________________________________________ You can see by the CENTRICITY ORGANIZATION by General Electric this is not about academic research and development of sound cost analysis, after all, all that need be done is look at Medicare payments over a few decades to average costs of procedure. This is a huge database for all kinds of medical procedures ready to be analyzed and median costs set for each procedure. SOUNDS EASY PEASY, RIGHT? Instead, Obama and neo-liberals are allowing all kinds of different corporations do their own analysis to come to there own decisions as to what is cost effective. IT IS CRAZY-----it is about corporations presenting their own plans. As the doctors on this panel stated-------you have one ACO making one billing plan and another ACO making another with any number of combinations and each of these billing ACOs will be attached to a mega-health system and all working to maximize profits for the umbrella hedge fund basically. THE ONLY PROBLEM WITH MEDICAL BILLING HAS BEEN THAT THERE HAS BEEN ABSOLUTELY NO GOVERNMENT OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY FOR FRAUD -------BUILDING THAT WHITE COLLAR CRIMINAL SYSTEM IS THE SOLUTION!
ACOs and the Affordable Care Act
By Luke Sato, MD, CRICO, Ann Louise Puopolo, BSN, RN, CRICO, and Sue Cornacchio RN, JD, CRICO
Related to: Accountable Care Organizations
Section 3022 of the 2010 2010 Affordable Care Act required the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a Shared Savings Program to facilitate coordination and cooperation among providers to reduce unnecessary costs and improve the quality of care for Medicare Fee-For-Service beneficiaries. Eligible providers, hospitals and suppliers could participate in the Shared Savings Program by creating or participating in an Accountable Care Organization (ACO). HHS finalized the rules for the establishment of ACO programs in October 2011.
The Affordable Care Act also created the CMS Innovation Center to evaluate the impact of innovative models of payment and care service delivery for Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries with the ultimate aim of improving the U.S. health care system. The Innovation Center has been working in concert with the Medicare Shared Savings Program to test alternative ACO models, the Pioneer ACO model and the Advance Payment model.
ACOs are voluntary groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, that agree to assume responsibility for the care of a clearly defined population of Medicare beneficiaries attributed to them based on their use of primary care services. ACOs create incentives for providers to coordinate their efforts to treat patients, particularly those with chronic illnesses, across the continuum of care – including doctor’s offices, emergency departments, hospitals, and long-term care facilities. Coordinated care will help ensure that patients, especially the chronically ill, get the right care at the right time, with the goal of avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors.
The goal of these new payment models is the transformation from a volume-based health care system to one more firmly based on achieving value for patients and providers. These new health care delivery approaches are aimed at providing:
Better care for individuals
Better health for populations
Lower cost growth
If the ACO succeeds in both delivering high-quality care or improved care and reducing the cost of that care below what would otherwise be expected, it will share in the savings it achieves for Medicare. 
ACO Financial Models
The three ACO financial models are summarized below:
Medicare Shared Savings Program  –
Currently, 116 organizations have been selected for participation, three are in Massachusetts,: Circle Health Alliance, Jordan Community ACO and Physicians of Cape Cod.
The Shared Savings Program (SSP) fulfills an Affordable Care Act obligation to establish a permanent program to build a path forward for groups of health care providers to become ACOs.
Under the SSP model, providers will share in any savings they achieve for the Medicare program. The length of the program is three performance years. ACOs can opt for one of two SSP payment models for the first agreement period:
One-sided model (sharing savings, but not losses, for the entire term of the first agreement) ACOs in the one-sided model will be eligible for a sharing rate of up to 50 percent.
Two-sided model (sharing both savings and losses for the entire term of the agreement) ACOs adopting this model will be eligible for a sharing rate of up to 60 percent.
Pioneer ACO Model
There are 32 listed Pioneer ACOs, five are in Massachusetts: Atrius Health, Beth Israel Deaconess Physician Organization, Mount Auburn Cambridge Independent Practice Association, Partners Healthcare and Steward Health Care.
The Pioneer ACO Model initiative designed to test the effectiveness of a particular payment strategy. It was specifically designed for organizations with experience providing integrated care across settings. There are five different payment arrangements offered in the Pioneer ACO model. These models vary the rules for shared savings, amount of risk and degree of capitation, but all are governed by the principles below:
The first two years of the Pioneer ACO Model are a shared savings payment arrangement with higher levels of savings and risk than in the SSP. All Pioneer ACOs must assume substantial 2-sided risk (bonus/loss) in the second year.
Starting in year three, those Pioneer ACOs that have earned savings over the first two years will be eligible to move to a capitated or population-based payment model. Population-based payment is a per-beneficiary per month payment and is intended to replace some or all of the fee-for-service payments with a prospective monthly payment.
Entities that have failed to average at least 2% savings in the first two years will retain their second year payment arrangements but CMS may terminate their contract after the third year.
Pioneer ACOs will be required to develop similar outcomes-based payment arrangements with other payers (such as insurers, employer health plans) so that more than 50 percent of the ACO's revenues will be derived from such arrangements by the end of year two. Outcomes-based contracts are described as those that: (1) include financial accountability (shared savings and/or financial risk); (2) evaluate patient experiences of care; and (3) include substantial quality performance incentives. By the end of 2012, Pioneer ACOs must attest and CMS will confirm that at least 50% of the ACO’s primary care providers have met requirements for meaningful use of certified electronic health records (EHR) for receipt of payments through the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.
Advanced Payment Initiative – There are currently 20 ACOs participating in the Advanced Payment model. One, Harbor Medical Associates, PC is located in Massachusetts.
The Advanced Payment Initiative program was designed for certain eligible providers already in or interested in the SSP. It provides advance payments to physician-owned and rural providers for start-up expenses such as infrastructure, staff or IT systems. Advance payments would be recovered from shared savings achieved by the ACO.
CMS will measure ACO quality of care in four key domains:
Care coordination/patient safety
At risk population management
These quality measures will be reported through a combination of CMS claims and administrative data, web reported clinical quality measures, and patient experience surveys. These measures are aligned with the measures in other CMS programs such as the Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). Eligible ACOs will still be deemed eligible for the PQRS bonus, regardless of whether the ACO qualifies to share in savings.
Pay for performance will be phased in over the three year ACO period. In year one, ACOs will be paid for reporting quality measures. In years two and three ACOs will be paid for performance as well as reporting of quality measures. CMS will then use this information to establish national benchmarks for ACO quality measures.
I want to emphasize that I am not trying to embarrass Maryland citizens or disgrace the state of Maryland in pointing out that there is too much corporate and government fraud and corruption-----I'M TRYING TO REBUILD A HEALTHY ECONOMY AND SOCIETY! Maryland ranks at the top in what is pervasive fraud in all states in the US so we are not unique, we are just one of the best at lying, cheating, and stealing.
Below you see why O'Malley and Rawlings-Blake allow their administrations to be full of lying, cheating, and stealing-----rankings for this and that. Maryland is the wealthiest in the nation------except that much of that wealth is massive corporate fraud that needs to come back. Maryland is number one in education except that in every category measured we hear time and again that fraud in data is involved. Below you see the skewing of data by making sure low achieving students aren't in school on test day-----this included underserved students as well as special needs. Principals are pressured to make O'Malley look good on paper and they give him what he needs. O'Malley did the same with policing in Baltimore as all crime stats were skewed while he was Mayor of Baltimore. Police were told to meet a goal and they made it all up to reach that goal. Maryland has no oversight and accountability so no one checks the data.
DO YOU KNOW THAT WHEN THE MARYLAND ASSEMBLY AUDITS FOR THE LITTLE OVERSIGHT WE SUPPOSEDLY HAVE THAT ALL THEY DO IS CHECK TO SEE IF FORMS ARE COMPLETED AND DO NOT CHECK THE DATA ON THE FORMS? I want to emphasize that the people charged with this corrupt process are the Maryland Assembly people running now for Maryland Attorney General----Frisch and Frosh.
That is how it makes the ranking below in this list of WELL-RUN STATES.......LOL!!!!!!
Remember, this headline was created so O'Malley can use it in running for higher office! THE ENTIRE MEDIA PROCESS IS GEARED TOWARDS PROVIDING PROPAGANDA FOR GLOBAL CORPORATE POLS!
We know the crime and education stats are bogus so let's look at the other categories. I love this one......perfect credit.
This is O'Malley's recipe for perfect credit......take a $1 billion mortgage fraud settlement for people defrauded by banks and put most of it in the state coffers. Refuse to pay almost a billion in state court approved settlements for underfunded Baltimore City schools......cut Medicaid even more than the Federal government and pretend health care for the lower-class was never better. Send teacher's pensions to the localities at a time when the state knows localities cannot handle this debt-----but it's off the state record now isn't it? O'Malley is the one who underfunded all Baltimore City pensions for the few decades at City Hall and was in office when pensions were used as fodder by Wall Street in a move that sent state and city pensions from the safety of then bonds to the imploding stock market-----public malfeasance and fraud.
Next you use credit bond leveraging and selling of public assets to hide debt as with moving public offices to rental properties that expense by the year and hand the Port of Baltimore to a private corporation to expense costs to an annual renter's fee. So, he is changing long-term cost to annual cost creating a false look at expenditure and lost public value. Is it public interest to hand the Port over to business losing a few billion in revenue each year in exchange for a few hundred million in Port rent? Public private partnerships that place the public in the position of paying all costs of operation of public services while private businesses reap tons in profit by just operating the public service.......REALLY? Of course not, but O'Malley is using this to make it look like there is perfect credit and low debt.
IT IS ALL MIRRORS AND O'MALLEY HAS ACTUALLY POSITIONED MARYLAND FOR A HARD FALL AS THE NEXT ECONOMIC CRASH FROM AN IMPLODING BOND MARKET HITS AND WE ARE WITHOUT ASSETS AND LEVERAGED TO THE EYEBALLS! Remember, it is easy to have perfect credit by leveraging your debt with all kinds of financial instruments until you cannot anymore. Think of an individual who gets one credit card after another to keep current on credit bills until he reaches the maximum-------IT'S THE SAME. THIS IS WHAT O'MALLEY IS DOING. When a pol uses skewed data to the max one can only expect this deception to sink the ship of state government!
THIS IS WALL STREET'S PLAN FOR TAKING OVER ALL THAT IS PUBLIC------LEVERAGING MUNICIPALITIES JUST LIKE THEY DID HOMEOWNERS DURING THE SUBPRIME MORTGAGE FRAUD! AN ECONOMIC CRASH WILL MEAN MUNICIPAL DEFAULT.
But we have to leverage because states and localities are poor you say!!!! We are not poor, we simply have suspended Rule of Law and have tens of billions coming back to Maryland from massive corporate fraud! WE LACK JUSTICE, NOT REVENUE!Maryland: Low Poverty, Perfect Credit, Debt and High Crime
Find out where Maryland ranks in list of best- and worst-run states.
Posted by Deb Belt (Editor) , November 26, 2013 at 08:50 AM
How well run is the state of Maryland, and how does it rank among the 50 states?Maryland falls in the middle of the national rankings at No. 24.
MarylandDebt per capita: $4,348 (13th highest)
Budget deficit: 9.5% (28th largest)
Unemployment: 6.8% (tied-17th lowest)
Median household income: $71,122 (the highest)
Pct. below poverty line: 10.3% (3rd lowest)
Here is how 24/7 Wall St. describes the state:
Maryland’s population is the wealthiest in the country. The state had a median household income of $71,122 last year, nearly $20,000 higher than the U.S. median. Also, just 10.3% of the population lived below the poverty line. The state had a relatively large amount of debt, at approximately 60% of annual revenue as of fiscal 2011, compared to 50% nationwide. Still, Maryland maintains a perfect credit rating from both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. Moody’s credited the wealthy tax base as a factor for its rating, as well as the state’s “history of strong financial management.” One negative factor is the state’s high violent crime rate, which was one of the highest in the country last year.
_______________________________________________I wanted to include this education piece just to show how data in Maryland is so skewed as to mean nothing in looking at rankings or stable government.I will talk more on education reform another time.
George calls for hearing on school ranking
November 26, 2013|By Michael Dresser
Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron George has called for a General Assembly hearing into whether Maryland's exclusion of a high percentage of special education students from standardized testing artificially inflated the score of the state's schools in national rankings.
George, a state delegate from Anne Arundel County, issued a statement Tuesday in which he called for answers on what he called the O'Malley administration's "reading test cheating scandal." The Sun reported last week that Maryland may have achieved its No. 1 ranking on Education Week's ranking of state school systems in part by excluding a higher percentage of special education students from reading testings than any other state. By excluding special ed students at such a high rate, the state appears to have gained 5 points in eighth grade reading score and 7 in fourth grade.George, ranking member of the House Ways & Means education subcommittee, accused the administration of cheating its way to No. 1 -- a ranking Gov. Martin O'Malley and legislative leaders frequently boast about.
"I am demanding answers about who in the administration was involved in this cheating scandal, what exactly they knew and when they knew it. I am calling on the leaders in the General Assembly to convene hearings to get to the bottom of this matter," George said. "We tell our students cheating is wrong and hold them accountable when they make a mistake. What message are we sending them now when corrupt politicians abuse the education system to advance their own political agendas?"
A spokeswoman for House Speaker Michael E. Busch said no hearings have been scheduled on the topic.
George is seeking the GOP nomination in a race against Harford County Executive David R. Craig, Charles County business executive Charles Lollar and former Ehrlich administration appointments secretary Larry Hogan.
On the Democratic side of the race, Attorney Douglas F. Gansler also weighed in on the controversy.
"The parents of Maryland deserve honest and transparent testing – and a more thorough explanation of how they were misled by a system that appears to have put a blind desire to pump up scores ahead of the needs of Maryland families," he said in a statement released by his campaign. "Let's not shy away from challenges, let's take them on with a commitment to early education programs, afterschool and summer learning bridge initiatives, getting our children the tools they need to succeed."
Gansler is running against Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown and Montgomery County Del. Heather R. Mizeur for the Democratic nomination.
In a statement, O'Malley press secretary defended the state's record and downplayed the significance of the test scores in the Education Week ranking system that bestowed the No. 1 ranking on Maryland. The publication also considers school funding levels and other factors.
"Some people are so desperate to score political points, that they're willing to question the achievements our students and educators have earned for five consecutive years," Press Secretary Nina Smith said. ____________________________________________ Now, O'Malley will pretend to have leveraged to the gills to protect Maryland workers and unions and indeed, this is why labor supports O'Malley even as he kills them with other labor policy issues. HE COULD HAVE CUT JOBS BUT HE USED BOND AND LEVERAGE TO SAVE JOBS. THAT'S THE STORY AND LABOR WILL STICK TO IT. It is why labor comes to O'Malley's defense over the Baltimore Hilton debacle that used taxpayers to advance the Baltimore Development Corporation's vision of city growth. LABOR WAS RIGHT THERE TELLING MEDIA THE HILTON WAS GOOD FOR THEM.
Well, if labor understood O'Malley's end game they hopefully would not be allowing this neo-liberal to garner their support. First, it is the billions of dollars in corporate fraud that goes without recovery that has Maryland's budget strained and just collecting that would end the need for all this leveraging and guess what?
IT IS BETTER TO USE RULE OF LAW AGAINST CRIME THEN TO USE BOND LEVERAGE KILLING THE STATE'S FUTURE TO BALANCE A BUDGET. Make no mistake.....O'Malley is deliberately loading the state and Baltimore with debt because he wants to hand all that is public to Wall Street when this next economic crash occurs! HOW IS THAT GOOD FOR FAMILIES?O’Malley, Md. lawmakers use debt to lube state’s path through recessionBy Aaron C. Davis,March 22, 2011 Washington PostStacked into the budget that Maryland’s House of Delegates will debate Wednesday is a grim look at the state’s fiscal future:
To cover mounting debt, Maryland will have to raise property taxes after next year or begin eating into operating funds for schools, social services and public safety.
By 2014 — Gov. Martin O’Malley’s last full year in office — the state will have to curtail spending even further to begin repaying money used to close budget shortfalls during his first term. And by 2017, the state is projected to break through one of its debt ceilings.
Maryland’s debt costs are trending toward 30-year highs, even without factoring in billions in unfunded retiree health-care and pension costs. Maryland is far from alone. Almost every state has ramped up borrowing and gone deeper in debt to try to spur job growth while balancing expenses during the recession.
But in Maryland, O’Malley (D) has sought to use bonds and other borrowing to continue to fund initiatives that have been gutted by this point in the downturn by politicians in most states.
Once again in this year’s budget, and backed by lawmakers, O’Malley has spread out over several years the cost of tens of millions of dollars in open-space land purchases and has sought to issue bonds for efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.
The governor and his budget team have cast the borrowing as a bridge to get the state to better economic times without throwing aside wholesale O’Malley’s environmental agenda and other state initiatives he sees as important.
But the state’s fiscal trajectory has also begun to splinter Maryland Democrats, with more conservative ones arguing that the state has gone too far in leveraging its future.
“We’re basically spending every cent we have and maxing out the state’s credit cards to the nth degree,” said state Comptroller Peter Franchot, a Montgomery County Democrat. “If something goes wrong in the economy again, we could be very vulnerable. We have no reserve capacity.”
But compared with the way worries about debt have paralyzed budget discussions in a split Congress in Washington and in many state capitals, O’Malley and the legislature’s Democratic leadership remain largely on the same page and comfortable with pushing Maryland’s debt load to the max long after their current terms end._________________________________________________This is just one example of leverage beyond what the state will be able to sustain when the next economic crash comes. What projects do you think these transportation funds will address? We know that the Port of Baltimore and the high-speed rail are tops on the agenda and neither is vital for Maryland's economy. The Red Line is not a bad project but if the state defaults-----it belongs to private investors backing this deal as are the state's roads. If we have a crash next year as big as financial analysts are calling---do you think the Red Line will move forward? The high-speed rail and Port will.
What this makes clear is that these leveraged deals hand all of the states future tax revenue to these bond holders just as Baltimore City uses TIFs to hand decades of tax revenue to corporations both starving public coffers and soaking the middle/working class with taxes and fees to make up the difference.I WANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT THIS IS ONLY ONE OF MANY CREDIT BOND DEALS O'MALLEY AND RAWLINGS-BLAKE HAS TIED TO PUBLIC PROJECTS AND THEY WILL BRING US TO DEFAULT AS GOVERNMENT WILL NOT HAVE THE RESOURCES TO WEATHER ANOTHER ECONOMIC COLLAPSE! Fitch Affirms Maryland Transportation Auth's GARVEE Bonds at 'AA'; Outlook Stable October 15, 2013 03:49 PM Eastern Daylight Time CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fitch Ratings affirms the 'AA' rating on the Maryland Transportation Authority's (MDTA) $479.035 million outstanding grant and revenue anticipation (GARVEE) bonds. The Rating Outlook remains Stable.
KEY RATING DRIVERS:
PRESENCE OF BACKUP PLEDGE MITIGATES FEDERAL CONCERN: MDTA bonds are secured by the first lien on Maryland's federal highway funds and the legislatively mandated subordinate lien on certain pledged Maryland Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) tax revenues, which helps offset reauthorization risk. The back-up pledge of tax receipts is subject to appropriation by the state's legislature.
UNCERTAINTY OF THE FEDERAL PROGRAM: The federal program, which was once a formula-driven program funded on a multiyear basis, has now morphed into a program where future policy is less certain. This means funding levels are less predictable and the program is more dependent on frequent action to extend authorization and on general fund transfers that will likely need to be continued indefinitely barring an increase in the federal gas-tax or a significant reduction in spending.
STRONG COVENANTS AND TIMING MECHANISMS: Additional leverage is limited by a strong additional bonds test of 3.0 times (x) maximum annual debt service (MADS). A debt service reserve fund equivalent to the maximum semi-annual interest payment provides debt service support. The eight-year maturity of the bonds is short relative to other federal reimbursement bonds and exposes bondholders to a lower level of uncertainty surrounding the highway trust fund (HTF) but this is more than offset by the back-up pledge.
ADDITIONAL LEVERAGE NOT ANTICIPATED: The authority has reached a statutory cap on GARVEE issuance and additional bonds are not expected in the medium term.
-- Increased leveraging of the TTF or a significant change in the basket of state highway revenues that weakens the secondary pledge;
-- Failure by the state to appropriate state highway revenues if needed to cover a shortfall in federal funds.
The GARVEE bonds are secured by a pledge of the trust estate, consisting of annual allocations of federal aid and a subordinate pledge of certain TTF tax sources.
HTF's expenditures have been exceeding revenues over the past several years. The most recent authorization, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), provides funding certainty for the next two years but it does not address longer-term issues regarding the sustainability of the federal program or solvency of the HTF and relies on a total of $18.8 billion general fund transfers in 2013 and 2014. Funding levels have become less certain and difficult to predict beyond current authorization. In addition, the increase in corporate fuel economy standards approved in August 2012 would adversely impact gas tax revenues which support the HTF. In Fitch's view, the unsustainable trajectory of the HTF may lead to policy changes that could affect bondholders.
The pledge of subordinate TTF funds provides an important offset to this reauthorization risk and supports the current rating level. The TTF tax sources include a portion of motor fuel taxes, titling excise tax on vehicles, sales and use tax on vehicle rentals and corporate income tax. The GARVEE bonds have a pledge of these revenues that is subordinate to the department's consolidated transportation bonds (rated 'AA+' by Fitch). Total TTF revenues equaled $1.39 billion in fiscal 2012 (state fiscal year ending on June 30). Fiscal 2012 debt service coverage remained strong at 6.4x with federal revenues alone and 18.7x including state revenues.
The TTF's distribution of the state's corporation income tax after certain General Fund deductions is currently at 9.5%. For fiscal 2014 through 2016, the distribution will be 19.5%, and for fiscal 2017 and fiscal years thereafter the distribution will be 17.2%.
MDTA is responsible for coordinating, planning and implementation of the GARVEE program in consultation with SHA. SHA is the recipient of all Maryland Federal Highway Funds; GARVEE debt service paid directly to the trustee. SHA is also responsible for letting contracts and management and delivery of the ICC project. _____________________________________________The rosy future given by Moody's ranking of Maryland as AAA tempered by Maryland's ties with the Federal government for jobs and revenue give you a glimpse as to what will happen as the next economic crash occurs. Because the Federal government has not recovered tens of trillions of dollars in corporate fraud it is leaving the national debt so high that it will not be able to send help to states like it do in 2008 and will be forced to cut more government agencies and assets-----which is the goal of Wall Street and its dismantling of US government sector. Keep the high debt by suspending Rule of Law and implode the economy with yet another bubble---this time the bond market.
Remember, it was Moody and S & P that gave us the AAA subprime mortgage loan fraud and they didn't feel any justice for that! IS THEIR NEXT RATINGS FRAUD WITH STATE RANKINGS? YOU BETCHA!!!Maryland's cloudy credit horizonOur view: Moody's promise to drop the state's AAA-status if it downgrades the federal government is frustrating but may not mean muchFebruary 18, 2013 Baltimore SunIt would be ironic if Maryland, for the first time in the history of municipal bond ratings, lost its AAA status now. Thanks to a combination of spending restraint, tax increases and other reforms, Maryland's balance sheet is stronger that it has been in more than a decade. Gov. Martin O'Malley's budget proposal leaves nearly $1 billion in various reserve accounts, and the legislature stands poised to change the way it funds employee pensions to make the system more solvent.
But thanks to the dysfunction in Washington, that's just what may happen
. Moody's Investors Service, one of the big three bond rating agencies, issued a report this month about which AAA-rated state and local governments would face downgrades if the federal government is downgraded. On the list: Maryland and Virginia, along with Missouri and New Mexico. More that a dozen local governments in Maryland and Northern Virginia are also in line to be whacked, including Montgomery, Prince George's, Harford, Howard and Baltimore counties.
Other publications from Moody's suggest that a federal downgrade isn't necessarily imminent, and the agency hasn't said whether any particular event — like a failure to raise the debt ceiling or to address the sequestration cuts due on March 1 — would trigger action. Rather, Moody's is concerned about the medium and long-term trends in the ratio of federal debt to gross domestic product. "If the upward trend in projected debt ratios and interest costs continues, and further measures to stabilize and ultimately reverse them are not put into place, the rating could eventually move down," Moody's said in a Feb. 8 report.
Moody's has not changed its assessment of the strengths that have prompted it to give Maryland its highest possible rating — a history of responsible fiscal management, a strong economy and a highly skilled work force, among other things. But the agency has a rule that if a "sub-sovereign" entity — i.e., a state or local government — has particularly strong linkage to the sovereign government, its rating cannot exceed the national rating. The agency looks at five factors to determine such linkage, and both Maryland and Virginia are rated as outliers on two of them: federal employment as a percentage of total employment, and federal procurement contracts as a percentage of gross domestic product.
Moody's observation about the linkage between the state's economy and the federal government is bound to become subject to tsk tsking by the Maryland-is-bad-for-business crowd. They are right that the state needs to explore ways to diversify its economy and that, given the likelihood of federal cuts, Maryland can't count on the federal government for economic growth. But it's not like a radical change in the political climate in Annapolis could solve our current predicament. In order to grow its way out of being considered by Moody's to be strongly linked to the federal government, Maryland would need to increase its GDP by 73 percent and its workforce by 77 percent without getting another dime in federal contracts or a single additional federal job.What would happen if Moody's did downgrade Maryland's bond ratings? That's entirely unclear. Theoretically, it would lead to higher borrowing costs. But neither of the other two major ratings agencies, Standard & Poor's and Fitch, has said it will automatically downgrade any state or local governments based solely on the federal rating. Indeed, S&P did downgrade the federal government after the debt limit standoff of 2011 without taking corresponding action against Maryland. Moreover, S&P's federal downgrade didn't significantly increase borrowing costs, and it's altogether unclear that bond buyers would look at Maryland much differently if it had merely two out of three possible AAA ratings.
In the end, what we're talking about here may be little more than a matter of Maryland pride. Governors like to brag about Maryland's AAA bond rating, and saying we are top-rated as a credit risk by two of the three major agencies doesn't quite have the same cachet as having always been triple-AAA.
Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp has argued Maryland's case to Moody's, to no avail. Rules, it seems, are rules, and it is the arbitrariness that she and other state officials find so frustrating. But there is at least one consolation: Virginia, our rival and political mirror image across the Potomac, is in exactly the same boat.
THE MOVEMENT OF REAL ESTATE TO THE FEW AT THE TOP IS IN FULL SWING AND MARYLAND IS FRONT AND CENTER IN THIS MASSIVE FRAUD. IT IS WHY THERE IS NO TALK IN MARYLAND JUSTICE CIRCLES ABOUT THIS MASSIVE FRAUD THAT TARGETED THE WORKING CLASS AND POOR. MARYLAND IS STILL THE HIGHEST IN FORECLOSURES AS THE MIDDLE-CLASS ARE NEXT IN LOSING THEIR HOMES FROM THE DAMAGES OF THIS FRAUD!THE SUBPRIME LOAN FRAUD CONTINUES!!!!!!We are seeing every level of government working to protect corporate profits and shield corporate fraud and tax evasion as laws are passed making civil rights and liberties threatened. This is happening in Baltimore City Hall, the Maryland Assembly, and US Congress. I saw an article that stated democrats in Congress were behind this massive WalMart protest and yet------a supermajority of democrats could not find it in them to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour or protect worker and retirement benefits. So, as civil liberties and public justice are suspended.......corporate fraud is in full swing! THIS IS O'MALLEY'S MARYLAND----
I keep stating the obvious, but we must make it a mantra coming from all sectors of US society-----WE SIMPLY NEED TO RECOVER MASSIVE CORPORATE FRAUD IN THE TENS OF TRILLIONS TO REVERSE WEALTH INEQUITY! SIMPLY REINSTATING RULE OF LAW WILL DO IT!
This is why I highlight all the avenues of corporate fraud that exist in Maryland and Baltimore. Below you see that while Maryland passes laws against protesting......the corporations being protested are wanted for all kinds of fraud. WalMart represents wage theft, tax evasion, and the social costs of poverty wages is huge.
As you see REIT is a property tax law that adds to the 'you can bet on anything on Wall Street' casino atmosphere. With all things Wall Street fraud is infused so, as cities and states lose property tax revenue by handing yet another corporate cost over to shareholders......we know that the major shareholders are not paying the taxes required from REIT. Then you have the bizarre renting your business to yourself scheme showing there is no oversight for open infringement.
We simply need to enforce law..... and all that requires is a Rule of Law GOVERNOR AND MAYOR. Fraud recovery pays for itself so if an attorneys office is captured.....an executive can do the deed!
With REIT fraud you not only have shareholders failing to pay for profits from this policy, you have corporations like WalMart getting tax breaks on taxes they don't pay......selling themselves as 'renters'. Or the ultimate fraud in using REIT on subprime mortgage loan fraud recycled en masse from the FED as bundled mortgage buy-backs.VISIGOTH ALERT!!!!!!! Did you know that Maryland is tops with the REIT law that allows corporations like WalMart to 'rent to themselves'? WalMart not only steals from its employees but your Maryland neo-liberals allow them to steal from public coffers. So, while the Maryland Assembly claims poverty and cuts education and public services, it hands out so much in corporate subsidy as to make taxes profits!
WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO MAKE SURE WALMART PAYS ITS RAIN TAX!!!!Please look at the last article to see how Maryland is tied in to this FED mortgage bond buy-back scheme that simply takes these subprime loans off of banks' accounts and moves them to a newly created business that markets them as REIT investments! Remember, the FED is spending trillions of dollars on this buy-back and this Maryland corporation is loading itself with this discounted real estate. It was the Washington suburbs that was home of MERS-----the mortgage title laundering machine for the massive mortgage fraud. Wal-Mart’s State Tax Evasion Ploy: Paying Rent to Itself
By Jesse Drucker
First published by The Wall St. Journal, February 1, 2007
As the world’s biggest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pays billions of dollars a year in rent for its stores. Luckily for Wal-Mart, in about 25 states it has been paying most of that rent to itself — and then deducting that amount from its state taxes.
The strategy is complex, but the bottom line is simple: It has saved Wal-Mart from paying several hundred million dollars in taxes, according to court records and a person familiar with the matter. And Wal-Mart is far from alone.
IT’S A DEAL
The arrangement takes advantage of a tax loophole that the federal government plugged decades ago, but which many states have been slower to catch. Here’s how it works: One Wal-Mart subsidiary pays the rent to a real-estate investment trust, or REIT, which is entitled to a tax break if it pays its profits out in dividends. The REIT is 99%-owned by another Wal-Mart subsidiary, which receives the REIT’s dividends tax-free. And Wal-Mart gets to deduct the rent from state taxes as a business expense, even though the money has stayed within the company.
Partly thanks to sophisticated financial strategies like these, states’ tax collections from companies have been plummeting. On average, Wal-Mart has paid only about half of the statutory state tax rates for the past decade, according to Standard & Poor’s Compustat, which collects data from SEC filings. The so-called “captive REIT” strategy alone cut Wal-Mart’s state taxes by about 20% over one four-year period. Now several state regulators are trying to crack down on the strategy, used largely by retailers and banks, and some other states have changed their laws to try to end the practice. Yesterday, New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer included elimination of the loophole as part of his proposed budget, a fix he said would bring the state $83 million a year.
North Carolina tax authorities are challenging Wal-Mart, saying its REIT strategy was intended to “distort [the company's] true net income,” according to its filings in the case in Superior Court in Raleigh, N.C. The state calls captive REITs a “high priority corporate tax sheltering issue” and in 2005 ordered Wal-Mart to pay $33 million for back taxes, interest and penalties stemming from the REIT. The company paid it and last year sued the state for a refund.
The structure Wal-Mart is using features some unusual elements. Because REITs must have at least 100 shareholders to gain tax benefits, roughly 100 Wal-Mart executives were enlisted to own a combined total of around 1% of the REIT’s shares, without any voting rights. H. Lee Scott Jr., now Wal-Mart’s CEO, was listed as the REIT’s “managing trustee” from 1996 to 2004.
A single Wal-Mart real-estate official, Tony Fuller, represented the company both as tenant and landlord in its lease with itself. Ernst & Young LLP, the accounting firm that sold the strategy to Wal-Mart, also is the company’s outside auditor. In its internal sales training materials, the accounting firm explicitly labeled the strategy as a method to reduce taxes — a red flag to tax authorities, who often demand that tax shelters have other business purposes.
Wal-Mart attorneys say in court filings that the strategy is perfectly legal and that North Carolina is exceeding its authority. A spokesman for the Bentonville, Ark., company, John Simley, said Wal-Mart “is comfortable with its current structure and is in compliance with federal and state tax laws.” He added that the REIT structure was adopted to “more effectively and efficiently manage the company’s real-estate portfolio, including the impact on the company’s overall state tax planning.”
Regulators in at least a half-dozen states are going after companies that have trimmed their taxes through similar arrangements, including Regions Financial Corp.’s AmSouth Bancorp. unit; AutoZone Inc. of Memphis, Tenn.; and two units of Bank of America Corp. In a Massachusetts case against Bank of America unit Fleet Funding Inc., authorities call Fleet’s REIT arrangement a “sham” in court filings. They note that Fleet increased the salaries of the roughly 100 employees whom it made REIT shareholders to compensate them for personal income taxes stemming from ownership. The Multistate Tax Commission, an association of state revenue authorities, says it has started examining the use of captive REITs to avoid taxes, alerting states to the issue and proposing legislative fixes to close the loophole.
States collected more than $44 billion last year in corporate income taxes, out of $607 billion in total state tax receipts, according to the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, a nonpartisan think tank associated with the State University of New York. But the average effective corporate state and local tax rate has dropped from 6.7% during the 1980s to about 5% during the first half of this decade, according to a recent report by the Congressional Research Service. This is in part because of the proliferation of state and local tax breaks, as well as tax shelters, according to several academic and government studies.
Some corporate state tax planners say arrangements like these are merely smart business, and that the loopholes exploited by companies should be fixed by state legislatures rather than litigated by state lawyers. Critics of the shelters complain they let companies use public services provided by local governments — such as police and fire protection or new highways — without having to shoulder their fair share of the costs. Meanwhile, the portion of state taxes borne by individuals is steadily rising.
Congress created REITs in 1960 as a way to allow smaller investors to put money in a wide portfolio of commercial real estate, spreading their risk. Congress also gave them a tax benefit: REITs aren’t subject to corporate income tax on the profits they pay to shareholders as long as they pay out at least 90% of the profits. The shareholders still usually get federally taxed on the dividends, which still count as income for them.
After a boom in REITs in the early 1990s, big accounting firms including Ernst & Young and KPMG LLP figured out that on the state level, they could pair the tax break on REIT dividends with a separate tax rule that allows companies to receive dividends tax-free from their subsidiaries. With the REIT as a subsidiary itself, two rules aimed at avoiding double taxation could be combined to effectively avoid any taxation at all.
The strategy worked especially well if the REIT was owned by a company incorporated, and claiming to do all its business, in a state such as Delaware or Nevada that often wouldn’t tax the corporate income anyway. That created an extra hurdle for other states to challenge the practice if they caught onto it.
Ernst & Young early on targeted the banking industry as a possible beneficiary of the captive REIT strategy. Like retailers, banks have branches in many states and often are liable for lots of state-level corporate tax. Ernst & Young targeted at least 30 banks, some of them its audit clients. The SEC generally permits that dual role as long as the firm’s fee isn’t contingent on the tax savings.
According to documents from a 1995 internal Ernst & Young sales training meeting reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, the accounting firm suggested banks put some of their income-producing assets, such as a portfolio of mortgages, into a REIT subsidiary, then use the double-tax break to “shelter” the income from state taxes. The REIT would issue a tiny number of non-voting shares to bank “officers and directors” to meet the 100-shareholder rule that REIT law requires.
U.S. banks “pay millions of dollars each year in state and local taxes,” read the Ernst & Young presentation to its sales force. “The FSI State Tax Financial Product we have developed can significantly reduce or eliminate this heavy tax obligation…” One section of the Ernst & Young sales package featured hypothetical questions from clients about the REIT shelter, and the proposed answers. To pass legal muster, many corporate tax shelters purport to have additional business purposes behind merely saving taxes. Ernst & Young, however, was blunt about the reason for its proposed strategy:
“Q: What’s the business purpose?
“A: Reduction in state and local taxes.
“Q: What if the press gets wind of this and portrays us as a ‘tax cheat’?
“A: That’s a possibility….If you are concerned about possible negative publicity, you can counter it by reinvesting the savings in the community.”
An Ernst & Young spokesman declined to comment on its REIT work, saying the firm was “prohibited from commenting on client matters.” The spokesman said he could not verify the authenticity of the internal sales training documents based on quotes provided by the Journal. However, he said the “limited language communicated in the internal memo does not reflect the quality and nature of the advice we provide to our clients.”
State authorities have had mixed records so far in pursuing back taxes and penalties in captive-REIT cases. AutoZone, the big auto-parts chain, won the right to deduct the dividends from its taxes in Kentucky but lost a preliminary round in Louisiana . The Hawaii Department of Taxation won a case involving a REIT used by Central Pacific Financial Corp., a bank holding company. AmSouth is in litigation with Alabama over tax benefits from its REIT.
Fleet Funding’s REIT, on which the company was advised by KPMG, has led Massachusetts to seek more than $42 million in back taxes, interest and penalties. BankBoston Corp. is in similar litigation with Massachusetts . Both banks have been acquired by Bank of America, which declined to comment on the litigation.
Fleet’s attorneys have said in court papers that its REITs were legitimate, and the fact that they were partly motivated by tax considerations does not legally undermine their valid business purpose — to raise capital, they say. A KPMG spokeswoman declined to comment on the Fleet case, but said it had stopped any involvement with “prepackaged tax products” before a 2005 agreement it made with the U.S. Justice Department over improper tax strategies that also led to the indictment of 17 former KPMG officials.
It’s unknown how many disputes have been raised over the strategy used by Wal-Mart and others, because such tax disputes are generally not disclosed unless lawsuits are publicly filed or the company reveals them in SEC filings.
Wal-Mart adopted its captive-REIT structure just as it was unwinding a previous strategy to reduce taxes that states had begun to challenge. For the first half of the 1990s, the retailer used a so-called intangible holdings company structure also used by many other corporations. Wal-Mart transferred its trademarks to a subsidiary called WMR Inc. in Delaware, which does not tax many forms of corporate income. Then it paid the subsidiary for the use of the brands. That allowed Wal-Mart to deduct those payments from its local income taxes in some states, while WMR’s income wasn’t taxed by Delaware.
Several states won challenges to the strategy, used by various retailers. Wal-Mart settled a dispute over its use of WMR in Louisiana — the details of the settlement are sealed — and lost on the main points of a case in New Mexico. Wal-Mart merged with WMR in February of 1997 and its use as a state tax avoidance vehicle was apparently discontinued, according to New Mexico court records.
In the meantime, Wal-Mart set up a new vehicle to control its state tax bill: captive REITs. In the summer and fall of 1996, Delaware corporate records show, Wal-Mart created a new hierarchy of subsidiaries: a REIT called the Wal-Mart Real Estate Business Trust; a Delaware-based parent company for the REIT, called the Wal-Mart Property Co.; and Wal-Mart Stores East Inc., parent of the Delaware firm. Wal-Mart Property owned 99% of the REIT’s shares, and 100% of the voting shares, according to Wal-Mart court filings in North Carolina and West Virginia. The company also set up a similar arrangement for its Sam’s Club stores.
To meet the 100-shareholder threshold required for REITs, Wal-Mart distributed a minimal amount of nonvoting stock, to approximately 114 Wal-Mart employees, according to a person familiar with the arrangement. The dividend payouts were nominal. The structure involved Wal-Mart’s top executive tier. The shareholders were generally executive vice presidents and above. David Glass, then Wal-Mart’s president and CEO, was listed as president of Wal-Mart Stores East on the lease agreement, and Paul Carter, then a Wal-Mart executive vice president, was listed as the president of the REIT.
Wal-Mart began transferring to the REIT ownership of the properties — the land and buildings — for hundreds of its stores in 27 states, real-estate records show. Then Wal-Mart Stores East signed a 10-year lease agreement with its REIT that took effect on Jan. 31, 1997, agreeing to pay a fixed percentage of the stores’”gross sales” as rent, according to a copy of the arrangement filed in the North Carolina case. Mr. Fuller, the Wal-Mart real-estate official, is listed as the contact for both the tenant and the landlord. The original lease was due to be renewed this week.
Wal-Mart could deduct from its state-taxable income the rent paid by Wal-Mart Stores East to the REIT. The REIT paid the majority of its rental earnings to its 99% owner, Wal-Mart Property Co., in the form of dividends. That company’s base in Delaware gave it another way to avoid liability for state taxes, since some states do require that dividends a REIT pays to its corporate owner be taxed, as the federal government does.
The Delaware subsidiary then paid the money back to Wal-Mart Stores East, the same subsidiary that made the payments to the REIT to begin with. Those payments to Wal-Mart Stores East weren’t taxed either, because dividends paid to a corporation by a subsidiary normally aren’t counted as taxable income for the parent company.
The result of the circuitous transaction: Wal-Mart could effectively turn rental payments to itself into state level tax-deductions in most of the states where the payments have been made. Under typical circumstances, rent paid to a third-party landlord also would reduce taxable income. But that would ordinarily be cash out the door, like most other tax-deductible expenses. Here, the majority of the tax-deductible rental payments came straight back to Wal-Mart.
The national tax savings have been significant. Over a four-year period, from 1998 to 2001, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club paid company-controlled REITs a total of $7.27 billion that eventually came back to Wal-Mart in states across the country, according to a North Carolina Department of Revenue auditor’s report filed in court by Wal-Mart. Based on an average state corporate income tax rate of 6.5%, three accounting experts consulted by The Wall Street Journal estimated the REIT payments led to a state tax savings for Wal-Mart of roughly $350 million over just those four years. SEC filings show the company paid $1.18 billion in state taxes during that period. The loss of federal deductions that bigger state tax payments would have triggered brought the company’s effective tax savings overall down to about $230 million. Wal-Mart declined to comment on the figures.
It is not clear how much Wal-Mart has paid to its own REITs in the most recent five years. The yearly rental payments — on which the tax savings are based — are pegged to the “gross sales” of the stores, according to the lease agreement.
Underscoring that the rental payments were cashless Wal-Mart accounting moves, an affidavit filed in North Carolina by the company’s former controller, James A. Walker Jr., states that the payments were made by simply debiting the account of one subsidiary and then crediting the account of the other. “Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. served, in effect, as a bank for” both sides, the affidavit stated.
In 2005, after an audit, the North Carolina Department of Revenue issued a notice to Wal-Mart challenging the REIT structure. The state is site of about 140 of the company’s roughly 3,900 U.S. stores, including Sam’s Clubs. Wal-Mart paid the $33 million the state sought, and in March 2006 sued for a refund.
The company argues that the state does not have the authority to essentially combine the results of the subsidiary that did business in North Carolina with those of the Delaware-based unit and the REIT. The Delaware-based subsidiary, the company says, did no business in North Carolina and therefore was not taxable there. The company says in court filings that the REIT was qualified under federal law, that all the deductions were properly taken and that its North Carolina tax returns reflect its “true income.”__________________________________________________REITs: Real estate investment scams may involve new development projects or buying, or beleaguered properties. Non-traded real estate investment trusts that are owned by banks or waiting for foreclosure or short-sale can be problematic for customers, as can investment funds purportedly tied to interest in real property that has no equity and is very leveraged.______________________________________
As you see here, the Gary Kain was manager for Freddie and Fannie during the time of the movement of subprime loans into the hands of government insured agencies....$.800 billion in subprime loans were dumped on these government/taxpayer agencies during this man's term as Obama has refused to protect taxpayers from this massive fraudulent dump by demanding these loans just be written off. So, the man who knowingly imploded Freddie and Fannie now works with a corporation getting the bulk of mortgage buy-backs from the FED at discounted prices and 0% mortgage interest rates and using REIT to make record profits. These are foreclosed homes landing with an investment firm in bulk numbers and they are avoiding paying property taxes with REIT. The same person creating the fraud is now heading a second round of profit-making from the fraud and it is based in Maryland.MERS WAS MARYLAND BASED AND NOW THIS AMERICAN CAPITAL IS THE FRONT FOR MOVING MILLIONS OF HOMES OFF THE BANKS' BOOKS BY THE FED AND INTO THE HANDS OF CONNECTED INVESTORS.
SEE WHY OBAMA WENT TO MARYLAND POLS IN FILLING FEDERAL POSTS? WE ARE FRAUD UNLIMITED!!!We simply need to reinstate Rule of Law and we can reverse all this fraud and return wealth to the people!
Maryland and New York are key to this fraud because both states are the locations of the bulk of the fraud. Bloomberg News MAR 28, 2013 10:18am ET
REITs Trigger Fed Warning as Gary Kain Tops $100 Billion
Gary Kain spent 20 years at Freddie Mac managing as much as $800 billion of bonds before the U.S. took over the company. Since 2009, he’s used his knowledge of the home-loan market to help turn American Capital Agency Corp. into the fastest growing mortgage debt investor.
American Capital’s assets grew to $100.5 billion at the end of last year from less than $5 billion three years earlier, making the Bethesda, Md.-based real estate investment trust the largest after Annaly Capital Management Inc., in an industry that’s drawing attention from investors and the Federal Reserve for its double-digit yields and rapid expansion.
REITs bought more than $100 billion of government-backed mortgage securities in 2012, the most since at least the credit crisis, and will purchase another $60 billion in 2013, JPMorgan Chase & Co. estimated this month. Fed Gov. Jeremy Stein pointed to the expansion of mortgage REITs, which have amassed almost $400 billion of the debt, during a speech last month on risky behavior in credit markets influenced by the central bank holding borrowing costs near zero for a fifth year and investors searching for high-yielding assets.
“Agency mortgage REITs deserve attention in particular because they have exploded in size,” said John Gilbert, chief investment officer at General Re-New England Asset Management, a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. that oversees $64 billion. “We’ve been dealing with the unintended consequences of monetary policy for a long time. We have to be on the lookout for the downside.”
American Capital, along with growing the fastest, has also been one of the most successful of the mortgage REITs. Since Kain, 48, was named chief investment officer, it’s returned 258%, including reinvested dividends, almost double the returns of a 34-company index.
The firm was started by private-equity financier Malon Wilkus and went public in February 2008, just as the Fed was responding to the biggest financial crisis since the 1930s.
Wilkus, chief executive officer of investment firm American Capital Ltd., hired Kain to help “navigate the evolving mortgage landscape,” he said in a statement at the time. The original management team had left in January 2009, about four months after the government seized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, when loan losses pushed the two firms to the brink of bankruptcy.
Kain, now president of the REIT, joined the firm when it held a little more than $2 billion and the Fed was preparing to start buying government bonds to resuscitate the housing market.
He took advantage of the central bank’s buying and used cheap borrowing costs to increase leverage for the REIT’s purchases of government-backed mortgage securities. The bets paid off, with the company returning 53 percent in 2009 including reinvested dividends.
Kain oversaw an average of about $700 billion during his last few years with the company, primarily government-backed mortgages. Since these bonds don’t take credit risks, his main responsibility was hedging for changes in interest rates. The portfolio also included non-agency mortgage-backed securities, including the subprime debt that helped fuel the housing boom and contributed to the company’s losses that led to the government rescue.
“A major emphasis of the subprime AAA portfolio was around hitting affordable housing goals so it was not as pure of an investment mindset,” Kain said.
When the government seized the company and sought to shrink the portfolio and the company’s imprint on housing finance, Kain said he “knew life at Freddie Mac was going to be very different” and started considering other options.
“His background was a perfect fit for American Capital,” said Jason Arnold, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets in San Francisco. “There’s been a lot of problems at Fannie and Freddie so it’s not surprising that someone would want to go out and do something else rather than be under the umbrella of the U.S. government.”
REITs have been among the biggest winners from government policies to resuscitate housing and stimulate the economy. The Fed has made it easier and cheaper for the companies to borrow through the so-called repo market. The central bank’s buying has also pushed up the value of mortgage bonds that REITs invest in.
Dividend yields that average about 12% have also lured investors seeking alternatives to corporate and government debt paying shrinking coupons. American Capital is yielding more than 15%.
Kain has applied knowledge from his experience at Freddie Mac to buy mortgage bonds that have a lower risk of refinancing, helping the firm return 17% this year. Since the debt typically trades above 100 cents on the dollar, homeowners taking out new loans when interest rates fall can erase the value of the securities.
The resurgence of REITs has attracted the attention of Fed officials and regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has said it’s examining whether the companies should be allowed to continue borrowing without restrictions.
The concerns are overstated as REITs are limited by the quality of assets or lender confidence in how they manage their businesses, according to Kain.
“Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were not regulated by the markets,” Kain said. “That was a key complaint which turned out to be very fair. There weren’t any market forces that were controlling the government sponsored enterprises. They could borrow money irrespective of their risk posture because of the implied guarantee” of the government, he said.
Kain’s team at American Capital, which includes longtime Freddie Mac colleagues Peter Federico and Christopher Kuehl, managed more in assets as of Dec. 31 than regional banks such as Keycorp and M&T Bank Corp. Kain is also chief investment officer of American Capital Mortgage Investment Corp., a separate REIT with $7.7 billion in assets that buys securities not backed by the government. The two companies have a staff of about 50 people, according to Wilkus.______________________________________________As with the s corporation, REIT is designed to allow corporations to shed tax responsibility ------s corporations shed tax responsibility on profits and REIT sheds tax responsibility on property taxes. REIT not only is used to avoid tax payment, it is used to get tax breaks under the guise of rental property. In Baltimore/Maryland, billions of dollars have been lost to REIT in a few decades.
What can we do if there is a law allowing this you say????!!!!
What happens with REIT just as with s corporations is that the shareholders get the money saved from these laws and THEY ARE REQUIRED TO PAY THE TAXES. WELL, AS WITH ALL THAT IS FRAUD AND CORRUPTION----MOST SHAREHOLDERS DO NOT. ALSO, AS THE ARTICLE ABOVE SHOWS ABUSES OF THIS REIT LAW ARE SO PERVASIVE THAT BRINGING BACK THE REVENUE LOST JUST FROM REIT WOULD BE IN THE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS FOR MARYLAND!United States History From 2008 to 2011, REITs faced challenges from both a slowing United States economy and the late-2000s financial crisis, which depressed share values by 40 to 70 percent in some cases.
Legislation Under U.S. Federal income tax law, a REIT /ˈriːt/ is "any corporation, trust or association that acts as an investment agent specializing in real estate and real estate mortgages" under Internal Revenue Code section 856. The rules for federal income taxation of REITs are found primarily in Part II (sections 856 through 859) of Subchapter M of Chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code. Because a REIT is entitled to deduct dividends paid to its owners (commonly referred to as shareholders), a REIT may avoid incurring all or part of its liabilities for U.S. federal income tax. To qualify as a REIT, an organization makes an "election" to do so by filing a Form 1120-REIT with the Internal Revenue Service, and by meeting certain other requirements. The purpose of this designation is to reduce or eliminate corporate tax, thus avoiding double taxation of owner income. In return, REITs are required to distribute at least 90% of their taxable income into the hands of investors. A REIT is a company that owns, and in most cases, operates income-producing real estate. REITs own many types of commercial real estate, ranging from office and apartment buildings to warehouses, hospitals, shopping centers, hotels and even timberlands. Some REITs also engage in financing real estate. The REIT structure was designed to provide a real estate investment structure similar to the structure mutual funds provide for investment in stocks.
Structure See also: List of public REITs in the United States In the United States, a REIT is a company that owns, and in most cases operates, income-producing real estate. Some REITs finance real estate. To be a REIT, a company must distribute at least 90 percent of its taxable income to shareholders annually in the form of dividends.
To qualify as a REIT under U.S. tax rules, a company must:
Because of their access to corporate-level debt and equity that typical real estate owners cannot access, REITs have a favorable capital structure. They are able to use this capital to finance tenant improvement costs and leasing commissions that less capitalized owners cannot afford.____________________________________________
- Be structured as a corporation, trust, or association
- Be managed by a board of directors or trustees
- Have transferable shares or transferable certificates of interest
- Otherwise be taxable as a domestic corporation
- Not be a financial institution or an insurance company
- Be jointly owned by 100 persons or more
- Have 95 percent of its income derived from dividends, interest, and property income
- Pay dividends of at least 90% of the REIT's taxable income
- Have no more than 50% of the shares held by five or fewer individuals during the last half of each taxable year (5/50 rule)
- Have at least 75% of its total assets invested in real estate
- Derive at least 75% of its gross income from rents or mortgage interest
- Have no more than 25% of its assets invested in taxable REIT subsidiaries.
In Maryland and Baltimore our pols love making government offices rented from private owners. That is yet another way to send public money to private hands that no one would think to be in the public interest.
LOOK!!!!!!! THERE'S A REIT FOR THAT!!!CWH also owns 21.1% of the common shares of Government Properties Income Trust (GOV), a former subsidiary which owns properties that are majority leased to government tenants.O'Malley and Rawlings-Blake has tied Maryland citizens to so many government office rentals that our public sector is just as much the renter society as the rest of us. Make no mistake, these 1% do not want the public owning any real estate!
Think how much tax revenue is lost from this private building with the government as tenant and REIT! Government Properties REIT: Do You Want To Be The U.S.'s Landlord?
Oct 13 2012, 07:22 | about: GOV, includes: CWH
Combing through REITWatch 08-2012, my eye was caught by Government Properties Income Trust (GOV), a fairly recent property REIT with seemingly interesting financials, as shown in the table below:
(click to enlarge)
A property REIT's Price to FFO (funds from operations) ratio is the proper equivalent of P/E for this type of company.
The usual Price to Earnings ratio is not really applicable to REITs because:
By removing depreciation and gain on sales on properties from earnings, FFO (a non-GAAP measure) facilitates comparisons between REITs.
- Net earnings are "artificially" lowered by significant depreciation and amortization linked to the sizable real estate assets owned by the REIT.
- Net earnings are increased by nonrecurring gains on sales from properties. In the case of an actively managed REIT (frequently buying and selling real estate), net earnings will be considerably affected.
An intuitive way to look at it is to consider that FFOs are the collected rents, net of all charges whether from operations or financing. Basically, it's what is left in your pocket as a landlord/shareholder.
When a REIT shows a low Price to FFO, one would expect that to be a good sign (like a low P/E), but could also potentially indicate some difficulties in running operations, or too much debt, or some other significant negative. Looking at what seems like a no-brainer, our job as rational investors is to check that there are no red flags hidden somewhere.
The Obama REIT: A Secure 7% Yield
Jan 14 2013, 15:24 | about: GOV Seeking Alpha
Once again I'll come back to a high yield security for income seekers. Of course one of the risks in buying yield these days is related to the threat of higher bond yields that could negatively affect income stocks. What if there were a security that paid relatively secure dividends and benefited from all of the federal government expenditures that are expected to come with another four years of an Obama administration? Clearly I wouldn't be writing this article unless such a security did exist.
Government Properties Income Trust (GOV) is a REIT that owns $1.7 billion of office properties in 31 states (and DC) with 10 million square feet of rentable space. The majority of its space is rented to various governmental entities. Of its 82 properties, 60 are primarily leased to the federal government, 18 are primarily leased to state governments and one is leased to the United Nations. Whatever you may believe about our government finances, it is incomprehensible that governmental entities will simply go out of business (as could happen with a private enterprise), making these leases of a much higher quality. In fact, only about 7% of total revenue comes from private firms. GOV is well diversified geographically and despite receiving so much of its revenue from the federal government, just 10% of revenue comes from DC.______________________________________________Below you see the next phase of the massive mortgage fraud. Remember, we have yet to have justice from the massive subprime mortgage fraud and the damages it did to the economy with the collapse of 2008. Trillions of dollars lost from the fraud and tens of trillions of dollars in damages to individuals and government coffers yet to come back! People who lost their homes in the actual fraud and those families losing their homes from the unemployment caused by the fraud all will be getting homes back as soon as Rule of Law is reinstated.
Neo-liberals had planned the movement of real estate ownership from the middle/lower class to a few at the top with this massive fraud. Remember, this subprime mortgage scam started in the Clinton Administration as Robert Rubin and CitiBank started this financial scheme. So, targeted fraud on the lower-class and the long economic downturn from the tens of trillions of dollars sucked from the US economy from fraud are the culprits of lost home ownership. Now the Obama Administration has suspended Rule of Law and refuses to reverse the fraud and loss of homes.
In cities like Baltimore the movement of real estate is so crony and corrupt that you feel as though you were in Kabal, Afghanistan watching Visigoths looting the landscape. City real estate agents have been sidelined as the city buys property and hands it to developers of choice. Subprime mortgage fraud settlements so far simply help make people renters and fail to return those defrauded to home ownership. As this article shows the intent is to make most US citizens prey for these investment firms that created the fraud and now have been handed all the foreclosed homes.SIMPLE REINSTATEMENT OF RULE OF LAW WILL BRING THESE HOMES BACK TO THOSE DEFRAUDED. THE WEALTH PEOPLE LOST AS THE RESULT OF THE FRAUD WILL COME BACK AND PEOPLE CAN RETURN TO OWNING HOMES!
Skeptics Criticize Single-Family REITs
Published on: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 Written by: Rosa Eckstein Schechter inShare
Single-family real estate investment trusts (REITs) are springing up in response to the rise in availability of distressed properties. The new funds focus on buying up blocks of foreclosed single-family homes to rehab and then use for rentals and sales are increasing. Critics argue it will reshape society by turning the majority of Americans into tenants and that there will be no regulations preventing abuse of the new system, which may include passing off maintenance and other responsibilities to the new tenants. It’s further believed that many purchasers have no rental management experience and are not concerned with getting any before they start renting. For more on this continue reading the following article from JDSupra.
As more and more investment chatter centers around the possibility of investing in the huge volume of single family homes that have, or will be, foreclosed upon in the United States, many are seeing an opportunity in Single Family REITs. (Read our earlier posts about this blossoming investment vehicle here.)
However, there are those that are very concerned about what Rental REITs (both apartments and SFDs) will mean in the long run to the American economy - and the U.S. Citizen. Here are some of their concerns and criticisms (with a hat tip to Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism for collecting most of these in his column and its commentary):
1. The expected popularity of this investment vehicle, together with the decline in homeownership in this country, may mean that many Americans will be tenants to private equity landlords: it will change the very essence of our society. These private equity landlords won't be like beloved Stanley Roper in the old Three's Company TV Series - nearby, quick to respond to complaints, always involved in maintainance. Nope. The worry is that Private Equity Landlords will be anonymous, unapproachable and possibly mysterious owners of properties without any regard for their tenants' concerns or the property's needs.
2. This is a new concept, and even if Rental REITs have some interest in being good landlords, they've got no pattern to follow, no example in the past to use in figuring out how to be the Corporate Stanley Roper.
3. Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times points to skullduggery happening in New York City with apartment REITs: including suspicions of sending fake notices and fraudulent notices of non-payment (when payments have been made) to replace low paying tenants.
4. Some are predicting that these new Private Equity Landlords are going to transfer the responsibility of maintaining the property to the tenant as part of the lease terms.
5. If the Rental REITs fails to meet its own obligations, like Tishman Speyer did a couple of years ago on a NY apartment REIT, a large number of tenants are suddenly in limbo - and may not even be aware that their Private Equity Landlord has defaulted on its own agreements.
As more discussion occurs on this new investment vehicle, especially its latest version - the Single Family REIT, these and other worries will be a part of the conversation. And they should be. However, here's the big elephant in the room: there are unprecedented numbers of homes sitting on bank balance sheets right now because of all the foreclosures that have happened in this country. We know the impact of this very well here in Florida.
Something needs to be done to move forward, and we have no pattern here for how to fix this mess. It's something new.
So, new answers are being developed like Single Family REITs, not in a sinister way to thwart the American Dream, but in an optimistic way to get the economy moving again. Those homes have to get off the bank's shoulders so banks can get back to the industry of finance and not housing.______________________________________________Keep in mind that while Federal coffers are going dry from lack of revenue coming from corporations and massive corporate fraud.....and public services and assets are being used to pay for it......the stock market is making huge money from the ability of corporations not to pay property taxes!
Can you imagine how many people would invest in these stocks if shareholders actually paid the taxes required?
SIMPLY AUDITING SHAREHOLDER TAX PAYMENTS WILL BRING TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS BACK TO GOVERNMENT COFFERS AND END THIS RALLY AT THE EXPENSE OF THE PUBLIC! REITs Set Record, Raise $51.3 Billion in 2011 January 20, 2012
The total returns of listed U.S. equity real estate investment trusts were approximately four times those of the broader stock market in 2011, according to the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts. REITs are securities that sell like stocks and invest in real estate directly through properties or mortgages.
NAREIT said the total return of the FTSE (Financial Times Stock Exchange) NAREIT All Equity REITs Index was up 8.28 percent for the year, and the FTSE NAREIT All REITs Index, which includes both equity and mortgage REITs, was up 7.28 percent, compared with a 2.11 percent gain for the S&P 500.
The more than 8 percent gain for equity REITs in 2011 came on top of a 27.95 percent gain in 2010 and a 27.99 percent increase in 2009—years in which the S&P 500 gained 15.06 percent and 26.46 percent, respectively. Equity REITs outperformed the S&P 500 for the past 1-, 3-, 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, 30-, and 35-year periods, according to NAREIT.
Dividends Boost Performance
Much of REITs’ performance advantage has come from the stocks’ dividend payouts, since almost all of a REIT’s taxable income is paid to shareholders as dividends. The FTSE NAREIT All Equity REITs Index’s 8.28 percent total return in 2011 included a share price return of 4.32 percent, and the FTSE NAREIT All REITs Index’s 7.28 percent total return included a share-price return of 2.37 percent.
The dividend yield of the FTSE NAREIT All Equity REITs Index at December 30, 2011, was 3.82 percent, and the dividend yield of the FTSE NAREIT All REITs Index was 4.83 percent, compared to 2.22 percent for the S&P 500.
“The strong, continuing income stream from REITs is an important component of the appeal of REIT shares for investors,” said NAREIT President and CEO Steven A. Wechsler. “REIT dividends boost an investment portfolio’s performance in good times and help insulate it from downside shocks in turbulent market conditions,” he said.
REITs Set Capital Record
REITs raised a record amount of capital in the public markets in 2011, including a record amount of equity.
REITs raised $51.3 billion in public equity and debt in 2011, more than the $49 billion raised in the previous record year of 2006. Additionally, in spite of 2011’s volatile stock market, $37.5 billion of the capital raised in the year was in public equity, compared with $22 billion in 2006 and $32.7 billion in 1997, the prior record year for REIT equity offerings.
Regarding Basu's idea of inflation rates:
Did you hear corporate NPR's report on the New Republic reporter that lied in his articles and how it was a disgrace for journalism? Do you remember when all NPR reporters in 2009 were shouting they were being made to report SPIN as journalism and then we had the corporate takeover of public media? SPIN IS LYING. SPIN IS JUST A NICE WORD FOR LYING. So, after the 2010 takeover of public media by corporate interests we hear nothing but SPIN.
So, when we hear the unemployment rate is 6.9% when it is 25%----SPIN. When we are told the FED policy is about lowering unemployment and creating healthy markets as yet another massive crash is coming in the bond market------SPIN. When Basu tells us the inflation rate is 1-2%------SPIN.
If you strip out energy and food from the calculation and you measure inflation year to year rather than several years......YOU GET THE FED'S MEASURE OF INFLATION......IT IS MANIPULATED TO MAKE IT LOOK AS IF IT IS LOW WHEN IN FACT IT IS SKY HIGH JUST AS WITH UNEMPLOYMENT!
This is important for two reasons. First, the FED is deliberately lying about the rate of inflation because we all know high inflation is bad for the economy and since inflation and interest rates are tied to one another------in order for the FED to set the interest rate at 0% as it has for the last few years it has to say that inflation is as low. So, we have a fake inflation rate to give a manipulated interest rate so the FED can give free money to corporations now rolling in profits from this policy. All this has allowed corporations to get rich while not working domestically-----thus the stagnant job growth. Meanwhile mergers and acquisitions are going crazy overseas which is what the stock market shows. It is all based on the rich getting richer by FED policy that all involves fake data and market manipulation------ALL OF WHICH IS ILLEGAL.
THE FEDERAL RESERVE EXISTS TO IMPLEMENT POLICY THAT ENSURES THE BEST EMPLOYMENT RATES AND THE BEST ECONOMIC STABILITY.
So, when US corporate media gives the world all this fake data-----which, by the way the world knows is fake, just as North Koreans know the Great Leader is lying when he says grocery store shelves are full of food-----SAME THING----THEY ARE NOT ACTING AS JOURNALISTS, THEY ARE ACTING AS PROPAGANDISTS!
The lying by the New Republic journalist in today's NPR report seems tame to all of this doesn't it! 'Inflation as measured by the core C.P.I., which strips out volatile prices for energy and food, edged up 0.2 percent in April, making it the third increase of that size in the last four months, the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics'
'We rarely buy a new house or a car, yet we are very sensitive to prices of ordinary purchases like food, fuel, phone services and personal care products. This new measure, dubbed the "Everyday Price Index," is running at 7.2%'.
'You need to know the CPI for the starting and ending dates. So the CPI index in July 2000 is 172.8 and the CPI index is 219.964 in July 2008. (Note they went to a three decimal place accuracy in between).
The formula is: (end -start)/start
so we have (219.964-172.8)/172.8 =
Now that has to be converted to a percent so we multiply it by 100 to get 27.29% inflation'.
Definition of 'Inflation'
The rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising, and, subsequently, purchasing power is falling. Central banks attempt to stop severe inflation, along with severe deflation, in an attempt to keep the excessive growth of prices to a minimum.
Investopedia explains 'Inflation'
As inflation rises, every dollar will buy a smaller percentage of a good. For example, if the inflation rate is 2%, then a $1 pack of gum will cost $1.02 in a year.
Most countries' central banks will try to sustain an inflation rate of 2-3%.Inflation vs. Consumer Price Index – Do you know the difference? by Tim McMahon on August 18, 2008 Inflation Data.com
Many people are confused by the difference between Inflation and the Consumer Price Index. The Consumer Price Index is as its name implies an index, or “a number used to measure change”.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) The government chose an arbitrary date to be the base year and set that equal to 100. Currently that date is 1984. (Or more accurately the average of the years 1982-1984) previously the base year was 1967 (they change the base year every once in a while so you don’t notice that there has been over 2000% inflation since the start). See Cumulative Inflation Since 1913.
Every month the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) surveys prices around the country for a basket of products and publishes the results as a number. Let us assume for the sake of simplicity that the basket consists of one item and that one item cost $1.00 in 1984. Then the BLS published the index in 1984 at 100. If today that same item costs $1.85 the index would stand at 185.0 of course a group of items would work the same way. If you have 100 items each would account for 1% of the total index.
By itself that does not tell us what the current Inflation rate is. We must do some calculations using that index to tell us the Percentage of increase or decrease in the level of prices.
So How does Inflation or Deflation relate to the CPI? “Price Inflation” is the percentage increase in the price of the basket of products over a specific period of time.
“Price Deflation” is, of course, the percentage decrease in the price of the basket of products over a specific period of time.
For convenience Price Inflation has been shortened in common usage to simply “Inflation” and similarly Price Deflation has been shortened to “Deflation”.
(*Interestingly this is not Webster’s definition of Inflation… More)
In order to calculate the percent of inflation or deflation we have to use the Consumer Price Index as a starting point.
So assuming You wanted to calculate the inflation rate from July 2000 until July 2008.
You need to know the CPI for the starting and ending dates. So the CPI index in July 2000 is 172.8 and the CPI index is 219.964 in July 2008. (Note they went to a three decimal place accuracy in between).
The formula is: (end -start)/start
so we have (219.964-172.8)/172.8 =
Now that has to be converted to a percent so we multiply it by 100 to get 27.29% inflation.
Normally, the inflation rate is calculated on an annual basis for example from July 2007 until July 2008. That will give you the amount of inflation in one year. Which is typically called “The Inflation Rate“.
So from this example we can see how the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is used to calculate the actual inflation rate.
______________________________________________This is a 2012 look at food inflation and as we all know food prices are skyrocketing. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to see a box of cereal shrink as prices rise equal higher costs! Food inflation in 2013 is higher than the 4% below!
Food Inflation May Rise to 3% to 4% in 2013 After Drought
By Alan Bjerga - Jul 25, 2012 10:27 AM ET
U.S. consumers may pay 3 percent to 4 percent more for food next year, as the effects of the country’s worst drought since the 1950s work their way onto supermarket shelves, the Department of Agriculture said in its first forecast for 2013.
Beef may rise as much as 5 percent in response to tight supplies of corn, which is used to feed cattle, the USDA said today in a report on its website. The price of the grain, the country’s biggest crop, has surged more than 50 percent since June 15. Food prices will rise 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent this year, the agency said, leaving its 2012 estimate unchanged. Raise your hand if you know that inflation in health care has been sky high for the last several years as the FED says inflation is 1-2%-----EVERYONE!
Healthcare costs to rise 7.5 percent in 2013: report
By David Morgan
WASHINGTON Thu May 31, 2012 1:29am EDT
(Reuters) - The cost of healthcare services is expected to rise 7.5 percent in 2013, more than three times the projected rates for inflation and economic growth, according to an industry research report released on Thursday.______________________________________________Keep in mind that the FED policy of allowing inflation to rise and allowing the markets to normalize right after the crash would have given recession but led towards stabilization and a health economy. What the FED did was take the US economy for one last ride to move more wealth to the top and leave the US economy in what will be a considerably deeper recession/depression.
The FED deliberately gamed the system to enrich a few knowing this crash would kill US citizens for decades.WE CAN RETURN TO RULE OF LAW AND GET JUSTICE IF PEOPLE WOULD GET BUSY AND RUN FOR OFFICE!Bernanke on gas prices and growth
3/27/12 4:33 MSN MONEY
Sky-High Oil: Good for Jobs?
1 of 3
So it's decision time. Does Bernanke keep up his efforts to juice the economy? Or does he refocus on inflation and the price of gas -- and allow a good old-fashioned recession?
I fear Bernanke will go the wrong way and ignore the threat of rising prices. Here's why.
Everything hangs on this decision
It's hard to imagine a more critical decision, because right now, so much is riding on pain at the pump. The economy. The recovery. The stock market. The presidential race.
But Bernanke has long been committed to overpowering the business cycle through massive stimulus, pushed by a combination of personal ambition and a determination to prove right the theories he developed over a lifetime in academia. (Those theories got him dubbed "Helicopter Ben," after all.)
The problem is, the free market will eventually win. It's like trying to fight gravity. Recessions are supposed to happen. When they don't, speculative excesses accumulate until the weight of bad loans and overvalued assets collapses into a credit crisis. Frequent downturns keep the free market honest and recessions short and shallow. After all, as Fed historian Allan Meltzer loves to say, "Capitalism without failure is like religion without sin; it doesn't work."
Running out of room
To use another metaphor, Bernanke is running out of runway. He's been trying to get the economy moving with cheap cash before the nasty inflationary side effects kick in. Time's up.
He could ignore the warnings and do QE3, a third round of bond buying to pump cash into the economy. Alternately, he might merely keep interest rates near 0% through 2014 as previously pledged. The titans on Wall Street haven't been interested in the details. As long as what Bernanke does fits with the meme that central banks will support the economy (and therefore the financial markets) at any cost, they're happy.
This might keep stocks rallying for a while. But price pressures would soon have consumers and businesses cutting back. That would leave us in a stagflationary quagmire, with growth slowing and prices rising.
Or he could react by tightening the money supply or simply acknowledging the inflation risks and standing pat. The still-vulnerable recovery would stall. But the cheap-money junkies on Wall Street would be forced into rehab, the natural business cycle would be allowed to work, and gas prices would fall as recession started to bite._____________________
What the FED policy of 0% interest is doing is manipulating interest rates at a time when corporations want to expand overseas in what is called the NEW ECONOMY.....global corporations. So, at a time when most citizens are reeling from the 2008 financial crisis and stolen wealth, these corporations are riding a BEAR TO BULL market fueled by 0% interest or free money. I spoke of QE as simply the same thing for mortgage interest rates manipulated to allow close to 0% interest in mortgage rates as massive movement of foreclosed houses to investment firms saved billions of dollars in interest payments. NOW THAT THIS MANIPULATED BONANZA HAS REACHED ITS PEAK FOR THE .05% THE FED IS NOW FORCED TO STOP THE FAKE INTEREST RATES AS INFLATION IS OUT OF CONTROL!At the end of this article is REALITY. The FED has played the market as far as it can as REAL INFLATION is so high as to not be contained. Manipulation will no longer work. So, when the market crashes next year it will come with a few decades of fake inflation rates and no ability to manipulate out of what will be a deep recession.
THIS IS WHY YOUR NEO-LIBERAL IS LOADING GOVERNMENT WITH ALL KINDS OF CREDIT BOND DEBT------THE RICHEST WILL WEATHER THIS CRASH BY MOVING YET MORE PUBLIC WEALTH WHEN MUNICIPAL BOND DEFAULTS HAND PUBLIC ASSETS AND PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PENSIONS OVER TO CORPORATE INTERESTS!WE CAN REVERSE THIS-----EASY PEASY!NONE OF THIS IS LEGAL. WE CAN AND MUST GET WEALTH BACK TO THE PEOPLE BY SIMPLY REINSTATING RULE OF LAW. WHO RUNS FOR OFFICE MATTERS!!!!!
MR AND MS SMITH NEEDS TO GO TO WASHINGTON, THE STATE HOUSES, AND CITY HALLS!Rising Inflation, Non Rising Interest Rates: The FOMC Have Their Hands Tied May 10 2007, 09:54 Seeking Alpha The FOMC is stuck between a rock and an ''almost hard place'.' The rock is the increasing level of Inflation and the risk of accelerating Inflation. The 'almost hard place' is their inability to raise Interest Rates in the face of it. In it's policy statement on Wednesday the FOMC disclosed that the concerns about accelerating Interest Rates were at the forefront of their agenda. Here's a direct quote from the FOMC's policy statement: "...the Committee's predominant policy concern remains the risk that Inflation will fail to moderate as expected."
I have since taken the liberty of evaluating just how serious this issue may be, and in doing so I have come to some startling conclusions. (These basis can be found in the numerous charts at the bottom of the page here). The conclusions are clear: the FOMC has their hands tied.
The first step is to evaluate Inflation, so I took a sample directly from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in an effort to gauge increases over time. My initial interest was to find the patterns of wage growth over time to determine if wage growth should be a major concern to increasing prices. The concern, I have found, is not necessarily in the growth of wages, but more so in the lack thereof.
My sample encompassed the period of 2000-2007.
Again, from the BLS, I made further evaluations of the prices of food products and energy in major US cities in an effort to understand the relationship between prices and wages. The study included electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, gasoline, bread, ground chuck, chicken, eggs, apples, oranges, tomatoes, bananas, coffee, concentrate, and lettuce. These are not lifestyle choices, these are necessities. Although these are considered the volatile part of the CPI, these are the things that we must spend money on every month in order to survive.
Clearly looking at these components on a monthly basis can distort the findings of the CPI because these prices can be extremely volatile month-month. However, on a longer term basis, like the one used in this study, the change in prices of these components is very important, and should be closely studied.
The comparisons between 2000-2007 showed me that the prices of these goods and services increased at almost twice the rate of wages during the same timeframe. Wages increased by 17.9% between 2000-2007 (weekly wages nationwide according to BLS). During that same timeframe the prices of these components grew by 37.6% (Data source: BLS). These prices outpaced wages by 110%.
How can prices outpace wages?
No one wants to sacrifice the lifestyles that they have been accustomed to if they have the choice, so if their disposable incomes start to deteriorate in relation to their day-day expenses they will first try to find a way to pay for those added costs before accepting a reduced lifestyle. This is human nature; people are reluctant to move backwards or make sacrifices unless there are compelling reasons to do so.
In the last handful of years there has been very little reason to worry. Even in the wake of the internet debacle, and even in the face of a slumping housing market more recently, the economy still looks healthy, so sentiment remains robust. That positive sentiment makes us believe that we don't need to worry about adverse economic conditions.
This has opened the door for increasing levels of debt in US Households. In fact, very recently the savings rate has turned negative for the first time. This means that US Households were actually pulling money out of their savings instead of adding to it (they would never do this if there were economic concerns unless their hands were forced). In this environment, they are doing this to maintain lifestyle.
The best way to explain the severity of this point is in graphical form. I have taken this graph from yardeni.com. It is 1 year old, but it demonstrates the dichotomy between savings and debt very well. The level of debt is escalating exponentially, while net savings is declining. In essence, we have more debt and less equity because we feel that the economy is unlikely to experience adverse conditions.
Yhis leads us to our next obvious question, a question about debt. Children often do what they see their parents doing, and the same might be true for US citizens in relation to the Federal Government. Our Government is spending money at a much faster pace than it should. In the chart below the total amount of US debt is shown to be accelerating at a much faster pace than the level of income. Really, how long can this last? If you ever wondered why the dollar is weakening, this chart can help you understand why.
Consumers are accepting higher levels of debt to afford the increasing costs of living, and they are not afraid to do so because the cost of money is comparatively low to the early 80's, which most people remember. However, Interest Rates are slightly under historically normal levels. The Fed funds rate has averaged 5.7% since 1955, and it is currently at 5.25%. The FOMC has tried to position itself in such a way as to remain flexible, and according to historical measures, it does have room to move in either direction.
But the FOMC is limited.
Money supply is plentiful, this is evident in the Money supply chart below. The abundance of liquidity has made M&A activity robust, and it has allowed the government and institutions to assume higher and higher levels of debt. Initially this could be construed as a positive thing; influencing economic activity is something that we all consider positive. However, in this case, the ability to control Inflation seems sacrificed.
Let's look at both sides of the Interest Rate picture. First, the possibilities of lower Interest Rates: the FOMC could hardly justify lowering Interest Rates in this economic environment. Money is already easy, the economy is healthy, the stock market is at historical highs, and economic activity on a corporate level is robust. Nothing in the current environment, aside from a slump in housing, suggests that the FOMC should or will cut Interest Rates anytime soon.
On the other hand, with the fear that Inflation will not moderate, a bias to increase Interest Rates to control Inflation exists. However, with the extremely high levels of US debt, and with the already slumping housing market, an increase in Interest Rates would devastate the economy.
First of all, the demand for housing is already weak, higher Interest Rates would only further that phenomena, and drive home prices lower. Subprime, in this scenario, would only be the tip of the iceberg. Next, credit card debt, and other non-mortgage related debt: according to the Federal Reserve the percentage of debt burden to income in the US is 25.5% for renters and 18.2% for home owners nationwide on average.
Historically high levels of debt limit the ability of the FOMC to control Interest Rates.
If the FOMC increased Interest Rates by just 50 basis points (to match the historical average) $240 Billion would be taken out of the economy (based on 2006 debt levels). The housing Market would deteriorate even further, the debt/equity levels of US Households would diverge even more than they are now, and the US Economy would face serious economic recession.
The FOMC is caught between a rock and an 'Almost Hard Place,' and that 'Almost Hard Place' if firming up quickly. If Inflation begins to accelerate, the FOMC will face one of the most important decisions in US History: do we let Inflation increase, or raise Interest Rates and face economic recession?
Although new data comes out at the end of this week, the higher than expected level of PPI in the last report could be a sign that eventually prices will begin to rise on the consumer side too. In the face of a slower economy, after all, companies still need to make money; Wall Street is impatient that way. If they need to do it by raising prices, they will if they can.
PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT THESE POLICIES I HIGHLIGHT LATELY AND HOW THEY ARE A PRECURSOR TO THE COMING TPP-----PACIFIC TRADE PACT AGREEMENTS. THE 1% AND THEIR CORPORATE POLS ARE ACTING AS IF THESE LAWS ARE ALREADY IN PLACE AND THIS IS WHY PUBLIC JUSTICE AND WIDESPREAD FRAUD AND CORRUPTION GOES WITHOUT JUSTICE. NOW, IMAGINE THESE LAWS PASSED GIVING THESE SAME PEOPLE WHAT THEY THINK WILL BE OPEN SEASON FOR ALL OF THIS!!!LOOK AT THE END FOR A LIST OF WHICH DEMOCRATS/NEO-LIBERALS ARE ON BOARD WITH THIS!Below you see what the latest in leaks regarding the TPP policy are telling us. The citizens of the world have not been allowed to know what the details are because-----corporations rule in these policies and need not address the peasants after all! If you go to a public meeting in Maryland you already get such a level of distain from these appointed officials at having the public involved, and every effort to see the public is not able to talk. This should give you a clue as to how things will get worse unless stopped now.
PLEASE GET ACTIVE AND INVOLVED. THIS IS NOT A DONE DEAL. THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE IS FAR GREATER THAT A FEW SOCIOPATHS AT THE TOP! Regarding Brody and downtown development:
We know Baltimore Development Corporation goes further than the buildings and businesses it places downtown, it is felt more deeply in the dismantling of all public assets and services because when you have development based on massive losses in revenue from corporations and the wealthy......you need to get rid of public costs. We heard last week that the TAXI TAX was off the table in city hall until after the 2014 elections because the level of social protest would have swept city hall out of office. Well, we all know the ploy and these corporate pols are going to go anyway! I spoke about Humanim, public health, public education, public transportation, social services et al being handed to private non-profits that are simply an extension of corporations. Below you see how the same is happening to the Post Office and government offices. We in Maryland see that. Johns Hopkins has a mantra for its grads to run for office and enter government in order to control government towards global policy. City Hall and Maryland Assembly is filling with pols willing to move government in this direction. VISTAS are filling community employment spots in an effort to eliminate organization of existing families. So, it is pervasive in Baltimore and Baltimore is exporting it to all Maryland. Mike Miller wanting to send funding for public schools to localities to force schools to partner with corporations? REALLY????
THE TPP-----PACIFIC TRADE PACT AGREEMENTS WILL TRY TO STANDARDIZE ALL OF WHAT THE BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION HAS BEEN BUILDING BECAUSE THEY ASSUME THESE DEALS WILL GO THROUGH. THE PROBLEM IS IF CONGRESS IS WILLING TO TAKE THE CHANCE AND PASS THEM.....THE MOVEMENT IN THE US IS SO LARGE AND GROWING....IT WILL BE REVERSED!
The good news is that the word is spreading like wild fire and no one likes it. This is what moves apathy into action and we will see a reversal of this corporate rule policy! Did you hear MarketPlace APM/NPR tell you TPP is done and see this list of nations supposedly signing this deal that rewrites Constitutions in developed worlds to meet third world deregulation and oversight of business? Look below at the reality.......every country in this agreement has rising resentment and protest from most of its citizens. No matter of repression will stop the reversal of these illegal trade agreements if THIS CONGRESS DARES PASS THEM!WE KNOW CONGRESS KNOWS WHAT IS GOING ON.....THERE IS NO WAY THAT A POLICY IS NEGOTIATED FOR TWELVE YEARS WITH CONGRESS NOT INVOLVED! BELOW YOU WANT TO LET THEM KNOW YOU KNOW!Public Citizen and Flush the TPP
are good resources for TPP policy as it is leaked and how it will affect Americans. REmember, this is happening to Canada, Australia, and Europe as well as smaller developing nations and people in all these countries are protesting and fighting just as we are. CITIZENS OF THE WORLD DO NOT WANT THIS! Help Make Senators Aware of Trans-Pacific Partnership Secrecy Request a Copy of the TPP Draft
From Your Senators President Obama and his counterparts in countries across the Pacific have called for completion of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations this October. Leaks have shown the TPP is shaping up to be a NAFTA-on-steroids: Millions more offshored jobs, unsafe food and products flooding into our borders, bans on “Buy American” policies and much more.
Six hundred official corporate advisors have access to the text while the public, press and even Congress are being kept in the dark.
Help raise awareness of the dangers and secrecy of the TPP in Congress by writing your senators requesting a copy of the TPP draft texts.TPP: Corporate Power Tool of the 1% Have you heard? The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) “free trade” agreement is a stealthy policy being pressed by corporate America, a dream of the 1 percent, that in one blow could:
- offshore millions of American jobs,
- free the banksters from oversight,
- ban Buy America policies needed to create green jobs and rebuild our economy,
- decrease access to medicine,
- flood the U.S. with unsafe food and products,
- and empower corporations to attack our environmental and health safeguards.
Closed-door talks are on-going between the U.S. and Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam; with other countries, including China, potentially joining later. 600 corporate advisors have access to the text, while the public, Members of Congress, journalists, and civil society are excluded. And so far what we know about what's in there is very scary!
___________________________________________ The Post Office is just one public agency that is being threatened. It is in the Constitution, but TPP rewrites the Constitution and you can bet UPS and FED X will win over Post Office in these deals. WE MUST HAVE A PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK!Postal Workers United
The Push To Privatize Public Assets
Privatization means dismantling government and public assets and turning them over to private companies. It involves “contracting out” or even ending the services that were performed by We, the People (government) to make our lives better. Instead these services are operated for profit, which the citizens (and certainly not the employees) share none of the gains.
To be clear about this: contracting out government services “saves money” by laying off people who have good wages with benefits, and rehiring them at minimum wage with no benefits, while removing the accountability that goes along with a government service. For example, when a city “contracts out” its garbage collection, what happens is all the city employees who had government jobs doing this work are laid off. The private company that contracts to do the service “saves money” by hiring employees at a much lower wage with no benefits. It doesn’t have to meet the standards of government agencies, doesn’t have to be transparent, doesn’t have to use well-maintained equipment, etc. Obviously the city employees and the places they used to shop are worse off, but their lower wages mean everyone else’s wages come under pressure, too. So the “money saved” comes at a great cost to the public.
*********************************I talk about VISTAS here in Baltimore working for cheap and taking community jobs and power in local non-profits. It not only eliminates the most readily available source of leadership development within a community.....it captures all of a communities ability to democratic political conversations as non-profits claim not to be allowed to have politics in there mission.
IT IS A DELIBERATE DISMANTLING OF ALL AVENUES OF POLITICAL ORGANIZATION AND PUBLIC DISCUSSION OF ISSUES!
Add to that the capture of public education and the 1% has captured all avenues of public organization and dissent!
I WANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT THE PEOPLE SERVING AS VISTAS ARE NOT BAD-----THEY JUST WANT A JOB. IT IS THE GOAL OF USING VISTAS THAT HAS A CHILLING EFFECT ON COMMUNITIES! The Privatization of Public Service
November 21, 2013by Zaid Jilani Moyers and Company
A Syracuse University logo is displayed inside the lobby of the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center at Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY. (AP Photo/David Duprey)
A few weeks ago, the massive consulting firm Deloitte came to my public policy school – the Maxwell School at Syracuse University – to conduct what it called a “case challenge.” The students who participated were separated into groups and presented with a sample consulting challenge. At the end of the multi-day exercise, one team was declared the winner. After the case challenge concluded, the students were offered an opportunity to apply for a job at the firm – an incredibly early application, given that the Masters of Public Administration (MPA) students applying are in a one-year program that started last July and concludes in June 2014.Deloitte’s heavy presence and early recruiting at the Maxwell School is ironic. After all, my school began not as a recruitment center for for-profit corporations like Deloitte but as a “school of American citizenship,” as its founder George Holmes Maxwell described it, with a primary goal of training Americans to work in government.
Deloitte does have government links. It rakes in billions of dollars from government contracts across the world. Its 2012 investor report shows $3.2 billion from work directly with the public sector.
Yet, while the government generously pays the firm to do work that many argue it should be doing itself, Deloitte has been repeatedly caught up in scandals of mismanagement and poor performance. For example, this past August, the state of Massachusetts fired Deloitte after having paid it $54 million to design a computer system that, by the time the contract was terminated, “couldn’t print forms or calculate interest and penalties,” both of which were functions specified in the contract.
Over the summer, the firm agreed to pay $10 million and suspend consulting work at financial institutions in New York following revelations that its consultants “hid details from regulators about Standard Chartered Bank’s transactions with Iranian clients.” Despite this involvement in facilitating money laundering, the firm ironically advertises “anti-money laundering consulting” on its website.
This behavior certainly isn’t what George Holmes Maxwell intended when he created a school of citizenship. But Deloitte is a for-profit firm, chiefly responsible to its investors, not to citizens or the government or various constituent groups such as nonprofits. The goal of its aggressive recruitment at my school and others is not to recruit civic-minded students to serve the public, but to bring on staff who will increase its bottom line.
In doing so, Deloitte and other commercial firms have been remarkably successful in recent years. In 2008, 10 percent of graduates who responded to the post-employment survey went to work in the private sector and 10 percent went to “public work in the private sector” – Maxwell’s terminology for consultants within the public sector. In last year’s class, the percentage of graduates who went to work in the private sector rose to 27 percent (the portion who did public work in the private sector remained at 10 percent). Meanwhile, graduates who went to work for the federal government declined from 25 percent in 2008 to 16 percent in 2012. Graduates who went to work for nonprofits plummeted from 29 to 14 percent.
It’s not only Maxwell that’s seen an increase in private sector employment among graduates, but a trend that has been consistent across multiple top public policy and administration graduate schools. [See below for a breakdown of post graduation jobs by university.] The trend mirrors the privatization of government overall and it’s happening at least partly as a result of the desire for greater compensation by for-profit firms, not because of well thought out social needs.
When graduates at my school and others are faced with massive loan payments and few recruitment opportunities from the public sector, their dreams of working for their local municipal government or the Department of Labor are quickly put aside when smiling recruiters from for-profit consulting firms appear promising high salaries. The moral qualms of working for companies that essentially do jobs the government should be doing itself – while paying executives literally 50 times what the president of the United States makes – fade away. Few students start their public affairs education dreaming of being for-profit consultants, but the nightmare of debt is a great motivator.
Post Graduate Job Trends by University
“At the [University of Chicago's] Harris School, we have seen about a third of our graduates going into the private sector for many years,” says Leslie Andersen, associate director of the school’s career development office. “In the past few years, partly as a result of decreased government hiring, some students who might have gone to the public sector have found employment in the private sector working with consultants to the public sector, and we also have noted an increase in the number of students joining social enterprise/social entrepreneurial organizations, which are counted as private sector employers.”
The hiring decrease in the public sector is a phenomenon that may indeed be driving these trends. President Obama famously caught flack when he claimed that the “private sector is doing fine,” compared to the public sector, but the data backed him up. Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum pointed out that last year, the public sector was still shedding 200,000 jobs per year while the private sector was adding two million jobs per year.
Perhaps that shift partly explains hiring statistics at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), where 30.7 percent of students went into the private sector – with private sector graduates earning a median salary of $80,000, a 45 percent higher salary than their public sector counterparts. Coupled with a 2013-2014 tuition of $49,788, it’s easy to see the allure of that compensation.
Although many top schools in the field have seen their graduates go to work for for-profit organizations instead of working in direct public service, recent data shows that nonprofits and government do continue to capture the most graduates when looking at the field as a whole. The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration, which gives accreditation to public affairs schools, estimates that 18 percent of MPA/MPP graduates went to the private sector in 2012, while 27 percent went to work for nonprofits and 46 percent went to work for the government (although the private sector gained 3 percentage points from the previous year).
But some students, particularly at public schools, continue to trend towards the public and nonprofit sectors. For example, at the University of Georgia, only 12 percent of students from the class of 2012’s MPA program went private. “Approximately 80 percent of our students are pre-service and 20 percent are in-service. As to why we have a higher percentage that go into public service, I guess it is because we place a great emphasis on the value of public service in our program,” noted department head Dr. Edward Kellough. At the University of California-Berkeley, 18 percent of grads went to work in the private sector, versus 44 percent who went to work for local government. About two-thirds of graduates from the University of Washington’s MPP program went to work in the public or nonprofit sectors, as opposed to the third who took jobs in the private sector.
Whatever the allure of the private sector to public policy program graduates, it is powerful at the University of Virginia. At the school’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, which began its accelerated Bachelors-to-Masters in Public Policy (MPP) program in 2007, the private sector has been strongly represented in the pool of those hiring graduates, taking 39 percent of them. Because the school is relatively new, it’s likely still establishing its alumni network and career office; consulting firms have swooped in to fill that void, with Bain & Co, Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers all hiring MPP graduates.
For prestigious Georgetown University MPP graduates, the private sector was also well-represented among graduates’ jobs. The mean compensation for those who went to nonprofits was $65,090; for the public sector it was $68,858; for the private sector it was $75,107.
At the elite Harvard Kennedy School, 35 percent of reporting 2012 grads from its public policy and administration programs went to the private sector, capturing a plurality of students. The cost of attendance likely plays a large role in these graduates’ employment decisions. At Kennedy, for the 2013-2014 academic year, the school estimates a total cost (including tuition, fees, and room and board) of $72,302.
At Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public Service, only eight percent of MPP graduates went to the private sector in 2013. One thing unique about Princeton’s program is that it offers generous aid and full scholarships to its students, an advantage over most other schools. “An important component… is that students graduate debt-free, so they can make decisions about where to work based on what they want to do, not what they have to pay back in loans,” notes Elisabeth Donahue, the associate dean for public and external affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School.
Whether this trend towards private sector employment continues depends on a number of factors. Will the public sector recover and recruit as aggressively at schools as the big consulting firms? Will skyrocketing tuition costs be reined in? Will students themselves rebel against the trend and aggressively seek employment in the government or at nonprofits?
If the trend does not reverse, or worse, accelerates, we may see a mini-version of what happened on Wall Street in the past few decades – a massive shift of talented college grads landing in a for-profit industry that creates tenuous benefits for the country, while government offices and nonprofit organizations are denied some of the country’s top talent. It would effectively be a privatization of public service – something that would likely have made George Holmes Maxwell shudder.
Zaid Jilani is the former communications and outreach coordinator for United Republic and the former senior reporter-blogger for ThinkProgress. His work has also appeared in outlets including Salon and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
************************************* WHY DO YOU THINK ALL OF THIS MEDIA FOUND ON THE INTERNET NEVER MAKES IT TO CORPORATE MEDIA? OH, THAT'S RIGHT.....GLOBAL CORPORATE RULE ENDS FREE PRESS! The Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty is the complete opposite of 'free trade'
The TPP would strip our constitutional rights, while offering no gains for the majority of Americans. It's a win for corporations
theguardian.com, Tuesday 19 November 2013 10.49 EST
*************************************************************** Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations Meet Protests in Salt Lake City
Occupy.com / News Analysis
Published: Wednesday 20 November 2013
The U.S. trade office is negotiating TPP as if it already has fast-track authority, by deciding for itself which countries to negotiate with and what issues are on the table.
***************************************************************** Find out why you may want to think twice about that shrimp cocktail if the Trans-Pacific Partnership goes through!
After your stomach settles, please share this with your friends.
********************************************* The Trans-Pacific Partnership would result in more adults in the U.S. without work and more children in Vietnam forced to work.
We think this is outrageous. Share if you agree.
For more info on child labor in Vietnam: http://nyti.ms/1i0axXl
For more info on the TPP: www.ExposeTheTPP.org
************************************* When the U.S. Trade Representative has to lie about the Trans-Pacific Partnership to get supporters, you know the real “free trade” deal must be pretty bad!
Read all about how the TPP is more restrictive than U.S. laws here: http://bit.ly/1aEfX3Q
Then write a letter to the editor about what the TPP is really about: http://www.exposethetpp.org/How_To_WriteLettertotheEditor.pdf
**************************************** Since NAFTA, the real median wage of U.S. workers has dropped to 1979 levels.
If the Trans-Pacific Partnership passes, the impacts on jobs, wages, and benefits will be felt for generations.
Learn more here: http://www.exposethetpp.org/TPPImpacts_OffshoringUSJobs.html
Help stop the TPP. Share this with your friends and family.
*******************************************How the TPP Would Impact Food Safety www.exposethetpp.orgHow the Trans-Pacific Partnership______________________________________________I want to add that the pols who voted to break Glass Steagall will be the ones who support this. This policy is just an extension of Clinton-era free trade agreements. In Maryland, it is Joe Cardin, Sarbanes (Sr), Cummings, Hoyer who broke Glass Steagall and will vote for this! It is also interesting that Civil Rights leaders are the ones most represented in Fast Track. Breakdown of the 151 Democratic signatories on the DeLauro-Miller Fast Track Letter
151 Democratic Signatories to DeLauro-Miller Fast Track Letter
18 of 21 FULL COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBERSRobert Brady - House Administration
John Conyers - Judiciary
Elijah Cummings - Oversight & Government Reform
Peter DeFazio - Natural Resources
Elliot Engel - Foreign Affairs
Eddie Bernice Johnson - Science, Space and Technology
Nita Lowey - Appropriations
Carolyn Maloney - Joint Economic Committee
Mike Michaud - Veterans’ Affairs
George Miller - Education and the Workforce
Nick Rahall - Transportation and Infrastructure
Dutch Ruppersberger - Intelligence
Linda Sánchez - Ethics
Louise Slaughter - Rules
Bennie Thompson - Homeland Security
Nydia Velazquez - Small Business
Maxine Waters - Financial Services
Henry Waxman - Energy and Commerce
Jim Clyburn - Assistant Democratic Leader
Steve Israel – Chair Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
Rosa DeLauro - Co-Chair Policy & Steering
Rob Andrews - Co-Chair Policy and Steering
7 WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE MEMBERS
19 DEMOCRATS THAT VOTED FOR THE U.S.-KOREA FTAKathy Castor
Eddie Bernice Johnson
35 OF 48 DEMOCRATIC STEERING AND POLICY COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Maxine Waters Louise Slaughter
26 OF THE 51 MEMBERS OF THE NEW DEMOCRATIC COALITION
Ann McLane Kuster
Sean Patrick Maloney
8 OF THE 14 MEMBERS OF THE BLUE DOG COALITION
12 OF 19 FRONTLINE MEMBERS
Ann McLane Kuster
Sean Patrick Maloney
I'M GOING TO PICK ON THE BLACK CAUCUS BECAUSE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO BE HURT MOST BY THIS ATTEMPT TO END DEMOCRACY AND REWRITE THE CONSTITUTION MINUS ALL LABOR AND JUSTICE LAWS ARE PEOPLE OF COLOR IN THE US. IT IS BIZARRE THAT ALL THESE BLACK LEADERS ARE DOING THIS!
36 OF 42 HOUSE MEMBERS OF THE CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS
G. K. Butterfield
Danny K. Davis
Eddie Bernice Johnson
Sheila Jackson Lee
Eleanor Holmes Norton
Donald Payne. Jr
13 OF 19 HOUSE MEMBERS IN THE CONGRESSIONAL HISPANIC CAUCUS
Luis V. Gutierrez
Gloria Negrete McLeod
Filemon Vela, Jr
37 OF 51 DEMOCRATIC FRESHMEN
William L. Enyart
Michelle Lujan Grisham
Sean Patrick Maloney
Donald M. Payne, Jr
73 SUBCOMMITTEES’ RANKING MEMBERS
1. Rob Andrews - Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions
2. Ron Barber - Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency
3. Karen Bass - Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations
4. Sanford Bishop - Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veteran Affairs and Related Agencies
5. Tim Bishop - Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment
6. Corrine Brown - Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials
7. Julia Brownley – Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health
8. Matt Cartwright - Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs
9. Judy Chu - Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access
10. Yvette Clarke - Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies; Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations
11. Steve Cohen - Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law
12. Joe Courtney - Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Workforce Protections
13. Rosa DeLauro – Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies
14. Ted Deutch - Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa
15. Lloyd Doggett – Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources
16. Donna Edwards - Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Space
17. Anna Eshoo - Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology
18. Sam Farr - Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development and Food and Drug Administration
19. Chakah Fattah - Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies
20. Marcia Fudge - Agriculture Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight and Nutrition
21. John Garamendi - Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation
22. Raul Grijalva - Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation
23. Al Green - Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
24. Janice Hahn - Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology
25. Colleen Hanabusa - Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs
26. Alcee Hastings - Rules Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process
27. Brian Higgins - Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence
28. Ruben Hinojosa - Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training
29. Rush Holt - Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources
30. Sheila Jackson Lee - Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border, Maritime Security
31. Marcy Kaptur - Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
32. Bill Keating - Foreign Affairs: Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats
33. Ann Kirkpatrick – Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
34. Jim Langevin - Armed Services Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities
35. John Lewis – Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight
36. Daniel Lipinski - Science and Technology Subcommittee on Research
37. Zoe Lofgren - Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security
38. Nita Lowey - Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
39. Stephen Lynch - Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and the Census
40. Daniel Maffei - Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Oversight
41. Carolyn Maloney – Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises
42. Carolyn McCarthy - Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood. Elementary and Secondary Education
43. Jim McDermott – Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health
44. Jim McGovern - Rules Subcommittee on Rules and Organization of the House
45. Mike McIntyre - Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces
46. Grace Meng - Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce
47. Patrick Murphy – Small Business Subcommittee on Agricultures, Energy and Trade
48. Jerry Nadler - Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution and Civil Justice
49. Grace Napolitano - Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power
50. Eleanor Holmes Norton - Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit
51. Frank Pallone - Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health
52. Ed Pastor - Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development
53. Donald Payne, Jr. - Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications
54. Bobby Rush - Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power
55. Loretta Sanchez - Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces
56. Jan Schakowsky - Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade
57. Bobby Scott - Homeland Security Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations
58. David Scott - Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management
59. Albio Sires - Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere
60. Kurt Schrader - Agriculture Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture
61. José Serrano - Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government
62. Brad Sherman - Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade
63. Jackie Speier - Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Healthcare, and Entitlements
64. Eric Swalwell – Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Energy
65. Mark Takano - Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity
66. John Tierney - Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security
67. Dina Titus – Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs
68. Paul Tonko - Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy
69. Niki Tsongas - Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
70. Pete Visclosky - Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense
71. Tim Walz – Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy and Forestry
72. Frederica Wilson - Committee on Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee
PUBLIC SECTOR EMPLOYEES OF ALL KINDS ARE BEING REPLACED BY PRIVATE NON-PROFITS IN MARYLAND AND ESPECIALLY BALTIMORE. DO TEACHERS, FIRE AND POLICE, AND STATE AND CITY EMPLOYEES NOT KNOW THEY ARE NEXT!!!!STOP SUPPORTING PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS!
It's almost like Maryland is trying to get long-time teachers to quit in frustration and stop students from wanting to major in teaching! YOU BETCHA!!!! THAT IS HOW YOU KILL A TOP DEMOCRATIC PROFESSION! What the heck......we can get someone working with Humanim to sit in a classroom and start and stop online lessons.
This is indeed union-busting as Race to the Top is all about. Remember, Race to the Top wants to make businesses of individual schools-----national charter chains are poised to take over-----and you know how Wall Street hates union labor and any labor earning over poverty! This is why reformers press forward with the reforms when everyone can see they harm, not help students and teachers.
We need to be clear, this is taking all education from K-college to union apprenticeships to public disability development. Once privatized, as Baltimore City is well on the way, the structure built for this will expand statewide and soon after nationwide and global. THESE PRIVATE NON-PROFITS ARE BUSINESSES IN THE MAKING. THEY JUST WANT TO USE TAXPAYER MONEY TO EXPAND THE BUSINESS JUST AS JOHNS HOPKINS USED TAXPAYER MONEY TO GO FROM A SMALL PRIVATE UNIVERSITY TO A GLOBAL CORPORATION.
Each time we allow yet another sector of the public be taken we lose all voice as citizen. That is why the public is taken by security from public meetings for trying to comment. THESE NEO-LIBERALS DO NOT RECOGNIZE CITIZENSHIP. THEY ONLY WORK TO USE THE PUBLIC TO MAXIMIZE CORPORATE PROFIT. ALL DEMOCRATIC LEADERS AT ALL LEVELS ARE NEO-LIBERALS AND WE NEED TO GET RID OF THEM!
Simply run and vote for labor and justice. We can turn this around NOW but we cannot wait too long as they replace all democratic institutions.
ALL OF THE CURRENT CANDIDATES FOR MARYLAND GOVERNOR AND STATE/CITY ATTORNEY GENERAL ARE NEO-LIBERALS----how does that make free and fair elections? It doesn't.
WE NEED LABOR UNIONS TO RUN LABOR LAWYERS FOR STATE/CITY ATTORNEYS OFFICE TO ENFORCE LABOR AND JUSTICE LAWS. WE NEED ALL UNION MEMBERS RUNNING FOR ALL OFFICES AGAINST NEO-LIBERALS IN PRIMARIES. If your labor and justice organization is not doing this they are not working for you and me!Union Says Common Core Overworks Teachers
By Gwendolyn Glenn
Credit Gwendolyn Glenn / WYPR Abby Beytin, President of the Teachers Association of Baltimore County
Listen 0:48 Union Says Common Core Overworks Teachers
The Baltimore County teachers’ union has filed a grievance against the school board, alleging that the new Common Core curriculum makes teachers work too many hours.
Union officials said they support the new, more rigorous Common Core standards, but many teachers have not received formal training in those standards and don’t have time to prepare lessons. Abby Beytin, president of the Teachers Association of Baltimore County, said teachers are getting the new curriculum from the district a week or two before they have to teach it, and that violates their contract.
The Common Core is a set of national standards that Maryland, the District of Columbia and 45 other states adopted. It outlines what students should learn in math and English/language arts. Local districts developed their own curriculum in line with the Common Core standards.
Beytin asked her teachers to keep logs for a two-week period to document the hours they worked. She said many are putting in 30 to 40 extra hours each week. “My teachers are drowning under the work load,” Beytin said. “We need some of this work load taken off the plate and we need the curriculum in a timely manner so the teachers can really do their best work.”
Beytin, whose union represents the county’s 8,700 teachers, said her members are spending time during their lunch and planning periods as well as after hours through the week and weekends trying to figure out the new curriculum.
Some county teachers received Common Core training over the past three summers in classes organized by the state and county. At a Common Core conference earlier this month in Washington, Maryland Superintendent Dr. Lillian Lowery said her goal is to have 50 percent of teachers in the state formally trained in the new curriculum by the 2016-2017 school year.
Beytin said she has discussed her concerns with the county’s school board and officials in county school district offices. “We are happy to work with the school system in a collaborative manner to come up with solutions,” she said. “But we felt we needed to move this faster so the importance of it was understood. My teachers are really upset about not having the curriculum in a timely manner so they are comfortable with what they are teaching students.”
Beytin wants more aides hired to take over some of the teachers’ clerical duties, such as copying documents, helping to collect data the district requires, taking attendance or collecting money for student projects. She said this way the teachers could focus more on the new curriculum.
Baltimore County Superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance said in an email Wednesday that he could not comment on the grievance because he just received a copy. But he added he would “be looking at the remedy, which every grievance must have, to determine what are federal, state versus local concerns.”
He noted that all parties, including the union, signed on to the curriculum change.
But Beytin accused officials of rushing the implementation of the Common Core. “The state and feds are in a rush and insist that things have to be done now without building in professional training and development,” she said. Beytin said she is optimistic that union and school officials can reach an agreement. If not, they would bring in a mediator to help resolve the issues.___________________________________________This article shows why labor and justice should not be voting and supporting neo-liberals. How did Corey Booker win in New Jersey when we know he is a raging Wall Street shill? Why is the same thing happening in Maryland with Anthony Brown? All neo-liberals are pushing the handing of schools over to corporations for profit and to use as job training K-college. WHY WOULD LABOR AND JUSTICE SUPPORT THAT? RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE.
SADLY, IT IS PEOPLE OF COLOR BACKING THESE POLS THAT ARE ENDING BROWN VS BOARD OF EDUCATION AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/ACCESS EDUCATION. WORSE-----IT IS ENDING DEMOCRATIC EDUCATION FOR MOST AMERICANS.
Lean In or Stand Up?
Thursday, 14 November 2013 09:30 By Jenny Brown, Labor Notes | Op-Ed
Sheryl Sandberg’s hyper-publicized book Lean In is the Facebook COO’s “sort of a feminist manifesto” and it’s full of engaging, self-critical stories as she tries to trim back her workaholic ways to enjoy her family life. These appear alongside enraging anecdotes about the sexism she and women co-workers endure in the male-dominated tech world, and advice on how to deal with it.
But one anecdote jumped out at me. Sandberg tells the story of a dear friend with 14-month-old twins who cut her paid hours by two-thirds and ended up doing all the household work. Sandberg wants her friend to say yes to an exciting new job offer, advising that it will make the husband step up to his responsibilities.
The job she’s suggesting turns out to be administering a $100 million donation from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to the Newark schools.
Things worked out great for Sandberg’s friend—she took the job and her husband learned to buy groceries. Things didn’t work out so well for the Newark schools.
The $100 million from Zuckerberg had a goal: to institute merit pay in the teachers’ contract. “Highly effective” teachers would get a bonus of between $5,000 and $12,500. Teachers deemed unsatisfactory by supervisors could be disciplined or even fired. (The contract also created two tiers: teachers with masters’ degrees could opt out of the merit pay scheme, and most did.)
Teachers unions have rightly resisted this kind of subjective basis for raises because it rewards brown-nosing and shreds solidarity.
Nonetheless, after the contract passed with 60 percent of the vote, AFT national President Randi Weingarten celebrated the new contract with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
At the same time, Newark Mayor Corey Booker was privately pushing to close schools and replace them with charters, with Zuckerberg’s foundation picking targets. Newark parents rose up in arms when they found out.
Emails released due to a parent lawsuit revealed that Sandberg was heavily involved, corresponding with Booker’s office, which was trying to make it look like the community was engaged, without actually engaging the community.
The emails revealed a desire to spread merit pay to teachers nationally, although Sandberg sounded queasy about emphasizing this. “I wonder if we should basically make this focused on Newark with just a touch of ‘and this will be a national model,’” she wrote.
From Sandberg’s boss’s-eye view of the world, pay-for-performance leads to excellence. Teachers just need incentives to teach harder. In the real world, merit pay schemes increase pressure but don’t actually improve teaching. “It’s not as if teachers are sitting on their best lessons waiting for a bonus,” said public education defender Diane Ravitch in a recent talk.
“Now that components [of the contract] are being implemented,” Newark teacher Brandon Rippey told Labor Notes, “it’s turning teachers’ lives upside down.” He said some supervisors are using the evaluation tool vindictively.
They’re also using it narrowly. Only 5 percent of Newark’s teachers got merit pay in the last cycle, a total of $1.4 million out of the $50 million that was promised over three years. Where’s the rest of the money going? To pay Sandberg’s friend to administer it, for one.
But that’s not the end of the story—Newark teachers angry about the contract formed a caucus and promised a vigorous fight against the billionaires’ agenda. They won 18 of 29 e-board seats and almost took the presidency. Instead of leaning in, they stood up, together.
Which happens to be a pretty good strategy for dealing with sexism, too, Ms. Sandberg.____________________________________________REgarding HUMANIM as a private non-profit replacing public disability programs:
EVEN IF YOU ARE A SMALL GOVERNMENT PERSON, LOSING OUR ENTIRE PUBLIC SECTOR MEANS LOSING PUBLIC POLICY INPUT AND CONTROL IN ALL PLANNING ASPECTS IN COMMUNITIES. THIS CORPORATION WILL NOT ALLOW PUBLIC ACCESS TO DATA WITHOUT WHAT IS BECOMING AN IMPOSSIBLE PUBLIC JUSTICE REQUEST. IT IS VERY, VERY, VERY BAD and brought to you by the same people that give us Baltimore Development Corporation.You see education for disabled and hiring and oversight of disabled is being privatized. Special needs students are being mainstreamed into schools with little staff able to adequately address their needs so quality of education for special needs will fall in all but affluent schools. Meanwhile, private non-profits will be ready to use these students when its time for them to work. What we are seeing is a move towards warehousing of special needs and assignment to simple tasks rather than having a career choice.
Below you see yet another piece of propaganda as Obama and neo-liberals respond to demands with lots of money sent to lots of private non-profits all supposedly ready to get the disabled to work. As the next article shows.....as of today, nothing is happening.Report faults federal hiring of disabled
Mar. 29, 2010 - 04:48PM |
By STEPHEN LOSEY
Andrew Pike, an Army veteran who was shot and paralyzed in the Iraq war, watches his new service dog Yazmin pull a door open. The government needs to make sure managers are really committed to hiring people with disabilities, better monitor agency progress, better train and educate hiring and program managers, and offer improved physical and technical accommodations, a recent survey says.
Andrew Pike, an Army veteran who was shot and paralyzed in the Iraq war, watches his new service dog Yazmin pull a door open. The government needs to make sure managers are really committed to hiring people with disabilities, better monitor agency progress, better train and educate hiring and program managers, and offer improved physical and technical accommodations, a recent survey says.
The federal government is not doing enough to attract, retain and accommodate employees with disabilities, according to a survey released today.
*************************************US making little progress on jobs for disabled Americans
Published March 24, 2013
In this photo taken Friday, March 1, 2013, Jennifer Lortie works on an iPad in her Willimantic, Conn. office. Of the 29 million workingage Americans with a disability Lortie, who has limited arm and leg use due to cerebral palsy, is one of the 5.1 million, who are actually employed. The National Council on Disability's Jeff Rosen says long-standing prejudicial attitudes need to be addressed to boost jobs. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
WASHINGTON – Whether it means opening school track meets to a deaf child or developing a new lunch menu with safe alternatives for students with food allergies, recent Obama administration decisions could significantly affect Americans with disabilities. But there's been little progress in one of the most stubborn challenges: employing the disabled.
***************************************HUMANIM is just that kind of private non-profit that is taking the place of a public agency tasked with care and programming for the disabled that was once well-funded and provided strong life-long developmental and placement programs for disabled. Now, the group homes, the workshops, the social workers as public support are gone. In their place is what WYPR gave as an example with Humanim.
Now, we know that Baltimore Development Corporation has privatized all public policy with development in the city; we know that VEOLA is privatizing all transportation and soon VEOLA WATER AND WASTE will take all public services; we know that Parks and People are basically the Baltimore City Parks Department; and Johns Hopkins is public health; so, Humanim is simply the social services branch of all of the privatizing of public services. AND GUESS WHAT? THE SAME PEOPLE ARE ON THE BOARDS OF ALL THESE PRIVATE NON-PROFITS CONTROLLING ALL PUBLIC POLICY IN BALTIMORE!!!! HOPKINS AND BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT FIGURE PROMINENTLY.
So, I pointed out last week that the Oliver Community Association-----which has the same people from the boards above on its roster as Oliver, next to Hopkins will be THE COMMUNITY FOR THE AFFLUENT! had all kinds of volunteers cleaning the neighborhood----from vets to students doing the work of public sector employees. Humanim is an extension of this. Below you see a staff of 750 people and a $24 million budget and this 'non-profit' has expanded all over Maryland.
IT IS A PRIVATE CORPORATION THAT NOW RUNS ALL OF BALTIMORE'S AND OTHER'S PUBLIC SOCIAL SERVICES.
Let's take the example WYPR gave in using Humanim in 'greening'. You have an historic building being torn down and recycled to build new buildings. Now, when this was a public function, city workers getting a salary and benefits would be sent to gut the building of hardware and materials of value and the city would then sell these salvage items or use it on public building projects. So, public employees were paid a good salary to do work that gave government revenue from salvage.
Now, Humanim uses people with disabilities and low-income workers that are 'training' to do the demolition with the salvage going to Humanim and we can imagine then sold/given to city developers, many of whom are on the board of Humanim. So, developers have gotten free labor to demolish property and then received the salvage to use on their own projects------all subsidized by taxpayer money and free labor from 'training' programs.
TAXPAYERS AND GOVERNMENT COFFERS GET NOTHING BUT CONTINUED CORPORATE WELFARE AND WORKERS GET TO WORK FOR NEXT TO NOTHING.
Trade unions have all kinds of on-the-job training for construction jobs that pay workers who then pass through a top-notch trades program. One would imagine that would be a good venue for extending disability training for example. Here, a Baltimore corporation that is probably getting a corporate tax break for existing is 'donating' to Humanim for another corporate tax break and getting what will be free labor and product for cheap.
Because Humanim is a private non-profit, public transparency is harder to get. Because this corporation that is doing work across all kinds of private sector industries is designated 'non-profit' it pays no taxes. The 750 staff across all of Maryland represents a microcosm of public sector employees whose jobs are replaced by what are heavily volunteer activities developed by these 750 people state-wide. So, high-unemployment in Baltimore because public sector jobs have disappeared bring the high crime and violence, and as offenders, these unemployed will no doubt be sent to 'volunteer' with the corporation Humanim.Statewide Contract for Maryland Behavioral Support Services Partnership To Launch
Baltimore, MD - September 18, 2013
Humanim, The Arc of Southern Maryland, The Arc of Washington County and Somerset Community Services
have been awarded the Statewide Behavioral Support Services contract to provide comprehensive Behavioral Support Services to Maryland residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The providers have formed the Maryland Behavioral Support Services Partnership, which will become effective October 1, 2013.
“Humanim is thrilled to be a member of the Statewide Partnership for Behavioral Support Services,” said Cindy Plavier Truitt, Director of the Partnership and Chief Operating Officer of Humanim representing the Baltimore Metropolitan Region. “Along with the other partners, we believe this new approach will create enhanced support for families and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We look forward to partnering with the Developmental Disabilities Administration on this new initiative.”
This historic Maryland Behavioral Support Services Partnership will create a uniform network of services that will increase the efficacy and efficiency of services that will improve the overall statewide quality of services.Humanim - Director of Family and Youth Services
humanimLocation: Baltimore, MD
Humanim is seeking a dynamic, experienced Director of Family and Youth Services to lead and build the workforce development services for transitioning youth and financial stability services for families (youth and adults). The director will actively support Humanim’s mantra of providing “uncompromising human services” as it connects with individuals of all ages throughout Maryland.
Headquartered in Baltimore, MD, Humanim’s mission is to identify those in greatest need and provide uncompromising human services. Our vision is that all people in our community have access to the human services that they need. Governed by a 14-member board of directors, Humanim is a 501(c)(3) with annual operating revenues of approximately $24 million and a staff of over 750 individuals. For additional information please visit www.Humanim.com.
WE CANNOT HAVE DEMOCRACY WITHOUT RULE OF LAW. WE CANNOT BE FIRST WORLD WITHOUT RULE OF LAW......we are neither right now. Make sure a Rule of Law candidate is running in State/City attorney general races! Maryland and Baltimore does not have any good people running.....they are all crony!Regarding the Baltimore Board of Estimates crimes against humanity:
THAT'S RIGHT JACK YOUNG------RUN OUT OF THIS MEETING! This was shouted at the Baltimore City Board of Estimates meeting that ended with shouts of fraud and corruption by business and justice.....
I talked with a member of the media forced to witness this den of thieves who stated he hated having to come to this meeting and watching the garbage that is Baltimore City public works. You would have to be a blind beggar from South Baltimore not to see what is absolute fraud and corruption. Luckily, the Maryland Minority Contractor lawyer has been pushed to shout out as his clients become an endangered species in Baltimore and Maryland. We welcomed his and his client's outburst of charges of fraud and corruption at the end of a protest of yet another openly preferential bid award. Yet another contractor was left speechless at the level of injustice in this awarding process that is completely arbitrary-----no Rule of Law in this process!
FORTUNATELY FOR THE CITIZENS OF BALTIMORE WE ARE GOING TO SEE PUBLIC JUSTICE MOVE THIS TO COURT TO CHALLENGE THIS BOARD OF ESTIMATE'S PROCESS OF BID AWARD. WE WILL NEED TO TAKE IT ALL THE WAY.
For those not familiar Baltimore has a Finance Department with people having duties of taking a long list of 'OBJECTIVES' that need to be met in moving the bid forward through award. It is this list of OBJECTIVES that makes the entire process so arbitrary as to allow this Finance Department to send the bid anyway it chooses. This Board of Estimates does not stop there-----it completely ignores even the most basic of standards required in the process. So, a contractor meets minority guidelines but then it doesn't-----a contractor is low bid and then it isn't------a contractor fails to complete application properly and is disqualified and then it isn't. IT IS ONE GREAT BIG MESS WITH NO RULE OF LAW----IT IS COMPLETELY ARBITRARY.
So, today's victim of these bid award violations made clear that the problem and protest was about X and the mayor's lawyers kept turning it to Y.....which is what they do all the time. They spin the argument away from the issue put forward just as a politician asked a question on an issue and then answers in a way having nothing to do with the issue. SAME THING. So, both the contractor and the lawyer pointed each time to the spinning of point ------the issue most apparent for people not familiar with details being that most contractors bidding for this work were disqualified for one reason or another but the contractor winning the award had a clear violation that disqualified them but the Board moved that bid forward anyway. So, they pretended the contractor winning the award was not disqualified. The protesting contractor tried to make other points on a constantly moving bid amount that I do not know the specifics but on face seemed legitimate.
The point of value for citizens of Baltimore is that the bidding process is so rigged that contractors either do not even bid anymore....which is the purpose of this level of corruption, or if they lose with prejudice, they do not protest because you are making the same people using an arbitrary system mad and they will blacklist you. VOILA-----A CAPTURED PUBLIC WORKS BIDDING PROCESS. THIS IS WHAT THEY DO IN THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES! I spoke earlier about the constant use of a contractor winning an award for low bid and coming back for extensions over and over.....
The solution is REBUILD THE PUBLIC IN PUBLIC WORKS FOR GOODNESS SAKE! WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU ALLOW A SYSTEM LIKE THIS EXIST JUST SO PRIVATE CONTRACTORS CAN GET RICH ON FRAUD AND CORRUPTION? We need to stop outsourcing our public works and services and simply rebuild a public sector -------public employees that are the consultants, public employees that are the designers, public employees that know the logistics......THAT WORKED THROUGH THE MOST EXPANSIVE PUBLIC WORKS PROJECTS IN THE MID-1900s! It was in the late 1970s-1980s that gave us this move to privatization of all that is public. We attracted the best of the best to public service with strong wages and benefits----we had projects done with little waste and fraud because the people directing it were on salary, not working for profit (OK, I know there was public fraud but not pervasive). THIS IS THE GOAL WE HAVE TODAY---A RETURN TO A STRONG PUBLIC SECTOR WITH REGULATIONS AND PUBLIC JUSTICE but you will not get that with neo-liberals and crony pols!
SIMPLY RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE IN ALL PRIMARIES AGAINST NEO-LIBERALS!Baltimore is a NYC wanta-be and is run by Bloomberg and Wall Street by the extension of Johns Hopkins. The same thing happening in this article is happening in Baltimore. THESE ARE NEO-LIBERAL STATES FOLKS------STOP ALLOWING A NEO-LIBERAL DNC CHOOSE YOUR CANDIDATES. RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE!N.Y. City Council Infested With Fraud, Corruption April 29, 2008 |
City Council members in New York have legally steered millions of tax dollars to relatives, spouses and friends thanks to a city measure that grants lawmakers large slush funds to be spent however they please.
Each of New York’s 51 council members gets a chunk of cash that can be spent at the discretion of the council member. Ideally, the money is supposed to provide valuable community services but no one bothers to follow up, leaving the system rife with fraud, corruption and conflict of interest.
So far, at least seven of the city’s 51 lawmakers have been caught distributing millions of public dollars to relatives, spouses and friends. One lawmaker, Larry Seabrook of the Bronx, actually gave nearly $1 million to a suspicious group—Bronx African American Chamber of Commerce—with the same address as his office.
A pair of councilmen from Manhattan and Queens, each gave questionable nonprofits $400,000. One group was operated by the lawmaker’s top aides and the other featured the councilman’s sister on the board of directors. A Brooklyn Councilman gave $356,000 to a nonprofit operated by his chief of staff, who got caught embezzling $145,000 and another Brooklyn councilman gave a group that employs his wife nearly $200,000.
Incredibly, the council’s speaker acknowledges that some of the council’s so-called discretionary funds were assigned to fake nonprofits to hold the money for future distribution to real groups. A local paper sums the scandal up quite well, writing in an editorial that “the stench of waste, fraud and corruption wafting out of the City Council grows ranker by the day….”_________________________________________________The cronyism is top down which is why local politicians think they have no worries. We know that all public service systems are now outsourced and government agencies are run by directors who hand those agencies over to corporations to run. This is why nothing works when the government is doing it------THE GOVERNMENT IS NOW ALL PRIVATE CONTRACTORS WORKING SIMPLY TO MOVE MONEY TO CONNECTED PEOPLE, NOT GETTING THE BEST PEOPLE FOR A JOB. See how that corresponds to my Baltimore Board of Estimates meeting?
We elected Obama to clean this up-----he ran on a holding corporations responsible campaign-----and he ignored it and has become the biggest VISIGOTH in US history. Huffington Post stated this administration is the most corrupt in US History!
WE CAN CHANGE THIS BY NOT ALLOWING A NEO-LIBERAL DNC CHOOSE OUR CANDIDATES------WE MUST RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE!
We have tens of trillions in stolen corporate fraud to recover for goodness sake-----stop letting them do this!August 23, 2012
Whistleblowers (2011) claims DOD official is incompetent and tyrannical rings a sympathetic chord with DSS’s problems (2012)
I ran across this story from August 29, 2011 (in my mail box, sent to me by a reader), which is remarkably like what I am being told is going on in DSS (Defense Security Service).
Note similarities, those of you familiar with the problems DSS seems to be propagating at an alarming rate:
Managers pushing out senior employees who have the knowledge, training and experience to do the job in order to make room for often unprepared, untrained, equally incompetent cronies from another work environment. Cronyism can be hiring relatives, or can be hiring members of a same church, college class, club, or military service branch etc. It does seem like DSS is having more than its share of such problems.
It seems like within DSS, as in this story, some crony seeking managers like people around who can spy on other employees for them, and be loyal to the manager in charge, even if they aren’t capable of doing the job they ostensibly were hired to do. In the case of DSS, how is this helping DSS protect our technology and oversee government contracts? (Answer: It’s not! But it may well be meeting the goals of certain defense contractors who don’t want any oversight anyway.) GFS
__________________________________________This article shows how bad the fraud and corruption is in Baltimore. Much of the fraud and corruption that passes through the Board of Estimates involves Baltimore real estate. As I've said before, there is an orchestrated effort to move downtown and city center real estate into the hands of connected people. Real Estate agents in communities hit hard with foreclosures.....mainly underserved and black communities.....say they cannot earn a living because the real estate is being captured by the city and handed by the city to selected developers. You read in meeting minutes of one private non-profit after another getting these houses for a $1 when taxpayers often paid tens of thousands to get the property and maintain it. THIS IS NOT VACANTS TO VALUE.....WE HAVE PLENTY OF REVENUE IN THE CITY TO BUILD OUT MUCH THAT IS GIVEN AWAY. CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT RECOVERING BILLIONS IN CORPORATE FRAUD AND STOPPING FUTURE FRAUD WOULD MAKE THE GOVERNMENT COFFERS LOOK LIKE?The Most Powerful Man in Baltimore Real Estate?
2 October 16, 2011 by Baltimore Slumlord Watch
An interesting way to describe Paul Graziano, director of Baltimore’s Housing Authority.
We received an email from the Baltimore Real Estate Investors Association, inviting us to a meeting where Paul Graziano will speak to the group (including slumlords and owners of blighted vacant homes) and address questions regarding Section 8 housing, vacant homes, and other topics of interest to property investors.
It’s inappropriate for the head of a city agency to be addressing a group that is run by a man whose business practices are questionable at best. Joe DiMaggio is currently fighting a lead paint lawsuit, has failed to register rental properties, and other housing code violation lawsuits. He also has an open warrant for failing to appear in housing court.
Again, Mr. Graziano has shown bad judgement by agreeing to address this group as a colleague and not as the head of a regulatory agency — and he has again shown his lack of ethics by maintaining relationships with people who have shown such a blatant disregard for our city and its taxpaying residents.
HIS HEAD WOULD SPIN IN BALTIMORE!!!Originally published August 07, 2013 How Deep is Corruption? by Harry C. Alford
Harry C. Alford, co-founderpresident/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce and NNPA Columnist. (Courtesy Photo)
I have seen examples of corruption throughout my life. Some has been petty and some had potentially serious implications and outcomes.
I have avoided or turned down 96 percent of the attempts made on me but I am sure there are many who haven’t. How do you avoid it? It is easy, according to then-Mozambique President Joaquim Chissano: “Don’t pay any bribes; there won’t be any bribery.” In other words the offers will be made to us all and the key to avoiding it is to just turn them down and walk away. I have taken his advice to heart.
A great spawning grounds for corruption are the minority business programs throughout our nation. City, county, state and federal governments-- and corporations-- have some form of outreach and technical assistance for businesses owned by racial/socio economic disadvantaged groups. Most require participants to be “certified” as a minority, female, etc. type of business ownership. There is so much fraud involved in many of these applications that we can’t count them all. Cheating applicant, cheating employee overseeing the program and usually a cheating White- owned seasoned business conspiring with the others. Every one of these programs has some form of corruption in their daily process. Some do it for quick bucks and some do it to prolong their racist attitudes and/or greed.
I have had experience with mayoral offices during my travels. The Thomas Barnes administration in Gary, Ind. was a trip. They would demand my members who had won contracts competitively to pay a “fee” before they received payment. One protesting member was told by an employee in the deputy mayor’s office, “What? Do you think we just give these contracts away?” He finally got his money after filing a claim in court. They gave him a check for the money due as he walked up the court house steps.
My experience with Mayor Willie Brown’s office of San Francisco was quite interesting. We set up an introductory meeting with the mayor. While I was waiting in the mayor’s office, a unscrupulous guy comes up to me and said, “I’m Charlie, best friend and adviser of the mayor, you need to meet with me outside before your meeting.” As we went outside the building I stated, “I know what you are trying to do. So, just go to hell and I am out of here.” (I don’t know for a fact that Mayor Brown was aware of what Charlie was doing.)
There was a similar experience with Mayor Marc Morial’s office in New Orleans. We called for a meeting and they said to wait for a formal response. A couple of days later, I received a phone call from this private attorney. He said that the mayor would like me to see him first. So, I went to his office and we had a discussion.
What it amounted to was that the NBCC must hire him and use him as the communicator with the mayor. Paying legal fees in order to speak to an elected official? I don’t think so! A few years later this attorney was indicted for his shenanigans and spent some good time in prison. (Again, I can’t say the mayor knew that he was soliciting work from us.)
There is much corruption going on with the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). This is similar to a free trade treaty. AGOA-certified nations in Africa may export goods to America without paying any duties. There are two big abuses going on. 1. German auto manufacturer BMW has built a plant in South Africa for the sole purpose of shipping the product to the United States duty free. In essence, a European firm is benefitting from a program meant for African firms.
India has jumped into this AGOA action. The Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius has been given “nominal status” as an African nation. India ships tons of raw products to this island of mainly Indian expatriates. The finished products are shipped to the U.S. under AGOA benefits.
How many trillions of dollars are taken out of our general economy because of corruption? How many good decisions and acts of leadership are lost to bribery, kickbacks and many other forms of corruption? It is an attitude that focuses on greed, quick money and a life style of cheating. You can’t get to Heaven living that way. Sooner or later most of the corrupt operators will get their justice. Too bad, most will be replaced with others of the same ilk. Just how deep is corruption?
Harry Alford is the co-founderpresident/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce
___________________________________________The US now has the categories listed below as a former Rule of Law nation.....but we know all categories below have no active justice.
What is the Rule of Law? The rule of law is a system in which the following four universal principles are upheld:
These four universal principles which comprise the WJP's notion of the rule of law are further developed in the nine factors of the WJP Rule of Law Index.
- The government and its officials and agents as well as individuals and private entities are accountable under the law.
- The laws are clear, publicized, stable and just, are applied evenly, and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property.
- The process by which the laws are enacted, administered and enforced is accessible, fair and efficient.
- Justice is delivered timely by competent, ethical, and independent representatives and neutrals who are of sufficient number, have adequate resources, and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.
Why the Rule of Law Matters to Everyone The rule of law is the underlying framework of rules and rights that make prosperous and fair societies possible. The rule of law is a system in which no one, including government, is above the law; where laws protect fundamental rights; and where justice is accessible to all.
To learn more about how the rule of law impacts the lives and work of all people, click here.
Factors Limited Government Powers
In a society governed by the rule of law, the government and its officials and agents are subject to and held accountable under the law. Modern societies have developed systems of checks and...
Absence of Corruption
The absence of corruption - conventionally defined as the use of public power for private gain - is one of the hallmarks of a society governed by the rule of law, as corruption is a manifestation...
Order and Security
Human security is one of the defining aspects of any rule of law society. Protecting human security, mainly assuring the security of persons and property, is a fundamental function of the state....
Under the rule of law, fundamental rights must be effectively guaranteed. A system of positive law that fails to respect core human rights established under international law is at best “rule by...
Open government is essential to the rule of law. It involves engagement, access, participation, and collaboration between the government and its citizens, and plays a crucial role in the promotion...
Public enforcement of government regulations is pervasive in modern societies as a method to induce conduct. A critical feature of the rule of law is that such rules are upheld and properly...
In a rule of law society, ordinary people should be able to resolve their grievances and obtain remedies in conformity with fundamental rights through formal institutions of justice in a peaceful...
An effective criminal justice system is a key aspect of the rule of law, as it constitutes the natural mechanism to redress grievances and bring action against individuals for offenses against...
For many countries it is important to acknowledge the role played by traditional, or ‘informal’, systems of law — including traditional, tribal, and religious courts, as well as community-based...
THE POOR, WORKING CLASS AND MIDDLE CLASS ARE GETTING THE SHAFT WITH THE ACA HEALTH REFORM----THE HEALTH INDUSTRY IS SOARING IN PROFITS. The PHARMA industry declared over a trillion dollars in profits as it expands overseas. In the US----citizens cannot afford the co-pays.
What Is Medicaid?
Created by Congress in 1965, Medicaid is a public insurance program that provides health coverage to low-income families and individuals, including children, parents, pregnant women, seniors, and people with disabilities. Medicaid is funded jointly by the federal government and the states.
Each state operates its own Medicaid program within federal guidelines. Because the federal guidelines are broad, states have a great deal of flexibility in designing and administering their programs. As a result, Medicaid eligibility and benefits can and often do vary widely from state to state.
In 2012, Medicaid provided health coverage for 67 million low-income Americans over the course of the year, including 32 million children, 19 million adults (mostly low-income working parents), 6 million seniors, and 11 million persons with disabilities, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates.Do you know that 75% of Americans are now in poverty or at the line? That's who are without health care or with very little
. Before the reform the poor could go to emergency rooms for health events and now they cannot. The health clinics they can access do minor surgeries.WILL YOUR FAMILY SLIP INTO THIS CATEGORY? YOU BETCHA IF NEO-LIBERALS REMAIN IN OFFICE!! I sat on the bus the other day listening to a tirade by a military veteran bashing 'ObamaCare'----aka the ACA. Since the goal of ACA is to restrict access to most health care for most people so health industry's profits are maximized.....this conversation says 'mission accomplished'! All the people around him rang in to how they are no longer able to access basic care and the co-pays have already bankrupted the vet who was just released with tens of thousands in medical bills. This is one month into this new law. So, what do Maryland and Baltimore Health officials feel they need to educate the poor about? DAMAGE CONTROL. THEY ARE GOING TO MAKE LOSING HEALTH ACCESS IS A BENEFIT! It's like listening to another black leader telling mothers of special needs being pushed to warehousing in poor schools that private non-profits are working to make that work! NO ONE BELIEVES IT!
When the rich made this plan to use massive fraud to move all working/middle class wealth to the top they were all saying in regards to retaliation in elections----THE POOR WILL ALWAYS VOTE WITH THE WEALTH AND PROFIT CANDIDATES BECAUSE THEY ADMIRE US! What they are saying is that the poor are being tied to more and more subsidy for basics of life and are being made to vote out of fear. Indeed, that has happened with unions fearful of losing collective bargaining et al. So, will the rich capture elections with this fear tactic used in third world countries? I DON'T THINK SO! WHEN I ATTEND MEETINGS AND PROTESTS I HEAR VERY ANGRY IMPOVERISHED PEOPLE WANTING CHANGE....NOT ACQUIESCENCE!!!
So, the rich think they will get away with stealing the wealth of the working/middle class by creating this divide and send out the crony support teams into poor communities to do reparations. We'll see if it works this time as people are being left to die for lack of access to basic care.
Do you know that much of the coverage for the poor is the same they receive in free clinics for decades? The idea that ACA is about coverage for low-income is not true!!!! It will leave most people without access to most health care! 'I AM NOT WALKING AWAY FROM 40 MILLION PEOPLE WHO HAVE A CHANCE AT HAVING HEALTH INSURANCE FOR THE FIRST TIME' says Obama. The poor are saying-----please keep walking away!!Raise your hands if you knew republican states would use this reform to refuse Medicaid funding? Since they have worked for decades to end entitlements -------EVERYONE KNEW THAT. Raise your hand if you know Maryland defunded Medicaid so much, on top of Federal cuts, that Maryland's poor are not much better than republican states!How can somebody in poverty not be eligible for subsidies?' Millions of poor not covered by health law Thu Oct 3, 2013 10:27 AM EDT
James Patterson for The New York Times
By Sabrina Tavernise and Robert Gebeloff, The New York Times
A sweeping national effort to extend health coverage to millions of Americans will leave out two-thirds of the poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the low-wage workers who do not have insurance, the very kinds of people that the program was intended to help, according to an analysis of census data by The New York Times.
Because they live in states largely controlled by Republicans that have declined to participate in a vast expansion of Medicaid, the medical insurance program for the poor, they are among the eight million Americans who are impoverished, uninsured and ineligible for help. The federal government will pay for the expansion through 2016 and no less than 90 percent of costs in later years.
Those excluded will be stranded without insurance, stuck between people with slightly higher incomes who will qualify for federal subsidies on the new health exchanges that went live this week, and those who are poor enough to qualify for Medicaid in its current form, which has income ceilings as low as $11 a day in some states.
People shopping for insurance on the health exchanges are already discovering this bitter twist.
“How can somebody in poverty not be eligible for subsidies?” an unemployed health care worker in Virginia asked through tears. The woman, who identified herself only as Robin L. because she does not want potential employers to know she is down on her luck, thought she had run into a computer problem when she went online Tuesday and learned she would not qualify.
At 55, she has high blood pressure, and she had been waiting for the law to take effect so she could get coverage. Before she lost her job and her house and had to move in with her brother in Virginia, she lived in Maryland, a state that is expanding Medicaid. “Would I go back there?” she asked. “It might involve me living in my car. I don’t know. I might consider it.”
Poorest states rejected Medicaid expansion
The 26 states that have rejected the Medicaid expansion are home to about half of the country’s population, but about 68 percent of poor, uninsured blacks and single mothers. About 60 percent of the country’s uninsured working poor are in those states. Among those excluded are about 435,000 cashiers, 341,000 cooks and 253,000 nurses’ aides.
“The irony is that these states that are rejecting Medicaid expansion — many of them Southern — are the very places where the concentration of poverty and lack of health insurance are the most acute,” said Dr. H. Jack Geiger, a founder of the community health center model. “It is their populations that have the highest burden of illness and costs to the entire health care system.”
The disproportionate impact on poor blacks introduces the prickly issue of race into the already politically charged atmosphere around the health care law. Race was rarely, if ever, mentioned in the state-level debates about the Medicaid expansion. But the issue courses just below the surface, civil rights leaders say, pointing to the pattern of exclusion.
Every state in the Deep South, with the exception of Arkansas, has rejected the expansion. Opponents of the expansion say they are against it on exclusively economic grounds, and that the demographics of the South — with its large share of poor blacks — make it easy to say race is an issue when it is not.
In Mississippi, Republican leaders note that a large share of people in the state are on Medicaid already, and that, with an expansion, about a third of the state would have been insured through the program. Even supporters of the health law say that eventually covering 10 percent of that cost would have been onerous for a predominantly rural state with a modest tax base.
“Any additional cost in Medicaid is going to be too much,” said State Senator Chris McDaniel, a Republican, who opposes expansion.
30 million eligible for help
The law was written to require all Americans to have health coverage. For lower and middle-income earners, there are subsidies on the new health exchanges to help them afford insurance. An expanded Medicaid program was intended to cover the poorest. In all, about 30 million uninsured Americans were to have become eligible for financial help.
But the Supreme Court’s ruling on the health care law last year, while upholding it, allowed states to choose whether to expand Medicaid. Those that opted not to leave about eight million uninsured people who live in poverty ($19,530 for a family of three) without any assistance at all.
Poor people excluded from the Medicaid expansion will not be subject to fines for lacking coverage. In all, about 14 million eligible Americans are uninsured and living in poverty, the Times analysis found.
The federal government provided the tally of how many states were not expanding Medicaid for the first time on Tuesday. It included states like New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee that might still decide to expand Medicaid before coverage takes effect in January. If those states go forward, the number would change, but the trends that emerged in the analysis would be similar.
Mississippi has the largest percentage of poor and uninsured people in the country — 13 percent. Willie Charles Carter, an unemployed 53-year-old whose most recent job was as a maintenance worker at a public school, has had problems with his leg since surgery last year.
His income is below Mississippi’s ceiling for Medicaid — which is about $3,000 a year — but he has no dependent children, so he does not qualify. And his income is too low to make him eligible for subsidies on the federal health exchange.
“You got to be almost dead before you can get Medicaid in Mississippi,” he said.
He does not know what he will do when the clinic where he goes for medical care, the Good Samaritan Health Center in Greenville, closes next month because of lack of funding.
“I’m scared all the time,” he said. “I just walk around here with faith in God to take care of me.”
Less-generous safety nets
The states that did not expand Medicaid have less generous safety nets: For adults with children, the median income limit for Medicaid is just under half of the federal poverty level — or about $5,600 a year for an individual — while in states that are expanding, it is above the poverty line, or about $12,200, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. There is little or no coverage of childless adults in the states not expanding, Kaiser said.
The New York Times analysis excluded immigrants in the country illegally and those foreign-born residents who would not be eligible for benefits under Medicaid expansion. It included people who are uninsured even though they qualify for Medicaid in its current form.
Blacks are disproportionately affected, largely because more of them are poor and living in Southern states. In all, 6 out of 10 blacks live in the states not expanding Medicaid. In Mississippi, 56 percent of all poor and uninsured adults are black, though they account for just 38 percent of the population.
Dr. Aaron Shirley, a physician who has worked for better health care for blacks in Mississippi, said that the history of segregation and violence against blacks still informs the way people see one another, particularly in the South, making some whites reluctant to support programs that they believe benefit blacks.
That is compounded by the country’s rapidly changing demographics, Dr. Geiger said, in which minorities will eventually become a majority, a pattern that has produced a profound cultural unease, particularly when it has collided with economic insecurity.
Dr. Shirley said: “If you look at the history of Mississippi, politicians have used race to oppose minimum wage, Head Start, all these social programs. It’s a tactic that appeals to people who would rather suffer themselves than see a black person benefit.”
Opponents of the expansion bristled at the suggestion that race had anything to do with their position. State Senator Giles Ward of Mississippi, a Republican, called the idea that race was a factor “preposterous,” and said that with the demographics of the South — large shares of poor people and, in particular, poor blacks — “you can argue pretty much any way you want.”
The decision not to expand Medicaid will also hit the working poor. Claretha Briscoe earns just under $11,000 a year making fried chicken and other fast food at a convenience store in Hollandale, Miss., too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to get subsidies on the new health exchange. She had a heart attack in 2002 that a local hospital treated as part of its charity care program.
“I skip months on my blood pressure pills,” said Ms. Briscoe, 48, who visited the Good Samaritan Health Center last week because she was having chest pains. “I buy them when I can afford them.”
About half of poor and uninsured Hispanics live in states that are expanding Medicaid. But Texas, which has a large Hispanic population, rejected the expansion. Gladys Arbila, a housekeeper in Houston who earns $17,000 a year and supports two children, is under the poverty line and therefore not eligible for new subsidies. But she makes too much to qualify for Medicaid under the state’s rules. She recently spent 36 hours waiting in the emergency room for a searing pain in her back.
This story, "Millions of Poor Are Left Uncovered by Health Law," was originally published in the New York Times.The American people are being played by corporate pols from both sides. Republicans are playing the mandate side of the policy as bad while they would have done the same thing. Why do you think conservative Roberts on the Supreme Court voted for it? The mandate is all about sending hundreds of billions in profit to the health insurance industry in premiums while the ACA limits the ability of most people to use the insurance. IT IS ALL ABOUT PROFIT!
We heard Sebelius shout out to a conservative reporter saying that young people are not signing because they see these plans are bad deals -----THEY WILL BUY IT BECAUSE THE MANDATE IS LAW. SO IF THEY ARE NOT BUYING IT NOW THEY WILL WHEN THE DEFAULT BECOMES ABOUT $600 IN 2016!
WHAT A CORPORATE PROFIT CHEERLEADER SEBELIUS IS!
NO WONDER OBAMA NOMINATED A NEO-LIBERAL FROM THE MOST CONSERVATIVE STATE....KANSAS ....TO BE HEALTH SECRETARY!
The good news is everyone is now heading to Universal Care with Expanded and Improved Medicare for All! IF THEY WANT TO MANDATE INSURANCE-----WE WILL TAKE THIS STATE BY STATE! Obamacare's Fatal Flaw
Updated: Tuesday, November 19 2013, 11:45 AM EST WBFF/\Baltimore
The roll-out of Obamacare has been plagued with technological setbacks and lower-than-expected enrollment, prompting an apology from President Barack Obama. "We fumbled the rollout on this healthcare law," Obama said last week, after millions of Americans were kicked off their existing health insurance plans despite presidential assurances to the contrary. But insurance broker Ari Gross says an apology might not fix the mess that has engulfed the Affordable Care Act. That's because almost half his clients have lost their insurance, fallout from the new law he's not sure can be fixed. "It's such a large animal at this point, I don't even know if there's a way to tweak it," Gross said. "In theory we could go back today, but there is no reset button." The problem, he says, is the underlying premise of the law that healthy people were supposed to sign up to subsidize care for everyone else. "The reality is, this system right now, it simply can't work because our young population - which is vital to the success of the system - they're not buying it," Gross said. It's a fatal flaw in the law that may come down to numbers. The Obama administration estimates it needs 2.7 million young healthy adults to sign up in the first year to make the law work, but so far only 100,000 people have enrolled, with no word yet on how much this small number is made up of young, healthy adults. In Maryland only 1,700 people have signed up for plans. At the same time, Medicaid enrollment is drastically higher -- people who aren't paying into the system. The lack of interest among the young and healthy and the growing Medicaid numbers do not come as a surprise to Towson Economics Professor Thomas Rhoads. "These young people, they're making an economic decision, a cost-benefit analysis already," Rhoads noted. He says the low participation rate reveals what he believes to be the true purpose of Obamacare. "I think when we really get to the heart of the matter Obamacare is really about insurance reform, not really about healthcare reform," Rhoads said. It could lead to more drastic changes. "The fee that people are paying if they do not get individual health insurance for them or their families, it's a tax according to the Supreme Court," Rhoads said. "So why didn't they just use a tax that's increased on everybody in order to get Medicare applied to more people?" A single payer system, says Jeff Singer, adjunct professor of public policy at University of Maryland, would ultimately save money. "In the United States roughly 30% of all healthcare dollars are spent on administrative costs," Singer said. "That's close to $800 billion a year that doesn't go to healthcare." Still, Gross says he worries a system without private insurance could do more harm than good. "We're on the cutting edge of medicine; this is where everything is happening," Gross said. "That's because we have a system where people paid for their service. Once we turn this into a federal system where's the motivation?" Even if he's not sure that the current law can be salvaged "This was revolutionary, but it was not built properly," Gross said. But Singer counters that health insurance may simply be obsolete. "I think 30 years from now we will think of private insurance in the same way that we think about blacksmiths," Singer said. "It was an activity that had a lot of use in a society in a particular historical time." To illustrate just how much ground Obamacare has to make up, as of November 1 nearly 81,000 Marylanders have enrolled in Medicaid, while only 3,000 have signed up for private insurance._____________________________________________
The capture of public forums like public media where all this discussion would occur is forcing lots of new venues so the word is out. I liked the FOX report with
We need to be clear about what single-payer looks like. What Obama and neo-liberals are pressing will be almost all American citizens on a Medicaid level coverage-----in fact EJ DIONNE, a neo-liberal pundit came out and said it----expand Medicaid for All. That is what these state health systems are for; pushing both Medicaid and Medicare from Federal programs to state programs that all look like Medicaid. Remember, Medicaid is no longer a Federal program. It was severely gutted of funding and sent to the states to administer as they want with very little Federal oversight. Now, Medicaid looks like a public health program that gives little access to anything other than preventative care.
The American people are being played by corporate pols from both sides. Republicans are playing the mandate side of the policy as bad while they would have done the same thing. Why do you think conservative Roberts on the Supreme Court voted for it? The mandate is all about sending hundreds of billions in profit to the health insurance industry in premiums while the ACA limits the ability of most people to use the insurance. IT IS ALL ABOUT PROFIT!
We heard Sebelius shout out to a conservative reporter saying that young people are not signing because they see these plans are bad deals -----THEY WILL BUY IT BECAUSE THE MANDATE IS LAW. SO IF THEY ARE NOT BUYING IT NOW THEY WILL WHEN THE DEFAULT BECOMES ABOUT $600 IN 2016!
WHAT A CORPORATE PROFIT CHEERLEADER SEBELIUS IS!
NO WONDER OBAMA NOMINATED A NEO-LIBERAL FROM THE MOST CONSERVATIVE STATE....KANSAS ....TO BE HEALTH SECRETARY!
The good news is everyone is now heading to Universal Care with Expanded and Improved Medicare for All! IF THEY WANT TO MANDATE INSURANCE-----WE WILL TAKE THIS STATE BY STATE! SINGLE-PAYER ADVOCATES ARE SAYING 'EXPANDED AND IMPROVED MEDICARE FOR ALL'
Open Society Institute (OSI) - Baltimore : Audacious Thinking For Lasting Playing For CHANGE
A sweeping national effort to extend health coverage to millions of Americans will leave out two-thirds of the poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the low-wage workers who do not have insurance, the very kinds of people that the program was intended to help, according to an analysis of census data by The New York Times.osted by Jeff Singer on February 21st, 2011 at 8:02 am
My automobile’s engine was sputtering. The mechanic called to report that it had been repaired; however, a glance under the hood revealed that the engine had been expanded with more cylinders and carburetors, but still ran raggedly. “It would have been cheaper to replace it, but we wouldn’t have made as much profit.”
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [PPACA], last year’s Federal health care reform, is like that jerry-built engine. It will reduce the number of people without health insurance, but in the most costly manner possible. The House of Representatives recently voted to repeal the legislation, yet they ignore the most efficient way forward: a single payer system.
Health care in the U.S. costs more than anywhere else in the world, but our life expectancy ranks 49th (according to that radical group the CIA). Generally, nations with higher life expectancy have truly universal coverage and, unlike ObamaCare, private insurance plays only an ancillary role.
If health care were privately delivered but had one payer, hundreds of billions of dollars wouldn’t be wasted on paperwork, advertisements, and administration. Doctors, hospitals, and clinics like Health Care for the Homeless wouldn’t worry about which clients were eligible for what services. Rather we could use our limited resources to deliver the care that people need.
The PPACA does not replace, but rather expands the existing dysfunctional system. Everyone will be required to pay for the enormous paperwork costs and profits that grow as private insurance expands.
An audacious idea: consider health care as a public good like fire protection. A scene in Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York demonstrates the point: rival firefighters allow a building to burn because the owner didn’t pay either of them. Our ancestors eventually discovered that rather than being a profit center, fire protection ought to be a public service. We have learned the same lesson with the police, education, and food safety. Let’s apply it now to health care.
In health care as in so many other aspects of our society, we need a complete overhaul, not just a larger, but still dysfunctional, system.