I am going to talk this week about what some people tell me NO ONE CARES-----people being made homeless as all safety net structures disappear---which is what Obama and global Clinton neo-liberals and neo-cons in Congress did these several years-----pretending to do it for budget reasons----when the structural budget deficits at all level of government are from corporate fraud and government corruption.
The homeownership rate has plunged more than people realize
Updated by Matthew Yglesias on December 12, 2015, 9:00 a.m. ET VOX
After the housing bubble pushed up homeownership rates to historic highs, we've crashed to a new historic low in homeownership — at least for non-retired Americans. That's according to the latest State of the Nation's Housing report from Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies, which shows that aggregate numbers mislead.
First up, the report shows a chart illustrating a trend that gets circulated a lot — homeownership spiked because of the mortgage lending boom, and now has reverted to its normal level:
But a big underlying trend in America these days is the growing number of senior citizens. The report shows that if you break out homeownership by age bracket, the "return to normal" is really an illusion. Old people are more likely than ever to own a home — and more numerous in the population — but younger cohorts are all owning homes at abnormally low levels.
Joint Center for Housing Studies
One upshot of this is that the 55-to-64 cohort, in particular, is even worse prepared for retirement than a conventional scan of financial assets held in 401(k) and IRA plans would reveal. Older homeowners have typically paid down a large share of their mortgage and have successfully turned their house into a savings vehicle, but the unusually low level of homeownership among Americans of this approximate age means that won't be available to them.
We need to remind ourselves that Wall Street and Clinton neo-liberals/ Bush/Hopkins neo-cons deliberately deregulated and privatized the Federal Housing Agency just so Wall Street private loans would be secured by taxpayer money---that allowing them to subprime the entire industry into fraud----just to move real estate to the top. Much of the fraud was sent to HUD/Fannie Mae just so taxpayers would take the hit----and below you see----several years later it is HUD and FHA homeowners still going into foreclosure. The primary cause after getting rid of the 'anyone with a pulse' group mortgage loan originators simply used to get commissions and fees----is long-term unemployment.
Maryland was hit the hardest because it was ground zero for the MERS end of this fraud----and Maryland has no structures protecting the public----so it was a free-for-all for Wall Street and Johns Hopkins whose endowment was tied to the AIG fraud.
As the articles below state------the largest sector still keeping their homes are seniors and they are heavily invested in reverse mortgages----so these homes will not stay in family----homeownership will take a big dive in just a few years.
Home Ownership Rate Falls to 20-Year LowDaily Real Estate News | Friday, January 30, 2015The U.S. home ownership rate posted declines across all four regions of the U.S. in the fourth quarter, plunging to its lowest level since the third quarter of 1994. But a sharp rebound in household formation during the quarter has more economists optimistic that a turnaround in the home ownership rate is on the horizon.
The home ownership rate fell from 64.3 percent in the third quarter to 63.9 percent in the fourth quarter, reaching a 20-month low, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. In 2004, the home ownership rate peaked at 69.4 percent.
'Thousands of great deals nationwide.
HUD Homes, Foreclosures and Pre Foreclosures.
336 listings in and around 21218'
Homeownership rate plummets
By Tim Mak
10/06/11 02:45 PM EDT
Over the past decade, homeownership has dropped by the largest margin since the Great Depression, the Census Bureau said Thursday.
Homeownership fell to 65.1 percent nationally in 2010, down from 66.2 percent in 2000, a new Census Bureau analysis says.
The decline of 1.1 percentage points over 10 years was the most drastic change since the Depression period of 1930 to 1940, when the homeownership rate dropped by 4 percentage points over 10 years to 43.6 percent.
Despite a dramatic drop in homeownership from 2000 to 2010, homeownership still remains relatively high when compared to other periods in American history. This is because levels of ownership were at historic highs when the housing crisis began.
The 66.2 percent homeownership rate in 2000 was the highest ever recorded by the Census Bureau, and so even with a large drop over the past decade, the current level of homeownership is still the second highest ever recorded.
Throughout much of U.S. history, homeownership was much lower than it is now. Indeed, from the 1890s to 1940s, homeownership was around 45 percent. A huge jump in homeownership in the 1950s started to make the figure rise, a trend that continued until the past decade.
Much of the decline in homeownership in the past decade can be explained by the bursting of the housing bubble and the subprime mortgage crisis. With many homeowners “underwater” on their mortgages, some have decided to give up ownership of their homes for other forms of tenure, such as renting or short-term housing.
While the FED pretended there was a housing recovery to justify all the manipulations of the market designed to maximize wealth for the rich and used housing to do it-------the housing gains were almost exclusively developers buying bulk foreclosure tranches-----and foreign rich allowed to launder the loot from fraud in their nation----as Wall Street and the US rich laundered money from the fraud here in overseas real estate. So, there was steady declines in homeownership on main street-----while the rich drove this FED 'housing recovery'.
I wanted to remind people of the coming economic crash from the bond market fraud----designed to be long and deep just to move more Americans into poverty and ergo----without homes.
When I speak of homelessness and the dismantling of the Federal safety nets that would protect the homeless----which is what Obama and Clinton neo-liberals did these several years........IT VERY WELL INCLUDES OVER 80% OF AMERICANS AND/OR THEIR FAMILIES. So, if you are a class and race person thinking all this doesn't matter because it is hitting people of color the most----WAKE UP----
AT THIS POINT IT IS WHITE PROFESSIONALS WHO ARE AMONG THE MIDDLE-CLASS BEING KILLED NOW AND NEXT DECADE.
In Many Cities, Rent Is Rising Out of Reach of Middle Class
By SHAILA DEWANAPRIL 14, 2014
PhotoChristine Menedis tours a condominium in Miami Beach that rents for $7,000 a month. In Miami, average rents consume 43 percent of the typical household income, up from a historical average of just over a quarter. Credit Angel Valentin for The New York Times
MIAMI — For rent and utilities to be considered affordable, they are supposed to take up no more than 30 percent of a household’s income. But that goal is increasingly unattainable for middle-income families as a tightening market pushes up rents ever faster, outrunning modest rises in pay.
The strain is not limited to the usual high-cost cities like New York and San Francisco. An analysis for The New York Times by Zillow, the real estate website, found 90 cities where the median rent — not including utilities — was more than 30 percent of the median gross income.
In Chicago, rent as a percentage of income has risen to 31 percent, from a historical average of 21 percent. In New Orleans, it has more than doubled, to 35 percent from 14 percent. Zillow calculated the historical average using data from 1985 to 2000.
Nationally, half of all renters are now spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing, according to a comprehensive Harvard study, up from 38 percent of renters in 2000. In December, Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan declared “the worst rental affordability crisis that this country has ever known.”
Arturo Breton, left, and Aurelio Medina consult their smartphones during an apartment rental search. Credit Angel Valentin for The New York Times
Apartment vacancy rates have dropped so low that forecasters at Capital Economics, a research firm, said rents could rise, on average, as much as 4 percent this year, compared with 2.8 percent last year. But rents are rising faster than that in many cities even as overall inflation is running at little more than 1 percent annually.
One of the most expensive cities for renters is Miami, where rents, on average, consume 43 percent of the typical household income, up from a historical average of just over a quarter.
Stella Santamaria, a divorced 40-year-old math teacher, has been looking for an apartment in Miami for more than six months. “We’re kind of sick of talking about it,” she said of herself and fellow teachers in the same boat. “It’s like, are you still living with your mom? Yeah, are you? Yeah.” After 11 years as a teacher, Ms. Santamaria makes $41,000, considerably less than the city’s median income, which is $48,000, according to Zillow.
Even dual-income professional couples are being priced out of the walkable urban-core neighborhoods where many of them want to live. Stuart Kennedy, 29, a senior program officer at a nonprofit group, said he and his girlfriend, a lawyer, will be losing their $2,300 a month rental house in Buena Vista in June. Since they found the place a year ago, rents in the area have increased sharply.
“If you go by a third of your income, that formula, even with how comfortable our incomes are, it looks like it’s going to be impossible,” Mr. Kennedy said.
Least Affordable Rents
The United States is experiencing a rent affordability crisis. Here are the 20 cities where rents are highest relative to median gross income:
Median rent as a share
of median income
College Station, Tex.
Santa Cruz, Calif.
San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Santa Rosa, Calif.
Punta Gorda, Fla.
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Ocean City, N.J.
Part of the reason for the squeeze on renters is simple demand — between 2007 and 2013 the United States added, on net, about 6.2 million tenants, compared with 208,000 homeowners, said Stan Humphries, the chief economist of Zillow.
That trend is continuing as young people and doubled-up families move out on their own. “They’re creating a lot of incremental demand,” Mr. Humphries said. But new households rarely plunge straight into homeownership, especially given that mortgages are much harder to obtain than they were before the financial crisis. “The expectation is that when they strike out into their own units they’ll be moving into rental as opposed to the owner side,” he said.
And as rents head higher in the tightest markets, many are discovering that living on their own is proving unaffordable, forcing them to double up again. Arturo Breton, a 37-year-old waiter in Miami Beach, said that after years living on his own, he was joining forces with a roommate who works as a manager at J. C. Penney. “I’ve come down to the conclusion that in this country, it’s easier for two people to pay the rent than for one person,” he said.
For many middle- and lower-income people, high rents choke spending on other goods and services, impeding the economic recovery. Low-income families that spend more than half their income on housing spend about a third less on food, 50 percent less on clothing, and 80 percent less on medical care compared with low-income families with affordable rents, according to a new report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. And renters amass less wealth, even non-housing wealth, than homeowners do.
The problem threatens to get worse before it gets better. Apartment builders have raced to build more units, creating a wave of supply that is beginning to crest. Miami added 2,500 rental apartments last year, and 7,500 more are expected in the next two years, according to the CoStar Group, a real estate research firm.
The city's rents on average consume 43 percent of the typical household income, up from a historical average of just over a quarter. Credit Angel Valentin for The New York Times
But demand has shown no signs of slackening. And as long as there are plenty of upper-income renters looking for apartments, there is little incentive to build anything other than expensive units. As a result, there are in effect two separate rental markets that are so far apart in price that they have little impact on each other. In one extreme case, a glut of new luxury apartments in Washington has pushed high-end rents down, even while midrange rents continue to rise.
“Increasing the supply is not going to increase the number of affordable units; that is a complete and utter fallacy,” said Jaimie Ross, the president of the Florida Housing Coalition. “People say if there really was a great need, the market would provide it; the market would correct itself. Well, the market has never corrected itself and it’s only getting worse.”
Money for affordable housing has dried up at a time when it is needed most. Federal housing funds, in a form now known as HOME grants, have been cut in half over the last decade. The percentage of eligible families who receive rental subsidies has shrunk, to 23.8 percent from 27.4 percent, the Harvard study found. And Florida, which like other states faced large budget shortfalls after the financial crisis, has raided its housing trust fund, funded by a real estate transfer tax, for several years running. This year, the Legislature has proposed restoring at least part of the money.
Cities have been left to address the problem on their own, with some granting exceptions to their own zoning laws to allow for things like micro-apartments. Miami has allowed some variances to its urban plan for projects like Brickell View Terrace, which will have 176 units in a prime location near a Metrorail station. Ninety of the units will be affordable for people making 60 percent of the median income, 10 for people making less, and the rest will be market rate.
But a seemingly insatiable demand for luxury condos in Miami, created in part by wealthy Latin Americans, has caused land prices to soar, making affordable housing projects harder to build anywhere close to downtown. Moving farther out is cheaper, but the cost savings on housing can be quickly wiped out by transportation costs. A 2012 study by the Center for Housing Policy found that Miami was the most expensive metropolitan area in the country when housing and transportation costs were combined.
In many markets, buying a home is considerably cheaper than renting, and Miami is no exception. But many people are shut out of buying because their income is too low, they don’t qualify for a mortgage or they are burdened by other debt. In 2008, a quarter of rental applicants were still paying off student loans, according to CoreLogic, but as of last fall half of them were doing so.
Steve Gunn, 25, the marketing director for a Miami real estate brokerage firm, said he could certainly afford an apartment on his salary of $52,500 — if he weren’t paying more than $800 a month in student loan debt. Instead, he commutes 90 minutes to work. From his mother’s house.
Correction: April 19, 2014
A chart on Tuesday with the continuation of an article about rising rents that are out of the reach of the middle class misstated the time span of the data shown. The chart tracked the rise of median rent in various cities from the first quarter of 2000 through the fourth quarter of 2013, not the third.
'Among the other 10 programs, two are mandatory grants to states - child care and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families - and the remaining eight are programs funded through annual appropriations, including public housing and Section 8 housing vouchers'.
Clinton/Obama neo-liberals love to install Republican policy that they pretend the Republicans push-----Republicans are claiming charity will replace Federal safety net agency funding. Everyone knows the reason people are losing their housing is deliberate attacks on our economy and Obama and Clinton neo-liberals allowing massive corporate fraud go unaddressed-----THE POLS RUNNING AS DEMOCRATS SERVING AS REPUBLICANS---THE NEO-LIBERALS---ARE ALLOWING PEOPLE TO FALL INTO POVERTY AND LOSING THEIR HOMES.
All of this allows Republicans to install their policies----eliminate safety nets making it sound like good policy for the people---when all the policies have to do with deregulating and profiteering by corporations.
'The Chairman's proposal requires federal agencies to analyze whether proposed regulations would overly burden low-income households. The proposal specifically highlights energy regulations and the disproportionate burden they impose on low-income households. His plan claims to "protect low-income communities against an overzealous bureaucracy" and "allow Congress to reclaim some of the authority currently abused by some regulatory agencies."'
Keep in mind-----no one deregulates more than Clinton/Obama neo-liberals because they are the best Republicans ever!!!!!! All these excuses to end social safety nets will be approved because Clinton neo-liberals have since Clinton ended more New Deal and War on Poverty than Republicans.
I will talk next week about what all this looks like as Baltimore has installed never installed New Deal or safety nets----and charities are not given oversight so there is absolutely no way for those needing help to navigate the system ----and Baltimore City Council and Mayor----and Baltimore Maryland Assembly pols working for a very neo-conservative Johns Hopkins and Wall Street Baltimore Development pushed all these safety net killing policies.
Most of the War on Poverty programs were already cut during Obama's terms.....please just glance through because Clinton neo-liberals go with Republican policy all the time.
Chairman Ryan’s Poverty Plan Eliminates Crucial Safety-Net Guarantees, Opens Door to Republican Budget’s Deep Cuts
Budget Committee Chairman Ryan on July 24 released his own plan to address poverty. The plan contains some promising provisions that merit further discussion, but there is a fundamental disconnect between the rhetoric of the plan and the reality of Chairman Ryan's 2015 Republican budget resolution. While the poverty plan claims to be budget-neutral, the budget guts the safety net. Two-thirds of the budget's $5 trillion in spending cuts over ten years come from programs that benefit low- and moderate-income families. The core idea in the Chairman's plan has been around for years: consolidate federal safety-net programs into a block grant to states, which will be easier to cut in future budgets than programs that help a clearly defined set of individuals.
Some aspects of the plan have merit. For instance, the plan embraces ongoing bipartisan legislation to address known problems in the criminal justice system, such as inflexible mandatory minimum sentencing laws and the need to improve rehabilitation programs to reduce recidivism. The plan also supports the President's proposal to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for childless workers, a policy also endorsed by Congressional Democrats. And it supports evidence-based policy development by improving the data available to researchers. There is room here for Democrats and Republicans to work together to make improvements.
But the parts of the plan overhauling safety-net programs, education funding, and federal regulations raise serious concerns. The proposal is also notable for what it leaves out. It rejects raising the minimum wage. There are no new resources for activities where the need far outpaces available funds, such as affordable child care and quality pre-school programs. There is no provision to extend certain expiring tax credit provisions that help millions of low-wage workers and their families stay out of poverty. In fact, just one day after the Chairman released his plan, House Republicans held a vote to increase the Child Tax Credit for higher-income families while failing to extend the provisions that help low-income families - a policy choice that will increase, not reduce, poverty.
Actions speak louder than words, and the actions of the House Republican majority, through their votes, show what their priorities really are: slash programs that help the poor and middle class, while protecting tax breaks for powerful special interests.
Transform Safety-Net Services into One Block Grant
The core of Chairman Ryan's proposal is the "Opportunity Grant," which would combine the funding streams from 11 existing programs. The largest of these programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), provides guaranteed food assistance to any individual who meets specified eligibility criteria. The proposal would take away that guarantee, by eliminating the individual entitlement to these benefits and merging SNAP into a system of cash block grants to states. SNAP has been enormously successful at reducing hunger and malnutrition in the United States, especially among children. Taking away the SNAP guarantee puts this success at serious risk. Among the other 10 programs, two are mandatory grants to states - child care and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families - and the remaining eight are programs funded through annual appropriations, including public housing and Section 8 housing vouchers.
States could volunteer to receive the new block grant as a pilot project. If they choose to participate, states would need to submit a plan for approval that meets four conditions:
- Funds could only be used to move people out of poverty and into independence and not diverted to other state needs. It is not clear if states would be required to maintain their current spending on behalf of their low-income residents. Without such a maintenance-of-effort requirement, states could substitute the new federal stream for some of their own spending, thus freeing funds for other purposes and reducing the overall level of state and federal resources dedicated to helping people in need.
- Able-bodied recipients would have to work or engage in work-related activities, and they would face time limits on assistance. There is no discussion of what happens to people who cannot find appropriate placements, or their children. While the U.S. unemployment rate is coming down, there are still two job seekers for every available job. The Chairman's plan, just like the Republican budget, does not provide resources to ensure that jobs will be available. It could lead to people being penalized simply because they cannot find a job.
- States would be required to encourage innovation and give aid recipients a choice of service providers by contracting with non-governmental groups to deliver benefits. States already have extensive flexibility, through federal waivers and other means, to innovate in service delivery. The Chairman's plan may lead some governors to view flexibility as a license simply to reduce or eliminate important safety-net benefits.
- State plans must provide for an independent third-party evaluation. There is bipartisan support for the principle of developing programs and policies based on evidence. The Obama Administration has put an emphasis on supporting innovation and evidence-based decision making to use government resources most effectively and get better results for those in need.
For those who do need additional services, it is not clear how the new grant could provide for them without weakening the safety net for others. Existing funding for child care, for example, serves only 18 percent of federally eligible children. The lack of affordable, quality child care is one of the biggest barriers to work low-income families face. The plan seems to be predicated on the idea that resources for things like more child care could be freed up by reducing or ending benefits from other low-income people eligible for and receiving federal benefits such as SNAP. Stated differently, if some individuals receive more benefits under the grant, like child care, other individuals could see their benefits, like food assistance, cut.
Chairman Ryan argues that giving service providers the ability to "customize" benefits to individuals seeking help will address a concern about benefit "cliffs" - sudden drops in a person's federal benefits that can occur due to a small increase in earnings. It is unlikely that customizing benefits would adequately address the cliff issue. If the problem is that income supports phase out too quickly or steeply - before a person earns enough money to manage well without them - then fixing the problem requires more funding, not less. Moreover, the Chairman supports repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which eliminated one of the most significant benefit cliffs (especially in states that have expanded Medicaid eligibility) by allowing workers to maintain eligibility for financial assistance for health insurance coverage on a sliding scale up to 400 percent of poverty.
The proposal claims to be deficit-neutral, but it is unclear how that would work in practice. Under the proposal, states would receive a fixed amount of funding for the year. Under current law, the amount of money going to each state for SNAP is not determined in advance - it depends on the number of eligible people who apply for benefits in that state. As economic conditions or other factors change, the SNAP amount going to a state goes up or down. This automatic stabilizer not only helps keep food on the table of struggling families who receive SNAP, but also helps the overall economy by keeping more money in the economy at a time when demand is low. This feature would be lost under the pilot project. The proposal discusses several options for creating a counter-cyclical component if this were fully implemented nationwide, but none would respond in real time in the way that SNAP currently does.
Even if the counter-cyclical component of SNAP could be duplicated by a block grant, the history of block grants suggests that the Opportunity Grant is likely to fail to grow to offset cost increases and is likely to become a target for budget cuts. Ironically, in this very proposal, Chairman Ryan proposes to eliminate the Social Services Block Grant, which already provides a flexible funding source for states to address the needs of low-income communities. And the Republican budget includes nearly $300 billion in cuts to the programs identified for inclusion within the Grant. If the proposal became law, the deficit neutrality is very likely to give way to pressure to achieve savings.
EITC for Workers without Children
Chairman Ryan's plan includes a proposal to expand the EITC for workers without children (the "childless EITC"). This provision is nearly identical to a proposal by President Obama and House Democrats, underscoring the emerging consensus that a stronger EITC is needed to increase opportunity and labor force participation among workers without children. However, a key difference is how the increase is paid for, and whether it works in tandem with or in opposition to other anti-poverty policies.
The proposal would double the maximum amount of the "childless EITC" (which also includes non-custodial parents), raise the income level above which the credit phases out, and reduce the minimum age from 25 to 21. Chairman Ryan's proposal differs from the President's in that it keeps the maximum age for claiming the childless EITC at 65, while the President increases it to 67 to keep pace with increases in the Social Security retirement age. The Chairman's proposal emphasizes that the EITC provision is an alternative to raising the minimum wage, while President Obama and Democrats believe that a higher minimum wage and a more robust EITC are complementary policies to lift working families out of poverty. The expansion of the childless EITC is included in the President's budget and the House Democratic budget, but not in Chairman Ryan's House Republican budget.
The President's EITC proposal costs $61 billion over ten years and is offset by closing certain tax loopholes for high-income taxpayers. The Chairman's policy presumably costs slightly less. He would pay for it by eliminating many programs that he deems ineffective, including the Social Services Block Grant, the Economic Development Administration, various USDA programs, and subsidies for "favored energy technologies."  It also denies the refundable Child Tax Credit to taxpayers filing with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, eliminating the credit for about 5 million low-income families with children - children who are mostly U.S. citizens.
Despite emphasizing the EITC's successful record of rewarding work and combatting poverty, Chairman Ryan's plan does not address the fate of recent improvements to the EITC that are scheduled to expire after 2017 or a related improvement to the Child Tax Credit for low-income working parents. And, in fact, the House Republican leadership brought a bill to the floor on July 25 to increase the Child Tax Credit for higher-income families while failing to extend the provisions that help lower-income families.
The expiration of these provisions would reduce refundable tax credits for working families by more than twice as much as the "childless EITC" proposal expands them. It would have the effect of increasing marginal tax rates on many low-wage workers, worsening the EITC marriage penalty, and taking away the additional EITC amount for families with three or more children. Allowing the EITC and Child Tax Credit improvements to expire would push 17 million people, including 8 million children, into or deeper into poverty. About 800,000 veteran and armed-forces families would lose all or part of their Child Tax Credit or EITC.
Beyond the Opportunity Grant, the proposal condenses many deliberately targeted federal education and job training programs into just a few block grants that states can use in ways that may not achieve the existing goals. This would reduce the number of federal programs and give states the ability to use the federal funds for other purposes, but it is not clear how that will reduce poverty, improve education, or help people train for and find jobs. And while the proposal claims that it does not reduce education funding, it does eliminate and consolidate many programs - just as laid out in the House Republican budget, which cut more than $360 billion in funding over ten years from education and job training.
For example, the House-passed Republican budget cut the federal investment in higher education by $260 billion below the level needed to continue current policy over ten years, with $145 billion alone cut from Pell grants. Yet this proposal states that "Pell grants help more students go to college."  It goes on to eliminate the $733 million annually appropriated for the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant - in essence, a block grant with a matching requirement to colleges who have the flexibility to award it to needy students, which is just the type of grant Chairman Ryan advocates in education and other budget areas - to use the funding for Pell grants instead. In general, this proposal argues that federal college aid restricts access to education by encouraging higher tuition, and that programs that reduce student loan debt "would make things worse" by encouraging "reckless borrowing." Therefore, like the Republican budget that raised the cost of student loans to the neediest students, the proposal caps some loans, restructures income-based repayment programs, and hints at a return to bank-financed loans.
The Chairman's proposal requires federal agencies to analyze whether proposed regulations would overly burden low-income households. The proposal specifically highlights energy regulations and the disproportionate burden they impose on low-income households. His plan claims to "protect low-income communities against an overzealous bureaucracy" and "allow Congress to reclaim some of the authority currently abused by some regulatory agencies."  If an agency finds regressive effects from a regulation, the rule could not take effect without advance Congressional approval unless it involves an immediate risk to public health or safety. This would allow Congress to block regulations simply by failing to approve them. A minority of the Senate could effectively block the President's ability to execute existing laws.
Almost any regulation could theoretically be argued to have a disproportionate impact on low-income households. It is easy to see how a Republican Congress could use the process Chairman Ryan proposes to block the Administration from enforcing laws such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act that protect the health of all Americans, including low-income households.
The plan creates a private right of action to enforce these requirements if an agency bypasses them. This would allow businesses or anyone opposed to regulations to sue - or finance a suit by a more sympathetic party. This could further tie up regulations in the court system.
Taken together, these steps would be a radical attack on the Executive Branch's ability to use its regulatory powers to implement existing laws. It would make the regulatory process more unwieldy, give businesses and other opponents of regulation a further tool to oppose regulations in court, and allow Congress to block an Administration's effort to execute a law by simply failing to approve it.
The Chairman's plan argues that state and local occupational licensing requirements have encroached across a broad swath of low-wage occupations, creating barriers to entry for low-income workers without any real public health or safety justification. The plan does not call for federal preemption of occupational licensing requirements, consistent with its principle of devolving authority to lower levels of government. It is notable that the plan criticizes what state and local governments have done in this area even as it urges the federal government to devolve more responsibilities to those levels of government in other areas. The critique of occupational licensing begs the question of whether state and local efforts to select groups to work with in administering the plan's Opportunity Grants would be hindered by the same sorts of crony capitalism and rent-seeking behavior that have contributed to the occupational licensing problem that the plan identifies and criticizes.
I am in a battle in Baltimore already because of the effects of these Affordable Care Act and Federal cuts to hospital subsidies. These are already killing thousands of citizens across the nation and Baltimore is in crisis as people start dying on the street.
This Federal subsidy is what allowed the poor/or anyone to go to emergency rooms without insurance and get quality care----with the hospital getting these Federal funds in return. Now, Obama and Clinton neo-liberals are pretending Affordable Care Act was about INSURING Americans----but what everyone knows already----is insurance does not mean access to health care. So, already citizens are being used for profit by hospital emergency rooms who pretend to accept everyone but have already installed policies that push people right out ---or do not allow them in at all.
The rise in people going to emergency rooms over these few decades came because of the closing of public hospitals------now they are eliminating access altogether at the same time pushing for over 80% of Americans to be impoverished.
Cuts in Hospital Subsidies Threaten Safety-Net Care
By SABRINA TAVERNISENOV. 8, 2013
Donna Atkins has no insurance and went two years with what she thought was a sore throat. She recently had cancer surgery. Credit Stephen Morton for The New York Times
SAVANNAH, Ga. — The uninsured pour into Memorial Health hospital here: the waitress with cancer in her voice box who for two years assumed she just had a sore throat. The unemployed diabetic with a wound stretching the length of her shin. The construction worker who could no longer breathe on his own after weeks of untreated asthma attacks and had to be put on a respirator.
Many of these patients were expected to gain health coverage under the Affordable Care Act through a major expansion of Medicaid, the medical insurance program for the poor. But after the Supreme Court in 2012 gave states the right to opt out, Georgia, like about half the states, almost all of them Republican-led, refused to broaden the program.
Now, in a perverse twist, many of the poor people who rely on safety-net hospitals like Memorial will be doubly unlucky. A government subsidy, little known outside health policy circles but critical to the hospitals’ survival, is being sharply reduced under the new health law.
The subsidy, which for years has helped defray the cost of uncompensated and undercompensated care, was cut substantially on the assumption that the hospitals would replace much of the lost income with payments for patients newly covered by Medicaid or private insurance. But now the hospitals in states like Georgia will get neither the new Medicaid patients nor most of the old subsidies, which many say are crucial to the mission of care for the poor.
“We were so thrilled when the law passed, but it has backfired,” said Lindsay Caulfield, senior vice president for planning and marketing at Grady Health in Atlanta, the largest safety-net hospital in Georgia.
It is now facing the loss of nearly half of its roughly $100 million in annual subsidies known as disproportionate share hospital payments.
Memorial is also facing steep reductions in the subsidies. Cancer care may be among the services reduced, administrators here said. Memorial is now one of only a few hospitals in the state with a tumor clinic that accepts poor patients without insurance. Many show up coughing blood or having trouble breathing because their cancers have gone untreated for so long.
On a recent afternoon, Dr. Wade Fletcher, who practices at the hospital, thumbed through a stack of patient intake forms. The sections on payment contained the same refrain: No insurance. No money.
Even so, many of the patients work, often in Savannah’s huge hotel and restaurant industry. Late last month, Donna Atkins, a waitress at a barbecue restaurant, learned from Dr. Guy Petruzzelli, a surgeon here, that she has throat cancer. She does not have insurance and had a sore throat for a year before going to a doctor. She was advised to get a specialized image of her neck, but it would have cost $2,300, more than she makes in a month.
“I didn’t have the money even to walk in the door of that office,” said Ms. Atkins, speaking in a low, throaty whisper.
Dr. Petruzzelli has a phrase for her situation: “She failed the wallet biopsy.”
Ms. Atkins had surgery last Friday, two years after her first symptoms. It is unclear whether Ms. Atkins, whose income is right around the poverty line, will be left without Medicaid, or if she earns enough to qualify for subsidies to buy private insurance on the federal exchange. She appreciates the intent of the health law, but does not like the outcome: Her hours are being cut so her employer can count her as part-time to avoid having to offer insurance.
As she juggled takeout orders at the restaurant, Ms. Atkins said she would have to try to find a second job. “I’m 53,” she said. “Not too many people want to hire someone my age.”
Patients with chronic conditions like hers often go in and out of emergency rooms for years without treatment because doctors are only required to treat immediately life-threatening conditions. Dr. Christopher Senkowski, a surgeon at Memorial, recalled examining a farmer with pancreatic cancer that had spread throughout his body after months of referrals to specialists that he could not afford.
The cuts in subsidies for safety-net hospitals like Memorial — those that deliver a significant amount of care to poor, uninsured or otherwise vulnerable patients — are set to total at least $18 billion through 2020. The government has projected that as much as $22 billion more in Medicare subsidies could be cut by 2019, depending partly on the change in the numbers of uninsured nationally.
The cuts are just one of the reductions in government reimbursements that are squeezing hospitals across the country. Some have already announced layoffs. In Georgia, three rural hospitals have closed this year.
Medicaid expansion may not have replaced all of the lost subsidies, but it would have helped, hospital administrators said.
“I understand that the state needs to balance its budget, and control the runaway costs of Medicaid, but to turn a blind eye and say, ‘Let the chips fall where they may,’ you’ll end up with a gutted health care system,” said Maggie M. Gill, chief executive at Memorial Health.
Traditionally, safety-net hospitals have played a special role in caring for poor people. They make up just 2 percent of acute care hospitals in the country, but provide about a fifth of all uncompensated care, according to Dr. Arthur Kellerman, dean of the F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine in Bethesda, Md. The subsidy was created in the 1980s to help hospitals with large shares of patients who were uninsured or had government insurance that did not pay very much. Many hospitals came to depend on it.
A full third of Grady’s patients have no insurance, and, if that does not change, the hospital will have no choice but to cut services, said John M. Haupert, Grady’s chief executive. The hospital’s large outpatient mental health program, which handles 58,000 visits a year and is critical to keeping poor patients with behavioral problems from seeking treatment in the emergency room, would most likely be hit, Mr. Haupert said.
Some experts say the cuts in hospital subsidies are part of a larger problem: government programs like Medicaid do not pay enough to cover the actual costs of care. The cheapest private insurance on the new health care exchanges, the Bronze Plan, covers just 60 percent of costs, leaving low-income people who buy it with a lot of out-of-pocket costs that hospitals worry the patients will not be able to pay.
A spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services said that some of the reductions in the subsidy should not hurt safety-net hospitals because states have discretion over how the money is distributed and should be focusing on hospitals with the most uncompensated care. And while there is no special exception for states that did not expand Medicaid, federal officials have said they will revisit that in 2016.
But experts and hospital administrators said it was unlikely that the federal government would make adjustments that would reward states that refused to expand Medicaid. And the health care landscape is changing so rapidly, they say, that the subsidies are crucial to keep going over the next few years.
Hospitals in Georgia are trying to hang on. Rural hospitals rely heavily on the subsidies and as many as 15 could close in the coming months, their trade association estimated, costing jobs in economically depressed parts of the state.
Georgia hospital officials hope that the plight of rural hospitals may eventually cause Gov. Nathan Deal to opt for some version of a Medicaid expansion. The state’s politically powerful hospital association late last month called for expansion.
But for now, the governor is holding firm. His spokesman, Brian Robinson, said Mr. Deal’s opposition to expanding Medicaid was driven by simple math: Georgia cannot afford it. Though the federal government is paying the full costs of the expansion for the first three years, states will have to pay up to 10 percent in later years. States that do not expand should be spared cuts in hospital subsidies, Mr. Robinson said.
The federal government, not Georgia, is to blame for the predicament, he said.
“The state is sitting here, a victim of a crime, and you’re asking the victim, ‘Why did you let yourself get mugged?’ ” he said.
Hospitals are trying to get Congress to delay the subsidy cuts by amending the health law, but House Republicans in Washington have thus far refused.
“The conversation we are having with the congressional delegation goes like this, ‘If we don’t expand Medicaid, what is the Georgia solution to indigent care?’ ” said Matthew Hicks, vice president for government relations at Grady. “So far they don’t have an answer.”
For those not realizing it----Obama installed almost all of Republican's policies especially Ryan's policies so neo-liberals are all on board for making one big block grant of housing just as they did Medicare and Medicaid in health care----
IT IS FAR EASIER TO LOOT FEDERAL MONEY COMING IN A BOLUS BLOCK GRANT---THAN FIGURING OUT HOW TO MANUEVER AROUND DIFFERENT AGENCIES.
When Republicans and neo-liberals say there is duplication of regulations across agencies-----This duplication occurred as protection of safety net funding----agencies watching to see programs get what they are supposed to. When you make on FOX in charge of the hen-house-----it is easier to appoint one person to loot and misappropriate funds.
THAT IS ALL THESE POLICIES HAVE AS A GOAL----BREAK DOWN ALL AVENUES OF OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY AND SEND IT DOWN AS ONE LUMP SUM. So, in Maryland that is what happened in health care when Maryland was given an exemption from Medicare -----they lumped all the Medicare and Medicaid funding into a lump state health fund----and health corporations expanded nationally and globally on the funds that should have gone to seniors and the poor....ergo----the 20-30 year life-expectancy difference for low-income and affluent. The same will happen to all these safety net food and housing Federal funds.
REMEMBER-----THESE FEDERAL AGENCIES ARE NOT GOING AWAY-----THEY ARE SIMPLY BEING DEFUNDED AND MISAPPROPRIATED.
WE CAN REVERSE THIS EASY PEASY BY SIMPLY GETTING RID OF GLOBAL POLS----CLINTON/OBAMA NEO-LIBERALS AND BUSH/HOPKINS NEO-CONS.
Baltimore has already done this for Section 8----public housing----and veteran's housing because City Hall works for a neo-conservative Johns Hopkins.
'Transform Safety-Net Services into One Block Grant
The core of Chairman Ryan's proposal is the "Opportunity Grant," which would combine the funding streams from 11 existing programs. The largest of these programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), provides guaranteed food assistance to any individual who meets specified eligibility criteria. The proposal would take away that guarantee, by eliminating the individual entitlement to these benefits and merging SNAP into a system of cash block grants to states. SNAP has been enormously successful at reducing hunger and malnutrition in the United States, especially among children. Taking away the SNAP guarantee puts this success at serious risk. Among the other 10 programs, two are mandatory grants to states - child care and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families - and the remaining eight are programs funded through annual appropriations, including public housing and Section 8 housing vouchers'.
I like to remind people where these social safety net policies originated----the Great Depression. Where is the US heading with this coming economic crash from bond market fraud? THEY ARE SAYING IT WILL BE CLOSE TO A GREAT DEPRESSION----just as Republicans and Clinton neo-liberals are trying their hardest to defund and dismantle all of these social safety nets-----just so poverty will be as deep today as it was back in the 1930s...IT IS DELIBERATE AND PLANNED TO MOVE 80-90% OF AMERICANS INTO DEEP POVERTY.
Mikulski of Maryland pretends to be saddened by the supposed demise of New Deal while I do not think New Deal was ever installed in her district of Baltimore.
The Great Depression and the New Deal
Poverty & Prejudice:
Social Security at the Crossroads
In his first inaugural address, United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt, made some attempt to assess the enormous damage: "The withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone. More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return." He was speaking of the Great Depression of 1929 to 1940, which began and centered in the United States but spread quickly throughout the industrial world. Despite describing the Great Depression with grim words, this economic catastrophe and its impact defied description. The United States had never felt such a severe blow to its economy. President Roosevelt's New Deal reshaped the economy and structure of the United States, however, in order to end the poverty during the crisis. The New Deal programs would employ and give financial security to millions of Americans. These programs would prove to be effective and extremely beneficial to the American society as some still provide the economic security and benefits today.
The Great Depression
The Great Depression began by the complete collapse of the stock market on October 24th, 1929 when about 13 million shares of stock were sold. The damage was extended on Tuesday, October 29 when more than 16 million shares were sold making the day forever known as Black Tuesday. The value of most shares fell sharply, leaving financial ruin and panic in its wake. There has never been a collapse in the market that has had such a devastating and long-term effect on the economy. Businesses closed and banks failed by the hundreds due to the collapse, putting millions out of work. Wages for those still fortunate enough to have work fell sharply. The value of money decreased as the demand for goods declined. In Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal by William E. Leuchtenburg, the economic plight of the Depression is seen. "In the three years of Herbert Hoover's Presidency, the bottom had dropped out of the stock market and industrial production had been cut more than half.. By 1932, the unemployed numbered upward of thirteen million. Many lived in the primitive conditions of a preindustrial society stricken by famine."1
1 Leuchtenburg, pg. 1
Most of the agricultural segment of the economy had been in serious trouble for years. The arrival of the depression nearly eliminated it altogether, and the drought that created the 1930s Great Plains Dust Bowl greatened the damage. The government itself was sorely pressed for income at all levels as tax revenues fell; and the government during this period was more limited in its ability to respond to economic crises than it is today. The international structure of world trade also collapsed, and each nation sought to protect its own industrial base by imposing high tariffs on imported goods. This only made matters worse.
Social Impact of the Great Depression
By 1932 United States industrial output had been cut in half. One fourth of the labor force--about 15 million people--was out of work, and there was no such thing as unemployment insurance. Hourly wages had dropped by about 50 percent. Hundreds of banks had failed. Prices for agricultural products dropped to their lowest level since the Civil War. There were more than 90,000 businesses that failed completely.
Statistics, however, can only partially give an account of the extraordinary hardships that millions of United States citizens endured For nearly every unemployed person, there were dependents who needed to be fed and housed Such massive poverty and hunger had never been known in the United States before. Former millionaires stood on street corners trying to sell apples at 5 cents apiece. Hundreds of pitiful shantytowns--called Hoovervilles in honor of the unfortunate Republican president who presided over the disaster--sprang up all over the country to shelter the homeless People slept under "Hoover blankets" --old newspapers--in the out-of-doors. People waited in bread lines in every city, hoping for something to eat In 1931 alone more than 20,000 Americans committed suicide.
Anyone who had even a little money was extremely lucky. A new home could be bought for less than $3,000. A man's suit cost about $10, a shirt less than 50 cents, and a pair of shoes about $4. Milk was 10 cents a quart, a pound of steak only 29 cents, and a loaf of bread a nickel. For a dime one could go to the movies, buy a nickel bag of popcorn, and even win prizes given away by the theater. Not many lucky enough to be working had much change to spend after paying rent and buying food. To turn to the government, at least during the Hoover years, was useless. There was no federally financed "safety net" of welfare programs to keep the working class from falling into poverty.
The New Deal
In 1931 the new president, Franklin Roosevelt, brought an air of confidence and optimism that quickly rallied the people to the banner of his program, known as the New Deal "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," the president declared in his inaugural address to the nation. He was determined to make effective changes during his presidency. "Roosevelt moved swiftly to deal with the financial illness that paralyzed the nation. On his very first night in office, he directed Secretary of the Treasury William Woodin to draft an emergency banking bill, and gave hi less than five days to get it ready."2
The New Deal, in a certain sense, merely introduced types of social and economic reform familiar to many Europeans for more than a generation. Moreover, the New Deal represented the culmination of a 1ong-range trend toward abandonment of "laissez-faire" capitalism, going back to the regulation of the railroads in the 1880s, and the flood of state and national reform legislation introduced in the Progressive era of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.
What was truly novel about the New Deal, however, was the speed with which it accomplished what previously had taken generations. Many of the reforms were hastily drawn and weakly administered with some actually contradicting others. During the entire New Deal era, public criticism and debate were never interrupted or suspended; in fact, the New Deal brought to the individual citizen a sharp of interest in government..
When Roosevelt took the presidential oath, the banking and credit system of the nation was in a state of paralysis. With astonishing rapidity the nation's banks were first closed -- and then reopened only if they were solvent. The administration adopted a policy of moderate currency inflation to start an upward movement in commodity prices and to afford some relief to debtors. New governmental agencies brought generous credit facilities to industry and agriculture. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (EDIC) insured sayings-bank deposits up to $5,000, and severe regulations were imposed upon the sale of securities on the stock exchange.
2 Leuchtenburg, pg. 42
By 1933 millions of Americans were out of work Bread lines were a common sight in most cities. Hundreds of thousands roamed the country in search of food, work and shelter. "Brother, can you spare a dime?" went the refrain of a popular song.
Ah early step for the unemployed came in the form of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a program enacted by Congress to bring relief to young men between 18 and 25 years of age. The CCC was run in a semi-military style and enrolled jobless young men in work camps across the country for about $30 per month. About 2 million young men took part in this program during the 193Os. During their time in the CCC, they participated in a variety of conservation projects such as "planting trees to combat soil erosion and maintain national forests; eliminating stream pollution; creating fish, game and bird sanctuaries; and conserving coal, petroleum, shale, gas, sodium and helium deposits."3
The Civil Works Administration was a work relief program that gave jobs to many unemployed people. Although this program was criticized as "make work," the jobs funded ranged from ditch digging to highway repairs to teaching. It was Created in November 1933,and was abandoned only a few months later in the spring of 1934. Roosevelt and his key officials, however, continued to favor unemployment programs based on work relief rather than welfare.
The New Deal years were characterized by a belief that greater regulation would solve many of the country’s problems. In 1933 Congress passed the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) to provide economic relief to farmers. The AAA had a core to plan to raise crop prices by paying farmers a subsidy to compensate for voluntary cutbacks in production. The funds for the payments would be generated by a tax levied on industries that processed crops. By the time the act had become law, however, the growing season was well underway, and the AAA encouraged farmers to plow under their abundant crops Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Wallace called this activity a "shocking commentary on our civilization." Nevertheless, through the AAA and the Commodity Credit Corporation, a program which extended loans for crops kept in storage and off the market, output dropped.
3 Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia
Between 1932 and 1935, farm income increased by more than 50 percent, but only partly because of federal programs. During the same years that farmers were being encouraged to take land out of production, which would displace tenants and sharecroppers, the farm production was significantly reduced due to a severe drought hit the Great Plains states. Violent wind and dust storms ravaged the southern Great Plains in what is known as the "Dust Bowl," throughout the 193Os, but particularly from 1935 to 1938 The damages were immense People and animals were harmed, crops were destroyed, cars and machinery were ruined. Approximately 800,000 people; often called "Okies," left Arkansas, Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma during the 1930s and 1940s Most of these travelers headed further west to California, the land of myth and promise. The migrants were not only farmers, but also professionals, retailers and others whose livelihoods were connected to the health of the farm communities. California didn't live up to their expectations, however, as conditions in the sunny state were just as bad as those in the places from which the migrants fled. Most migrants ended up competing for seasonal jobs picking crops at extremely low wages.
Although the AAA had been mostly successful, it was abandoned in 1936; when the tax on food processors was ruled unconstitutional. Six weeks later Congress passed a more effective farm-relief act, which authorized the government to make payments to farmers who reduced plantings of soil-depleting crops -- thereby achieving crop reduction through soil conservation practices.
By 1940 nearly 6 million farmers were receiving federal subsidies under the farm relief act. The new act likewise provided loans on surplus crops, insurance for wheat and a system of planned storage to ensure a stable food supply. The prices of agricultural commodities rose, leaving the farmer's with a sense of economic stability.
Blacks in the Depression and the New Deal
The Great Depression of the 1930s worsened the already black economic situation of black Americans. African Americans were the first people to be fired from their jobs as they suffered from an unemployment rate two to three times that of whites. In early public assistance programs blacks often received substantially less aid than whites, and some charitable organizations even excluded blacks from their soup kitchens. It was an extremely poor and desperate time for most African Americans.
The black American's economic struggles sparked major political developments among the blacks. Beginning in 1929, the St. Louis Urban League launched a national "jobs for Negroes" movement by boycotting chain stores that had mostly black customers but hired only white employees. Efforts to unify black organizations and youth groups later led to the founding of the National Negro Congress in 1936 and the Southern Negro Youth Congress in 1937.
The Roosevelt Administration’s accessibility to black leaders and the New Deal reforms strengthened black support for the Democratic party Roosevelt bad many black leaders, members of a so-called "black Cabinet," were served as advisers to him. Among them were the educator Mary McLeod Bethune, who served as the National Youth Administration’s director of Negro affairs; William H. Hastie, who in l937 became the first black federal judge; Eugene K. Jones, executive secretary of the National Urban League; Robert Vann, editor of the Pittsburgh Courier; and the economist Robert C Weaver.4
Blacks benefited greatly from New Deal programs though discrimination by local administrators was common. Low-cost public housing was made available to black families. The National Youth Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps enabled black youths to continue their education. The Work Projects Administration gave jobs to many blacks, and its Federal Writers Project supported the work of many authors, among them Zora Neale Hurston, Arna Bontemps, Waters Turpin, and Melvin B. Tolson.
The Congress of industrial Organizations (CIO); established in the mid-1930s, organized large numbers of black workers into labor unions for the first time. By 1940, there were more than 200,000 blacks in the CIO, many of them officers of union locals.
The Second New Deal
The increasing pressures of the Great Depression caused President Roosevelt to back a new set of economic and social measures Prominent among these were measures to fight poverty, to counter unemployment with work and to provide a social safety net.
The Works Progress Administration (WPA), the principal relief agency of the second New Deal, was an attempt to provide work rather than welfare. Under the WPA, buildings, roads, airports and schools were constructed. Actors, painters, musicians and writers were employed through the Federal Theater Project, the Federal Art Project and the Federal Writers Project. In addition, the National Youth Administration gave part-time employment to students, established training programs and provided aid to unemployed youth. Although the WPA only included about three million jobless at a time, it had helped a total of 9 million people when it was abandoned in 1943.
4 Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia
The New Deal's cornerstone according to Roosevelt, was the Social Security Act of 1935. It "reversed historic assumptions about the nature of social responsibility, and it established the proposition that the individual has clear-cut social rights."5 The Social Security Act was signed into law by President Roosevelt on August 14, 1935. "In addition to several provisions for general welfare, the new Act created a social insurance program designed to pay retired workers age 65 or older a continuing income after retirement. Social Security created a system of insurance for the aged, unemployed and disabled based on employer and employee contributions. Social Security was funded in large part by taxes on the earnings of current workers, with a single fixed rate for ail regardless of income To Roosevelt, these limitations on the programs were compromises to ensure that the Act was passed President Roosevelt stated upon signing Social Security Act:
"We can never insure one hundred percent of the population against one hundred percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age."
When congress passed the Social Security Act, the most pressing problems were double-digit unemployment and pervasive poverty. "Most families were struggling just to put food on the table and pay the rent; retirement saving was an unaffordable luxury."6 While the Social Security Act slightly affected most of the population in 1935, it began a program that has lasted for 64 years. Although its origins were initially quite modest, Social Security today is one of the largest domestic programs administered by the U.S. government. Millions of people depend on Social Security to protect them in their old age. "Without Social Security, the incomes of approximately 16 million people - about half of the retirees - would fall below official poverty thresholds."7
While the Social Security program is very complex and deals with more than 6 million employers, tens of millions of beneficiaries, and over 100 million taxpayers, its administrative costs are very low - roughly 1 percent of retirement and survivor pension payments - well below those of private pension and insurance plans. The average earnings of Social Security in 1998 were just under $28,000. The benefit that was paid to a worker who retired at the age of 62 whose earnings placed him at the same relative position in the earnings distribution in every year of a thirty-five year career would by $780 per month.8
From its modest beginnings, Social Security has grown to become an essential aspect of modern life. One in seven Americans receives a Social Security benefit, and more than 90 percent of all workers are in jobs covered by Social Security. From 1940, when slightly more than 222,000 people received monthly Social Security benefits, until today, when over 42 million people receive such benefits; Social Security has grown steadily. These graph's show the growth of Social Security in the United States from 1937, two years after the Social Security Act was created, to 1998. They also show the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) which was created in the 1972 Social Security Amendments. The SSI program combined three previous programs that gave need to the needy aged, blind and disabled individuals.
WAKE UP FOLKS----YOU OR YOUR FAMILY MAY SOON BE THE ONE'S NOT ABLE TO ACCESS LIFE AND DEATH ORDINARY CARE.
Below you see some of the most boring public policy in the world---but please take time to glance because----this is what hospitals now working on profit margin are using to keep citizens they are required by law to admit from being brought to their hospitals----and this includes those 'charity' non-profit hospitals like Mercy Hospital in Baltimore.
When I tried to get a homeless man dying from exposure from sleeping on the streets to the right hospital I had all kinds of misinformation and procedure thrown at me. In Baltimore hospitals have been operating for decade as for-profit while claiming to be non-profit. When an ambulance takes a homeless person to MedStar Union Memorial for instance----they take that homeless person and then simply release them to the streets where his/her conditions worsen until death.
A Catholic charity hospital Mercy is supposed to have the wrap-around services for people like this---so, you would want someone homeless brought to Mercy so they can be assured housing---THE EMERGENCY TEAM TOLD ME MERCY IS IN CODE YELLOW----AND MEDSTAR TOLD ME THEY WERE IN CODE YELLOW.
Basically that is a code being used to say this institution now qualifies for denying people access to care----AND BOTH BALTIMORE HOSPITALS CODED THEMSELVES YELLOW. I was inside MedStar Union Memorial emergency room and saw lots a space---they were not full----they are simply denying access. They allow homeless to be brought so they can get government funding and release them in just two hours---that's the procedure.
CODE YELLOW---Staffing and overcrowding emergencies
Each state has its own Codes----this one from Australia is pretty standard.
Disaster Preparedness & Management Unit
(08) 9222 2437
27 June 2013
EMERGENCY CODES IN HOSPITALS AND HEALTH CARE FACILITIES
Hospitals and health care facilities utilise a nationally recognised set of codes to prepare, plan, respond and recover from internal and external emergencies. These codes are based upon Australian Standard (AS) 4083 - 2010 Planning for emergencies – Health care facilities.
This information circular provides definitions and outlines conditions for when emergencies are activated within public hospitals and health care facilities.
Specific emergency codes
Specific codes are utilised for emergencies outlined in AS 4083 - 2010. In addition, the Western Australian Department of Health utilises Code Black Alpha as an emergency code in the event of a child or infant abduction, as outlined in Operational Directive (OD) 0384/12. A summary of emergency codes is attached.
Phases of an emergency
In some emergencies, such as a Code Blue, an immediate response is required; however, where appropriate, consideration should be given to phase the emergency in one of the following four categories:
Alert: there is a possible emergency.
Standby: the emergency is imminent.
Response: the emergency exists and a response is required.
Stand down: the emergency has abated and recovery activities can begin.
Notification of the On-Call Duty Officer
Where an emergency has the potential to seriously impact upon a hospital’s service delivery, or poses a threat to the safety of staff and/or patients, the Hospital Health Coordinator or Regional Health Disaster Coordinator should notify the On-Call Duty Officer (OCDO) of the emergency code activation. The OCDO can be notified on (08) 9328 0553.
Activation of regional / metropolitan-wide emergencies
Regional Health Disaster Coordinators have the authority to activate a regional-wide emergency. Where a regional-wide emergency has been activated, the State Health Coordinator (SHC) should be notified, via the OCDO. The authority to activate a metropolitan-wide emergency code rests solely with the SHC.
Dr Tarun Weeramanthri
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR PUBLIC HEALTH AND CLINICAL SERVICES DIVISION
As both a labor and justice advocate I am going to get in trouble with hospital staff for saying this-----but they are being made to work under protocol that has profit over access written in. When I was protesting in Baltimore the staff were feeling -----WE CANNOT HELP IT-----because administration is making these rules that people often are not comfortable applying. MOST HEALTH CARE STAFF WANT TO REVERSE THESE PROFIT-DRIVEN POLICIES. What is concerning for Americans is the more profit-driven these hospitals are allowed to become----the more the staff hired to implement these policies will be people that do not mind. The very act of making patients sign a LIVING WILL----each time they come ----selling this as GIVING PATIENTS CHOICE-----at the same time health care costs soar and coverage declines----we all know patients are going to CHOOSE not to burden their families with costs and we move to people choosing to die because they cannot afford care. THIS IS WHAT AFFORDABLE CARE ACT and managed care is about----one layer after another ---deregulation----making it OK to deny patients basic access that leads to death.
'What you're entitled to
In a nutshell, the federal patient-dumping law entitles you to three things: screening, emergency care and appropriate transfers. A hospital must provide "stabilizing care" for a patient with an emergency medical condition. The hospital must screen for the emergency and provide the care without inquiring about your ability to pay'.
Emergency room care: Know your rights
By Insure.com - Last updated: Dec. 21, 2010
If you're in the emergency room, you’re probably too injured to haggle with hospital administrators about how you’re going to pay for your care -- especially if you don’t have health insurance. Fortunately, in 1986, Congress passed the Emergency Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) that prohibits a practice commonly known as "patient dumping." The act gives individuals the right to emergency care regardless of their ability to pay. EMTALA was enacted as part of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).
The federal law applies to hospitals that participate in Medicare -- and that's most hospitals in the United States. Even so, EMTALA does not apply to hospital outpatient clinics that are not equipped to handle medical emergencies. But they are required to refer patients to an emergency department in close proximity.
What you're entitled to
In a nutshell, the federal patient-dumping law entitles you to three things: screening, emergency care and appropriate transfers. A hospital must provide "stabilizing care" for a patient with an emergency medical condition. The hospital must screen for the emergency and provide the care without inquiring about your ability to pay.
What is an "emergency medical condition"?
According to EMTALA provisions, a medical emergency involves acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) that the absence of immediate medical attention could result in:
- Placing the health of the individual (or, with respect to a pregnant woman, the health of the woman or her unborn child) in serious jeopardy.
- Serious impairment to bodily functions.
- Serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.
- There is inadequate time to make a safe transfer to another hospital before delivery.
- A transfer might pose a threat to the health or safety of the woman or the unborn child.
What you're not entitled to
If you're not experiencing an emergency, and you don't have medical insurance or the ability to pay, the hospital emergency room is not legally required to treat you. The hospital will most likely direct you to your own doctor or a community health clinic.
The patient-dumping law was passed to ensure people in distress get necessary medical attention. If you have health insurance coverage, the ultimate question of payment is between you and your insurance company. If you don't have health insurance, you will still be asked to make payment arrangements with the hospital.
Once your condition has stabilized, the hospital has the option of moving you to another facility.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the patient-dumping law also applies to HMOs that illegally demand pre-authorization for emergency room visits. Emergency room care cannot be delayed while a hospital tries to obtain insurance pre-authorization.
Public Citizen, a consumer watchdog group, claims that despite the law some hospitals continue refusing to provide basic treatment for patients who are unable to pay. "It’s distressing that this law has been in place and hospitals are still flouting it," says Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group. "The government needs to do more to force hospitals to comply. People shouldn’t be denied desperately needed emergency medical care when they go to a hospital."
Public Citizen released a report that says more than 500 hospitals were cited for illegally sending patients with emergency conditions to other hospitals in the late 1990s. In the first 10 years following the law's enactment, roughly $1.8 million in penalties were issued to hospitals and physician's offices nationwide.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) has the authority to issue penalties under EMTALA. Those penalties may include:
- Termination of Medicare agreement
- Fines up to $50,000 for each violation
- Lawsuits for personal injury in a civil court
- A receiving facility affected by another hospital's failure to comply can sue the hospital to recover damages
- A violation can be cited even if the patient wasn't severely hurt. A violation cannot be cited if the patient refuses examination and treatment, unless there is evidence they were coerced
The largest fine of $100,000, according to the OIG, was issued to Kaiser Foundation Hospitals in Santa Clara, California. The hospital agreed to pay $100,000 for allegedly violating the Patient Anti-Dumping Statute twice. According to OIG, Kaiser failed to provide appropriate medical screening examinations and stabilizing treatment for a 15-year old child that arrived at the emergency crying and complaining of severe abdominal pain. Kaiser discharged the patient and sent her to a pediatric physician group on the hospital's campus. In the second instance, a 12-year old boy returned to the emergency room after being sent home the night before. He was in pain, had a high fever and was lethargic with swollen eyes and face, but was discharged to the pediatric physician group on the hospital's campus. More than six hours after he went to the emergency department, he was admitted to Kaiser's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit where he died the next morning from staphylococcal sepsis, according to OIG.
What your health insurance company considers an emergency
Individual state regulations also have a bearing on the way you're treated in an emergency room, and upon your health insurance company's decision to pay for that treatment. The federal law allows you basic rights, and your state laws might provide you with some additional ones.
If you feel you have been treated unfairly, either by the hospital or by your insurance company, try calling your state's department of health. If you feel your insurance company is unjustly denying payment, try your state's insurance department.
Under the new health care reform law (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), insurance companies will be required to pay for emergency room care if a "prudent layperson, acting reasonably," would have considered the situation a medical emergency. In the past, this was only the case in some states. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the new law requires insurers in all 50 states to adhere to the prudent layperson standard. The prudent layperson standard applies in all states for plan years beginning Sept. 23, 2010. If a policy has a plan year that begins on Nov. 1, 2010 the standard would not apply until that day. By Sept. 23, 2011, it will be effective for all plans that are not grandfathered, according to the NAIC.