I SENT THAT BLOG TO ALL MY POLITICIANS, TO PUBLIC SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS, AND THE MEDIA. DO YOU HEAR ANYONE SHOUTING ABOUT SOMETHING THAT ANYBODY CAN SEE IS CRIMINAL AND CORRUPT? IF YOUR LABOR AND JUSTICE ORGANIZATION LEADERS ARE NOT SHOUTING AND FINDING CANDIDATES TO RUN AGAINST INCUMBENTS.......
THEY ARE NOT WORKING FOR THE MIDDLE/LOWER CLASS! THEY ARE CORPORATE POLITICIANS ....
VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE!!!
YOU WILL NOTICE THAT THE NURSES UNION HAS BEEN VERY VOCAL IN THESE PROTESTS.....THIS IS WHY.
BELOW YOU'LL SEE AN ARTICLE THAT SPEAKS TO THE AMOUNT OF MONEY OWED TO ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT FROM THE MASSIVE FRAUD. IT IS TOO INCREDIBLE TO IGNORE. IT IS NOT A MATTER OF TRILLIONS STOLEN BUT ALSO TRILLIONS IN DAMAGES. WE HAVE NO BUDGET DEFICITS......THERE IS NO NEED TO CUT HEALTH AND OTHER PROGRAMS.....YOUR ELECTED OFFICIAL IS DOING IT BECAUSE HE/SHE WANTS TO.
WE SAY THREE TROUBLING THINGS FROM MY LAST BLOG:
1) THE QUALITY OF CARE WILL BE HORRENDOUS.
2) THE HEALTH CARE WORKERS WILL BE EXPLOITED
3) MASSIVE FRAUD IS IN THE PLANNING
WE ARE HEARING THAT HEALTH CARE AND TECHNOLOGY ARE THE NEXT GROWING JOB MARKET. YOU HEAR O'MALLEY ASKING WHY MORE PEOPLE AREN'T SIGNING UP FOR THESE FEDERAL GRANTS FOR NEW MEDICAL CAREER 'COLLEGES'? WHY AREN'T PARENTS SENDING THEIR CHILDREN TO HOPKINS' TRAINING CAMP K-12 CHARTERS?
COULD IT BE THAT NO ONE WANTS TO BE AN IMPOVERISHED INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR? IT IS IMPORTANT TO SEE WHERE THIS GOES. THIS SENTIMENT IS EXACTLY WHY THERE ARE PLANS TO BRING IN THIRD WORLD WORKERS. REMEMBER, WE HAVE THE MONEY TO HAVE THE BEST HEALTH CARE IN THE WORLD FOR EVERYONE....IT HAS BEEN STOLEN AND WE NEED TO BRING IT BACK TO THE ECONOMY.
IT IS WORTHWHILE TO READ THIS ANALYSIS BY THE INSTITUTE OF HEALTH AS IT GIVES US AN IDEA OF THE APPROACH THEY WILL TAKE IN REFORM. WHEN THEY SAY WASTE......WE KNOW THERE IS PLENTY.....WE WANT TO BE SURE THE SERVICES CUT ARE NOT CRITICAL CARE. YOU CAN BET THERE WILL BE ATTEMPTS TO SIMPLY CUT WHAT IS EXPENSIVE RATHER THAN PROFITABLE. MOST OF ALL, WE REALIZE THAT SENDING ALL THIS HEALTH BUSINESS OUT TO PRIVATE CONTRACTORS WILL NOT FIX THE PROBLEMS....IT WILL HEIGHTEN THE PROBLEM.
How Broken Is The U.S. Health Care System? Let's Count The Ways by Scott Hensley NPR September 7, 2012
Just about everybody who's ever needed health care in this country has seen firsthand the problems that make our system inefficient, costly and often downright unsatisfying.
The nonpartisan Institute of Medicine just put out a 450-page report about the problems along with some ideas for improvements.
How bad are things? Well, nearly a third of spending on health care — or about $750 billion in 2009 — is wasted (I dare say wasted involves much fraud). There's lots of inefficiency, excess overhead and some outright fraud, too. But the biggest slice, as you can see in a chart from The Atlantic's Brian Fung, is unnecessary care — about 28 percent of the waste pie.
Money's not the only issue. Poor quality hurts patients. The report, called "Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America," says that about 75,000 deaths a year might be prevented if the type of medicine practiced in the best states was the standard nationwide.
The numbers and technical details in the report could really glaze your eyes in a hurry. So it was nice to see a passage in the introduction that boils down the problems into some analogies. I've boiled them down some more and offer them up to you for a vote. Which one does the best job of conveying the routine screw-ups in health care?
THERE IT IS ......................THE DEMOCRATS ARE DUMBFOUNDED TO FIND THAT MOST FAMILIES WON'T BE ABLE TO AFFORD HEALTH CARE WITH THE HEALTH CARE REFORM. THIS IS A THIRD WAY POLICY THAT THEY SUPPORT. THEY KNEW MOST PEOPLE WOULD BE OUT OF THE LOOP. WE ALL CAN SEE THAT IF THIS IS LEFT TO STAND 65-75% OF AMERICANS WILL BE GETTING THIS 'MEDICAID' LEVEL OF CARE.
WE WANT PUBLIC OPTION/UNIVERSAL CARE AND WE WANT OUR MONEY BACK!!
Ambiguity in Health Law Could Make Family Coverage Too Costly for Many
By ROBERT PEAR Published: August 11, 2012 New York Times
WASHINGTON — The new health care law is known as the Affordable Care Act. But Democrats in Congress and advocates for low-income people say coverage may be unaffordable for millions of Americans because of a cramped reading of the law by the administration and by the Internal Revenue Service in particular.
Under rules proposed by the service, some working-class families would be unable to afford family coverage offered by their employers, and yet they would not qualify for subsidies provided by the law.
The fight revolves around how to define “affordable” under provisions of the law that are ambiguous. The definition could have huge practical consequences, affecting who gets help from the government in buying health insurance.
Under the law, most Americans will be required to have health insurance starting in 2014. Low- and middle-income people can get tax credits and other subsidies to help pay their premiums, unless they have access to affordable coverage from an employer.
The law specifies that employer-sponsored insurance is not affordable if a worker’s share of the premium is more than 9.5 percent of the worker’s household income. The I.R.S. says this calculation should be based solely on the cost of individual coverage for the employee, what the worker would pay for “self-only coverage.”
Critics say the administration should also take account of the costs of covering a spouse and children because family coverage typically costs much more.
In 2011, according to an annual survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance averaged $5,430 a year for single coverage and $15,070 for family coverage. The employee’s share of the premium averaged $920 for individual coverage and more than four times as much, $4,130, for family coverage.
Under the I.R.S. proposal, such costs would be deemed affordable for a family making $35,000 a year, even though the family would have to spend 12 percent of its income for full coverage under the employer’s plan.
The debate over the meaning of affordable pits the Obama administration against its usual allies. Many people who support the new law said the proposed rules could leave millions of people in the lower middle class uninsured and frustrate the intent of Congress, which was to expand coverage.
“The effect of this wrong interpretation of the law will be that many families remain or potentially become uninsured,” said a letter to the administration from Democrats who pushed the bill through the House in 2009-10. The lawmakers include Representatives Henry A. Waxman of California and Sander M. Levin of Michigan.
Bruce Lesley, the president of First Focus, a child advocacy group, said: “This is a serious glitch. Under the proposal, millions of children and families would be unable to obtain affordable coverage in the workplace, but ineligible for subsidies to buy private insurance in the exchanges” to be established in each state.
Businesses dislike the idea of insurance mandates and penalties, but said the I.R.S. had correctly interpreted the law.
“Employers who offer health coverage do so primarily on behalf of their employees,” said Kathryn Wilber, a lawyer at the American Benefits Council, which represents many Fortune 500 companies. “Although many employers do provide family coverage to full-time employees, many do not.”
The I.R.S. issued final rules for the health insurance premium tax credit in May, but deferred its final decision on the affordability of family coverage.
Sabrina Siddiqui, a Treasury Department spokeswoman, said, “We welcome comments from stakeholders and consumer groups and look forward to continuing to work with them to implement these rules and to ensure families get the affordable care they need.”
The administration is trying to strike a balance. If the rules allow more people to qualify for subsidies, it would increase costs to the federal government. If the rules require employers to provide affordable coverage to dependents as well as workers, it would increase costs for many employers.
Wayne Goodwin, a Democrat who is the insurance commissioner of North Carolina, said the proposed federal policy would create a hardship for many state employees.
North Carolina pays all or nearly all of the premium for health insurance covering state government employees, but it has never paid the cost for their dependents, Mr. Goodwin said.
“The average salary of North Carolina state employees is about $41,000,” Mr. Goodwin added, “and the cost of family coverage in the basic plan is $516 a month, which is not affordable for many state employees. Because employee-only coverage for this plan is provided at no cost to the employee, based on the proposed regulations, all family members would be prohibited from obtaining subsidies through the exchange.” Related
Dr. David I. Bromberg, a spokesman for the American Academy of Pediatrics, said, “The I.R.S.’s interpretation of the law could unravel much of the progress that has been made in covering children in recent years.”
The Service Employees International Union said the proposal “discriminates against marriage and families.”
Some of the most important provisions of the law will be carried out by the I.R.S. Besides offering tax credits to individuals and families, it will impose tax penalties on people who go without insurance and on businesses that do not offer it.
The agency said its reading of the law was supported by the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. The health care rules were drafted by “our legal experts — career civil servants who are some of the best tax lawyers in the world,” said Douglas H. Shulman, the I.R.S. commissioner.
The law says an employer with 50 or more full-time employees may be subject to a tax penalty if it fails to offer coverage to “its full-time employees (and their dependents).” However, more than two years after President Obama signed the law, the employer’s obligation to dependents is unclear.
In explaining how the penalty is to be computed, the law does not mention dependents. Employers pay a penalty only if one or more full-time employees receive subsidies.
Companies are less likely to offer or pay for coverage of dependents in industries with low wages and high turnover, like restaurants.
Some employers and members of Congress have suggested a possible compromise. The government would still look at the cost of “self-only coverage” in deciding whether insurance was affordable to an employee. If family coverage under the employer’s plan was too expensive, a family could get subsidies to buy insurance for dependents in the exchange, and the employer would not be penalized.
Thank you for placing this back into the public. As we listen to our state and local politicians trying to pretend there is a budget deficit that requires everything public downsize and public employees driven to poverty, we need to shout loudly and strongly that it is a deficit of justice we are experiencing ........trillions in fraud and the damages caused from criminal activity coming from the banks is all we need to get America on the right track. We need to elect honest politicians which means.....
vote your incumbent out of office!
How much did the financial crisis cost us? $12.8 trillion, one group says
Posted by Suzy Khimm on September 16, 2012 at 1:00 pm Washington Post
Is it even possible to tally up the total impact of the financial crisis? Better Markets tried to give it a shot and puts the price tag at “no less than $12.8 trillion.”
(Richard Drew / AP)
Better Markets, a non-profit that’s pushing for stricter rules on Wall Street, explains its calculations in a new report: $7.6 trillion is the estimated actual GDP lost between 2008 and 2018—what the country’s output would have been had the financial meltdown not occurred, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis and forecasts from the Congressional Budget Office.
The remaining $5.2 trillion is GDP loss that was avoided, but only because it was prevented by the “extraordinarily fiscal and monetary policy actions” by the government during the crisis.
The report calls the $12.8 trillion price tag a “very conservative” figure, as it doesn’t include a host of other costs, some of which can’t be readily quantified: the conversion of investment banks like Goldman Sachs into bank holding companies that receive “full access to federal support for regulated banks” and the destruction of human capital through long-term mass unemployment, for example.
Better Markets produced partly as a response to industry-favored “cost-benefit analysis” of financial regulations that fails to take into account the very cost of the crisis itself. The group also stresses that “absent an understanding of the true costs of the financial and economic crises, a sense of complacency can arise and a lack of urgency to take action to prevent such crises from happening again, especially as the memory of these events and their impact fades.”
NOW, I'M MAD ENOUGH TO CALL THE SACKING OF THE US ECONOMY THROUGH FRAUD 'TREASON' AND 'TERRORISM'.... AS IT IS. IF AN OUTSIDE AGENT HAD DONE WHAT US BANKS DID TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THEY WOULD BE TRIED IN US COURTS FOR JUST THAT.
BELOW WE SEE AN INTERNATIONAL VIEW OF THE US AS CORRUPT AS ANY THIRD WORLD COUNTRY AND THE FAILURE TO REFORM THE BANKS AT ALL WILL ONLY MAKE YOU AND I CONSTANTLY FIGHTING TO RECOVER.
THIS IS WHY OUR HEALTH CARE IS EXPENSIVE, IT IS WHY OUR SOCIAL SECURITY IS UNDER ATTACK, WHY OUR SCHOOLS ARE UNDER ATTACK BY WALL STREET.
MARYLAND HAS THE SAME INCUMBENTS IN OFFICE THROUGHOUT THIS DEBACLE......STOP SENDING THEM BACK
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE!!!
Money market mutual funds The SEC's dereliction of duty Sep 7th 2012, 16:48 by M.C.K. | WASHINGTON
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is supposed to “protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation.” It is odd, then, that the regulatory body decided last week to preserve one of the most egregious loopholes in the entire financial system. Money market mutual funds were effectively declared “Too Big to Fail” by the authorities in 2008 yet remain wholly unregulated. They are the rotten core of the shadow banking system—providing ridiculously cheap leverage to speculators courtesy of the American taxpayer.
Money market funds were created to get around bad regulations. Until the 1980s, banks were limited by law on how much interest they could pay to depositors. The thinking was that the financial system would be safer if banks did not have to do anything risky or competitive to earn a profit. Thus the government suppressed funding costs and bankers got to live the 3-6-3 lifestyle: pay 3% on deposits, earn 6% on loans, and leave the office in time to tee off at 3 in the afternoon. It is not a surprise that bankers accepted relatively strict supervision and international capital controls under these circumstances.
This arrangement broke down when inflation accelerated in the late 1960s. Faced with negative real interest rates on their deposits, savers pulled their money out of the banking system and put it to work in the short-term debt markets, which offered better returns.[*] Money market mutual funds were the vehicles of this “disintermediation.” These unregulated instruments pretend to offer the same features as regulated checking accounts (stable value and access to the payments system) while paying higher interest rates. In reality, they issue shares to investors and use the funds to purchase commercial paper and t-bills. Sometimes they lend out their securities in the repo markets. Unlike banks, money funds do not shield savers from losses with an equity cushion, much less a government-backed insurance program like the FDIC. Money funds also have no formal relationship with the lender of last resort in case “depositors” ever try to redeem their shares in large numbers.
The funny thing about the multi-trillion dollar money fund industry is that most of its business involves lending to the big banks, including investment banks and foreign banks: about three-quarters of the U.S. commercial paper market funds financial firms rather than the real sector. The perceived safety of money market accounts allows speculators to fund their positions cheaply. When the bankers’ bets go right, nobody notices that the system “rests on quicksand,” as the FT’s John Gapper artfully put it. The truth only becomes apparent when things start to go south.
In 2008, the Reserve Primary Fund, the oldest of the American money funds, was stuck with losses on its $785 million portfolio of Lehman Brothers debt. Unable to maintain the charade that its shares would always be worth $1, investors fled and the Reserve Primary Fund was forced to dissolve. This untimely demise created a panic. According to the Investment Company Institute, a trade body, more than $134 billion left money funds in less than two weeks. Only the unprecedented extension of the Treasury’s safety net—a full guarantee of all the savings held in money funds—stopped the bleeding:
Ironically, the low short-term interest rates established by the major developed world central banks since 2009 have caused nearly $1.5 trillion to bleed out of money funds—far more than left during the panic:
After the crisis was over, the money markets were an area that seemed worthy of further scrutiny. Like asset-backed securities before them, they had appeared boring and safe when they were actually a large source of hidden risk. The industry, however, put up an unprecedented lobbying campaign against the SEC. As a result, it was able to avoid any changes the existing rules, even though they had proven so hopelessly inadequate prior to the crisis. How could this have happened? An excellent and detailed investigative report by Bloomberg provides an answer: the SEC is a captured organization whose employees regularly alternate between government and lobbying on behalf of the firms the SEC is meant to keep in line. It is not right to call this a “revolving door,” since that implies some kind pause while going from one side to the other.
Let’s be clear. If the events described in the Bloomberg article happened in China, everyone would immediately (and rightly) decry cronyism and corruption. Why not do the same here?
[*] Gradually, the rules on deposit rates (Regulation Q) were relaxed so that banks could pay fair prices for short-term funds. Unfortunately, these prices were higher than the interest rates on their old long-dated assets because of inflation. Despite many law changes and acts of “regulatory forbearance,” this process ended up destroying the thrift industry.