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Posts Tagged ‘Obamacare

 

Warren Buffett says Donald Trump’s Obamacare replacement is ‘a huge tax cut for guys like me’

Chairman fumes that healthcare costs eat away at US economy like ‘tapeworm’

Berkshire Hathaway Inc Chairman Warren Buffett on Saturday fumed that healthcare costs are eating away at the US economy like “tapeworm” and said the Republican approach to overhaul Obamacare is a tax cut for the rich.

The US House of Representatives on Thursday narrowly approved a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, a victory for Republican President Donald Trump who has called the 2010 law a “disaster.”

Speaking at Berkshire’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Omaha, Buffett said his federal income taxes last year would have gone down 17 percent had the new law been in effect.

“So it is a huge tax cut for guys like me,” he said. “And when there’s a tax cut, either the deficit goes up or they get the taxes from somebody else.”

The Republican bill would repeal most of the taxes that paid for the law formally known as the Affordable Care Act. The party’s leadership has promised that the new American Health Care Act, which faces a likely overhaul and uncertain passage in the Senate, would address growing healthcare costs.

Buffett said rising healthcare costs are crippling the competitiveness of US companies abroad.

Unlike in many other countries where much of healthcare spending is publicly financed, employers provide health insurance coverage for nearly half of Americans and often face sky-rocketing rates.

Buffett said healthcare costs have risen much faster in the United States than in the rest of the world and “will go up a lot more.”

“Medical costs are the tapeworm of American economic competitiveness,” he said. “That is a problem this society is having trouble with and is going to have more trouble with.”

Buffett is a Democrat who vocally supported Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful bid for the presidency against Trump.

The fourth richest man in the world with a net worth totaling $74.3 billion, according to Forbes magazine, Buffett has vowed to donate nearly his entire fortune to charity.

Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger added that he thinks neither political party “can think rationally” about healthcare because they “hate each other so much.”

Trumpcare v Obamacare: How they compare

What you need to know of Repeal of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

Mindy Baranski shared this link. Yesterday at 1:55pm ·

For those celebrating the forthcoming repeal of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare): Just a reminder that even if you are safely ensconced behind employer-provided insurance, the protections set forth in the ACA apply to you, too–

And if those protections are repealed along with the rest (or any part) of the program, you will also be affected.

That means you may be trapped in a job, because your pre-existing condition may mean you will not qualify for new insurance offered by another employer, and the cost of private insurance would be prohibitive.

If your employer shuts down, lays you off, or even changes insurers, well, you are out of luck.

(The Senate GOP voted this week that they would not require an eventual ACA replacement to protect against discrimination for pre-existing conditions, which was the standard before the ACA.)

It means that you (a young adult under the age of 26) or your adult children (over 18) may find yourselves without the protection of insurance, as the Senate GOP voted last night that an eventual ACA replacement will not be required to allow young people to remain on their parents’ insurance up to the age of 26.

It means that if you have a high-risk pregnancy, or life-threatening illness such as cancer, you may Not be able to afford all the care you need, because you may hit lifetime or annual caps.

If you have an infant born with any kind of severe medical condition, or premature, they may hit their lifetime insurance cap before they are old enough to walk.

The Senate GOP voted last night that an eventual ACA replacement program would not be required to prohibit lifetime insurance caps.

It means that if you are a struggling parent who is un- or underinsured, you will no longer be able to count on at least your kids getting the routine medical and dental care they need under the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP).

The Senate GOP voted that CHIP is not required to be protected by an eventual ACA replacement.

These provisions of the ACA affect everyone in this country, not just those without insurance through their employers.

If you are not okay with these changes, call your representatives and Senators and let them know what’s important to you.

Nothing has been set in stone yet, but our legislators have shown us a map of what they plan to do if constituents don’t make their voices heard loud and clear. (Telphone # 202-224-3121)

Sign Up for Obamacare: Flagging Down the 200,000 uninsured health Taxi Drivers

Dan Ware has been driving a taxicab in Chicago for more than a decade, but he still doesn’t have what many jobs offer: health insurance.

“I’m without health coverage,” he says.

 posted this March 4, 2014

Flagging Down Taxi Drivers To Sign Up For Obamacare

And that’s not unusual, says Chicago Public Health Commissioner Bechara Choucair. “What we know in Chicago is that around 70% of taxi drivers are uninsured,” Choucair says.

That means about 8,000 cabbies could be eligible for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Nationwide, there are more than 200,000 taxicab drivers, and so in a few big cities — including Chicago — supporters of the Affordable Care Act are working to recruit them to sign up before this month’s open enrollment deadline.

Choucair says a couple of years ago, a study showed taxi drivers in Chicago had plenty of health problems, largely due to the long hours they spend behind the wheel.

“They don’t eat as healthy, they don’t exercise as much and those are definitely risk factors for diabetes, for heart disease, for strokes,” Choucair says.

Add to that chronic back issues that can come from sitting and health problems caused by traffic accidents.

Enrollment workers in Chicago are signing up taxicab drivers for Obamacare at the facility where cabbies obtain or renew their city chauffeur’s license.

“We’ve been enrolling an average of between 5 to 9 people on site,” says Salvador Cerna, an outreach manager for the state. He says others make appointments to get help enrolling, and there are plenty here who want assistance.

Ejaz Waheed has gone without health insurance for nearly a decade. “Back until 2005, I was with a regular job, so I had it. Then I became self-employed and I lost insurance,” he says.

Ghulam Memon began driving in 1994 and shares a similar story. “My wife has Medicare and Medicaid both because she’s 65-plus. I’m like 60 years, and I don’t have anything,” Memon says.

So he’s exploring his options, as is Orkhan Askarov, 24. Askarov was applying for his first taxicab license, and he says he’ll also apply for health insurance “and guarantee that if anything [happens] to me I’m going to be [in] good hands.”

The nonprofit Enroll America is running similar cabbie programs in Austin and in Philadelphia. The group’s president Anne Filipic says it’s trying different ways to reach out to the uninsured as the March 31 deadline nears.

“Our focus right now is an all-hands-on-deck effort to get the word out. We know that a lot of people still don’t have all the facts and don’t know, for example, that financial assistance is available, so we want to meet them where they are and get them the information that they need,” Filipic says.

In Philadelphia, where there are about 5,000 taxi drivers, many cabbies are getting their information at the headquarters of the Taxi Workers Alliance of Pennsylvania. President Ronald Blount says until now many simply couldn’t afford health insurance at all.

Most drivers in Philadelphia are earning less than $5 per hour. They are working 12 to 16 hours per day, 6 to 7 days per week,” Blount says.

He calls the Affordable Care Act a godsend and says about 700 taxi drivers have already signed up there. “Drivers were finding plans as cheap as $35 to $60 per month, and that’s something they can afford and these are really good health plans,” Blount says.

And that’s a boon for many cabbies who may take an easier route and seek out medical help early for any of the ailments that come from driving a taxi.

Rational Millennial? Fighting for 5 economic reforms…

 posted on January 6, 2014 (and selected as one of the top posts)

I remember when I first began to understand the issue of poverty.

We were not wealthy by any means, but we weren’t impoverished. The concept perplexed me.

One day I came up with a brilliant idea and suggested it to my dad:

“Dad, why don’t we just give money to everyone so then everyone has money?”

“We are supposed to give money, Matt. Jesus wants us to give to the needy.”

“No, I mean why doesn’t whoever MAKES the money… like wherever the money comes from… like the president… why doesn’t he just print out a bunch of money and GIVE everyone a million dollars? Then we are all millionaires and nobody will ever be poor again!”

That’s when he told me about things like taxation, and inflation, and how pricing works.

He explained that if EVERYONE suddenly has a million dollars then, in effect, nobody has a million dollars.

Having a million dollars would be like having 3 pennies. If you could end poverty by printing money and handing it out, then there wouldn’t be poverty anywhere.

And thus ended my brief flirtation with liberalism. I was six years old.

In other words, I became too mature for liberal economic theory, but I still ate Elmer’s glue during art class (a habit I’ve yet to break — the stuff is just delicious).

Not all kids develop at the same pace, though. Which is probably why someone in my generation — purporting to speak for my generation — recently penned a piece for the Rolling Stone called “Five Economic Reforms Millennial Should Be Fighting For.”

The author, Jesse Myerson, points out how us Millennials have been “especially hard hit” by the economic recession.

This, of course, is everyone’s fault but ours. Our personal debt? Well, that’s, like, because of society.

And the bankers! The bankers did this to us! You decided to take out a college loan you couldn’t afford? Maybe put a bunch of iPhones and laptops on credit? Bankers! Wall Street! The rich!

Because that’s how the young generation should approach life — powerless, whiney, looking for someone to blame. A recipe for prosperity, is it not?

This is the philosophy that Myerson espouses. And he does it while using phrases like “you know else blows?” and “as much as unemployment blows, so do jobs.”

I’ve got nothing against the guy personally. I don’t know him. I’m sure he’s a decent enough fellow.

But what he represents, and the dull, juvenile, inarticulate, “hip,” way in which he communicates it — that’s what I hate. I hate it because it’s the sort of thing that festers on the soul of my generation like a toxic mold, and it will kill us all if we don’t work to eradicate it.

His idea for “reforms” to help my generation are:

1. Give everyone a job!

It’s that easy, dude. Unemployment blows! Just sayin’. Lolz. How do you correct the problem of people not having jobs? Well, magically create a job (and a market for these new jobs) out of thin air! Easypeezy lemonsqueezy.

2. Give everyone money!

As the author notes, “jobs blow” also. So if people don’t want to work — just hand them cash!

3. Have the government seize private land and give it to people!

What could go wrong?

4. Let everyone own everything!

And by “everyone” we mean the government. See, we have to take wealth and property away from the wealthy elite, and then promptly hand control of it over to the government… which is run by wealthy elite.

Oops.

5. Public banks!

Well, the IRS already has unfettered access to your money, and now Obamacare owns the rest of you, so why not? The author makes the point that government run banks don’t make “seedy deals.”

Yes, governments totally never make seedy deals.

Government: honesty, transparency, and fairness. And unicorns.

Now, as a Millennial myself, I thought I’d offer a different perspective.

We young people can sit around begging Uncle Sam to give out jobs, money, and land for free, or we can develop a different strategy for long term economic success and security.

Here are my proposals for five economic “reforms” we, as individuals, and especially as young people, can immediately instate:

1. Don’t go to college unless you actually need to be there.

14 million people under the age of 30 have outstanding student loans. The average debt for the class of 2012 will be just under 30,000 dollars.

Meanwhile, the median income for that same age group is about 23,000 dollars. This is what happens when you take out massive loans despite having no financial assets, no job, and no coherent plan for the future. Here’s how we cure this problem:

Stop doing it.

Go to college if you NEED to go to college. Go to college if you have a PLAN for the future that makes college a NECESSITY.

Go to college if you won the megamillions jackpot at the age of 18 and can now afford to take a four year vacation. Because that’s what college is for many — not all, many — of the bright young folks who attend.

We’ve got kids bankrupting themselves for the sake of getting drunk and passing out on vomit-stained couches for the next 48 months. This is insanity.

College is a means to an end. It isn’t a destination unto itself.

Don’t go for the “experience.” You want an experience? Move out of the house and get a job. Pay your own rent. Get evicted from an apartment for failure to make a payment. Work 3 minimum wage jobs at the one time. Mop floors.

Go a winter without heat because you can’t afford to keep it on and eat at the same time. Run out into that cold, wild world and muscle your way to the top of it. THAT’S an experience.

You want to be an engineer? A doctor? An astronaut? An architect? By all means, go to college.

You want to build cars or become an electrician? Maybe a trade school is in your future.

You have absolutely no clue what you want out of life, what your talents are, or what career path best suits you? College isn’t for you.

In fact, college is an objectively BAD idea for anyone in this category. And this is a category that includes, for instance, most college students.

Don’t want debt? Then don’t borrow money. If you do borrow money, you better have a good reason. Hint: “Eh, I’ll figure it out” isn’t a good reason.

2. Don’t buy things unless you can afford them.

This is more of an addendum to point 1. But it’s a basic budgetary principle that escapes many of us.

Before you buy something, ask yourself: do I have the money to pay for this? Remember: if your debt exceeds your financial assets — you don’t have any money. And “your money” really only includes what you have leftover after your bills for the month have been paid.

It’s a good thing the news constantly reminds us about how poor we are, because there’s little evidence of any of this at America’s shopping malls and Best Buys.

It’s interesting: my generation is saddled with unemployment and college debt, yet how many of us own smart phones? Like, everyone? Those things aren’t cheap.

Something isn’t adding up here.

3. Work hard.

Will working hard guarantee you wealth and happiness? No, nothing guarantees you anything.

You might get screwed over by a vindictive boss. You might get into a horrible car accident and lose three limbs. You might die tomorrow on your way to the gym. Horrible things will happen to you. But if you’re my age and the first step in your plan for success isn’t “work my butt off,” then you have a problem.

You are a problem.

Fix it.

I suppose there might be some people out there who oversimplify and act as though hard work can achieve literally anything.

But far more common, and far more dangerous, are the naysayers who insist that you have NO control and NO say over your lot in life.

On the bright side, they offer a convenient excuse to people who’ve failed due to their own laziness, apathy, and complacency, but this also has the necessary effect of belittling and diminishing the people who’ve struggled against immeasurable odds to achieve their dreams.

So, you might feel rather charitable telling an inner city drug dealer that he is a victim of his environment and not responsible for his choices.

Now what about the guy who climbs out of the gutter to conquer and inspire the world? If the first guy isn’t responsible for his choices, neither is the second.

You just took that man’s achievements from him and turned his life story into a simple roll of Fate’s dice.

How dare you. You should be ashamed.

4. Develop a marketable skill.

Imagine a job interviewer asking you this question: “So, what are your skills?”

If you don’t have an answer, you better be charming as hell, because that’s your only chance at landing the gig.

Most of us, however, aren’t that likeable. If we want to work in a particular industry, we need to have something that we do.

Skills are honed and developed over time; this is a process that you should start before you even graduate high school. If you have a useful skill, you’ll always have a way to make money. It really is that simple.

5. Save money.

I used to think it was more fun to spend than save. Then I grew up, and began to understand the joy of making sacrifices in the short term, so that I might have some financial security in the long term.

Social Security ain’t gonna be there for us, my friends. Our parents generation will cash out and leave us in the lurch. It’s a bad hand, but it’s the one we’ve been dealt. Deal with it. Save your own money for your own future.

Well, it isn’t as sexy as free money for everyone, but this is my proposal.

The best part is that we don’t have to wait for any politician or president to make this happen. We can do this now. And we should.

And we need to.

We don’t have a choice.

Pentagon Warns: ” Expect “Radical” Change In US Government Soon…”

As if the US political system is reverting to a new, reformed and revamped Communist features: The communism of the 21st century

Scare tactics to drive the US citizens from reflecting reasonably on the changing times…

Simply because the US fiscal policies need to reflect the changing economic environment and recurring recessions as a result of the outmoded and uncontrollable capitalist system that the US and colonial powers were adopting for their growth at the expense of the rest of the world…

A highly troubling urgent bulletin issued earlier today by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) states that it has received information from the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) warning to expect a “radical change” in the government of the United States, possibly within the next fortnight, based on information they have received from “highly placed” sources within the Pentagon.

Truth Channel posted this Oct. 8, 2013 “URGENT WARNING: Pentagon Warns To Expect “Radical” Change In US Government Soon”. I’m reposting this one of the top posts on wordpress.com with minor editing.

According to this MoFA bulletin, GRU intelligence assesses were notified by their Pentagon counterparts this past week that President Barack Obama is preparing to invoke the powers given to him under 50 USC Chapter 13 to hold that various American States are now in a state of insurrection , allowing him to invoke the National Emergencies Act under 50 USC § 1621 and invoke the highly controversial “continuity of government” plan for the United States that will let him rule with supreme powers.

Specifically, this bulletin says, Obama will invoke 50 USC § 212 that states: “ the President shall have declared by proclamation that the laws of the United States are opposed, and the execution thereof obstructed, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings”

The specific laws being opposed by these “combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings,” that Obama will outline in his reasoning’s for declaring a state of emergency, this bulletin continues, are the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), otherwise known as Obamacare.

The NDAA is opposed by many US States, this bulletin says, with California joining Alaska and Virginia this past week in passing a law making it illegal to be enforced in their territory, and with many other States, also, preparing to do the same.

The specific portions of the NDAA law being opposed by these US States allows for the indefinite detention without charges or trial of all American citizens and allows for their assassination should Obama order it.

The PPACA (Obamacare) law is, likewise, opposed by over half of the US States and has led to an American “shutdown” this past week that has closed 15% of their government, but has left fully 85% of it still open.

To the specific “combinations too powerful” Obama will cite in his declaration of National Emergency as being needed to be defeated by extraordinary measures, the MoFA says, is a faction of the US House of Representatives popularly known as the Republican Tea Party whom the President and his allies have likened to “hostage takers” and “political terrorists.”

Obama’s greatest fear, and reason(s) for declaring a National State of Emergency, this bulletin continues, was outlined yesterday by his US Treasury Department who released a report yesterday warning of potentially “catastrophic” damage should Congress fail to raise the debt ceiling and prevent the government from defaulting on its debt.

As the current US government shutdown crisis and debt ceiling fight have now merged, the MoFA warns in this bulletin, Obama further warned yesterday that an impasse on the debt ceiling beyond 17 October, when the US government will be essentially out of cash to pay its bills, could start a downward economic plunge worse than the recession of 5 years ago – with credit markets seizing up, the dollar’s value plummeting and US interest rates soaring and even coming close to the brink of such an unprecedented default that could roil both domestic and foreign financial markets.

Preparing to oppose Obama declare a National State of Emergency, the GRU grimly warns, is the US military who themselves are preparing to invoke 50 USC § 842 which allows them to protect America from “The Communist Party of the United States, or any successors of such party regardless of the assumed name, whose object or purpose is to overthrow the Government of the United States, or the government of any State, Territory, District, or possession thereof…”

Not known to many Americans is that the Progressive movement Obama belongs to, and whose media acolyte “presstitutes” swept into office, have long been associated with the Communist Party.

And, as the World Net Daily News Service reported this past August, John C. Drew, Ph.D., the award-winning political scientist, met Obama in 1980 and wrote in 2011: “[Obama] believed that the economic stresses of the Carter years meant revolution was still imminent. The election of Reagan was simply a minor set-back in terms of the coming revolution. … Obama was blindly sticking to the simple Marxist theory … ‘there’s going to be a revolution.’ Obama said, ‘we need to be organized and grow the movement.’ In Obama’s view, our role must be to educate others so that we might usher in more quickly this inevitable revolution.”

With Obama’s “revolution” now at hand, the GRU warns in this bulletin, it is critical to note that that United States, unlike other nations, have all of their elected officials and military personal swear allegiance to the US Constitution, and not to their government or its leaders.

The most recent example of this conflict between Obama and the US military, the GRU further states, was in Egypt when the Obama regime supported Muslim Brotherhood was overthrown by the Pentagon backed Egyptian military, and who, like the United States, makes its political and military leaders swear allegiance to their constitution, not to any of its leaders.

As many in America now know that these present times are not the normal activities of a government seeking peace and prosperity, and as dozens of undisclosed Obama Presidential directives that define US national security policy and task government agencies are still unknown either to the public or, as a rule, to the US Congress, this bulletin warns in its summation that with each passing day American can be more likened to a communist dictatorship than a functioning democracy.

So bad, in fact, has the United States become that one of its legendary reporters, Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh wrote this past week that the Obama administration lies systematically yet none of the leviathans of American media, the TV networks or big print titles, challenge him.

Even worse, and in a further Sovietization of American Life by the Obama regime, the US this past week refused to grant entry visas to internationally renowned authors Ilija Trojanov and Ernst Titovets who were invited to speak at conferences, and which Justin Raimondo of the highly respected Antiwar.com blog calls “part of a disturbing pattern of repression that all points to one ineluctable conclusion: the United States is the Soviet Union of the new millennium – an ideological state with global ambitions that holds itself up as the epitome of “freedom” and yet is the single most powerful enemy of liberty worldwide.”

How the US Shutdown will affect your pleasure quality time?

National Parks Will Close To The Public. 

They’ll Stay Open To Drilling If The Government Shuts Down

Jessica Goad, Guest Blogger and Matt Lee-Ashley published on Climate Progress this  September 26, 2013

Despite the fact that most Americans object to the tactic of shutting down the government over Obamacare, Congressional Republicans continue to insist that they will not pass a budget for the federal government unless the Affordable Care Act is defunded, meaning that the government could potentially shut down when its current funding authorization runs out this coming Monday, September 30th, 2013.

A review of the most recent contingency plans completed in December 2011 for federal agencies shows that under a government shutdown, federal land management agencies would be required to close national parks, wildlife refuges, and national forests to the general public, but keep them open to most oil, gas, and mining operations. (Are the oil industry hiring their own personnel or paying the government and State employees allocated to run these parks?)

The National Park Service’s contingency plan says:

Effective immediately upon a lapse in appropriations, the National Park Service will take all necessary steps to close and secure national park facilities and grounds in order to suspend all activities except for those that are essential to respond to emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property…Where ever possible, park roads will be closed and access will be denied.

The closures, which may happen just 48 hours after tens of thousands of volunteers turn out this Saturday for National Public Lands Day, will not only throw a wrench in countless family plans, but will send chills through the country’s multibillion dollar tourism and recreation industry.

But because Congress allocates resources to federal agencies through a complex mix of funding sources, public lands and waters would likely remain open to most oil, gas, and mining operations.

This is even true for national parks. Drilling is currently happening in 12 national parks, including in Padre Island National Seashore in Texas and Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida.

The National Park Service’s contingency plan did not specify what impacts the shutdown would have on oil and gas operations within these areas but it does note that “access to personal and commercial inholdings and leased facilities is permitted.”

Additionally, while the Bureau of Land Management will not be able to process new oil and gas permits, oil and gas production at existing operations is expected to continue in other locations onshore according to the Bureau of Land Management’s contingency plan.

Yet only minimal agency personnel necessary for “protection of human life and property” will be on duty for inspections and enforcement and to oversee drilling activities such as “well shut-ins, re-completions, and down-hole/equipment changes in drilling/plugging operations.”

Current mining operations on public lands may continue as well, provided they do not need new authorizations or permits.

Offshore oil and gas drilling will also be largely unaffected by a shutdown.

The contingency plan for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, one of the two agencies that manages oil and gas offshore, states that:

In the event of a shutdown, BOEM would continue to perform major operations and planning. This would allow the Bureau to continue to plan for future exploration and development of energy resources on the Outer Continental Shelf… The operations and planning activities that continue would allow industry to function during a government shutdown.

Being “denied access” to national parks and public lands is not the only way that Americans will feel the effects of a government shutdown when it comes to energy and the environment.

As Climate Progress described this week, other federal agencies would be required to stop environmental permits for construction projects, cleanup of toxic waste sites, as well as many scientific research projects.

The Smithsonian Institution wrote in 2011 that “it would be necessary for us to close all museum buildings to the public.”


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