Money & Change Healthcare Plan (Americare)
1. All drivers licenses in each state would have a chip or magnetic strip to identify legal citizens by photograph, valid social security number, address, blood type, fingerprint, etc. In addition, the card would store medical data that could be used as an In Case of Emergency (ICE) card for medical personnel. The citizen would be responsible to report any address changes within 60 days to the Department of Motor Vehicles and have the new data added to the card. The data chip in the card would also be updated with the reported net income with the amount paid for Americare as reported on their prior year's state income tax. This card would also be the source of identification for voter registration. Any fraudulent use of the card would result in a $10,000 fine and 30 days in jail.
2. Citizens (single or married couple) pay a fee of no more than 1.25% of their reported net state income tax earnings per year to their family healthcare provider or have it added to their state tax and that amount loaded into the card. A family of 3 would pay 1.5% of their income and a family of four would pay 1.75% of their net state income tax earnings per year. For larger families, the rate would increase by 25% per child / dependant. When filing state tax, the Americare taxable amount is added to the tax bill to be paid. If a person made $25,000 per year and paid 7% tax, the state tax would be $1750.00 plus $312.50 for Americare for a total of $2,062.50. The state would then pay the healthcare provider network that amount for the year. The healthcare provider would read the card at each time of use to determine if the patient was current with payment and input any medical data. If not, the patient would be charged for the amount to be paid by cash or credit card. Payments could also be made on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually basis to the healthcare provider. The amount paid will not be permitted to roll over into the next calendar year. Excess funds are kept by the healthcare provider to fund overhead costs.
3. When the patient visits the doctor and presents the card to the receptionist who will check the validity, the doctor of their choice in the healthcare provider system provides no appointment needed services during regular hours of operation for healthcare i.e.: treatment for colds, flu, blood pressure, diabetes, laceration treatment, minor surgery, etc. This would include wellness exams. House calls would be optional and cost $50 per visit. Medications would be an additional expense at the doctor's wholesale cost plus 10%. If using a pharmacy, it would be the wholesale cost (generics) plus 10% with no clawbacks. Any treatment data rendered will be updated in the card prior to the patient's leaving.
4. Catastrophic insurance will be a separate from Americare. Citizens are given the opportunity to shop for catastrophic insurance across state lines. This would cover severe cases: cancer, heart, lung, brain, kidney, transport or other long term care. This data would be kept current in a separate card. All hospitals must take the catastrophic insurance chosen by the patient. This would be an additional cost to the citizen.
Medicaid / Public Assistance
5. Citizens on unemployment public assistance will have 1.25% of their assistance money placed in a Medicaid plan to be used for medical care. This will last for a maximum of 16 months. If not used, the remainder would be placed in a central "pool" of funds to support the program. As with the payment program listed in the payment section above, additional dependants would be charged an additional 25% and that would be taken out of their Medicaid income.
6. Citizens who are on valid disability and cannot work will be placed in Medicaid high risk pool. A 1.25% deduction from their disability funds would be deducted and placed into the Medicaid account. For citizens with more than one dependent, the rate would raise a 25% rate per dependant. This is to be reviewed every two years or by spot audit. If deemed a permanent disability, the applicant would be given a waiver for audit.
7. All citizens (including politicians) are given the choices of accepting or opting out of the Americare program. Once opted out, you cannot re-enter for 2 calendar years.
8. Those entering the United States for travel or work visas must have travel insurance. Any non-citizen visiting the United States will get emergency care at hospitals for emergency related medical events and will be billed for services rendered per U.S. Code. (Broken Bones, heart attack, suturing, etc.) All non-emergency situations will be referred to an urgent care clinic for cash or credit card payment. Any non-citizens who use emergency care at a hospital and cannot pay shall be responsible to notify the hospital in advance of treatment. The hospital shall assume all costs incurred.
Italy's Newest Bank Bailout Cost As Much As Its Annual Defense Budget
ZeroHedge.com Jun 27, 2017 2:00 AM
Authored by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com,
Two more Italian banks failed over the weekend– Banco Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca.
The Italian Prime Minister himself stated that depositors’ funds were at risk, so the government stepped in with a bailout and guarantee package that could cost taxpayers as much as 17 billion euros.
That’s a lot of money in Italy - around 1% of GDP. In fact it’s basically as much as the 17.1 billion euros they spent on national defense last year (according to an estimate by Italian think tank IAI).
You don’t have to have a PhD in economics to figure out that NO government can afford to spend its entire defense budget every time a couple of medium-sized banks need a bailout.
That goes especially for Italy, whose public debt level is already 132% of GDP… and rising. They simply don’t have the money.
Moreover, the European Union actually has a series of new rules collectively known as the “Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive” which is supposed to prevent failing banks from being bailed out with taxpayer funds.
Here’s the thing– Italy has LOTS of banks that are on the ropes.
So with taxpayer resources exhausted (and technically prohibited), who’s going to be on the hook next time a bank goes under?
Easy. By process of elimination, the only other party left to fleece is the depositor.
Here’s how it works:
Let’s say a bank takes in $1 billion in deposits.
Naturally the bank doesn’t just keep $1 billion in cash sitting in its vault. They invest the money. They make loans. They buy assets.
So the bank’s balance sheet shows $1 billion worth of assets, and $1 billion worth of deposits that they owe to their customers.
But sometimes banks screw up when they invest their customers’ funds. Loans go bad. Borrowers default.
For example, if a bank invested $200 million in Greek government bonds, and then the government of Greece defaults, the bank would only have $800 million in assets remaining.
But they’d still owe their depositors the full $1 billion.
How can a bank with only $800 million in assets possibly honor the $1 billion worth of deposits they owe to their customers?
They can’t. And there’s a word for this: insolvency.
This is the problem with so many banks across Italy (and many other countries around the world). They owe their depositors more than their assets are worth.
Again, the taxpayers are ultimately on the hook from this weekend’s bailouts, along with some subordinated bondholders who got wiped out.
But Italy’s banking problems go far beyond two little banks. This is a systemic issue across the country’s ENTIRE banking sector. And the solution goes far beyond what the taxpayers can afford.
So next time around it could very well be the depositors who end up losing money.
Even if not, it hardly seems worth taking the chance.
By the way, I’m not just talking about Italy here.
You know how they say “time heals all wounds?” Well, not in banking. Some wounds never heal.
And there are countless banks and banking systems around the world that never fully recovered from the 2008 crisis.
This raises the question– why hold money at a shaky bank in a country where the government is in debt up to its eyeballs? Especially when there are so many better options.
Most people never think twice about where they hold their savings, typically opening accounts based on some irrelevant anachronism like geography.
It’s 2017. Why trust all of your savings to a financial institution simply because it’s across the street?
If you run a website, you wouldn’t necessarily choose a web hosting company because it’s located in your home town. You’d find the best company with the best service and best uptime.
If you want to buy a new mobile phone, you wouldn’t just go to a local retailer. You’d probably shop online and find the best deal, even if it’s from a company across the planet.
Why should money be any different?
The world is a big place with LOTS of options and opportunities.
And there are plenty of places where the banks might have MUCH stronger fundamentals, located in jurisdictions with minimal debt.
But if this is too exotic, you could also consider physical cash.
With an at-home safe, you effectively become your own banker, eliminating the middle man and eliminating the risk to your savings.
This is all part of a great Plan B.
Clearly there are risks in a number of banking systems, including most of the West where the majority of governments are themselves insolvent.
Perhaps those risks are never realized.
But it’s hard to imagine you’ll be worse off for holding a little bit of physical cash… or to consider the option of holding a portion of your savings in a bank that’s conservative, well-capitalized, and located in a country with zero debt.
Even if nothing bad ever happens, there’s no downside in having taken these steps.
But if these risks do pan out, your Plan B will end up being the best insurance policy you’ve ever had.
Good Luck Getting Out Of That Subprime Auto Loan When Used Car Prices Crash
ZeroHedge.com Jun 19, 2017 8:22 PM
We've written frequently in recent months about the coming subprime auto crisis which will very likely be prompted by a wave of off-lease vehicles that will flood the market with used inventory over the coming years. In fact, Morgan Stanley recently predicted that the surge in used inventory could result in as much as a 50% crash in used car prices over the next couple of years which would, in turn, put further pressure on the new car market which has already resorted to record incentive spending to maintain volumes.
Of course, while pretty much anyone has been able to purchase that brand new BMW of their dreams over the past 5 years...courtesy of a surge in subprime lending volumes....
...getting out of those loans once used car prices crash and millions of Americans are left with massive negative equity balances won't be quite so easy...just ask Yvette Harris who is still making payments on her 1997 Mitsubishi nearly a decade after her car was repossessed. Per the New York Times: More than a decade after Yvette Harris’s 1997 Mitsubishi was repossessed, she is still paying off her car loan.
She has no choice. Her auto lender took her to court and won the right to seize a portion of her income to cover her debt. The lender has so far been able to garnish $4,133 from her paychecks — a drain that at one point forced Ms. Harris, a single mother who lives in the Bronx, to go on public assistance to support her two sons.
“How am I still paying for a car I don’t have?” she asked.
For millions of Americans like Ms. Harris who have shaky credit and had to turn to subprime auto loans with high interest rates and hefty fees to buy a car, there is no getting out.
Many of these auto loans, it turns out, have a habit of haunting people long after their cars have been repossessed.
And while the aggregate subprime auto credit balances are no where near the trillions in debt that was extended to subprime mortgage borrowers leading up to the great recession, for many low-income Americans the fallout could actually be worse because they can't simply walk away.
With mortgages, people could turn in the keys to their house and walk away. But with auto debt, there is increasingly no exit. Repossession, rather than being the end, is just the beginning.
“Low-income earners are shackled to this debt,” said Shanna Tallarico, a consumer lawyer with the New York Legal Assistance Group.
Meanwhile, with low-income borrowers unable to afford a lawyer in many cases, defendants often skip court dates and don't even realize they're still on the hook for payments until debt collectors start to garnish their wages.
"Essentially, the dealers are not selling cars. They are selling bad loans,” said Adam Taub, a lawyer in Detroit who has defended consumers in hundreds of these cases.
Many lawyers assisting poor borrowers like Ms. Robinson say they learn about the lawsuits only after a judge has issued a decision in favor of the lender.
Most borrowers can’t afford lawyers and don’t show up to court to challenge the lawsuits. That means the collectors win many cases, transforming the debts into judgments they can use to garnish wages.
Of course, if used car prices tank leaving millions of people with negative equity balances and defaults from auto loans they could never afford in the first place...you know what that means for new car prices...
A new study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University ranks each US state’s financial health based on short- and long-term debt and other key fiscal obligations, such as unfunded pensions and healthcare benefits. This 2016 edition updates the version the Mercatus Center published in 2015. Using the approach pioneered in 2015, the 2016 edition presents information from each state’s audited financial report in an easily accessible format, this time including Puerto Rico to provide a benchmark of poor fiscal performance.
Growing long-term obligations for pensions and healthcare benefits continue to strain the finances of state governments, highlighting the fact that state policymakers must be vigilant to consider both the short-term and the long-term consequences of their decisions. Understanding how each state is performing in regard to a variety of fiscal indicators can help policymakers as they consider the consequences of policy decisions.
The study also highlights some of the limits of the financial data reported by state governments. States release these data years after they are most relevant, and because the information is highly aggregated, analysts and the public have difficulty discerning the true fiscal position of any state.
SUMMARY AND KEY FINDINGS
The financial health of each state can be analyzed through the states’ own audited financial reports. By looking at states’ basic financial statistics on revenues, expenditures, cash, assets, liabilities, and debt, states may be ranked according to how easily they will be able to cover short-term and long-term bills, including pension obligations.
This ranking of the 50 states and Puerto Rico is based on their fiscal solvency in five separate categories:
Alaska, Nebraska, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota rank in the top five states.
Kentucky, Illinois, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Connecticut rank in the bottom five states, largely owing to the low amounts of cash they have on hand and their large debt obligations.
To be considered a “big mover,” a state must have shifted position by more than five spots between the 2015 and 2016 editions (which use the latest available data, from fiscal years 2013 and 2014, respectively). A change in ranking of five or fewer places is not considered a significant change in the underlying metrics.
For the most part, states’ overall fiscal performance remained relatively constant. Only Delaware and Iowa dropped significantly in the overall ranking of fiscal condition. But there were big movers in each of the five categories that make up the overall ranking:
Updating the fiscal condition of the states with another year of data shows that most states’ fiscal performance remains relatively constant, but the signs of fiscal stress persist. Underfunded pensions and healthcare benefits continue to put pressure on state finances. Even states that appear to be fiscally robust—perhaps owing to large amounts of cash on hand or revenue streams from natural resources—must take stock of their long-term fiscal health before making future public policy decisions. These fiscal pressures point to areas for policymakers to direct their efforts. They also highlight areas where improved financial reporting could give the public a clearer picture of states’ fiscal health.
ALEC: Mostly Democratic-run States Are A Total Disaster, Have The Worst Economies
Matt Vespa Townhall.com
Posted: Apr 24, 2017 7:30 AM
The American Legislative Exchange Council released their “Rich States, Poor States” report last week and shocker—mostly Democratic-run states are a disaster concerning economic performance and competitiveness. ALEC included the top and bottom ten states in the press release announcing the 10th edition of the report. NTK Network broke down who controls what in the respective state legislatures of these low performing states as well.
#41: Oregon (Dems control the legislature and governor’s office)
#42: Maine (Dems split control of the legislature with Republicans)
#43: Hawaii (Dems control the legislature and governor’s office)
#44: Illinois (Dems control the legislature)
#45: Minnesota (Dems control the governor’s office)
#46: Connecticut (Dems control the legislature and governor’s office)
#47: California (Dems control the legislature and governor’s office)
#48: New Jersey (Dems control the legislature)
#49: Vermont (Dems control the legislature)
#50: New York (Dems control the legislature and governor’s office)
You can peruse all the data on income tax, property tax burdens, sales taxes, death taxes, the minimum wage, how many public employees there are per 10,000 in state population, whether it’s a right to work state, and much more. You can also compare states within these criteria as well.
Some states, like New Jersey and Illinois, are not shockers. While they have Republican governors, Democrats dominate the legislatures. In New Jersey, Christie touted pension reform, though the Garden State has a long way to go, with ALEC noting that it’s actually underfunded by $235 billion. On taxes, the organization pretty much took Christie to the woodshed:
On tax policy, the governor praised Republicans and Democrats for reducing the state sales tax and increasing the exclusions for the state’s estate tax (to be eliminated completely in 2018); but he failed to mention the tax cut savings are almost entirely offset by the enormous 23-cent per gallon increase in the gas tax. This year’s sales tax reduction of 0.125 percent will save a whopping $1.25 on a $1,000 purchase; meanwhile, the gas tax hike will cost twice this much on a single 11 gallon fill-up. And while he commended the implementation of a property tax cap during his tenure (projected to save taxpayers $520 million), he failed to mention that New Jersey’s property tax burden is the worst in the nation. Capping the tax does not alter this harsh reality.