ACA Market Distortions May Not Allow Cancelled Policies To Be Reissued

<h2><a href=""><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-2652" alt="healthcare" src="" width="300" height="199" /></a>It may not be possible for 5,000,000 people to get their insurance back.</h2> <p>Over 5,000,000 people have lost their existing health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Even though they liked their health insurance, they were not able to keep it. These people then experienced significant sticker shock when they went to purchase health coverage in the new Exchanges. The President's solution is to reauthorize health insurance companies to reissue the "banned" policies for an additional year.  Forget for a moment the debate about whether the President has the ability to unilaterally modify the requirements of the ACA, the greater immediate concern for those who lost their insurance is: Can insurance companies actually turn those policies back on? What the President doesn't understand is that it isn't that easy.</p> <p>Let's consider the health insurance market at the aggregate level. While I've never worked

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Why The Fed’s Monetary Policy is Failing

<h2><a href=""><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-2622" alt="Debt" src="" width="300" height="199" /></a>"There are studies that indicate that economic growth slows when public and private debt exceeds 260% to 275% of GDP. The U.S. hit the 260% level in 2000."</h2> <p>A recent paper by Hoisington Investment Management Company (<a href="" target="_blank">available here</a>) does an excellent job describing why the Federal Reserve is, and will continue to be, unsuccessful in its efforts to engineer economic growth by devaluing the U.S currency and attempting to increase inflation through persistent “Quantitative Easing”. They cite four factors:</p> <p>1)    <b>The Fed’s Forecast</b>: If the Fed’s forecasts were consistently right, we could have confidence that their actions might positively impact the economy. However, their forecasts for GDP and inflation have been “consistently above the actual outcomes”. They assume higher stock prices will lead to more spending because people feel wealthier if their portfolio is rising. This “wealth effect” has not occurred,

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Offshore Corporate Tax Havens Shift Burden to Individual Tax Payers

<h2>" haven abusers force other Americans to shoulder their tax <a href=""><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-2627" alt="tax" src="" width="300" height="249" /></a>burden."</h2> <p>U.S. PIRG, an organization I don't generally have much in common with, published an interesting and informative report on offshore corporate tax havens. While I don't necessarily agree with the causes of the problem the author suggests, I agree with the effects.</p> <p>From U.S. PIRG:</p> <p>"Many large U.S.-based multinational corporations avoid paying U.S. taxes by using accounting tricks to make profits made in America appear to be generated in offshore tax havens—countries with minimal or no taxes. By booking profits to subsidiaries registered in tax havens, multinational corporations are able to avoid an estimated $90 billion in federal income taxes each year. These subsidiaries are often shell companies with few, if any employees, and which engage in little to no real business activity.</p> <div dir="ltr" data-font-name="g_font_154_0" data-canvas-width="289.72533961296097">Loopholes in the tax code make it legal

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A Busload of Silicon Valley Programmers: The Senator John McCain Solution to Obamacare

<h2><a href=""><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-2618" alt="Obamacare" src="" width="198" height="300" /></a>Is the private sector the solution to a public sector problem?</h2> <p>I haven’t been blogging much lately. This is primarily due to the overall heightened state of daily outrage I’ve been walking around in for about the last year and a half. A friend told me this morning that this is a privilege reserved for those of at least 70, but I’m an old soul who has been telling cars to slow down since I was in my 20’s. I can’t live by your outrage privilege rules, man.</p> <p>I try to touch on issues and perspectives others aren’t addressing and I’ve found those subjects difficult to find lately, but Senator John McCain helped me out this morning. I was watching Fox News while eating my scrambled egg whites (another sign I might be 70) when the Senator suggested—and I paraphrase—that the solution to

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What Might “Obamacare” and the Healthcare Industry Look Like in 2038?

<h2><a href=""><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-2606" alt="Obamacare" src="" width="240" height="300" /></a>"Regardless of government healthcare mandates or other regulatory policies, market forces are always at work...Obamacare is a bad idea that may only get worse."</h2> By Holly A. Bell Regardless of government healthcare mandates or other regulatory policies, market forces are always at work and will mold the healthcare market to adjust to the new regulatory environment. If governments are unable to regulate away market forces, what impacts might the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act have on the healthcare market twenty years after full implementation? Using a basic economic principle, we can make some predictions about costs and demand and infer how the healthcare market and regulators might respond. <h3>Third party payer systems</h3> The primary goal of the Affordable Care Act is to ensure all American’s have affordable healthcare by creating a system of available and affordable health insurance. By doing so the government

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The Time May Be Right To End The Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend

<h2><a href=""><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-2531" alt="Alaska" src="" width="300" height="216" /></a>The Dividend is a Redistribution Policy</h2> <p>The Alaska Permanent Fund was established in 1976 as an investment that would allow for the continuation of funding of Alaska’s essential services once the Alaskan oil resources had been exhausted. While a portion of the income from the Fund comes from oil revenue (about 11% of total oil revenue to the state), most of the growth in the fund has come from re-investment and additional money put in by the legislature during the “rich” years of the inevitable boom and bust cycles experienced by Alaska. Based on its purpose, to fund the Alaska government once oil tax revenues have dried up, many people in Alaska (myself included) believe paying an annual dividend to residents is inconsistent with the Fund’s goal. In a 2010 study by the University of Alaska Institute of Social and Economic Research,

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Krugman Needs To Consider Microeconomic Factors Before Claiming “No Trickle”

<p>Paul Krugman published an <a href="">article today</a> that consisted of 3 sentences and a chart entitled “No Trickle” that he presents as evidence that company profits do not trickle down to employees. However, he fails to examine the potential microeconomic reasons for the short-term data he presents. The chart he references is the following (pardon the blurriness):</p> <p><a href=""><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-2492" alt="Krugman" src="" width="623" height="286" /></a></p> <p> </p> <p>The red line indicates profits and the blue line total workers’ compensation and is for the beginning of the financial crisis through sometime in late 2012. Yes, it does indicate that there is currently a gap between profits and workers’ compensation, but the question Krugman should be asking is: “Why?”. Of course to do so would require looking at the issue from the perspective of business owners (the microeconomic perspective), which is not something Krugman has ever been very good at. So what are some

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Slow and Unsteady

Slow and Unsteady

<div class="rpuEmbedCode"> <h2><!--rpuEmbedStart-->CFOs are taking it slow as uncertainty is still present</h2> <div class="rpuArticle rpuRepost-657f88a25711c835751f5b2834a1f337-top rpuNoTitle" style="margin: 0; padding: 0;"><a class="rpuThumb" href="" rel="norewrite"><img style="float: left; margin-right: 10px;" alt="" src="" /></a> <a class="rpuTitle" href="" rel="norewrite"><strong>Slow and Unsteady</strong></a> (via <a class="rpuHost" href="" rel="norewrite"></a>) <p class="rpuSnip">The Economy | February 07, 2013 | CFO Magazine The U.S. CFO Optimism Index dropped yet again in the latest Duke University/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey, to 51 out of 100. Down from 52 last fall and 59 at the beginning of 2012, optimism levels among senior finance executives dipped late…</p> </div> <div class="rpuKeywords" style="display: none;">CFOs, finance chiefs, spending, fiscal cliff, capital spending, optimism, Latin America, prerecession levels, U.S. finance chiefs, increase capital spending by 13 % on average, spending plans, Spending CFOs, consecutive quarter, U.S. CFO Optimism, full-time staff, Europe s CFOs, Regan, senior finance executives, spending cuts, 67th consecutive quarter, spending expectations, research-and-development spending, University/CFO Magazine Global, marketing spending, Global Outlook

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Oil exec warns taxes could sink US energy rebirth

  <div class="rpuEmbedCode"> <div class="rpuArticle rpuRepost-ebf604cd950b34707d45ca0a15d529a1-top rpuNoTitle" style="margin: 0; padding: 0;"><a class="rpuThumb" href="" rel="norewrite"><img style="float: left; margin-right: 10px;" alt="" src="" /></a> <a class="rpuTitle" href="" rel="norewrite"><strong>Oil exec warns taxes could sink US energy rebirth</strong></a> (via <a class="rpuHost" href="" rel="norewrite">AFP</a>) <p class="rpuSnip">A top US <i>oil</i> industry figure warned Tuesday that the country's energy renaissance could be threatened by "punitive" tax policies on <u>oil</u> and gas exploration. With the US government looking to remove tax breaks for big oil firms to help boost government revenues, Jack Gerard, the head of the American…</p> </div> <div class="rpuKeywords" style="display: none;">oil, Gerard, oil industry, Washington to pursue policies favorable to energy, energy production, tax, environmental groups, oil industry figure, big oil firms, XL oil pipeline, American Petroleum Institute, domestic energy production, Jack Gerard, key tax measures, major policy battles, gas, State Department approval, offshore drilling rig, Shell, large oil, tax policies, tax breaks, oil production, gas exploration, government revenues, energy renaissance, tax deductions,

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fiscal cliff

View From the Bottom of the Fiscal Cliff

<h2><a href="" rel="attachment wp-att-2293"><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-2293" alt="fiscal cliff" src="" width="199" height="300" /></a>The Advantages of Going Over the Fiscal Cliff</h2> By Holly A. Bell Fiscal conservatives shouldn't be too alarmed that we are about to fall off the "<b>Fiscal Cliff</b>". Like drug addicts who have to hit bottom before they are willing to help themselves, our elected Representatives need to find themselves in the garbage and rat infested gutter at the bottom of the cliff before recovery can begin. So what are the advantages of going off the <i>Fiscal Cliff</i>? First, it is now much more likely that a deal can be reached. It is psychologically easier for Republicans to support tax cuts and Democrats to support spending increases, both of which will have to happen to climb back up the hill. Second, the much hyped "worst-case scenario" is upon us, yet the planet hasn't fallen off its axis. Falling off the <u>Fiscal Cliff</u>

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