Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Gold vs Cash in a Financial Crisis - Richard_Mills
2.Current Stock Market Rally Similarities To 1999 - Chris_Vermeulen
3.America See You On The Dark Side Of The Moon - Part2 - James_Quinn
4.Stock Market Trend Forecast Outlook for 2020 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Who Said Stock Market Traders and Investor are Emotional Right Now? - Chris_Vermeulen
6.Gold Upswing and Lessons from Gold Tops - P_Radomski_CFA
7.Economic Tribulation is Coming, and Here is Why - Michael_Pento
8.What to Expect in Our Next Recession/Depression? - Raymond_Matison
9.The Fed Celebrates While Americans Drown in Financial Despair - John_Mauldin
10.Hi-yo Silver Away! - Richard_Mills
Last 7 days
PAYPAL WARNING - Your Stimulus Funds Are at Risk of Being Frozen for 6 Months! - 5th Apr 20
Stocks Hanging By the Fingernails? - 5th Apr 20
US Federal Budget Deficits: To $30 Trillion and Beyond - 5th Apr 20
The Lucrative Profitability Of A Move To Negative Interest Rates - Pandemic Edition - 5th Apr 20
Visa Denials: How to avoid it and what to do if your Visa is denied? - 5th Apr 20 - Uday Tank
WARNING PAYPAL Making a Grab for US $1200 Stimulus Payments - 4th Apr 20
US COVID-19 Death Toll Higher Than China’s Now. Will Gold Rally? - 4th Apr 20
Concerned That Asia Could Blow A Hole In Future Economic Recovery - 4th Apr 20
Bracing for Europe’s Coronavirus Contractionand Debt Crisis - 4th Apr 20
Stocks: When Grass Looks Greener on the Other Side of the ... Pond - 3rd Apr 20
How the C-Factor Could Decimate 2020 Global Gold and Silver Production - 3rd Apr 20
US Between Scylla and Charybdis Covid-19 - 3rd Apr 20
Covid19 What's Your Risk of Death Analysis by Age, Gender, Comorbidities and BMI - 3rd Apr 20
US Coronavirus Infections & Deaths Trend Trajectory - How Bad Will it Get? - 2nd Apr 20
Silver Looks Bearish Short to Medium Term - 2nd Apr 20
Mickey Fulp: 'Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste' - 2nd Apr 20
Stock Market Selloff Structure Explained – Fibonacci On Deck - 2nd Apr 20
COVID-19 FINANCIAL LOCKDOWN: Can PAYPAL Be Trusted to Handle US $1200 Stimulus Payments? - 2nd Apr 20
Day in the Life of Coronavirus LOCKDOWN - Sheffield, UK - 2nd Apr 20
UK Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Trend Trajectory - Deviation Against Forecast - 1st Apr 20
Huge Unemployment Is Coming. Will It Push Gold Prices Up? - 1st Apr 20
Gold Powerful 2008 Lessons That Apply Today - 1st Apr 20
US Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Projections Trend Forecast - Video - 1st Apr 20
From Global Virus Acceleration to Global Debt Explosion - 1st Apr 20
UK Supermarkets Coronavirus Panic Buying Before Lock Down - Tesco Empty Shelves - 1st Apr 20
Gold From a Failed Breakout to a Failed Breakdown - 1st Apr 20
P FOR PANDEMIC - 1st Apr 20
The Past Stock Market Week Was More Important Than You May Understand - 31st Mar 20
Coronavirus - No, You Do Not Hear the Fat Lady Warming Up - 31st Mar 20
Life, Religions, Business, Globalization & Information Technology In The Post-Corona Pandemics Age - 31st Mar 20
Three Charts Every Stock Market Trader and Investor Must See - 31st Mar 20
Coronavirus Stocks Bear Market Trend Forecast - Video - 31st Mar 20
Coronavirus Dow Stocks Bear Market Into End April 2020 Trend Forecast - 31st Mar 20
Is it better to have a loan or credit card debt when applying for a mortgage? - 31st Mar 20
US and UK Coronavirus Trend Trajectories vs Bear Market and AI Stocks Sector - 30th Mar 20
Are Gold and Silver Mirroring 1999 to 2011 Again? - 30th Mar 20
Stock Market Next Cycle Low 7th April - 30th Mar 20
United States Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Trend Forecasts Into End April 2020 - 29th Mar 20
Some Positives in a Virus Wracked World - 29th Mar 20
Expert Tips to Save on Your Business’s Office Supply Purchases - 29th Mar 20
An Investment in Life - 29th Mar 20
Sheffield Coronavirus Pandemic Infections and Deaths Forecast - 29th Mar 20
UK Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Projections Trend Forecast - Video - 28th Mar 20
The Great Coronavirus Depression - Things Are Going to Change. Here’s What We Should Do - 28th Mar 20
One of the Biggest Stock Market Short Covering Rallies in History May Be Imminent - 28th Mar 20
The Fed, the Coronavirus and Investing - 28th Mar 20
Women’s Fashion Trends in the UK this 2020 - 28th Mar 20
The Last Minsky Financial Snowflake Has Fallen – What Now? - 28th Mar 20
UK Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Projections Trend Forecast Into End April 2020 - 28th Mar 20
DJIA Coronavirus Stock Market Technical Trend Analysis - 27th Mar 20
US and UK Case Fatality Rate Forecast for End April 2020 - 27th Mar 20
US Stock Market Upswing Meets Employment Data - 27th Mar 20
Will the Fed Going Nuclear Help the Economy and Gold? - 27th Mar 20
What you need to know about the impact of inflation - 27th Mar 20
CoronaVirus Herd Immunity, Flattening the Curve and Case Fatality Rate Analysis - 27th Mar 20
NHS Hospitals Before Coronavirus Tsunami Hits (Sheffield), STAY INDOORS FINAL WARNING! - 27th Mar 20
CoronaVirus Curve, Stock Market Crash, and Mortgage Massacre - 27th Mar 20
Finding an Expert Car Accident Lawyer - 27th Mar 20
We Are Facing a Depression, Not a Recession - 26th Mar 20
US Housing Real Estate Market Concern - 26th Mar 20
Covid-19 Pandemic Affecting Bitcoin - 26th Mar 20
Italy Coronavirus Case Fataility Rate and Infections Trend Analysis - 26th Mar 20
Why Is Online Gambling Becoming More Popular? - 26th Mar 20
Dark Pools of Capital Profiting from Coronavirus Stock Markets CRASH! - 26th Mar 20
CoronaVirus Herd Immunity and Flattening the Curve - 25th Mar 20
Coronavirus Lesson #1 for Investors: Beware Predictions of Stock Market Bottoms - 25th Mar 20
CoronaVirus Stock Market Trend Implications - 25th Mar 20
Pandemonium in Precious Metals Market as Fear Gives Way to Command Economy - 25th Mar 20
Pandemics and Gold - 25th Mar 20
UK Coronavirus Hotspots - Cities with Highest Risks of Getting Infected - 25th Mar 20
WARNING US Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Going Ballistic! - 24th Mar 20
Coronavirus Crisis - Weeks Where Decades Happen - 24th Mar 20
Industry Trends: Online Casinos & Online Slots Game Market Analysis - 24th Mar 20
Five Amazingly High-Tech Products Just on the Market that You Should Check Out - 24th Mar 20
UK Coronavirus WARNING - Infections Trend Trajectory Worse than Italy - 24th Mar 20
Rick Rule: 'A Different Phrase for Stocks Bear Market Is Sale' - 24th Mar 20
Stock Market Minor Cycle Bounce - 24th Mar 20
Gold’s century - While stocks dominated headlines, gold quietly performed - 24th Mar 20
Big Tech Is Now On The Offensive Against The Coronavirus - 24th Mar 20
Socialism at Its Finest after Fed’s Bazooka Fails - 24th Mar 20
Dark Pools of Capital Profiting from Coronavirus Stock and Financial Markets CRASH! - 23rd Mar 20
Will Trump’s Free Cash Help the Economy and Gold Market? - 23rd Mar 20
Coronavirus Clarifies Priorities - 23rd Mar 20
Could the Coronavirus Cause the Next ‘Arab Spring’? - 23rd Mar 20
Concerned About The US Real Estate Market? Us Too! - 23rd Mar 20
Gold Stocks Peak Bleak? - 22nd Mar 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Coronavirus-bear-market-2020-analysis

While dismantling Obamacare, U.S. Congress aims for Social Security reform

Politics / Social Issues Dec 19, 2016 - 05:50 AM GMT

By: Michael_T_Bucci

Politics

Humans are woefully unprepared to deal with a surprise asteroid or comet, said NASA researcher Dr Joseph Nuth at the annual meeting of American Geophysical Union this month. Woefully, Americans are as unprepared to deal with the most ideologically driven reactionary Congress in this nation’s history that will convene on January 3 and decide the future of Obamacare, safety net programs, housing, EPA, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, among others.

In the elections of Nov. 8, Americans gave Republicans unified control of government. The policy and budget priorities of Congress promise to reflect a center-right conservative ideology for years to come.


The era of Roosevelt, the New Deal and the Great Society will come to an official end if Congressional Republicans follow the lead of budget technocrat and austerity czar House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan and move forward with a demolition blueprint etched earlier this year.

As RollCall.com called it: “The incoming administration prefers to use its post-election momentum to repeal the 2010 health care law, roll back possibly hundreds of regulations and enhance security along the southern border.” Additionally, a debt ceiling deadline falls during President-elect Trump’s first 100 days and conservatives will pair deficit reductions plans with any increase.

Jared Bernstein wrote in the Washington Post last March that if the next president be a Republican, the consensus blueprint for the budget policies of today’s Republican Party “will intensify hardship for tens of millions of Americans.”

ACA (“Obamacare”):

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities wrote December 7, Republican congressional leaders’ plans to repeal most of the Affordable Care Act in January without replacing it “will double the number of uninsured people” in 2019.

President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to repeal Obamacare swiftly upon taking office.

According to a brief by the Urban Institute on December 6, if the GOP adopts a plan similar to the reconciliation bill President Obama vetoed in January, almost 30 million more Americans will join 28.9 million now without insurance, bringing the total number of uninsured to 58.7 million, an increase of 103 percent.

Nationally, the increase in people uninsured will be a result of eliminating the premium tax credits, the Medicaid expansion, and the individual mandate as well as the near collapse of the nongroup insurance market.

Eighty-two percent of the people becoming uninsured would be in working families, 38 percent would be ages 18 to 34, and 56 percent would be non-Hispanic whites. Eighty percent of adults becoming uninsured would not have college degrees.

There would be 12.9 million fewer people with Medicaid or CHIP coverage in 2019 because state spending would fall.

Also, because of the larger number of uninsured, financial pressures on state and local governments and health care providers would increase dramatically from the newly uninsured seeking an additional $1.1 trillion in uncompensated care between 2019 and 2028.

While projected figures are theoretical and people can still seek enrollment in a private plan, many would not be able to afford it without the ACA subsidy and become uninsured.

Mrs. T.P., along with her husband and two children, will be among those New Englanders who will lose health care subsidies if ACA is repealed in the 115th Congress.

Her husband is a seasonal worker in the construction trade and she is an R.N. working per diem in a Maine hospital that does not pay for health care, or provide sick-time and retirement benefits. Based on the couple’s 2017 “predicted income”, they will receive nearly $300 per month in subsidy next year, which reduces their insurance premium to $600 per month for the family of four.

Without ACA subsidies their monthly premium will increase to $900 per month. “I can't really even decrease to a less expensive plan because it's already the rock-bottom plan,” she explained by email.

In the event ACA is repealed, “I will have to re-evaluate my job. I will need to decide if it would be better to leave a job I like and instead take a job I don't like just because it would offer insurance.” If she chooses to remain with her current employer, “I will have to cut other expenses or take from my savings to afford the insurance.”

“As a nurse, I know too well the importance of having insurance, even though it feels each month like I'm throwing away a substantial portion of my income with nothing to show for it,” she added. “I would end that sentence with ‘except for peace of mind,’ but with an annual deductible of $10,000, it doesn't really provide much peace of mind.”

While Obamacare is blamed for rising premium costs, congressional lawmakers have done nothing to lower the cost of pharmaceuticals and medical care as health insurance companies and their investors reap windfall profits.

But as Mr. Trump and GOP congressional leaders are charging forward with Obamacare repeal, few are eager to follow.

Noam M. Levey, writing for the LA Times (Dec. 12), finds not a single major organization representing patients, physicians, hospitals or others who work in the nation’s healthcare system backs the GOP’s Obamacare strategy. Furthermore, new polls also show far more Americans would like to expand or keep the healthcare law, rather than repeal it.

SOCIAL SECURITY – MEDICARE – MEDICAID:

While media headlines revolve around “reforming”, replacing or repealing Obamacare, equal if not greater importance to 60 million Americans will be the coming debate on overhauling Social Security.

Most current retirees rely on Social Security for more than half of their income and future retirees are expected to rely even more.

Flexing muscle before the close of Congress in December, and telegraphing a coming “sea change”, Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas, chairman of the House Social Security subcommittee, introduced the “Social Security Reform Act of 2016”.

The bill’s innocuous subtitle reads, “To preserve Social Security for generations to come, reward work, and improve retirement security.” These will be Republican talking points that need proving in the coming days since the bill would slash SS benefits for all but the poorest beneficiaries, raise the retirement age to 69 and reduce the annual cost-of-living adjustment, according to a New York Times assessment.

Furthermore, the House Freedom Caucus, a contingent of far-right House Republicans, will push for a complete overhaul of SS and Medicare in the early days of the next Congress. “We’re hopeful to come up with entitlement reform and deficit reduction plans in the first 30 days,” House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told RollCall.

According to the Washington Examiner, Meadows said the group of lawmakers came up with a 21-page report to give to President-elect Trump listing 232 rules and regulations he can repeal on his first day in office.

Pew Research Center states the group includes many veterans of the Tea Party movement and was formed with the declared aim of “pushing the House GOP leadership to the right.” Rolling Stone magazine in 2015 classified them as an “ideological and uncompromising band of anti-government radicals.”

Equal pressure will be exerted on lawmakers by the Christian Evangelical base of the Republican party which overwhelming voted for Donald J. Trump in the last election. Dr. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, saw Trump’s victory as part of God’s plan for America — a divine intervention. Land told the Huffington Post, “This election will bring about the most change in the federal government in relation to its people since the election of 1932, and it will be in the opposite direction from the New Deal.”

During most of President Obama’s tenure, House Republicans have called for a dollar in spending cuts for every dollar increase in the debt ceiling.

“A prudent approach to reform would target the causes of the system’s shortfall with a mix of modest benefit cuts and modest tax increases,” argued the Times editorial board (Dec. 17). However, Johnson’s bill would not raise taxes but would cut taxes that high earners now pay on a portion of their SS benefits.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley of New York cautioned that Republicans are “playing with fire” if they think they can make drastic cuts to entitlement programs like Social Security or Medicare.

President-elect Trump pledged to protect Social Security but his promises often contradict each other. Trump has no government experience nor any past voting record that can be used as a guide on how he will treat Republican bills aimed at slashing entitlement programs.

By law, the trustees of Social Security are secretaries of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services. Trump’s nominee for Labor is Andrew Puzder, CEO of CKE fast food restaurants Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.; Treasury nominee is Steve Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs partner and now CEO of Dune Capital, a hedge fund. Neither has government experience nor expertise on Social Security.

“Puzfer's nomination will likely result in lower wages and longer hours for millions of Americans,” wrote Eric Reed for TheStreet.com. Labor Department auditors found 60% of Puzder’s restaurants with wage and hour violations. New York’s Attorney General accused Puzder of presiding over a fast-food chain “that repeatedly stole workers’ hard earned wages.”

Mnuchin is best known as leader of a group that bought failed subprime lender IndyMac for pennies on the dollar in 2009 and renamed it OneWest, explained CNN Money (Nov. 30). Regulators questioned OneWest’s foreclosure practices and “robo-signings” that pushed homeowners into foreclosure without proper review or due process. In November,  the bank was accused of discriminating against minority borrowers during Mnuchin’s tenure there.

The third trustee of Social Security is the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Trump’s nominee is Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., who, according to the Times, “has been a champion of cuts to all three of the nation’s large social programs — Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.” When discussing reforms to Social Security, he has ignored ways to bring new revenue into the system while emphasizing possible benefit cuts through means-testing, private accounts and raising the retirement age.

President-elect Trump and congressional Republican leaders are planning to merge proposals on tax reform next year and “ramming them through Congress with a budget process that would defy Democratic resistance,” cautioned Business Insider (Dec. 13).

According to the Center for American Progress, if Congress passed Trump’s proposed tax cuts, for example, the ensuing rise in debt would trigger automatic spending cuts that would slash Social Security by $1.7 trillion over 10 years,  This works out to a cut of $168 a month on the average monthly benefit of $1,240. If other Trump priorities were enacted, the program cuts would be even deeper.

Republicans have tried to dismantle Social Security ever since President Roosevelt proposed it during the Great Depression, and dismantle Great Society programs ever since LBJ left the Oval Office in 1969.

(Michael T. Bucci is a retired public relations executive. He has authored nine books on practical spirituality and is a contributing opinion writer for a New England regional newspaper.)

© 2016 Michael T. Bucci


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules