It’s no secret that Republicans are chomping at the bits to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Conservatives have criticized the program since it was passed in 2010. Now, with a new Congress in place, Obamacare is finally being repealed. On Thursday, the Senate passed a budget instructing committees to write measures repealing most of Obamacare. Now that the groundwork has been laid, what’s next for healthcare?
Senate Approves The First Step Towards the Repeal Process Of Obamacare
President-Elect Donald Trump has promised to repeal Obamacare since he announced his intention to run for president. And since his victory, he’s urged congress to start the process. As a result, the Senate held a midnight meeting, debating until after 1 a.m. and then narrowly passing a budget to begin the repeal process by a vote of 51-48. What are the next steps for Congress? What will replace the ACA?
The budget isn’t just for repealing Obamacare, but for the 2017 fiscal year. If approved by the House later this week, then the next step by Congress would be to set up two House and two Senate committees to come up with replacement plans for Obamacare by January 27. Republicans have criticized the Obama Administration’s spending, but have stated spending cuts won’t go into place until the 2018 budget.
As for what will replace the current program, that remains to be seen. Republicans are adamantly opposed to the ACA, saying it’s hurt the economy by requiring companies to spend more on health care and driving up healthcare costs and premiums. Yet for all their criticisms, there doesn’t seem to be a plan in place for what’s next, which is a scary thought.
What’s more concerning is that Donald Trump, while actively pushing for a repeal and replacement of the plan, is warning Republicans away from owning the legislation. That means that he wants Republicans to take it away and Democrats to come up with a replacement – which Republicans will then shoot down.
Watch the news report regarding the repeal of Obamacare from ABC News:
The future of healthcare is unstable at best, but Trump stated in his press conference on Wednesday that he has a plan he’ll put forward as soon as his Secretary of Health and Human Services is in office. But until a plan comes forward, investors would be wise to avoid healthcare stocks.
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Featured Image via Daily Signal
American Firms Keep Hiring, Easing Worries of Weakening Economy
The unemployment rate is “now at a half-century low of 3.5%” – this matches the lowest jobless rate since 1969 – and economists have also given a warning that hiring would soon slow because there are fewer unemployed workers. However, in November, employers added 266,000 jobs – the highest number since January. Monthly hiring has averaged 205,000 for the past three months.
Associated Press reported that “Friday’s jobs report largely squelched fears of a recession that had taken hold in the summer. Steady job growth has helped reassure consumers that the economy is expanding and that their jobs and incomes remain secure.”
President Trump tried to focus voter’s attention on the state of the economy instead of his impeachment inquiry. Trump even tweeted “JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!”
Could Trump’s Tariffs Hurt The U.S. Economy?
About a year ago, the media was talking about how Trump’s trade wars could negatively affect many industrial companies, the agricultural sector, and right down to the every day American worker.
The recent stats from Gross Domestic Product has now revealed the current reality of Trump’s multiple front trade war.
Data shows that imports increased, while exports decreased by over 5%. Business investments have declined by 0.6%, and this decline has been happening since 2016. Most North American corporate capital spending is also on a declining trend.
Trumps’s tax reform was short-lived for most American companies. We did not get many benefits from the trade tensions either. U.S. corporate debt is getting much worse and far more significant than household debt.
Many are speculating that the cutting interest rates will lead to more zombie companies that will threaten both the U.S. and global economy.
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CryptoRuble | Cryptocurrency in Russia
What do you get when you implement cryptocurrency in Russia? Cryptoruble! Read on to find out how Russian cryptocurrency is doing.
CryptoRuble | Cryptocurrency in Russia
Russia’s Pivot Toward a Pro Cryptocurrency Policy
Prior to the great boom which propelled Bitcoin over $7,000, both Russian bankers and politicians alike voiced their conflicting opinions and hesitancy toward the cryptocurrency.
Vladimir Putin called for tighter regulation of cryptocurrencies only a month prior to his speech where he touched on nurturing the new technology, while authoritative bankers compared cryptocurrencies to Ponzi schemes.
At one time, a proposal was made that would punish those owning bitcoin with up to seven years in jail for a violation.
Recently however, these antagonistic statements from central banks and the Kremlin have pivoted with a series of official announcements that would strengthen Russia’s position as a possible focal point for the impending and inescapable cryptocurrency revolution. The major impetus for this considerable change in rhetoric is demanded from people all over the world for digital cash as instruments of investment, payment, and more. The people’s demand hasn’t fallen on deaf ears in Russia.
But the Russian elite have answered the people’s call in a uniquely Russian way.
To everyone’s surprise, President Putin, in late October of 2017, announced his support for cryptocurrency in Russia and subsequently ordered legislation that would put into place infrastructure for its national adoption.
Unique legal frameworks has since been conceived for the taxation of cryptocurrency mining, regulating initial coin offerings (ICOs), developing blockchain technology in business, and establishing a far-reaching system of payment for Russian citizens.
Perhaps, the most astonishing statement given by President Putin’s was his announcement that Russia intends to form a digital crypto rendition of the ruble termed the ‘CryptoRuble’. The CryptoRuble is supposed to be interchangeable with the ruble on a 1:1 ratio. Quite dissimilar to other more ‘traditional’ forms of cryptocurrencies, the CryptoRuble will not be able to be mined and will be exclusively issued by the Russia’s central bank. This kind of approach is distinctly Russian, and is based on years of meticulous observation of how various forms of cryptocurrency has previously affected other countries.
This Russian model cedes some economic freedoms for government control, while still preserving and incorporating the technology’s primary advantages.
Additionally, an unchangeable ledger will make citizen cash flows transparent to the government and help stem fraud and corruption. In theory, it should also help to bring down walls of previous systems plagued by middlemen.
CryptoRuble income is expected to be taxed at a rate of 13 percent for those wo’re unable to provide a legitimate source for it. Not only is this an attempt at preventing corruption, but it’s also a way the Russian government can profit from it.
Russian leadership is likely to remain watchful of any new methods they can use to achieve a competitive edge in international politics, finance and trade.
Cryptocurrency seems to be one of the most likely channels for increased influence across borders; thus, Russia’s pivot toward a pro-crypto policy stance is quite logical.
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