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Penalty Reversed in ACA Battle

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In a bold move to look like your cool uncle who sadly still rocks the mullet, Donald Trump has removed the Obamacare tax penalty for not carrying insurance by way of executive order. This was probably one of the more hated parts of a plan that was not at all the single payer (or even public option) platform Obama ran on in 2008. Despite holding a majority for two years in both houses, the ACA was what we got stuck with.

What Exactly is ACA?

The GOP’s recent drubbing in the Senate was well earned; in their repeal/replace debacle, they had a “continuous coverage penalty.” I’m sure their mamas were proud; it increased premiums for people buying insurance, if they had no coverage for 63 consecutive days within the previous 12 months. In other words, losing your job or your provider bailed out of the ACA, meant that you’d be facing an increase, regardless of how long you were previously covered…So thankfully, their Ebenezer Scrooge bill went south, hard!

However, this is a double edged sword; while the tax penalty is gone, many are still under insured, or uninsured. This screams the question; since we had to buy insurance, under law, why weren’t carriers, who were paid subsidies by the government, not mandated to participate for pre-determined amounts of time? If business owners were mandated (over 50 employees) to provide benefits, why weren’t carriers mandated to stay in a plan that they made billions from?

That’s more than I have room for here. However, consider this; you have a break in your taxes but you still need coverage. Alternative methods include non-profit, reference based pricing organizations that can provide quality health care for as low as $100 a month. What is reference based pricing? Simply put, if I ask the Blues (Shield and Cross) if they ever find errors in billing, they’ll say, “NO!” Ask Medicaid if they find errors and their answer is always.

In reference based pricing, the carrier rides the provider like Zorro. I know of one case where a woman had an $80,000 knee surgery knocked down to $17,000 through Christian Healthcare Ministries. She had this plan while unemployed, covering her and her husband for $150 a month! Even after she got another job, she kept the plan because it cheaper than her employer paid health plan. A 20% deductible on $17,000 is less than on $80,000…

Watch this video from Fox News regarding the ACA reform:

There secular versions like Medical Cost Share. Companies have been using this for years and with these lower cost non-profits, available to self- employed and unemployed people, we don’t need no stinkin’ ACA…

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The statements, views, and opinions of any article, contribution, editorial, or advertisement in this publication are not necessarily those of The Capitalist or its editorial staff, and are not considered an endorsement, sponsorship, or recommendation of any referenced product, service, issuer, or groups of issuers.

This publication provides general information about certain subjects, and should not be construed or taken as advice (legal, financial, investment, tax, or otherwise). Do not construe or take any information in this publication as a solicitation, offer, opinion, or recommendation to buy or sell any securities, bonds, or other financial instruments or to provide any legal, financial, investment, tax, or other advice or service about the suitability or profitability of any financial instruments or investments.

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2 Comments

  1. Nancy Keeler

    July 21, 2017 at 3:13 PM

    Oh Happy Day! THAT’S what I voted for him for!!!

  2. Pingback: Kenmore Deal a Short Term Solution for Sears... Simply Delaying the Inevitable

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‘Storm Area 51’ Event is a Joke, but the Military is Serious

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Storm Area 51 Event is a Joke but the Military is Serious

Key points:

  • Over 1 million jokingly pledge to storm Area 51 to expose the existence of aliens.
  • The U.S. Air Force publicly discourages anyone from participating.
  • The public continues to have a good laugh by creating memes.
  • The real history of Area 51 involved flight testing.

What is the Storm Area 51 Event?

Over one million people have jokingly pledged to storm Area 51 in the hopes of finding evidence of aliens.

Area 51 has long been associated with alien activity and is frequently referenced in pop culture as a secret government base that holds aliens or alien technology.

People are signing up through a Facebook event called Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us.

However, the event is satirical and many “joining” the storm are simply having a good laugh online.

The details of the Facebook event state, “If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets,” and concludes with “Let’s see them aliens.”

“Naruto running” is a reference to a Japanese anime, in which the main character runs with his arms straight back. Most of the discussion on the event page is likewise humorous.

The supposed plan is to gather a large group at the Alien Tourist center and “coordinate their entry,” with the nearest lodging being over 20 miles from Area 51’s runway.

The joke event will take place on Friday, September 20, 2019, between the local hours of 3 AM and 6 AM.

Their goal is to discover and expose the secrets of Area 51, which some speculate involves aliens.

The U.S. Air Force Responds to the Area 51 Event

Although the Facebook event is intended for humor, the U.S. Air Force publicly discouraged anyone from actually participating.

Laura McAndrews, a representative of the U.S. Air Force, told the Washington Post,

“[Area 51] is an open training range for the U.S. Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces. The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets.”

On another occasion, a spokesman explained to NPR that “The U.S. Air Force is aware of the Facebook event encouraging people to ‘Storm Area 5’” and “Any attempt to illegally access the area is highly discouraged.”

With over 1 million people attending the event on Facebook, the U.S. government is now monitoring the situation.

The internet continues to joke about Area 51

The subject of Area 51 and the government’s response make for rich comedic content. The public has largely reacted by creating memes and videos online.

On Twitter, popular hashtags to follow are #Area51 and #Theycantstopallofus. Here’s a popular “training” video of attendees preparing for the event.

Even famous brands like Burger King are poking fun at the event.

With all the humor it’s unclear how many individuals will actually attend the Storm Area 51 event and what will happen.

There’s no discernible leadership or event coordination, but some have expressed genuine interest in going.

Connie West, co-owner of a local lodge, told NPR, “Yes, it sounds like a joke, but there apparently are some people who want to check out the joke.”

She goes on to explain that several people have called her to book rooms for September 19th and 20th.

But joke or not, the U.S. Air Force stands ready to defend Area 51.

The Real History of Area 51

In 2013, the CIA formally disclosed information about Area 51. In this document, the public learned that the U.S. Air Force acquired Area 51 in 1955 to flight test the U-2 spy plane.

The U.S. government admitted to being deeply secretive about Area 51, but not for the reason of extraterrestrials. Area 51 was a secret because the U.S. was developing a plane to spy on the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

The government’s effort to keep Area 51 a secret fueled public speculations that aliens were involved.

Additionally, locals reported strange objects flying high in the air, which were likely the U-2 plane. This furthered suspicions of the existence of alien technology at Area 51.

Its actual purpose is to serve as a training ground for the United States Air Force. Historically, the Air Force has used Area 51 to flight test planes.

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Trump Team to Talk NAFTA This Week…

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https://thecapitalist.com/trump-team-talk-nafta-week/

Frame this Kodak moment; I agree with President Trump as he calls NAFTA the worst trade agreement in American history. We have been on this trajectory since 1961, and NAFTA was the foot on the gas of a car crashing through plate glass…

Trump now wants to fulfill one of his core campaign promises; to make better a deal for American workers. The Trump administration will begin to renegotiate NAFTA on Wednesday with counterparts from Mexico and Canada. The first round of talks are to kick off in Washington, D.C. hopefully, this goes better than his efforts to repeal and replace, well, you know…

Ignoring the past as prologue…

While every president likes to pretend that the jobs issue is the fault of the last administration, Trump blames NAFTA for millions of lost jobs and thousands of shuttered factories in America. Nonpartisan congressional research concluded in 2015that NAFTA didn’t cause a jobs exodus, although many other studies have concluded the exact opposite.

https://thecapitalist.com/trump-team-talk-nafta-week/About 14 million American jobs depend on trade with Canada and Mexico, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a business advocacy group. But roughly 800,000 jobs were lost to Mexico between 1997 and 2013, to the Economic Policy Institute, a research group. Moreover, this study leaves out jobs lost to Chinese and Indonesian workers.

Trump even credited his tough talk on NAFTA with getting him to the White House. Trump supporters have reported that they voted for him in part to see him renegotiate better deals. Although, he never really said how on the campaign trail so it’s not clear exactly what Trump plans to do to get that “better deal.”

When U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer outlined the administration’s NAFTA objectives in July, he included a top goal which was to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico, which last year hit $63 billion.

A spanking like last summer?

Last summer, when Candidate Trump went to Mexico, he looked like a chastised toddler standing next to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto when his “build the wall” rhetoric was at full tilt, only to be re-energized two hours later by his base at an Arizona rally. Could this be a repeat?

Trump’s ultimate aim is to increase the number of American factory jobs. One possible way to do that is to force companies to produce more parts in the United States. There is a key part of NAFTA known as “rules of origin.” It means a certain percentage of parts in a product, such as a car, must originate from North America.

For example, 62% of the parts in a car sold in Mexico, Canada or the United States must come from there. The Trump administration has hinted it could raise that percentage and that it plans to more strictly enforce the standards for rules of origin. However, trade experts caution that forcing more parts to be made in America could mean car prices go up.

https://thecapitalist.com/trump-team-talk-nafta-week/Trump’s team also runs the risk of contradicting the very trade deal Trump has bashed. Experts say his administration’s list of NAFTA objectives is nearly identical to key parts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. Trump withdrew from that deal before it became law, but not before making his opposition to it a center piece of his campaign, sounding more like Bernie Sanders…But U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says TPP’s sections on labor and environmental standards are a “starting point” for NAFTA negotiations with Mexico and Canada.

Trump promised Americans he would bring together the best negotiators to get a new deal. He appointed Ross, Lighthizer, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, and White House trade adviser Peter Navarro to lead on trade policy. Meanwhile, Lighthizer tapped John Melle, a career USTR official who was not nominated by Trump, to lead the talks. Melle was on the original USTR staff in 1993 that helped get the deal across the finish line in Congress. NAFTA became law in 1994.

So much for the swamp and that sort of thing…Sleep tight.

 

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Trump’s Lumber Tariff Leads to Higher Home Prices for Consumers

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President Trump continues to push for his America first policies. Those policies tend to be isolationist. So as Trump looks to increase revenue from imports, it’s a little surprising that he focused his newest tariff at our neighbor to the north; Canada. Even more surprising is that he targeted Canadian soft lumber, which makes up about ⅓ of all the lumber used in construction for homes. Now, with higher lumber tariff, lumber prices are going up 22%, it looks like the big loser here is American homebuyers.

Higher Lumber Tariff, Higher Home Prices

On Monday, the Trump administration took action against Canada for what they cited as a trade dispute. The 20% tariff will be applied retroactively according to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. While the ruling is not yet final, the Commerce Department notes that Canada improperly subsidized its exports and allowed loggers to cut down trees at cheaper rates so that they could in turn sell the lumber at a cheaper price, bringing in more revenue for Canada. That tariff would result in an additional $1 billion a year when imposed on the $5 billion Canada exports to the U.S. yearly.

#1 Higher Lumber Tariff, Higher Home Prices | Trump's Lumber Tariff Leads to Higher Home Prices for Consumers

As a result, U.S. lumber importers are already backing off of Canadian soft lumber, driving up prices 22 percent. Those rising costs get passed on directly to the consumer, as new home costs can be expected to rise by an average of more than $1,200. The Canadian government has gone on record as disagreeing strongly with the ruling. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is working to amend the situation and pushing for improvements in NAFTA.

#1 Higher Lumber Tariff, Higher Home Prices | Trump's Lumber Tariff Leads to Higher Home Prices for Consumers

The action comes as a result of a complaint filed to the Commerce Department last fall by the U.S. lumber industry. They claimed Canadian lumber was being sold at less than market value into the U.S. and that Canada heavily subsidizes its own timber industry by offering producers access to wood from government owned land at cheaper rates.

Watch the news clip from CBC News as Trump announces the new tariff on lumber from Canada:

As a result, lumber futures have reached new highs, and traders can expect U.S. timber stocks to rise up.

Is Apple building satellites? Get the whole story here.

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This publication provides general information about certain subjects, and should not be construed or taken as advice (legal, financial, investment, tax, or otherwise). Do not construe or take any information in this publication as a solicitation, offer, opinion, or recommendation to buy or sell any securities, bonds, or other financial instruments or to provide any legal, financial, investment, tax, or other advice or service about the suitability or profitability of any financial instruments or investments.

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