Tag Archives: Medicare

  • Blog
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    Are You Infuriated Yet?

    You should be. I certainly am...
    by Chris Martenson

    Saturday, October 21, 2017, 12:27 AM

    64

    Both the pension and health care crises are infuriating and self-inflicted wounds.

    We could have avoided them by making wiser choices in the past. We didn't. We could limit their damage by making better choices today. We almost assuredly won't.

    Anybody who studies the system and its math comes to the same conclusion: the corporations have all the power and they are misusing it for private gain.

    An easy prediction to make is that this simmering anger of the populace is going to start boiling over more violently in the coming years. Welcome to the Age of Fury.

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  • Insider
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    The Real Story to Focus On

    Given the macro trends, how do we "win"?
    by Chris Martenson

    Monday, August 19, 2013, 4:12 AM

    24

    Executive Summary

    • What Detroit tells us about continuing the status quo
    • The shocking true size of the real U.S. debt
    • Why time is our most valuable but scarcest asset
    • Where your efforts need to be placed to address the big picture

    If you have not yet read Part I: Why We All Lose If the Fed Wins, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

    If we can't even have an honest conversation six years into this failed experiment about its core aspects, then it is little wonder that there's virtually no appetite for the bigger burning questions of our time, such as where do we want to be in twenty years and what do we need to do to get there?

    Instead, the focus is simply on preserving the status quo and doing everything possible to maintain it. Never mind that the status quo is obviously failing in many key regards and needs some serious adjustments.  All that the Fed and D.C. have in mind here is more of the same.

    And this is why we will lose the war.

    The Detroit Harbinger

    If we want to know what happens when we ignore reality and just soldier on, we need look no further than Detroit to see how that works out. For years, that city mismanaged its finances, continually banking on the idea that eventually jobs and opportunity would return. They continued to offer yet failed to fund lavish pension promises to municipal employees, even though anybody with a pocket calculator could work out that the plans were not viable.

    But the plans were offered, and the union reps on the other side of the table accepted the terms, even though at some point it would have made sense for someone to raise the obvious by noting that the plans were utterly insolvent and almost certain to stay that way.

    Right now, the pensions in Detroit are underfunded by $3.5 billion, according to official figures.  But those same officials are assuming an 8% rate of return on current pension assets, a rate that nobody is actually achieving in the pension world thanks, in large part, to Bernanke's 0% interest rate policy.

    Here's how they got to this point:

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  • Daily Digest
    Image by Dan4th, Flickr Creative Commons

    Daily Digest 4/24 – U.K. May Have Slipped Into Third Recession, Pensions In Danger

    by saxplayer00o1

    Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 2:41 PM

    8
    • U.K. may have slipped into a third recession
    • Police Warn Budget Cuts Could Lead to Fewer Officers
    • Meals on Wheels faces Federal cuts
    • Time for Growth: Austerity Has 'Reached its Limits,' Barroso Says
    • Utah cancer clinics turning away Medicare patients
    • San Francisco official probes whether Nevada is 'patient dumping'
    • MU sees 866 percent debt increase over past 10 years
    • City remains knee-deep in more than 7,000 abandoned properties
    • Call for new U.S. crossing fee at land borders criticized in both countries
    • Indian Jewelers Offer Premium on Gold Imports as Demand Surges
    • Parents cutback on food for kids to cope with rising prices
    • Bernanke Gets Japanese Assist in Helping Homebuyers: Mortgages
    • Sanford facing $20 million shortfall; pensions in danger

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  • Blog
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    Let’s Stop Fooling Ourselves: Americans Can’t Afford the Future

    Unemployment, taxes & unfunded retirements are squeezing us
    by Adam Taggart

    Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 3:24 PM

    61

    The truth is: The three adult generations in the U.S. are suffering, and their burdens are likely to increase with time. Each is experiencing a squeeze that is making it harder to create value, save capital, and pursue happiness than at any point since WWII. At that point, we were a creditor nation with an economy exploding into dominance on the world stage. Now, however, the U.S. is the largest debtor nation and our economic hegemony is increasingly at seige across a number of fronts.

    A continuation of the status quo is a decision to sleepwalk face-first into the constraints hurtling towards us.

    Instead, shouldn't we stop fooling ourselves and ask: What should we be doing differently?

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  • Blog
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    The Structural Endgame of the Fiscal Cliff

    It's not just a temporary political event
    by charleshughsmith

    Wednesday, December 26, 2012, 6:51 PM

    2

    To understand this endgame, we need to start with the financial and political basics of wealth and power in the U.S.

    1.  Wealth and thus political power are highly concentrated.  The dynamics of rising wealth disparity and the increasing concentration of wealth are debatable; the disparity is not.  Roughly 70% of all financial wealth is held by the top 5%; within this top layer of ownership, the top ½ of 1% hold an outsized share.

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  • Blog
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    What to Do When Every Market Is Manipulated

    Hint: cut the strings
    by Chris Martenson

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 2:34 PM

    4

    If you don't know who the sucker at the card table, is it's you.

    ~ old gambler's saying

    What do the following have in common?

    LIBOR, Bernie Madoff, MF Global, Peregrine Financial, zero-percent interest rates, the Social Security and Medicare entitlement funds, many state and municipal pension funds, mark-to-model asset values, quote stuffing and high frequency trading (HFT), and debt-based money?

    The answer is that every single thing in that list is an example of market rigging, fraud, or both.

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  • Blog

    Obama’s Budget is a Fantastic Comedy

    by Chris Martenson

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011, 3:34 AM

    0

    Fantasy or comedy?  I couldn’t decide which way to label the Obama budget, so I went with both.

    The bottom line is that the Obama administration has brought forth the most unbelievable revenue increase that I have ever seen proposed in a budget, a whopping 65% increase in revenues in just four years, which will – miracle of miracles – drop the deficit as a percent of GDP from nearly 11% to just 3.2% over those same four years.

    The only problem with this scenario is that it stands virtually no chance of actually happening. Revenue will be far lower than projected and the deficit correspondingly higher.

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  • Blog

    The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, Education, & Prevention

    by suziegruber

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010, 5:53 AM

    0

    A few months ago, I developed red spots on my face and neck that were kind of itchy.  After another day or so, the spots had progressed down my torso and onto my thighs, so I decided to go to a doctor.  Although I have health insurance, at the time I did not have a primary care physician, so seeing a doctor quickly proved to be difficult.  Most everyone I called told me to go the emergency room, a ridiculously expensive suggestion, given that my situation was certainly not a life-threatening emergency.  I finally got an appointment with a nurse practitioner at a local clinic.  She hurriedly looked at the red spots, pronounced that I had hives, and immediately decided to give me a steroid injection and to prescribe a week-long dose of Prednisone.  There was no discussion of reasoning for her prescription, likely symptom progression, or treatment options.

    I know that steroids significantly impact my body through increased anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and suppressed immune response, and I was about to leave on a month long trip, so I really didn’t want any of these side effects.  I slowed her down long enough to get her to tell me what I could expect if I didn’t take the shot or the Prednisone.  She told me the hives would likely progress through the rest of my body, enter my lungs and then cause difficulty breathing, and that I definitely needed both the injection and the Prednisone.  By this point, I internally questioned her judgment due to her extreme prognosis and lack of willingness to engage with me, so I accepted the shot and decided to mull over whether or not to fill the Prednisone prescription.  That afternoon I spoke with a friend of mine who is an MD (I should have called him first), and he said that I likely would not need the Prednisone and that I should see how it goes for a couple of days.  I did not need the Prednisone and the hives disappeared in a week or so.

    So why am I sharing this story? In my opinion, health care remains one of the thorniest problems that we face, because even with relatively abundant cheap oil, our current system serves us poorly.

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  • Blog

    Daily Digest 11/17 – California Defaults on Debt, Act Fast on Medicare, Rare Earth Supply Squeeze

    by DailyDigest

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010, 4:00 PM

    0
    • California Will Default On Its Debt, Says Chris Whalen
    • Bush-era tax Deal Could Include Jobless Benefits
    • Scottsdale Sees 155% Increase in Pension Costs in 5 Years
    • Irish Crisis, Contagion Fears Loom over EU Meeting
    • Tax-Exempts Tumble as California Sells $10 Billion: Muni Credit
    • China Plans Price Controls to Tackle Food Inflation
    • Geithner says Confident Euro can Survive
    • Ireland Crisis Could Cause EU Collapse, Warns President
    • As Hunger Persists in America, Food Security Might be Harder to Achieve
    • Doctors: Congress should Act Fast on Medicare Pay
    • Medicaid Asking for More Money for this Year and Next
    • Ky. gov looks to Private Sector to Manage Medicaid
    • Mississippi Governor Spreads the Pain in Proposed Budget Cuts
    • Loss of Stimulus Cash to Hurt State
    • States left without Easy Answers on Medicaid
    • Auto Industry Fears Rare Earth Supply Squeeze
    • Rare-earth Crisis Sparks Quest for Alternative Motors

    Help your finances weather a tumultuous economy by reading our ‘What Should I Do?’ guide.

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  • Blog

    Daily Digest – June 22

    by Davos

    Monday, June 22, 2009, 3:13 PM

    0
    • Xie: Chinese Banks Funding Commodities Speculation, Casting Doubt on Recovery
    • Dad, Mom, Grand: Means of deficit reduction, Medicare and Social Security
    • One Wrong Move (Video)
    • Investors are finally seeing the nonsense in the efficient market theory (H/T Fujisan)
    • States in Deep Trouble Over Plunging Income Tax Revenues (H/T Fujisan)
    • Dirty Rat Gamblers!
    • Terrific pressing TV journalism by Dylan Ratigan (Video)
    • When, not if, equities tank again
    • Steve’s Economic Forum AKA Two Beers with Steve
    • Record Unemployment Rates in Eight States

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