An Obama regulation stipulated that employers caught giving their employees pre-tax dollars to purchase their own coverage could be fined as much as $100 per day for each employee, or $36,500 a year. This was the highest penalty in all of Obamacare regulations. Thankfully, the Trump administration is eliminating this penalty and much more. Beginning next January, employers will be able to use HRAs to help employees obtain their own coverage with the administration’s blessing. More.
Gramm and Saving: Has the Fed lost the Ability to control Interest Rates?
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, former Sen. Phil Gramm and Goodman institute Senior Fellow Thomas Saving write “Never in the Fed’s 105-year history has it had less control over market interest rates than it has today…. To expect the Fed to hold interest rates above or below the market rate under these circumstances is not only naive but dangerous.” More.
What share of the tax cuts went to the rich and the poor? The richest 1 percent received 9.3 percent of the total tax cuts, but they were previously paying 30.2 percent of all the taxes. The top 20% received 52.2 percent of the tax cuts, but they were previously paying 80.1 percent of the taxes. The bottom 20% got 3.3 percent of the tax cuts. But previously they were not paying taxes at all. In fact they were receiving a 9.0 percent “refund.” More.
Tom Saving has a new book called A Century of Federal Reserve Monetary Policy: Issues and Implications for the Future. View or order the book from Amazon.com..
In one case, an insurer prevented a woman from getting a CT scan her doctor ordered. In another, a mother couldn’t afford the full regimen of special bags needed to clear her cancer-stricken daughter’s lungs. In a third case, a woman lost her health insurance and could not afford end-of-life chemotherapy. These examples come from National Nurses United, the country’s largest nurses’ union. To prevent further incidents like these, the union favors a universal, government-run health care system. A lead editorial in the New York Times last week appeared to endorse their thinking. Here is what these folks are missing.
Nan Hayworth talks about media bias and how it is influencing voters. More.
Kotlikoff: Social Security is Broke
Social Security’s annual Trustees Report just came out and it shows that Social Security ran a gigantic $9 trillion deficit between last year and this year. The system’s long-term unfunded liability is now $43 trillion, up from $34 trillion last year. More.
Employers are paying hospitals more than twice as much as what Medicare pays. At some hospitals they are paying four times as much. So, who’s to blame? John Goodman says employers are to blame. More.
Women’s issues are the issues that concern us all – including the economy. On Biden: Personalities are not policies. On Trump: The economy has been good for women. More.
No other savings vehicle can top an HSA. Not a 401(k) plan. Not an IRA. Not even a Roth IRA. For starters, deposits to an HSA escape both income and payroll taxes. That can’t be said of the other three options. During the retirement years, health expenses are going to be larger than what most people realize. HSA withdrawals can be used to pay premiums for Medicare Part B, Part C and Part D, as well as any out-of-pocket medical expenses.