Obamacare- My thoughts

The facts about the PPACA were pretty straight forward. I still don’t understand exactly how it works though. And some of the data may be slightly convincing that Obamacare is doing what it’s supposed but I’m not entirely sure I believe all of it.

For example, the first chart shows declines in the number of uninsured adults. I feel as though much of that decline easily could be just young adults staying on their parents insurance until their 26, not solely because of being legally required to have insurance. The law about young adults staying on their parents insurance until the age of 26 I feel could have been implemented without the rest of the PPACA. There still would have been a significant decline in uninsured adults.

It’s clear premiums have increased, I suppose I just don’t understand why that is caused by the PPACA. I don’t pretend to know much about how that works. But wasn’t the PPACA supposed to make insurance affordable?

Another chart I’m not sure I can believe is that there are no adverse employment effects. I, personally, was affected by this. Thankfully, only for a short period of time. But for about six months I was cut from 40 hours down to about 24, just to make sure I didn’t ever go over my hour limit so that they didn’t have to offer me insurance. Thankfully that changed, but I’m sure that’s not the case for everyone. I’m sure there were some people that started being offered benefits and I’m sure there many that got hours cut or had to find second jobs because of this.

My overall opinion: I’m not sure I like Obamacare. The government is punishing those who can’t afford insurance by charging a huge yearly fine if they go uninsured for a certain period of time. If they can’t afford insurance, then clearly they can’t afford the fine either! This is the part that really just doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe I’m going about this all wrong, I don’t pretend to know much about it. Just wanted to share my thoughts on what I do know.

My Reaction- Why SS is not broke

What a relief! I’m one of the many millenials who has been worried about social security not existing when we retire, so much that I started a 401k already at the young age of 21. Although, I assumed there would be some sort of solution to the social security “bankruptcy” or some new type of program by the time I get there. So for me, this was so nice to hear. I always just went by what I was told about the social security problem and never looked into it much on my own as I didn’t know enough about it before to make my own judgments.

One of the things that shocked me was that it’s just the trust fund that will be depleting, not actual social security. And that this was expected and supposed to happen because of the baby boomers. Everyone had seemed so worried about having no social security, so I assumed there was already just too much going out vs. what was coming in. It seems that is not the case.

Another shocker was that there are 4 years worth of benefits in the trust fund- wow! I didn’t think there was nearly that much in the trust fund, especially the way people have been talking about it!

So now, I’m just shocked about how much uproar is coming from this “problem” of social security going bankrupt. How did all this talk get so out of hand when clearly isn’t a big deal right now? I’m not sure, and I don’t pretend to know enough about social security to answer that.

All I know is- whew! It is so relieving to realize that we won’t be in as much trouble as everyone has been thinking when it’s about my time to retire.

Government Assistance Programs & Their Regulations

I personally feel very strongly about the conditions tied to government assistance programs. Yes, there are many people who use government assistance (such as SNAP benefits, cash assistance, etc.) properly. There are also many people who abuse this, unfortunately.
Something that has been very controversial is mandatory drug testing to receive benefits. Personally, I feel that drug testing should be required to be on any type of government assistance, including unemployment benefits, SNAP benefits, and cash assistance, as well as others. Unfortunately, we see people who use their cash assistance and unemployment benefits just to buy drugs, not to better their lives as it is meant to do. I think that drug testing to receive benefits may help control this.
There are some conditions required, such as applying for jobs. However, many abuse this and purposely apply for jobs they know they can’t get just to continue receiving benefits. I feel that somehow this should be controlled as well. Maybe with career counselors or mandatory employment training courses.
Yes, both of these options may be costly, but if it reduces the amount of money transfers that are being misused or abused, then it could very well be worth it.

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying that everyone abuses their benefits. There many people who truly need and deserve government assistance. Unfortunately, few may make it more difficult for many. I just wanted to focus my post on imposing more regulations to help reduce the abuse of government assistance. It seems to me that if the goal ultimately is to reduce poverty, then controlling to maintain proper use of the government-funded assistance programs is an important factor in making that happen. And for those who are using this aid properly, stricter regulations shouldn’t affect them much anyway.

So can the poor be trusted? Maybe, but it will be easier to trust them with more regulations.

Hoodwinked

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to create a minor post regarding the book I’ve chosen for the book review. I chose the “Hoodwinked: An Economic Hit Man Reveals Why the Global Economy IMPLODED — and How to Fix It”

I chose this book because one of my favorite parts of economic to study is the 07-09 recession and I’m hoping this will give me more insight on what happened. I think we all have our own ideas of what happened, which seems to be a mix of quite a few things. Hopefully this will inspire more ideas or solidify some ideas that are already out there.
Hopefully I’ll be able to tell you all more when it comes in the mail! (It’s taking forever to get here)

Helping Develop Nations

One of the questions posed in one of the unit 4 readings was “What can we do to help these developing nations?” Well, there is one organization in Michigan that I believe is helping these developing nations, while helping Michigan as well.

A few months back, I went to a Global Sustainability conference, and one of the discussion panels I listened to was about doing business in India. The third speaker of this industry panel was Laura Deierlein, International Trade Manager for Business Attraction/Export Division for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). This company is set up in five different regions of Michigan. Their goal is to help companies in Michigan begin doing business overseas. There are different managers that each focus on a country, her focus is India. They are focused on teaching companies how to start doing business overseas in India and how to export goods to businesses in India. She discussed how there is an insane amount of exporting we do in Michigan due to our location right on the Great Lakes and how her company is working to make that number grow.

Not only is her company helping Michigan grow and globalize, it also helping build strong business relationship in foreign countries. It seems to me that this could definitely be helping develop these foreign countries. I think what the MEDC is doing is a great thing not only for Michigan, but also for the less developed countries that they are working with.