Saturday, February 23, 2013

This Makes Recruiting for Lower to Middle Income Jobs Exceedingly Difficult

In aggregate, each household in poverty receives $60,000 per year.  The median working family earns just over $50,000.  The below is from Daniel Halper at the Weekly Standard

The amount of money spent on welfare programs equals, when converted to cash payments, about "$168 per day for every household in poverty," the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee finds. Here's a chart detailing the committee's findings: 


According to the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee, welfare spending per day per household in poverty is $168, which is higher than the $137 median income per day. When broken down per hour, welfare spending per hour per household in poverty is $30.60, which is higher than the $25.03 median income per hour. 

"Based on data from the Congressional Research Service, cumulative spending on means-tested federal welfare programs, if converted into cash, would equal $167.65 per day per household living below the poverty level," writes the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee. "By comparison, the median household income in 2011 of $50,054 equals $137.13 per day. Additionally, spending on federal welfare benefits, if converted into cash payments, equals enough to provide $30.60 per hour, 40 hours per week, to each household living below poverty. The median household hourly wage is $25.03. After accounting for federal taxes, the median hourly wage drops to between $21.50 and $23.45, depending on a household’s deductions and filing status. State and local taxes further reduce the median household’s hourly earnings. By contrast, welfare benefits are not taxed." 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Some Funny Math at Anthem Blue Cross

Anthem Blue Cross has agreed to lower premium rate hikes for about 630,000 individual policyholders in response to pressure from California insurance regulators, the Los Angeles Times reports (Terhune, Los Angeles Times, 2/15).


On Feb. 1, Anthem Blue Cross enacted premium rates increases that averaged 18% for certain individual policyholders(AP/Sacramento Bee, 2/14).

In a rate filing last fall, Anthem said certain medical costs have increased by nearly 11%, while the price that the insurer actually pays is rising by 13.5% after adjusting for customer deductibles.

According to Anthem, the profit margin on its individual insurance plans in California was less than 1% in 2012. The insurer said it expects to lose money in the individual market in 2013 even with the rate hike (California Healthline, 11/28/12).

The state Department of Insurance deemed the premium hike excessive, saying that the rate request included unsubstantiated estimates of expected medical costs.

While the agency can review rate filings, it does not have the authority to reject them.

Details of New Rate Increase

On Thursday, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones (D) announced that Anthem has agreed to reduce the average premium increase to 14%. The decision will save consumers an estimated $54 million.

The Times reports that even with the lower rate hike, some individual policyholders still could see their premiums increase by as much as 25%.

Anthem plans to provide refunds or premium credits to policyholders who already paid the higher rates this month (Los Angeles Times, 2/15).


In a statement, Jones said, "Health insurance has become unaffordable for far too many Californians." He added, "I appreciate that Anthem Blue Cross has agreed to lower these rates."

On Thursday, Darrel Ng -- spokesperson for Anthem -- said that the agreement between Anthem and California regulators still reflects rising health care costs (AP/Sacramento Bee, 2/14).

Source text:


Friday, February 8, 2013

ObamaCare Appetizer: RomneyCare Bill Comes Due

Here is an indicator of what we are in for:   

  • Health care was 23% of the MA state fisc in 2000
  • It was 25% in 2006 (when RomneyCare was passed) 
  • But it has climbed to 41% for 2013
  • On current trend it will roll past 50% around 2020—and that best case scenario assumes the current Governor's price controls work as planned. (They won't.) 
In real terms the state's annual health-care budget is 15% larger than it was in 2007, while transportation has plunged by 22%, public safety by 17% and education by 7%. 

Today Massachusetts spends less on roads, police and schools after adjusting for inflation than it did in 2007.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Who Won't Pay the ObamaCare Individual Mandate Penalties?

Well, to name a few:    

  • Illegal aliens 
  • Criminals 
  • The half of Americans who don't pay federal income tax, and 
  • Anybody else generally deemed too vulnerable    

In fact, only about 2% of Americans actually will have to pay the penalty.  Yes, this is the topic about which the country fought vehemently for two years and ended in a Supreme Court case.  Why did we waste all of that time and money?   

Read more here from Katy Grimes in an article that I was quoted in extensively.