Detroit Looks to Health Law to Ease Costs
“As Detroit enters the federal bankruptcy process, the city is proposing a controversial plan for paring some of the $5.7 billion it owes in retiree health costs: pushing many of those too young to qualify for Medicare out of city-run coverage and into the new insurance markets that will soon be operating under the Obama health care law.
Officials say the plan would be part of a broader effort to save Detroit tens of millions of dollars in health costs each year, a major element in a restructuring package that must be approved by a bankruptcy judge. It is being watched closely by municipal leaders around the nation, many of whom complain of mounting, unsustainable prices for the health care promised to retired city workers.
Similar proposals that could shift public sector retirees into the new insurance markets, called exchanges, are already being planned or contemplated in places like Chicago; Sheboygan County, Wis.; and Stockton, Calif. While large employers that eliminate health benefits for full-time workers can be penalized under the health care law, retirees are a different matter. “
Via NY Times
“In an age of “belt tightening” and “budget cuts”, you would think that government officials would be trying to spend our money wisely. Unfortunately, when it comes time to cut spending our politicians tend to do everything that they can to protect their own interests and their own pet projects, but they don’t seem to mind implementing cuts that deeply hurt military families, the poor and the elderly. The facts that you are about to read will likely upset you very much. The federal government and our state governments are wasting money in some of the most ridiculous ways imaginable. Meanwhile, we are being told that we don’t have any money for a lot of really important things. Our hard-earned tax dollars are being horribly mismanaged, and the American people deserve to hear the truth about this gross negligence.”
Warning to all police, firefighters, schoolteachers: Most government pensions to be confiscated within a decade
“Last week, Detroit declared bankruptcy, becoming the largest city in U.S. history to take such drastic action in the face of financial insolvency. A declaration of bankruptcy isn’t what most people think it is, though: it’s not just a statement of “we’re broke!” It’s actually a way for the city to clear its slate of all financial obligations and not pay the retirees it owes.
What are the largest financial obligations the city facing? Pensions. $3.5 billion worth of pensions, to be exact.
Yes, Detroit owes former government employees — teachers, firefighters, cops and more — a whopping $3.5 billion in current and future payments. Except Detroit doesn’t have $3.5 billion to pay the pensions. The city is in a state of economic collapse. Remember, the U.S. government used billions in taxpayer money to help General Motors move its manufacturing offshore to countries like China. As a result of economically-insane actions and criminal mismanagement, a city that used to be the hub of industrial output in America has become a ghost town of abandoned buildings, crumbling infrastructure and financial destitution.
But even as all this was becoming apparent, the government workers there continued to collect fat paychecks and pensions, all based on the promise that endless population growth would out-pace the rise in pension obligations. Many pensioners are owed over $100,000 a year from the government, and this is true across California, Illinois and many other states as well.”
Via Natural News
“Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) says, “we shouldn’t even be charging young people to go to school.”
Rangel made the comments while discussing the interest increase on certain federal student loans in a video on a political social media website.
“In the long run, it would seem to me, that we shouldn’t even be charging our young people to go to school because ultimately our country and our treasury is the beneficiary,” Rangel says.”
Via CNS News
“Did you actually believe that they were not going to use the precedent that they set in Cyprus? On Thursday, EU finance ministers agreed to a shocking new plan that will make every bank account in Europe vulnerable to Cyprus-style bail-ins. In other words, the wealth confiscation that we just witnessed in Cyprus will now be used as a template for future bank failures all over Europe. That means that if you have a bank account in Europe, you could wake up some morning and every penny in that account over 100,000 euros could be gone. That is exactly what happened in Cyprus, and now EU officials plan to do the same thing all over Europe. For quite a while EU officials insisted that Cyprus was a “special case”, but now we see that was a lie. International outrage over what happened in Cyprus has died down, and now they are pushing forward with what they probably had planned all along. But why have they chosen this specific moment to implement such a plan? Are they anticipating that we will see a wave of bank failures soon? Do they know something that they aren’t telling us?”
“During a speech earlier this month Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) said that GOP House leaders are pushing public policy “demanding that you work else your children can’t eat.”
Moore made the comments at the National Partnership for Women and Families luncheon on June 14 in Washington.”
Via CNS News
“Why did the U.S. government spend 2.6 million dollars to train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly? Why did the U.S. government spend $175,587 “to determine if cocaine makes Japanese quail engage in sexually risky behavior”? Why did the U.S. government spend nearly a million dollars on a new soccer field for detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay? This week when I saw that the IRS was about to pay out 70 million dollars in bonuses to their employees and that the U.S. government was going to be leaving 7 billion dollars worth of military equipment behind in Afghanistan, it caused me to reflect on all of the other crazy ways that the government has been wasting our money in recent years. So I decided to go back through my previous articles and put together a list. I call it “The Waste List”. Even though our politicians insist that there is very little that can still be cut out of the budget, the truth is that the federal budget is absolutely drowning in pork. The following are 66 crazy ways that the U.S. government is wasting your hard-earned money…”
Treasury, UAW health care trust will sell 50 million shares of GM stock
“The U.S. Treasury said Wednesday it plans to sell 30 million additional shares of General Motors stock in a new public offering in conjunction with GM’s return to the S&P 500 index on Thursday.
The United Auto Workers Retiree Medical Benefits Trust — which holds about 14 percent of GM — will also participate by selling 20 million shares, making the total offering size 50 million shares. It represents about 12 percent of Treasury’s outstanding GM stock.
The move may mean that Treasury completely exits in 2013, rather than by the end of March 2014. The return to the S&P will prompt significant demand for GM shares and the stock has recently traded near its highest level since February 2011. GM is filing a new prospectus ahead of the sale.”
Via Detroit News
“In yet another hit for both the administration’s trustworthiness and the hope of some spin-off of the GSEs, the WSJ reports that the Federal Housing Administration’s projected losses over 30 years could reach as high as $115 billion under a previously undisclosed stress test. The results, which were not included in the agency’s independent actuarial review (because of the potential uproar it might create according to emails), are based on the Fed’s stress-test scenario – which seems like something that should (perhaps) have been included. The fact that this data was omitted from the report is “troubling” to House Oversight Committee head Darrell Issa. In its annual audit, the agency disclosed that under current conditions, total losses would exceed its reserves by $13.5 billion over 30 years (with a $943 million loss this year alone). The projected shortfall under a ‘protracted economic slump’ is $64.5 billion but the ‘tail risk’ event, that was originally included in earlier drafts, based on the Fed’s stress test, is $115 billion. Hardly the upside-encouraging potential that private-finance will be looking for in funding FEDMAGIC.”
Via Zero Hedge