ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 153

TRUMP USES “TWEETER PULPIT” TO DISCIPLINE COMPANIES; BULLET TRAIN BLUES; OBAMACARE BENEFITS TO MIDDLE CLASS; REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE COMPARING TRUMP TO JESUS?; MINIMUM WAGE GOING UP; U.S. TO CHANGE IT’S POSITIONS AT U.N.; MORE… ELDERUPDATES.COM,  NO. 153 DECEMBER 29, 2016 REPEAL Affordable Care Act will have impacts on private plans as well as Obamacare: -Elimination of unlimited lifetime insurance coverage caps (I have known of breast cancer treatment costing $500,000), could be terminated, especially affecting those with cancer or major surgeries, as bill for tens of thousands of dollars come to patients after benefit cap reached; -Elimination of ability to cover children up to age 26 on parents’ health plans; -Elimination of requirement not to consider pre-existing conditions as grounds for denial of coverage; -Elimination of requirements that plans provide coverage for preventive care, such as flu shots and health care screenings for cancer and other conditions. Imposition of these requirements contribute to costs of Obamacare, but protect society overall in the long run.  (Los Angeles Times, December 24, 2016.) MUCH of the ACA is embedded in the tax code (The Kiplinger Tax Letter), making future changes more difficult than simply voting up or down on Obamacare. CLEANUP of thousands of lead-contaminated homes near Exide site delayed, since pollution not near “emergency” levels.  Demands of demands of environmental and community groups demanding further study and public meetings.  Over 3,000 homes expected to be found polluted after further sampling.  (Los Angeles Times.) FOREIGN governments concerned about climate change may soon be spending more time dealing with Sacramento than Washington as Governor Brown and legislative leaders state they will continue to treat climate change as science.  (Los...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 152

TRUMP TO BE PRESIDENT, FOR SURE; RUSSIANS HACK, INTO BUSINESS PROFITS; PURDUE PHARMA TAKES OXYCONTIN, WORLDWIDE; 3 TAKE 5TH IN OLYMPICS SCOPE DEPO; HOUSING STARTS DOWN – INTEREST RATES UP; OBAMACARE REGISTRATION UP FROM 2015; BRUSHING MAY PREVENT STROKE, HOMELESS MILLENIALS STAY HOME; ANOTHER INEQUALITY STUDY; SCAMS; MORE… ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 152 DECEMBER 22, 2016 PRESIDENT-ELECT Trump solidly wins Electoral College vote.  In some areas Mr. Trump has shown he will nominate people who oppose the positions he espoused on the campaign trail.  For example, Congressman Price, nominated as Secretary of Health and Human Services supports a voucher system for Medicare beneficiaries.  (Today KPPC radio reports Trump wants to increase our nuclear arsenal and also build approximately 70 more ships for the navy.) SENATORS from both parties are supporting an investigation into Russian hacking during the election.  (New York Times, December 12, 2016.)  A “strong consensus” exists among intelligence agencies that Russians were behind the election hacking (Los Angeles Times, December 17, 2016). “Putin’s objectives were multifaceted, a high-level intelligence source told NBC News. What began as a “vendetta” against Hillary Clinton morphed into an effort to show corruption in American politics and to “split off key American allies by creating the image that [other countries] couldn’t depend on the U.S. to be a credible global leader anymore,” the official said.”  (AOL news.) On December 20th, NBR (Nightly Business Report), reported that Russian firms are also defrauding American internet advertisers out of $3 M a day, in a scheme too technical for this blogger to understand. PURDUE Pharmaceuticals, manufacturer and aggressive marketer of highly addictive Oxycontin, moves to sell the product around the...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 151

TRUMP CABINET TAKES HARD RIGHT TURN FROM POPULISM; SHERIFF BACA ON TRIAL; OPEC RISES FROM THE DEAD; FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE TO MEDI-CAL RECOVERY RULES; BEACH ACCESS; MORE…   ELDERUPDATES.COM, No. 151 DECEMBER 15, 2016   NOMINEES of President Trump to Cabinet and other important positions now include: Andrew Puzder, Secretary of Labor, CEO of fast food chains Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, opposes minimum wage increase; Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, former CEO of Exxon-Mobil which instructed its scientists to conjure up the argument that global warming is a myth.  Alternately, possibly Mitt Romney, who may well be too liberal for this Cabinet; Scott Pruitt, head of EPA, a prominent climate science denier and a frequent critic of the EPA.  Pruitt will challenge Obama’s Clean Power Plan; Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, former partner at Goldman Sach and known for buying subprime lending company; “Mad Dog” James Mattis, Secretary of Defense, who told service members in 2005 that “it’s fun to shoot people”;  Trump states in their interview he asked ‘What do you think of waterboarding?’ Mattis said “’I’ve never found it to be useful.’ He said, ‘I’ve always found, give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers and I do better with that than I do with torture;'” Congressman Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services, who has a 242 page plan to repeal Obamacare, wants switch Medicare to a voucher system.  Although Trump had campaigned on a promise not to reduce Social Security or Medicare benefits, Price’s program that relies on tax credits for insurance buyers who will shop the market as individuals and also favors...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 150

COUNTRY RECOGNIZES SURVIVING WWII VETERANS AND BOMBING OF PEARL HARBOR 75 YEARS AGO; 1/3 (!) OF LAWYERS HAVE DRINKING PROBLEMS;, TEACHER SHORTAGE WORSENING; U.S. SUPREME COURT COMES DOWN HARD ON INSIDER BUYING, IF IT’S 1 PERSON 1 VOTE WHY DO SOME PEOPLES’ VOTES COUNT MORE..     ELDERUPDATES.COM. NO. 150. DECEMBER 9, 2016    DECEMBER 7, 2016 was the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor; and attack which brought the United States into a war that, to a very large extent, saved democracy and society as we know them.  The brave men and women who fought that war may not have wanted to be there, but they served and they fought and they won. On NBC Tom Brokaw openly wondered whether today’s youth would be able to rise to the occasion, (comment: having been spoiled by technology and a culture of entitlement.)  While Donald Trump speaks easily of a large military and wants 3 or even more generals in his cabinet, one might wonder whether the United States today could stay the course against China or another major power, as we did after Pearl Harbor. In WWII we endured sacrifice, unlike currently, where wars are fought by a volunteer army and no taxes are raised to fight the wars and the great majority of us make no sacrifice whatsoever. If, as before, there were a draft, the fear that “my child” is not going to get killed might prevent or limit unnecessary military adventures.  However, it would take a strong, trusted and courageous executive with a unified Congress to bring back the draft; neither party would want...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 149

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 149 DECEMBER 1, 2016   SOLDIERS will be allowed to keep the bonuses they were paid unless the government can prove the “knew or should have known” they weren’t entitled to the payment.  (Los Angeles Times, November 30, 2016.)  Putting the burden of proof on the government likely means that for practical purposes recovery won’t be pursued in most cases. VETERANS and their spouses may be eligible for Aid and Attendance benefits if either served in the military during wartime, even for 1 day. WORKERS rally across the U.S. for $15 an hour as Trump Administration nominees show no liberal or pro-labor tendencies.  (Los Angeles Times, November 30, 2016.)  While many workers may have been fooled by Trump’s populist talk, when the rubber meets the road Trump is all about business, all the time, as also evidenced by his nominees for Treasury, Commerce (another billionaire), and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. NUMBER filing for unemployment benefits drops to 235,000 in November, lowest number since 1973, as DOW climbs over 19,000.  (The WEEK, December 2, 2016.) MEANWHILE, NBR (Nightly Business Report), reports automotive loan delinquencies have hit a 10-year high.  (NBR, November 30, 2016.) DEPARTMENT of Education and Social Security Administration want to waive collection of student loans from the disabled, but IRS has not shown any intent to waive taxes on forgiven loans made to 387,000 disabled people.  (Los Angeles Times, November 30, 2016.) PRESIDENT elect Trump’s cabinet takes on a conservative Republican tinge as he selects a banker whose bank broke laws in the 2008 recession as Treasury nominee and also plans to nominate a congressman who...