ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 157

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S FAST START, (ANOTHER) HOTTEST YEAR ON RECORD; AMERICAN APPAREL SHUTS DOWN; EVERETT, WA SUES OXYCONTIN MAKER; HUD MORTGAGE INSURANCE PREMIUMS CUT – THEN REVERSED; MILLION + MARCH; STUDENT LOAN SERVICER SUED; TRADE WAR EVER MORE LIKELY; MORE…   ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 157 JANUARY 27, 2017   PRESIDENT Trump takes office with gale force of activity: -Withdraws from TransPacific Partnership (leaving opening for China to step in?); -Proposes medicaid block grants to states instead of payment for services (which might lead states to cut benefits and eligibility as healthcare and prescription costs rise); -Proposes cuts in corporate tax rates while asking corporations to present plans to create more jobs in U.S.; -Proposes U.S. to negotiate drug prices, (as prices increase in January and price collusion demonstrated among some drug robofacturers); -Proposes elimination of estate tax, (the most hated and feared tax, but which only affects estates greater than $5.5 M per person, or $11 M per couple), while also proposing a capital gains tax on inheritances (AOL, January 23, 2017), but not clear if Trump intends to eliminate the step-up in basis; -Makes nice to intelligence services after insulting them roundly; -Gets sued for violation of “emoluments” clause, which prohibits a President from receiving anything of value from a foreign government (as a result of his [part?] ownership of Trump Tower); -Signs Executive Order to begin repeal of Obamacare; and -Reinstated “Mexico City Policy”, which bars foreign aid or federal funding for international nongovernmental organizations which promote or provide abortion services. –THIS WAS ONLY MONDAY, (multiple sources, including NBC, NBR, L.A. Times, New York Times, AOL, US News, and...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 156

MISSISSIPPI CITY RENAMED MLK DAY; MEDICARE AND MEDICAID PAYMENTS ON BLOCK PLAN?; EPIPEN RIVAL AT CVS COSTS LESS; RETIREMENT INVESTING; TRUMP & CORPORATE TAXES; ROBOFACTURING; WF COMPENSATION PLAN; EXIDE PLANT CLEANUP; MORE… ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 156 JANUARY 20, 2017   PRESIDENT-elect Trump to take office already in heated battle with U.S. intelligence services; more than 50 Democrats expected to boycott inaugural. SOCIAL Security Administration gave wrong guidance on benefits of delaying benefits, retroactive benefits, failing to discuss how working longer benefits the worker.  (American Association of Individual Investors Journal, November, 2016.) TRUMP’s forthcoming administration also considering block grant program for Medicaid (Medi-Cal) in California, which will likely force states to reduce programs or eligibility.  The federal government provides the majority of funding for this program; with 3.8 M people on Medi-Cal in California that will be a significant hit to the State budget.  (Los Angeles Times, January 16, 2017.) 5 most asked questions about Medicare: Could I lose my Medicare? Not in the near future.  Changes in the law will not take effect until 2024; If Obamacare is repealed?.. Improvements in Medicare such as closing the “doughnut hole” and preventive services could be reversed; Is Medicare going broke? The program can pay full hospital benefits to 2028, after which there are “challenges”; How would a voucher plan affect me? It would provide a set amount of money that participants would use to buy insurance. You would have to shop among providers, and vouchers are unlikely to keep up with medical inflation; and I’m not 65, so?… Current beneficiary benefits are set in law but Congress can change the law at any...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 155

TRUMP ORDERS OBAMA APPOINTED AMBASSADORS TO QUIT, SENIORS & STUDENT LOANS, TRUMP STARTING TRADE WARS WITH BOTH CHINA AND MEXICO?; 17 INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES AGREE – RUSSIA HACKED DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE; ANOTHER FOR-PROFIT COLLEGE CLOSES; PRESIDENT OBAMA ENDS TERM WITH ECONOMIC GROWTH; MORE… ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 155 JANUARY 13, 2017   PRESIDENT Obama to end term with 75 consecutive months of job growth, the longest since record-keeping began in 1939, an unemployment rate of 4.7% and wages increased 2.9% in December (from last December).  (Los Angeles Times, January 7, 2017.) Many of the jobs are temporary or contract positions.  Economic growth rate is slow compared to most recoveries, primarily due to increased automation with outsourcing a lesser evil.  Employers seeking skilled labor claim there are shortages and labor force participation (those of working age working or seeking work), remains at historic lows.  As potential employees fail to work they may become not just unemployed, but unemployable. In farewell speech President Obama asks supporters to keep working for change; say he will join them in the most important role in society: citizen. PRESIDENT-elect Trump has ordered all ambassadors appointed by President Obama to submit their resignations by Inauguration Day, probably leaving the U.S. without ambassadors to Germany, Canada and Britain after inauguration.  (AOL, January 6, 2017.) 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agree Putin was behind Russian hacking of Democratic National Committee and spreading of stolen emails, but stopped short of concluding the hacking affected election results.  Report alleges Putin “aspired to help” Trump and further “asseses[es] Putin and Russian government developing a clear preference for President-Elect Trump”. First denying the hacking was Russian in origin, President-Elect Trump...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 154

TRUMP FLOATS TRIAL BALLOON RE: V.A. PRIVATIZATION; TRUMP BACKS OFF ON CRITICISM OF INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY; 35 YEAR BULL MARKET IN BONDS MAY BE OVER; BRENT OIL DRYING UP JUST AS BREXIT COMES TO PASS, MORE… ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 154 JANUARY 6, 2017   “MY desk was filed high with papers, [I just read and confer], my good memory helped greatly when conferring with advisers and experts…on the first full day as President I did more reading than I ever thought I could…” (Memoirs of Harry S. Truman, p. 25-26).  A fine president and sometimes just a little humble. REPEAL of Affordable Care Act runs into immediate roadblock as Trump distances himself from repeal effort with tweet for Republicans to be careful and that Obamacare will fall of it’s own weight if left alone.  Trump has stated he supports keeping children on their parents’ plans until age 26, and has also stated he supports the requirement insurance applicants not be denied for pre-existing conditions.  As usual, he is unpredicatable. Most recent Republican plan is to repeal Obamacare with an effective date 2 or 3 years down the line and then think about what, if anything, to replace it with.  One might be excused for thinking there was some kind of plan for replacement while all those votes to repeal Obamacare went on for the last 6 or 7 years. PRESIDENT-elect Trump keeps up his war on the intelligence community, but starts backing off criticisms before his Friday briefing, while still insisting the Russians government did not hack into the U.S. election process. Meanwhile, we know only a little about his 500+...