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5 things we should have known about the Health Care Reform Act before it passed, but didn’t

April 8, 2010
  1. Obamacare as passed by Congress does not require insurers to cover children with expensive pre-existing medical conditions. (Insurers assure the White House that they will cover the kids despite the actual legal requirements. That will last until the first quarterly statement)
  2. The bill greatly expanded the Medicaid rolls. States expect this to raise costs due to court challenges
  3. And the federal taxpayer is on the hook for those increased costs. – Thanks to the “Cornhusker Kickback” — the special Nebraska provision that was extended to every state in the final version of the bill — the federal taxpayer is on the hook for 90 percent of the new patients’ expenses. (this is why the CBO numbers were worthless)
  4. (T)he IRS will collect penalties from those who fail to purchase “qualified” insurance by confiscating the interest-free loans that taxpayers make to the government throughout the year through employment withholding. (that is withholding your tax refund if you hadn’t figured it out)
  5. Ski-tourism is now endangered by Obama care. It increases operating costs of resorts by forcing them to provide health care for seasonal employees

I actually don’t care much about that last one but if there are provisions in there about ski resorts you can bet just about everyone else is going to get slammed too.



China currency policy shift

While any announcement could still be delayed, China’s central bank appears to have prevailed with its arguments within the Chinese leadership for a stronger but more flexible currency, known as the renminbi or yuan, these people said. Insisting on anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue in Beijing, they predicted that China’s policy shift could easily come before President Hu Jintao arrives in Washington next week for discussions with President Obama and other world leaders on improving nuclear security.


A more market-oriented currency policy in Beijing, with a trend toward a stronger renminbi, could help the American economy in several ways, according to economists. A stronger renminbi would make Chinese goods more expensive in the United States and make American goods cheaper in China, which is currently exporting more than four times as much to the United States as it imports.

Even more important, a Chinese decision to strengthen the renminbi would make similar moves possible by many other countries, particularly in Asia, that informally link the value of their currencies to the dollar. Exporters like Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are leery of letting their currencies appreciate for fear that their exports would lose out to Chinese exports in the American market.

One economic hurdle down now it’s time to get the deficit under control.



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