Helping Solve The Healthcare Problem

It is becoming obvious that the Democrats in Congress are not really interested in solving problems. They have been absent on the border crisis and they have been absent on healthcare and health insurance. Meanwhile, President Trump is making gains in both of those areas.

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about a recent change in health insurance regulations announced by the Department of Health and Human Services. The change will allow businesses to fund employees who buy health insurance on the individual market–something that until now has been illegal.

The article includes the announcement:

Today, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury issued a new policy that will provide hundreds of thousands of employers, including small businesses, a better way to provide health insurance coverage, and millions of American workers more options for health insurance coverage. The Departments issued a final regulation that will expand the use of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). When employers have fully adjusted to the rule, it is estimated this expansion of HRAs will benefit approximately 800,000 employers, including small businesses, and more than 11 million employees and family members, including an estimated 800,000 Americans who were previously uninsured.
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Under the rule, starting in January 2020, employers will be able to use what are referred to as individual coverage HRAs to provide their workers with tax-preferred funds to pay for the cost of health insurance coverage that workers purchase in the individual market, subject to certain conditions. … Individual coverage HRAs are designed to give working Americans and their families greater control over their healthcare by providing an additional way for employers to finance health insurance.
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The HRA rule also increases workers’ choice of coverage, increases the portability of coverage, and will generally improve worker economic well-being. This rule will also allow workers to shop for plans in the individual market and select coverage that best meets their needs. … [T]he final rule should spur a more competitive individual market that drives health insurers to deliver better coverage options to consumers.

Moving healthcare and health insurance back to free market principles will be better for everyone–it will increase competition and eventually drive costs down. This is a step in the right direction.

About That Privacy Thing

Breitbart is reporting today that Google failed to tell consumers about a secret microphone in its home security product, Nest Secure. So your security system may be eavesdropping on you. Great.

The article reports:

According to Business Insider, Google announced this month “users would now be able to use Google Assistant” on Nest Secure devices.

However, “users didn’t know a microphone even existed on their Nest Secure devices to begin with.

Google apologized for failing to disclose the “secret” microphone on Tuesday, claiming it was due to an “error.”

“The on-device microphone was never intended to be a secret and should have been listed in the tech specs. That was an error on our part,” declared a Google spokesman. “The microphone has never been on, and is only activated when users specifically enable the option.”

“Security systems often use microphones to provide features that rely on sound sensing,” the spokesman explained. “We included the mic on the device so that we can potentially offer additional features to our users in the future, such as the ability to detect broken glass.”

There is a saying that you should never put anything in writing that you wouldn’t want your mother to see as a headline in The New York Times. I think we need to change that saying to never say anything within range of your security system, your cell phone, or Alexa that you wouldn’t want to see as a headline in The New York Times.

How Is The Economy Doing?

The mainstream media spends a lot of time criticizing President Trump. He is characterized as someone who is totally incompetent, undisciplined in his decision making, volatile, stupid, uneducated, etc. Yet it is somewhat amazing what this man has accomplished in less than two years–with the drag of constant accusations and investigations, a hostile press that simply ignores anything he has accomplished, and a Congress that has been less than supportive.

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today that highlights how the Trump economy is doing.

Here are some of the highlights:

As CTH anticipated the first tabulated holiday sales report via Mastercard® shows the results of a very strong consumer confidence level.  The first report highlights a very strong 5.1% increase in holiday purchases:

“Wall Street is running around like a chicken with its head cut off, while Mr. and Mrs. Main Street are happy with their jobs, enjoying their best wage increases in a decade”…

~ Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners

…Wall Street is being impacted by their multinational reliance which is heavily weighted toward global investments. Main Street is driven by the actual U.S.A. checkbook economic factors. This is the modern disconnect. After decades of Wall Street companies investing overseas, and generating investment products that are fundamentally detached from the U.S. economy, they do not benefit from a strong U.S. economy. However, Main Street directly gains from internal U.S. economic growth.

…If you understand the basic elements behind the new dimension in American economics, you already understand how three decades of DC legislative, monetary and regulatory policy was structured to benefit Wall Street and not Main Street. The intentional shift in monetary policy is what created the distance between two entirely divergent economic engines.

The support of Main Street instead of Wall Street is one of many reasons the Washington establishment hates President Trump. Under establishment politicians Wall Street and rich investors have done very well in recent years–at the expense of Main Street. President Trump has changed that. I strongly suggest that you follow the link and read the entire article at The Conservative Treehouse. It explains in detail how President Trump’s economic policies have changed the dynamics of the American economy.

The article concludes:

Bottom Line: U.S. companies who have actual connection to a growing U.S. economy can succeed; based on the advantages of the new economic environment and MAGA policy, specifically in the areas of manufacturing, trade and the ancillary consumer benefactors.

Meanwhile U.S. investment assets (multinational investment portfolios) that are disconnected from the actual results of those benefiting U.S. companies, and as a consequence also disconnected from the U.S. economic expansion, can simultaneously drop in value even though the U.S. economy is thriving.

The American economy is improving for average Americans. The elites who have profited greatly in recent years while the rest of us struggled do not like that. Be prepared for an outright onslaught of negative news about President Trump as the middle class continues to prosper.

It’s All In What You Name The Bill

On Tuesday Time.com posted an article about the Transparent Airlines Act, which had just passed in the House of Representatives. The law allows airline ads to exclude government fees. Therefore the consumer could easily be misled as to how much his flight will cost.

The article reports:

As MONEY’s Brad Tuttle reported in April, $61 dollars of a typical $300 flight comes from federal taxes–20% of the overall ticket price. Under the new law, airlines could ignore that portion of the fare and advertise the same flight at $239. Could anyone actually buy that flight for $239? Of course not.

One argument by those who favor the law is that it will allow consumers to see exactly how much government fees add to the price of airline tickets. That may be true, but when I buy an airline ticket, I want to know exactly how much it will cost me–not a number that may actually be 20 percent less than the actual cost.