Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Obama-care and part time employment –Part 2

I’m seeing all types of comments on the 2013 rise in part time employment that blame it on Obama-care and that is just plain wrong.

Based on unpublished BLS data so far this year federal employes forced to work part time because of the sequester account for over 100% of the increase in part time employment.

So far this year private part time employment is actually some one million jobs lower than in the same 8 months of last year.  Because the data is not seasonally adjusted ( NSA ) the correct comparison to make is the year over year change because frequently the month-to-month changes can be misleading.

Time after time I’m seeing people observe the jump in part time workers and just jumping to the conclusion that it is Obama-care.  That is what they want to believe, so they do not bother to check  if their is another explanation. Economist generally call this  the omitted variable problem.  But I suspect it is just more Republican disinformation.  All it takes to get the data showing that the jump in part time  employment is all federal employes is just one simple phone call or email to the BLS . But it appears that people do not want to be confused by the facts.

(See table after the read more)

Clipboard01 PART

 

 

 

 

Disinformation was the old Cold War practice of both the CIA and KGB of planting false information in the press for propaganda purposes or to fool each other.The KGB actually had an entire Disinformation Division.Now it just seems to be the conservatives-liberaterians trying to fool themselves.

 

Tags: Comments (14) | |

Kaiser Foundation Calculator Out of Date

Bill Clinton has become the The Secretary of Explaining Stuff for the PPACA. Maggie goes on to explain to one writer why the Kaiser Calculator is out of date as the Healthcare Exchanges come on line with real pricing.

Bob

The Kaiser Foundation Calculator is out of date. They created it before any of the states had announced rates. So they were not able to accurately calculate subsidies because subsidies are based on the actual cost of the 2nd least expensive Silver plan in any given market.

You have to know what that premium is to figure out the subsidy. In addition, they are using their estimates of “national averages” as to what a Bronze or Silver plan will cost a person of a certain age with a certain income. Now that many states have announced actual rates, we are finding that they are significantly lower than expected.

For instance, in L.A. if a 30 year-old earning $30,000 receives a subsidy of $507, he could buy a Bronze plan (which covers everything a Silver plan covers) for just $1341 a year–not the $1902 you suggest.

In New York City (the most expensive insurance market in the nation for young people because we don’t let insurers charge older people more), he would receive a subsidy of $2190 (because the benchmark silver plan that determines the subsidy is quite expensive. He could then take that $2190 subsidy and purchase a Bronze plan for $1506 a year. Can he afford $1506? Yes.

Bob, I think you’re out-of-touch with how well a 30-year-old who earns $30,000 a year is doing. He earns more than roughly 70% of Americans in his cohort ( 21-30) You’re looking at $30,000 a year from the perspective of a 40-something. A 30-year-old male with that income is likely to be single and living in an urban area where he spends far less on rent/mortgage than a 40-year old would (I know this because my kids are roughly that age, one in NYC). He probably lives in a small apt. in a part of the city that is not a middle-class family neighborhood. His neighborhood is more commercial, surrounded by bars and restaurants with a decent night life (this is where he wants to be and very likely he shares the apt with someone [a girlfriend]). That cuts his rent in half. Depending on the city he lives in and the public transportation, he may or may not need a car. (A 40-year old with kids does) The 30-year-old earning $30,000 spends much of his paycheck on eating out, ordering in, etc. He’s not yet worried about saving–he spends most of his paycheck every month. This is why he can afford to spend $100 to $132 a month for health insurance in two of the most expensive cities in the nation. He no doubt spends well more than that each month for beer, pizza, drinks with friends at local bars, and ordering in junk food. If he cooked dinner 1 or 2 nights a week, he could save enough to cover the premium (This is just one of many ways to economize–my point is only that he can afford $100 a month.) .

And when you look at the actual rates in most of the country, after his subsidy he is likely to be paying somewhere between $40 and $80 a month for insurance. . I have written a post looking at actual rates for young adults and will be posting here on HealthBeat this evening. PLEASE Stop using and quoting the KAISER CALCULATOR. You wind up spreading misinformation.  The Secretary of Explaining Stuff  Maggie Mahar, Healthbeat Blog

Tags: , Comments (4) | |

Regular coastal towns and cities and sea level rising

Seeing this piece by Andrew Revkin Can cities adjust to a retreating coastline? reminded me to also look closer to home. We all too readily forget that NYC is not a typical problem of a coastal communitiy…so what do planners in smaller towns face? How do they choose responses, for instance, if an engineering report proposes possible loss of 20% of your tax base by 2050 due to rise in sea level predictions and the particular configuration of your coastal areas? The towns of Scituate, Duxbury, and Marshfield in MA face real decision making in terms of planning. As Selectman Rick Murray of Scituate told a friend of mine, “They who keep their heads in the ground will drown.”

As an exercise in arguing sea level rise and consequences in or near your own neighborhood, walking the information and language through this lens might help to clarify some of the problems involved that are not at such a large scale point of view and beyond most of our imaginations and expertise, and could be in your own neighborhood or vacation home. (Or is your land sinking?) (Disclosure: I do not own any coastal property. Nertz.)

Sea level rise

Scituate news

Final South Shore Adaptation Planning Report

Tags: Comments (5) | |

Angry Bear among top Influential Economics Blogs…Onalytical Indexes

Thank you contributors and readers, it’s true.

We are listed at 34th this time, even missing Robert Waldmann and Kenneth Thomas mentions in Paul Krugman’s  New York Times columns this month as rankings were determined in July.

Onalytical Indexes publishes their  Top 200 Influential Economics Blogs – Aug 2013
by Andreea Moldovan

It’s been several months since we published our latest ranking of influential economic blogs. Below is an updated list of the top 200 economic blogs, ordered by their Onalytica Influence index.

[skip]

We have recently added some very well-known and influential blogs such as Economix,FT Alphaville and Vox, causing most blogs to go down in ranking.

Tags: , , , Comments (4) | |

The PPACA and Healthcare Sky is Falling Again . . .

Chicken Little

Huh? Repeal the PPACA to Help Hispanics and African-Americans ? ? ?

Crooks and Liars carries a conversation by Repub Senator Ted Cruz with Candy Crowley on CNN. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is making it his crusade to repeal the PPACA so as not to cause harm to the most vulnerable of America who potentially are losing their jobs, the Hispanics and African-Americans and singe moms. To real the PPACA do so, he is asking the House to pass a budget which specifically funds everything the government needs with the exception of funding for the PPACA. Factcheck.org has debunked the lost job claim here: GOPS’s ‘Job-Killing’ Whopper, Again and previously.  There is no basis for Senator Cruz’s claim for lost jobs due to the PPACA.

As we’ve said before (a few times), experts project that the law will cause a small loss of low-wage jobs — and also some gains in better-paid jobs in the health care and insurance industries.

It’s also expected that more workers will decide to retire earlier, or work fewer hours, when they no longer need employer-sponsored insurance and can obtain it on their own with help from federal subsidies. But that just means fewer people willing to work — and it will free up jobs for those who want them. If anything, that could reduce the jobless rate.

Maybe Senator Cruz is implying employers will cut hours to less than 30 per week? Our own Spencer England has done a couple of posts on the topic of cutting hours to less than 30 hours. It just is not happening as the critics and naysayers are claiming.  Obamacare, The Sequester and Part Time Employment and here: Obamacare and Employment.

Is the PPACA hurting Hispanics and African Americans as Senator Cruz says? The US Department of Health Says No.  913,000 Latino have already benefited and 509,000 African-Americans to date. If anything, it appears that more of the minorities Mr. Cruz claims are being hurt are being helped by the PPACA.

Young Adults with Insurance

 

“Federal Healthcare Can Not Work” according to former Senator Jim DeMint who recently became the Heritage Pres  .  .  .

Dean Howard and Heritage Pres Jim DeMint face off on CNN as reported by Crooks and Liars. Former Repub Senator Demint: DeMint explained that Heritage Action had launched a nine-city tour to rally Americans in support of repealing Obamacare because it was an “unfair and un-American law.”

“Federal health care is not going to provide good health care to Americans,” DeMint insisted. “You can’t find a federal program that’s working effectively.”

Howard Dean Gov. of Vermont “Jim, I disagree with that,” former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) replied. “I think Medicare works pretty darn well and people like it. And that’s a federal program that works very well for people.”

Demint: (Medicare) “It’s tens of trillions of dollars in debt because it’s been mismanaged, it’s going to leave huge debts onto our children, and more and more doctors won’t even see a Medicare-insured patient,” DeMint replied. “So, it is not going to work for the future.” The former South Carolina senator continued: “And as we put more people on Medicare and Medicaid, and that’s what Obamacare is going to do, is to push more people into Medicaid-style plans, fewer and fewer doctors are going to see these folks. So, we need to make sure we get health insurance that doctors will actually take.” The former South Carolina senator continued: “And as we put more people on Medicare and Medicaid, and that’s what Obamacare is going to do, is to push more people into Medicaid-style plans, fewer and fewer doctors are going to see these folks. So, we need to make sure we get health insurance that doctors will actually take.”

Howard Dean: “I’m sure it won’t surprise you to know that I disagree with that,” Dean said before he was interrupted by Bash.

CNN’s Bash: “I’m so shocked,” she snarked, promising to allow Dean to respond following a commercial break.

Howard Dean (after break): “Before we get to that, let me get a little equal time on health care,” Dean demanded. “You know, I was not a supporter of Obamacare when it passed. I am now. I think this ought to be implemented. You know, in our little medical office in Burlington, Vermont, we’ve discovered that premiums are going to be cut in half for the five people who work for my wife and her partners. So, this is going to make a big difference.”

While the PPACA is not the end all of healthcare plans, it still is a step forward in the right direction which has not been addressed since Hillarycare failed in 1993. To the question, are Doctors accepting Medicare patients? More Doctors Accepting Medicare Patients

“The number of physicians accepting new Medicare patients rose by one-third between 2007 and 2011 and is now higher than the number of physicians accepting new private insurance patients, according to a Department of Health and Human Services report obtained by USA TODAY.”

Someone is blowing smoke up  .  .  .  well, ahhh again.

 

Texas Representative Louie Gohmert’s Healthcare Hooey 

Factcheck.org reports on Repub Texas Rep Louis Gohmert who claims under the PPACA a:

“poor guy out there making $14,000″ is ‘going to pay extra income tax if he cannot afford to pay the several thousand dollars for an Obamacare policy.’”

While there are issues with people who just exceed 400% FPL getting subsidies, Rep Gohmert of Texas claim is erroneous. A person making $14,000 in income is at 122% of FPL and would be subsidy eligible. Under the PPACA, if a citizen lives in a state which expands Medicaid to 138% FPL, the person making $14,000 would be covered under it. If a citizen lives in a state “like Texas” which chooses to not expand Medicaid, the person would be exempt from the mandate or additional income tax as Gohmert claims. A rule published July 1st granted the exemption to the mandate or citizens who live in states which do not expand Medicaid.

There is a lot of controversy about expanding Medicaid to cover people making less than 138% FPL in that the gov. could attach assets in the future. States do have that option and in fact they do enforce it when the middle class uses Medicaid to pay for assisted care and nursing home care which is nothing new and did not come about with the PPACA. Those wealthier than FPL must meet a certain income and asset standard before Medicaid will kick-in.

 

Obamacare by The Numbers

Factcheck.org reports on false claims by the Republican National Committee:

“Republican National Committee claims that 8.2 million Americans can’t find full-time jobs ‘partly due to ObamaCare.’”

Since the PPACA was implemented, the numbers of part time workers has been decreasing. The numeric quoted represents the total number of part time workers seeking full time work.

Part-time workers Graph

6 million retirees will also lose their:

“prescription drug coverage”

The quoted 6 million losing their prescription drug coverage are expected to go on Medicare Part D after losing Employer covered drug prescriptions. The tally by the RNC goes on for 55 more losses by citizens under the PPACA as accounted for in their RNC report:  Obamacare by The Numbers

 

74% of Small Business will fire workers, cut hours under Obamacare.

Factcheck.org reports on how John Boehner misquoted a recent Chamber of Commerce release of a 3 page Small Business Outlook Study. Only 13% of small businesses said they would take such actions in the study.

Speaker John Boehner Tweet, July 17 CC Study: “74% of small businesses will fire workers, cut hours under #Obamacare” http://bit.ly/12GmjgF cc @dcexaminer @uschamber

Even though some companies will cut workers to less than 30 hours to avoid providing them with healthcare insurance, the companies will still have to pay in equivalents. The government calculates something it calls full time equivalent employees. It divides the number of hours that part time workers actually work in a month ]by 120 to see what it is in equivalent. In effect, for purposes of the regulation two part time employees will count as one full time employee in determining if the firm has over 50 employees and is subject to the penalty. So actually, firms will not be able to avoid the penalty by just cutting the hours its employee work to under 30.

Tags: Comments (0) | |

Social sharing shows us what?

New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) offers a brief glimpse into how people share or point to information on social networks, in this case Twitter. The subject of BBC programs caught my eye as opposed to food or pets, being rather wonky in image and therefore noticeable in relation to Angry Bear. Angry Bear has about 2500 followers, many from institutions or people connected to economics, as well as readers. I actually know little about how people use twitter…I use rss feeds and twitter as an index mostly to filter informative posts.

CAMBRIDGE (Aug 20, 2013) — Where do people get their news, and how does information spread through social networks? Researchers at the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) analyzed how BBC articles are shared through Twitter, and discovered how the BBC successfully reaches multiple audiences. Mapping social networks, especially around the dissemination of news, makes it possible to forecast — with a growing degree of accuracy — social and political movements, technology adoption, and economic behavior.

Comments (0) | |

The White House Finally Takes an Actual STAND on Something That Was Not Dictated by Tim Geithner or the National Security Brotherhood. And It’s the Ethical Position in the Controversy, to Boot!

 

This isn’t trivial. One of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever met was a waggly-tailed white pit bull that a neighbor of a friend of mine found roaming the street. As soon as the sweetie saw you approaching, she’d wag her tail excitedly and then lie down on her back to invite you to rub her belly.

These dog-breed-ban statutes are abominable.  Now, a Tim-Geithner -White-House-ban statute would be another thing entirely. Maybe when Congress returns after Labor Day?

Tags: , , , , , , Comments (6) | |

Les Misérables

Via Alternet comes this quote from Victor Hugo in Les Miserables:

Victor Hugo described this war with the poor in Les Misérables as one between the “egoists” and the “outcasts.” The egoists, Hugo wrote, had “the bemusement of prosperity, which blunts the sense, the fear of suffering which is some cases goes so far as to hate all sufferers, and unshakable complacency, the ego so inflated that is stifles the soul.” The outcasts, whose persecution and deprivation was ignored until it morphed into violence, had “greed and envy, resentment at the happiness of others, the turmoil of the human element in search of personal fulfillment, hearts filled with fog, misery, needs, and fatalism, and simple, impure ignorance.”

 

Comments (2) | |