January 30, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Medical malpractice lawyers are poised to make more money after Gov. Pat Quinn quietly signed a law allowing them to collect higher fees.
Doctors groups criticize the change, arguing that it will result in less money for injured patients who need it for costly health care and therapy. They also contend the measure was quickly pushed through the General Assembly in the waning days of a lame-duck session by ruling Democrats friendly to trial lawyers. …
The bill surfaced in the Senate on Jan. 2, tacked onto a measure that originally dealt with firearm ranges. A day later it passed the Senate mostly on Democratic votes. Over in the House, powerful Democratic Speaker Michael Madigan sponsored the bill. A few days later it went to the governor on a 67-46 vote, again with mostly Democratic support. Quinn signed the measure into law Jan. 18, disclosing his move on a Friday afternoon, when politicians often choose to bury controversial news.The law eliminates the sliding scale that spelled out how much attorneys could charge for bringing medical malpractice cases. Previously, attorneys could collect one-third of an award up to $150,000, 25 percent for awards ranging from $150,000 to $1 million and 20 percent for awards of more than $1 million. Attorneys also could petition the court for even higher fees, a practice the new law eliminated.
The new system will see attorneys collecting a flat one-third rate on all awards. The Medical Society contends that means a patient who was awarded $1 million would now pay $333,333 in attorney’s fees as opposed to $262,500 under the old standards — the first $150,000 of the award at the one-third rate and the rest at the 25 percent rate.
via Quincy Journal.
The Machine at it again.
If this was such a great law, so helpful to the general public, then why passed in the dead of night and signed on a Friday afternoon?
Just more corruption from Michael Madigan and his trial lawyer buddies.
January 3, 2013 § Leave a Comment
In 11 of the 50 states in the US, residents dependent on the government outnumber private sector workers.
“America is rapidly becoming a nation of takers,” economic blogger Michael Snyder writes. “An increasing number of Americans expect the government to take care of them from the cradle to the grave, and they expect the government to dig into the pockets of others in order to pay for it all.”
Snyder explains that in the states California, New York, Illinois, Ohio, Maine, Kentucky, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, New Mexico and Hawaii — all states won by US President Barack Obama during the November general election — the number of Americans dependent on government aid dwarf those going into work to receive a paycheck.
According to a report published by the Heritage Foundation, 62 percent of government spending in fiscal year 2012 has gone towards entitlement programs that benefit needy Americans, with more than one-fifth of all of Uncle Sam’s funds going into Medicare, Medicaid and other health care programs.
And although the United State spends more money on their military program than any other nation in the world, only 19 percent of government spending goes towards national defense. By comparison, that’s two-percentage points lower than the amount spent on Social Security.
This is amazing. Amazingly sad.
Do people understand that we cannot sustain the country as it has been going? You cannot have 50% of the population sit around and do nothing; just taking from the working minority. The system will collapse.
Soon. Soon, it will collapse.
October 25, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Sharon Arnowitz recalled countless people asking what they could do to help, but there was nothing.
Because, as the Buffalo Grove resident explained, she was not going to be a victim of breast cancer. “I’m going to live,” said Arnowitz, noting that it was diagnosed in its earliest stage. …
On Sunday, Arnowitz served as hostess at her Buffalo Grove home for an all-pink party to promote breast cancer awareness. …
The “Get Your Pink On — Early Detection Celebration and Breast Cancer Awareness Fundraiser” brought in $2,346, which Arnowitz said she will donate to the Caldwell Breast Center. She said she earmarked the donation to pay for mammograms for women who otherwise could not afford them, because this was the exam that may have saved her life.
October 21, 2012 § 1 Comment
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s proposed budget calls for a 1.25 percent tax on businesses that buy “non-titled” items like office supplies, equipment, building materials and even artwork from outside the county’s borders. …
County businesses would be allowed to purchase these goods up to $2,500 without any penalty, county officials said. The businesses are responsible for self-reporting the purchases to the county’s revenue department. A Preckwinkle spokesman said the county expects most businesses will comply. …
The tax is among several initiatives Preckwinkle announced Thursday during a budget presentation, which also called for an additional $1 tax per pack on cigarettes, a 5-cent tax on bullets and an additional $25 tax on gun purchases.
“We’re proposing (these taxes) to subsidize health care,” Preckwinkle said. “Cigarette smoking is the No. 1 cause of preventable disease and gun violence is incredibly expensive.”
The cigarette tax is expected to generate $25.6 million additional revenue in the coming year, and the taxes on guns and bullets are anticipated to bring the county an extra $1 million over the course of 2013.
via Daily Herald.
Shear insanity. There are so many problems here it’s hard to know where to begin.
As to the increase in the cigarette tax… this is a proven loser. In 2006 the county earned over $200 million annually from cigarette taxes. Then they doubled the tax. Revenue fell to around $131 million. Now she wants to raise the tax again… that’s the worst thing you can do. If you want more revenue from cigarettes you need to LOWER the tax rate, not raise it. The problem here is that Preckwinkle, like all Democrats, do not understand or even believe in the Laffer Curve. They’re honestly just dumb that way.
How about this tax on bullets? Well I currently buy a box of 100 rounds out at the Wal-Mart in Villa Park for about $30 + sales tax, or around $33. Now Preckwinkle wants to add $5 to that box. Guess what Toni? I will NOT be buying my ammo in Cook County anymore. So you’re not going to raise $5 from me… you’re going to lose the $3 in sales tax. Your “bullet tax” is going to cost the County money…. Lots of money. Like the cigarette tax, this idea is a net loser. You know what else, you won’t even be able to claim that I “use” the product (in this case bullets) in Cook County b/c pretty soon all the shooting ranges in the county will go out of business. So I’ll go shoot in Indiana. That will be more tax revenue lost.
Lastly, what is up with this office supply tax? Preckwinkle actually has the stones to call this tax “pro-business” thinking that people will simply comply and buy all there stuff from within the county. That’s laughable. She’s such a fool. How about this Toni; ya think that someone might just open their business in Will, DuPage, or Lake county instead of Cook County? Guess what Toni, you just made all the office buildings on the North side of Lake Cook road more valuable than the ones on the South side. Same goes for 191st Street on the south. You’re now creating another incentive for people to (a) open their businesses outside the county, and (b) move their businesses outside the county. This tax will cost many many times more than whatever revenue it brings in.
Cook County needs new leadership or it’s going to die.
October 18, 2012 § Leave a Comment
The U.S. Census Bureau says 108 million Americans live in households where at least one person participates in a means-tested program. We estimate that 80 million are the primary recipients….
Since the president took office:
• Medicaid is up from 46.9 million to 56 million people.
• Disability beneficiaries are up from 7.5 million to 8.8 million.
• The food stamp program has grown from 32 million Americans to 47 million.
Add to that 80 million beneficiaries 40 million Americans age 65 or older on Social Security and Medicare (9 million of the 49 million on Medicare, including some under age 65, also receive means-tested benefits).
That 120 million does not include the numerous smaller entitlement programs.
Put them all together, and a number approaching half of the country participates in an entitlement program.
Now add in the 16 million new Medicaid beneficiaries, thanks to ObamaCare, plus an estimated 12 million people who enter the health insurance exchanges by 2014, where most will receive federal subsidies.
The budget implications of these programs are huge. For fiscal 2012, America spent $2.2 trillion of its $3.7 trillion budget on entitlement programs — $400 billion less than the $2.6 trillion in gross annual revenues.
Oh, and interest on the federal debt was $220 billion.
Thus, the cost of entitlement programs plus interest on the debt are nearly equal to total federal revenues today.
Virtually everything else the government does is with borrowed, or printed, money.
I realize that this is all a little hard to understand for a lot of people. So to put it in easy to understand terms:
This is like living on a credit card — spending 50% more money than you actually earn — and then dying and leaving the bill for your kids.
October 15, 2012 § Leave a Comment
The USPS has been teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. A key reason was a 2006 law that required the postal service to make annual payments of about $5.5 billion for 10 years to pay for future retiree health benefits. …
In the three months that ended June 30, the agency reported net losses of $5.2 billion.
People like to point out why the post office is suffering a slow cancerous death. eMail, electronic bill pay, faxes, etc. But that’s all garbage. The U.S.P.S. is dying because it failed to meet the realities of the marketplace and because it overpays it’s workers, a/k/a bad management.
Compare the USPS which LOST $5.2 billion in the 2Q 2012 to UPS which made $1.12 billion in the same period. Or FedEx which made $459 million in the 3 months ending 08/12.
Years ago I read Jim Rogers‘ book Investment Biker. In it he tells the story of being in the USSR and mailing some packages back to the UK. Long story short, the communist government charged less to mail letters and package than it cost. This was because it was popular with the people. The people wanted to be able to send letters cheaply and the government obliged. But it was but one example of several (cited in the book) showing how and why the USSR would fail. A government cannot continue to offer services for less than what they cost.
No entity can continue to offer services for less than their cost. The USPS is not exception. It must either figure out how to charge enough for the service it provides or get out of the business. But right now the taxpayers are on the hook to massive amounts of USPS debt. That’s not right.
Lastly, you should care… greatly. The government is now just starting to take over the nations health care. It too will be run with the same level of efficiency and forward thinking as the USPS, or maybe the State of Illinois DMV.
Health care in this country will follow the USPS in bankruptcy. And that’s not going to be good for anyone.
August 17, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Fathom the hypocrisy of a government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured… but not everyone must prove they are a citizen. Many of those who refuse, or are unable, to prove they are citizens will receive free insurance paid for by those who are forced to buy insurance because they are citizens.
– Attributed to Ben Stein
April 25, 2012 § Leave a Comment
New Zealand’s Health Ministry has reportedly considered boosting the price of a pack of cigarettes as high as $100 ($81 U.S.) in a bid to make the country smoke free by 2025.
An internal government working paper raised the possibility of upping the cost of a 20-cigarette pack by 30 to 60 percent and tacking on yearly increases of 30 percent, Sky News reported.
With cigarettes now priced at about $16 to $17, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said the $100 suggestion seemed like “an awful lot” and could encourage a black market, Fairfax NZ News reported.
via NBC New York.
Can you say Black Market?