Dodd-Frank: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly


The 2008 financial crisis left many people with no homes, jobs, or way of life.  It affected the economy more significantly than any crisis since the Great Depression.  Dodd-Frank was created in response to this catastrophe to assure that it would never happen again.  The law imposes regulation in nearly every aspect of the financial industry, covering investment and commercial banks, insurance companies, rating agencies, hedge funds, and many others.  With the implementation of Dodd-Frank, we must consider the costs and benefits of such a bill.  If there is too much regulation on  banks, for example, they will be less likely to lend, decreasing liquidity in our economy and leading to a lack of economic growth or even a recession. Continue reading

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AIG – Who Insures the Insurers?


 

Following the financial crisis of 2008, the financial industry suffered backlash from the public following a historic and infamous series of events that threatened America’s economy.  From media pundits to organized efforts such as the “Occupy: Wall Street” movement, there has been a continual protest against the ‘injustice’ and corruption of greed that supposedly plagues large financial institutions.  However, many Americans rely on financial services for retirement savings, investment opportunities, the ability to get a mortgage and more.  Despite the complexity of many financial systems, which may be simply understood by the general public, the causes of the crisis held blame with those behind-the-scenes, and an ethical analysis can bring these actors and their decisions to light and provide a clear picture of what was done wrong and why.  Looking into AIG, a major player in the financial crisis, a history of ethically questionable management can be seen, with blatantly unethical choices leading underlying collapse of the financial system in 2008.

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Obamacare: Progress for Women’s Health; What about Abortion Coverage?


health-care-reform-cartoonI  scored 6/10 on the Health Reform quiz, which seems to be the average for the class. A few weeks ago I attended an informational session on the Afforable Care Act, where I learned the basics of what the act does (presented by Brandn Green and Carl Milofsky). The presentation didn’t have a political agenda; the speakers wanted to spread knowledge about what the act does and how to sign up for insurance.

I was surprised to see that the Kaiser Family summary of the PPACA specifically addressed abortion, so I did research on how the act confronts the issue of abortion. Viewpoints on abortion tend to be polarized along party lines, therefore I expected “Obamacare” to increase access to abortion and decrease the cost of abortion. Though abortion is a controversial piece of the act, I found that the PPACA doesn’t address it in a radical way.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act allows for federal subsides to be used for abortion services permitted under the Hyde Amendment. This amendment was passed in 1977 in response to Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion. The Hyde Amendment particularly affects Medicare; it prevents federal funds from paying for abortions unless the mother’s life is in danger, or she is a victim of rape or incest. The Hyde Amendment applies to the new health insurance exchanges. Those who wish to purchase abortion coverage can choose a specific plan (if their state allows) where their payments will go into two different accounts: one for abortion coverage and one for the remainder of the premium. The abortion coverage payment must be at least one dollar per month per enrollee. Continue reading

Putting Small Business in a Pickle


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Is it time to deal with this piece yet?

After navigating through the quiz, answering questions based on what I guessed the government would do, I got a 7 out of 10, despite not being able to explain any of the answers in depth.  While the overall benefits of the plan shocked my preconceived notions of the act, the implementation of an insurance marketplace and plethora of benefits throughout the program changed my opinion and attracted me to the large changes in the healthcare system.  However, one area of the PPACA regarding small business and employee coverage strikes me as flawed, with a slight inconsistency to the detriment of a select group of employers.

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Are children being helped or hurt by the extension of CHIP?


I was excited to hear that we’d be learning about the PPACA for this blog because it’s a topic I didn’t know much about. I think it’s important to be informed about current events, especially politically related since certain laws could have major effects on people. While taking the quiz, I felt like I wouldn’t get more than a few right, but I ended up getting a 5/10. Although I knew more than I thought, I still didn’t feel educated enough. The first question in the quiz brought up what is probably the most controversial aspect of Obamacare. I was surprised to learn that people will have to pay a fine if they don’t have health insurance starting in 2014. There are some exceptions such as religious objections, but for the most part, Americans are going to be required to have health insurance.

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One of the aspects of the PPACA that I wanted to learn more about was the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Chip was signed into law in 1997 and provides health coverage to about 8 million children in families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid, but not high enough to afford private health care coverage.

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Forcing the Issue


After seeing the assignment for this week’s blog, I became quite excited about reading up on the Affordable Care Act as I have very little knowledge of its specifics. Unfortunately, I have not been motivated to really look into Obama’s proposal because it really does not have much of an effect on me in the immediate future. However, I do understand the historic importance of the act as it is probably of the largest and most contentious pieces of legislation that has been passed in my lifetime. Furthermore, I believe that it represents the first significant health care reform passed since Truman’s presidency (correct me if I am wrong). As indicated in the directions, I began my research by taking the quiz on the Act and, much to my surprise, got 6 out of 10 correct. I was slightly impressed by my results, but have to admit that I guess on about half of them.

In choosing exactly what aspect on the act that I wanted to focus on, I thought it would be prudent to start with arguably the most important part: the Individual Mandate. Ultimately, I wanted to start here because it appears to be the most controversial part of the reform and the part that is most important for it to work as planned. Now I will attempt to explain it as I understand it: Continue reading