Friday, July 2, 2010

June Jobs Crash

Despite President Obama's insistence that the economy is still "headed in the right direction," the June jobs report shows the addition of 83,000 private sector jobs was more than offset by loss of 225,000 temporary Census jobs, for a June net loss of 125,000 jobs from the economy.

HHS May Renege On Coverage For Preexisting Conditions

Jay Angoff, HHS director of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, acknowledges that the interim high risk pools created to cover people with preexisting conditions between now and 2014, when health insurers are forced to cover them, may well run out of cash and be forced to turn the sickest people away before private market insurance is available to them. Applications for insurance from the pools, funded by $ 5 billion in federal cash, opened July 1. Richard Popper, Angoff's deputy director, acknowledges at the same time that proposed plan premiums of $ 140 to $ 900 per month may also serve to exclude a lot of people with preexisting conditions from these plans.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Balancing Federal Budgets On The Backs Of The Jobless

Three times in the last three weeks the U. S. Senate has filibustered legislation which would extend unemployment benefits for those who have been out of work for more than six months. Ben Nelson of Nebraska was the only Democrat to vote against cloture on the bill. A total of 1.7 million jobless folks will see their benefits run out by Independence Day. The bill would have extended the unemployment benefit period from 26 weeks to 99 weeks.

Home Sales Not Leading Any Recovery

One in three home sales during the first quarter of 2010 was a foreclosure. There were 1.2 million foreclosure sales in 2009, a four year increase of 2,500%.

Obamacare Fallout Starts

Anthem Blue Cross in California, the first major health insurer to come to grips with Obamacare, is proposing 20% rate hikes.

State Budgets Spiral Downward

Fifty states with a total of $89 billion in state budget deficits mean cuts this fiscal year of as many as 900,000 government employee jobs and jobs at companies doing business with state and local governments. Even with Obama's wished for $50 billion federal aid to state and local governments, which now appears doomed to nearly certain failure in Congress, state and local governments, and the businesses depending on them for survival, would lose nearly 395,000 government and private sector jobs in the last half of 2010 and the first half of 2011. State governments already cut 200,000 jobs in 2009 and the first half of 2010.

Employment losses have already meant drastic cuts in state and local tax revenues. In Illinois some sate government bills 8 months old still go unpaid, according to Illinois Comptroller's office spokesman Alan Henry. More layoffs will mean more revenue losses, and the downward spiral in state and local government employment and services will continue unabated for years to come.