CMM 308 : Debate Questions
CMM 308 : Debate Questions CMM 308
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Set Three: Homeland Security/T errorism, Jobs, Health Care Debate questions 1. According to Binder (2013), “Overuse and unnecessary care accounts for anywhere from one-third to one-half of all health care costs, which equal hundreds of billions of dollars, in addition to the half-a-trillion per year experts attribute to lost productivity and disability.” How can we decrease these health care costs? Before talking about the solution how we can decrease the healthcare costs , we mentioned about five biggest issue in health care today : according to Forbes : Problem 1: Too Much Unnecessary Care the costs related to unnecessary health care will only rise in coming days. Drug mafia is rampant everywhere and they know how to market their products. They became successful to create unnecessary fear in the minds of people and force us to use unnecessary healthcare products. This situation is very much present in all countries I think. Everything has a commercial value and there is no value for human life Problem 2: Avoidable Harm to Patients Problem 3: Billions of Dollars are Being Wasted report by the Institute of Medicine Health suggests a third or more of health costs are wasted. The cost of these unnecessary, harmful early elective deliveries was estimated in a study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology to be nearly $1 billion per year Problem 4: Perverse Incentives in How We Pay for Care Traditionally, health plans, Medicare and Medicaid pay providers for whatever services they deliver, regardless of whether the service truly benefits the patient. As an excellent new book called “The Incentive Cure” points out (as does a plethora of other literature that could fill several libraries), how we end up with an epidemic of perverse incentives Problem 5: Lack of Transparency We have far more information available to us to compare and select a new car than we do to choose where to go for lifesaving health care Solution : According Fortune, Forbes magazine. Higher Co-Pays Competitive bidding : replaces the outdated prices Medicare has been paying with lower, more accurate prices. Under this program, suppliers submit bids to provide certain medical equipment and supplies at a lower price than what Medicare now pays for these items. Medicare uses these bids to set the amount it pays for those 1 equipment and supplies under the Competitive Bidding Program. Qualified, accredited suppliers with winning bids are chosen as Medicare contract suppliers First, Medicare could use some help to improve the competitive bidding process so gaming is reduced, the bids are binding, and quality is guaranteed. I have long proposed having a board of experts from business and academia to advise Medicare on doing competitive bidding right. In addition, Congress should also expand competitive bidding beyond medical equipment to things like automated laboratory tests, X-rays, and anything else that an advisory board thinks is open to competitive bidding. Second, Medicare Part C—the privately-run Medicare Advantage plans— should also be shifted to a better competitive bidding process. About 30% of Medicare beneficiaries are now enrolled in Part C—and it is expanding fast. The current bidding process is extraordinarily complicated. And, Medicare overpays. On average, before the Affordable Care Act, Medicare paid Part C plans 114% of what the services would cost if provided in traditional Medicare. Today, because of the ACA, it is down to 106% — still overpaying. Instead of linking payments to a government-set benchmark, payments should be linked to what insurers actually bid to provide the established basket of services to seniors with bonuses for those plans that rank higher in terms of quality. Such competition gets the government out of price setting and incentivizes low cost-high quality care. Third, we can encourage more competition in the exchanges. To do this, we need to boost enrollment in order to make it more enticing for insurers to enter the market. Merging the exchange for small businesses into the exchanges for individuals could accomplish this. In addition, competition on price and quality could be facilitated by only allowing a certain number of plans per insurer at each metal level based on premiums, and setting minimum quality standards. This would incentivize them to offer cheaper plans. Finally, we need more price and quality transparency. Car dealers are required to stick to the MSRP and quality standards on the windows of all the new cars they sell. Why shouldn’t hospitals and other providers publish their “all-in” prices and quality 2 standards for standard elective procedures—such as MRIs and knee replacements—as well? This will facilitate consumers being able to shop around for the best-value care and create competition among providers. 2. According to a 2012 report from the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the threat to western interests in Benghazi (Libya ) was high even prior to the attack of September 11, 2012. Reviewing these incidents, an unclassified open source report by a contractor to AFRICOM noted in July 2012 that: “Nonetheless, Benghazi has seen a notable increase in violence in recent months, particularly against international targets. These events point to strong anti-Western sentiments among certain segments of the population, the willingness of Salafi-jihadi groups in the city to openly engage in violence against foreign targets, and their capacity to carry out these attacks.” How could the United States have curtailed this event? 2012 Benghazi attack took place on the evening of September 11, 2012, when Islamic militants attacked the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, killing U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith. Several hours later, a second assault targeted a different compound about one mile away, killing CIA contractors Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty. Ten others were also injured in the attacks. Obama said on the day of Benghazi attack: “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done." 3 A 50-member Marine FAST team was sent to Libya to "bolster security." It was . announced that the FBI would investigate the possibility of the attack being planned.U.S. officials said surveillance over Libya would increase, including the use of unmanned drones, to "hunt for the attackers. On September 12, it was reported that the United States Navy dispatched two Arleigh Burke class destroyers, the USS McFaul and the USS Laboon, to the  Libyan coast. The destroyers are equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles. American UAVs were also sent to fly over Libya to search for the perpetrators of the attack. On September 25, in an address before the United Nations General Assembly President Obama stated, "The attacks on our civilians in Benghazi were attacks on America ... And there should be no doubt that we will be relentless in tracking down the killers and bringing them to justice. After October 4, 22, To assist the Libyan government in disbanding extremist groups, the Obama administration allocated $8 million to begin building an elite Libyan commando force over the next year Freedom of Information Act requests have been made since the attack.According to preliminary translations provided to the U.K. MailOnline by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, the graffiti likely reads "Thrones of HamzaIn"; "Allah-u Akbar" ("God is Great"); and "Unity of ranks" 3. A recent article (Apuzzo, 2014) states that the government will prohibit federal agents from considering religion, national origin, gender and sexual orientation in their investigations. This change was a response to criticisms from civil rights groups that say federal authorities have singled out Muslims in counterterrorism investigations and Latinos for immigration investigations. If Muslims are more likely to be involved in terrorism, and if Latinos are more likely to be in the US illegally, than other citizens, should the law be changed due to political correctness? (nytimes.com) a. President George W. Bush said in 2001 that racial profiling was wrong and promised “to end it in America.” But that was before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. After those attacks, federal agents arrested and detained dozens of Muslim men who had no ties to terrorism. The government also began a program known as special 4 registration, which required tens of thousands of Arab and Muslim men to register with the authorities because of their nationalities. b. two caveats: It did not apply to national security cases, and it covered only race, not religion, ancestry or other factors c. Muslims, a part of Muslims , Latinos , a part of Latinos d. Example : Turkey e. In the past, Mr. Holder has spoken out forcefully against profiling. “Racial profiling is wrong,” he said in a 2010 speech. “It can leave a lasting scar on communities and individuals. And it is, quite simply, bad policing — whatever city, whatever state. (General Eric H. Holder Jr.) f. What is the United States? 4. According to the Affordable Care Act, in 2015, businesses with the equivalent of over fifty full-time employees must provide health care coverage. In anticipation of this change, some businesses have cut employee hours. (What are the ramifications for the economy)? ObamaCare : he ObamaCare pros and cons mirror the complex nature of the new health care law. ObamaCare (the Affordable Care Act) contains many benefits, especially for low and middle income families and businesses. ObamaCare also contains some obstacles for high earners, larger firms that don’t insure their employees, and certain sectors of the healthcare industry. The local economy is bad. People aren't eating out as much, and sales are down. But there's another reason that might explain why fast-food employees aren't getting more hours: Obamacare The economy is going down when the firm or company can not have enough money to afford the health care coverage. The individual mandate says all Americans who can afford health insurance have to obtain health coverage, get an exemption, or pay a fee. That creates an extra complication with regards to filing taxes. Some folks who just barely miss the Federal Poverty Level limit of 400% are hit the hardest as they don’t qualify for assistance. Those who do get cost assistance will need to adjust tax credits on the 8962 – Premium Tax Credit form Insurance companies must cover sick people, and this increases the cost of everyone’s insurance. In order to ensure people don’t just buy coverage when they need it, most people must obtain coverage or pay a per-month fee. Also, coverage can only be obtained during annual open enrollment periods. One can owe the fee due to forgetting 5 to pay a premium, and then not be able to get coverage until next open enrollment. Some people, like men in good health with no pre-existing conditions, who were not responsible for anyone but themselves, and who remained healthy, were benefiting from being in a low risk group. They may have had cheap limited coverage before the premium hikes took place in 2014 Some workers don't want more hours. Their part-time salary is low enough that they're eligible for government coverage in California through Medicaid. Some workers say they're better off making less money and getting their coverage free from the state (From npr.org ) 5. According to the editorial board of the New York Times, in the article Terrorism and Embassies, “No one has questioned the N.S.A.’( national security agent )s role in collecting intelligence overseas, but the debate is about domestic efforts to vacuum up large volumes of data on the phone calls of every American that are legally questionable and needlessly violate Americans’ rights. A threat from Al Qaeda, no matter how serious, should not divert attention from a thorough investigation of the domestic spying” (A16). Do you agree with this statement? Explain. According to The Times, officials intercepted electronic communications in which the leader of Al Qaeda in Pakistan, Ayman al-Zawahri, who succeeded Osama bin Laden, ordered Nasser al-Wuhayshi, the leader of the terrorist group’s most lethal branch in Yemen, to carry out an attack as early as this past Sunday. That day, the State Department extended the closing of 19 diplomatic posts in the Middle East and North Africa through at least Saturday. The information was credible enough that several European countries also closed embassies in the Middle East. I agree. The personal privacy is priority. In the article , they say they will use phone to spy the domestic attackers, which also means that everything you do , everything you said on the phone. We will know. 6 6. According to Carnevale, A.P., Hanson, A.R. & A. Gulish (2013), young adults, especially young men, are taking longer to launch their careers than in the past. They change jobs much more frequently between the ages of 18 and 25 (6.3 times) than the baby boomers did at the same age (5.5 times). This has caused a delay at which young adults reach the middle of the wage spectrum from 26 to 30. What has contributed to this trend and how would you reverse it? Generation X and Millennials are the by-product of companies and even government terminating their parents’ job and disrupting career paths. Young adults are more likely to live with their parents, change residences annually, and cohabitate than previous generations. They are, in turn, marrying and rearing children at later ages than ever ( from the article Failure to launch: Structural Shift and the New Lost Generation ) . o First, improved health outcomes and increased life expectancy have increased the ability to work into later ages. • Second, skill-biased technological change has led to a shift from physical to cognitive work tasks, allowing older adults, who might be incapable of physically demanding jobs, to continue working into later ages. • Third, defined benefit retirement plans, which frequently discourage working past the age of benefit eligibility, have largely declined. • Fourth, several reforms to Social Security have increased the incentive for older adults to work, particularly the increase in the full retirement age from 65 to 67 and the elimination in 2000 of the so-called earnings test, which indirectly taxed the earnings of seniors who worked past the full retirement age. • Fifth, the share of employers offering health insurance as a retirement benefit has declined, encouraging workers to remain employed until age 65, when they’re eligible for Medicare benefits. o Suggestions : o First, the American human capital development system is ripe for reforms that would promote educational attainment and productivity, especially at the postsecondary level. • Second, active labor market policies and flexible work arrangements would accelerate young adults’ progress along the on-ramp into full-time careers and ease the transition of older workers out of the full-time workforce and into retirement. 7 • Third, removing other potential disincentives to work for older adults, both by employers and governments at the federal, state, and local level, would enhance their economic welfare, promote growth, and ease the slowdown in labor force growth. • Last, relaxing immigration restrictions, especially for young, high-skill workers, would promote economic growth, expand the tax base, and alleviate the public’s burden to make hard choices between human capital investments and programs for seniors 7. Around 5,000 coal mining jobs were eliminated in West Virginia between 2011 and early 2014, most in the southern coalfields. State coal production declined by over 35 percent between 1997 and 2013, and by 28 percent between 2008 and 2013 (Boettner, T., & O'Leary, S., 2014). What solutions might you offer to remedy this increasing loss of jobs? West Virginia recently took steps to improve conditions for low-wage workers, from expanding Medicaid to raising the minimum wage. a. Given the link between educational attainment and earnings, policy makers would do well to revisit the affordability of higher education b. creating a Future Fund from natural resource severance taxes, something we have advocated for years. The goal of such a fund is the creation of a permanent source of wealth from the extraction of nonrenewable resources c. One factor which exerts a downward force on state economic indicators is the state’s low workforce participation rate. State leaders should study the issue and develop programs, including subsidized employment, to increase participation rates, particularly among at-risk individuals, with a long range goal of working towards full employment. Supports for employment that reward work or remove obstacles, such as tax credits for low-wage workers and subsidies for child care, can further incentivize workforce participation d. applying sales taxes to services currently exempt from taxation and increasing the progressivity of income taxes. The state could well benefit from greater transparency on corporate taxes and tax credits 8. Barack Obama more than doubled the US troop strength in Afghanistan in his first two years in office to 100,000; even as he withdrew an equivalent number from Iraq. According to Lobe (2011), the costs have been staggering with an estimated three to 4.4 trillion dollars incurred either directly or indirectly fighting the global war on terrorism. Further, he argues that 8 although the US military remains the strongest in the world, its veil of invincibility has been irreparably pierced by the success with which groups of guerrillas have defied and frustrated it. How can we more effectively fight this form of terrorism, or should we? By having a regular presence in villages, the U.S. is using the enemy's own tactics against them, making it extremely difficult for them to hide behind the local population. The regular is imposed on the military landscape and is dependent on heavy equipment, modern communications, and external supply. Intelligence depends on observation posts, patrols, and interrogation, and security entails the full panoply of fortified posts, armoured vehicles, and firepower. The invaders are therefore highly visible, relatively immobile, and poorly informed. Compare the guerrilla. He is largely self-sufficient or sustained by local supplies. Highly mobile, with superb intelligence from his social network, and indistinguishable from the civilian population of which he is part, he is almost always invisible, yet has the capacity to strike anywhere, anytime Quick , fast and stable. 9. Given the rising cost of healthcare and the rapidly increasing rates of obesity, do you believe that the government should have the right to increase taxes on “unhealthy” foods and beverages? o The solution is for all of us to eat a better diet -- one that's high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fiber and low on concentrated sweets and saturated fats. We also need to get more exercise. The problem is that it's hard for people to consistently follow these recommendations o By increasing the cost, we make it easier for people to make the more healthful choice. The tax money can be used to increase awareness about the harm of junk food and fund projects that encourage better choices. the funds could also be used to counter the lavish advertising of soda and junk food by "marketing" alternatives like apples or ordinary tap water 9 o We should eliminate farm subsidies for corn production, which make the corn syrup in sweetened beverages so cheap. We need to increase the number of farmers' markets and provide zoning incentives to place supermarkets in low-income neighborhoods so people can buy good food at an affordable price. Improving school lunches and re-instituting physical education will also help 10. Coll (2014) indicates that Obama has given three reasons to attack ISIS from the air. These include the massacre of religious minorities; the defense of the Kurdistan Regional Government, an oil-endowed American ally; and as a form of self-defense, to disrupt ISIS before it tries to attack Americans in the region or in the United States. How does this differ from the rationalization provided by Bush with respect to going into Iraq? Do you think that the ISIS attack can be successful? 11. According to Carnevale, A.P., Hanson, A.R. & A. Gulish (2013), older adults are staying longer in the labor force because of increased life expectancy; more jobs requiring cognitive rather than physical skills; a decline in defined benefit retirement plans; a delay in Social Security benefits from age 65 to 67; and the percentage of employers offering health benefits after retirement has declined. Still, the authors state that it is a myth that these workers are causing problems in employment of the young, as there 10 are still more job openings from retirements than ever before, with four out of five people 65 or older not working. If this is the case, why are young workers having such a hard time finding jobs? The first reason that young people can't find work is that they're not looking for work, because they're in school. Puzder notes that the BLS just recorded the lowest percentage of 16- to 19-year-olds working or looking for work since it started counting such things in 1948. But look what else changed since the 1940s: The share of the population with less than a high school education fell from 76 percent to 12 percent, while the share of Americans with a bachelor's degree septupled to 32 percent. The BLS itselfsays that "the major factor producing this significant [change in labor participation] has been an increase in school attendance at all levels. o The second reason that young people can't find work is that they're young. Young workers today are under-employed at high levels, but they've been under-employed at high levels for decades. Because they're young. Young people have long suffered higher unemployment than the rest of the country, unless they have a college degree. Because they're young. Graduates are moving from unemployment (school) to employment (workforce). Finding a job is always harder than keeping a job. o The third reason that young people can't find work is that they're having the same trouble that other job-seekers are having following the deep recession and slow recovery. One way to measure whether the youth job market is particularly sick is to investigate whether the youth unemployment rate is rising faster than the rate for overall workers. o Reason why the older people can not work : High salary expectations. Some employers may be reluctant to hire people who earned a high salary at a previous position, according to employment experts, workforce professionals, and focus group participants interviewed by GAO. “Employers may expect that an older worker who accepts a job paying significantly less than the worker had previously earned might continue to search for a higher-paying job and might leave the job if a better offer became available,” according to the report. GAO suggests that older workers “learn how to present their skills and experiences to potential employers in a way 11 that does not draw attention to their age, extensive years of experience, and past high- level positions.” Younger bosses. Hiring managers may believe that older employees would be unhappy working for ayounger or less experienced supervisor. Workers who previously held a management position could have difficultly adapting to a lower-level job. Older job seekers should develop interview responses that can diffuse employer concerns about hiring older workers. Consider pointing out why you would be a good fit at the company, that you are willing to work for less pay than you received in the past, and that you are comfortable reporting to a younger manager and working collaboratively with people of all ages. Out of date skills. Employers are increasingly requiring job seekers to submit applications and resumes online. Older workers who lack computer and other technology skills have a disadvantage in finding work. “Employers are in a position to select from a bounty of highly skilled, well-educated, and most cost-effective applicants,” says Joseph Carbone, president and CEO of The WorkPlace, a workforce development firm in Bridgeport, Conn. “Without ongoing efforts to keep skills current during protracted periods of unemployment, the less marketable a person becomes.” If you can’t find a job, consider volunteer work or taking continuing education classes so that you won’t have gaps in your resume and will learn new skills. “Many older unemployed workers simply need help navigating today’s web-based job search landscape,” says Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project. “For other older workers displaced after many years with a single employer or within a single industry, the key to improving employment prospects may be as straightforward as a course in the latest version of Microsoft Office, or as intensive as getting credentialed in a new occupation.” Expensive health benefits. Some employers are reluctant to hire older workers because they expect providing health benefits to older workers to be costly, GAO found. Retirement expectations. Employers might hesitate to train older workers because they assume that older employees will retire soon, and fail to give the employer a good return on the training investment. Try to make it clear in the interview that retirement is still in the distant future. “At this point, I don’t really expect to retire, even if I am able to find a job. I plan to keep working as long as I am physically able, and I am blessed to be in good health,” Sheila Whitelaw, 71, told the Senate Special Committee on Aging at a recent hearing about older worker unemployment. She has been looking for work in Philadelphia, Pa. since January 2010. “Contrary to what many employers think, age is just a number. My age does not define my ability, negate my work experience, or reduce my dedication to the job at hand.” 12 Visible frustration. Long-term unemployment makes some older workers discouraged and depressed. Workforce professionals told GAO that discouraged job seekers may show up at interviews looking disheveled or become short-tempered. Don’t let your job-search frustration show during interviews or take it out on the hiring manager. It’s not the prospective employer’s fault you were laid off, and they have the ability to end your unemployment. 12. According to the US Senate’s Committee on Homeland Security, the host country, (in this case Libya), has a responsibility to protect and safeguard a foreign nation’s diplomatic personnel and facilities in its country, according to several international treaties. The ability of the Libyan government to provide forces to rescue or evacuate personnel from the Benghazi facility was known by the Department of the State to be extremely limited. Should the US place itself in territories in which the host country cannot protect their personnel and facilities? If yes, how should this protection be provided? A host country’s protection of an American embassy or other diplomatic facilities is one of the most important elements of security at that facility, but it is not the only one. A facility’s own security, such as its U.S. Marine Corps Security Guards, DS agents, and in some cases, private security guards under contract, is also critical to its overall security posture. States whose governments do not exercise full control over their sovereign territory, or that have a limited security capability, cannot be counted on to safeguard U.S. diplomatic personnel and facilities. This is usually true, of course, in the aftermath of a revolution or civil war – as was the case in Libya – where the provision of protective 13 services by the host nations is unpredictable at best. In those instances, the Department of State must improve one or more of the other three protectors of mission security within its control: Marine Corps Security Guards, Dipolmatic Security agents, or private security contractors the U.S. mission in Benghazi had made a request to the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs for additional security in Benghazi to support the visit. At a minimum, these requests included appeals for a 24/7 police presence consisting of a vehicle and personnel at each of the compound’s three gates. The only Libyan government response appears to have been an SSC police vehicle parked in front of the front gate (which, as the ARB noted, sped away as the attack began). Though a few members of the February 17 Brigade and the Libya Shield militia assisted the Americans on the night of the attack, the security that these militias and the local police provided to U.S. personnel was woefully inadequate to the dangerous security environment in Benghazi When it becomes clear that a host nation cannot adequately perform its functions under the Vienna Convention, the Department of State must provide additional security measures of its own, urgently attempt to upgrade the host nation security forces, or decide to close a U.S. Diplomatic facility and remove U.S. personnel until appropriate steps can be taken to provide adequate security. American personnel who serve us abroad must often work in high risk environments, but when they do, we must provide them with adequate security. The Department must conduct a review of its local guard programs and particularly the use of local guard contractors at high-risk posts who do not meet appropriate standards necessary for the protection of our personnel or facilities 13. High union wages were one of the things that kept the steel industry from competing with less expensive foreign imports. Unions protect American workers but are often the reason that jobs are sent overseas. What is your position on unions? o No one likes the idea of American jobs moving overseas. But in recent years, the U.S. has accepted the outsourcing of tens of thousands of jobs, in everything from technology support to Wall Street research. Many prominent corporate executives, politicians, and academics have argued that we have no choice, that with globalization it’s critical to tap the lower costs and unique skills of labor abroad to remain competitive. Samuel Palmisano, the chief executive of IBM (IBM), made this point last 14 year when he hosted IBM’s investor conference in Bangalore, India, the first ever held outside the U.S. He pointed out that IBM now has 43,000 people working in India who are part of "a new kind of organization," one that’s designed not around a single country, "but on a truly planet-wide model." o I agree to some extent. Outsourcing is better solution when the wages and everything gets higher. If they keeps every jobs in the United States, who will help them to do that ? 14. According to Carnevale & Smith (2012), by 2020, 51 percent of all jobs in West Virginia will require some postsecondary training. Yet, according to the US Department of Commerce (2013), West Virginia’s bachelor’s degree completion rate is only 18.8%. 15. What specifically would you propose to increase employment among the older and/or less educated citizens? _ Benefit changes : still have insurance , house , enough money to live , foodstamp. _ School help for less educated . _ Government – taxes on the older less than other parts. 16. A recent study conducted by Bentley University (2014) found that there is a prevalent sentiment among older generations that millennials lack a strong work ethic in the workplace. Although 89% of millennials contend they have a strong work ethic, 74% of non-millennials believe that they lack the work ethic of older generations. Which view do you think is true? How would you rectify this situation given the loss of jobs available to young graduates? Yes the millennials lack a strong work ethic in the workplace. 17. In 2008, Congress passed the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act, that dramatically extended the duration of unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to as many as 39 weeks. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, further extended these benefits, so that at the end of 2013, the average duration of unemployment benefits was over a year (Roy, 2015). In December of 2013, the Republican controlled House of Representatives let these extensions expire. President Obama attacked the House’s decision, yet, a year later, the unemployment rate had dropped from 6.7% to 5.6%. Based on these findings, would you change the current unemployment benefit policy? 15 No. juSt keep like that. It keeps the citizens not in crisis. Moreover : _ Have enough money to spend for their life _the unemployed benefit is not quite high and it will deduct by the amount of time. _ Instead of cutting the employment benefit, encourage the policy to help them to have attraction by finding their future jobs. _ Outsourcing jobs. _ Doing volunteer work. 18. Will Obama’s health care reform bill known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act move us toward socialized medicine and cost billions of tax dollars, or will it reign in the high costs of medical care? It reign in the high costs of medical care because it required workers to pay more taxes : Tax changes related to health insurance : Impose a tax on individuals without qualifying coverage of the greater of $695 per year up to a maximum of three times that amount or 2.5% of household income to be phased- in beginning in 2014. Exclude the costs for over-the-counter drugs not prescribed by a doctor from being reimbursed through an HRA or health FSA and from being reimbursed on a tax-free basis through an HSA or Archer Medical Savings Account. (Effective January 1, 2011) Increase the tax on distributions from a health savings account or an Archer MSA that are not used for qualified medical expenses to 20% (from 10% for HSAs and from 15% for Archer MSAs) of the disbursed amount. (Effective January 1, 2011) Limit the amount of contributions to a flexible spending account for medical expenses to $2,500 per year increased annually by the cost of living adjustment. (Effective January 1, 2013) Increase the threshold for the itemized deduction for unreimbursed medical expenses from 7.5% of adjusted gross income to 10% of adjusted gross income for regular tax purposes; waive the increase for individuals age 65 and older for tax years 2013 through 2016. (Effective January 1, 2013) Increase the Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) tax rate on wages by 0.9% (from 1.45% to 2.35%) on earnings over $200,000 for individual taxpayers and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly and impose a 3.8% tax on unearned income for higher-income taxpayers (thresholds are not indexed). (Effective January 1, 2013) 16 Impose an excise tax on insurers of employer-sponsored health plans with aggregate values that exceed $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for family coverage (these threshold values will be indexed to the consumer price index for urban consumers (CPI-U) for years beginning in 2020). The threshold amounts will be increased for retired individuals age 55 and older who are not eligible for Medicare and for employees engaged in high-risk professions by $1,650 for individual coverage and $3,450 for family coverage. The threshold amounts may be adjusted upwards if health care costs rise more than expected prior to implementation of the tax in 2018. The threshold amounts will be increased for firms that may have higher health care costs because of the age or gender of their workers. The tax is equal to 40% of the value of the plan that exceeds the threshold amounts and is imposed on the issuer of the health insurance policy, which in the case of a self-insured plan is the plan administrator or, in some cases, the employer. The aggregate value of the health insurance plan includes reimbursements under a flexible spending account for medical expenses (health FSA) or health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), employer contributions to a health savings account (HSA), and coverage for supplementary health insurance coverage, excluding dental and vision coverage. (Effective January 1, 2018) Eliminate the tax deduction for employers who receive Medicare Part D retiree drug subsidy payments. (Effective January 1, 2013) Tax changes related to financing health reform : Impose new annual fees on the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector, according to the following schedule: o $2.8 billion in 2012-2013;$3.0 billion in 2014-2016; o $4.0 billion in 2017; o $4.1 billion in 2018; and o 2.8 billion in 2019 and later. Impose an annual fee on the health insurance sector, according to the following schedule: o $8 billion in 2014; 17 o $11.3 billion in 2015-2016; o $13.9 billion in 2017; o $14.3 billion in 2018 o For subsequent years, the fee shall be the amount from the previous year increased by the rate of premium growth. For non-profit insurers, only 50% of net premiums are taken into account in calculating the fee. Exemptions granted for non-profit plans that receive more than 80% of their income from government programs targeting low-income or elderly populations, or people with disabilities, and voluntary employees’ beneficiary associations (VEBAs) not established by an employer. (Effective January 1, 2014) Impose an excise tax of 2.3% on the sale of any taxable medical device. (Effective for sales after December 31, 2012) Limit the deductibility of executive and employee compensation to $500,000 per applicable individual for health insurance providers. (Effective January 1, 2009) Impose a tax of 10% on the amount paid for indoor tanning services. (Effective July 1, 2010) Exclude unprocessed fuels from the definition of cellulosic biofuel for purposes of applying the cellulosic biofuel producer credit. (Effective January 1, 2010) Clarify application of the economic substance doctrine and increase penalties for underpayments attributable to a transaction lacking economic substance. (Effective upon enactment) 19. Altogether, unfunded pension liabilities add more than $2.5 trillion to America’s $16 trillion Federal debt and $2.8 trillion to state and local debt. How do you handle this increasing debt due to inadequate funding, unexpectedly low returns, an increase in retirees, and/or longer life spans? (http://business.time.com/2012/09/26/how-bad-is-americas-pension-funding- problem/#ixzz2PogBjCom) Where does the money go ? Does it escape ? Does it keep for the rich people ? 18 Reduce the benefits for the employees ? Money for retire is too big ? persuade the state’s Retirement Board to officially lower its expectations on the rate of return on pension investments, shifting it from 8.25 percent to 7.5 percent, while also planning for longer life expectancies In Rhode island, Gina Raimondo: cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retirees to be held up until pensions were at least 80 percent funded, increased the retirement age for current employees, and created a new contribution model that paired a smaller defined benefit pension with a 401(k)-style supplement. The bill also detailed a sort of “contingency plan” that would take effect if the pension fund’s financing gap grew larger than 60 percent. In that case, the Retirement Board would be tasked with creating a new plan to fix the gap, which would then go before the legislature. 20. .Do you believe that Americans would be more interested in taking jobs currently held by illegal immigrants, if unemployment benefits were limited? Should unemployment benefits be changed? There were 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. in 2014. The population has remained essentially stable for five years, and currently makes up 3.5% of the nation’s population. The number of unauthorized immigrants peaked in 2007 at 12.2 million, when this group was 4% of the U.S. population. 2Mexicans make up about half of all unauthorized immigrants (49%), though their numbers have been declining in recent years.There were 5.6 million Mexican unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. in 2014, down from 6.4 million in 2009, according to preliminary Pew Research Center estimates. 3Six states alone account for 60% of unauthorized immigrants — California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey and Illinois. But the distribution of the population is changing. From 2009 to 2012, several East Coast states were among those with population increases, whereas several Western states were among those with population decreases. There were seven states overall in which the unauthorized immigrant population increased: Florida, Idaho, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Meanwhile, there were 14 states in which the population decreased over the same time period: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, 19 Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, New York and Oregon. Despite a decline, Nevada has the nation’s largest share (8%) of unauthorized immigrants in its state population. 4Unauthorized immigrants make up 5.1% of the U.S. labor force. In the U.S. labor force, there were 8.1 million unauthorized immigrants either working or looking for work in 2012. Among the states, Nevada (10%), California (9%), Texas (9%) and New Jersey (8%) had the highest shares of unauthorized immigrants in their labor forces. 5About 7% of K-12 students had at least one unauthorized immigrant parent in 2012. Among these students, about eight-in-ten (79%) were born in the U.S. In Nevada, almost one-in-five students (18%) have at least one unauthorized immigrant parent, the largest share in the nation. Other top states on this measure are California (13%), Texas (13%) and Arizona (11%). Yes 40% , No 60%. Higher amount of money for workers enough for them to survive and pay taxes. If they have troubles in finding a job with legal corporation , they would find for themselves a job no matter what it is. At least , they find a job and find something to do better than staying and thinking something else. 21. In a 52-46 vote, the Senate voted down the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, blocking any chance at cybersecurity legislation passing this year; the bill failed to gain the 60 votes needed to move the bill up for a full vote. The bill was opposed by both business groups and privacy advocates. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the bill would have imposed debilitating pressures on businesses to establish cybersecurity measures. Civil liberty groups argued that the bill would have allowed businesses to spy on Web users, and expose that information to the U.S. government (Couts, 2012). Do you support the adoption of this Act? Explain. ***Private Impact At-A-Glance Gives DHS authority to designate “covered” critical infrastructure. 20 Allows private sector to challenge designation or self-designate. Requires critical infrastructures to report on and certify security protections annually. Requires a third-party assessment of security performance requirements.Requires critical infrastructure operators to report significant cybersecurity incidents. Provides liability coverage to those infrastructure operators who are in “substantial compliance” with performance requirements. Requires DHS to develop threat, risk and information sharing mechanisms (cybersecurity exchanges) with private critical infrastructure owners. Protects information shared with the government from disclosure. Provides the President with authority to exempt critical infrastructure sectors if he/she believes sufficient regulations already exist. Prohibits regulating the design, development and manufacture of commercial IT products. ***Federal Impact At-A-Glance Reforms FISMA by granting DHS authority to oversee civilian agency information security. Gives DHS authority to issue risk mitigation directives to agencies. Moves to continuous monitoring and risk assessment. DHS Secretary can take action against imminent threats to agency networks without prior notification to affected agency. Consolidates the National Cyber Security Division, National Communications System and Office of Emergency Communications into a new National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications (NCCC). Gives DHS Secretary hiring and compensation authority for cybersecurity professionals at the executive service level. Requires development of comprehensive cybersecurity occupation classifications and a cybersecurity awareness and training program for all federal employees and contractors. 22. Critics of the Healthcare Reform Act argue that it infringes on the rights of Americans by imposing an insurance purchase requirement. Do you agree? 21 o landmark reform was passed through two federal statutes enacted in 2010: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act(PPACA), signed March 23, 2010, and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872), which amended the PPACA and became law on March 30, 2010. o Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Require most U.S. citizens and legal residents to have health insurance. Create state- based American Health Benefit Exchanges through which individuals can purchase coverage, with premium and cost-sharing credits available to individuals/families with income between 133-400% of the federal poverty level (the poverty level is $19,530 for a family of three in 2013) and create separate Exchanges through which small businesses can purchase coverage. Require employers to pay penalties for employees who receive tax credits for health insurance through an Exchange, with exceptions for small employers. Impose new regulations on health plans in the Exchanges and in the individual and small group markets. Expand Medicaid to 133% of the federal poverty level. o Right ! Agree because based on the Heath Reforn Act , its for workers and workers does not much money to afford everything. 23. Goldberg (2008) states that employees who drive fuel trucks, make French fries at McDonald’s, or clean airplane bathrooms do not have to pass through magnetometers when they enter the airport, and their possessions are not searched. Should this policy be changed? If so, how could you effectively implement such a policy, given the large number of people that work at the airport? Yes, absolutely. Divide them into many types of groups in each department: bathrooms cleaning, fuel truck, because in its specific jobs, they will carry the things they need to use when working. Because of that, they can easily find which things are in doubt. 24. How should the elderly be supported that did not contribute to Social Security and Medicare, or contributed very little? Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD). 22 The United States Social Security Administration (SSA) [2is an independent agency of the United States federal government that administers Social Security, a social insurance program consisting of retirement, disability, and survivors' benefits. To qualify for most of these benefits, most workers pay Social Security taxes on their earnings; the claimant's benefits are based on the wage earner's contributions They work for their whole life to contribute to developing the country so there are two reasons that we should support them even if it does not contribute to Social Security or Medicare. The elder who can not work is the responsible for every nations not just only in US. Basically when they get older , the brains will miss out , it means they don’t have enough power of their brain to remember everything so we should create a program for them to work when they get older. Which ones is simpler , is better. 25. According to Economic Policy Institute (Shierholz, Davis, & Kimball, 2014), college graduates had an average hourly wage of $16.99, which would translate into an annual income of roughly $35,300 for a full-time, full-year worker. Further, the authors state, “At 14.5 percent, the March 2014 unemployment rate of workers under age 25 was slightly over twice as high as the overall unemployment rate, 6.7 percent.” How can we increase the opportunities for new college graduates in the workforce? Two sides: From the college graduate: o they want to have a job but they are not willing to o Afraid to be fail, like partying , playing instead of reading books , news to gain more knowledge From the government: o _ Lower taxes for the first year employers o _ Create more internships from the corporations o _ Money supported such as getting loan with no interest o _ If they don’t find jobs in US , help them to find other jobs in other countries which works for the US corporation. o _ encourages them to start their business. There are two jobs: getting a job or creating a job. 23 References Apuzzo, M. (2014, January 15). U.S. to expand rules limiting use of profiling by federal agents. In New York Times. Retrieved February 28, 2015, from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/16/us/politics/us-to-expand-rules-limiting-use-of- profiling- by-federal-agents.html?_r=0 Bentley University (2014, January 29) The PreparedUProject: An in-depth look at millennial preparedness for today’s workforce. Retrieved at https://www.bentley.edu/files/prepared/1.29.2013_BentleyU_Whitepaper_Shareable.pdf Binder, L. (2013, February 21) The five biggest problems in health care today. Forbes Magazine. Retrieved at http://www.forbes.com/sites/leahbinder/2013/02/21/the-five-biggest- problems - in-health-care-today/ Boettner, T., & O'Leary, S. (2014, September 30). State of working West Virginia 2014: Economic recovery and transition in the Mountain State. In West Virginia Center on Budget 24 and Policy. Retrieved February 28, 2015, from http://www.wvpolicy.org/state-of-working-west- virginia- 2014-economic-recovery-and-transition-in-the-mountain-state Bowles, L. (1999). , Opposing Viewpoints: Should Church and State be Separate? (Vol. 3, pp. 142- 145). N.p.: Greenhaven Press Inc. Carnevale, A. P., Hanson, A. R., & Gulish, A. (2013, September). Failure to launch: Structural shift and the new lost generation. Retrieved September 4, 2015, from https://cew.georgetown.edu/wp- content/uploads/2014/11/FTL_FullReport.pdf Carnevale, A. P. & N. Smith. (2012, July) A decade behind: Breaking out of the low-skill trap in the southern economy. A Perspective on The First And Last Lesson Every Student Should Learn. Georgetown Public Policy Institute. Retrieved September 4, 2015, from <https://cew.georgetown.edu/wp- content/uploads/2014/11/DecadeBehind.FullReport.073112.pdf>. Coll, S. (2014, September 8). In search of a strategy [Editorial] [Electronic version]. The New Yorker. Couts, A. (2012, August 2). Senate kills Cybersecurity Act of 2012. Digital Trends. Retrieved from http://www.digitaltrends.com/web/senate-votes-against-cybersecurity-act-of- 2012/ Goldberg, J. (2008, November). The things he carried. The Atlantic. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/11/the-things-he-carried/307057/ Lieberman, J. I., & Collins, S. M. (2012). Flashing Red: A Special Report On The Terrorist Attack At Benghazi. N.p.: United States Senate Committee On Homeland Security And Governmental Affairs. Retrieved from http://www.hsgac.senate.gov/issues/homeland- security 25 Lobe, Jim. "U.S.: Al Qaeda’s project for ending the American century largely succeeded." Inter Press News Service Agency. IPS, 8 Sept. 2011. Web. 12 Sept. 2015. <http://www.ipsnews.net/2011/09/us-al- qaedas-project-for-ending-the-american-century- largely-succeeded/>. Religion Facts (2013, March 31) Religious views on homosexuality: Comparison chart. Retrieved at http://www.religionfacts.com/homosexuality/comparison_chart.htm Roy, A. (2015, March 2). An economy revived by the GOP. Forbes, 36. Shierholz, H., Davis, A. & W. Kimball (2014, May 1) The class of 2014: The weak economy is idling too many young graduates. Economic Policy Institute. Retrieved from http://www.epi.org/publication/class-of-2014/ Soergel, A. (2015, September 4). Employers add 173,000 jobs as unemployment dips. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved from http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/09/04/august-job- growth-slows-as- unemployment-drops-to-lowest-level-since-2008 Tanner, M. D., & Hughes, C. (2013, August 19) The work versus welfare trade-off: 2013. Cato Institute. Retrieved at http://www.cato.org/publications/white-paper/work-versus-welfare- trade Teacher-led religious club disbanded (2014, August 5). In Freedom From Religion Foundation. Retrieved February 28, 2015, from http://ffrf.org/legal/other-legal-successes/item/21225- teacher-led-religious-club-disbanded-august-5-2014 "Terrorism and the Embassies." The New York Times. The New York Times, 05 Aug. 2013. Web. 06 Oct. 2015. Thomas, C. (2014, October 13) On the Supreme Court's non-ruling on same-sex marriage. Media Research Center. Retrieved at: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/cal- thomas/2014/10/08/supreme-courts-non-ruling-same-sex- marriage#sthash.dA9EJm3h.dpuf 26 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014, July 11) U.S. Unemployment Rate Statistics. Retrieved fromhttp://www.statisticbrain.com/unemployment-rate-by-year/ US Department of Commerce. Educational attainment: 2011-2013 American Community Survey 3- Year Estimates . American FactFinder, n.d. Web. 4 Sept. 2015. <http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml? pid=ACS_13_3 YR_S1501&prodType=table>. 27
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