Tag Archives: Economy

A Voice of Colorado No. 366 Version 5.0:

The recent announcement that President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order regarding health care in the United States of America was met with praise and criticism, condemnation and acclaim.

In his order he called for a plan that would allow employers to work together to offer coverage across state lines. An action that might work where the United States Congress failed regarding the skyrocketing costs of healthcare in America.

Despite the decision to circumvent Congress the President noted that he still holds expectations that the Congress can take action to repeal the healthcare law.

In the executive order there are requests to provide alternative to expensive ObamaCare plans to encourage competition, which should bring down costs.

Supporters of the executive order include Kentucky Senator Rand Paul who described the action as the biggest reform of healthcare in a generation. But his praise came with a caveat: If it works, it will allow millions to purchase health insurance across state lines at a lower cost.

The use of the word “If” provides cause for pause, and based on the failure of elected officials to resolve this matter the use of the word does not implied nor encourage support.

An examination of the specifics provided also gives reason for concern: Association Health Plans, which would allow employers to form groups across state lines to purchase plans and offer coverage, do not discuss the cost of the individual healthcare plan.

Additionally, it is unlikely this executive order will reverse the trend of health insurance companies leaving state markets because they claim that they cannot make a profit in many markets. In 2018 roughly half of all the counties in the United States of America will have only one (Un)Affordable Healthcare insurer.

Critics of the executive order, which include medical associations, consumer groups, and some health insurance companies, have charged that the executive order could result in higher costs for the sick and could result in coverage gaps for healthy people who would purchase lower-premium coverage plans.

Additional criticism regards what is interpreted as regulation: Who would provide oversight for consumer protection. The proposal as written through the executive order, charge critics, could result in consumers having little or no recourse.

The response from The White House to the criticism is that the executive order was necessary to confront the unacceptable increases in the cost of healthcare under the (Un)Affordable Health Care Act, and noted that the executive order is not an end-all solution, implying that additional action on health care will be required in coming months.

Regardless, the cost of health care in the United States of America remains a concern that is affecting many other sectors of the overall economy. Until such time that elected officials and private sector executive realize this truth and fact executive orders and proposed legislation by politics mean nothing.

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A Voice of Colorado No. 364 Version 5.0:

The predicament the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association (P.E.R.A.) finds itself in financially is troubling, but what is more troubling is the effect it is having across the State of Colorado, owing to the failed financial management practices and policies of the John Hickenlooper administration and his predecessor, Bill Owens, which supported actions on the part of state lawmakers seven years ago – sweeping austerity measures to return P.E.R.A. to solid financial footing. It was a decision that failed to achieve the desired result.

In order to return P.E.R.A. to solvency many things may be required – including higher taxes wherever they can be inflicted.

Of course, much of the news media in Colorado has failed to report this likely reality.

A Voice of Colorado No. 362 Version 5.0:

The candidates for seats on the Loveland, CO. City Council and the candidates for mayor of Loveland recently answered questions regarding business before an audience at the Loveland Chamber of Commerce. The focus of the session included economic development, transportation, and broadband.

Economic Development

Larry Heckel, a candidate for mayor, expressed the belief that vetting incentives should be done on a case-by-case consideration instead of a general approach because he believed doing so would allow for the opportunity to determine whether or not a business would succeed or fail based on the credentials of those advancing the proposal.

In comparison mayoral candidate Jacki Marsh said that she does not support incentives for business and that economic development should be based on whether or not those living in Loveland would benefit. She also expressed the opinion that the employees of a business should be able to live in the city where they work.

The third candidate seeking to become the next mayor of Loveland, John Fogle, advanced the opinion that Loveland competes with Fort Collins for economic development, and that fact must be at the forefront regarding economic development in Loveland.

A candidate for City Council in Ward I, Jeremy Jersvig, put forth the opinion that there should be a balance between retail and primary employers in Loveland because to do otherwise could result in an imbalance regarding affordable housing.

Leonard Larkin, who is also seeking the council seat in Ward I, expressed the opinion that education should be a primary emphasis for Loveland, and suggested a moratorium on growth in Loveland until city leaders and voters have a say in the matter.

Related to the opinions expressed Gary Lindquist, who is seeking the Ward II council seat, made it known that he opposes what he considers to be corporate welfare now practices by the city.

His opponent, Gail Snyder, said that all businesses in Loveland should be supported.

Another candidate for Ward II, Kathi Wright, said that business is important, but equally important is the type of business that would come to Loveland, and that incentives may play a role in the pursuit.

Steve Olson, who is seeking re-election in Ward II, advanced the opinion that he sees benefit to city-funded business incentives.

John Ryan Keil, who is also seeking the Ward III seat, made it known that he opposes incentives because he supports the free market. City Council member Steve Clark, who is running unopposed in Ward IV, said that he dislikes incentives but accepts that they are required because economic development is a duty of government.

Transportation

On the subject of transportation in Loveland Mr. Larkin made his opinion known: He cited a need for a better source of funding for transportation projects than loans.

Mr. Lindquist expressed the opinion that the increased traffic congestion on U.S. Highway 34 was frustrating and unacceptable.

Gail Snyder favors a balance of safety and the ability to travel a sufficient distance within a given timeframe and believes that it can be accomplished through a partnership between Loveland and other cities, county, state, and federal entities where required funding is concerned.

Kathi Wright advanced the opinion that she supports alternative transportation methods and advocates the proposed hyperloop project for the Front Range corridor.

Council member Steve Olson said that priorities regarding transportation should include safety and efficiency, and advocated priorities within the city budget for transportation and road maintenance.

John Ryan Keil advocates road projects being a priority to resolve traffic problems and issues in congested areas in Loveland.

Broadband

The candidates for elected office were asked for their opinions on the City of Loveland providing a broadband utility for residents of Loveland.

Mr. Lindquist made his concerns known regarding the cost for the system – which could exceed $100 million.

Gail Snyder echoed the opinion and expressed concern over the burden on taxpayers. But also said she saw it as being a reason for business to locate to Loveland.

Mr. Jersvig expressed the opinion that the proposal could carry high risk.

Kathi Wright suggested that the investment would be received favorably by many Loveland residents who must work during the night because of inadequate bandwidth during peak hours.

Steve Olson expressed concerns about the initial cost and the potential for failure, with the overall cost left to the taxpayers to resolve.

John Ryan Keil said the city should research how other cities handle other services, including trash collection, to better understand the investment and maintenance of broadband.

Mr. Clark and Heckel advanced the position that the issue should receive more consideration before the investment is made – if at all.

Mayoral candidate Jacki Marsh expressed the opinion that broadband is needed to attract and retain businesses that will provide high-paying jobs for current and future residents, and made it known that a local broadband service would be more appropriate that a long-distance service.

John Fogle made it known that broadband would be, in his opinion, an investment in the future. Mr. Larkin shared the opinion.

No candidate for elected office, however, offered specifics for how long it would take to recover the substantial investment or what would happen if it failed.

The subject of finances and economics provided a transition to city budget priorities.

City Budget Priorities

Each candidate for elected office was asked: Excluding public safety, public works, and power, what are your top three priorities?

Mr. Olson responded that he wants correct and transparent financial records and a reduction in debt the city carries.

Mr. Keil and Mr. Heckel also said that elimination or avoidance of debt was important.

Mr. Clark said that his priority is transportation.

Mayoral candidate Jacki Marsh said her priorities included explicit information regarding incentives for business, and asserted that development must pay its own way.

Her opponent, John Fogle offered three priorities: Transportation, infrastructure, and the means to attain housing.

Mr. Jersvig said a priority is a balanced budget, with input from voters on to achieve the related goal with a framework of needs versus wants.

Mr. Larkin said that his priority is education.

Mr. Lindquist said that a priority for him is a reduction is operating costs that translate into higher fees and taxes for taxpayers in Loveland.

Gail Snyder expressed a similar priority: Fiscal responsibility.

Kathi Wright offered her three priorities: Housing, economic development of the downtown area in Loveland, and better communication between city government and the public.

The question and answer session ended with a question regarding leadership: What qualities do you have that would serve Loveland as a leader?

John Fogle, who is running for mayor, offered his city experience, six years on council, and two years as mayor pro tem.

Mr. Heckel said he works with the community.

Jacki Marsh said her experience as a business owner would be applicable.

A Voice of Colorado No. 360 Version 5.0:

In Grand Junction, CO. there is a proposal that may solve the health care insurance problem: The direct primary care practices.

Appleton Clinics, for example, offers primary care for a monthly fee which allows patients unlimited visits and does not require insurance.

The idea for a such facility is not new, having originated in the 1990s. Nor is it limited to Grand Junction. There are more than six hundred primary care practices in the United States of America, serving more than 250,000 people. In Grand Junction, CO., in addition to the Appleton Clinics, there is also the Trailhead Clinics.

Dr. Craig Gustafson established Appleton Clinics about three years ago after deciding that he was spending too much time filling out paperwork for insurance companies and not enough time on actual medicine. The business model seems to be working. He has hired more primary care doctors – there are currently five – as more patients have enrolled, and he sees upwards of fourteen patients in a given day.

Depending on the patient the monthly fee ranges from $69 to $89 a month, and has attracted a large variety of patients: Individuals who work for small employers, self-employed patients, and lower-income citizens.

Despite the modest monthly fee patients to the clinics many clients have what are known as “health shares”, provided by the Christian Health Ministries, which covers the cost of a hospital visit or other needs that may be considered outside the definition of primary care.

More than one patient at the clinic has expressed their pleasure with the clinic. A test that would have cost more than $1,700 through health insurance is available through Appleton Clinics for just $250.

With more than 700 facilities in 48 states the model continues to find success as the (Un)Affordable Health Care Act is becoming more problematic.

Despite its appeal and success some question its ability to grow and endure because there are not enough doctors at participating clinics and facilities to serve everyone in a given community.

Given the failure that the (Un)Affordable Health Care Act has become it seems this might be the next best thing for affordable health care.

A Voice of Colorado No. 356 Version 5.0:

It is a basic fact of finances: Introduce a new tax or increase an existing taxes and revenues, more often than not, will decrease. For example, paid parking at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, in Denver, CO., which went into effect mid-January 2017. From January to July of 2017 Denver experienced a drop in sales tax dollars of $678,096. A decrease which can be attributed to paid parking at the upscale shopping center.

A Voice of Colorado No. 352 Version 5.0:

The Loveland, CO. City Council recently passed its 2018 budget. Included in the budget is an increase for residents of Loveland, who will pay approximately $3.09 per month more for about 700 kilowatt-hours to help fund an increase in health insurance for city employees.

Once more the (Un)Affordable Health Care Act affects matters economical and financial, contrary to lies perpetuate by politicians and members of the news media alike.

A Voice of Colorado No. 350 Version 5.0:

With the closure of U.S. Highway 34 between Loveland, CO. and Estes Park, CO. to allow for completion of road work required following the flood in 2013 it is appropriate to promote local businesses as part of an ongoing project originated here called “Coloradans for Colorado”.

It is appropriate to suggest that if a Coloradan went to a Colorado business and showed their Colorado Driver’s License the business owner would show their appreciation for the patronage by offering a discount of anywhere from five percent to twenty-five percent.

Such a decision should be made at the sole discretion of the business. Regardless, supporting Colorado businesses is good business.

Take time to visit Loveland, CO. and travel to west to where U.S. Highway 34 is closed presently. Find there The Dam Store, which has been family owned and operated since 1969. It offers a variety of items for visitors and locals alike, including gifts, jewelry, and t-shirts.

For more information:

970-667-2070
10103 U.S. 34
Loveland, CO.