Fixing Health Care

The cost of health insurance continues to climb unabated. As the number of uninsured in America swells to 45 million people, many look to our political leaders for answers and relief.Presidential campaign rhetoric about how to control skyrocketing health care costs provides only short-term solutions focused on the sticker price. But the administration should address long-term solutions to the spiraling crisis.In 2002, the United States spent $1.6 trillion, or nearly 15 percent of GDP, on health expenditures. Medicare, the government’s single payer model for seniors, spent $267
billion.Analysts project national health care expenditures to reach $3.1 trillion by 2012 — nearly twice the amount spent in 2002.
The dramatic numbers have a tendency to overstate the obvious — for many, the cost of insurance can be as much, if not more,
than rent or a mortgage. Until the administration places its focus on the rising cost of health care, those costs will continue to escalate far exceeding the rates of earnings. Whether you subscribe to a higher monthly premium charged by an HMO or a payroll tax collected by Uncle Sam, someone has to pay
the bill. Shifting the burden from our premium bill to our tax bill is not an acceptable solution.There are basic initiatives that policymakers need to address in an effort to streamline the delivery system and minimize
the soaring cost of health care.First, encourage investments in technology improvements across all levels of the health care delivery system, including insurers, hospitals and physicians. For a $1.6 trillion industry in the 21st century, the technology employed is comparable to
driving a Model T on a highway full of modern cars.Consider the banking industry. A simple piece of plastic, from any bank, allows you to purchase anything from antiques on eBay to milk at the local grocery store. In health care, the piece of plastic serving as an ID card serves little purpose other than
to inform the physician where to send the bill. Physicians and their staffs then spend an inordinate amount of time completing
the proper paperwork to get paid.Inefficiencies are expensive. Administrative expenses are the fastest-rising component of health expenditures. In 2002, public and private insurance spent $105 billion on administrative expenses, almost 13 percent more than in 2001. Support for developing common standards and technology improvements is necessary to eliminate the costly inefficiencies that
contribute to rising health costs.Next, support the release of cost and quality information. Most of us know where we can find the best deal on a car, mortgage or even shoes. But how many people can afford to buy something without ever knowing the price?Do you know the average cost of a physician office visit? We have grown accustomed to the minimal office co-payment as
the benchmark for the cost of delivering care. Yet who would seriously consider a $10 co-payment a sufficient amount for
physician treatment?As consumers, we are asked to bear a greater share of health care costs. In return, we should demand more information
about price and quality. Disclosure of such information has the potential to have a profound effect on consumer behavior and the cost and quality of health care. Such transparency should reform inequities and deficiencies in the cost of
health services.There is no single magic bullet to solving the issues facing the American health care system. Our system is an immense and
complex web of interdependencies. Expanded public financing and subsidies will provide only short-term relief unless the
drivers of health care expenditures are resolved. Solely addressing the problem by throwing more money at it, public or private, while ignoring the elephant in the living room serves little to alleviate the large financial burden the health care system has become.We must accept the fact that health care in the United States is expensive and get to work on long-term solutions that will effectively control costs. We have the ability to control health care costs in this country; what we lack are the commitment and
stamina to get it done.

Posted in health care | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Bank Demand for Payment: 3 Options for Stressed Borrowers With Matured Business Loans

Although the economy appears to be on the mend, many small business owners still struggle. Especially those with commercial loans taken between 2007 and 2009. They either received, or will receive bank demands that their loans are now due in full. Commercial loans typically have 5 year maturities and most banks will not provide more than a one year loan extension of the maturity date to pay back a loan. For example a business owner who took a loan out in 2008 with a 2013 maturity, and received a one year extension is most certainly feeling intense pressure from their bank to pay back the money –this year!There are 3 realistic options that a business owner should consider when their bank demands payment of the loan in full:1. Pay off the loan. In today’s restrictive banking climate refinancing sounds much easier than it really is. Banks infrequently rewrite their own commercial loans upon maturity. This is because the financial position of many small businesses has diminished since 2007. Also lending guidelines were more’ flexible’ then, with commercial properties reportedly having higher values. So unless a business owner has a load of cash to pay off the loan, refinancing with the same bank is almost impossible, and securing funds from an outside bank is increasingly difficult.2. Negotiated Exit. Be assured that if a loan has matured and the borrower is not prepared to pay if off, the bank will begin a lawsuit. Defending a law suit can be expensive, but in most cases it will only delay the inevitable. Absent real legal defenses for bank misconduct or the mishandling of a loan, the best approach for a business owner is to negotiate a realistic “exit” from the bank with the assistance of experienced counsel. There are a numerous variables for consideration when negotiating a forbearance or settlement agreement, so unless a borrower is familiar with bank work out or special asset protocol, retain an experienced attorney.3. Reorganization. Chapter 11 reorganization can be expensive, but it is an excellent remedy for borrowers when a bank acts in bad faith or has become a relentless and unreasonable collector despite all of the borrower’s repayment efforts. A Chapter 11 bankruptcy should be a final option, but it will halt collection actions and enable a business owner to restructure its business debt under court supervision. Chapter 11 legal practice is highly specialized and complex so seek a business bankruptcy attorney who can demonstrate past results.There are few choices a business owner can make when their bank issues a demand for repayment: refinance, fight, negotiate or file business bankruptcy. Doing nothing however, is unacceptable. It’s an all -around recipe for financial disaster, and while a borrower may experience temporary paralysis upon receipt of a bank demand, weigh the options, seek experienced representation and take action.

Posted in Finance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Things to Remember When Acquiring Small Business Loans

A business that is able to generate enough profit is worth venturing into. However, it is not usually easy to run a business and be able to generate the desired amount of profit within the desired period of time. There are many factors that can account for this. However, money is usually the underlying factor. For example, you may have dreams to propel your business to higher heights but you may not have enough funds to bring your dreams to fruition. In order to quail the negative effects of financial hurdles in running a business, it is always advisable to acquire a small business loan. Small business loans can be acquired from any financial lending institution. However, there are certain important factors that you have to bear in mind before acquiring a small business loan.First of all, you must try to carry out a viable and timely market analysis. This step is very important and should not be overlooked. Market analysis can enable you to know how to run a business without incurring too many losses or any losses at all. It is a sure way of knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your business, learning more about the number of customers who may available to help you sustain your business and the estimated amount of money that you may have to pump into your business in order to see viable results. Without this step, any business is bound to fail.After carrying out market analysis, you have to found out the hurdles that will affect your business. It is important to always bear in mind the fact running a business is not a smooth ride. Sometimes there are losses which can be substantial enough to ruin your business. A good business person must know how to avoid the hurdles that are associated with running a particular business. If you want to be a successful business person, you have to remember to identify all your obstacles and how to overcome them. As a matter of fact, only small business finances that have been acquired by business persons who are aware of the obstacles awaiting them have been properly utilised.It is also important to identify all the risks that may be involved in the running of a particular small business. In this case, the business person involved will be responsible for deciding whether to take a particular risk or not. Some risks tend to yield desired results, while others tend to jeopardise the progress of a business. It is entirely up to you as a small business owner to decide whether to take a particular risk or not. The timing is usually important because it determines whether the risk is worth taking or not.If you have prospects of acquiring one of the small business loans, you must be able to use the funds accordingly. In this case, this means expanding your current small business so as to generate enough funds to repay the loan. Otherwise, acquiring a small business loan will be equivalent to digging your own grave.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off