How Much Do Consumers Pay to Healthcare Providers?

December 20, 2014

Just Facts Daily posed a question to readers regarding healthcare payments. Here is the question and answer:

What portion of all healthcare spending in the U.S. is directly paid by consumers to healthcare providers (i.e., not indirectly paid through middlemen like insurance companies or governments)?

Less than 25%

In 2009, consumers directly paid for 12% of all healthcare spending in the U.S., as compared to 48% in 1960. This trend has been driven by government policies and is a major factor in the rise of healthcare spending, because it reduces consumers’ incentive to shop for the best value.

Tim Tebow Raking in Major Speaking Fees

December 18, 2014


Like him or not, Tim Tebow is making a better financial living in appearance and speaking engagements than actually playing football. Some figures I pulled in how much he is getting on the circuit.

Celebrity Talent International has his fees ranging from $75k-$100k.

Christian Speakers 360 has him listed for $50,000.

Athlete Promotions has him listed for $50-$100k.

Side note, speaking fees usually do not cover travel and lodging expenses which are also picked up by the event sponsor.

California Pension System Imploding

December 17, 2014

With Detroit bankruptcy being approved just a few weeks ago look for many other municipalities and possibly states to use similar methods to fend off economically impossible to meet financial demands.
The next bankruptcy is best captured in the LA Times article entitled “California pension funds are running dry” :

The state’s pension goliath, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, had $281 billion to cover the benefits promised to 1.3 million workers and retirees in 2013. Yet it needed an additional $57 billion to meet future obligations.

The bill at the state teachers’ pension fund is even higher: It has an estimated shortfall of $70 billion.

Bankruptcy has already happened in some California towns.

Meanwhile, cash-strapped cities are facing escalating bills. Rising pension costs contributed to bankruptcies in Stockton, San Bernardino and Vallejo.

The man behind the transparency movement in California is state Controller John Chiang. He started a website tracking a towns finances for the public to see and it grew from there.

What Percent of Christmas Gifts Get Returned

December 16, 2014


A 2013 National Retail Federation survey found that about 35% of consumers returned at least one holiday gift. On average, though, those who returned gifts took back four unwanted items for an exchange or refund. Those numbers don’t even reflect how many people received gifts they didn’t like but weren’t able to return – or simply didn’t bother to take back.

You can read here Kiplinger’s “Seven Reasons Your Gift Will Be Returned”

Farmers Buying Most of the Farmland for Sale in 2014

December 15, 2014


Stumbled upon some interesting data about buyers of farmland while researching farmland value. This comes from AgriNews:

One thing they have noticed, Aupperle said, is that more farmers are purchasing the land. During the first nine months of the year, 71 percent of the land was purchased by farmers or their families.

“Farming community has really stepped up, while outside investors seem to be waiting to see if a correction comes,” Aupperle said. “The farming community has a lot of money from remaining steady for two years and when investors come back, an upward trend should continue.

Purdue Economics Program Top Ranked

December 15, 2014


Add another top national ranking to the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University.
The masters in economics program at Krannert was ranked 13th in the United States by Financial Engineer magazine.
The rankings were based on Graduate Management Admission Test scores, starting salary and bonus, undergraduate GPA, acceptance rate, full-time graduates employed at graduation, and full-time graduates employed three months after graduation.

College Student Loan Debt Exploding

December 14, 2014


When talking about economic “bubbles” one that is hardly ever mentioned is student loan debt. had this about the amount of debt:

Debt affects people of all ages, but an explosion of student debt is weighing down this generation of young adults like no other before. According to data from the Federal Reserve, U.S. student loan debt soared from $550 billion in 2007 to nearly $1 trillion by 2013.

An April 2014 Wells Fargo survey reported that 29 percent of millennials (people between 22 and 33 years old) are worried about paying off their student loans, and data from FICO show that the burden of student-loan debts is contributing to a downturn in the number of millennials carrying credit cards.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Mayweather/Pacquiao Fight Projected to Gross $250 Million

December 13, 2014

It has been years in the making but the much anticipated Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight may happen this year according to the Associated Press.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. says he’s ready to fight Manny Pacquiao next May in a long anticipated bout that would be the richest ever in boxing. In an interview on the Showtime network from a fight card he was promoting in San Antonio, Mayweather for the first time called for the fight to happen and even gave a date – May 2. It would likely gross at least $250 million, and Mayweather’s purse alone would be more than $100 million.

Obamacare & 7 Eleven

December 12, 2014

7 eleven


ObamaCare ads will now appear on 7-Eleven receipts at more than 7,000 stores nationwide as government health officials expand their outreach in the second year of healthcare sign-ups.

Information about ObamaCare sign-ups will appear on the bottom of receipts for anyone using a mobile payment company called PayNearMe, which allows bank-less customers to pay in stores like 7-Eleven and Family Dollar.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell announced the new partnership with the tech start-up PayNearMe on Thursday at a store in Washington, D.C.

“Putting these reminders at the bottom of PayNearMe receipts will help get health coverage information into the hands of traditionally hard-to-reach consumers,” HHS wrote in a statement.
The partnership will help HHS “reach financially underserved and other cash-preferring consumers,” the statement reads.

NASCAR Fan Base is Shrinking

December 11, 2014

image has come out with a report showing the sad state of affairs for auto racing. Here are the somber numbers:

Alterations announced this week are in line with a trend of tracks removing seats. Charlotte, after removing 41,000 seats this winter, will be down to permanent seating of 89,000 in 2015, a startlingly low capacity considering its location in NASCAR’s epicenter.

But it’s par for the course. Atlanta is removing 17,000 seats to get down to 75,000; Dover is removing 17,500 seats to get down to 95,500; and Daytona is removing its backstretch grandstands of 46,500 next spring to go to 101,500 seats.

In 2013 alone, the following ISC tracks cut seats: Talladega (from 108,000 to 78,000), Richmond (91,000 to 71,000), Chicagoland (69,000 to 55,500), Michigan (84,000 to 71,000), California (81,000 to 68,000), Darlington (60,000 to 58,000) and Homestead (56,000 to 46,000). Any additional cuts likely will be revealed when its annual report comes out in January.

This is a very loaded story. You can read the rest here.


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