Medic Buzz http://medicbuzz.net/ Fri, 30 Sep 2022 11:09:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://medicbuzz.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/cropped-icon-32x32.png Medic Buzz http://medicbuzz.net/ 32 32 Prayers offered at Follansbee for first responders, others | News, Sports, Jobs https://medicbuzz.net/prayers-offered-at-follansbee-for-first-responders-others-news-sports-jobs/ Fri, 30 Sep 2022 06:04:52 +0000 https://medicbuzz.net/prayers-offered-at-follansbee-for-first-responders-others-news-sports-jobs/

RECOGNIZED SERVICE – The clergy and members of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church recognized the service of police, firefighters, healthcare workers and those serving in the military and offered prayers for them during a blue mass held on Thursday. –Warren Scott

FOLLANSBEE — Clergy and members of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church gathered Thursday to offer prayers to all police, firefighters and paramedics assisting citizens in emergencies and to healthcare workers and military personnel who work to protect and heal them.

The Reverend Daniel Maria Klimek, a professor of theology at Franciscan University in Steubenville, informed local emergency personnel and others attending the church’s Blue Mass of an incident in his hometown of Chicago.

Klimek said he was driving one day when he encountered a traffic jam caused by the shooting of a truck driver some distance ahead of him.

Shocked to find the man had been shot in the face, he stayed with him until local and state police and an ambulance crew arrived.

“If I felt like angels were greeting us,” Klimek spoke about the arrival of the officers.

He said the man miraculously survived the shooting as the bullet passed through his mouth and missed his brain.

Klimek said the media often pays more attention to the few law enforcement officers who do harm than to the many who work every day to keep their communities safe.

He said that often all law enforcement agencies are demonized for such misdeeds when they already carry a heavy burden in carrying out the responsibilities of their positions.

The priest said that evil is still present in the world and demons are as prevalent as angels.

“If you don’t believe demons are real, go see a Catholic exorcist,” he advised, adding, “No, the spirit realm is real.”

Klimek said that in addition to God’s protection, people can look to others who have stepped up to serve their fellow man.

He told the local police and firefighters present, “You are protectors, you are lights in your community. You have been given a great responsibility, but also the grace to rise to the occasion.

“Thank you, dear brothers, for your cross and for the gift of your sacrifices.”

It is usually observed during National Police Week and often on September 29, which marks the feast day of Saint Michael, the patron saint of police and soldiers.

The first Blue Mass, held at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Washington in 1934, was suggested by the Reverend Thomas Dade, a member of the Catholic Police and Fireman’s Society.

Blue refers to the color of many uniforms worn by first responders, but often prayers and blessings are also offered during a blue mass for those working in the military and health care fields.

They usually take place during National Police Week and often on September 29, which marks the feast day of Saint Michael, the patron saint of police and soldiers.

On Thursday, the Reverend Jude Perera, St. Anthony’s spiritual leader, asked each first responder and medic to stand as he introduced him and listed each’s years of service, which ranged from one year to 52 years.

“It is a great privilege to honor you for what you do for the community,” he told them.

They and others attending Mass were invited for refreshments afterwards.



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Cheshire School Board faces rising energy and healthcare costs at start of school year https://medicbuzz.net/cheshire-school-board-faces-rising-energy-and-healthcare-costs-at-start-of-school-year/ Fri, 30 Sep 2022 00:07:00 +0000 https://medicbuzz.net/cheshire-school-board-faces-rising-energy-and-healthcare-costs-at-start-of-school-year/

CHESHIRE – The 2022-23 school year is well underway, but at the Board of Education there are still concerns about the cost of provision to pupils, teachers and staff.

One item noted by district chief operating officer Vincent Masciana in his financial report at a school board meeting earlier this month was energy costs. The district’s current electricity contract with Constellation Energy, in place since 2018, is due to expire in December. The district had a favorable rate of about 8 cents per kilowatt hour, but any new contracts are “likely to be double that.”

“The market hasn’t been favorable” to finding a new vendor with a similar foreclosure rate, Masciana said at the Sept. 15 school board meeting, but he’s confident the district can find another option. This may include, for example, returning to Eversource.

For now, “we’re not giving up on trying to find a better rate than market rates right now,” he said. These current prices are reaching up to 16 cents per kilowatt hour, but the hope is to settle somewhere in the 12 to 14 cent zone. At those prices, the district would look to lock in for a year or two at most, Masciana said.

The result of locking in at the higher rate would be an increase of approximately $100,000 in the budget. This negative impact could be offset by cutting spending elsewhere in the budget, Masciana said.

“It’s not going to blow the budget, but we never like to see such big variances,” he added.

Board member Tim White asked if part of the district’s electricity budget was being offset by the town’s solar power generation facility near the dog park on Waterbury Road – a project White has helped launch in 2014 as a graduate student at Yale’s School of Forestry & Environmental. Studies.

Masciana responded that the district sees no direct benefit from the solar farm.

“It’s not factored into any of the schools’ operating budgets,” Masciana said. But as state mandates for green energy, including the bus fleet, take effect over the next decade, planning for the transition from fossil fuels has already begun.

Higher fuel oil and diesel fuel costs are also a reality. To account for the effects of inflation, the district put a cap on non-salary expenses.

“It’s 40% of the approved budget, and we’re going to leave that in place probably until December just to be on the safe side,” Masciana told board members. “We will continue to evaluate it as the year progresses.

“The purpose of the cap is just to make sure that if something really goes over budget, we have enough cushion,” he added.

A second area of ​​budgetary concern relates to medical benefits. These claims, as explained in Masciana’s budget report, amounted to $1.1 million for July and $1.4 million for August, including an additional week, against a budget of $1 million per month. Masciana said he was “not particularly concerned about the trend yet, but we’ll have to keep monitoring it and we’ll see how the year unfolds.”

Board member Faith Ham expressed concern about cost overruns, asking, “When are we going to start going to providers, hospitals and asking for cost data? Because there’s something going on here that we can’t control.

“The rates that are paid to a provider for a given procedure, whether a doctor’s visit or a surgical procedure, are negotiated in advance, in our case by Cigna,” replied Masciana. “What drives up our costs are claims that exceed the $25,000 threshold and fall short of the $175,000 stop-loss cap.”

]]> Strengthening the resilience of the health system in Iraq: Investing in the management of pharmaceutical and biomedical technologies – Iraq https://medicbuzz.net/strengthening-the-resilience-of-the-health-system-in-iraq-investing-in-the-management-of-pharmaceutical-and-biomedical-technologies-iraq/ Thu, 29 Sep 2022 17:50:21 +0000 https://medicbuzz.net/strengthening-the-resilience-of-the-health-system-in-iraq-investing-in-the-management-of-pharmaceutical-and-biomedical-technologies-iraq/

Erbil, 29 September 2022 – The World Health Organization (WHO) Iraq, in partnership with the Kurdistan Region Ministry of Health, has opened new WHO warehouses located in the Ministry’s storage area of Health of Kurdistan in the governorate of Erbil.

The inauguration marks the initial phase of a major shift from direct service delivery to building health sector resilience and strengthening health systems, including investment in pharmaceutical and drug management. biomedical technologies. A similar action is planned for all governorates with the aim of strengthening the health system in Iraq and strengthening national capacities in the areas of procurement, storage, shipment and overall management of pharmaceuticals and medical technologies across the country.

“I am extremely pleased to oversee this significant shift in forecasting, sourcing, stocking and managing medical technology. This represents a cornerstone of our drive to reform health systems in Iraq,” said Dr Ahmed Zouiten, WHO Representative in Iraq. “We are committed, alongside our Ministry of Health counterparts in the Kurdistan Region and at the federal level, to strengthening the medical technology supply chain as an investment that brings us one step closer to achieving the universal health coverage in Kurdistan and in all the governorates of Iraq. added Dr Zouiten.

A warehouse area of ​​2000 m², sufficient to accommodate more than 1000 pallets, was designated by the Ministry of Health of Kurdistan to WHO earlier this year. The new warehouses have been renovated and fitted out according to international standards with a digitized inventory system. A training and mentorship program will be undertaken by a WHO technical team with the aim of standardizing and improving the supply chain management of pharmaceutical and medical technologies across the country.

“The management of medicines and medical equipment is a pillar of the health system because without good medicines and medical equipment, there would be no access to health and therefore no universal health coverage”, concluded Dr. Zouiten.

This program and all of the accomplishments to date would not have been possible without the effective partnerships and support of our major donors, including the European Humanitarian Commission, USAID Humanitarian Office, the US Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. , the State of Kuwait and the Government of Germany.

For more information, please contact:

  • Ajyal Sultany, WHO Communications Officer, sultanya@who.int, +9647740892878
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Improving the financial experience of patients requires an end to mafia-style price negotiations https://medicbuzz.net/improving-the-financial-experience-of-patients-requires-an-end-to-mafia-style-price-negotiations/ Wed, 28 Sep 2022 23:15:08 +0000 https://medicbuzz.net/improving-the-financial-experience-of-patients-requires-an-end-to-mafia-style-price-negotiations/

While health care may be the most important purchase most people will make in their lifetime, it is also the one they are least informed about. Despite legislative changes such as the law without surprise and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ price transparency rulepatients in the United States still have a terribly loose understanding of the healthcare payment process.

Lack of transparency in healthcare pricing often leads to devastating consequences for patients, forcing some into deep debt and others into avoiding doctor visits or skipping medication. This problem won’t get better until the healthcare industry gets rid of price-inflating middlemen and behind-the-scenes price negotiations held by businessmen, according to a discussion panelists had at the event. of a session at MedCity. Investing in digital health conference on Wednesday.

Panelists agreed that CMS’s price transparency rule does not work. Although this was heralded by lawmakers as a huge win for patients, many experts hold the belief that the price data published by hospitals is essentially useless to consumers. The rule is flawed in its design because it forces hospitals to publish very complex billing data that is too confusing for patients to understand, panelists said.

Furthermore, it is impossible to produce an accurate estimate of the costs of care in a fee-for-service environment, Cedar CEO Florian Otto pointed out. For example, patients often change medications or contract sepsis in hospital – true price transparency would imply a bundled payment system that takes into account the flexible nature of a patient’s entire care journey, a Otto said.

Even health system administrators can’t understand price transparency data, according to Ryan Hildebrand, audience member and innovation administrator at LCMC Health. He recalls a recent conversation he had with LCMC Health’s chief revenue officer, Suzanne Haggard, in which he sought to better understand the cost of care in the healthcare system.

“I asked him, ‘Hey, how much would knee surgery cost?’ and she said ‘Well, I don’t really know – you would need to know this and that and this and that.’ There are so many layers that are built in, there’s really no one who understands it top to bottom. he said.

This complexity and this lack of transparency are sometimes at their peak when it comes to drugs. A key reason why almost 40% of Americans are skipping or rationing their prescriptions due to price gouging by pharmacy benefits managers, said Adrian Rodriguez, vice president of quality and safety at Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company.

His company seeks to eliminate these intermediaries by going directly to suppliers to obtain drugs. Bypassing pharmacy benefit managers not only often results in 85% savings for patients, it’s also a more honest and transparent way to provide people with their medications, Rodriguez pointed out.

Pharmacy benefit managers aren’t the only ones evaluating prices — providers are also very knowledgeable, according to Maria del Carmen Uceda, chief surgical sherpa at Surgical Sherpa. His company guides patients through the process of negotiating health care prices (much like a Sherpa guides a climber up a mountain). She said she often deals with surgical practices that charge patients many times the Medicare rate for procedures.

Del Carmen Uceda shared an anecdote that sums up a problem she often encounters in her work. She was speaking with a surgeon who used to lower prices for the patients she worked with, but he said his hands were completely tied once his practice was taken over by Texas Oncology.

“He said, ‘I have to code like they want to code.’ For one procedure, they wanted to charge seven times the Medicare rate. That’s not right,” del Carmen Uceda said. “I’m sorry, but there’s a mafia out there. I’m probably going to offend some hospital systems. , but they negotiate with the payers behind closed doors and the community suffers.

Photo: James Brey, Getty Images

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Swelling from health concerns? New EU leaders scrap taxes on junk food amid cost of living crisis https://medicbuzz.net/swelling-from-health-concerns-new-eu-leaders-scrap-taxes-on-junk-food-amid-cost-of-living-crisis/ Wed, 28 Sep 2022 11:00:55 +0000 https://medicbuzz.net/swelling-from-health-concerns-new-eu-leaders-scrap-taxes-on-junk-food-amid-cost-of-living-crisis/




September 28, 2022 — New political leaders in the UK, Italy and Sweden appear poised to reject taxes on unhealthy food amid historically high levels of inflation crippling the purchasing power of the lower classes and averages.

Britain’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss has come under pressure from health groups to keep the sugar tax on soft drinks and maintain plans to tackle obesity. However, the political opposition that previously supported taxes on unhealthy foods is faltering in the face of skyrocketing food inflation of 13.1%.

Truss’ government is delaying a ban on TV junk food advertising before 9 p.m. and paid online ads until 2024 – after an initial rollback until 2023.

Prominent political opponents of Truss are pulling back the pressure on his government plans, with Labor members saying they will not impose anti-obesity rules when food prices rise, departing from the party’s previous positions on the question.

“I’m not shy enough to say a Labor government would do that in the midst of a cost of living crisis. I don’t think that would be the right thing to do at this time,” said Labor shadow health minister Wes Streeting.

Streeting adds that new sugar taxes would not be introduced if Labor were in power until the cost of living crisis subsided.

Food inflation is rampant in the UK, Italy and Sweden, exceeding double digits in all three countries.The sugar tax “a scam”
Meanwhile, Giorgia Meloni, the leader of the Brothers of Italy party, is set to become prime minister in Italy amid complex economic uncertainties. She previously said the country’s sugar tax – which has yet to be implemented – is “a scam” and “damaging” to businesses.

Meloni’s party does not mention removing taxes on sugar or junk food in its platform.

If no administrative action is taken, the tax will be effective from January 2023, most likely under his administration. Taxation of €10 (USD 9.55) per hectolitre for finished products and €0.25 (USD 0.24) per kg for products intended for use after dilution.

Strengthen individual responsibility
Sweden does not have a sugar tax and its implementation was not discussed during the recent election campaign. The party that looks most likely to form a new government – the Moderates – hailed “personal responsibility and freedom” as one of its cornerstones.

“Citizens are allowed to be adults and to take responsibility for themselves, their loved ones and our society,” the party states in its political manifesto.

The party does not mention a possible sugar tax in its campaign platform and there is currently no tax on the ingredient.

The Nordic country also benefits from Norwegian shoppers buying its sweets, chocolates and other confectionery products, as Norway imposes some of the highest taxes in the world on these products – 8.6 Norwegian kroner (0.82 USD) per kg.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations statistics database puts per capita (per year) sugar consumption in Norway at 27.1 kg, similar to 27.9 kg in the UK, where a sugar tax is still in effect. In comparison, Sweden consumes 33.7 kg per capita and Italy 31.9 kg.

Cost of living crisisTruss’ government is delaying a ban on TV junk food advertising before 9 p.m. and paid online advertising until 2024.
Food inflation is rampant in the UK, Italy and Sweden, topping double digits in all three countries – 13.1%, 10.6% and 14.1%, respectively. Taxes on junk food and sugar could help curb inflation, but at the same time they would disproportionately affect the budgets of the poorest families in these countries.

The cost of obesity and its stress on national health care costs must also be added to the equation.

The annual economic impact of obesity in 2022 for the UK is equal to $62.4 billion, costing businesses in the country $29.9 billion a year, according to Maria Larsson Ortino, head of the ESG policy at LGIM.

However, health organizations say the rationale for ending diet and obesity strategies is short-sighted, as they could negatively affect the poorest members of society the most.

Additionally, according to the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine, canceling established plans could undermine the benefits of previous spending, particularly if an alternative plan is not implemented.

Sustain – Britain’s alliance for better food and farming – argues that a reversal of taxes on unhealthy food at this stage will ‘undermine’ the hard work and business investment of recent years.

By Marc Cervera

To contact our editorial team, please email us at Editorial@cnsmedia.com

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Human toll and humanitarian crisis of the Russian-Ukrainian war: the first 162 days – Ukraine https://medicbuzz.net/human-toll-and-humanitarian-crisis-of-the-russian-ukrainian-war-the-first-162-days-ukraine/ Wed, 28 Sep 2022 02:27:03 +0000 https://medicbuzz.net/human-toll-and-humanitarian-crisis-of-the-russian-ukrainian-war-the-first-162-days-ukraine/

Ubydul Haque, Amna Naeem, Shanshan Wang, Irina Holovanova, Taras Gutor, Dimitry Bazyka, Rebeca Galindo, Sadikshya Sharma, Igor P Kaidashev, Dmytro Chumachenko, Svyatoslav Linnikov, Esther Annan, Jailos Lubinda, Natalya Korol, Kostyantyn Bazyka, Liliia Zhyvotovska, Andriy Zimenkovsky, Uyen-Sa DT Nguyen

Summary

Background We looked at the human toll and humanitarian crisis following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022.

Method We extracted and analyzed data resulting from Russian military attacks on Ukrainians between February 24 and August 4, 2022. The data tracked direct deaths and injuries, damage to health infrastructure, and impact on health, destruction of residences, infrastructure, communication systems and public services. services – all of which have disrupted the lives of Ukrainians.

Results As of August 4, 2022, 5,552 civilians have been instantly killed and 8,513 injured in Ukraine as a result of Russian attacks. Local officials estimate that 24,328 people were also killed in mass atrocities, Mariupol being the largest example (n=22,000). Along with large swaths of destroyed homes, schools, roads and bridges, hospitals and health facilities in 21 cities across Ukraine were attacked. The disruption of water, gas, electricity and internet services has also spread to affect the supply of medicines and other supplies due to facilities being destroyed or production ceasing due to war. . The data also shows that Ukraine has seen an increase in cases of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and coronavirus (COVID-19).

conclusion The 2022 Russian-Ukrainian war not only caused death and injury, but also impacted the lives and safety of Ukrainians by destroying health facilities and disrupting the delivery of health care and supplies. War is a permanent humanitarian crisis given the continued destruction of infrastructure and services that directly impact the well-being of human lives. The devastation, trauma and human cost of war will impact generations of Ukrainians to come.

Read the full report

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In terms of satisfaction, only a few major differences exist between HI and traditional health insurance https://medicbuzz.net/in-terms-of-satisfaction-only-a-few-major-differences-exist-between-hi-and-traditional-health-insurance/ Mon, 26 Sep 2022 21:48:15 +0000 https://medicbuzz.net/in-terms-of-satisfaction-only-a-few-major-differences-exist-between-hi-and-traditional-health-insurance/

As the open enrollment period approaches, many Medicare beneficiaries will be faced with the decision of whether to choose a traditional Medicare plan or opt for Medicare Advantage (MA). A recent report shows that there is little difference between the plans, with beneficiaries showing similar satisfaction rates.

This month’s Kaiser Family Foundation report reviewed 62 studies published since 2016. The studies compared HA and traditional health insurance based on beneficiary experience, affordability, use and quality.

The report comes shortly after another analysis by KFF, which found that MA enrollees make up nearly half of all Medicare beneficiaries. As early as next year, that number could cross the 50% threshold, predicts the research body. Federal expenditures for MA enrollees was $321 more per person in 2019 than it would have been had they opted for traditional health insurance. While MA plans are rapidly gaining popularity, KFF said in the report that it’s important to see how well it performs compared to the traditional option.

“The growing role of Medicare Advantage and the relatively high spending on this program raises the question of how well private plans serve their enrollees compared to traditional Medicare,” KFF said.

KFF found that HI and traditional health insurance performed similarly across all quality measures. Additionally, there were no major differences in time spent in hospital for routine medical admissions.

For beneficiary experience measures, HI and traditional health insurance enrollees also experienced similar wait times, difficulty finding a GP, instances of being told that their health insurance was not accepted and they could not be accepted as a new patient.

However, some differences were found between HI and traditional health insurance. AD enrollees were more likely to have a usual source of care and were more likely to receive preventive care, including annual wellness visits, routine checkups, and screenings. They also had better experiences receiving prescription drugs.

Traditional Medicare enrollees, however, were more likely to use home health services, post-acute skilled nursing, or hospital care. Traditional Medicare also did better on measures of receiving care from top-rated cancer hospitals or the highest quality skilled nursing facilities.

Additionally, a slightly lower number of traditional Medicare beneficiaries experienced a cost-related issue compared to MA enrollees. One study showed that 15% of traditional health insurance recipients reported at least one cost-related issue, compared to 19% of IA recipients. This is largely because many traditional Medicare enrollees have supplemental coverage, such as Medigap. For Medicare beneficiaries without supplemental coverage, 30% reported cost-related issues.

As MA enrollments have become increasingly diverse, KFF noted in the report that only a few studies have analyzed certain subgroups, such as communities of color, rural areas, or recipients who are both eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.

“These data gaps for certain subgroups of Medicare beneficiaries are of particular concern given that approximately half of all Black and Hispanic Medicare beneficiaries are now enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan,” KFF said.

Photo: Vadzim Kushniarou, Getty Images

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Fisher House, which offers free lodging for families of veterans, dedicated to Ann Arbor https://medicbuzz.net/fisher-house-which-offers-free-lodging-for-families-of-veterans-dedicated-to-ann-arbor/ Mon, 26 Sep 2022 17:03:00 +0000 https://medicbuzz.net/fisher-house-which-offers-free-lodging-for-families-of-veterans-dedicated-to-ann-arbor/

ANN ARBOR, MI – VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System (VAAAHS) hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Michigan’s first Fisher House on Friday, September 23, and dedicated it to the United States military, service members and their loved ones.

Fisher House, located at 2215 Fuller Court in Ann Arbor, provides temporary, free housing for families who wish to stay close to their service members or veterans receiving extended care at VAAAHS. Fisher Houses are found nationwide in major military and VA medical centers, but the Ann Arbor Fisher House is Michigan’s first.

Fisher House provides these families with bedrooms, a kitchen, a dining room, a family room and more while their loved ones receive the health care they need. The Ann Arbor location has already welcomed more than 6,000 guests to its 16 suites.

“The Fisher House has exceeded all of our expectations since it opened,” said VAAAHS Medical Center Director Dr. Ginny Creasman. “The convenience, healing atmosphere and proximity to the medical center allows us to meet the needs of our veterans and caregivers by reducing the overall stress and burden that an extended stay in a hospital can cause.”

The Fisher House in Ann Arbor opened in June 2020 and was donated to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs upon completion in April 2020.

Representatives from VAAAHS and Fisher House spoke at the ceremony Friday, as did U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn).

“Veterans cannot heal if they fear being away from their loved ones, and Fisher Houses helps relieve that stress and brings comfort to families and patients during some of the most difficult times in their lives,” said said Dingell.

Read more: Veterans aim to build first Fisher House in Michigan to house military families

So far, VA Ann Arbor Fisher House has saved veteran and military families more than $1.2 million in lodging costs, according to a news release. .

There are currently plans to create a second Fisher House near the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit. Fisher House Michigan is working on local fundraising efforts to support the creation of this second location.

“Many patients receiving VA care are away from home, and we know that support from loved ones can be the best medicine.” Dingell said. “I’ve worked for Ann Arbor and Detroit to have Fisher House since the day I walked into Congress. It fulfills a long held dream and a lot of hard work from so many people, and now we have one and one to do.

To learn more about the Fisher House, visit its website.

Read more from The Ann Arbor News:

Spilled trash and recycling can be obstacles in Ann Arbor’s new bike lanes

“Being grateful is not enough.” Veteran gets help with free home renovations

Ypsilanti artist creates mural to transform Parkridge Park basketball court

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Without radical tax reform, Australia faces an intractable public finance problem | Satyajit Das https://medicbuzz.net/without-radical-tax-reform-australia-faces-an-intractable-public-finance-problem-satyajit-das/ Sun, 25 Sep 2022 17:32:00 +0000 https://medicbuzz.net/without-radical-tax-reform-australia-faces-an-intractable-public-finance-problem-satyajit-das/

AAustralia’s social contract, crafted in times of plenty and optimism, promises important government services and financial support to citizens. But an aging population means fewer taxpayers and greater pressure on public funds. Over the next decade, Australia’s old-age dependency ratio (the ratio of people aged 65 and over to the working-age population) will drop from around four workers to three workers for every pensioner.

Lower tax revenues and higher spending on pensions, health and elderly care can cost around $40 billion each year (around 8% of the budget).

Given concerns over debt levels and fiscal repair, government revenue needs to better align with spending if Australians want the expected benefits, cost-of-living relief and spending to improve rising costs of weather events induced by climate change continue.

Australia’s overall tax level, at 28% of GDP, is below the OECD average of 34% and at least 10% lower than Germany, France and Scandinavia.

Tackling tax levies and how they are levied is an urgent issue.

Australia’s tax base is narrow and dependent on personal income tax which, at 42% of all federal tax revenue, is also below the OECD average of 49%, after adjusting for payments social security which many countries levy to finance unemployment assistance, old-age and invalidity pensions.

Given Australia’s reasonably progressive tax schedule and a top marginal tax rate of 47% (including the Medicare tax), the scope for increases is limited if the country wishes to attract and retain skilled talent.

Corporate taxes (around 17% compared to an OECD average of 10%) are difficult to raise due to Australia’s industrial structure and high foreign ownership of companies (around 79%) whose revenues are generated overseas.

A side effect of globalization and Australia’s open economy is that personal and corporate income tax increases must remain globally competitive in what is increasingly a race down. This may make higher consumption and wealth taxes inevitable.

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Australia’s GST, which accounts for around 12% of total tax revenue, is below the OECD average of 20%. Rate and coverage increases are an alternative.

In March 2022, the total wealth of Australian households reached $14.9 billion ($574,807 per person). Since March 2020, it has increased by 35%, due to the increase in the value of residential properties (up 40%) and pension balances (up 22%). Since the abolition of inheritance tax in 1979, this heritage is largely exempt from tax, with the exception of preferential taxes on capital gains.

Where to levy more taxes?

Options include overhauling the capital gains tax regime and introducing inheritance tax – Australia is one of the few countries that does not tax bequests.

Ultimately, primary residences and superannuation balances will have to be taxed or applied to after-work care and health care expenses. Wealthier Australians cannot continue to use their homes and superannuation as a tax-advantaged savings vehicle with the capital retained on death for the beneficiaries.

Irregularities and anomalies must be reduced.

Government support must be targeted to ensure that the intended beneficiaries benefit.

Australia’s childcare grants, for example, are available to families with incomes up to $356,756. The often distorting, regressive and costly concessions for investment in equipment that would be purchased anyway, dividends, capital gains, pensions and ownership must be reconsidered.

Simplifying the complex Australian tax code of tens of thousands of pages is essential. It allows the legal structuring of business to minimize tax liabilities. A simpler principle rather than a system based on detailed rules and allowing retroactive penalties, when policy or legislative intent is ignored, would reduce opportunities for tax planning.

But significant tax changes in Australia are difficult.

Will Labor make the trip?

The GST, eventually introduced by stealth, took decades. The ALP attributes its loss in the 2019 election to modest proposed changes to dividend taxation and negative gearing, which have since been scrapped.

Unwilling to attempt serious tax reform, governments rely instead on bracket creep – the increase in tax revenue through rising nominal incomes due to inflation that places taxpayers in tax brackets. higher taxes. This has pushed the average personal income tax rate up from 24% in 2016-17 to around 27% today. Inflation indexation thresholds would force governments to be transparent about tax revenues. Naturally, he faces bipartisan opposition.

Complexity facilitates pork-barrel politics, with governments adjusting concessions and provisions to appease different constituencies.

A large tax consultancy industry of dubious productive value resists simplification as an existential threat. Voters are likely to reject proposals that affect them financially.

Without radical tax reform, Australia faces an intractable public finance problem – a demand for spending that cannot be met by taxes. The only other course of action is to restore the country’s precious social safety net.

As the old pre-metric adage goes, “You can’t get pints out of pint jars.”

Satyajit Das is the author of Fortune’s Fool: Australia’s Choices (March 2022) and A Banquet of Consequences – Reloaded (March 2021)

]]> Ukraine benefit concert in Eugene raises nearly $16,000 for medical supplies | New https://medicbuzz.net/ukraine-benefit-concert-in-eugene-raises-nearly-16000-for-medical-supplies-new/ Sun, 25 Sep 2022 05:38:00 +0000 https://medicbuzz.net/ukraine-benefit-concert-in-eugene-raises-nearly-16000-for-medical-supplies-new/






EUGENE, Ore.– It has been more than seven months since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Thousands of people have died in the war abroad and many Ukrainian cities are in ruins.

In Oregon, many have done what they can to raise awareness and support for Ukraine.







Oregon snorkel

For some in Eugene, that includes the belt of a few notes.

A benefit concert titled Songs for Ukraine was held Saturday afternoon at the Community of Christ. People from near and far came to the event.

It was an event to raise funds for medical supplies in Ukraine. The goal was to raise at least $10,000.







Songs for Ukraine

Ron Raynes is one of the concert organizers. He is a singer with The Eugene Gleeman.

“I watched in horror what is happening in Ukraine and thought, ‘what can I do? I feel so hopeless,'” Raynes said. “Then I realized I was singing in the Eugene choral community. I can bring people together.”

Raynes said the idea for the gig started in May. He contacted the President of the Ukrainian Foundation Yuri Boyechko.

The Ukrainian Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Portland. It was founded in 2006 to help Ukrainian refugees settle in the United States.

Since the war in Ukraine, the organization has been helping displaced Ukrainians inside and outside Ukraine.

“Every dollar [at the concert] going to buy medical supplies,” Boyechko said. “We try to provide [Ukrainians] with warm clothes and blankets because this winter is going to be the most horrible. Everything is destroyed there.”

Along with several music groups, Ukrainian ballroom couple Hanna Lytvyach and Anyon Ivanyshyn performed at the concert.







Ballroom couple

The couple left Ukraine last summer.

“We feel great because Oregon is like Ukraine,” Lytvyach said. “Very friendly people. We are very happy to stay here, but part of our heart is still in Ukraine.”

They ask people not to forget what is happening abroad and to provide any kind of support.

“I want to beg people to support Ukraine because we need support and we need help,” Ivanyshyn said.

The concert took place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Organizers said they raised nearly $16,000.

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