Famed UK Guitarist/Musician, Jeff Beck, Passes Peacefully In His Home

Unfortunately, Jeff Beck has passed away due to Meningitis. His twitter account read as follows, “On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck’s passing. After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, he peacefully passed away yesterday. His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss.”

Jeff Beck was a beloved musician, songwriter, and producer who was known for his unique style of guitar playing. He was a pioneer of the British Invasion and was a major influence on the development of rock music. Beck was born in Wallington, England in 1944. He began playing guitar at the age of 15 and soon joined the band The Yardbirds.

He was a member of the band for two years and during that time he developed his signature sound. He left the band in 1965 and went on to pursue a solo career. Throughout his career, Beck released several albums and collaborated with many other artists.

The heralded Jeff Beck was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 and was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. Beck was known for his innovative guitar playing and his ability to blend different genres of music. He was a master of the electric guitar and was able to create sounds that were unique and captivating. He was also a master of improvisation and was able to create music on the spot. Beck was an inspiration to many musicians and his influence will be felt for years to come. He will be remembered for his unique style of guitar playing and his ability to blend different genres of music. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and fans.

No One Actually Knows The Tax Code Well Enough To Avoid Breaking It

A Syracuse University report found that the IRS has been targeting low-income taxpayers for audits at a much higher rate than high-income taxpayers. The report also found that the IRS has been using aggressive tactics to collect taxes from low-income taxpayers, such as levying bank accounts and garnishing wages.

Much of this is attributable to the fact that many low income individuals do not receive professional consultations when filing taxes.

Democrat Tax Happy Policies Placed On Backfoot

The U.S. House has voted 221-210 to rescind over $70 billion in funding to the IRS that would have gone toward hiring 87,000 new IRS agents. The move, which was largely supported by Republicans, has been met with criticism from Democrats who argue that the cuts will make it harder for the IRS to enforce the nation’s tax laws.

Many have felt relief when legislation connected to peer to peer payment apps was rescinded. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced that it will not require individuals to report payments made through Venmo, a popular mobile payment app, on their tax returns.

The decision comes after the IRS proposed a rule in August that would have required individuals to report payments of $600 or more made through Venmo and other third-party payment networks. The proposed rule was met with criticism from both individuals and businesses, who argued that the additional reporting requirement would be too burdensome and costly.

The IRS ultimately decided to withdraw the proposed rule, citing the complexity of the reporting requirements and the potential for confusion among taxpayers. The decision is a welcome one for many individuals and businesses who use Venmo to make payments. Venmo is a popular payment app that allows users to quickly and easily send and receive money from friends and family. The app has become increasingly popular in recent years, with more than 40 million users in the United States alone.

Mexico, Canada and The US Talk Business in Mexico City

At the North American Summit, the United States and Mexico are set to discuss a range of issues that will shape the future of the two countries.

Immigration, drug trafficking, and the implementation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) are all on the agenda. The USMCA, which was signed in 2018, is a trade agreement that seeks to increase economic interdependence between the three countries, but many argue carries over the same structural flaws associated with NAFTA.

Canada, which is also a part of the USMCA, will be looking to manage two bilateral relationships with the United States and Mexico focusing on Energy and mining rights, which has not been acknowledged in the stream of pro-US interest articles.

Canada’s Greedy PM Wants Mexico’s Energy Sector

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada said on Tuesday that he understood the desire of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico to put more emphasis on state-owned energy companies, but warned that it must be done in a way that respects the rules of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

The USMCA, which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement, includes a provision known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) that allows companies to sue governments if they feel their investments have been unfairly treated. In Mexico’s case, the majority of investors have sought to resolve disputes this way.

Additionally, USMCA also includes provisions from the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which allows companies to challenge government policies that they believe are unfair. “I understand he wants to put more of an emphasis on the state-owned energy companies,” Trudeau said. “But it has to be done in a responsible way, in a way that understands that he’s a part of USMCA and he has to abide by those rules.”

Many outlets have failed to highlight the good associated with Mexico’s controlled energy policy. Mexico is leading the way in the energy revolution, with a nationalized oil and gas industry that is providing tangible benefits to its citizens and the state.

This is in stark contrast to the United States and Canada, where the energy industry is largely controlled by wealthy billionaires and corporations. Instead, the Mexican government has taken a proactive approach to energy policy, investing heavily in renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

This has resulted in a dramatic reduction in the country’s reliance on fossil fuels, and has helped to reduce the country’s carbon footprint. When placed alongside a series of transportation projects that connect Mexico’s tourism industry to rail (as opposed to inefficient bus routes), Mexico’s energy policy is an attempt at modernization in its own terms.

The benefits of this policy are clear. By nationalizing the energy industry, the Mexican government is able to ensure that the profits from the industry are reinvested in the country, rather than being siphoned off to the usual US and Canada based wealthy individuals and corporations.

This has resulted in a more equitable distribution of wealth, and has allowed the government to invest in infrastructure and social programs that benefit the entire population, like the subsidy available to millions of youth living below Mexico’s poverty line.

Furthermore, Mexico is better positioned to control an industry that is presently destroying the planet. This is a stark contrast to the United States and Canada, where the energy industry is largely controlled by wealthy individuals and corporations, and where the environmental consequences of their actions are largely ignored. Mexico’s proactive approach to energy policy is a model for the rest of the world. It is a model that the United States and Canada should strive to emulate instead of trying to change.

Drugs – Democrats Want To Tout Bilateralism

Former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine praised the arrest of Mexican drug lord, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, on Twitter, citing the importance of disrupting the flow of fentanyl into the United States. Kaine, who is now a U.S. Senator, said that the arrest was “crucial” to combat the trafficking of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that has caused a surge in overdose deaths in Virginia and across the country.

Kaine’s comments come after President Joe Biden and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced a joint task force in July to combat the trafficking of fentanyl and other drugs. Biden arrived to Mexico on Air Force One late Sunday and was greeted by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador along with members of his cabinet.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador – the only other person to ride on the President’s special vehicle nicknamed the ‘Beast’.

“Fentanyl is a major public health crisis that has taken too many lives in Virginia and across the country,” Kaine said in a statement. “The arrest of El Chapo is a major step forward in our fight against the opioid epidemic and I’m hopeful that it will help disrupt the flow of fentanyl into our communities.”

The summit is expected to focus on the issue of drug trafficking, particularly the trafficking of fentanyl, a powerful opioid that has caused a public health crisis in the United States. Much of the homeless population throughout the United States is comorbid for mental health and substance abuse. Please see prior coverage.

Already, Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and President Joe Biden have discussed these points in a past AMLO visit to Washington D.C.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador – meets with Biden at the White House in October 2022

The summit is also expected to discuss the implementation of the USMCA, including the energy sector. The North American Summit is an important opportunity for the United States and Mexico to come together and discuss the issues that will shape the future of the two countries, but many are weary of a US centric approach that often leaves Mexicans with the short end of the technological and economic stick.

For instance, technology development and subsidy for advanced chips will be solicited by the AMLO administration in exchange for permitting the private participation of American business in Mexico’s sensitive energy sector.

Canada, the cold, snowy nation north of the United States, follows the lead of it’s southern neighbor for policy, with oil and natural gas

California County Nearly 4 Times Less Able To Provide Beds For Homeless Than Comparable Out-of-State Counties

When Managing Mental Health & Homelessness, this California county stands out with respect to lack of bed availability.

Data sourced from 2021 HUD Performance Metrics
Inland Empire: San Bernardino County has continued an upward trend on unsheltered homeless that is set to increase in 2023’s recessionary environment.

Every year, the Federal government through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers billions of dollars to provide county services needed funding for mental health and homeless services, most of which is focused on available emergency shelter beds. These County-level entities are called ‘Continuum of Care’, which is a term that unifies various services for individuals suffering homelessness, mental illness and often both.

Hereinafter, this article will refer to them as ‘COC’s’. COC’s nationwide vie for much needed federal funds and as asked to compete for said funding.

Like mentioned above, these COC’s offer worthwhile services catered to the most vulnerable: homeless individuals who are often comorbid for mental illness and substance abuse. These awards, however, are issued to counties, essentially, with no-strings attached; the only requirement is that basic demographic data on recipients and services provided be entered into a federal database called ‘HMIS’ (Homeless Management Information Services).

There are vast differences between counties. Most relevant to California is how ineffective their COC’s are relative to other out-of-state COC.

San Bernardino Receives A Generous Budget, But Lacks Results in Terms of Shelter Beds

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the year of 2021, the County of San Bernardino spent $14,825,115 in the provision of emergency shelter beds reaching a total capacity of 747 total beds of which 622 beds are occupied

Lower Budgets, Better Results: Minneapolis, Honolulu – Las Vegas?!

In contrast, the Minneapolis/Hennepin County Continuum of Care receives $14,366,990, which is almost half a million dollars less than the county of San Bernardino, but is able to provide a capacity of 2635 emergency shelter beds for psychiatric purposes. Additionally, the problem may not be lack of cheap land masses or lack of willing builders, as a county based on an island state, like Hawaii’s Honolulu County, is able to provide 2247 beds with a budget of  $14,018,071 despite the very real possibility of running out of spaces.

Clark County, the home of ‘Sin City’ Las Vegas, has a budget that is only only around 800k more is able to provide 2475 beds. Put another way, Las Vegas’ Clark County only has 5 percent more in resources, but is able to provide nearly 70 percent more capacity. This suggest that if Clark County had San Bernardino’s budget, not much would change with their bed capacity and the could provide approximately 2270 beds. As a crude thought experiment, dividing HUD’s COC award funding evenly over the number of beds offered is costing 3x less in Clark County, 6305 dollars per bed. This is very different from San Bernardino’s cost which is a whopping 19,200 dollars per bed, assuming they are managing the same kind of outreach, staffing and administrative costs.

Effectiveness: Honolulu Uses Beds To Capacity While San Bernardino Uses 83 Percent of Available Beds

Many times counties are also measured on how effectively they are able to implement whatever resources are available to them. For example, a county must find a way to spend whatever money is allocated or return this resource to the federal government.

San Bernardino County is only able to fill 83% of its beds, but Honolulu is able to fill 100% of its 2247 beds. Some counties may fall below those levels possibly because they built out too much capacity, which is a good thing relative to their local needs.

Proactive Bed Planning

In Minneapolis/Hennepin County’s CoC, the 75% out of 2635 beds could indicate a robust capacity that can be tailored down or otherwise optimized. In fact, while Hennepin County’s occupancy rate has gone down slightly, their total need has gone up in Hennepin County. In 2020, Hennepin County was using 77% out of 2374 beds available. This year’s 75 percent is out of a larger share of beds suggesting that the county simply wants to stay ahead of the problem.

Needless to say, San Bernardino does not evoke a ‘proactive’ policy or forward thinking at the moment.

The Debt Crisis That Sick Americans Can’t Avoid

Elisabeth Rosenthal

02 de agosto de 2022

President Joe Biden’s campaign promise to cancel student debt for the first $10,000 owed on federal college loans has raised debate about the fairness of such lending programs. While just over half of Americans surveyed in a June poll supported forgiving that much debt incurred for higher education, 82% said that making college more affordable was their preferred approach.

But little public attention has been focused on what is — statistically, at least — a bigger, broader debt crisis in our country: An estimated 100 million people in the U.S., or 41% of all adults, have health care debt, compared with 42 million who have student debt.

The millions under the weight of medical debt deserve help, both because medical debt is a uniquely unfair form of predatory lending and because of its devastating ripple effects on American families.

Unlike college tuition or other kinds of debt, outlays for medical treatments are generally not something we can consider in advance and decide — yes or no — to take on. They are thrust upon us by illness, accident, and bad luck. Medical treatment generally has no predictable upfront price and there is no cap on what we might owe. And, given our health system’s prices, the amount can be more than the value of the family home if incurred for a hospital stay.

When it was time for my kids to choose a college, I knew in advance almost exactly what it would cost. We could decide which of the different tuitions was “worth it.” We made a plan to pay the amount using bank accounts, money saved in college savings plans, some financial aid, a student job, and some money loaned by a grandparent. (Yes, we had enough resources to make a financially considered choice.)

Think about how different educational debts are from those incurred in health care. In one case, profiled by KHN, the parents of twins, who were born at 30 weeks, faced out-of-pocket bills of about $80,000 stemming from charges in neonatal intensive care and other care that insurance didn’t cover. In another case, a couple ended up owing $250,000 when one spouse went to the emergency room with an intestinal obstruction that required multiple surgeries. They had to declare bankruptcy and lost their home. Even smaller bills lead to trashed credit ratings, cashing in retirement accounts, and taking on second jobs; in surveys, half of adults in the U.S. say they don’t have the cash to pay an unexpected $500 medical bill.

In “taking on” medical debt, patients sign only the sort of vague financial agreement that has become ubiquitous in American health care: “I agree to pay for charges my insurance doesn’t cover,” presented on the stack of forms to sign on arrival at an emergency room or a doctor’s office. But no one can fully consider options or say “no” to care while in pain or medical distress or even properly agree to pay an unknown amount.

Student debt causes hardships because it hits people who’ve just started careers, with salaries at the bottom of the pay scale, forcing them to delay life choices, like purchasing a home or starting a family. But medical debt often comes with all that plus medical woes: In a KFF poll, 1 in 7 people with health care debt said they’d been denied care by a provider because of unpaid bills. Sometimes a bill for as little as a few hundred dollars can turn into a collections nightmare.

Already, the federal government is stepping in to assist student loan borrowers. It has paused student debt payments during the pandemic, and the Biden administration has announced that it would forgive student debt for tens of thousands of public sector workers. Late last year, the Department of Education announced that it would no longer contract with outside debt collectors but would instead deal with loan defaults and potential defaults itself to better “support borrowers.”

Medical debt collection has typically been outsourced to aggressive private agents and the for-profit medical debt collection industry; there are few guardrails. Recently, consumer credit reporting agencies have said they will no longer put small medical debts on credit reports and remove medical debts that have been paid. For many people, that will take years. Some 18% of Americans with health care debt said they never expect to be able to pay off their debt.

The irony here is that medical debt is sometimes discharged in bulk by charities, like RIP Medical Debt and church groups, which will pay pennies on the dollar to make patients’ outstanding medical debt disappear. The absurdity of this fix was shown when the comedian John Oliver, in a late-night stunt, cleared $15 million of Americans’ debt after buying it for $60,000.

But medical debt isn’t a joke and now harms a broad swath of Americans. The government could act in the short term to relieve this uniquely American form of suffering by buying the debts for a modest price. And then, it needs to tackle the underlying cause: a health care system that denies millions of people adequate care while still being the most expensive in the world.

This story was produced by KHN (Kaiser Health News), a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.

“El presente artículo es propiedad de California Healthline

Rosenthal, E. (2022). The Debt Crisis That Sick Americans Can’t Avoid. California Healthline. Recuperado el 01 de septiembre de 2022, de https://californiahealthline.org/news/article/medical-debt-costs-bankruptcy-college-loan-forgiveness/