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5 Harmful Credit Report Myths

As the world rockets toward an all-digital economy, maintaining good credit is more important than ever. With that said, the use of credit cards has increased for everyday purchases, making them a key to participate in online shopping.A 2015 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco found that the share of American retail purchases made with cash dropped from 40 percent to 32 percent between 2012 and 2015. That’s an astonishing eight percent change in just three years!Given the importance of credit, it is no wonder that consumers are increasingly worried about their credit scores. Requests for credit reports from American credit reporting agencies have skyrocketed in recent years.Here are five of the most pernicious myths, along with the facts about maintaining your good credit.MYTH #1: YOUR CREDIT SCORE IS A SINGLE NUMBER
A credit report does provide a single number to potential lenders, but it contains a great deal of additional information as well. Your credit report includes details about the loans you have taken out and the credit cards you have been issued. Details about your payment history are included. The report contains a wealth of information for the lender. Lenders count on all of that information when making a determination about whether to extend credit, what your credit limit will be, as well as the types of credit you might be eligible for.America’s three credit reporting agencies almost never report the same score when asked to analyze the same person’s account. There are several reasons for this. Second, different lenders report credit information to different credit reporting agencies. Most lenders report to all three, but many do not. Finally, different lenders may calculate credit scores slightly differently.That’s just for generic scores. You’re also likely to have a different score calculated according to the specific criteria of lenders in real estate, for instance, and/or auto loans, and department store credit cards. the following· Current accounts. Note that credit cards and mortgages are analyzed according to different criteria.· Payment history. Lenders want to know whether you pay your bills on time.· Outstanding credit. Reporting agencies calculate your outstanding balance compared to your total amount of available credit.· New credit. If you have recently opened a bunch of new accounts, that could be a red flag.· Credit history. Lenders want to know how long you have been borrowing.Thus, lenders take much more into account than a single number.MYTH #2: CHECKING YOUR CREDIT REPORT WILL HURT YOUR SCORE
This pestilent myth has a basis in fact. If your credit report shows a great many inquiries from potential lenders, that may indicate you are in financial trouble and shopping around for loans. A flurry of requests for credit reports can be a red flag.The credit reports you request don’t show up as negatives on your history. In fact, many lenders believe it is a positive sign that consumers stay on top of their indebtedness by checking their credit histories at least once a year. It’s part of good credit management. Requesting a credit report is more likely to increase than diminish your chances of getting new credit approved.MYTH #3: THE BEST WAY TO IMPROVE YOUR CREDIT SCORE IS TO PAY OFF ALL YOUR ACCOUNTS AND CLOSE THEM
This myth is partially correct.Conversely, closing your accounts can have the opposite effect. Lenders and reporting agencies care about how much of your current credit limit you are currently using. That is, they are less interested in how much you owe than in how much you owe compared to how much you are approved to borrow. Sounds complicated, right? Think of it as a ratio. The following example will help shed more light.If you owe $5,000 in credit card debt, that may not be significant if your credit limit across several cards is $30,000. On the other hand, if you have just one card with a limit of $5,000, then the $5,000 in current debt is quite significant and may disqualify you from opening an account with a second lender.When you pay off your credit cards, you are decreasing the ratio of credit used to approved credit. That’s great. When you close the accounts, your approved credit is reduced, and that means future credit purchases will represent a higher utilization of your total approved credit. In other words, closing the accounts actually hurts your credit score.MYTH #4: A BAD PAYMENT HISTORY DOESN’T AFFECT CREDIT SCORES ONCE ACCOUNTS ARE UP TO DATE
Unfortunately, getting caught up on payments doesn’t erase your history of late payments, accounts referred to collections, and bankruptcies. All of that information stays on your report for up to seven years – or longer, depending on the type of bankruptcy.Getting current is still important. It’s a great sign and it reassures lenders that you are serious about paying your debts. Lenders understand that sometimes circumstances cause us to fall behind on payments. What they need to see is that you are committed to repaying what you borrow and that you don’t walk away from debt.Missed payments stay on your credit report for three years. If you are a good customer but you are temporarily having trouble paying your bills, it’s worth calling the lender to see if you can reschedule payments. Many lenders are willing to work with customers to allow a few months without payments as long as they are arranged in advance. These arrangements are not reported to credit agencies and do not harm your credit score.That said, it is still true that a bad payment history continues to affect your credit score for years, even after you have brought the accounts current.MYTH #5: ALL CREDIT REPAIR SERVICES ARE SCAMS
Corrupt companies have given the credit repair industry a bad name. A simple Google search will reveal many companies that promise to erase derogatory information in your credit report for a fee.Reputable credit repair companies do exist, doing a lot of good for a lot of people. They understand the rules about credit reporting and how to use those rules to improve your score.Credit repair services can have incorrect and harmful information removed from your report.Repair services might advise you to petition creditors for goodwill corrections, in which they remove information about a few late payments from an otherwise unblemished account history. effective A reputable agency can also provide reliable advice on prioritizing payments to existing accounts, applying for new credit, paying down your old debt, and much more.Many lenders give extra weight to recent credit activity. Showing a trend toward responsible debt repayment can persuade them to be more forthcoming when extending new credit and favorable terms. Follow your credit repair agency’s advice and you could well find yourself with a higher score and more access to home loans, auto loans, and credit cards than you dreamed possible.

Alternative Financing Can Help Offset Cash Flow Challenges Presented By Slow-Paying Customers

The statistics may say that the U.S. economy is out of recession, but many small and mid-sized business owners will tell you that they’re not seeing a particularly robust recovery, at least not yet.There are various reasons for the slow pace of recovery among small businesses, but one is becoming increasingly apparent: A lack of cash flow caused by longer payment terms instituted by their vendors. Dealing with slow-paying customers is nothing new for many small businesses, but the problem is exacerbated in today’s sluggish economy and tight credit environment.This is ironic given the fact that many big businesses have accumulated large cash reserves over the past couple of years by increasing their efficiencies and lowering their costs. In fact, several high-profile large corporations have announced recently that they are extending their payment terms to as long as four months, including Dell Computer, Cisco and AB InBev.So here’s the picture: Many large corporations are sitting on huge piles of cash and, thus, are more capable of paying their vendors promptly than ever before. But instead, they’re stretching out their payment terms even farther. Meanwhile, many small businesses are struggling to stay afloat, much less grow, as they try to plug cash flow gaps while waiting for payments from their large customers.How Alternative Financing Can HelpTo help them cope with these kinds of cash flow challenges, more small and mid-sized businesses are turning to alternative financing vehicles. These are creative financing solutions for companies that don’t qualify for traditional bank loans, but need a financial boost to help manage their cash flow cycle.Start-up businesses, companies experiencing rapid growth, and those with financial ratios that don’t meet a bank’s requirements are often especially good candidates for alternative financing, which usually takes one of three different forms:Factoring: With factoring, businesses sell their outstanding accounts receivable to a commercial finance company (or factor) at a discount, usually between 1.5 and 5.5 percent, which becomes responsible for managing and collecting the receivable. The business usually receives from 70-90 percent of the value of the receivable when selling it to the factor, and the balance (less the discount, which represents the factor’s fee) when the factor collects the receivable.There are two main types of factoring: full-service and spot factoring. With full-service factoring, the company sells all of its receivables to the factor, which performs many of the services of a credit manager, including credit checks, credit report analysis, and invoice and payment mailing and documentation.With spot factoring, the business sells select invoices to the factor on a case-by-case basis, without any volume commitments. Since it requires more extensive controls, spot factoring tends to be more expensive than full-service factoring. Full recourse, non-recourse, notification and non-notification are other factoring variables.Accounts Receivable (A/R) Financing: A/R financing is more similar to a bank loan than factoring is. Here, a business submits all of its invoices to the commercial finance company, which establishes a borrowing base against which the company can borrow money. The qualified receivables serve as collateral for the loan.The borrowing base is usually 70-90 percent of the value of the qualified receivables. To be qualified, a receivable must be less than 90 days old and the underlying business must be deemed creditworthy by the finance company, among other criteria. The finance company will charge a collateral management fee (usually 1 to 2 percent of the outstanding amount) and assess interest on the amount of money borrowed.Asset-Based Lending: This is similar to A/R financing except that the loan is secured by business assets other than A/R, such as equipment, real estate and inventory. Unlike factoring, the business manages and collects its own receivables, submitting a monthly aging report to the finance company. Interest is charged on the amount of money borrowed and certain fees are also assessed by the finance company.Overcoming Fears and ObjectionsSome businesses shy away from alternative financing vehicles, due either to a lack of knowledge or understanding of them or because they believe such financing vehicles are too expensive.However, alternative financing is not hard to understand-an experienced alternative lender can clearly explain how these techniques work and the pros and cons they may offer your company. As for cost, it’s really a matter of perspective: You have to ask whether alternative financing is too expensive compared to the alternatives?If you’re in danger of running out of cash while you wait to get paid by large customers and you don’t qualify for a bank loan or line of credit, then the alternative could be bankruptcy. So while factoring does tend to be more expensive than bank financing, if this financing isn’t an option for you, then you must compare the cost to possibly going out of business.Most business failures occur because the company lacked working capital, not because it didn’t have a good product or service. Unfortunately, this problem is currently magnified for many small businesses dealing with ever-longer payment terms from their large customers. Alternative financing is one possible solution to this common cash flow problem.

Small Business Owners: Utilizing Technology to Improve Profits

If you really want to become more profitable and improve operations in your company, you have to shift your focus from the following limiting thoughts about technology.

If I buy the latest production software we will be in good shape

We don’t do that here

We are unique, we don’t have competition that use technology to help them generate profits

The plan is in my head, people will steal it off the computer

All I need is more sales to make more profits
You’ve got to get the right mindset by eliminating restricting thoughts, and then you’ll be ready to improve people, processes and profitability.Do you ever wonder how a company can start out with just one idea, a passion and a vision, then 10 to 20 years later have thousands of employees and millions in sales?

What did these companies do to become so successful

Are the owners smarter than you?

Do they work harder than you?

Did they have better equipment or people than you?
No. But they do use better technology tools to drive operation (the people and the process). Operations represent about 60% or 80% of all your overhead costs but they’re the least understood by US businesses.For decades, the Japanese have focused on operations that have driven innovation and a culture of continuous improvement. In the right small business owner hands, operations and technology can be a competitive weapon.Now, ask yourself how can your small company— with just a handful of employees and limited resources — turn operations and technology applications into a powerful weapon to beat competition and learn to grow and thrive!Why invest in technology / What are the benefitsThe bottom line is, if you’re suffering from tight cash flow, exhausted lines of credit and top-line growth, then you have weak operations and have underutilized the technology applications onsite or off-the-shelf that can help you.First step to rapid profit improvement is to start by questioning your employees. They usually know where costly blocks and bottlenecks are hidden.Technology can store employee survey results that help you to plan profitability.Employee Questionnaire(sample)

Are your interests and ambitions being challenged

Does each department in this company have measurable standard designed to increase profitability? Does each area have documentation of process flows and procedures of how it should work?

Does everyone in this company share the goal of improving the company profits? Does the CEO hold town hall meetings about ‘planned profits’?

Are you regularly told when you do good work?

Do you get the help you need to do a good job?

As an employee, do you feel you can trust your direct supervisor/manager?

Are owner/managers open and honest with employees?

Does the company provide you with continual training in areas that will make you a better employee? Has it trained you on how to cut operating expenses or increase revenue to improve profits in your area?

Are your responsibilities generally explained, well planned and organized?

Is poor performance tolerated by management? i.e., worker performance, operations bottlenecks and customer relations.
The following are other ways business productivity software drives business processes more efficiently to gain optimal results:Create an open and communicative environment.By storing appraisal information within a formal database, managers can more easily communicate business strategy and create measurable goals for their employees that will support overall company objectives. In allowing employees to see the whole picture and understand better how individual goals fit into the company’s business objectives. This can create a energized and engaged employees, thereby raising the business productivity of the company.Motivate your employees using technology.Based upon the information gathered in an online performance evaluation, managers can compare current skills with those required for advancement or other recognition or reward opportunities that present themselves as the manager tracks progress on employee goals throughout the year. You may also find you need to redirect employees to different departments if you feel their business productivity could increase elsewhere. If there are impediments to better performance, the company should review why it is happening and try to eliminate these through better allocation of resources or additional training.Monitor business productivity and employee progress on goals.Business productivity software solutions enable managers to more easily track progress during every phase of goal completion and offer immediate reinforcement or coaching to keep performance and deadlines on track in daily operations, and utilize performance measurements for strategic planning.Electronic CommerceThere are many business applications related to e-commerce, from setting up your online storefront to managing your supply chain to marketing your products and services. These technologies fall into three main categories:Business to Business(B2B)

Purchasing indirect supplies

Look for catalogue-based websites offered by suppliers for corporate purchases, similar to business-to-customer websites, for purchasing indirect supplies such as office furniture, pens, paper, and general office equipment.

Leveraging your existing Web presence

Improve your existing business-to-customer e-commerce website. Greater sophistication can be added into your online store to target your business clientele.
Business to Customer(B2C)The global reach of the Internet has allowed many businesses to sell their products and services online, both at home and abroad. An electronic storefront is a website with many pre-built e-commerce components like electronic shopping carts and secure payment gateways that you can use to set up an online store.Internet MarketingEverything you do to promote your business online is Internet marketing. For example, Internet marketing strategies include (but are not limited to) website design and content, search engine optimization, directory submissions, reciprocal linking strategies, online advertising, and email marketing.How to Implement Technology to increase profitsIT implementation can be a valuable tool for increasing workplace productivity, but without a careful selection of the right technologies for your specific industry and comprehensive employee training, it can also serve to reduce productivity, profitability and employee satisfaction. The return on investment will depend on whether the technologies implemented are right for a given business’ needs and how prepared employees are to use them.Step 1Brainstorm a list of business process improvements you may be able to realize from a technological implementation. Your list should include three categories: improvements that you know to be possible, and which are core requirements for your expense; a wish list of things you would like to have, but which may be future development efforts; and a list of things which would transform the way you do business, but which may not be possible. These three targets provide you with a present-day implementation goal, as well as a future development target–and it may be that your transformational goals could be far easier to reach than you expect.Step 2Determine whether you intend to develop these technologies using in-house resources, or through outside consultancies. Nearly every major workflow technology requires extensive customization, implementation procedures and training. Small businesses can sometimes get by cheaply using staff members technologically proficient–but mistakes made at the beginning of the process can ramp up costs later on when you turn to professional outside support.Step 3Avoid specifying particular technologies if you do not have the technical expertise to evaluate them properly. The purpose of the managerial process at this stage is to define goals and budgetary constraints; non-technical managers who wed themselves to specific technologies too early can miss out on substantial cost savings, and choose a technology not the best suited for the work.Step 4Circulate your request for proposals among outside consultants and implementors, or establish an internal process for doing the same among your staff if you are keeping the work in-house. Major technological implementations will not succeed if they are added to the existing workload of an employee. Proper technological implementations can be more than a full-time job in and of themselves. Staff members shifted to technology implementation should have their existing duties moved to other staff resources.Step 5Negotiate a time frame, budget and implementation benchmarks with your external or internal staff resources. If you are working with an outside consultant, your contract should include protections against running over budget and over schedule. Likewise, the consultant will protect his own firm by setting specific terms of the work to be completed, and charging you extra if you change them over the course of the contract.Step 6Develop an implementation timetable, including the following steps: test deployment to review the work; training, if necessary; a transition phase from the current workflow to the new technology; and production deployment of the completed technology. This last phase is typically followed by an iterative process, in which improvements to the technology are collected from the staff who have direct experience working with it. When budget and time allow for it, apply a new cycle of upgrades to your technology to ensure that you are getting the most out of it.

There is an excessive amount of traffic coming from your Region.

#EANF#

Start an Investment Account – Level IV to Financial Freedom

After you’ve eliminated your bad debt, you’ve started a retirement account, and you’ve saved an emergency fund. It’s now time to start the intermediate levels to Financial Freedom and on to Level IV – Investing!There are few things you need to think about determining how you are going to achieve this level. First, do you have the time and inclination to learn about investing? If yes, then you can consider the complex option to this level. If not, then you need to proceed straight to the simple option.For you to be able to take on the complex level, you’re going to need to read a few books, understand how to value an investment, and start to understand broad markets like the stock market and the commodities markets. You need to start understanding how inflation (or disinflation), commodity prices, interest rates and their direction, the growth in the economy and public policy affect the markets. So which option is best for you?Investing OptionsSimple OptionA first possibility is a simple option and it is to use the robo-advisor. A robo-advisor is a platform like Betterment, Wealthfront or Personal Capital that manages a portfolio for you of index funds based on an investment plan and a managed asset allocation. Using a platform like Betterment, in particular, allows you to set up goals with time horizons and an investment profile for each goal. You can set the duration of how long to reach the goal based on your risk profile and it will help create an investment plan for you. This makes the whole process automated, simple and manageable. The investment plan will outline your asset allocation for your portfolio and how much per month you need to contribute. This is a very good approach towards solid systematic goal-based investing.For example, you want to have a goal of buying a house in 3 years. You think you need $60,000 for a down payment and you have a moderate risk profile. How much do you need to contribute every month and what do you need to invest in to reach your goal? Betterment’s platform handles the entire process. Based on these assumptions and configurations, the platform recommends you save $1,500 per month towards this goal. As time goes on and you start generating returns, the estimate contribution to stay on the target may change, but you get the idea how this will help you manage to your goal.Complex OptionA more complex approach requires you to set up a brokerage account and learn much more about investing.If you’re going to pursue the complex option to investing, then you’re going to have to learn a some of the basics. One of the basics is about how to value an investment. Let’s start with stocks. Some of the basic fundamental indicators for how to value a stock includes PE ratio (Price / Earnings), PEG ratio (PE to Growth) Ratio, dividend yield and ROE (Return on Equity).Valuation Criteria for StocksLet’s take each of those ones by one. The PE ratio is the price to earnings ratio. This is generally how much you’re willing to pay per dollar of earnings. The average PE for a large cap company in the S&P 500 is 15. This means that most investors are willing to pay $15 in stock price for a dollar of earnings. The standard valuation model will change depending on the company sector and industry. For example. the high-growth tech sector may have an average PE of 25 while the low-growth utility sector may average a PE of 8. But, the general criteria to learn here is what is a good PE ratio that represents value and what PE ratio represents over-valuation.The next indicator is the PEG ratio, that is the price to earnings to growth ratio. This indicator measures price earnings to the company’s growth. In other words, this indicator is measuring how much an investor is willing to pay for growth. If a stock has a PE 15 and an average 15% per year of growth then the PEG ratio is 1.0. If the company has a PE ratio 30 and company has 15% annual growth, then the PEG ratio is 2.0. Generally speaking, a PEG ratio of 1.0 indicates a good investment opportunity, and a PEG ratio of 2.0 or higher indicates a time to sell a company’s stock. An investor wants to be mindful of how much they are willing to spend on a company relative to its growth. If you’re investing for growth, this is a key indicator to follow.The next indicator an investor wants to consider is the dividend yield of the company. This is the main indicator for the value sector of your portfolio; if you’re investing for value, this is an important indicator to follow. An investor would like to see a company have a dividend yield that is higher than the 10-year Treasury interest rate. So, for example, right now the 10-year Treasury is 2.3%. An investor would like to find companies that have a dividend yield higher than 2.3%. This will obviously adjust over time as inflation and interest rates change. This is indicator does not work well for evaluating growth-based in assets or investments held. But, it is something that should be considered within your overall investment strategy.When evaluating stock investment options, the final base indicator that should be considered when evaluating a stock investment is the ROE or a return on equity. The return on equity indicator demonstrates a companies’ ability to generate a return per invested dollar. Generally, companies with good brands that don’t need large capital expenditures can generate a good ROE. Companies with lower ROEs have less defensible business models. ROE is important because it shows a business’ efficiency in generating a return for shareholders.DiversificationThe next important factor to learn to become a good investor is diversification. I think it was Jim Cramer who said diversification is the only free lunch. Diversification allows an investor to manage and mitigate against various market changes. As an investor, you want different asset classes in your portfolio, which will all be affected differently against interest rate changes, inflation, economic growth and commodity price changes. One of the basic diversification calculation is a percentage of stocks and bonds in your portfolio. Generally, I would break it into owning most of the following 9 asset classes – US Stocks, Developed Market Stocks, Developing Market Stocks, Real Estate (REITs), Natural Resources (Timber & Oil), Gold, Corporate Bonds, US Govt Bonds and International Govt Bonds. Many go into other diversification like sector diversification or company size (large cap or small cap), but I think it’s more important to think about these larger asset classes. Based on your goal(s), time horizon and risk profile, you should think about diversifying your investment portfolio over these general asset classes. My favorite book on the subject is David Swensen’s, “Pioneering Portfolio Management”.ConclusionThere’s no way to cover all the details that are required in handling personal investment in one article, but I hope I’ve given you some ways to approach winning at Level IV. The goal is to set up a system of investment. All investment dollars should be tied to a goal and all goals should have a time horizon, risk profile which leads to an asset allocation. You can use a platform like Betterment to help manage to your goals, you can hire a professional, or if you have the time and inclination, you can start learning about investing.Most people start investing by learning how to invest in the public stock market. I agree with that, so I’ve outlined a few points to think about on how to value whether you’re getting a good deal on an investment and how you should broadly diversify your investments. Once you’ve built a system and reach one financial goal, you’ve won at Level IV – Winning at Financial Freedom.Happy hunting!

Paying for Health Care – Health

The cost of health care in the United States is expensive and is escalating. A majority of Americans cannot afford the cost of medicines, physicians’ fees, or hospitalization without some form of health insurance. Health insurance is a contract between an insurance company and an individual or group for the payment of medical care costs. After the individual or group pays a premium to an insurance company, the insurance company pays for part or all of the medical costs depending on the type of insurance and benefits provided. The type of insurance policy purchased greatly influences where you go for health care, who provides the health care, and what medical procedures can be performed. The three basic health insurance plans include a private, fee-for-service plan; a prepaid group plan; and a government-financed public plan.Private Fee-For-Service Insurance PlanUntil recently, private, fee-for-service insurance was the principal form of health insurance coverage. In this plan an individual pays a monthly premium, usually through an employer, which ensures health care on a fee-far-service basis. On incurring medical costs, the patient files a claim to have a portion of these costs paid by the insurance company. There is usually a deductible, an amount paid by the patient before being eligible for benefits from the insurance company. For example, if your expenses are $1000, you may have to pay $200 before the insurance company will pay the other $800. Usually the lower the deductible, the higher the premiums will be. After the deductible is met the insurance provider pays a percentage of the remaining balance.Typically there are fixed indemnity benefits, specified amounts that are paid for particular procedures. If your policy pays $500 for a tonsilectomy and the actual cost was $1000, you owe the health care provider $500. There are often exclusions, certain services that are not covered by the policy. Common examples include elective surgery, dental care, vision care, and coverage for preexisting illnesses and injuries. Some insurance plans provide options for adding dental and vision care. Other common options include life insurance, which pays a death benefit, and disability insurance, which pays for income lost because of the inability to work as a result of an illness or injury. The more options added to the insurance plan, the more expensive the insurance will be.One strategy insurance companies are using to lower insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs to the consumer is the formation of preferred providers organization (PPO). A PPO is a group of private practitioners who sell their services at reduced rates to insurance companies. When a patient chooses a provider that is in that company’s PPO, the insurance company pays a higher percentage of the fee. When a non-PPO provider is used, a much lower portion of the fee is paid.A major advantage of a fee-for-service plan is that the patient has options in selecting health-care providers. Several disadvantages are that patients may not routinely receive comprehensive, preventive health care; health-care costs to the patient may be high if unexpected illnesses or injuries occur; and it may place heavy demands on time in keeping track of medical records, invoices, and insurance reimbursement forms.Prepaid Group InsuranceIn prepaid group insurance, health care is provided by a group of physicians organized into a health maintenance organization (HMO). HMOs are managed health-care plans that provide a full range of medical services for a prepaid amount of money. For a fixed monthly fee, usually paid through pay roll deductions by an employer, and often a small deductible, enrollees receive care from physicians, specialists, allied health professionals, and educators who are hired or contractually retained by the HMO. HMOs provide an advantage in that they provide comprehensive care including preventive care at a lower cost than private insurance over a long period of coverage. One drawback is that patients are limited in their choice of providers to those who belong to an HMO.Government InsuranceIn a government insurance plan the government at the federal, state, or local level pays for the health-care costs of elgible participants. Two prominent examples of this plan are Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare is financed by social security taxes and is designed to provide health care for individuals 65 years of age and older, the blind, the severely disabled, and those requiring certain treatments such as kidney dialysis. Medicaid is subsidized by federal and state taxes. It provides limited health care, generally for individuals who are eligible for benefits and assistance from two programs: Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Supplementary Security Income.

Health Care Reform Wayback – A Brief History of Health Care Reform in the USA

Is Health Care Reform New? As somebody who is very interested in the progress of health care reform as a taxpayer, private consumer of health insurance and services, and as a professional, I have been trying to follow the current health reform debates. I am getting a little frustrated with the lack of progress on either side of the aisle, and also by some of the knee jerk reactions by politicians and their groupies.. You would think that the current administration, and its political adversaries, had just invented health reform or the cries of outrage that sound against it.I decided to do my best to outline some of the highlights of the health reform attempts, failures, and progress in the past 100 years or so. I am not a professional historian, by any means, so some may feel as if I left out important things or took them out of context. I am trying to be balanced, but take all the blame if I neglected something you feel is important.Teddy Roosevelt In the 1910′sTeddy Roosevelt ran on a very progressive platform in the early part of the last century. His campaign promises for 1912 included protection for workers safety on the job women’s right to vote, and a national health care program. He was president of the United States, by the way, from 1901 – 1909. But he lost the election of 1912 to Woodrow Wilson. It is interesting to note that this Roosevelt was a Republic. Wilson was the Democrat. Never assume that American party politics are set in stone.Early Models of Current Health Insurance and Cries of SocialismIn 1929, Baylor Hospital in Dallas, Texas came up with a pre-paid program for a large areal teacher’s union. This is considered one of the earliest models of health insurance. Now here’s the irony. A few years later, an Oklahoma doctor formed a farmer’s association with a pre-paid plan. Members of the association would pay into the plan, and then get services covered. The American Medical Association called this doctor’s plan socialism!Despite this, pre-paid hospital and doctor plans continued to grow in popularity around the US. However, they usually left out the unemployed and elderly.The New Deal in the 1930′s Another Roosevelt, FDR, also wanted to implement national health reform. He wanted to include it as part of social security legislation. That did not work out, but even Truman wanted to set up a national fund. for health care. He figured everybody could pay in, like we do for social security, and then it could make sure that people’s most severe health needs were met. All of this was left out of the New Deal, and the AMA continued to criticize it as socialism.Post World War II By the end of the second world war, it became a lot more obvious that there was a big gap between health care costs and what mos people could afford. Congress did pass a bill to build a lot more hospitals. They also required hospitals to provide charity care. They had a clause to forbid discrimination on race, religion, etc. But they did allow separate but equal care, which did not always turn out to provide equal care to everybody.In the 1950′s, labor unions began adding health benefits to their collective bargaining agreements. This really formed the basis for the group health insurance many people enjoy at work today. So group health plans became more popular, and in 1954, Congress voted to make this benefits tax-exempt.The 1960′s JFK fought hard for national health care, but again he was met with cries of socialism. But Medicare and Medicaid, regarded as American institutions now, did emerge despite this. Medicare is the US national health plan for seniors and disabled people. Medicaid is the national health plan for very poor people.Despite the fact that millions of Americans had heath insurance coverage for the first time, in the 1960′s, health care spending and costs were beginning to rise.The 1970′s – Nixon and Carter President Nixon, a Republican, worked for health reform. He proposed a bill that would require employers to provide minimum health insurance coverage. Under his administration, money was allocated for the development of HMOs and managed care to contain costs.Carter ran for president, and national health care was a large part of his campaign platform. Even though he won, the severe recession put these plans on hold.The 1980′s and COBRACOBRA is the national law that requires some employers to extend group health benefits to terminated employees for several months.The 1990′s and The ClintonsProbably the most famous previous attempt to dramatically reform health care was under President Clinton. Hillary Clinton, then first lady, spear headed this work. You will probably not be surprised to learn that political critics of the pan delighted in calling it socialism. Experts contend that the plan failed because of partisan politics on both sides. The drug and insurance companies, and the American Medical Association (AMA) also spent a lot of time and money getting the Health Security Act defeated.CHIPS – I cannot leave the 1990′s without mentioning CHIPS. This is the state and federal children’s health insurance program which covers millions of children from lower and moderate income families.21st Century Health ReformI have to credit George Bush, a Republican, with passing the Medicare Prescription plan in 2003. This is also known as Medicare Part D, and it helps fund prescription insurance for Medicare beneficiaries.Obama ran on a platform that included health reform. It seems like it is as tough to pass now as it was during the time of Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Truman, and Bill Clinton. Politicians are still making deals behind closed doors, and of course, people are still shouting socialism.But some things have changed. The AMA now supports health reform. Many businesses are concerned about spiking costs of covering employees, and representatives have admitted they would like to see some reform that would help them. Even insurance companies have said they will cooperate.Hopefully, we can see some progress. I have no idea what will (or should) happen next.

Weight Loss Spa – A Relaxing Way to Lose Weight

It is common knowledge that the best way to lose weight is to make sure you get a healthy dose of daily exercise paired with the perfect diet. It’s never a good idea to go without them both, but many people find it a difficult if not impossible to keep up with either. Some people lack the will power required to resist consuming fattening foods. Others just can’t seem to find the motivation they need to get up and go to the gym or take a daily jog around the neighbourhood. Worst case scenarios are at a loss for both.Now, various fat loss organizations are coming to the aid of these individuals with spas. Weight loss spas will provide the weak and weary dieters with a positive and motivating weight loss environment where they can relax and burn fat at the same time.What is a weight loss spa?It is quite simple. A spa is a facility that will assist you in losing weight by through the various meal management and exercise programs they offer. Not only will they help you lose the weight but they will help you make the lifestyle changes necessary to keep it off.Is that like a fat camp?You’ll be invited to stay at the facility for the duration of the program much like a “fat camp,” and will be assisted by the staff in getting maximum fat loss results through a well balanced mix of both physical and leisurely activities. At the beginning of your stay you will participate in a physical assessment of your body’s health and composition and set achievable goals for yourself with a target date. A common weight loss spa program will last anywhere from three to four weeks.What is their weight loss philosophy?Attending a weight loss spa vacation does not simply involve losing weight, but it also involves understanding a healthy body and a healthy diet. Most weight loss spas follow the philosophy of balancing diet and exercise.Weight loss spas aren’t for those simply eager to drop a couple dress sizes or look good in their favourite swim suit. By attending the spa you will be involving yourself in a much larger agenda. You will learn how to lose weight not simply through diet and exercise but through a deeper understanding of your health in general and how to change the lifestyle that allowed you to become unhealthy in the first place.At a weight loss spa you will learn that long term weight management relies on the following:1. Knowing how to balance your body2. Eating in a pattern that works for you3. Recognizing the consequences of overeating4. Ignoring unnecessary hunger signals5. Keeping up with your body mass6. Exercising with an effective program that suits you7. Making the best of every day8. Boosting your confidenceIn any fight there is always strength in numbers. This is why weight loss spas will have you participating in group discussions where you will share your experiences and goals. Through the consultation and council of your peers your weight loss will become a group effort and your new team will work with you to make sure you fight the fat.What’s the program like?Once you’ve enrolled in the spa program you will be paired with a dietician who will work with you directly to help you develop a customized diet and exercise program specifically designed to suit your daily lifestyle. Many factors will be taken into consideration, but the main goal is to make sure you are comfortable and confident in the program.For a more forward approach you will also be offered diet and exercise plans that must be followed exactly. During these programs you will be closely monitored by your advisors and weighed regularly to make sure you are productively reaching your weight loss goals.So when do I get to relax and have fun?Though the prospect of losing weight should be the most appealing feature of the spa there are numerous activities and therapies available to you to ensure you enjoy your stay regardless of your weight loss goals. From light aerobics and sports to a gentle message or nature walk, you will find plenty of ways to positively spend your time and relax.Are all weight loss spas like this?Keep in mind that while the majority of weight loss spas exist to help you lose weight the most relaxing and healthy way they can manage there are those that off gimmicky or fad diets that are considered no more than quick fixes for the overweight. These diets are not only unhealthy but also will not help you keep the weight off. Therefore, you should always exercise precaution when choosing a weight loss spa and research each one diligently to make sure it offers a positive and productive weight loss program.You’ll also want make sure that whichever weight loss spa you choose to attend offers a program that suits your personal preferences. Some spas such as Hippocrates Health Institute offer very programs that cater to a very specific type of individual. HHI will focus your diet around enzyme-rich, vegetarian foods and help you achieve a vegan lifestyle. HHI would obviously not suit those of us who enjoy meat in our diets and would prefer to continue to do so.What’s this going to cost me?Every individual facility will offer different programs at different rates and most are not cheap. You will want to shop around to find a facility that you can comfortably fit into your personal budget. However, don’t forget that your dreams of losing weight, confidence, and long term health are priceless.

An Inside Look at the Importance of a Smile in Sales

If you’re in sales, then you’ve probably heard all sorts of advice, from “don’t oversell” to “focus on solving problems.” However, one of the best pieces of advice that many forget is to smile! After all, your smile is one of the first features people notice about you, and it plays an essential role in the first impression you make. Keep reading to learn all about the importance of a smile in sales (as well as how cosmetic dentistry can help!).

Smile: Your Sale Depends on It!

Knowing your product and knowing your audience are key in sales. However, you don’t get far if your client doesn’t trust you or believe you. That’s why it’s so important to make a good first impression! Here are a few ways a smile can help:

• Smiling is more powerful than you might think – One study found that smiling has the same effect on our brain as $25,000 in cash!

• Smiling communicates your state of mind – Smiling is a non-verbal cue that you are happy to be where you are, that you are confident in your product, and that you are ready and willing to help.

• Smiling creates a ripple effect of positivity – Have you ever seen a friend yawn and done the same? Or seen someone take a sip of water and immediately realized you’re thirsty? Thanks to the mirroring neurons in our brains, we naturally mimic the behavior of those around us.

But What If You Don’t Like Your Smile?

If you don’t like your smile, don’t worry – that’s where cosmetic dentistry comes in. Whether you’re struggling with misaligned, misshapen, cracked, or otherwise imperfect teeth, your smile goals aren’t out of reach. The first step? Scheduling an appointment with a skilled cosmetic dentist. For both my father and myself, providing high-quality, personalized, and judgment-free dentistry is a passion. There’s truly nothing better than seeing someone walk out of our office with a dazzling, confident smile! So, don’t wait to make your dream smile a reality – it could make all of the difference when it comes to your personal and professional life!

Where to buy beautiful rugs, floor mats and more.

Where to buy beautiful rugs, floor mats and more. Including unique t-shirts, dresses, bags and artworks. All in one website with free shipping worldwide!

QueenNoble.com is the exclusive online art gallery and home décor online store where items were designed by artist QueenNoble Dr. Elle Ramirez. You can get all your home decorating needs in one place without worrying the shipping fee. You can collect all her original art pieces and open editions from your comfort zone in just few clicks. All original artworks will be shipped straight from the country of exhibition with free shipping worldwide. Home décor on QueenNoble is not your usual home decoration items. Every items were designed by QueenNoble Dr. Elle Ramirez exclusively made from handmade paintings turned to manipulated photos to make stunning designs for every home décor items such as the rugs, lamps, wall decors and more. Of course the original artworks of QueenNoble are all available to every collectors who collect only original artworks. The prints are premium quality, framed and ready to hang for everyone’s convenience. Rugs, lamps, pillows and others are designed by QueenNoble, and then manufactured by partnered companies in Europe and in The United States.

The artist And Designer QueenNoble

Dr. Elle Ramirez also known as QueenNoble is an American international fine arts artist, designer, sculptor, photographer and an author. Dr. Ramirez creates rare textured and embossed abstract artworks from wall sculptures to embossed paintings. Her career began from year 2006 up to this present day. (See Wikipedia.)

QueenNoble is known for her textured and embossed abstract artworks mimicking planets, natural stones and rocks, abstract engraved portraits, several monochromatic and vivid concepts.

“Live Minimal” is one of QueenNoble’s art books released year 2021. (See Google Scholar Books)

QueenNoble is also an author of several mental health books like “Quarantine: The Challenges During Quarantine and How to Keep Our Sanity”. QueenNoble is also the author of the Novel called, “The Cart Season 1”. (See more on Amazon)

One Of A Kind Products You Can Buy On QueenNoble

One of a kind luxury collectibles with certificate. Unique items designed and curated by QueenNoble Dr. Elle Ramirez are now available on the official website. One collectible is to one collector or owner. Collectibles can be a wallet, bag, a piece of art, a furniture, a dress or a shirt and more. A first come first served basis. Handmade with love and attention. Own something that no one has in the entire world. Only on QueenNoble. What will you get on the top of that? You will receive a certificate of authenticity upon receiving your item. Free shipping worldwide. Free repair and replacement in case of a major manufacture error. Most items are handmade and are genuine leather so slight imperfections are visible which are the signs of most genuine leathers in the market. Varieties of items and vast selections although items are very quick to be sold.

Who does not want a one of a kind item? It is really disliked to run to someone with the same exact dress in an occasion or a business meeting! Now on QueenNoble not only original hand-painted artworks are available now you get to wear an art yourself anywhere and anytime. Display a furniture or a décor and be asked by a friend or a colleague, “Where can I buy one?” and of course the answer is “You can’t buy that in the market.” Because It is only one!

What happens after you buy a one of a kind on QueenNoble? The price increases yearly for 10 years. What an investment for yourself or a luxurious lifetime gift for a special someone!

From the author’s words:

If you are a collector and a shopper, QueenNoble is definitely where to go specially if you are looking for unique designer’s décor such as rugs, comforters, bags, wall art etc. A lot of selections to choose from. The designs are contemporary and modern. In one look you know where the products are from since you can only find them on queennoble.com. The processes are also very convenient and shipping is fast worldwide.

I bought a one of a kind bag. When I received it it came with an envelope consisting the certificate. The leather bag is stunning. Fast shipping and free delivery. They also offer free repair in case there is a manufacturer error for free.

Note also that if you are a merchant you can sign up on their trading program. There is a 15-30% commission. Less work for you all you do is share the url of the product and your designated coupon code which you’ll receive when you sign up and you get paid everytime someone uses your coupon code. Sound interesting right? Copy code, share url and code on your social media and earn as you go.

QueenNoble is also on Saatchiart, Artmajeur, Singulart Galleries. On QueenNoble’s original artworks, all artworks with certificate of authenticity will be shipped straight to the collector from the current exhibited country and also free shipping worldwide.