Health Care Mandate Ruled Unconstitutional by Virginia Judge

A key part of President Barack Obama’s health care reform law has been declared unconstitutional by a Virginia federal judge. This sets the stage for a long legal struggle which will likely end up in the Supreme Court.The “individual mandate,” which requires the purchase of health insurance by all Americans, was struck down by U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson in the case of Virginia v. Sebelius. Hudson wrote, “An individual’s personal decision to purchase — or decline purchase — (of) health insurance from a private provider is beyond the historical reach of the U.S. Constitution. No specifically articulated constitutional authority exists to mandate the purchase of health insurance.” This decision contradicts another court ruling that the mandate is constitutional. The ruling is expected to be challenged in a federal appeals court by the Department of Justice.The administration had previously received a favorable ruling on the mandate by a federal judge in Virginia. The favorable decision was the same as that reached by a Michigan judge in October. Officials in Virginia argued that the government does not have the authority to force Americans to buy a commercial product like health insurance. They base this belief on the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.There are a few states that have specific laws stating that residents cannot be forced to buy health insurance and Virginia is one of them. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a conservative Republican said, “I am gratified we prevailed. This won’t be the final round, as this will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, but today is a critical milestone in the protection of the Constitution.”President Obama and Attorney General, Eric Holder, have been urged to request an expedited appeal to the Supreme Court by incoming House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor (R-VA). Cantor has stated, “Ultimately, we must ensure that no American will be forced by the federal government to purchase health insurance they may not need, want, or be able to afford. In this challenging environment, we must not burden our states, employers, and families with the costs and uncertainty created by this unconstitutional law, and we must take all steps to resolve this issue immediately.”The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama in March, is considered the signature legislation of his first two years in office. For months after taking office President Obama had promoted the Democratic led reform.In 2009, there were 45 million Americans without health insurance, which is about 15 percent of the U.S. population. The health care reform was designed to help the millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans. The plan is that the government will impose health insurance mandates and subsidies to ensure that all Americans receive affordable health care.Critics of the new law have called it socialized medicine and fear that it will lead to higher taxes and substandard health care services. There have been dozens of challenges to the reform filed in federal courts all over the nation.The Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the law by a California conservative group in November. The court justices will not get involved in this early stage of the legal process. Rarely does the Supreme Court accept cases that have not been thoroughly reviewed by lower courts. It is expected that the larger issues in the debate will end up before the Supreme Court but legal experts do not anticipate that to happen for at least one or two years.Health care reform has been a top priorities for the Democratic party since the Truman Administration. The reform was passed almost solely by Democrats in party-line votes and opponents of the reform call it “Obamacare.” Since the midterm elections, Republicans now hold the majority in the House and vow to overturn or severely limit the reform law.Judge Henry Hudson wrote, “While this court’s decision may set the initial judicial course of this case, it will certainly not be the final word.”

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Home Health Care Costs – Charges You Should Know

People facing the need of home health care for their disabled or elderly family, are often also faced with difficult financial struggles. While a lot cheaper than a hospital stay, home health can get expensive. Here are some of the things to think about when considering health care from home.The number one cause for home health care needs is the elderly. More and more elderly are wishing to live independently as long as possible. With this comes the need for home health. These visits can range from monthly to daily. Sometimes it becomes necessary for around the clock care. In these cases, the costs for health care from home can really start to rise. It’s imperative to understand these changes and charges up front so you’re not surprised when things start happening. Most of the associations which provide such services charge per hour rates. This is a great way to keep track of how much you’re spending on the care.Obviously the more experienced and established agencies are going to charge more for their care providers. This is when you do your homework. You have to understand how much you actually have available to spend on the care. Then look for a company that can provide what you need at a cost you can afford. Many require contracts up front so you should be familiar with the limitations and needs of the patient. Your loved one’s doctor is a great place to start when figuring who to use and for how long.Home health care supplies can get costly as well. Many patients need constant upkeep of tubing and medications. Wheelchairs and adjustable beds are often necessary. Opting for health care from home sometimes means turning your spare bedroom into a mini hospital room. There are medical supply companies that deliver these items directly to your home. The nurses can also recommend good local companies for these needs. They’re used to dealing with them and know who you can trust.Getting help paying for the costs of home health care may not be as difficult as you think. With the elderly, there is usually Medicare or Medicaid. Some elderly have retirement funds and other forms of income. Social Security and Disability pay are available for elderly and disabled. Sometimes in the event of injury there is an insurance settlement that will cover home health expenses. For terminal patients of any age, Hospice is a great non profit organization that covers all expenses. If none of these are an option for you, check into local branches of the National Association for Home Health. They will be able to lead you in the right direction and get you started with help.

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Commercial Mortgage Training – Current

Commercial mortgage training is a broad topic with many areas that need to be mastered in order for the commercial loan officer to be truly competent and successful. Among the more immediate needs is being able to screen deals. We see it all the time as hard working loan officers work on and submit loans that have no chance of closing as there is simply not enough income for the deals to cash flow and thus fund. These loan officers are burning their cash and wasting their time.The idea here is being able to really figure out what the total net income is and then calculate the debt coverage ratio. A lot has been written on how to calculate the Debt Coverage Ratio (DCR or DSCR). The basics of this ratio though is calculated by dividing the annual proposed mortgage payments by the net income that the property (in the case of an investment property) or the net income that the business produces (in the case of an owner occupied transactions). Net income meaning the income remaining after all expenses have been paid (like taxes, insurance, payroll, etc).For example say the proposed loan amount is $1,000,000 and the monthly P & I payments are $10,000 per month or $120,000 per year. And say that the property is owner occupied and the business nets $15,000 per month or $180,000 annually. By dividing the debt payments of $120,000 by the net income of $180,000 the proposed loan boasts a 1.5 debt coverage ratio, which by the way is strong. Most banks want to see a minimum of 1.2 to 1.3 for special purpose properties.The challenge here is trying to figure out what exactly the net income is. This can be difficult to calculate especially on owner occupied transactions. You have to be able to extract the income out of the borrower’s tax returns. And many borrowers will have 3 sets of tax returns to go through – personal, business and real estate entity which often is over 300 hundred pages. So in order for the commercial mortgage broker to figure out if the loan cash flows they will have to know how to read tax returns or they won’t really know if they are working on a viable deal or not. And they will waste many hours working on a loan that has no chance of closing.The commercial loan officer does not need to get a degree in accounting but as implied above has to have a basic understand of what can and what cannot be used as income for a proposed commercial mortgage.

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