GIC-Housing-Finance

Index finds Rallying Home Purchase Market in 2016

Today, AEI’s International Center on Housing Risk (ICHR) and First American Financial Corporation release the AEI/First American National Housing Market Index (NHMI), the first index ever to analyze sales transaction volume for the entire home purchase market.

The national housing market continued its rally in the fourth quarter of 2016. On an annualized basis, 5,810,000 sales transactions were reported, which is up 350,000 transactions, or 6.4 percent, from 2015.

  • 2015 had already seen demand grow by 340,000 transactions or 7.6 percent from 2014.
  • The home purchase market also closed out 2016 with strong growth as transactions increased 9.1 percent in the fourth quarter compared to a year ago.
  • Cash sales continued to trend down accounting for only 29 percent of all transactions in 2016, down from 30 percent in 2015 and 36 percent in 2013.
  • Filling its void was government-backed lending, which accounted for 55 percent of all transactions in 2016, up from 53 percent in 2015 and 50 percent in 2013. 
  • The AEI/First American National Housing Market Index (NHMI) is the first index to report on the entire home purchase market.
  • Transaction numbers are also available on the state and metro area level for unprecedented geographical detail.

The NHMI combines ICHR’s data on the federal agency market (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Federal Housing Association, Veterans Affairs, and Rural Housing Services) with data provided by First American via DataTree.com for the private side of the mortgage market and for cash and non-institutionalized lender sales. The combined data set nearly covers the volume of the entire market at the national, state, and metro levels. To account for the small amount of incomplete data, housing data are scaled to estimate total volume at the various reported levels.

In contrast to existing estimates of home sales, the AEI/First American NHMI is based on comprehensive loan- and transaction-level data and does not involve extrapolations from a survey or sample of the housing market. Other published data are based on surveys or samples, necessitating assumptions about the entire market. The NHMI is the only metric that (i) compiles data from virtually the entire housing market, (ii) provides views into the data from many key perspectives, and (iii) is published quarterly with minimal time lag.

The AEI/First American NHMI is released quarterly by AEI’s ICHR. It provides counts for home purchase transactions undertaken with institutional financing or other financing, as well as cash sales. In addition, dollar volumes, loan counts, average loan amounts, and market shares for primary owner and secondary owner/non-owner tenure types will be provided at the national, state, and metro area level for each of the five loan agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the FHA, the VA, and Rural Housing Services), as well as for the private (non-agency) loan sector in order to give an accurate and detailed picture of activity in the home purchase and the mortgage loan markets. Today’s release reports on transactions from the fourth quarter of 2016. The quarterly time series tracks housing data back to the fourth quarter of 2012 and is based on almost 23 million home purchase transactions. The number will grow with each additional quarter of data.

“The NHMI-Primary Owner Purchase Loan volume index rose to 141 in 2016: Q4, as compared to 124 in 2015:Q4 and 116 in 2014:Q4,” noted Edward Pinto, co-director of the American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI’s) International Center on Housing Risk. “Based on these and other data, I expect 2017 purchase originations to continue to grow robustly.”

“The total value of residential purchase transactions in the U.S. housing market approached $1 trillion in 2016, coming in at $965 trillion for the year. The share of cash sales continues to decrease, but remains a significant portion of the overall market at 29 percent,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist at First American. “Entering the busy spring home buying season, I expect prices to continue to rise and transaction volumes to continue to grow, spurred on by the strong sellers’ market and increasing Millennial, first-time homebuyer demand.”

The NHMI for the first quarter of 2017 will be released on June 26, 2017.

To arrange an interview with Ed Pinto, please contact AEI Media Services at mediaservices@aei.org or 202.862.4870.

To arrange an interview with First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming, please contact First American’s corporate communications team at 714-250-3298. Mark Fleming’s unique research and analysis of real estate, mortgage risk and housing trends is available at www.firstam.com/economics.

About First American

First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF) is a leading provider of title insurance, settlement services and risk solutions for real estate transactions that traces its heritage back to 1889. First American also provides title plant management services; title and other real property records and images; valuation products and services; home warranty products; property and casualty insurance; and banking, trust and investment advisory services. With revenues of $5.6 billion in 2016, the company offers its products and services directly and through its agents throughout the United States and abroad. In both 2016 and 2017, First American was recognized by Fortune® magazine as one of the 100 best companies to work for in America. More information about the company can be found at www.firstam.com.

About AEI

AEI’s International Center on Housing Risk provides research, commentary, and new tools for measuring housing and mortgage market trends. Mr. Pinto is the codirector of the ICHR, a resident fellow at AEI, and a former executive vice president and chief credit officer for Fannie Mae.

juif-star

VIDEO: Muslim members of UN asked — ‘Where are your Jews?’ Hypocrisy exposed!

These countries exiled nearly a million Jews in 1948, and now they are posturing about Israel’s supposed “apartheid” policies, when Arab Muslims in Israel serve in the Knesset. The hypocrisy is astounding, and generally never noted.

Bravo to Hillel Neuer for calling out these self-righteous hypocrites.

“UN Watch Fires Back at Countries Accusing Israel of Abuses, ‘Where are your Jews?,’” by Jack Heretik, Washington Free Beacon, March 24, 2017 11:16 am

UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer shot back at countries accusing Israel of apartheid and violence against Palestinians, asking them where the Jewish populations in their countries have gone.

During a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council on Monday, several Middle Eastern countries took turns bashing Israel, saying that it has imposed apartheid and violence against Palestinians. A Palestinian representative was joined by Qatar, Sudan, Syria, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in criticizing Israel.

Neuer was then recognized to respond to the accusations from the representatives, as well as those from a UN report.

“Everything we just heard, from the world’s worst abusers of human rights, of women’s rights, of freedom of religion, of the press, of assembly, of speech, is absolutely false and indeed Orwellian,” Neuer said….

“Israel’s 1.5 million Arabs, whatever challenges they face, enjoy full rights to vote and to be elected in the Knesset, they work as doctors and lawyers, they serve on the Supreme Court,” Neuer said….

“How many Jews live in your countries? How many Jews lived in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco?” Neuer pointed out. “Once upon a time, the Middle East was full of Jews.”

Neuer went through a list of those countries asking, “Where are your Jews?” after stating how many Jews used to live there.

“Where is the apartheid, Mr. President?” Neuer asked.

“Why are we meeting today on an agenda item singling out only one state, the Jewish state, for targeting? Where is the apartheid, Mr. President?” Neuer said.

For a substantial amount of time following Neuer’s remarks, the council was silent.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Texas public high school defends its Islamic prayer room after warning from state deputy attorney general

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hospital-waiting-line

Why Single-Payer Health Care Delivers Poor Quality at High Cost by Daniel J. Mitchell

I shared last year a matrix to illustrate Milton Friedman’s great insight about the superior results achieved by markets compared to government.

Incentives explain why markets work best. When you spend your own money on yourself (box 1), you try to maximize quality while minimizing cost. And that drives the businesses that are competing for your money to constantly seek more efficient ways of producing better products at better prices.

This system generates creative destruction, which sometimes can be painful, but the long-term result is that we are vastly richer.

Governments, by contrast, don’t worry about efficiency or cost (box 4).

Today, though, let’s use Friedman’s matrix to understand the shortcomings of the US health care system. Way back in 2009, I opined that the most important chart in health care was the one showing that American consumers directly paid for less than 12 percent of health expenditures.

For all intents and purposes, instead of buying health care with their own money, they use other people’s money (box 2), a phenomenon known as third-party payer. And because most of their health expenses are financed by either government (thanks to Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, etc) or insurance companies (thanks to the tax code’s health care exclusion), consumers focus only on quality and don’t care much about cost.

That 2009 column was written before Obamacare’s enactment, so let’s see if anything has changed.

Well, we know health care has become more expensive. But do we know why?

The answer, at least in part, is that consumers are directly financing an even smaller percentage of their health care expenses. In other words, the distortions caused by third-party payer have become worse.

Here’s the most-recent data from the federal government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (specifically the National Health Expenditures by type of service and source of funds, CY 1960-2015). Consumers are now paying only 10.5 percent of health care costs.

Now let’s consider the issue of efficiency.

Are we getting better health care for all the money that’s being spent?

That doesn’t seem to be the case. Here’s another chart from the archives. It compares per-capita health spending in various nations with average life expectancy.

As you can see, the United States is not getting more bang for the buck. And I very much doubt an updated version of those numbers would show anything different.

Heck, we even have more government spending on health care, per capita, than many nations with fully nationalized systems.

So if we’re not buying better health outcomes with all this money, what are we getting?

The blunt answer is bureaucracy and inefficiency. Here are some excerpts I shared years ago from a column by Robert Samuelson.

There are 9 times more clerical workers in health care than there are physicians, and twice as many clerical workers as registered nurses. This investment has not paid off in superior outcomes or better customer service, however. …Every analysis of medical care that has been done highlights the significant waste of resources in providing care. Consider a few examples: one study found that physicians spent on average of 142 hours annually interacting with health plans, at an estimated cost to practices of $68,274 per physician (Casalino et al., 2009). Another study found that 35 percent of nurses’ time in medical/surgical units of hospitals was spent on documentation (Hendrich et al., 2008).

Let’s close with a chart from a left-wing group that wants a single-payer system.

And this chart clearly makes a compelling case that the current approach in the United States is very wasteful.

For what it’s worth, I’m slightly skeptical about the veracity of the numbers. Why, for instance, would there be a sudden explosion of administrators starting about 1990?

But even if the data is overstated, I’m sure the numbers are still bad. We see the same thing in other areas of our economy where government-instigated third-party payer enables waste and featherbedding. Higher education is an especially shocking example.

The real issue is how to solve the problem. Our leftist friends think a single-payer health care system would solve the problem, but that would be akin to nationalizing grocery stores to deal with the inefficiencies created by food stamps and agriculture subsidies.

The real answer, as Julie Borowski explains in this video, is unraveling all the government interventions that caused the problem in the first place.

And if you want another video on the topic, here’s a Dutch expert making similar points. I also recommend this clever cartoon video that explains third-party payer. And this Reason video on how costs are lower when actual markets operate.

And if aren’t already numbed by lots of data, Mark Perry and Devon Herrick have more evidence of lower costs when third-party payer is reduced.

Republished from International Liberty.

Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute who specializes in fiscal policy, particularly tax reform, international tax competition, and the economic burden of government spending. He also serves on the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review.

Stock image of female doctor writing on whiteboard: Health care reform?... Image over white background

Real vs Fake Health Care Reform, and How to Tell the Difference by Jeffrey A. Tucker

You want to know why the “freedom caucus” has balked at passing the Trump-backed Ryancare health care proposal?

Because the package does not address the core problem of the existing system. They are leaning – correctly – on a brilliant insight from F.A. Hayek.

Let’s think this through.

What was the most fundamental problem with Obamacare? It attempted to set up an artificial market that lacked the most salient feature of markets: genuine competition. Real competition. I don’t mean teams struggling for control. I mean an institutional setting in which producers can innovate. They face free entry and exit. Their well-being depends on serving the consumer.Obamacare has flopped because it disabled what remained of the competitive system with defined benefits packages, mandates that everyone be covered, requirements that everyone must purchase, and geographic limits on service provision. All these together took health care out of the realm of markets and made it a form of central planning.

And so: Obamacare resulted in soaring premiums, soaring deductibles, shoddy access, and ever-increasing bureaucracy. It became untenable. Objecting to it doesn’t have to be a matter of ideology. The contraption just didn’t work.

The core insight of the “freedom caucus” comes from Hayek and his fascinating piece “The Meaning of Competition”:

It is only through competition that we can assume that these possible savings of cost will be achieved. Even if in each instance prices were only just low enough to keep out producers which do not enjoy these or other equivalent advantages, so that each commodity were produced as cheaply as possible, though many may be sold at prices considerably above costs, this would probably be a result which could not be achieved by any other method than that of letting competition operate …

Yet the current tendency in discussion is to be intolerant about the imperfections and to be silent about the prevention of competition. We can probably still learn more about the real significance of competition by studying the results which regularly occur where competition is deliberately suppressed than by concentrating on the shortcomings of actual competition compared with an ideal which is irrelevant for the given facts.

I say advisedly “where competition is deliberately suppressed” and not merely “where it is absent,” because its main effects are usually operating, even if more slowly, so long as it is not outright suppressed with the assistance or the tolerance of the state.

The evils which experience has shown to be the regular consequence of a suppression of competition are on a different plane from those which the imperfections of competition may cause. Much more serious than the fact that prices may not correspond to marginal cost is the fact that, with an entrenched monopoly, costs are likely to be much higher than is necessary …

Competition is essentially a process of the formation of opinion: by spreading information, it creates that unity and coherence of the economic system which we presuppose when we think of it as one market. It creates the views people have about what is best and cheapest, and it is because of it that people know at least as much about possibilities and opportunities as they in fact do. It is thus a process which involves a continuous change in the data and whose significance must therefore be completely missed by any theory which treats these data as constant.

Let me paraphrase and apply: no, there will not be a perfect world. Total freedom is not a political option right now. So what’s the priority for any reform? The most crucial institutions in any society are the signaling systems of prices that reflect existing knowledge and possibilities.

When those are malfunctioning, nothing else works. Costs go up, quality goes down, innovation stops, and the sector starts to atrophy.

Competition Restoration Means Health Care Restoration

The first priority is that competition must be restored through some measure of deregulation. The mandates must go. The pre-set benefits packages must die. Insurers must gain control over their business affairs and customers have to be able to shop and choose.

We must regain flexibility to inspire innovation and achieve profitability. This must happen or else premiums will keep going up. This is a requirement. Obamacare failed because it disabled the market. Any reform must restore that market. This is more important than any other feature of reform.Trumpcare or Ryancare or whatever you want to call it does not do that. It replaces a mandate to buy with a tax incentive to buy. Otherwise it leaves the problem of the absence of genuine competition in place. True, the alternative doesn’t do anything about the transfer of payments, but, if you follow Hayek, you know that these are less important to eliminate than are the barriers to competition.

The restoration of competition will discover for us things we do not know about service provision: treatments, plans, new institutional arrangements, new forms of insurance, new methods for serving the public. Competition will grow the market and make profitability the test of success or failure.

If that does not happen, premiums will keep increasing, quality will go down, access will continue to shrink, and public anger will grow as a result.

Now is the time. Again, it is not about ideology. It is about a system of health care insurance that actually works to serve the common good.

Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Content for the Foundation for Economic Education. He is also Chief Liberty Officer and founder of Liberty.me, Distinguished Honorary Member of Mises Brazil, research fellow at the Acton Institute, policy adviser of the Heartland Institute, founder of the CryptoCurrency Conference, member of the editorial board of the Molinari Review, an advisor to the blockchain application builder Factom, and author of five books. He has written 150 introductions to books and many thousands of articles appearing in the scholarly and popular press.

RELATED ARTICLE: Is Trump Sabotaging Obamacare? – POLITICO Magazine

RELATED VIDEO: Senator Rand Paul Doesn’t Want the GOP to Fail at Obamacare Replacement Plan.

EDITORS NOTE: Learn real skills from successful entrepreneurs at FEEcon: June 15-17 (Register by May 15).

House Freedom Caucus

It’s Fake News to Call the ‘Freedom Caucus’ the ‘Rebellious Far Right’ by Jeffrey A. Tucker

My hope is that this article will settle this nonsense once and for all. It won’t. Fake news outlets will persist as long as they are allowed to get away with it. It’s a smear and an outright lie but it goes on often, especially recently.

The Background

First of all, as you undoubtedly know, there is a faction within the House of Representatives gaining consciousness of the great task of our time: to get government out of the way of the productive forces of freedom, and to do this in every area of life. It is called the “Freedom Caucus,” and their influence just brought down the false alternative to Obamacare that preserved all its essential features.

Given the upheaval in the Republican Party, these people are developing a new understanding of themselves. They stood up to Trump. Clearly, they don’t exist on the common left/right spectrum.In how they handled the great Obamacare/Ryancare debacle, they should be called “libertarians,” because this is the word that has emerged to describe them in our times.

But more correctly, they should be called “liberals,” because they are the successors to the great cause of human liberation that began in the late Middle Ages, extended through the Enlightenment, drove the revolutions against power in the 18th century, ended slavery and the subjugation of women in the 19th century, and fought socialism and fascism in the 20th century. In the 21st century, they’ve championed digital innovation, privacy, and technological progress.

Here is good tutorial.

What They Believe

This group, which is undergoing a revival in many forms in our times, is trending toward being a consistent force of freedom. It’s not there just yet but the trend line is unmistakable and good. It’s not just about lower taxes, though they do desire that. They also want free trade, free migration as an ideal, free speech, deregulation, penal and prison reform, and an end to wars of all sorts. In short, they see the free society as the answer and government as the problem.

They have few connections to what is called the Left, except in areas like prison reform, drug decriminalization, and free speech. But neither do they share the values of the emergent far Right we’re seeing in Europe or the United States. They reject authoritarians of all sorts, which is why they are not reliable friends of the Trump administration. They will back him when he is right but fight him when he is wrong. They are independent in this way, recognizing that both Right and Left are forms of statist ideology, two flavors of the same cause.They are often called “conservatives” in American political lexicon, and sometimes they too have to embrace this term because it has resonance with the media and the voters. But they don’t like it, and it doesn’t really describe them. They do not want to conserve any old habits of government. They want government out of the way precisely so market forces and society in general can discover new and better ways of doing things.

Now, having described the Freedom Caucus in the House as best I can, consider what the New York Times says. The article “Trump Becomes Ensnared in Fiery G.O.P. Civil War” is by Glenn Thrush (twitter.com/GlennThrush) and Maggie Haberman (twitter.com/maggieNYT). Here is what they write:

In stopping the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the Republican Party’s professed priority for the last seven years, the rebellious far Right wing of his party out-rebelled Mr. Trump, and won a major victory on Friday over the party establishment that he now leads.

You see that? The “rebellious far Right wing.”

The Real Far Right

Any reader would equate that designation with Marine Le Pen in France, Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, the Golden Dawn in Greece, Jobbik in Hungary, Norbert Hofer in Austria, and so on. Actually, you can read all about the rise of the far Right in Europe in a very authoritative source: the New York Times, in an article published only a few months ago.

Their policies are by now predictable. They want protectionism, restricted immigration, some form of industrial economic planning, a strong welfare safety net, and, very often, they favor national health care systems.In fact, even in the United States, the most highly-trafficked Nazi website (please forgive me for not linking) came out with a front page editorial on the day of the Republican vote that came out explicitly for nationalized health insurance.

These policies are not pro-freedom. They have more in common with an interwar-style fascism. Most people who hang out on Twitter know them well. They are masters of the troll, self-proclaimed edge lords who tweet racist, anti-semitic, and nativist slogans and memes all day and all night. There are whole packages of software designed to block them.

Libertarianism is different, very different, from the alt-right, the far Right, the fascist right, the Nazi right, and so on.

Rebellious, Yes; Far Right, No

With health care, in particular, you see a striking difference. The Freedom Caucus opposed the Trump/Ryan plan because it preserved the statist features of Obamacare. It did not introduce market competition. They knew, as a matter of personal conviction and experience, that the replacement would not work. They acted out of principle but also out of a genuine knowledge of the sector, what has broken it, and how it must be fixed.

These reporters really must find a way to clean up their language, or risk sowing a very dangerous confusion. It is ridiculously misleading to persist in these old habits of describing any non-Leftist as associated with the “far Right.” It smacks of propaganda. These reporters have to do better if they want to describe the emergent liberal faction of the Republican party with any accuracy.On a personal note, I adore the New York Times. I read it thoroughly every day. I don’t agree with it, but I find it an indispensable source of news. I would like to see the ideological reporting of this paper improve.

If you tweet to these reporters, please be nice. No trolling. They are human beings. They are trying to do their best. They just need a bit of help. It is crucial they get this right.

Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Content for the Foundation for Economic Education. He is also Chief Liberty Officer and founder of Liberty.me, Distinguished Honorary Member of Mises Brazil, research fellow at the Acton Institute, policy adviser of the Heartland Institute, founder of the CryptoCurrency Conference, member of the editorial board of the Molinari Review, an advisor to the blockchain application builder Factom, and author of five books. He has written 150 introductions to books and many thousands of articles appearing in the scholarly and popular press.

RELATED ARTICLE: Is Trump Sabotaging Obamacare? – POLITICO Magazine

RELATED VIDEO: Senator Rand Paul Doesn’t Want the GOP to Fail at Obamacare Replacement Plan.

EDITORS NOTE: Learn real skills from successful entrepreneurs at FEEcon: June 15-17 (Register by May 15).

Inverted-Hawaiian-Flag

‘Sanctuary State?’—Hawaii Dems Pass Toothless Resolution to Fool Base

By Andrew Walden…

dph_joinus1A resolution urging city and county police to refuse to help federal agencies deport illegal immigrants was approved by a key House committee Thursday, but the leading sponsor of the measure said it isn’t meant to make Hawaii a “sanctuary” state.

House Judiciary Committee Vice Chairwoman Joy San Buenaventura said she introduced House Concurrent Resolution 125 at the request of a group called Hawaii J20+, which has been lobbying lawmakers to make Hawaii a “hookipa” or welcoming state for immigrants.

The resolution asks the city and counties in Hawaii to refrain from spending any state or local funds under any agreement that would make local law enforcement a partner with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the purposes of immigration enforcement.

It also urges local law enforcement authorities to refuse to engage in any other law enforcement activities “that collaborate with ICE or any other federal law enforcement agency in connection with the deportation of undocumented immigrants who have not been convicted of committing a violent crime.”

The House Judiciary Committee approved the measure with little discussion, and only Rep. Bob McDermott voted against it.

“I am concerned that this is nothing but a thinly veiled poke in the president’s eye about being a sanctuary city,” said McDermott (R, Ewa Beach-Iroquois Point). “We are a welcoming state, we welcome everybody, but they gotta come here legally. There’s a rule of law.”…

San Buenaventura said the resolution “walks a fine line” but stops short of designating Hawaii as a sanctuary state, and will not result in punishment for the state.

“It is a policy. We haven’t actually done anything in furtherance of that, other than to say this is what we believe the policy of the state of Hawaii should be,” she said.

A spokeswoman for the Honolulu Police Department said in a written statement the department wants the public to know its officers do not actively participate in immigration enforcement, and the department does not keep immigration data.

“All HPD arrests are based on suspected criminal activity, not immigration violations,” according to the statement. “However, there are occasions when federal authorities, such as the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, will request that an individual who has been arrested by HPD be transferred to federal custody. This occurs infrequently as immigration enforcement is primarily a federal function, but we do honor specific requests when made by federal authorities.”

Hawaii island police Maj. Sam Thomas said in an interview he believes the resolution is “somewhat shortsighted.” Thomas cited the case of undocumented immigrant Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who allegedly shot 32-year-old Katie Steinle on a San Francisco pier in 2015….

BB: Trump’s Laptop Ban Is Proof His Hands Aren’t Tied, Hawaii Says

read … Democrat Base is Easily Fooled

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The Left’s Sanctuary Cities Hurt Americans’ Safety

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baby

In California, Florida and Illinois 50% of all babies are born on Medicaid

Terence P. Jeffrey in his March 24th, 2017 column In 24 States, 50% or More of Babies Born on Medicaid; New Mexico Leads Nation With 72% writes:

In 24 of the nation’s 50 states at least half of the babies born during the latest year on record had their births paid for by Medicaid, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

New Mexico led all states with 72 percent of the babies born there in 2015 having their births covered by Medicaid.

[ … ]

In California, Florida and Illinois, for example, 50 percent of all babies were born on Medicaid in the latest year on record.

Read more…

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) report Implementing Coverage and Payment Initiatives: Results from a 50-State Medicaid Budget Survey for State Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017:

Medicaid has become one of the nation’s most important health care programs, now providing health insurance coverage to more than one in five Americans, and accounting for over one-sixth of all U.S. health care expenditures. [Emphasis added]

The KFF report concludes that, “Medicaid programs now play a significant leadership role in the health care systems in every state.”

Kaiser Family Foundation published a map showing the percentage of babies by state who are born on Medicaid:

babies born medicaid by state

You may view a chart with the details of each states births paid for by Medicaid by clicking here.

american_health_care_actMedicaid reform is much needed and will be part of the next version of the House of Representatives American Health Care Act (AHCA). The AHCA website lists 8 Need-To-Know Facts About the AHCA, one of which addresses Medicaid:

6. Modernizes and strengthens Medicaid by transitioning to a “per capita allotment” so states can better serve the patients most in need.

KFF gave this analysis of “per capita allotment” contained in a previous House Republican Healthcare Plan:

The House Republican Plan (“A Better Way”) released on June 22, 2016, includes a proposal to convert federal Medicaid financing from an open-ended entitlement to a per capita allotment or a block grant (based on a state choice).

This proposal is part of a larger package designed to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and reduce federal spending for health care.  Often tied to deficit reduction, proposals to convert Medicaid’s financing structure to a per capita cap or block grant have been proposed before.

Such changes represent a fundamental change in the financing structure of the program with major implications for beneficiaries, providers, states and localities.

Read more…

There was a time in America when babies were paid for by their families. Perhaps it is time for government to get out of the baby funding business and let families take control?

homosexuality

VIDEO: Homosexuality — The gay lifestyle is a source of suffering, not authentic happiness

The Church Militant published a column by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th. titled The Plight of Homosexuals, and the Way Out. Eli reports:

New studies are showing that people living a gay lifestyle along with any children they adopt are suffering. So why tell them there’s no hope of ever changing?

Studies reveal that active homosexuals are 2–10 times more likely to commit suicide than straight people. Other studies found openly gay men are more likely to suffer from depression than heterosexual men. Still more studies show up to three quarters of men involved in the gay lifesty[e]s are plagued by anxiety, depression and substance abuse.

During a survey of HIV clinics, one care provider told researchers, “It’s not a question of them not knowing how to save their lives. It’s a question of them knowing if their lives are worth saving.”

The below Church Militant video titled “Homosexuality”, published in February 2013, recognizes that persons with same sex attractions deserve our respect and compassion. But the militant gay movement’s message that “gay” is good is completely false. This lie is confusing society and hurting the individuals themselves.

Peter Sprigg, after doing extensive background research on homosexuality, published his findings in a pamphlet titled, “The Top Ten Myths About Homosexuality.” The following is a list of these myths promoted by homosexual groups.

Myth No. 1: People are born gay.

Fact: The research does not show that anyone is “born gay,” and suggests instead that homosexuality results from a complex mix of developmental factors.

Myth No. 2: Sexual orientation can never change.

Fact: Thousands of men and women have testified to experiencing a change in their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. Research confirms that such change does occur—sometimes spontaneously, and sometimes as a result of therapeutic interventions.

Myth No. 3: Efforts to change someone’s sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual are harmful and unethical.

Fact: There is no scientific evidence that change efforts create greater harm than the homosexual lifestyle itself. The real ethical violation is when clients are denied the opportunity to set their own goals
for therapy.

Myth No. 4: Ten percent of the population is gay.

Fact: Less than three percent of American adults identify themselves as homosexual or bisexual.

Myth No. 5: Homosexuals do not experience a higher level of psychological disorders than heterosexuals.

Fact: Homosexuals experience considerably higher levels of mental illness and substance abuse than heterosexuals. A detailed review of the research has shown that “no other group of comparable size in society experiences such intense and widespread pathology.”

Myth No. 6: Homosexual conduct is not harmful to one’s physical health.

Fact: Both because of high-risk behavior patterns, such as sexual promiscuity, and because of the harm to the body from specific sexual acts, homosexuals are at greater risk than heterosexuals for sexually transmitted diseases and other forms of illness and injury.

Myth No. 7: Children raised by homosexuals are no different from children raised by heterosexuals, nor do they suffer harm.

Fact: An overwhelming body of social science research shows that children do best when raised by their own biological mother and father who are committed to one another in a lifelong marriage. Research specifically on children of homosexuals has major methodological problems, but does show specific differences.

Myth No. 8: Homosexuals are no more likely to molest children than heterosexuals.

Fact: The percentage of child sexual abuse cases in which men molest boys is many times higher than the percentage of adult males who are homosexual, and most men who molest boys self-identify as homosexual or bisexual.

Myth No. 9: Homosexuals are seriously disadvantaged by discrimination.

Fact: Research shows that homosexuals actually have significantly higher levels of educational attainment than the general public, while the findings on homosexual incomes are, at worst, mixed.

Myth No. 10: Homosexual relationships are just the same as heterosexual ones, except for the gender of the partners.

Fact: Homosexuals are less likely to enter into a committed relationship, less likely to be sexually faithful to a partner, even if they have one, and are less likely to remain committed for a lifetime, than are heterosexuals. They also experience higher rates of domestic violence than heterosexual married couples.

To read the full background on  each myth please click here to download a free copy of Sprigg’s findings

ABOUT PETER SPRIGG

Peter Sprigg is Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at Family Research Council in Washington, D. C. and the co-author of Getting It Straight: What the Research Shows about Homosexuality and author of Outrage: How Gay Activists and Liberal Judges are Trashing Democracy to Redefine Marriage.

Political correctness when it comes to sexuality harms and even destroys lives. It is not compassionate to allow one to harm oneself. It is compassionate to stop one from harming oneself.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of Church Militant.

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Refugee Resettlement is ‘Changing America by changing the people!’

This story at WRAL.com is meant to be one of those warm and fuzzy stories about ‘welcoming’ refugees (and diversity) to a southern city and how mean old Donald Trump has slowed their progress in changing Durham.

The last line of the story by reporter Tess Allen is the most instructive:

A new community is being built in Durham, one that is constantly evolving, one with a mix of faces, languages and cultures. And World Relief Durham and its volunteers plan to be there every step of the way.

Turning red states blue by seeding diversity. Map showing where all of North Carolina’s refugees came from in 2016.

Here are a few bits worth highlighting:

World Relief depends on federal funding for the majority of their financing. They receive a per capita grant dependent on the number of refugees coming into their area. That money helps support the agencies’ offices, staff and, mostly, the refugees themselves.

Matthew Soerens

With the dramatic decrease in refugee arrivals that would accompany the reinstatement of this order, World Relief’s funding will drop equally dramatically. The Durham office, for example, will lose one-fourth of its federal funding, or about $250,000 a year. Nationwide, five World Relief offices will close and 140 staff members will be laid off.

[….]

Soerens [Matthew Soerens, World Relief’s U.S. director of church mobilization] also said that the loss of funding is why it’s increasingly important for their Good Neighbor teams to help refugees find jobs. World Relief can no longer afford to cover rent for families for more than a couple of months.

Wasn’t finding refugees a job a top priority all along? Or, it didn’t matter so much when they were flush with federal dollars.

Is Soerens saying that, because they (at World Relief) need to pay their staffs and keep offices open, they are going to be stingy about refugee rent going forward? Sounds like it to me.

If you feel like reading all the good news about good neighbors, continue reading here.

For our complete archive on changing North Carolinago here.  See especially my post on the 2016 Presidential election.

For more on World Relief’s finances, go here.

See what else Soerens said by clicking here.

RELATED COLUMNS: 

Comment worth noting: It might be too late for some American communities

Democrats put Nebraska voter registration forms in refugee welcome baskets

Not everyone in the Jewish community thinks it is wise to import Middle Eastern Muslims to U.S.

Here we go again, refugee numbers jump, 342 since Wednesday

In 24 States, 50% or More of Babies Born on Medicaid; New Mexico Leads Nation With 72%

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Four-time Deported Illegal Alien MS-13 Gang Member Sexually Assaults 2-Year Old Girl

The Center for Immigration Studies lists sanctuary cities and counties in the United States. Among them is Nassau County, New York.

Jurisdiction: Nassau County, New York
Date Enacted: June 2017
Policy: County Sheriff’s Office Decision
Criteria For Honoring Detainer: Will not honor ICE detainer without a warrant.
Declined Detainers from 1/28/17 to 2/3/17:
Notable Criminal Convictions:
Source: ICE Document

Tommy Vladim Alvarado-Ventura POLICE PHOTO

Tommy Vladim Alvarado-Ventura

100 Percent Fedup Reports:

Nassau County [New York] cops busted a Long Island man who was previously deported four times and went on a sick five-hour alcohol-fueled rampage, allegedly sexually abusing a 2-year-old girl and stabbing his girlfriend and a second woman before passing out, officials said.

MS-13 gang member Tommy Vladim Alvarado-Ventura, 31, had been deported multiple times since 2006 before the shocking attacks that started late Tuesday, but kept coming back.

Alvarado-Ventura began the violent spree by allegedly abusing the toddler sometime after 11:30 p.m. Tuesday in Hempstead — while a 4-year-old boy and another tenant were in the Fulton Ave. apartment.With the 2-year-old crying, Alvarado-Ventura stormed out of the home and went eight blocks to the El Mariachi Lounge.

He was there drinking for two hours, when he got into an argument with a 24-year-old woman over a marijuana sale at about 2:20 a.m., officials said.

The woman walked out of the bar and Alvarado-Ventura followed her in a rear parking lot, officials said. He punched and kicked her, then pulled a knife and stabbed her repeatedly. The woman suffered a collapsed lung, among other injuries.

Read more..

The County Commission and Sheriff of Nassau County are potentially culpable in protecting this illegal alien pedophile MS-13 gang member. You reap what you have sown.

RELATED ARTICLE: Long Island gang member, deported four times, busted for sexually assaulting 2-year-old girl and stabbing two women

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Judge Sides With Trump Administration, Refuses To Block Travel Ban

“The injunction had been brought forward by Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour, who was represented by an attorney from the Council on American-Islamic Relations.”

What is the endgame of people such as Linda Sarsour and groups such as Hamas-CAIR, in seeking an injunction to prevent the President from protecting the American people from Islamic jihadists?

“Judge Sides With Trump Administration, Refuses To Block Travel Ban,” by Alex Pfeiffer, Daily Caller, March 24, 2017 (thanks to Todd):

A federal judge in Virginia ruled Friday against blocking President Trump’s executive order that called for temporarily stopping the entry of immigrants from six majority-Muslim nations and refugee admittance overall.

The decision against the injunction comes after federal judges in Maryland and Hawaii blocked the implementation of Trump’s executive order nationwide. The ruling in Maryland is set to be heard before an appeals court in May. These two past decisions keep the order at bay.

Judge Anthony Trenga of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia found that Trump was within his legal rights to impose the travel ban and that it was not discriminatory toward Muslims. The injunction had been brought forward by Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour, who was represented by an attorney from the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Trenga, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote in his opinion that “the President has unqualified authority to bar physical entry to the United States at the border.” He said that the executive order makes no mention of religion and has a “state secular purpose” of protecting U.S. citizens from terrorist attacks.

The Hawaiian federal judge who knocked down the executive order cited past statements from Trump on the campaign trail talking about a “Muslim ban.” Judge Trenga, however, wrote, “In that regard, the Supreme Court has held that ‘past actions [do not] forever taint any effort on [the government’s] part to deal with the subject matter.’”

A Department of Justice spokeswoman said in a statement, “The Department of Justice is pleased with the ruling. As the Court correctly explains, the President’s Executive Order falls well within his authority to safeguard the nation’s security.”…

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Geller Report.

syrian kurd women fighters

Will Syria’s Kurds join with Israel and the U.S.?

kurdnasLogoHiSherkoh Abbas , President of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria (KURDNAS), raised in  a recent Jns.com article the tantalizing prospect of a Kurdish- Israel- US Alliance to complete the work of destroying the Islamic State, “Are Syrian Kurds the missing ingredient in the West’s recipe to defeat Islamic State?” The thoughts expressed in this article reflect a recent conversation the author held with Sherkoh Abbas and Dr. Mordechai Nisan, author of  Minorities in the Middle East: A History of Struggle and Self-Expression.

The Kurds have earned political and military capital in both Iraq and Syria as the most effective boots on the ground combating the extremist Salafism of the Islamic State. This largest non Arab ethnic group in the Middle East has long been denied the promised statehood at the Versailles conference of 1919 that ended the First World War and the Lausanne Treaty of 1923 that established the modern Republic of Turkey.

Nevertheless, the Kurds have been resilient despite numerous tragic setbacks in their history over the past century. The establishment of a no fly zone in northern Iraq under US auspices led to the creation the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and its much praised fighting force, the Peshmerga.

Further, it demonstrated the capabilities of the Kurds to govern themselves, overcoming internal differences and external geo- political threats from a hegemonic Iran and the Ba’athist regime of the late Saddam Hussein. Having vast energy resources helped to fuel the KRG’s development. KRG’s Peshmerga exemplary role in the current battle to retake Mosul from the Islamic State, in coordination with Iraqi national security and US forces, demonstrated its proficiency. Its humanity was demonstrated providing safe havens for Yazidis, Chaldean Christians and other ethnic non Muslim minorities that brought the KRG global recognition and respect.

On the surface the situation in Syrian Kurdistan, while complicated, has the potential for fostering the development of an autonomous Kurdish region extending across northern Syria from the KRG frontier to the Mediterranean, despite the objections of Erdogan’s Turkey.

We only have to look at recent actions by both Russia and the US. Russia and the YPG concluded an arrangement potentially protecting the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in Northwest Syria. Further, Russian meetings with Syrian Kurdish representatives in Moscow have evinced Kremlin interest in a federalized Syria in any agreement to end the seven year civil war with the Assad regime. After WWII, the Russians established a short-lived Kurdish Republic in Mahabad, Iran.  US Army Brig. General (ret.) Ernie Audino in our December 2015 New English Review interview, “No War Against ISIS Without the Kurds”, noted that history:

The well-educated and well-respected Qazi Muhammad was elected to serve as president of the Mahabad Republic, history’s first and only sovereign, Kurdish state. Knowing he needed a capable army to protect the state he requested help from the great Kurdish nationalist, Mustafa Barzani, who showed up with 5,000 of his peshmerga. During this period, a son was born to Barzani who named him, Masud. That son is now Masud Barzani, the current President of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq.

The U.S. has acted as an umpire between Turkish forces of President Erdogan and Islamist Sunni opposition militia from entering Manbij, liberated by the YPG on the west bank of the Euphrates River.

Moreover, the US sent a message to Ankara that it was backing the YPG led Syrian Democratic Force in the battle to retake the Islamic State administrative capital of Raqqa. The Pentagon has dispatched a US Marine artillery unit. It also alerted a reinforced brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division for possible deployment in Syria.

On the political side of the Syrian Kurdish conundrum there is the daunting task of unifying the tribes, political parties, and the Kurdish National Council.

As Sherkoh Abbas of KURDNAS has pointed out that will require the delinking of the YPG/PYD leadership from outreach and involvement with the PKK, the Assad regime, Iran’s Qods Force, and its proxy, the Iraqi Hashd Shiite Popular Mobilization Force militia. There are indications that the YPG/PYD might consider doing this if there were US, Russian and potentially, Israeli auspices.

Israeli PM Netanyahu, a year and a half ago, issued a statement supporting the establishment of an independent Kurdish state in the region; welcomed by the Kurdish communities.

The benefits would include having a reliable ally in a post Assad Syria with both political and military capacities and a secure source of oil to meet the Jewish nation’s growing domestic and regional demand.

Israel has to take an important step to achieve these desirable results. It has to reach out to both the Syrian Kurds and the Trump Administration to recognize the significant Kurdish role in the final destruction of the Islamic State threatening the security of Israel’s northern Golan frontier.

If that succeeds then both the US and Israel would have an important stable alliance with the largest non Arab ethnic polity in the troubled Middle East.  With the defeat of the Islamic State, that would turn attention to reining in the threat posed by a hegemonic Iran. With the possibility of a triple entente composed of both Iraqi and Syrian Kurdistans, Israel and the US, it raises the future prospect of fostering regime change in Tehran giving rise to the aspirations for autonomy of minorities in Iran- the Kurds, Azeri, Ahwaz and Baluch.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

islamism1

VIDEO: The Holy War in London — Islam versus Islamism

 Quran versus 2: 191-193 reads:

And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.

And if they cease, then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] worship is [acknowledged to be] for Allah . But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors.

Jihad, “A struggle or fight against the enemies of Islam.”

In this video we explain how the London jihadist attack on March 22, 2017 indicates the beginning of the beginning of increased low-tech, Muslim attacks against the West.

The Islamic State along with Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations are developing an operational methodology through the use of the internet that unleashes jihadi fighters in the streets of civilized Western countries.

We maintain that the West, in particular America, must work ceaselessly to delegitimize the ideological foundation of the comprehensive political/theocratic system we know as Islam.

In order to effectively name the enemy and fight the enemy at its core, it is essential to clear up the confusion between the use of the terms, Islam and Islamism. Until that controversial issue is resolved, the West is at a deadly disadvantage in this epic battle between good and evil.

RELATED ARTICLES:

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Comfortable, affluent life of Westminter jihadi

Italy: ANOTHER VEHICULAR JIHAD ATTACK as Muslim Migrant Drives at Police, Stabs Officer

Democrats put Nebraska voter registration forms in refugee welcome baskets

UK Arrests 11 Other Muslims over London Attack

neil gorsuch

Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Embraces Heller and Originalism During Senate Hearings

Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, President Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme court, asserted during his confirmation hearings this week that Scalia’s landmark Second Amendment opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller “guarantees the individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.”

Gorsuch made the comment during an exchange with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who was trying to goad him into agreeing with the anti-gun opinion recently issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (see story at this link).

He refused to take the bait, however, telling her,

“Well, it’s not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing, Senator, respectfully it’s a matter of it being the law. And — and my job is to apply and enforce the law.”

Throughout his hearings, Gorsuch deftly answered questions about his judicial philosophy and parried on inquiries that would have required him to prejudge legal issues that he could face as a Supreme Court justice.

His answers made clear, however, that he would staunchly defend Americans’ constitutional rights, including the Second Amendment.

They also reinforced his belief in Justice Scalia’s signature technique of constitutional interpretation known as originalism. This methodology focuses on the actual words of constitutional provisions as they would have been publicly understood at the time of their enactment.

This approaches ensures that the inalienable rights recognized at the founding cannot later be declared null and void by judges who might consider them outdated or counterproductive in the modern world.

As Justice Scalia put it in Heller:

A constitutional guarantee subject to future judges’ assessments of its usefulness is no constitutional guarantee at all. Constitutional rights are enshrined with the scope they were understood to have when the people adopted them, whether or not future legislatures or (yes) even future judges think that scope too broad.

Gorsuch paid homage to Justice Scalia in his opening statement at the hearings. Calling Scalia a “mentor,” Gorsuch stated, “He reminded us that words matter. That the judge’s job is to follow the words that are in the law, not replace them with those that aren’t.”

He also invoked the words of Alexander Hamilton:

“Liberty can have … nothing to fear from judges who apply the law. But liberty has everything to fear if judges try to legislate, too.”

President Trump promised to appoint Supreme Court justices who would respect constitutional rights, including the Second Amendment, and who would faithfully apply the law.

Judge Gorsuch embodies those ideals, and his performance this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee gives every indication he will soon get to exercise them as a U.S. Supreme Court justice.

And when he does, all Americans – including gun owners – will be better off as a result.

A picture taken on January 20, 2017 shows the exterior of the US Embassy building in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv, coinciding with the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States.
Outgoing US President Barack Obama warned his successor against any "sudden, unilateral moves" on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in an apparent reference to his plan to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. / AFP / JACK GUEZ        (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

VIDEO DOCUMENTARY: Move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem!

We detail an investigative documentary that The United West film team will be producing in Israel on their national security mission, May 20-30, 2017.

RELATED VIDEO: Israelis react to possible U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem by CBS News. Moving embassy to Jerusalem is “the moral thing to do.”

EDITORS NOTE: If you are interesting in coming to Israel with Tom, check out all details on the web site http://tt.heritagestudyprograms.com/. If you are interested in helping fund this important film project, please contact Mary@TheUnitedWest.org.