China's Wealthy Flee Country; Delaware Tops in Economic Freedom

Sunday, 05 Jan 2014 01:44 PM

By Ronald Kessler

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Severe Doctor Shortage Looms Under Obamacare
2. China's Wealthy Are Fleeing the Country
3. Record Number of Abortion Clinics Closed in 2013
4. Israeli Lawmakers Petition for Jonathan Pollard's Release
5. Delaware Is Best State for Economic Freedom
6. Tiger Woods Highest-Paid Athlete Again
 

1. Severe Doctor Shortage Looms Under Obamacare

Millions more Americans are expected to seek medical treatment under Obamacare, but many are likely to have difficulty finding easy access to a doctor.

As it stands now, 20 percent of Americans live in areas with an insufficient number of primary care physicians, and 30 percent live in areas that are short of mental health providers.

In two states, Louisiana and Mississippi, more than half the population lives in an area with too few healthcare providers to serve people's medical needs, according to Stateline, a publication of the Pew Charitable Trusts.

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) predicts that there could be a shortage of 45,000 primary care doctors in the United States by 2020, and a shortfall of 46,000 specialists.

To make matters worse, many primary care doctors do not accept Medicaid patients due to low reimbursement rates, and many of those who are newly insured under Obamacare will be covered through Medicaid.

Christine Mitchell, director of federal affairs for AAMC, said many of the estimated 36 million people expected to gain coverage under Obamacare will endure long waits to see a doctor in their community or need to travel far from home for medical care elsewhere.

Stateline cited several factors contributing to the looming doctor shortage. Due to the aging of the boomer generation, the number of Americans over 65 will grow by about 36 percent in the next 10 years. But the federal government estimates that the number of doctors will rise by just 7 percent.

Many doctors in the boomer generation will retire. And fewer medical students are opting for primary care in favor of specialties.

"A steady stream of negative attention has made medicine in general a far less attractive career choice than it once was," Stateline noted. "Insurance headaches, pricey technologies, long hours and the risk of liability have convinced many talented students to eschew medicine as a career choice."

A shortage of dentists is likely in the coming years as well. Obamacare has made pediatric dental care coverage a requirement for all insurance, which will be provided to as many as 8.7 million children by 2018, far outstripping America's capacity for producing new dentists.

Allowing mid-level medical providers, including physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and dental aides, to perform some of the work usually reserved for doctors and dentists could improve healthcare access in the long run.

But Linda Rosenberg, president of the National Council for Behavioral Health, said, "In the meantime, people are going to suffer."

Editor's Note:



2. China's Wealthy Are Fleeing the Country

Wealthy Chinese are sending hundreds of billions of dollars to overseas destinations — and many are following their money to another country.

China's rich now have about $658 billion in offshore assets, according to WealthInsight. And half of China's super-wealthy, those with at least $16 million, reportedly have investments overseas.

Rich Chinese buyers bought more than $8 billion worth of residential real estate in the United States alone in the year that ended in March.

And a study by Bank of China and Hurun, a firm that tracks China's rich, found that more than half of China's millionaires are considering moving to another country or have already taken steps to do so.

"Many experts say the wealthy are moving to protect their wealth, their health, and their families," CNBC reported. "With China increasingly cracking down on ill-gotten gains and corruption, many of the politically connected wealthy are looking for safer havens abroad.

"They are also looking for better environments for their children, with better schools and cleaner air."

As of November, China had 157 billionaires, with an average age of 53 — nine years below the global average.

Many of these wealthy Chinese are "anxious," NPR observed, "because income inequality is staggering, corruption systemic, and public protests a daily occurrence."

Oliver Hua, who does market research for Western companies in China, said that in China, "You get rich working with the government. If you don't work with the government, you may get nothing and you may lose everything. That probably is the most dangerous situation."

One study found that 17 percent of the billionaires on the Hurun Rich List — China's version of the Forbes list — wind up in court or in prison.

Editor's Note:



3. Record Number of Abortion Clinics Closed in 2013

A record number of abortion clinics shut their doors in 2013, including 87 surgical abortion clinics, according to a report from Operation Rescue.

The number of surgical abortion clinics remaining in the United States now stands at 582, a 12 percent net decrease for the year and a 73 percent drop from a high of 2,176 in 1991.

Of the 87 surgical abortion clinics that closed in 2013, 81 are permanently shuttered and six halted surgical abortions but continued to sell the abortion pill.

Six abortion-pill-only clinics closed in 2013, leaving 176 that remain open and bringing the total number of clinic closures to 93 for the year.

A report from Bloomberg News in November, when at least 73 clinics had already closed, stated: "New laws are responsible for roughly half of the closures, while declining demand, industry consolidation, and crackdowns on unfit providers have also contributed to the drop."

Texas is the state with the most closures, 11; most of those facilities were shut down after Texas passed a law requiring those performing abortions to maintain local hospital privileges.

Operation Rescue also disclosed that Planned Parenthood clinics account for about 29 percent of all active surgical abortion clinics and 93 percent of the clinics that offer only the abortion pill.

"After the 2010 midterm elections, conservative gains resulted in a wave of pro-life legislation flooding statehouses across America," said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue.

"The numbers don't lie. A 73 percent drop in surgical abortion clinics is a significant loss. We are witnessing the death throes of the abortion cartel."

Editor's Note:



4. Israeli Lawmakers Petition for Jonathan Pollard's Release

A petition signed by 106 members of Israel's Knesset calls for the release of Jonathan Pollard, who is serving a life sentence in a U.S. prison for spying for Israel.

The petition was presented to Israeli President Shimon Peres on Wednesday by a free-Pollard caucus headed by members of both the Likud Party and the Labor Party. They urged Peres to pass along the petition to President Barack Obama.

"It is both a right and a duty for me to bring before the president of the United States the request to free Jonathan Pollard which comes with agreement from across the political spectrum," Peres said in a statement. "As president it is my clear responsibility to voice such clear consensus."

Pollard was charged with spying for Israel while working as a civilian intelligence analyst, and is in the 29th year of a life sentence. He is incarcerated in a federal prison in North Carolina and is eligible for parole in November 2015, but Pollard is said to be suffering from health problems, the Jewish Daily Forward reported.

Secretary of State John Kerry, who arrived in Israel on Thursday, may agree to free Pollard as part of a deal to free Palestinian prisoners in Israel amid Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, according to Israeli press reports.

But it is not known what price Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might be willing to pay in exchange for Pollard's release.

Editor's Note:



5. Delaware Is Best State for Economic Freedom

Delaware is the "most free" American state in terms of economic policies, but the most free jurisdictions in North America are not in the United States, according to a new study.

Dean Stansel, a professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, and Fred McMahon of the Fraser Institute measured a variety of components to determine economic freedom levels.

They include size of government, discriminatory taxation, regulation, the legal system and property rights, sound money policy, and freedom to trade internationally.

According to their study Economic Freedom of North America, published by the Fraser Institute, the province of Alberta, Canada, ranks highest for freedom, followed by the province of Saskatchewan. Delaware is third, followed by Texas and Nevada.

Other U.S. states in the top 10 states and provinces are Wyoming, South Dakota, and Colorado.

New Mexico is the least free U.S. state, followed by West Virginia. Other states in the bottom 10 are Mississippi, Vermont, Maine, Kentucky, Montana, Arkansas, Hawaii, and Rhode Island.

Those 10 states have an average per-capita GDP that is nearly $10,000 less than the other 40 states — $40,014 compared to $49,355.

Looking only at state and local government restrictions and omitting federal restrictions, the authors found that Alberta still ranks No. 1 for economic freedom, followed by South Dakota, Tennessee, Delaware, and Texas. The lowest-ranking U.S. states are New York and Vermont.

Editor's Note:



6. Tiger Woods Highest-Paid Athlete Again

After a one-year hiatus, golfer Tiger Woods once again tops Forbes' list of the 100 highest-paid athletes.

Woods received $13.1 million in salary and winnings and $65 million from endorsements between June 1, 2012, and June 1, 2013, for a total of $78.1 million. He has deals with Nike and Rolex. Endorsements include sponsorship deals, appearance fees, and licensing fees for the 12-month period.

Woods was No. 3 on the previous list behind boxers Floyd Mayweather, who earned $85 million from two bouts, and Manny Pacquiao ($62 million). Woods brought in $59.4 million.

No. 2 on the new list is tennis player Roger Federer, who earned $6.5 million in winnings and $65 million from endorsements (total $71.5 million).

Two NBA basketball players are next. Kobe Bryant earned $27.9 in salary and $34 million from endorsements (total $61.9 million), and LeBron James earned $17.8 million in salary and $42 million from endorsements ($59.8 million).

No. 5 Drew Brees is the highest-paid football player. He earned $40 million in salary and $11 million from endorsements.

Rounding out the top 10 are football player Aaron Rodgers ($49 million total), golfer Phil Mickelson ($48.7 million), soccer player David Beckham, who announced his retirement in May ($47.2 million), and soccer players Cristiano Ronaldo ($44 million) and Lionel Messi ($41 million).

Forbes has been tracking athletes' earnings since 1990 when boxer Mike Tyson ranked No. 1 with total income of $28.6 million. That would rank No. 25 on the new list.

"Athletes are richer than ever thanks to skyrocketing television revenues and a two-decade stadium building boom," Forbes observed.

Baseball players are the most numerous on the top 100 list with 27 players, although top baseball earner Alex Rodriguez is only No. 18. Baseball is followed by basketball (21 players), football (13), and soccer (12).

Two cricket players are on the list at No. 16 and No. 51, and track star Usain Bolt is No. 40.

Americans dominate the rankings with 63 athletes.

The highest-paid woman on the list is tennis star Maria Sharapova at No. 22. She earned $29 million.

Boxers Mayweather and Pacquiao have dropped down to a tie at No. 14, both earning $34 million.

The lowest-earning athlete on the list, soccer player Samuel Eto'o, totaled $16.4 million.

Footnote: If retired athletes were included, basketball legend Michael Jordan would top the list with $80 million thanks to royalties from the Nike-owned Jordan Brand.

Note: Newsmax magazine is now available on the iPad. Find us in the App Store.

Editor's Note:



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