When President Trump was campaigning for office he made several promises about making the country great again. Just how much work will be involved in achieving that goal and what specific areas need to be addressed first if we are going to see the fruits of those efforts in the near future?
The link below is a brief article by a reporter from the Business Insider that drops a bomb on the reader. If true, it is a startling revelation about average Americans. If 160 million people can’t afford to get treated for a broken arm then what does that say about their ability to pay for any other unexpected expenses?
I understand that medical costs in this country have elevated to a level that is causing serious difficulties for the entire country. I guess my parents were lucky to have lived in an era when the cost of repairing a broken arm was about the same as the cost of a tune up for their car. I had three of them as a youngster and they paid the bills in cash. Insurance forms and third party billing procedures were never even discussed. In contrast, I recently read an article by a physician who owned his own clinic. The clinic grew over time and he had to add employees to handle the growing enterprise. One morning he walked through the door, looked around and realized he had more people sitting in front of computers processing insurance claims than medical staff taking care of patients.
But Mr. Perumal’s bomb is somewhat overblown. If you have a medical emergency like a broken arm most medical clinics will take care of you despite your ability to pay. They have a mission to do no harm and, in many states, they are bound by law to provide those services.
I also noted the way Mr. Perumal divided his survey groups by credit score. Ten years ago, when I was involved in the mortgage industry you could qualify for a mortgage with score of 640. Today, the minimum score is 700 and the number is not the only factor. You must also have the right variety and combination of trade lines. So I listen to the financial news programs and I hear the complaint that the banks are not lending. I wonder how many of those families Mr. Perumal is referring to have a credit score anywhere near that number? From my own experience I would say not many. So if you don’t qualify for FHA or you’re not a veteran you are resigned to being a renter. In many parts of the country, rents have grown at twice the rate of inflation due to the increasing demand for rental property.
At the same time sales of houses priced below $100,000 are in a steady decline and the foreclosure rate on lower priced homes is still stubbornly high. The foreclosure rate in parts of the Northeast has become so alarming that some local elected officials are calling it a crisis.
President Trump has many challenges in front of him. I hope he doesn’t get distracted by petty politics and focuses like a laser on the issues that really got him elected.