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What the Federal Marketplace

What the Federal Marketplace
Ladies and gentlemen, I have a brilliant idea. Let's bombard ordinary Americans with phone calls and emails, telling them that they need to make a payment or they'll lose their health insurance.

And here's the super fun part -- once we scare the crap out of these people, we'll then make it super freaking difficult for them to make said payment.

I tell you, that sounds like the perfect idea. I think I should be working for HealthCare.gov with ideas like this one.

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Insuring the health of Flint, Michigan

I sell life and health insurance throughout the state of Michigan. I have to say, though, that there's something about talking to people from Flint about health insurance that feels a little eerie.

Flint, of course, is the Michigan city that has been making headlines around the world was its ongoing crisis with lead and other contaminants in their drinking water. Time magazine, The Washington Post, and The Guardian account for a mere handful of the estimated 21 million articles, reports, and blog posts on the subject.

When talking with Flint residents, their concerns about what is covered, the affordability of their deductible as well as what doctors and hospitals take each plan seem much more pressing than with clients from anywhere else in Michigan. The reality of their situation is almost overwhelming at times.

This blog will return in earnest on Monday, February 1. My schedule will return to normal, of course, after open enrollment season.

Good stocks - on sale

My first day as a fully-licensed stockbroker was in October 1999; the first time in history when the New York Stock Exchange actually closed due a dramatic drop in the Dow and a corresponding sell-off. In the middle of that madness, I remember looking over at one of the seasoned vets and saw him walking around with the biggest smile I've even seen on anyone.

"Why the f--- are you smiling?" I asked him.

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Scorecard for the Trump Administration

It's official.After much rancor, Donald J. Trump now
the 45th President of the United States. I will make no secret of the fact that I didn't vote for him in either the primary or general elections. However, he is President and I wish him well.

As a man who campaigned on making America great again, I believe that it's important to establish a few important benchmarks. As time progresses, we can thus measure his performance or lack thereof. Here, therefore, is where America stands as of January 20, 2017.

Let's start with those statistics that revolve around jobs and income. President Donald Trump has his work cut out for him because this is where we start.

Unemployment Rates
U1 - 1.9U2 - 2.3U3 - 4.8U4 - 5.2U5 - 5.9U6 - 9.8Labor Force Participation Rate: 62.7

Median Household Income: $55,775

Percent of Americans Living in Poverty: 13.5%

The fact that U6 unemployment, which includes those who are only working part-time when they want to work full-time, is at 9.8% is perhaps …