Gallup: Peak Number Of Americans Delaying Medical Care Over Costs

Obamacare Line

One in three Americans has put off seeking medical treatment in 2014 due to high costs, according to Gallup — the highest percentage since Gallup began asking the question in 2001.

Thirty-three percent of Americans have delayed medical treatment for themselves or their families because of the costs they’d have to pay, according to the survey. Obamacare, of course, had promised that it would help make health care more affordable for everyone, but the number of people who can’t afford a trip to the doctor has actually risen three points since 2013, before most Obamacare provisions took effect.

The hardest-hit: the middle-class. Americans with an annual household income of between $30,000 and $75,000 began delaying medical care over costs more in 2014, up to 38 percent in 2014 from 33 percent last year; among households that earn above $75,000, 28 percent delayed care this year, compared to just 17 percent last year.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

House Republicans File Obamacare Lawsuit

John Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner said Friday he has sued the Obama Administration in federal court over its decisions to make changes to the President’s health care law, which congressional Republicans argue were unconstitutional.

The move was expected for months — the GOP-controlled House of Representatives voted to approve the lawsuit in July. But Boehner had trouble retaining a law firm that would take the case because of the political furor over the controversial health care law.

“Time after time, the President has chosen to ignore the will of the American people and re-write federal law on his own without a vote of Congress. That’s not the way our system of government was designed to work,” Boehner said in statement on Friday.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

One American’s Shocked Response Upon Learning His Health Insurance Cost Just Doubled

Obamacare 2012

My wife and I own a small business and we had previously (in 2013)  been buying health insurance on our own for ourselves and our two kids.  The cost was about six hundred per month with a $5200 deductible, $6800 total out of pocket exposure for the family of four.

After spending months trying to register for the ACA in late 2013 and early 2014 my kids got put on our state’s insurance (at “no cost”) and my wife and I bagged an ACA policy at a subsidized cost of $281 per month with a total out of pocket of about $6500 (just for the two of us).

Attached is the ACA notification of next year’s price increase.  As you can see the cost goes from $281 to $555, a monthly increase of $274, a percentage increase of 97%. 

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Jonathan Gruber Was Obama’s Top Health Expert In The 2008 Presidential Campaign

Jonathan Gruber - C-Span Public Domain

MIT professor Jonathan Gruber served as the key health care consultant to Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and even visited Obama’s office to sell the idea of the “individual mandate,” which Obama later championed, according to a 2007 news article.

Gruber, who said Obamacare passed due to the “stupidity of the American voters” and their “lack of economic understanding,” was described by the Washington Post as the Democratic Party’s “most influential health-care expert” who “consulted with the three leading Democratic campaigns about their health plans,” including Barack Obama’s.

He pressured the Obama campaign to support the “individual mandate” he helped developed for Massachusetts’ state-run health care, which forced people to buy insurance or face a penalty.

“Gruber championed this idea in Massachusetts, and … he did the same in Obama’s office, on the phone with [John] Edwards and in conversations with Chris Jennings, Hillary Clinton’s health policy guru,” reporter Perry Bacon Jr. wrote, adding that Gruber had to warm up the Obama campaign to the idea of the mandate.

He told Obama’s advisers that a mandate was necessary.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Obamacare = A Death Panel For The U.S. Economy

Obama Follow Me

Did you know that some Americans are being hit with health insurance rate increases of more than 500 percent? Taking advantage of “the stupidity of the American voter”, the Democrats succeeded in ramming through one of the worst pieces of legislation that has ever come before Congress. The full implementation of Obamacare has been repeatedly delayed, but now we are finally starting to see the true horror of this terrible law. Thanks to Obamacare, millions of American families are losing health plans that they were very happy with, health insurance rates are skyrocketing, millions of workers are having their full-time hours cut back to part-time hours, rural hospitals all over the country are dying, and thousands of doctors are being driven out of the industry thus intensifying the greatest doctor shortage in U.S. history. Obamacare is a slow-motion train wreck of epic proportions, and the full effect of this law is only beginning to be felt. In the end, the economic impact of this law will likely be measured in the trillions of dollars.

One of the primary reasons why Democrats experienced so much pain during the recent elections was because millions of Americans are receiving some very disturbing letters from their health insurance providers. At a time when U.S. incomes are stagnating, health insurance rates are rising to absolutely ridiculous levels.

As the New York Times recently reported, even the Obama administration is admitting that “substantial price increases” are on the way…

The Obama administration on Friday unveiled data showing that many Americans with health insurance bought under the Affordable Care Act could face substantial price increases next year — in some cases as much as 20 percent — unless they switch plans.

The data became available just hours before the health insurance marketplace was to open to buyers seeking insurance for 2015.

An analysis of the data by The New York Times suggests that although consumers will often be able to find new health plans with prices comparable to those they now pay, the situation varies greatly from state to state and even among counties in the same state.

Originally, Barack Obama promised that if we liked our current health plans that we could keep them. Well, it turns out that was not true at all. Instead, the vast majority of us will eventually have to move to new plans if we have not done so already. This is particularly true for those that purchase health insurance individually. The following is an excerpt from an NBC News investigation

Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC News that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law. One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience “sticker shock.”

This is something that actually happened to me. I received a letter in the mail informing me that my new health insurance policy which meets the requirements of Obamacare will cost me nearly twice as much as my old one.

Needless to say, I was not too thrilled about that.

Other Americans are being hit even harder. For instance, one family down in Texas got hammered with a 539 percent rate increase

Obamacare is named the “Affordable Care Act,” after all, and the President promised the rates would be “as low as a phone bill.” But I just received a confirmed letter from a friend in Texas showing a 539% rate increase on an existing policy that’s been in good standing for years.

As the letter reveals (see below), the cost for this couple’s policy under Humana is increasing from $212.10 per month to $1,356.60 per month. This is for a couple in good health whose combined income is less than $70K — a middle-class family, in other words.

These rate increases are coming at a time when the middle class in the U.S. is already steadily shrinking. A lot of families that are already stretched to the breaking point are making the very painful decision to give up health insurance entirely. At this point, there are millions of families that simply cannot afford it.

But Obama is not about to let those people off the hook. In fact, huge tax penalties are on the way for those that do not participate in the new system…

Penalties for failing to secure a health-insurance plan will rise steeply next year, which could take a big bite out of some families’ pocketbooks.

The penalty is meant to incentivize people to get coverage,” said senior analyst Laura Adams of InsuranceQuotes.com. “This year, I think a lot of people are going to be in for a shock.

In 2014, Obamacare’s first year, individuals are facing a penalty of $95 per person, or 1 percent of their income, depending on which is higher. If an American failed to get coverage this year, that penalty will be taken out of their tax refund in early 2015, Adams noted.

While that might be painful to some uninsured Americans who are counting on their tax refunds in early 2015, the penalty for going uninsured next year is even harsher. The financial penalty for skipping out on health coverage will more than triple to $325 per person in 2015, or 2 percent of income, depending on whichever is higher.

Children will be fined at half the adult rate, or $162.50 for those under 18 years old.

No wonder so many people are so angry with the Democrats.

And as Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Jonathan Gruber has so infamously observed, Obamacare never would have become law if the American people had been told the truth about what it would do to them.

It has been documented that Gruber has visited the White House about a dozen times since 2009, and he has been one of the leading intellectual proponents of Obamacare. A video in which he states that “the stupidity of the American voter” was “really critical” to the passage of Obamacare has gone viral over the past week. I have posted a copy of this video below…

What he is essentially saying is that the Democrats purposely deceived the American people because it was the only way that Obamacare was going to become law.

And this is a man that has become very wealthy advising government on healthcare matters. According to an article in the Washington Post, he has made millions of dollars from “consulting” in recent years…

Not all of the contracts could be found on public Web sites, but here is a sampling. In some cases, Gruber worked with other consultants, so the fees were shared. These figures also might not represent the final payout, and of course these are gross figures, before expenses. But it’s safe to say that about $400,000 appears to be the standard rate for gaining access to the Gruber Microsimulation Model.

Michigan: $481,050

Minnesota: $329,000

Vermont: $400,000

Wisconsin: $400,000

Gruber has also earned more than $2 million over the last seven years for an ongoing contract with HHS to assess choices made by the elderly in Medicare’s prescription-drug plan.

If you are Gruber, life is quite good.

But for most of the rest of America, the economic pain continues.

For example, one recent study found that almost half of all Floridians cannot even afford “to pay for basic necessities”…

Nearly half of Florida households do not earn enough to pay for basic necessities, according to a report released Tuesday by the United Way that seeks to cast a light on the large group of state residents who struggle financially but do not meet the official criteria for being in poverty.

While 15 percent of Florida households are below the poverty level, another 30 percent are financially insecure — a figure that also applies to Sarasota and Manatee counties — based on a new measurement developed by the United Way.

If all those people cannot even afford the basics, how are they going to pay for Obamacare?

This law is going to financially cripple millions of American families. It truly is a death panel for the U.S. economy. And because Barack Obama can veto anything that the Republicans in Congress do, we are stuck with it for at least another two years (and probably longer).

So what about you?

Have your health insurance premiums gone up yet?

Please feel free to add to the discussion by posting a comment below…

(Originally posted on The Economic Collapse Blog)

Obamacare Is Killing Rural Hospitals

Obamacare US Economy

Stewart-Webster Hospital had only 25 beds when it still treated patients. The rural hospital served this small town of 1,400 residents and those in the surrounding farms and crossroads for more than six decades.

But since the hospital closed in the spring of last year, many of those in need have to travel up to 40 miles to other hospitals. That’s roughly the same distance it takes to get from Times Square to Greenwich, Conn., or from the White House to Baltimore, or from downtown San Francisco to San Jose.

Those trips would be unthinkable for city residents, but it’s becoming a common way of life for many rural residents in this state, and across the nation.

Since the beginning of 2010, 43 rural hospitals — with a total of more than 1,500 beds — have closed, according to data from the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program. The pace of closures has quickened: from 3 in 2010 to 13 in 2013, and 12 already this year. Georgia alone has lost five rural hospitals since 2012, and at least six more are teetering on the brink of collapse. Each of the state’s closed hospitals served about 10,000 people — a lot for remaining area hospitals to absorb.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Second Video Emerges of Obamacare Architect Calling Americans ‘Stupid’

Obamacare Line

Despite telling MSNBC that his comments were “off the cuff,” a second video has emerged of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber saying the law was passed because Americans were “too stupid” to understand it.

During an appearance on Ronan Farrow Daily, Gruber tried to explain away his initial comments by claiming he was speaking “off the cuff” when he said that a “lack of transparency” was crucial in fooling ‘stupid Americans’ during the effort to pass Obamacare.

“I spoke inappropriately and I regret having made those comments,” said Gruber.

However, another video has emerged from a previous event which illustrates how the MIT professor’s characterization of Americans as “stupid” was a common theme during his public appearances last year.

The clip is from remarks made by Gruber during a lecture at Washington University in St. Louis on October 4, 2013.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Obamacare Architect: ‘Lack of Transparency’ Was Key To Fooling ‘Stupid Americans’

Obama Laughing

In a newly uncovered video, Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber admits that a “lack of transparency” was key in getting the Affordable Care Act passed because “the stupidity of the American voter” would have otherwise killed the bill.

From 2009-2010 Gruber, a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, served as a technical consultant to the Obama Administration during which time he helped craft the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare.

During a recent panel discussion, Gruber explained that the characterization of the individual mandate as a tax, which led to the Supreme Court upholding it as such, was not actually a tax at all.

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes,” stated Gruber. “If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that. In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed.”

“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” he added. “And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass. Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”

Although it’s widely acknowledged that Obamacare was forced through off the back of broken promises and dirty tricks, to have someone who helped craft the law brazenly admit the fact is still shocking.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Obama Orders Insurance Industry to Withhold New Prices Until AFTER Midterm Elections

Barack Obama Feet On The Oval Office Desk

There is also something different with these cancellations, something that has never happened before in the healthcare insurance industry. Past practice has always been that the next year’s new rates are released 60 days before the first day of the next year. But Obama has mandated that companies hold back on that normal practice so that he can shield Democrats at the polls.

Here is how insurance agent C. Steven Tucker explained it this weekend:

This year, for the first time in 20 years I can not even quote a replacement product because Barack Obama has issued a GAG ORDER to the health insurance industry instructing them not to disclose their January 2015 health insurance rates until after the mid-term elections. This is unprecedented. Normally health insurance premiums are released for public viewing 60 days before the January 1st effective date. Where are the reports on these cancellations and the gag order from NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN? The only news organization that I am aware of that has reported on any of this is the Fox News channel. I can guarantee you one thing, not one of my clients who received a cancellation notice is voting Democrat on Tuesday.

This is once again proof that healthcare is not about health for this most corrupt president in American history. It is politics all the way through for this man.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Over 214,000 Doctors Opt Out of Obamacare Exchanges

Obamacare Line

Over 214,000 doctors won’t participate in the new plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA,) analysis of a new survey by Medical Group Management Association shows. That number of 214,524, estimated by American Action Forum, is through May 2014, but appears to be growing due to plans that force doctors to take on burdensome costs. It’s also about a quarter of the total number of 893,851 active professional physicians reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

In January, an estimated 70% of California’s physicians were not participating in Covered California plans.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Anti-Obamacare Ads Dominate Buys in October

Obamacare Skull

Without offering an alternate theory for President Obama’s 42 percent approval rating — which was about the same even before it became obvious his foreign policy had tanked — the mainstream media is insisting that Obamacare isn’t driving this election.  But Republican ads in Senate races say otherwise.

According to Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG), Republicans ran nearly 12,000 anti-Obamacare ads in Senate races during the week of October 13-19. That’s almost twice as many ads as they ran on jobs/unemployment, more than twice as many as they ran on international affairs, and more than three times as many as they ran on taxes. In fact, it’s more than they ran on jobs/unemployment, taxes, and social issues combined.  It’s also more than they ran on jobs/unemployment and immigration combined.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

New Local Doctor Doesn’t Take Insurance, Makes House Calls, for Flat Monthly Fee

Doctor

Imagine going to a primary care doctor and never being asked “do you have insurance?”

Or having your doctor’s cell phone number and never feeling nervous before making an after-hours call during the inevitable crises of parenthood when a child’s fever is spiking or a strange rash appears. And maybe getting a house call.

It sounds like a Normal Rockwell painting but there is a doctor in North Kingstown that offers just that — for a flat monthly fee that costs less than a smartphone with a data plan.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

107,581,000 Americans Already in Government Health Plans

Hospital - Public Domain

There were 107,581,000 people enrolled in government health insurance plans in the United States in 2013, the year before the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare) was fully implemented.

The Census Bureau published this number last week in its annual report on health insurance.

These 107,581,000 pre-Obamacare government-health insurance enrollees equaled 34.3 percent of the nation’s population, according to the Census Bureau.

Another 41,953,000 — or 13.4 percent of the population — were uninsured.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

The Obamacare Website Was Hacked In July, But Officials Only Noticed It 10 Days Ago

Obamacare Website Down

A computer server hosting information for Healthcare.gov, the flagship Obamacare website that millions of Americans have trusted with their social security numbers, income totals and other sensitive personal information, was the subject of a hacker attack earlier this summer, officials said Thursday.

The federal government wasn’t aware it had been hacked on July 8 until just ten days ago.

The admission is fueling fires on Capitol Hill.

The powerful House Oversight and Government Reform Committee announced Thursday afternoon that it has ordered Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) chief Marilyn Tavenner to testify in a September 18 hearing about the Obamacare website’s security lapses.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Obamacare: Death panels were always on the agenda

Death Skull - Public Domain

Prior to Democrats ramming substandard corporatized medical care down the throats of the American people at gunpoint, Democrats argued that death panels would not be part of Obamacare.

However, now that Obamacare is law, the truth has finally emerged – death panels are indeed part of the law.

On Saturday The New York Times reported that “the issue of paying doctors to talk to patients about end-of-life care is making a comeback, and such sessions may be covered for the 50 million Americans on Medicare as early as next year.”

Medicare will begin covering “end-of-life discussions” next year. It will decide to institute this policy after consultation with the American Medical Association, the corporatist trade guild responsible in part for monopolizing medicine.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Obamacare Now Pays for Gender Reassignment Surgery

Surgery - Public Domain

Now, federal law prohibits health insurance companies from discriminating against transgender people, and it bars insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. That makes it possible for more transgender people to purchase private plans. And in states that expanded their Medicaid programs, those with low incomes may get free coverage.

The federal anti-discrimination regulations have yet to be written, but California insurance regulators have said that companies must treat transgender patients the same as other patients. For example, if plans cover hormones for post-menopausal women, they must also cover them for transgender women. Medicare, the program for the elderly and disabled, lifted its ban on covering sex reassignment surgery earlier this year.

“The law and policy are on a transgender person’s side for the first time,” said Anand Kalra, program administrator at the Oakland-based Transgender Law Center.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Obamacare Is A Disaster For Businesses, Philly Fed Finds

Obamacare Line

Remember all those allegations that Obamacare would be an unmitigated disaster for businesses, especially smaller companies? Well, now we have proof.

As the Philly Fed, which mysteriously soared at the headline level even as the vast majority of its components tumbled, reported moments ago, “in special questions this month, firms were asked qualitative questions about the effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how, if at all, they are making changes to their employment and compensation, including benefits.”

What the survey found was very disturbing: not only did businesses report that as a result of Obamacare the number of workers they employ is lower than higher (18.2% vs 3.0%), that there has been an increase in part time jobs (18.2% higher vs 1.5% lower), leading to a big increase in outsourcing and most importantly, Obamacare costs are being largely passed on to customers (28.8% reporting higher vs 0.0% lower), the punchline was that while there is basically no change in the number of employees covered (17.6% higher vs 14.7% lower and 67.6% unchanged), there has been a big jump in Premiums, Deductibles, Out-of-pocket maximums, and Copays, which has been “matched” by a far greater reduction in the range of medical coverage and the size of the network.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

GAO Launched an Obamacare Sting Operation—and Almost All Fake Insurance Applications Were Approved

Obamacare Line

An undercover operation found that the majority of fake Obamacare applications submitted were approved by the health law’s enrollment system.

Fake applicants were able to get subsidized insurance coverage in 11 of 18 attempts, according to a report from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. The agency conducted the sting operation to test the strength of the Affordable Care Act’s eligibility-verification system.

The findings will be discussed at a House Ways and Means hearing Wednesday. They were revealed in an advance copy of the testimony from Seto Bagdoyan, head of GAO’s Forensic Audits and Investigative Service, provided to the Associated Press.

The undercover investigators created fake identities by inventing Social Security numbers, income, and citizenship, and by counterfeiting documents.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Healthcare Premiums Would Absolutely Explode If Today’s Obamacare Ruling Stands

Obamacare Clinic

A federal appeals court on Tuesday dealt a setback to the Affordable Care Act, ruling that premium subsidies provided through the federal health exchange in 36 states are invalid under the writing of the law.

Here’s the practical effect of the ruling, if it withstands the rest of the legal process: More than 5 million, generally low-income Americans who received tax credits through the federal exchange to purchase health insurance, would see their premiums explode.

Avalere Health, an independent healthcare firm, released an analysis last week showing that people who received premium subsidies for health insurance would see a premium hike of about 76% if courts ultimately rule they can’t get tax credits through the federal exchange.

“The court case has major implications for future insurance coverage and access to care for millions of Americans,” said Caroline Pearson, vice president at Avalere Health. “Depending on the ultimate decision by the courts and absent some other remedy, individuals in at least 25 states who remain in their current plans could see an average premium increase of over 70%.”

(Read the rest of the story here…)

17 Facts That Prove That The Quality Of Jobs In America Is Going Down The Drain

Drain - Public Domain

Do you wish that you had a better job? If so, you are not alone. In fact, there are millions upon millions of Americans that get up every day and go to a job that they wish that they could afford to quit. Unfortunately, most Americans end up just desperately holding on to the jobs that they have because just about any job is valuable in this economic environment. Over the past decade, the long-term trends that are destroying jobs in America have accelerated. We have seen countless numbers of jobs shipped overseas, we have seen countless numbers of jobs replaced by technology, we have seen countless numbers of jobs taken by immigrants and we have seen countless numbers of jobs lost to the overall decline of the once great U.S. economy. Unfortunately, even though we can all see this happening, our “leaders” have failed to come up with any solutions. And since there are so many of us that are desperate for jobs these days, employers know that they don’t have to pay as much. The balance of supply and demand in the employment marketplace has radically shifted in their favor. So less workers are getting health insurance these days, less workers are getting retirement plans and once you adjust for inflation our paychecks have been getting smaller for years. Needless to say, all of this is absolutely eviscerating the middle class. The following are 17 facts that prove that the quality of jobs in America is going down the drain…

#1 A study conducted by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity is projecting that the number of college graduates that will be entering the workforce in the U.S. this decade will be nearly three times as high as the growth in the number of jobs that require at least a Bachelor’s degree.

#2 Only four of the twenty fastest growing occupations in America require a Bachelor’s degree or better.

#3 It is hard to believe, but in America today one out of every ten jobs is now filled by a temp agency.

#4 At this point, 53 percent of all wage earners in the United States make less than $30,000 a year.

#5 Approximately one out of every four part-time workers in America is living below the poverty line.

#6 One out of every three grocery store workers in the state of California is on some form of public assistance.

#7 Due to the decline in the quality of our jobs, income inequality in the United States has grown to frightening levels. The following is an excerpt from a recent Politico editorial that was written by a very wealthy individual…

The divide between the haves and have-nots is getting worse really, really fast. In 1980, the top 1 percent controlled about 8 percent of U.S. national income. The bottom 50 percent shared about 18 percent. Today the top 1 percent share about 20 percent; the bottom 50 percent, just 12 percent.

But the problem isn’t that we have inequality. Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution.

And so I have a message for my fellow filthy rich, for all of us who live in our gated bubble worlds: Wake up, people. It won’t last.

#8 In 2007, the average household in the top 5 percent had 16.5 times as much wealth as the average household overall. But now the average household in the top 5 percent has 24 times as much wealth as the average household overall.

#9 In terms of median wealth per adult, the United States is now in just 19th place in the world.

#10 Our paychecks just keep getting smaller. Median household income in the United States is about 7 percent lower than it was in the year 2000 after adjusting for inflation.

#11 During the last recession, the U.S. economy lost millions of middle class jobs. But during this “recovery”, most of the jobs that have been “created” have been low paying jobs. The following is from the New York Times

During the recession, employment declined across the board, but 60 percent of the net job losses occurred in middle-income occupations with median hourly wages of $13.84 to $21.13. In contrast, these occupations have accounted for less than a quarter of the net job gains in the recovery, while low-wage occupations with median hourly wages of $7.69 to $13.83 have accounted for more than half of these gains.

#12 Due to a lack of decent jobs, half of all college graduates are still relying on their parents financially when they are two years out of school.

#13 According to one survey, 76 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

#14 Back in the 1980s, over 20 percent of the jobs in the U.S. were manufacturing jobs. Today, only about 9 percent of the jobs in the U.S. are manufacturing jobs.

#15 One recent study discovered that all job growth in America since the year 2000 has gone to immigrants.

#16 Another recent study found that 47 percent of unemployed Americans have “completely given up” looking for a job.

#17 The plight of unemployed workers is likely going to continue to get even worse as technology replaces more of our low paying jobs. For example, McDonald’s plans to experiment by replacing thousands of workers in Europe with touch screen terminals. Will we soon see the same thing in America?

Almost all of us know someone that is working a low quality job.

Perhaps you find yourself stuck in such a situation.

And when you are slaving away day after day, week after week for next to nothing, it can really suck the life right out of you.

Just consider what one restaurant cook named Ruben goes through on a daily basis

Ruben has worked as a cook at the Golden Corral restaurant chain for more than five years, and still only earns $8 per hour.

He has been living with his mother because he can’t afford a place on his own. But now she is about to move into an assisted living facility so he has no idea where he will go.

His job is in Maryland, so he takes the bus from D.C. every day. The last train home leaves at 11:24 p.m., so on nights when he works later than 11:30 p.m. he walks two hours home because he can’t afford a cab.

He says he’s scared to ask for a raise because he’s worried that they will let him go and find someone else willing to take the low wage.

Other Americans have found themselves dumped out of the middle class in recent years and forced to take just about anything that they can find. A recent Huffington Post piece documented the plight of a formerly middle class couple named David and Barbara Ludwig…

In August 2008, factory workers David and Barbara Ludwig treated themselves to new cars—David a Dodge pickup, Barbara a sporty Mazda 3. With David making $22 an hour and Barbara $19, they could easily afford the payments.

A month later, Baldwin Hardware, a unit of Stanley Black & Decker, announced layoffs at the Reading plant where they both worked. David was unemployed for 20 months before finding a janitor job that paid $10 an hour, less than half his previous wage. Barbara hung on, but she, too, lost her shipping-dock job of 26 years as Black & Decker shifted production to Mexico. Now she cleans houses for $10 an hour while looking for something permanent.

They still have the cars. The other trappings of their middle-class lifestyle? In the rear-view mirror.

So what about you?

Do you have a similar story to share?

What are things like in your area of the country?

Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…

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