PROFNET EXPERT ALERTS: Health Care Reform / East Coast Flooding / Political Rhetoric

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 General News
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    1.  Disaster Response: East Coast Flooding: Property/Revenue Loss
    2.  Education: Promoting Financial Education Among Young People
    3.  Government: Obamacare Kills Dividends

4. Politics: Violent Rhetoric Can Have Dangerous Consequences 5. Taxation: Impact of the New Healthcare Legislation on Taxpayers


LOU GRITZO, Ph.D., is the vice president and manager of research at business property insurer FM GLOBAL, which works with more than one-third of Fortune 1,000 companies to prevent property and revenue loss from weather-related events like floods, based in Johnston, R.I.: "With a second wave of storm-related flooding in less than a month expected, East Coast businesses from Maine to the Carolinas must take preventive measures to keep their operations up and running. Businesses in the rest of the country -- even those not experiencing flooding -- will also be affected. In addition to 10 inches of rain that fell two weeks ago, as much as eight more inches of rain are expected in the next few days in parts of the Northeast -- with the power to put companies out of business." Gritzo is available to provide tips on how companies at risk can best protect their facilities and property from severe flood damage, and can address the following questions: 1) What are the essential three steps businesses must follow now to prepare for a flood? 2) How are businesses located elsewhere affected by flooding in the Northeast? The answers may surprise you. 3) How do companies maintain business continuity and revenue in the wake of floods? News Contact: Christina Divigard, Phone: +1-212-880-5237 (3/31/10)

2. EDUCATION: PROMOTING FINANCIAL EDUCATION AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE. SCOTT GAMM is the founder of HELPSAVEMYDOLLARS.COM, a Web site that aims to educate teens, college students and adults about personal finance, and is an expert on financial literacy: "April 2010 is National Financial Literacy month, a time devoted to promoting financial education among young people. Personal finance is a course that is absent from the curriculum of most schools, since only 18 states require personal finance education in schools. If students are not informed about money-related issues, they're more likely to make financial mistakes in the future." Gamm has appeared on major national network television programs, in newspapers and on some of the Internet's top personal finance Web sites. He is located in New York City. (3/31/10)

3. GOVERNMENT: OBAMACARE KILLS DIVIDENDS. RICHARD TAYLOR, principal with HLB GROSS COLLINS, PC, in Atlanta: "For the past seven years, dividends have enjoyed a federal tax rate of 15 percent. This is all about to change under the new health care bill. Overall, this could represent a 289 percent tax increase on dividends. Guess who pays for the new health care system? What impact will this have on dividend-paying stocks? Would investors shy away from dividend-paying companies and invest in those that pay no dividends? This could drive down the value of some of the best companies in the country." Taylor recently wrote an article on the topic, which can be accessed here: News Contact: Lane Bassham, Phone: +1-770-433-1711 (3/31/10)

4. POLITICS: VIOLENT RHETORIC CAN HAVE DANGEROUS CONSEQUENCES. DAVID OLSON, assistant professor of communication studies at SOUTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY (Georgetown, Texas): "In a classic communications text titled 'Metaphors We Live By,' author George Lakoff convincingly demonstrates how metaphors shape our thinking and, ultimately, our actions. The metaphors that many people often use to describe disagreement are usually metaphors of war. When politicians and radio talk show hosts use such terms, it sets the stage for people to think about political disagreement as war. If you mix those messages with people who feel threatened by the new political landscape and feel that armed resistance is something that is legitimate, you are lighting a fuse on a literally explosive group of people. When House minority leader John Boehner calls fellow representative Steve Driehaus 'a dead man' for voting for the health insurance bill and Driehaus consequently receives death threats, I think we can see a connection." News Contact: Ellen Davis, Phone: +1-512-863-1570 Web site: (3/31/10)

5. TAXATION: IMPACT OF THE NEW HEALTHCARE LEGISLATION ON TAXPAYERS. HENRY PAULA, a tax principal at REZNICK GROUP in Charlotte, N.C., is monitoring the impact of the new healthcare legislation on taxpayers, especially affluent taxpayers who report more than $200,000 in income: "Beginning in 2013, high- income taxpayers will see their Medicare taxes increase from 1.45 percent to 2.35 percent. In order to mitigate the impact of these changes, taxpayers should consider taking less in wages in return for more distributions of each year's taxable income. Other considerations for minimizing the impact of increases in Medicare taxes to those in high-income brackets include ensuring the maximum is contributed on a pre-tax basis to 401(k) and other qualified plans from annual wages and paying bonuses prior to 2013 (vs. after 2012) to withhold as much as feasible and reduce the portion subject to the increased Medicare tax." Paula is fluent in Spanish and French. News Contact: Michael Henry, Phone: 1-704-926-1364 (3/31/10)

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