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Health Care Reform Takes Effect: What Choices Do Businesses and Individuals Have?
The deadline for sign-ups under the Affordable Care Act has now passed, but the effects of the law – including on the midterm elections – remain to be seen. Will participants be surprised by high deductibles, premium increases, and a narrow range of service providers? Will the IRS be able to enforce penalties on non-participants? This presentation explains -- in simple, non-partisan, easy to understand language -- the parts of the health care reform law that affect businesses and individuals, and the considerations going into the decisions they must make.
The Washington Update: An Overview of the Political Environment, Prospective Legislation, and Strategies for Investment and Retirement Planning
The new Republican Congress faces a number of deadlines as it begins deliberations in 2015. In March, the borrowing authority of the United States runs out; Congress will have to agree on an extension to avoid default on the national debt. In May, Congress must appropriate highway funds to permit states to undertake summer infrastructure repairs. And in September, Congress must fund government operations to avoid a shut down. Congress also must consider how (or whether) to fund the country’s burgeoning military operations abroad. At the same time, the Republican Congressional leadership has set out a number of legislative goals, including addressing energy policy, contending with the President on immigration policy, curtailing the Affordable Care Act (which in 2015 requires large employers for the first time to offer health coverage or pay a penalty for not doing so), and developing a plan for comprehensive tax reform aimed at simplifying the tax code and stopping the spate of corporations moving their headquarters overseas.
Overhanging all of these deliberations will be the ramp-up to the presidential election campaign, as various individuals announce (or renounce) their candidacies. To the extent candidates are current members of Congress, their desire for advancement will have an effect on Congressional deliberations.
Andy Friedman and Jeff Bush, experts in political and legislative affairs, will discuss these matters and their likely effect on investors and the markets. The ongoing budget battles and deadlines are likely to spark more market fluctuations. Tax reform could have a significant impact on investors, as it could alter current exemptions, deductions, and preferential rates for capital gains and dividend income on which investors rely. And corporate tax reform – aimed at stopping the exodus of companies overseas – could have an outsized effect on particular industries as well as the market in general. Andy and Jeff will provide strategies that investors and financial advisors can consider to take advantage of (or protect against) changes arising from the above initiatives, including specific strategies for investment, wealth transfer, and retirement planning.
The Washington Update: Effects on Small Business Owners
Much of what happens in Washington affects small businesses. On the one hand, Washington recognizes that small businesses provide an outsized source of potential employment. On the other hand, the need for additional tax revenue to fund government initiatives puts in jeopardy the continuation of many current small business initiatives. The presentation will address political topics of interest for small business owners, including tax reform, which could have a positive or negative affect on small businesses depending on what small business provisions Congress decides to eliminate to pay for the reduction in tax rates; the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), under which many smaller businesses will be required to offer insurance coverage to employees beginning in 2016, as major changes in the insurance markets are taking place; entitlement (Social Security and Medicare) reform, which could add additional funding burdens on small businesses; foreign trade accommodations that could adversely affect domestic businesses; and, of course, the upcoming election, where candidates have differing ideas on how to treat small businesses.
According to CNBC, Andy Friedman is "one of the nation's most sought-after speakers on all things political." An expert on political affairs, Andy is known for predicting the outcomes of Washington tax and fiscal deliberations and providing businesses and investors with strategies to consider in light of the changing political landscape.
Andy was a senior partner with the law firm of Covington & Burling in Washington, DC, where he practiced for almost thirty years, serving as head of the tax and corporate groups. He received his bachelor degree as valedictorian from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and his law degree from the Harvard Law School.
Andy also served as tax counsel to Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League.
Andy appears on CNBC, which refers to him as "Wall Street's Tax Expert" and calls him "one of Washington's savviest political observers." Andy also has appeared on the Larry Kudlow Show, the Fox Business Channel, and POTUS radio, has been profiled in the Washington Post and Research Magazine, and is quoted extensively in publications ranging from the Wall Street Journal to USA Today.
Andy is included in Best Lawyers in America and Chambers' America's Leading Lawyers for Business, which notes that "Andy's ability to combine vast knowledge and a practical mindset permits him to convey the most complex of tax concepts in layman's terms. He is the expert's expert. If every lawyer were like him, the world would be a much better place."