775001891_5b90841900_zObamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, has had both positive and negative effects on the economy. It is hard to say, generally speaking, if there is a side that leads the other as the positive and negative outweigh each other. Financial strains and economic uplifting have both occurred. 

Tapered Cuts to Medicare

Over time, Obamacare has been structured to make cuts to Medicare. Senior citizens depend on their Medicare plans to obtain necessary healthcare with affordable copays.

With these planned cuts, of over $700 million over a period of time, some services may not remain viable to stay in the program. This is one negative effect that may reflect on the preservation of Medicare for future generations, not only the current generation.

Financial Strain on Small Businesses

In order for a business, including small businesses, to not have to provide a healthcare option for employees, scheduled hours must be 30 or less per week. Business owners that cannot afford to carry a portion of their employees’ healthcare have to make cuts in both workforce and scheduled hours.

The positive here is that employees that do have a cut in hours can get affordable coverage, including dental insurance and vision coverage, through the Affordable Care Act based upon their financial situation.

The negative is that the cut in workforce and hours scheduled per employee may mean lesser staffed businesses, increased poor customer experiences and a decrease in business. It can also mean that a business owner may have to increase the cost of services to maintain full-time staff working over 30 hours to afford their portion of health insurance for employees.

Affordability for Families

The Affordable Care Act finds health plans for families based upon answers to a questionnaire, including the types of coverage requested.

You can obtain multiple quotes by changing the types of coverage that you want. For instance, if no one in your family has vision problems, having vision coverage is probably not necessary. Everyone needs general health and dental insurance, and dental insurance is typically inexpensive.

More Insured Persons

There are more insured persons overall since the start of Obamacare. Some believe that this is due to the potential tax penalties associated with the plans. But some plans, mainly for single persons, are very affordable. ...continue reading

Father's DayMajor League Baseball does a good job promoting itself on Father's Day. It advertises a visit to the game with dad as a bonding experience that every child should have.

Some teams do this better than others, and a few are just horrible at it. From charging a small amount to get into a game to great giveaways, most teams make it a fun day for a dad and his kids.

Others, led by the Oakland A's, gouge families at every chance they get on Father's Day. Read my post from last year to see how the A's rip families off. It continues this year in Oakland, where it costs $74 to play catch with your kid on the field after the game, and that doesn't include the price of tickets if you want to watch the game. I'll detail all of it later.

Best teams on Father's Day

Here's a roundup of what all MLB teams hosting games on Father's Day on June 19 are doing to attract dads and kids, with an idea of how much tickets will cost: All game times are local at home ballpark. Not all ticket prices may be available, so buy tickets soon.

The teams are listed from best to worst for how they treat dads on Father's Day, though much of this is open to argument:

LA Dodgers

1:10 p.m. vs. Milwaukee. Tickets: $35 to $1,050.

Unlike many teams Father's Daythat have promotions aimed at kid, the Dodgers have one for dads: Free Father's Day boxers with the Dodgers logo all over them.

The Dodgers also have a free postgame catch on the field, allowing dads to play catch with their kids. There's also a pre-game event called Viva Los Dodgers with live music and other activities.

Miami Marlins

1:10 p.m. vs. Colorado. Tickets: $16-$114.

The Marlins have a lot of promotions on this day, including a free Don Mattingly T-shirt to the first 5,000 dads, and a chance to play catch with dad after the game on the field for free. Yes, free.

The Marlins also have a deal for four tickets for $74, which includes four hotdogs and sodas.

San Diego Padres

1:40 p.m. vs. Washington. Tickets: $17.50-$100.

The Padres don't have any specific events for Father's Day, though dads can play catch for free on the field after the game. Like all Sunday games, San Diego hosts a bunch of events for kids.

Members of its Compadre Kids program can play catch on the field after the game with their dads, get player autographs, run the bases and attend a batting clinic.

There's also Domingos Padres at Sunday games, a celebration of Hispanic culture with many family activities. ...continue reading


new hobbies

Trying new hobbies can be a fun way to have a little “me” time and get your creative juices flowing. But it isn’t quite as fun if the hobby you want to do is expensive and leaves you feeling guilty for spending your money on something other than your bills and financial goals. To help resolve this problem, I've done a little brainstorming and put together a list of 10 fun, new hobbies that won’t cost you a fortune.

1 Learn a New language

There are plenty of resources available for you to use when learning a new language. Check out books in your local library or bookstore, surf the net for tips, talk to a friend, or purchase a teaching tool. To make it extra fun, partner up with someone so you can talk to each other.

2 Whittling

Grab a knife and a piece of wood, then fire up your imagination. For instruction, search the internet or buy a book. If you’re really lucky maybe your grandpa or another family member can teach you!

...continue reading