The Chatter: Yarmuth's ties to home health firm cited in Post article; Ky. Pension rates questioned

10/08/2012 06:46 AM

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, was among several members of Congress whose personal financial ties to industries were highlighted a Washington Post report on Monday.

Yarmuth’s brother owns a home health care firm, Almost Family. And the Post reports that Yarmuth has as much as a $5 million investment in it. Yarmuth did seek an opinion from the House Ethics Committee, of which he is now a member, when he first arrived in Congress in 2007. From the Post article:

The panel advised he was prohibited from actions that would benefit his assets in a “direct and distinct manner, rather than merely as a member of a class.” Otherwise, the committee said, he had a duty to vote. In office, Yarmuth joined the congressional Home Health Caucus, a group of two dozen lawmakers that promotes the value of in-home health care.

Yarmuth said in an October 2010 interview with Pure Politics that he didn’t push for a provision in the Affordable Care Act that specifically benefited home health care firms.

Some question Kentucky Retirement System rate of return as too optimistic

One of the problems with Kentucky’s under-performing pension system is that the expected rate of return from investments is too high, many lawmakers and analysts told the Courier-Journal’s Mike Wynn.

The expected return is 7.75 percent over the next three decades.

Wynn reported that the actual returns over the last five years have fluctuated wildly:

Retirement assets grew 15.3 percent in fiscal year 2007 but slumped by 4.2 percent in 2008 and 17.2 percent in 2009. Investments rebounded in 2010 with 15.8 percent growth and earned 19 percent the next year but fell to 0.14 percent in 2012.

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