Category Archives: Politics

Bizarro Robin Hood

Via Zerohedge: “The Reverse Robin Hood Construct

It seems the entire global economy has been subverted by the rich robbing from the poor.

It’s been said a sucker is born every minute, but should our economy be based on their victimization?

I can’t see how this won’t end badly.

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Stats are Pointing Up…

But should we care about the stats when our team keeps losing?

“”What we see in the United States and some other economies is a statistical recovery and a human recession.”

Larry Summers, Davos, Jan 30, 2010 (via CNBC)

Plus, he’s actually quite wrong on the stats and also understates the human reality:

Sadly for many, the stock market will eventually reflect reality.

Debt is kicking Incomes butt

This isn't going to end well.

Debt to GDP ratio

Where's the money coming from?

Employment, not bouncing yet

Employment over decades of boom/bust

Shhhh !

If you’re worth +10 mil, stop now…nothing to see here…you’ll be just fine.

Worth less, please continue, and buy Gold soon, because the S&P is a mirage and your job might be a mirage too.

Medicine Today

I.

Two people get a splinter.  Not too severe but requiring immediate attention.

The first of our individuals, John has “good” insurance.  John, no longer living near his Mom, decides it requires a medical visit.  The large sliver is removed and the doctor is able to bill the insurance company $300.  The doctor also uses $50 worth of overpriced medical equipment.

The second individual, without access to his Mom, has however, found a even better skilled wife.  She quickly performed the exact same procedure as the doctor, albiet without the commute and wait for the doctor.  Likewise, the insurance company realized monetary benefits by not having to pay the doctor.

Apply this same methodology to all medical care and we quickly conclude that the current system is inefficient for most parties, save doctors and pharmaceuticals.

A minor sprained ankle that can be treated without either a doctors visit, expensive drugs and hours waiting to see a doctor and the huge bill for someone, is a benefit to everyone.

The only way for medical care to be both good and universally available to is deregulate medical practices and buy less drugs.  Logically, the only way to save money is to spend less somewhere.  You can’t be against rationing while simultaneously being against rising costs, it’s irrational.

II.

Insurances company do not need to be regulated, they just need to lose their anti-trust exemption.  Either we regulate or we don’t.  Allowing a monopoly is the worst kind of regulation.   There is no reason a medical practice and hospital affiliation shouldn’t offer it’s own “in-network” insurance.  The government can cover all “out-of-network” costs if you happen to be traveling.

III.

Another simple step is to allow all registered nurses to become sole operators offering house calls.  Even if they just became commissioned reps of a doctors office.   How much would you pay to have a trusted registered nurse doing house calls?  As a lay person, I have learned that Nurses are far better performing normally required medical service.

Avoiding exposure to a hospital or even a doctors office was lost when house calls became inefficient.

Finally, If you want to know wether the eventual bill is all corporate giveaway, check the stock market.  So long as Big Pharm and Insurance Cos continue to see stock gains we know the Healthcare bill is just corporate welfare masquerading as populism.

Next Viral Video – With No Apology

As good as “You Lie” but actually the truth and we won’t be seeing an apology on this one.

To add  a little more gravitas to Congressman Grayson, he is also a champion for Federal Reserve accountability.   He is quickly becoming the Democratic answer to Texas Republican Ron Paul.

Irony and Unintended Consequences

Tolstoy would say that Rep. Wilsons outburst (scroll down for video)was an inevitable result of this summer.   Ironic that Congressman Wilson may have uttered the one tipping remark that will save healthcare for the President.

Now onto the details.  Whatever is finally voted for, I don’t imagine the status quo is where we will end up.

How many of the 46 million uninsured have been postponing needed medical procedures??

Lets assume 10 percent of the newly insured require immediate outlay from whomever is the insurer.  Remember that a large portion of the uninsured are in this situation because they were dropped from the previous insurer due to recision or an exclusion based on a pre-existing condition.

Why don’t the private companies want the Government taking these high-risk, immediately cash negative, individuals?  My guess is that are making such an obscene amount of money that, rather then fearing an ultra competitive public plan, they actually fear what may be revealed by the open books of a public plan.

How many employees are held “Job” hostage at their current employer?  Are you?

The current plans seeming to be leaning at both healthcare transportability and eliminating the pre-existing exclusion for new enrollees.  My guess is somewhere between 5% and 25% of the corporate workforce is currently coerced by healthcare from changing jobs.  This outcome better be on the radar of large corporations like McDonalds and Starbucks.   Currently, they outcompete mom and pops for talent just because they offer healthcare.  At the least, employees will have removed one of the swords hanging over their heads at a crappy job.

Who loses if this passes, and haven’t we learned there’s no free lunch?

The stocks of Insurance Companies, Pharmacuticals, in fact, all healthcare related companies are up big time.  The doctors aren’t marching down fifth avenue so they must think they’ll get paid.  And, supposedly, this is all going to end with more people getting healthcare, and cheaper.

Some can argue that it’s because investors and doctors all think reform is doomed.  As an experienced investor and trader (and cynic), maybe the opposite is true.

Perhaps the doctors are getting squeezed now and they actually want reform.  Perhaps the stock investing class is running a classic pump and dump with the healthcare sector.

It won’t surprise me if we see healthcare reform as the scapegoat for a W recovery, no recovery, a re-test of the March ’09 stock market lows, continued decline in housing or any other calamity.

Be greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy.

Be pessimistic when others are optimistic and optimistic when others are pessimistic.

— Tom Bergman

Our Walter (Winchell or Cronkite) Debates Healthcare

Stewart v. Kristol

Of course we all know that our troops don’t really get the best medical care.