Posts Tagged ‘healthcare reform’

Our Turn?

Very dismal forecast from our friend James Kunstler, he writes so beautifully but I hope he’s wrong. – Ilene 

Our Turn?

Germany: Rally of Nazi

Courtesy of James Howard Kunstler

     Nations go crazy. It’s terrifying when it happens, especially to a major nation with the ability to project its craziness outward. We look back on the psychotic break of Germany in 1933 and still wonder how the then-best-educated population in Europe could fall under the sway of a sociopathic political program. We behold the carnage and devastation left in the wake of that episode, and decades later you still can do little more than shake your head in bewilderment.

     China had a psychotic break in the 1960s in its "cultural revolution," provoked by the mad neo-emperor Mao. He sent cadres of Chinese baby boomer youths rampaging across the land, turned every institution upside down, and let millions starve. Mao’s China lacked the ability then to export this mischief, but enough of his own people suffered.

     Cambodia was the next humdinger of a national nervous breakdown when the Paris-educated classic marxist Pol Pot decided to make the world’s biggest omelette by cracking a million eggs. He took everybody wearing eyeglasses, everybody who appeared to have a thought in his or her head, and sent them out to the bush to be worked to death, or shot in ditches, or disposed of otherwise. The mounds of skulls remain to tell the tale.

     Lately we’ve had the Hutu-Tutsi genocides in Rwanda, the craziness in former Yugoslavia, the cruelty of Darfur, the international suicide-bomber craze (including today’s blasts in Moscow). Surely, I’ve left a few out… but these are minor episodes compared to what be coming next.

     Am I the only one who senses it might be America’s turn to go nuts? I don’t mean a family squabble, like the Boomer-Hippie-Vietnam uproar that was essentially an adolescent rebellion against bad parenting in the national household. I mean a genuine descent into madness, with the very high probability of persecution, violence, murder, and mayhem — all more or less sponsored by various authorities and institutions.

     The Republican Party is doing a great job in provoking such a dangerous episode by making consensual governance impossible in a time of awful practical problems and challenges. They’re in the process, right now, of transforming themselves from…
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Remedial Economics with Obamacare

Remedial Economics with Obamacare

Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant 

Some of us obviously need a refresher in Econ 101 (Ben Bernanke, OMGObama if he ever actually took it, Nancy Pelosi, etc etc) but it’s all good; Obamacare is here to teach us that there is no "something for nothing". Pelosi should probably listen to the lesson twice. 

Reuters:

AT&T Inc (T.N) said on Friday it would record a $1 billion non-cash charge for the current quarter related to the new U.S. health care reform law, as lawmakers called on the company and three other large employers to testify about expected cost hikes.

AT&T’s charge appeared to be the largest in a series of charges announced by U.S. companies this week.

A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee said on Friday it will call on the chief executives of AT&T, Caterpillar (CAT.N), Verizon (VZ.N) and Deere (DE.N) to testify on April 21 about how the reform might adversely affect their ability to provide health insurance.

"The new law is designed to expand coverage and bring down costs, so your assertions are a matter of concern," the subcommittee said in the letters.

AT&T, whose annual revenue is expected to be $124.1 billion this year, said the charge is the result of a provision in the law related to the tax treatment of Medicare subsidies.

And where, exactly, are companies supposed to come up with the difference? Public company accounting – in case you are not aware, I’ll save you the filthy GAAP details – is not like government (fund) accounting. While the Obama administration may have the advantage of a conveniently-located printing press in town at Bernanke’s place and fund accounting on its side, public companies actually have to make balance sheets balance and put something aside or borrow to comply with this awesome new health reform plan.

Way to encourage economic growth, Washington. 

Money that could have easily gone into infrastructure, technology, inventory, human capital, or R&D ends up going to Washington (as if the printing press and fund accounting weren’t pay day enough in DC. Here’s a hint: there is never enough) to be redistributed. Partially to the IRS to pay all these new "auditors".

See where we’ve gone wrong yet?
And hey! All you asshat iPhone users can also blame Obamacare for the ever-crappier network you’ll be on as AT&T will, naturally, have to take $1 billion from somewhere else. 

 


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Health Care Passed; How will Individuals and Corporations React? Who will Opt Out?

Random thoughts on healthcare reform. – Ilene 

Health Care Passed; How will Individuals and Corporations React? Who will Opt Out?

Courtesy of Mish

President Obama managed to arm-twist Congress into passing an unpopular healthcare bill. Not a single Republican voted for it. 

Supposedly the bill will guarantee coverage of 94% of the US population.

Many corporations complain it will increase costs. For example: Deere says health care law will raise expenses

Deere & Co. said Thursday that changes to the health care law signed into law this week will raise related costs this year by $150 million.

The biggest U.S. maker of farm equipment became the second major company in as many days to say it would take a charge for fiscal 2010.

Deere and Caterpillar were among the 10 companies that sent a letter to Congressional leaders in December warning of cost increases. Others were: Boeing Co., Con-Way Inc., Exelon Corp., Navistar Inc., Verizon, Xerox Corp., Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., and Met Life Inc.

The companies say federal subsidies have covered 28 percent of the cost of retiree prescription drug coverage. The government offered the subsidies so that more companies would continue to offer coverage to retirees and keep them off of government-funded Medicare Part D.

Under the health care reforms passed this week, that subsidy will be taxed starting next year, which the companies predicted could significantly increase government health care costs because companies may drop coverage.

"Taxing the subsidy means that more companies will eliminate or reduce the coverage, and more retirees will shift to Medicare Part D, which will create more cost for both the government and the retirees," the companies wrote in their letter.

How Will Corporations React?

Inquiring minds are reading interesting anecdotes about Healthcare on Silicon Investor. A well respected poster Hawkmoon writes …

Mish,

Had a VERY INTERESTING conversation this evening with a CFO for a local business who employs about 100 people total..

I asked him how this health care bill was going to affect the company he works for.

He told me that he had run the numbers based upon providing health care for all of their employees and realized that he could save the company 1/2 million dollars by just paying the $2000 per employee penalty and not offering any coverage at all.

Is this how the government plans on taking over all health


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Zero Hedge

Trump Meets Pope - Nothing Crazy Happens

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

President Trump and The Pope came face to face after the mainstream media had promoted this clash of the titans as likely to end in fireworks as the two world 'leaders' sparred over border walls, socialism, immigration, global terror, and whatever else the media thinks will divide the world most effectively.

Sadly for the media, nothing crazy happened...

Honor of a lifetime to meet His Holiness Pope Francis. I leave the Vatican more determined than ever to pursue PEACE in our world. pic.twitter.com/JzJDy7pllI

— Donald J. Trump (...



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ValueWalk

Manchester Bombing Could Expand Use of GPS Ankle Trackers

By JOHN F. BANZHAF. Originally published at ValueWalk.

In the wake of the Manchester bombing, Britain and other European countries may want to follow Germany’s lead to begin using GPS ankle tracking device as the only cost-effective means to keep track of the thousands of persons on watch lists or otherwise suspected of potential terrorist activities, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

The Evening Standard reported that Salman Abedi, the Manchester bomber “was known to security services” but was not under surveillance or otherwise being investigated because “they did not believe he posed an immediate threat,” and keeping track of the thousands of persons under suspicion at any time to prevent another Manchester bombing style attack is prohibitively expensive.

...



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Phil's Favorites

Predictions - A Fool's Errand

 

Predictions – A Fool’s Errand

Courtesy of Wade Slome, Investing Caffeine

Making bold predictions is a fool’s errand. I think Yogi Berra summed it up best when he spoke about the challenges of making predictions:

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

While making predictions might seem like a pleasurable endeavor, the reality is nobody has been able to consistently predict the future (remember the 2012 Mayan Doomsday?), besides perhaps palm readers and ...



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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

Trump budget to increase growth by boosting investment, labor force: Mnuchin (Reuters)

The Trump administration believes its budget plan will boost economic growth by fostering capital investment and creating jobs for workers who gave up their job hunts during tough times, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday.

With Earnings Season Over, the Insecurity Can Begin for S&P 500 Bulls (Bloomberg)

The issue is earnings season, which for the past four years has occasioned an astonishing amount of the upside in the American...



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Members' Corner

Robert Sapolsky: The biology of our best and worst selves

Interesting discussion of what affects our behavior. 

Description: "How can humans be so compassionate and altruistic — and also so brutal and violent? To understand why we do what we do, neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky looks at extreme context, examining actions on timescales from seconds to millions of years before they occurred. In this fascinating talk, he shares his cutting edge research into the biology that drives our worst and best behaviors."

Robert Sapolsky: The biology of our best and worst selves

Filmed April 2017 at TED 2017

 

p.s. Roger (on Facebook) saw this talk and recommends the book ...



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Chart School

Gains Push Into Breakdown Gap

Courtesy of Declan.

While today's gains were modest they were significant in generating clean pushes inside last week's breakdown gaps. This brings indices back to challenge 'bull traps'

The S&P experienced lighter volume trading as On-Balance-Volume moved to a 'buy' trigger. Today's action opens up for a challenge of 2,405, although shorts may see this as opportunity to go aggressive with a tight stop once markets makes all-time highs.


The Nasdaq is also approaching its 'bull trap'. On-Balance-Volume holds to its ac...

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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of May 22nd, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin Soars Above $2000 For First Time Ever

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Bitcoin is now up over 100% in 2017, amid global political uncertainty and increased interest in Asia, suddenly spiking above $2000 this afternoon for the first time ever...

That is a year-over-year gain of more than 350%. The move comes, as CoinDesk notes, amid a broader boost in the cryptocurrency market, which broke the $60bn barrier today. The increase has taken place amid strong surges from Ripple's XRP, which seeks to lower costs in enterprise cross-border payments, and ethereum's ether token, a cryptographic asse...



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Biotech

Beyond just promise, CRISPR is delivering in the lab today

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Beyond just promise, CRISPR is delivering in the lab today

Courtesy of Ian HaydonUniversity of Washington

Precision editing DNA allows for some amazing applications. Ian Haydon, CC BY-ND

There’s a revolution happening in biology, and its name is CRISPR.

CRISPR (pronounced “crisper”) is a powerful technique for editing DNA. It has received an enormous amount of attention in the scientific and popular press, largely based on the promise of what this powerful gene e...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...



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Mapping The Market

Bombing - Right or Wrong?

Courtesy of Jean-Luc

I am telling you Angel – makes no sense… BTW:

Republicans Love Bombing, But Only When a Republican Does It

By Kevin Drum, Mother Jones

A few days ago I noted that Republican views of the economy changed dramatically when Donald Trump was elected, but Democratic views stayed pretty stable. Apparently Republicans view the economy through a partisan lens but Democrats don't.

Are there other examples of this? Yes indeed. Jeff Stein points to polling data about air strikes against Syria:

Democr...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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