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Why “Healthcare Reform” Is Not Reform, Part I

Why "Healthcare Reform" Is Not Reform, Part I

Courtesy of Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds

"Healthcare reform" is a simulacrum reform; beneath the public relations, it does nothing to challenge the status quo "sickcare system" which is impoverishing the nation even as the health of the citizenry declines.

There are two fundamental reasons why the "healthcare reform" which passed the U.S. Senate on Christmas Eve is a simulacrum of reform: it does nothing to lower cost or limit the diversion of national wealth to a few cartels, nor does it address the food-diet-nutrition-lifestyle causal chains which are dooming the nation to an explosion of preventable chronic disease and diminishing lifespans.

Here are two documentaries you need to see: Borrow, rent, or buy, whatever it takes, but see these:

McDonald's Same Store Sales Up 7.1 Percent In January

Food, Inc.

King Corn (Film)

And two more which directly address the fast food industry:

Super Size Me

Fast Food Nation (film)

The central tenet of the Survival+ critique is that no problem can even begin to be solved without an integrated understanding of the interlocking chains of causality which create the problem.

In the U.S., healthcare costs are exploding for a number of powerful reasons, but the most important one is the deterioration of the citizens’ health which can be causally traced to the nation’s deteriorating food supply, diet, nutrition and fitness--all integrated parts of a massively unhealthy lifestyle.

While we don’t know everything about human health, of course, we do know that extra weight (obesity) and lack of exercise are causally linked to a number of interlinked chronic diseases, all of which lead to early death (Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, etc.).

The obesity epidemic can be viewed visually via this slideshow map of the U.S. I recommend you view this slideshow which depicts the obesity epidemic on a state-by-state basis:

Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Obesity Trends 1985-2007

Here’s a chart of global obesity (BMI is not a perfect metric, but this certainly suggests some obvious conclusions)

Some question whether poor diet, excess weight and inactivity actually increase healthcare costs; this chart from the State of Minnesota shows that inactivity does have costs.

The terrible truth is that the "sickcare" industry, agribusiness, and the fast-food/ packaged food industries all profit immensely from poor diet/ nutrition, widespread ignorance of the principles of human
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Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible.  Feel free to contact me directly at jennifersurovy@yahoo.com with any questions.

Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts.  After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.)  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

Thank you for you time!

 
 

Phil's Favorites

Late Payments by Ibex Companies Hits €47 Billion, 169 Days (3 Times Legal Time Limit); Ibex vs. DOW

Courtesy of Mish.

Lack of significant improvement in payments by IBEX companies to suppliers is yet another another sign there isn't much of a recovery in Spain.

La Vanguardia reports Late Payments by Ibex Companies Hits €47 Billion, 169 days (nearly 3 times the legal time limit). Ibex is the name of the Spanish stock market exchange.

Via translation from La Vanguardia. <
Delinquency of the Ibex 35 exceeds 47 billion euros and the average payment is 169 days late, almost three times the limits set by law, according to the latest report of the Platform Multisectoral against ...



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Chart School

Understanding the CFNAI Components

Courtesy of Doug Short.

The Chicago Fed's National Activity Index, which I reported on earlier today, is based on 85 economic indicators drawn from four broad categories of data:

  • Production and Income
  • Employment, Unemployment, and Hours
  • Personal Consumption and Housing
  • Sales, Orders, and Inventories
The complete list is available here in PDF format.

In today's Chicago Fed update, we learned that three of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index made positive contributions to the index in September, and three of the four categories increased from August. Personal Con...



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Zero Hedge

You Asked For Market-Lifting Miracles Theo, I Give You Another NYSE Break

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

As John McClane might respond to Hans Gruber's tortured paraphrase.. "The circuits that cannnot be cut are cut automatically in response to a terrorist incident. You asked for miracles, Theo, I give you the [A Broken NYSE]"

  • *NYSE EURONEXT EXPERIENCING INTERMITTENT MKT DATA ISSUES

Source: NYSE

So just as we requested yesterday...

Maybe the NYSE could break a little to give stocks a lif...



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Insider Scoop

UPDATE: Credit Suisse Reiterates On FMC Technologies On Lowered EPS Estimates

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related FTI Benzinga's Top Initiations Credit Suisse Initiates FMC Technologies At Neutral Energy Stocks Move Higher as Oil Spikes (Fox Business)

In a report published Thursday, Credit Suisse analyst James Wicklund reiterated a Neutral rating on FMC Technologies (NYSE: FTI), but lowered the price target from $72.00 to $6...



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Option Review

LUV Options Active Ahead Of Earnings

There is lots of action in Southwest Airlines Co. November expiry call options today ahead of the air carrier’s third-quarter earnings report prior to the opening bell on Thursday. Among the large block trades initiated throughout the trading session, there appears to be at least one options market participant establishing a call spread in far out of the money options. It looks like the trader purchased a 4,000-lot Nov 37/39 call spread at a net premium of $0.40 apiece. The trade makes money if shares in Southwest rally 9.0% over the current price of $34.32 to exceed the effective breakeven point at $37.40, with maximum potential profits of $1.60 per contract available in the event that shares jump more than 13% to $39.00 by expiration. In September, the stock tou...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: David 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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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Sharp selloff in stocks sets up long-awaiting buying opportunity

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Last week brought even more stock market weakness and volatility as the selloff became self-perpetuating, with nobody mid-day on Wednesday wanting to be the last guy left holding equities. Hedge funds and other weak holders exacerbated the situation. But the extreme volatility and panic selling finally led some bulls (along with many corporate insiders) to summon a little backbone and buy into weakness, and the market finished the week on a high note, with continued momentum likely into the first part of this week.

Despite concerns about global economic growth and a persistent lack of inflation, especially given all the global quantitative easing, fundamentals for U.S. stocks still look good, and I believe this overdue correction ultimately will shape up to be a great buying opportunity -- i.e., th...



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Digital Currencies

Goodbye War On Drugs, Hello Libertarian Utopia. Dominic Frisby's Bitcoin: The Future of Money?

Courtesy of John Rubino.

Now that bitcoin has subsided from speculative bubble to functioning currency (see the price chart below), it’s safe for non-speculators to explore the whole “cryptocurrency” thing. So…is bitcoin or one of its growing list of competitors a useful addition to the average person’s array of bank accounts and credit cards — or is it a replacement for most of those things? And how does one make this transition?

With his usual excellent timing, London-based financial writer/actor/stand-up comic Dominic Frisby has just released Bitcoin: The Future of Money? in which he explains all this in terms most readers will have no tr...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of October 20th, 2014

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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Market Shadows

Falling Energy Prices: Sober Look takes a Sober Look

Falling Energy Prices: Sober Look takes a Sober Look

What do falling energy prices mean for the US consumer? Sober Look writes a brief yet thorough overview of the consequences of the correction in the price of crude oil. There are good aspects, particularly for the consumer, bad aspects, and out-right ugly possibilities. For more on this subject, read James Hamilton's How will Saudi Arabia respond to lower oil prices?  In previous eras, Saudi Arabia would tighten the supply to help increase prices, but in this "game of chicken," the rules m...



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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

Here's this week's Stock World Weekly. Just sign in with your PSW user name and password. (Or take a free trial.)

#457319216 / gettyimages.com

 

...

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Pharmboy

Biotechs & Bubbles

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

Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely.  From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.

First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices.  Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment.  Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer.  For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...



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