You're now on the archive server. Commenting has been disabled.
Your 5 minute summary of the past week's market trends and key stock activity.
Ratigan loses it with Dem representative
Classic. Not sure if I miss Ratigan or not.
In any event, I'm long Cigna as a hedge against my tax increase.
Wait until this sinks in--the evil insurance companies get a Democratic windfall--Wasserman Shulz is one of the most partisan politicians out there- priceless.
the evil insurance / pharma company schitck has been a masterful strategy by the administration, Pelosi and Reid - demonize those industries publically, while privately delivering them a gigantic windwall.
Sound familiar? - I remember in the last couple of weeks someone saying that they didn't run for office to bail out a bunch of fat cat bankers (after having spent ten months doing just the opposite)
Great video, im assuming Ratigan has the same concept about this health care bill as most of wall street (consequently, ZH incl?)
True health insurance reform is so simple its a joke.
First, simply mandate that any insurance company that wants to sell Life, Health, Auto, or Property insurance must be a Mutual Insurance company.
As it stands now, Insurance companies are stock companies which have a fiduciary responsibility to charge the highest premiums possible, and offer the least services possible, in order to provide the best returns to their shareholders possible.
Changing them to a mutual company would mean that they want to provide the best coverage possible, while charging the least premiums possible, in order to attract the most policy holders possible to spread their fixed costs over the most poeple possible.
Next, both Medicare and Medicaid will now both only pay a maximum of the minimum amount above zero (Charity work is excluded), that a hospital, physician, drug company, doctor, or medical divice manufacturer, charge to their lowest paying customers anywhere in the world. Example, a doctor has a low income clinic and a high income clinic - Medicare only pays that doctor what they charge for their low income clients for all their clients. Example, a drug company charges $0.10 per dose for a medicine in Cuba but $50.00 per dose in the US - Medicaid would only pay $0.10 per dose in the US. Example, hospital flies in a charity case and does a $50,000 surgery for free, Medicaid would still pay $50,000 for that procedure.
Then, medical malpractice suit can only go forward if it can be proven that at the time of the procedure the doctor was not trained in the procedure under question, was under the influence of a substance that inhibited their performance, or exhibited gross and malicious misconduct while performing the procedure. And the maximum award for death is $1 Million, with permanent disablements valued at $500,000 and down, and temporary disablements covered via the doctor or medical insurance company providing medical coverage and lost wages for the duration of the temporary disability.
Finally, any medical insurance provider that controls more than 25% of a market will be broken up until it controls less than 20% of the market. So in Alabama where the Blues cover 97% of the market, they would be broken up into 5 companies so that any one company only controls 20% of the market. And to hell with economies of scale, the amount lost because of the lost economy of scale will be made up via the increased competition.
Oh, and no insurance company may deny or charge more for any client based on any pre-existing condition; however, a health insurance company may have a time duration of up to one year in their contracts that a client has to pay premiums for, that may only be broken via an IRS life changing event. More clearly - a health insurance company can make an applicant sign a contract for up to one year. A client may not drop that policy for one year unless they have an IRS life changing event that does not count severe medical condition - And those premiums are going to be treated like student loans (No bankruptcy, state and federal help in collecting the premiums, etc).
There 2000 pages of healthcare bullshit reduced to two pages of real reform.
Yes, because I'm sure a company that had this many restrictions placed on it would attract a quality workforce.
Umm, where, please point it out to me, do I restrict what an insurance company or medical firm can pay its employees? Where did I say what benefits they can offer? Where did I say who they can hire. And outside of Medi-Medi billing, where did I say what they can charge?
If a doctor or hospital does not like the rates Medi-Medi pays, they can drop stop taking those payments and stop serving those patients. I did NOT state that someone has to accept Medi-Medi, I said that if they do accept it, Medi-Medi gets the lowest rates they charge anyone, PERIOD.
The only thing this suggestion does is force insurance companies to negotiate on behalf of their policy holders instead of their stockholders AND some tort reform to bring down the cost of Malpractice Insurance. This bill also points out the obvious, that the government, because they can back their negotiations with force, gets the lowest rates worldwide, because it is NOT the government that pays those bills, it is actual taxpayers (Of which most Medicaid (Not Medicare) recipients are NOT. I am sorry, but I dont like paying some slut's (who can not keep her legs closed) medical care, just because she has a baby and no job. But the generation before mine voted it in, and I have been paying it since I was 14, so I damn well want the government to get it for the cheapest price possible.
you guys are way to invloved in the details of existing policies. there is no REFORM here. Start with the idea of giving tax breaks to companies in order to provide health insurance to employees. Its a controlled market. It starts right there, but no one in congress has the brains or the balls to address it properly. It pandering to idiots who want to save the world with no real idea what they are talking about. Ratigan has it right 100%. You're playing with monopoly money.
you are a bad person,
God have mercy with your soul
America does not stand for entitlement freebies
Where, in any of my proposals am I recommending new government run programs? Where am I proposing eliminating competition?
America passed Medicare and Medicaid before I was born. America should not breach the promises it makes to its people. I dont happen to agree with Medicare or Medicaid, however, they are now established law and money has been forcibly taken from citizens for GENERATIONS to pay for them, so America better damn well uphold its fucking promise to provide them.
Do you know why America pays so much for health care, because we are subsidizing the rest of the fucking world. Pharma, research institutes, hospitals, etc charge the American Citizen excessive fees to make their profit and still be able to sell the same product in a different country for pennies on the dollar. Inhalers here in America - $79.00 each without medical coverage, Inhalers in Cuba - $0.10 each. Same inhaler, same manufacturer, but because America pays out the fucking ass for their medical care that company can offer that product in Cuba for cheap.
Socialist? Bullshit, the only thing I am proposing is that Medicare and Medicaid, which are welfare programs, just like fucking Cuba is a welfare program get the benefit of the best negotiators world-wide for their pricing.
In the 70s and prior America had the best medical care in the WORLD for the price (We still have the best medical care in the world, just the price is now no longer competitive). What changed. What happened in the 1970s that jacked up our rates, lowered our standard of care, and made not being insured the nightmare it is today... Oh thats right, every fucking insurance company in America demutualized.
This action was supposed to increase the level of care, lower costs, and increase competition. Funny, its done damn near the exact opposite. Why, because the stock company mentality is the exact opposite of the medical profession. Stock companies are all about the best profit, while medicine is all about providing the best care, those are mutually exclusive goals. So as the years go by the stock insurance companies have been steadily reducing care, denying coverage, and increasing premiums because that is their FIDUCIARY responsibility.
I do not have a problem with stock companies, outside of life or death situations. I am all for Exxon Mobile exploiting the hell out of the polar bear, melting ice caps, and clear cutting nations to drill for oil. Me getting a gallon of gas is not life or death. I do have a problem when an insurance company denies coverage to an individual and that individual dies.
However, I know there are people out there that would simply get hurt and then apply for insurance to cover the injury or illness and then stop paying the premiums, and that is why I said insurance companies can lock them into a contract for up to a year and that those premiums WILL be paid.
No where did I say that people have to buy insurance. No where did I say that the government was going to offer competition to insurance. No where did I say that there would be a cap on the amount an insurance company could charge for its coverage.
I said that all personal insurance companies must become mutual companies, and that there must be at least 4 competitors in any given area (Four companies could each control 25% of the covered insureds without being broken up).
So if increasing competition, not allowing the government into the market, and aligning the product provided to a complementary company structure is Socialist, then something is wrong in this world.
Is that you Ron Paul?
Excellent. Although you may be just a well-read RP fan (or not; please join us!), I salute your common sense - and that term is abused to the point of abuse. You struck me so, to the point of imagining a time when Charity is taxed; that is, if this political-lawyeringism$garbagePage2001merde is allowed to continue, unabated by the awareness of citizens.
The problem isn't that people lack insurance - it's that they lack affordable healthcare! Insurance and 'affordable' have become the Clash of the Titans.
Wow, I am honored by your compliment WaterWings.
No, I am not Doctor Paul. Although I like him, and respect him, I could not be him. He has the brass balls to stand out there and call out the crooks. I hide behind an internet psuedonym and propose solutions. Why TPTB have not offed his ass like they do every other rabble-rouser is beyond me, however, if he starts actually becoming effective I think he will have a heart attack...
Me, I just want to throw ideas out there that I think will make things better. I am not perfect, so I post them on message boards of people who are smarter than I am to pick them apart and point out the potential unintended consequences.
I try and make my posts understandable, while addressing the root cause of the problems we are facing, but I am not a politician, or an economist, or a lawyer, to be sure that what I am addressing is the root cause. But, I know that all of those professions read this board, so I am hoping that some of them will either post, or take those ideas and try to affect change with them. I dont want credit for them (though it would be nice), but what I want is a better place to live and raise a family, a place that is not run by corrupt politicians and the lobbists who bought them.
So I post anonymously on message boards hoping to get some ideas out there.
Your simple reform is the joke. It wouldn't have any impact. Competition among insurance companies isn't the problem. If the insurance companies were earning monopoly profits, you'd see it in their financials. Go look: gross margin, net margin, ROIC, ROE. Compare to other insurance sectors and to true monopolies like MSFT, INTC, or the cable companies. Insurance company profits are nothing to write home about.
There are five key problems that drive health care costs:
1. Nobody with insurance knows what their health care services cost. They don't care since it's a $10 or $20 co-pay. This causes people to over use the health care system and to not shop around for the best health care value.
2. The government gives you a big tax break to get insurance through an employer, but not if you buy coverage yourself. This makes #1 above worse.
3. The state governments have created 50 state monopolies for health insurance by forbidding someone in one state from buying insurance in another state. State governments then pile on various required coverages that drive up costs and drive away competing insurance companies. Why do you think employers in a high insurance cost state, such as New York, get so much better rates for group coverage? ERISA, which allows them to ignore the state government created monopolies.
4. The federal government drives up costs for everyone else by forcing health care providers to take 70 cents on the dollar for Medicare. Health care providers and insurance companies charge everyone else more to compensate. If everyone in the country went on Medicare's fee schedule tomorrow, every health care institution from your family doctor to the Mayo Clinic would be bankrupt in a matter of weeks.
5. Malpractice lawsuits cost $30 to $50 billion a year in direct costs. The defenders of the ambulance chasing lawyers seeking jackpot justice will tell you that isn't much in the grander scheme of things. However, the real cost is the unnecessary tests and care doctors order to protect themselves. That's about $200 billion per year.
So the solution is to address these 5 points with solutions...
1. Put the consumer back in the loop on the cost of health care. The consumer pays the bill out of pocket or funded through a tax credit account. The insurance company reimburses the consumer. You'll see health care costs decline rapidly when Johnny pays $200 for an office visit for a runny nose.
2. Delete the tax free status of health care benefits, make them taxable. Give everyone a tax credit to buy health care.
3. Allow everyone to buy out of state coverage. A simple, inexpensive, high deductible policy combined with the tax credit for out of pocket costs is a powerful combination to lower costs to individuals.
4. Fix Medicare rather than gut it to pay for another entitlement. Quit thinking Medicare provides seniors health care more efficiently. It's an illusion. It's a $70 trillion unfunded liability that will bankrupt the US in less than 25 years.
5. Reform tort law. This has been a huge success at the state level where it has been tried.
Dylan Ratigan is a conceited asshole who shouldn't be on TV. He makes Jim Cramer look like a classy genius. He lost it with Debbie Schultz of all people - a classy Democrat who was trying to answer his stupid questions as best as she can. But this jerk didn't shut up, answering his own questions, and he acted like a classless bully. And Mr. Ratigan, believe it or not, the stock market doesn't always reflect reality. Insurance companies' stocks are up from depressed levels because the legislation wasn't as bad as investors feared. Big f'king deal. Grow the fuck up Mr. Ratigan, and I hope all Democrats and Republicans ban your stupid show.
OT: Below, watch Ms.Schultz talking with GMA's Robin Roberts on her battle with breast cancer:
check out Taibbi and Kuttner (both card carrying Dems) and how they explain the love connection between Insurance/Pharma and the congress/administration
update - Soros' (uber left) MoveOn.org has come out against the current health care reform here is the quote reported by its sister publication HuffPo - so it will not be long (once Ms. HuffPo returns from dinner) that it too will take a similar position
"American needs real health care reform – not a massive giveaway to the insurance companies."
Cramer and Ratigan are both not your typical news anchor though i dont believe Ratigan as you say makes cramer look classy. Ratigan isn't shoving worthless stocks down peoples throats.
While i agree the stock market doesn't reflect reality (not an efficient market proponent here), in the short term, its all about the rumour/news and i agree the insurance companies are up so much within a span of a few weeks simply due to this health care reform bullshit.
a good companion video to the above featuring Ms Wasserman-S
Love it, she is great.
Flame on, pot calling the kettle black. Leo believes Jim Cramer looks like a classy genius in comparison with Ratigan, I never thought I would hear that on this web site.
Notice Leo picked a video with a screen shot that states "Billions in Energy Research Today" - keep selling the solars Leo.
"Notice Leo picked a video with a screen shot that states "Billions in Energy Research Today" - keep selling the solars Leo."
>>Cool, I didn't notice that. As for pumping solars, all you non-believers should read this carefully:
Solars will soar in 2010 and beyond. Use dips to build or add to your positions.
I wiped a tear from my eye after that energy one. [laughing out loud and clicking on reply] After watching the video: Is it just me, or is it that women that let their boobs get stroked a lot don't need mamograms; somebody's always checkin'? I'm just askin'.
and I hope all Democrats and Republicans ban your stupid show.
interesting perspective on the American constitutional right to freedom of speech.
This might be even more stupid than Leo's position that he sees no major events on the global horizon.
Your content is really, really suffering Leo.
That's awesome!!! Thanks. It warms my heart someone in the MM has a set big enough to call a spade, a spade. Not sure what difference it makes, but it's nice to watch.
He has a good point -- why are the stocks up if this is really "reform?" But he had the wrong guest to answer that question. Of course, had he let her continue it would have been more of the "greatest insurance & healthcare reform in history" crapola that we have been hearing.
First, Wall Street Bankers buy CONgress to the tune of 1 Trillion+ and now the insurance industry has done the same. I will withhold final judgment, but I suspect that what eventually passes will cost more and benefit fewer people. My only hope is that it will be SO bad that it will be revisited and amended sooner rather than later.
If this is an historic opportunity and we will not get an opportunity to revisit this issue (healthcare) in the next decade or more then this may end up another colossal failure of democracy.
We can't fix this as long as big business can buy Senators and Congresscritters.
I worked for a physician and the paper version of the state wide physicians' professional publication had a front page article on how physicians who are known alcoholics are coddled, sheltered, protected, and allowed to continue practice. I'm not certain if there are digital versions of these publications, but any state with a medical school, medical center, and medical library probably has bound archival copies in a medical library. Of course, physicians figure the lay person has no idea how to get their hands on a publication dedicted to a group of professionals. Needless to say, I have never seen the state newspaper carry a similar article.
Malpractice (tort reform) is a red herring -- plus, it is another encroachment of the federal government on what has been the domain of states.
Changing the standard from negligence (which will turn tort law on its head) to "gross negligence" won't do much either. A jury will still have to decide and an entire body of law will have to evolve to define medical gross negligence. For example, is operating on the wrong appendage "gross negligence" or "simple negligence?" It would depend on the circumstances. Thus, raising the standard won't stop malpractice suits.
Capping non-economic damages (pain and suffering) might help, but how can you cap "economic damages" without creating a special class of citizen with title "physician." If a surgeon causes brain trauma to a man who owns a business which depends entirely on his expertise who should bear the risk? His employees and family?
On the other hand, if a talented surgeon exercises all due care and there are known risks and the outcome results in paralysis should such a physician be subjected to a lawsuit by the patient's family? Probably not, but that might be the price he has to pay to be in the profession.
I have a hard time with federal rules which would lock an injured party out of court. (State laws as well.)
Applying the so-called, "loser pays" rule would not help much either as most plaintiffs could not pay if they lost.
Although I have read about it, I have not seen (with my own eyes) nor heard from physician friends any traumatic effect on their lifestyle or masses of doctors leaving the profession. They are paid well for what they do and they should be ... but they should not be coddled or protected as if that will "magically" reduce the cost of medical care or reduce malpractice premiums. I just don't see any evidence of it and even if I were persuaded there is such evidence, I would not favor this kind of reform -- especially from Washington, DC.
Heads up. New excuse unfolding.
"Snowstorm in the east is destroying Christmas retail."
It's the least he should do after that disrespectful outburst. Every time I watch that clip, I just want to smack him right off the head!
Every time you post on this site I just want to smack you in the head
OT: FINALLY...THE BLONDE JOKE TO END ALL BLONDE JOKES:
A blonde woman was speeding down the road in her little red sports car and was pulled over by a woman police officer who was also a blonde.
The blonde cop asked to see the blonde driver's license. She dug through her purse and was getting progressively more agitated.
'What does it look like?' she finally asked.
The policewoman replied, 'It's square and it has your picture on it.'
The driver finally found a square mirror in her purse, looked at it and handed it to the policewoman. 'Here it is,' she said.
The blonde officer looked at the mirror, then handed it back saying, 'OK, you can go. I didn't realize you were a cop..'
Bet you sold everything for a loss on March 6, 2009.
You so funny I forgot to laugh.
Tyler or Marla or Anyone,
Very interesting dark pool trade on SENO (SenoRX, Inc)on Thursday ahead of Friday's jury decision that caused the stock to gap up 33% by the close. Thought I would help do my part by pointing out some pretty obvisious insider transactions. I may be way off here, but that 248,000 shares that were traded had to be on a dark pool, because of the late day print and no price action. Someone knew something for sure.
The long term monthly trend for key equity indexes has remained down since early 2008 and that has not changed.
The charts tell us the economy is in trouble.
I did some update about SP500, DJIND and DAX. Lot´s of negative divergences and i think we will have a january similar to the past 2. Feel free to check my charts. Thanks.
In a country of 500,000,000 people the only possible scenario for ALL things, whether it be health care, social programs, budgets, taxes, ad nauseum, is that EVERYBODY must be unhappy with the compromises that are made, EXCEPT those on the inside who are making the payoffs to get legislation that benefits them.
Hell, in a small state, the exact same result applies.
A city, even.
The United States is a joke that has only a few people laughing all the way to the bank, which coincidentally is insured by a kicking and screaming public, to wooshy to rise up and cut off some heads.
Tips: tips [ at ] zerohedge.com
General: info [ at ] zerohedge.com
Legal: legal [ at ] zerohedge.com
Advertising: ads [ at ] zerohedge.com
Abuse/Complaints: abuse [ at ] zerohedge.com
Make sure to read our "How To [Read/Tip Off] Zero Hedge Without Attracting The Interest Of [Human Resources/The Treasury/Black Helicopters]" Guide
Notice on Racial Discrimination.