Six years ago, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. Since then, Americans have seen their premiums increase, a dozen nonprofit insurers have closed their doors and the number of people on the Medicaid rolls has expanded. Americans nationwide have both praised and cursed the law since the federal and state-run exchanges launched in October 2013. Here are five graphs charting Obamacare’s six-year history...
When we warned recently that thanks to Obamacare, insurance companies would be unveiling significant price shocks one week before the presidential elections, we knew it was only a matter of time before the 2017 proposals would start to be released and double digit increases would be unveiled to the public. Sure enough, we were proven right when the first two states to release proposals, Oregon and Virginia, showed that insurers were indeed asking for significant double digit increases. Now, another state has made the 2017 proposals public, and the results aren't any better. In New York, health insurers have proposed an average 17.3 percent increase for individuals, and an average 12 percent increase for small groups.
Financial and economic prospects for the Eurozone have many similarities to the 1972-75 period in the UK, which this writer remembers vividly. This time, the prospects facing the Eurozone potentially could be worse. The obvious difference is the far higher levels of debt, which will never allow the ECB to run interest rates up sufficiently to kill price inflation. More likely, positive rates of only one or two per cent would be enough to destabilise the Eurozone’s financial system. Let us hope that these dangers are exaggerated, and the final outcome will not be systemically destabilising, not just for Europe, but globally as well. A wise man, faced with the unknown, believes nothing, expects the worst, and takes precautions.
"I feel the burden of many new initiatives as they affect my company’s ability to operate profitably and to hire and retain employees. Many of these initiatives often have unforeseen consequences and cause small businesses additional expenses and burdens that can lead to less hiring, more expenses, and sometimes lead to businesses closing their doors."
In yet another development in the train wreck that is Obamacare, while we know that the legislation is failing individuals and businesses, the government is now failing to live up to its obligations made to the insurers who chose to participate in the healthcare exchanges. "All we're asking is for the federal government to do what they promised" said Highmark Health CEO David Holmberg.
With Donald Trump going after Jeff Bezos' "capture" of The Washington Post this week, along with Facebook's alleged liberalization of the mainstream's news feeds, the topic of press independence is once again back out of conspiracy theory back-rooms and near top of mind for many average indoctrinated joes. Almost thirty years ago, Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky claimed that media are “effective and powerful ideological institutions that carry out a system-supportive propaganda function," but as ProMarket's Luigi Zingales exposes, for Italy, there is some circumstantial evidence that Italian newspapers are captured by banks.
What we’re looking at is going to be much more serious than any past crisis, partly because America has already evaporated, like the morning haze on a hot summer's day. You're not in Kansas anymore. Kansas isn't in Kansas anymore.
Healthcare insurers are already taking it on the chin. Some insurers got out of the healthcare business entirely, others stopped coverage in multiple states due to mounting losses. What happened is healthy individuals, especially millennials decided to opt out of Obamacare. Those who opted in after having been denied coverage previously were high-cost individuals. Adding fat to the fire, a federal court ruled today that “cost sharing reductions” to insurers are unconstitutional payments.
Heard the one about the guy that threw his boomerang only to see it come swinging and swishing its way through the air and knocking him out?
"There’s a growing belief that this can’t end peacefully. And why more and more central banks are screaming about the negative externalities exported by those practicing the extremes of extraordinary monetary policy. We’ve learned that we exist in a global economy. What hasn’t been accepted, because the consequences may prove dire, is that we also are moving toward global monetary policy."
The current financial market volatility increasingly reflects loss of faith in policy makers. Celebrity central bankers are learning that they must constantly produce new miracles for their followers. For the moment, the volatility is confined to financial markets and the effect on the real economy is limited. The ever present risk is of a doom loop where financial market problems lead to banking system weakness which, in turn, feeds a credit crunch and a contraction in economic activity. That familiar movie does not have a happy ending.
Finally Good News For Canada's Raging Wildfire: Rain, Wind Conditions Push Blaze Away From Oil SandsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/09/2016 10:13 -0400
Cooler weather on Monday will help in firefighters battle to get the Alberta wildfire under control. The fire, which has destroyed about 620 square miles and has been nicknamed "The Beast", has been burning since May 1 and now has more than 100 water-dropping helicopters flying over it. After expecting the fire to double in size over the weekend, light rains and cooler temperatures helped prevent that from happening. "This is great firefighting weather, we can really get in here and get a handle on this fire, and really get a death grip on it," said Alberta fire official Chad Morrison on Sunday.
BofAML's Mike Cantopoulos' distaste for corporate fundamentals, displeasure with the efficacy of QE and easy monetary policy on spurring growth and inflation, and concerns that a further deterioration in credit conditions will create deeper economic troubles not appreciated by many have left credit markets with poor default adjusted valuations and little room to absorb a negative shock. He highlights nine key reasons below why BofAML believes this rally won't last (and in fact may have already seen its end).
The central bank war on savers is rooted in a monumental case of the Big Lie. Here is what a retired worker who managed to save $5,000 per year over a 40 year’s lifetime of toil and sweat in a steel factory now earns in daily interest on a bank CD. To wit, a single cup of cappuccino. Yet the central bankers claim they have absolutely nothing to do with this flaming economic injustice.
Interestingly, the BoJ’s attempts to achieve its price inflation target continue to end in failure with unwavering regularity. While the central bank’s astonishing ineptness in this respect is a blessing for Japan’s citizens (at least for the moment, their cost of living doesn’t increase further), it harbors the danger that even crazier monetary experiments will eventually be tried.