Saturday, January 1, 2011

These Stories are coming hard and Fast

We are being bombarded with Healthcare finance propaganda and news stories.

If you are an investor, you really need to pay as much attention to this as the price of Oil.  Somebody BIG (as in Big Brother) is making sure these articles stay on the front pages of the major news aggregators... and that is NOT happening by accident.

OK, here's why its important:

When you hear that the U.S. economy is 70% consumer driven that number INCLUDES healthcare.  It then follows that with healthcare at 18% or 19% of GDP that consumer is accurately only 51% or so of total GDP... now, my contention is that one way or another healthcare will be reduced to 10% to 13% of GDP, and that would represent a significant drag on economic expansion... coupled with $100 Oil and deflation in housing prices, a contraction in credit, and rising Treasury yields (we seem to have a bunch of 800 pound gorillas in the room with us)... Old Uncle Ben (Bernake) better have QE 3,4,5, and 6 up his sleeve.

This does not mean that asset prices cannot go even higher... Russian Roulette can be won beyond six rolls of the cylinder... 

Healthcare is going to come under attack from the Government - its going to be a massive attack.  Given the lobbying money from that industry this is going to be interesting... but given the hints in the media my bet is this industry is already under attack and they don't even know it yet.  Count on indictments of over-diagnosising physicians, among other things.  The government overuses its criminal prosecution powers, and those folks are looking for a way to justify their existence... so saving money for society on the healthcare side has a sexy story to be told.

Send your kid to Dental School.  Those guys are fairly safe as it is a "self-pay" market place.  In the end, 20, 30 , 40 years from now, everything will be "self-pay". "Health Insurance" was ALWAYS a dumb idea.

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Oil and Nat Gas were in rally mode on 12/31... can't tell if that was sympathy buying for "print day" or something more... but the trend is your friend... I added to positions in anticipation that the rally in Oil & Gas holds, but I am what they refer to in the trade as a "weak hand"... any selling and I will be, too.




24 comments:

Crybaby said...

The concept of employer based health insurance does not work well when you are talking about a large population and the cost of health care in today's industrial society. It places too much of a burden on the employer. The only real cost efficient solution is a single payer health care system, but people in this country are so paranoid of creeping socialism that it might take a real catastrophe to force it through.
Its a very good thing that doctors are going to be audited for unnecessary surgery because the fact is there are way too many surgeries performed every year in the US at great cost to the patient and the government. There are many more joint replacements performed than are medically necessary. And perhaps the worst example is in the delivery rooms. Cesarean sections are only medically necessary in about 5 to 10% of live births, so why are 30% of the babies in the US delivered via C section? Two reasons: Cost and efficiency. Not only do the surgeons make more money for the C sections, but they also speed up the time process. A woman in labor can tie up a delivery room for 12 to 18 hours, whereas a C section can be completed in one hour, freeing up the space, and turning the hospitals into more of an efficient, money making machine. Not ideal for mothers and babies but who cares?
The fact is many more people are kept alive artificially at great cost to society and the government than should be. If someone can't eat, breath, or rid him or herself of bodily wastes then isn't it time to go? Why keep people like this alive on heavy doses of pain killers for years at the expense of the government ?

Dextred1 said...

Crybaby,

Have had two kids in last 2 yrs and the problem is not the doctors. The problem is when the women are in the middle of pushing they demand a c sec and the hospital is obliged by the law to perform it. I talked to my wifes obgyn about this. Once again you don't make any sense. You blame it on greed instead of people making a free choice, but for a commie like you that only makes sense.

kathy said...

That's nonsense. No doctor is obligated to perform a c section just because a woman asks for one. In fact it would be malpractice to do so. I agree that too many are performed but it's for money and time, not because woman are unwilling to endure some pain. If that was the only reason, they would just ask for an epidural. No pain, no muss, no fuss.

Dextred1 said...

Most saving in single payer comes from 4 things. low or No research and development, withholding treatment through long and arduous waiting periods, no infrastructure investment and forcing companies to sell drugs for certain prices (price controls) which pushes up us drug prices because we produce majority of patents in health care.

Dextred1 said...

Kathy,

Frankly you don't know what the hell you are talking about.

Dextred1 said...

Did I say that was the only reason? Don't take what I said and make a straw man!!
Don't put words in my mouth. Many times they are taken through c section because they passed due date by too much and the baby is too big to delivery virginally. Sometimes women are to narrow.

PioneerPreppy said...

All I can say about c-sections is that the women I work around all proclaim them as the greatest medical achievement of all time.

I believe Dex is correct I work almost exclusively around women and not a one of them will even contemplate "natural" child birth. After their maternity leave they all brag about the c section move as well.

As a side note I spent New Years eve with 4 (out of the 5 present) women who all work... you guessed it for the State or school system. After about their 5th volcano they all started bragging loudly about their retirement coming at 55 and how the regular working stiffs were screwed.

Should have seen the hackles fly when I mentioned to them they were delusional if they thought that pension money was still going to be around in 8 to 10 years :)

Anonymous said...

Deliver "virginally"?

Please define.

Dextred1 said...

spell check I think "Vaginally". I don't type on the little comment pad. so if I spell wrong sometimes spell check auto changes it and I don't notice.

Dextred1 said...

Our two births natural were 12,300$ or so and c section was around 14,500$ or 15,000$. Instead of nationalizing it we could just make people pay out of pocket don't you think crybaby.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Pioneer:

Anything you want to share with me regarding your bee keeping experience? Please email me.

Specifically, how was your yield? What was your investment? Did having a hive nearby help your garden? Anything else you can add would be greatly appreciated.

PioneerPreppy said...

Certainly.

I actually got nothing off my hives this year aside from one frame I extracted for a friend at work. I did this because I spent everything I could to expansion, which is what I plan on doing this year as well.

After researching and talking and reading I wanted to go with more of a local approach to bees and produce "MUTS" rather than order in a bunch. To do this I would do what they call walk away splits which allows a split off hive to produce a new queen who mates with the local drones.

The problem is splitting off hives takes alot of honey resources and slows the hives production of Winter stores. I was worried they wouldn't have enough and I don't like feeding sugar so I let my girls keep all they could this year.

Going the route I am I never spend more than a few hundred bucks a year on new wooden ware, frames etc. But it grows very slowly. I had two splits fail this year and had to be re-introduced to a strong hive before Winter.

PioneerPreppy said...

OOps sorry I should have emailed you.. my bad :(

kathy said...

Dex,

HMMMM... How many babies have you delivered? How many years did you work in OBGYN and hospitals? I think I may have you beat in both cases and your post speaks for itself. One of the things I appreciate about this place is that people can generally disagree without being unpleasant.

Dextred1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dextred1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dextred1 said...

That's nonsense." must be your way of being nice :) I put in my post that it is "people making a free choice" but you choose to put your spin on it. Re-read post and you will see that I said that is one reason. I did not claim only reason. MY point was people can do what they want but of course you and crybaby can make better choices then them. My wife did not use them, but I don't care what other people do. The point of column was cost of medical care. Some insurance does not cover it unless medically needed, but they allow you to pay difference. The doctors will do it if you want anyway. Their is nothing moral about it either way. Crybaby wants single payer because he loves control by elites and that was point I was refuting. Nice ad hominem attack in your 2nd post though.

Bill said...

Greg,

I keep bees. Is a pretty good hobby overall. I sold honey and still have what we want for the year for ourselves.

You see them a lot on certain plant types. Local pollinators help as well.

What do you want to know?

Bill said...

Pioneer,

I do top bar hives. I don't have to buy any frames or other typical bee keeping equipment. Maybe a little less honey overall but also not reliant on buying stuff. Made my own hives, bars, etc.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm

PioneerPreppy said...

I looked into the top bar hives. I went with the langs simply because they seemed easier to manipulate and harvest from overall. Not to mention able to build larger hives with.

If I had the time I would go into producing my own woodenware and cut my cost by a bunch but with my Winter work schedule I just buy my gear for the moment.

I would say that having my hives has certainly increased my garden yield. Mostly in the squash and pumpkin area. It decreased my cucumber yield because during late June to mid July you couldn't pick a cucumber without getting stung :)

Seriously my girls LOVED cucumber blooms the vines were completely packed with them foraging there. I have never seen so many honey bees in one place (outside of the hive itself) as they were on those cucumber vines.

Crybaby said...

Dextred: I am sorry but you are wrong about why there are too many Cesareans in the United STates. That is probably what some doctor told you, but in the majority of the cases it is the physician, not the woman, who is pushing for a C section. Regardless of that particular example, there are way too many unnecessary surgeries performed in the US every year and I think it is a very positive thing that medicare will start auditing this. My father had some vague aches and pains in his hip joint before he died, and at age 79 was convinced by an orthopedic surgeon to have a hip replacement. Why? Because he was 79 and smoked, and the doctor figured he would be dead in a few years and he might as well get $50,000 from medicare. YOu know what happened? A few years later my father died and the surgeon probably had a very nice vacation and a new deck from the $50,0000. You know who pays for stuff like this? The taxpayer, and ultimately, future generations.
Prostatectomies are another example. Only about 5% of all prostate tumors are the dangerous lethal type which will likely kill you within a year. The majority of prostate tumors are slow growing, and may ultimately end up causing less damage to a man's health over time than the removal of the organ. So why do the surgeons recommend this surgery so often? ANd who do you think pays for it? Why do you think our insurance rates skyrocket every year?
And on a different topic, why do so many millions of American women have breast implants? Does every woman have to have a perfectly rounded size C cup bra to feel good about herself? The fact is AMericans have too many surgeries of all kinds,and I think it is a very positive trend if it stops.

Anonymous said...

Crybaby,

Of course, you are qualified to decide for others. My wife's aunt had both hips replaced at 78. She is now 86 and living on her own. He would have spent the last 7 years in a nursing home without the surgeries, or died at an earlier age due to inactivity. She got an additional 10% of the average lifespan to live independently and in good health. And, she's still going. How do you know when a surgery will not have a beneficial outcome? How will some bureaucrat know? Single payer. Phewy!

Regards,

Coal Guy.

Anonymous said...

Coal Guy:
If you're 95 years old and you want to have your hips replaced, your face lifted, and a sex change operation go for it and have fun. But don't expect the government to pay for it. The money just won't be there.

Anonymous said...

Hey,

I'm just saying that not all money spent on healthcare for the elderly is wasted. There are benefits, and some are helped remarkably well. Further, single payer healthcare is just that. Single payer. He who has the gold makes the rules, and the consumer's choices are severely limited. In fact, single payer denies you the ability to purchase your own health care ( in clear violation of the right to enter into contracts ). You cede that power to the state. Is there some perverse sexual thrill to being held powerless in the grasp of the almighty state? Really, what is the fascination?

Regards,

Coal Guy