28 March 2010

A running tally of the destructive costs of "health care"

I fully believe the "Health Care" bill just passed unilaterally by the democrats in congress will be the single most destructive piece of legislation I will see in my lifetime. This march towards socialism, this marxist-driven utopianism is such a failed disaster--with so many data points all throughout that last century--it is literally the recipe I would want to see the enemies of the United States mired in.

It's unconscionable to me why this president, why this congress is seemingly hell-bent on reshaping the United States in the image of the evil empire that crumbled around me when I lived in Germany in the early 90's. Think the communist, socialist, marxist label is rhetorical? Well, the Communist Party USA doesn't think so. Fidel Castro loves it.

Whatever you may feel about unsustainable debt-spending, anyone might expect a health care bill to actually, I don't know...fund something healthcare related. Is there more money for doctor's? Nurses? Medical schools? Surgeons? No? Really? What about the world's greatest drug companies? The ones that lead R&D to cure diseases and improve the quality of life? No again...However, there is $10 B in funding for 16,500 new IRS agents to enforce the individual mandate.

However, what honestly angers me the most is the absolute deliberate deception, lies and flat-out logic-defying insanity regarding the costs of nationalizing 1/6th of the largest economy in the world. The double-counting of funds, the beyond-rosy economic projections, the claims about taxes, redistribution of wealth and re-orienting our nation in the most dramatic, perhaps unrecoverable manner. We have lunged from individual responsibility and liberty to centrally controlled, planned & bureaucratically distributed in this reshaping effort.

What fundamentally upsets me is the language, the talking points and deliberate effort to obfuscate this from real debate. If your objective is a single payer system, then say so. And let the US decide if that's the "reform" we want. Don't cram marxist incrementalism down our throats. Let's have an honest discussion about all of the unfunded liabilities the nation faces right now--or if the US is already fundamentally bankrupt--and let American's decide if they want to saddle their children with this burden. Let's have an honest look at what projections for past Government programs were, and how those played-out (Medicare was supposed to be $9B/year, and is actually $67B/year now--and rising), and decide if American's think that Congress' reckless spending--stealing from future generations--is sustainable, and worth this plunge into the entitlement that dwarfs all entitlements. Let's have an honest discussion about what would happen to any household or business in the world if it were run financially like the US Govt is right now. This running blog will be commentary--and even better yet--a scorecard--to hold this president and congress responsible for their words, 'promises', claims and actions in this "health care" bill.

Filed in the "some people will say anything to get elected category": "Our Constitution places the ownership of private property at the very heart of our system of liberty.... The result of this business culture has been a prosperity that's unmatched in human history.... Our greatest asset has been our system of social organization, a system that for generations has encouraged constant innovation, individual initiative and the efficient allocation of resources." - Barack Obama, "Audacity of Hope"

28 Mar 2010

So, not a bad week one for Obamacare. Unlike the administration, which will literally say whatever is convenient, public companies are fiducially & legally responsible to address its costs.

First, the legendary company John Deere--of whom Obama once said was an indicator of the US economy--immediately released a statement detailing the damage the bill would cause this year: $150M in value wiped-out by Obamacare at former Dow-30 manufacturing bell-weather Deere Company. An American icon that employs 50,000 people.

Second, Verizon tells its employees to expect their insurance costs to increase, and that they can expect to lose the highest quality plans in the future. Verizon employs 900,000 people. Remember that. 900,000 American families, with an order of magnitude more children insured by their hard work at a Dow-30 company

Not to be outdone, one of America's most historic and resilient firms, AT&T, announced they would take a $1B charge on health care reform. One BILLION dollars in shareholder wealth value destroyed. One BILLION dollars that have been earned through providing goods & services, to be paid to its employees and distributed to its owners. A company that you undoubtedly own as a part of most large cap mutual funds, index funds, independently managed retirement funds, or your company's pension fund. A company that Grandma's and Grandpa's depend on in retirement (as my Grandparents do, through the dividend it pays), a company that employs 200,000 people.

Lastly though, what outrages me beyond words is that the authors of this bill are in fact exempt from having to be thrown into the pit of health insurance mediocrity. They exempted themselves, and their own families, but will parade their narcissistic faces in front of the nearest camera to tell us "take your medicine, it's good for you." Unbelievable.

29 Mar 2010

What happens when the US credit rating is down-graded? (for you Liberal Arts majors; different independent firms like Moody's and S&P objectively rate companies and countries abilities and likelihood to repay their debt obligations) Well that's exactly the apocalyptic scenario floated by Moody's just before the "health care" bill was signed into law. A downgrade of the US's debt rating would have catastrophic consequences on our fiscal landscape--when we are already teetering on the brink of insolvency. The portion of the US budget, let alone the portion of GDP allocated to interest payment on debt alone, would sky-rocket, as the borrowing would become more expensive. Just as millions of interest-only loans, and ARM's readjusted to send shock through the financial system, from sub-prime all the way through prime rated borrowers, the US's debt downgrade would be unbelievably painful.

This nation is desperate perils financially right now, and needs leadership--actual substance over style--now more than ever in my lifetime.

31 Mar 2010

Thank God--and Algore--for the internet. Filed again under, "people will say anything to get elected", the president himself argues articuately against the individual mandate. Oops.

It was never rhetoric--it was always the most logical deduction & basic economic understanding when "health care" takeover opponents would retort, "You think health care's expensive now, just wait till the Government takes it over." As if on cue, the AP rightly notices, that premiums could immediately jump by 10-30% for those of American's actually paying for this ponzi scheme.

What a disaster...