Cashing In on Obamacare

I know, I know. Obamacare is the worst idea since the Spice Girls reunion tour. It will stifle competition and kill capitalism. It will bankrupt the country and have us eating cat food in retirement. We'll all have to submit to the presidential death panel our DNA plus a 1,000-word essay on "What I Would Like to Do Next Summer" in order to decide who gets an insulin prescription and who gets a sympathy card. Hey, did I mention the entire country's going commie?

Oh, I'm sorry. My mistake. You're a fan of Obamacare? Then rest assured, I understand your enthusiasm for the subject. Wringing costs out of the health-care system is vital. Clearly, the only way to do that is a government-run reform program. Government being known for its efficiency and lean operations, a pillar of the reform must be a public insurance option. This is the only way to shake the existing health-care establishment out of its complacency. If that means a few less ivory backscratchers for those Wall Street fat cats (who, by the way, have more money than you do. I'm just sayin'), then so be it. Also, did I mention that those fat cats are rich?

Step away from the talk radio.
Sorry if that sounded flip, but frankly, I'm amazed at the vitriol that's been whipped up -- on both sides -- of this debate. And I'm tired of being amazed. I acknowledge that this is an important debate for our country, but I'm not spending anymore energy getting worked up about it. The misinformation spouted by health-care reform's detractors (i.e. "death panels!") and proponents (i.e. "record profits at insurance companies!") is too pervasive to amaze me any longer.

Besides, I think there's a better way for us investor types to spend our limited energy on Obamacare: We should be figuring out how to make a buck in health-care stocks.

The unloved sector
Some of you are no doubt thinking, "Make money in health care? This guy had better hope Obama includes major psychological benefits in his plan." But if so, you probably thought the same thing back in January when I recommended Autoliv to members of Motley Fool Hidden Gems. At the time, it was well known that no one would ever buy a car again, therefore all carmakers, along with car suppliers like Autoliv, were investments to be avoided like swine flu.

Of course, Autoliv returned more than 100% from that point because what everyone "knew," and feared, turned out to be worse than what actually happened. Ford (NYSE: F  ) and even the-company-formerly-known-as-GM have had to increase production to deal with an uptick in car buying. Sure, sales are still below the boom time's high-water mark, but companies like Autoliv were priced for death, and when they didn't flatline on the table (maybe they wrote a really good essay to the death panel), the stocks came charging back.

Same story, different sector
I was recently asked to talk Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) and tech stocks on CNBC's "Closing Bell," because tech stocks are currently hot, I guess. As one member of the parade of bland men in suits, I was hoping to distinguish myself -- at least somewhat -- from the crowd by refusing to play the hot-sector game. In fact, as I explained to "Money Honey" Maria Bartiromo, the concept of the hot sector makes me uneasy. By the time a sector has attracted attention, many of the stocks in it have risen, some nonsensically, and bargains are harder to find. Enthusiasm for what's already popular might get you face time on CNBC, but it's likely to put your portfolio on long-term life support.

As Buffett has put it, you pay a high price for a cheery consensus. Luckily, the opposite is also true. You get a bargain price for fear and loathing. That's why, to the extent that a "trees-not-forest" investor like me is interested in sectors at all, I'm much more interested in groups of companies that are feared or openly reviled. And right now, I'm having a hard time thinking of a sector that is as maligned as health care.

Health-care stocks, as a sector group, have not been as well treated as most other sectors during the market rebound of the past six months, as investors are uncertain how health-care reform could affect different companies.

Sector ETF

6-Month Return

Financials

79%

Materials

51%

Consumer Discretionary

44%

Industrials

39%

Technology

41%

Energy

27%

Consumer Staples

17%

Utilities

13%

Health Care

12%

Data from Yahoo! Finance. Dividends not included.

However, that bottom-of-the-heap index-ETF return looks positively excellent compared with the results from some of the losers in this space. A few big names like UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH  ) and WellPoint (NYSE: WLP  ) have seen their shares rally along with the market, but health care can be a tough sector for many companies:

Company Name

6-Month Return

Amedisys (Nasdaq: AMED  )

(58%)

Immucor

(28%)

Sun Healthcare Group

(27%)

Genzyme

(24%)

Hansen Medical (Nasdaq: HNSN  )

(23%)

Gilead Sciences (Nasdaq: GILD  )

(9%)

Data from Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.

Foolish final thought
I think one of the ways you can beat Mr. Market is by looking in hated sectors for great companies, and buying the babies, so to speak, while they're being tossed aside with the bath water. Given the angst and rancor of the health-care debate, I think you ought to devote a portion of your stock research to this sector.

At Motley Fool Hidden Gems, where we focus on small-cap companies that we believe have the potential to become large winners, we're even putting our money where my mouth is. My team has doubled-down on its work in the health-care sector. We were recent buyers of inVentiv Health, and in our Thursday issue, we've got the word on another strong operator in the health-care sector. If you'd like to see where we hope to profit from Obamacare, simply click here for a risk-free trial.

Already subscribed to Hidden Gems? Log in at the top of this page.

Seth Jayson is a co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems. He doesn't own shares of any companies mentioned in this article. Autoliv and inVentiv Health are Hidden Gems recommendations. inVentiv Health is also a Stock Advisor pick. UnitedHealth Group and WellPoint are Inside Value selections. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. The Motley Fool owns shares of inVentiv Health.The Fool has a disclosure policy..


Read/Post Comments (65) | Recommend This Article (119)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2009, at 4:55 PM, georgegarvin wrote:

    Hey Seth, you promised to tell us how to cash in on Obamacare! Talking about Google and Autoliv may be intereting, but off topic (I did not say bait and switch). What stocks stand to gain with or without a gov't provided insurance option? George

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2009, at 5:04 PM, lrecap wrote:

    The same here. The first couple of paragraphs or so is bending to the usual sensationalism to catch attention. Why not just address the subject at hand, which is what we are paying/looking to TMF.

    lre

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2009, at 5:07 PM, plange01 wrote:

    the american people have made it clear on where obama can put his healthcare plan..the country is 8 months into a depression with real unemployment already at 20% the people want jobs.nothing else will work without them first...

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2009, at 5:09 PM, cah057 wrote:

    My God, the MF site used to be a lot more insightful. The title of this article is "Cashing in on Obamacare" - maybe I missed it, where is the cashing in part. This whole site has become an op-ed rag. This might as well be a FoxNews site.

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2009, at 5:11 PM, Lesssense101 wrote:

    The main reason health care costs are out of control is govt intervention. Forcing the dispensing of care to those that can't or won't pay and the rest of us are forced to make up the difference.

    The secondary reason is liability due to lawsuits. Somebody has to pay for the malpractice insurance even though most doctors do their best to help you.

    Else doctor and hospital visits would actually be reasonably priced.

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2009, at 5:50 PM, stonebusted wrote:

    Lawyers seem to show up around problems. Could it be they start most of them?

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2009, at 5:57 PM, Klee51 wrote:

    cah057 expresses my sentiments exactly.

    The Obamacare article provides no insight or useful information just his biased political opinion. Get to work fellas!

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2009, at 6:00 PM, driller101 wrote:

    The insurance companies are the buy if watered down healthcare goes through. They will get all those extra bodies, and the government will pay them for people who can't afford it. Meanwhile, because a lot of their new clients will be poor and have jobs that don't provide insurance, if they do get sick, the insurance companies will make it difficult for them to actually collect.

    Last time l looked, most of the rest of the civilized world that has government run health care are also democratic. Wonder why they haven't voted their health care systems out?

    If politicians couldn't collect campaign contributions and favors from the healthcare industry and the their lobbyists, we would have had universal healthcare decades ago.

    Our system is the most expensive in the world and provides only mediocre results.

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2009, at 6:56 PM, NewFoolin wrote:

    If you think health care is expensive now, just wait until it's free !

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2009, at 7:07 PM, Glycomix wrote:

    Where is the money coming from to pay for another "feel good" entitlement? We're not paying for what OBama and the congress are spending now.

    OBama has spent or proposes to BORROW and spend 2.8 trillion dollars this year. There are 135 million taxpayers. That's $20,740 per taxpayer, including those who are living below the poverty level. I can't PAY that! He and using it to buy 'junker' cars and to pay employment insurance. How much is going to our aging infrastructure??

    We had the bottom fall out of the financial market when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac went under in September 2008. They went under because congress legislated that they had to make 53% of their loans to the poor and with little to no downpayment.

    Bush stepped and bailed out the banks that had bought these crap Fannie Mae loans. The Fed and FDIC bought 700 billion more. If they continue like this, all of the banks will fail because the FDIC and the Fed are bankrupt. There IS no guarantee to keep your deposits safe.'

    If the government continues to spend money its citizens can't afford, we'll become a third world nation, with no military or social security. Our currency will become worthless and Islamic Jehadi terrorists will bomb our power and water, malls and buses as they do in Israel. They don't fear our miliary because we can't afford one.

    The top 1% currently pay 40% of the taxes. The The rest of us can't afford all of these programs. When Obama raises it to 80%, they'll probably leave and take their wealth to a country that will allow them to keep most of it. They'd be insane not to.

    The rich

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2009, at 7:28 PM, StopLaughing wrote:

    Russ Feingold indicated there would be NO healthcare bill this year and did not promise he would support one when (if) one did come up for vote. Further, he indicated that Cap and Trade is essentially dead (my interpretation).

    It seems that all of the grass roots (astroturf) participation in the town halls is causing some sanity on the Democratic side.

    Maybe it is the poll numbers of Reid, Dodd and a host of other Senators (like CO, IL, CA) that are starting to resonate. Further, some of the blue dog house members are starting to speak out. Some are even speaking out against Pelosi.

    It will be in interesting fall.

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2009, at 7:36 PM, greenwave3 wrote:

    SUNH is a huge all-star , gushing with free cash flow and trading well below 10 times this and next year's earnings. They won't necessarily make more money because of Obamacare, but the fear of a national health plan has beaten the stock price to ridiculous levels and the fear seems overblown.

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2009, at 8:12 PM, shartuga wrote:

    Crisis is an opportunity. The crisis is not what we have now but what will occur when you combine the healthcare needs of the aging boomer population with the sudden retirement of a significant portion of the most experienced providers. The docs will be squeezed by increasing taxation, more work for less pay, the real need to take better care of oneself since there will be fewer around to do it and the clamping down on "defensive medicine" without any tort reform. A lot of physicians over 50 are going to be taking a hard look at retirement. I have yet to hear any plan to increase the number of providers to be trained for this influx of uninsured patients and very likely exodus of providers if Obamacare gets passed. It's not like most docs are working less than a 40 hour week now (more like 50-60) and the few who are do it for lifestyle reasons that are unlikely to suddenly change. I would really like to know what health care businesses are going to do well in this world of cutbacks. Without a peek into George Soros portfolio I think the sector is risky.

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2009, at 10:04 PM, RiverRover wrote:

    To driller 101:

    "Our system is the most expensive in the world and the most mediocre"

    I remind you that people come from all over the world for care here in the USA. We separate conjoined twins from other countries. The Prime Minister of Canada came to the US for his surgery. We have the BEST of the BEST here in our country. Litigation and the fact that "I have insurance" have driven costs up.

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2009, at 10:55 PM, AlexanderAkhavan wrote:

    The medical system in the United States is OVERALL one of the WORST among the developed countries. We have the worst stats for life expectancy, infant mortality, etc. That being said there are some top notch hospitals like the Mayo Clinic. Don't confuse the two issues.

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2009, at 11:16 PM, RCS2rocks wrote:

    "as I explained to "Money Honey" Maria Bartiromo"

    Really Seth, That's a bit tacky.

    A public option will kill innovation. Our current system, imperfect as it may be, creates innovation. That is why we have the best hospitals, doctors, medicine, equipment, knowledge on the planet.

  • Report this Comment On August 26, 2009, at 2:19 AM, PALH wrote:

    The vitriol is NOT coming from both sides. Any objective view of the town-hall meeting fiascos should lay the blame squarely where it belongs -- at the GOP's feet. They are not interested in reform, at any point in any degree for any reason.

  • Report this Comment On August 26, 2009, at 3:20 AM, PoundMutt wrote:

    For one prominent and respected doctor's view of the true nature of Obamacare and its current and long-term effects upon all of us and the nation, go to the link below:

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/janda.asp

  • Report this Comment On August 26, 2009, at 3:23 AM, PoundMutt wrote:

    and what about Obama's speech to a union that his "Obamacare" is but the FIRST step to a "Government mandated AND RUN single payer system"

  • Report this Comment On August 26, 2009, at 5:07 AM, CarryOnAgain wrote:

    I have noticed that this thread has jumped from how to invest in Obamacare to the politics of Obamacare. Continuing in that vein therefore, I would like to add my own views.

    As a UK citizen we enjoy free-at-point-of-use health care. This usually works satisfactorily for minor ailments - we can normally get appointments to see our family doctors within a day or two. However, there are at least two serious problems.

    1) Rationing by bureaucracy. The availability of treatments are decided by a government agency perversely named NICE. This body of bean counters has made outrageous decisions in the name of saving money. For example, an elderly patient was denied an operatation to save the sight in his eyes after being diagnosed with macular degeneration - until he looses (permanently) the sight in one eye. Then they will allow the remaining eye to be treated. The idea is that operating on both eyes costs more than operating on one.

    2) Government or local government interference, applying targets and mandates over how the doctors are allowed to operate. This is usually in order to further some kind of political ideology. For example, one local authority has recently mandated that "Travelling people" can jump the queue when making appointments to see family doctors, and this often when fixed/tax paying members of the community have to wait days (travelling people are effectively organised bums that make a living by taking over land on which they live in trailers and cause great nuisance to the local community - but that's OT).

    I call all of this Orwellian. I fear similar interference in Obamacare.

  • Report this Comment On August 26, 2009, at 7:34 AM, TMFBent wrote:

    ""as I explained to "Money Honey" Maria Bartiromo"

    Really Seth, That's a bit tacky."

    Agreed, but don't blame me, RCS2. It's a name she tried to trademark for herself. (http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4009:bi...

    How to cash in? (a few comments). In 3 words: do some work. OK, 3 more: dig into healthcare. You can gather, from the comments here, that this is a sector of great loathing, and my point in this article is pretty simple: We believe there's opportunity in the much-maligned sector.

    In HG, one of our areas of focus in healthcare right now is companies that can help other healthcare outfits cut costs. As I mention, inVentiv fits that bill. There are others, we're looking for more, and savvy Fools will no doubt know of others the HG doesn't.

  • Report this Comment On August 26, 2009, at 8:03 AM, TMFBent wrote:

    Whoops, my link above will be dead. Here's one of the Money Honey's (now dead) trademark ap's, straight from the USPTO web site.

    ------------------

    Word Mark MONEY HONEY

    Goods and Services (ABANDONED) IC 028. US 022 023 038 050. G & S: Games and toys, namely stuffed animals, hand-held unit for playing electronic games, electronic educational game machines for children, dolls, doll accessories, toy action figures and accessories therefore, collectible toy figures, toy building blocks, toy mobiles, board games, card games, jigsaw puzzles, manipulative puzzles, toy cube puzzles, children's multiple activity toys and tables, children's multiple activity toys sold as a unit with printed books, electronic learning toys, play money, talking toys, toy banks, and toy cash registers

    Standard Characters Claimed

    Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK

    Serial Number 77083997

    Filing Date January 16, 2007

    Current Filing Basis 1B

    Original Filing Basis 1B

    Published for Opposition August 28, 2007

    Owner (APPLICANT) Bartiromo, Maria INDIVIDUAL UNITED STATES c/o Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz 488 Madison Avenue New York NEW YORK 10022

    Attorney of Record Edward H. Rosenthal

    Type of Mark TRADEMARK

    Register PRINCIPAL

    Live/Dead Indicator DEAD

    Abandonment Date June 22, 2009

  • Report this Comment On August 26, 2009, at 8:37 AM, cajallen wrote:

    Bring it on National Healthcare. Pay for it by stopping war games. Pay for it by stopping space exploration. Be here now. We could even consider feeding a few starving people after we feed ourselves.

    Why are the President and Chairman of a large healthcare company worth $15 million and $10 million, respectively ?? Because they are ripping us off.

  • Report this Comment On August 26, 2009, at 9:57 AM, kstrick62 wrote:

    cajallen,

    maybe saving lives does have a price. i, for one, don't think it should be free. i bet if they were in your family lineage you might feel differently. it's STILL a free market economy, for now. . .

  • Report this Comment On August 26, 2009, at 10:30 AM, outoffocus wrote:

    Man do people read anymore? He clearly stated that the way to cash in on Obama care is to buy beaten down healthcare stocks. What did you people do? Read the first 2 paragraphs and stop? Sheesh.

  • Report this Comment On August 26, 2009, at 11:09 AM, TMFBent wrote:

    "What did you people do? Read the first 2 paragraphs and stop? "

    If so, that would be normal, according to research I saw in the past.

    :^0

  • Report this Comment On August 26, 2009, at 11:46 AM, sept2749 wrote:

    The government can't run a bus/ train service or a retirement fund (social security) and we're going to let them run an already messd up healthecare system? Suicide! By the way, where do you help us with this in your article. Seems to me that you guys, however personable you may be, end your daily's with JOIN and PAY!!! Cut it out boys - we know how to join. Give us the info you promise in the headings don't bait and switch - it's a symptom of greed - not good! Gentlemen, I believe that if you guys could call stocks as winners you wouldn't have to sell, sell ,sell. You'd be rich, rich rich and not selling, selling, selling.

  • Report this Comment On August 26, 2009, at 11:47 AM, Cuprock wrote:

    A large number of the articles I receive from MF via email, which are at times, very useful, have some type of personal slant on the topic at hand, which I don’t want to read. Just give me the facts, I really don’t have time for the comedy bashing on either side of the health care issue and I don’t care one bright red rudy patoody about the “infotainment” coming off talk radio.

    The first 300-plus words of this 1000 word article consist of unnecessary op-ed. We readers, who value this publication enough to pay for it, spend one-third of our reading time blowing away the fluff.

    Please, just give me the 700 words I can use and save the other 300 for the dinner party.

  • Report this Comment On August 26, 2009, at 12:38 PM, plantoretire1day wrote:

    This is why I enjoy reading the commentary on these articles. View points are so diverse. It is clear that we need something better, but the question is how and what. The answer is out there. It may come knocking at your door one Saturday morning, I just hope you will be open to hearing it.

  • Report this Comment On August 26, 2009, at 3:47 PM, thegoat0758 wrote:

    To driller101 who said that the other civilized countries that have government run health care are democratic. I hope he isn't grouping in Iran, Russia etc.. into that bunch and meant places like Canada and England. To that note, Those countries are democratic and although people want to think our country was set up to be democratic, it wasn't, we are and have been and hopefully will remain a Republic. We don't have parliments we have a congress. No Prime Minister, a President, and no House of Lords, a Justice System. Both parties are to blame for the predicament we are in. They do anything to get re-elected and it's all about the power. There definately has to be reform, but the Fed Gov't is not the answer other than to make small changes at a time and make sure they work. Once the Gov't starts a program it is next to impossible to get rid of it, Just ask the Canadians and British. The only reason they still have it, is because they don't know how to get out of it. There are several things that could be done at the Fed level and one is tort reform (States that limit awards have more doctors per patient than those that don't, because doctors defect from states that don't because insurance co's charge an anesthesiologist upwards of $280,000/yr and they can make more than enough to pay it cause there are not many left in thoughs states, which means they work a lot of hrs and more apt to make deadly mistakes. Allowing insurees to cross state lines would start causing ins co's to have to compete for the people and if the gov't would supplement ins. for those with pre existing conditions and spread them out throughout the ins system we could have an OK start. I can't name one thing the Fed Gov't does efficiently. The social security system was a scam from the start. It started paying out to people a year after it started and the first person to receive, a lady from Minn, made back over 8,600 percent on her witholdings & the ratio of workers to recipients was 16 to 1 and only 1/2 of 1 % was taken out of a workers check. Now the ratio is 3 workers to 1 recipient & we pay 6.2% of our pay to it. We need the Fed Gov't for a National Defense, but there are billions that go to waste in that, but we need it. The subsidy/welfare program is necessary for those who need a hand up, but less than 20 cents on the dollar actually make to the people. I will stop preaching, but our Gov't forgot they work for us and they honestly think they know how to fix ploblems by throwing money at it.

  • Report this Comment On August 27, 2009, at 2:26 AM, thomdd1959 wrote:

    We are all tired of the Whitehouse trying to sell us health care reform. You know, I know and the American people know this is really about more government power and control. Our biggest problem has become our government! Stop! Just stop all this nonsense!

    The only real financial crisis of the U.S.A. is hiding in the audit of “The Fed Scam”!

    We demand to know where our ONE POINT TWO TRILLION DOLLARS is now!

    Alan Grayson (High Quality Version): Is Anyone Minding the Store at the Federal Reserve?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJqM2tFOxLQ&eurl=http%3A%...

    Audit “The Fed Scam” bills HR 1207 must pass in The House and S 604 must pass in The Senate immediately! Any Representative or Senator that does not vote in favor of and support these bills or tries to “water-down” or stall these bills is clearly a Traitor and “Sold Out” the United States of America!

    “Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.” --George Washington

    Does our government think that we are now here to serve them? Are they out of their minds?

    Some of our leaders today have acquired a very “twisted” view of their roles. Do we now have those who can no longer handle the power we entrusted them? Why have they abused and taken advantage of us? Do they no longer think they are accountable to us and believe they can do whatever they please? Our “public servants” have developed a “spirit of insubordination” and have gotten way out of control! This has to stop right now! This is ridiculous! If they do not want to listen to and serve us wholeheartedly, we no longer need them! “We need to do a major house cleaning immediately! Enough is Enough!

    It’s time for “We the People” of the U. S. A. to get VERY ANGRY!

    We need to keep a real close eye on all our government “public servant” employees. Our government was set up to serve U.S. and we no longer want any secrets about our money. We no longer want any misguided governmental arrogance directed at us!

    This Is A Very Public Matter!

    We demand real transparency, with open books and plenty of civilian watchdog czars. Government czars are an insult to the intelligence of the American people! Many of are entrusted government employees are a total disgrace to U.S. They only care about their own best interests!

    The most conniving, low life, manipulators in all of history put “The “Fed Scam” together! Since its inception in 1913, “The Fed Scam” has helped to devalue our dollar by 95%. During the recent economic crisis, it has poured TRILLIONS of dollars into the economy with no oversight, has made secret agreements with foreign banks and governments, and has refused to tell Congress or the American Public who is getting our money. They have the power to print it, but it is not their money! This is our money! They are blood-sucking thieves!

    End “The Fed Scam” Now! We must never again allow private banks to create or control our money! Why should we pay interest on our money! We must never again allow our “public servants”, to keep any secrets about our money! Our big mistake was to trust our government. They can not be trusted! History has taught us this, over and over again. We have been warned over and over again. Why do you think we have so many economic problems now?

    “Congress can revoke central bank’s charter ‘at any time’” --Ron Paul

    http://www.tomdavidd.com/blog/

    Anybody who supports “The Fed Scam” is clearly a Traitor to “We the People” of the United States of America!

    “We can all commiserate forever about how bad things have been, are, and will continue to be. But I don’t think that we can afford to wait for elections in order to have our say about putting a stop to this madness. Enough, already! Let’s start talking treason, prison, and death penalties for all malefactors in government who subvert, ignore, skirt and otherwise trash the Constitution of these United States of America. Those who have sworn to uphold the Constitution and have then ignored their oaths of office are guilty of perjury and malfeasance in office.” –Stephen A. Langford (personal communication to this author)

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2009, at 9:14 AM, lslobovia wrote:

    you should label "articles" like this as advertisements.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2009, at 10:07 AM, TrustIsEarned wrote:

    I like Seth Jason's style. He is trying to sell us on subscribing to Hidden Gems, which I'm sure offers fine information as do other MF subscriptions. But I lke how he "pokes fun" at both sides in the health care debate. The general advice on investments is sound (look for out-of-favor but sound companies in an out-of-favor sector.)

    What tires me out most are right-wingers like some of the posters above who cannot stop critizing our President and who fail to recognize that what has been done by the Federal Reserve and Treasury to save America from another depression was absolutely essential. Fortunately for us, Paulson and Bernake, and even President Bush, belatedly recognized late last year that government had to act boldly (largely becaue government had failed to act much earlier to curtail absolutely crazy stuff being done by "financial engineers" in the credit markets.)

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2009, at 11:22 AM, racindc wrote:

    The entire "health care" debate has focused not on health care, but rather health insurance. Having health insurance does not mean that one has health care. Having said that, this article addresses one of the big problems with health care - it should not be publicly traded. When investors profit from cost-cutting measures such as denying care, the care will suffer.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2009, at 11:39 AM, Snertie wrote:

    AlexanderAkhavan: You might be interested to know that the US has one of the lowest rates of infant mortality. Your stats are based upon the fact that in the US, we count all infant deaths, even from premature births. Most of the rest of the world only counts deaths long after birth, sometimes months after.

    Life expectancy in the US less than a year less than that of the EU, and that is mostly due to lifestyle; the fact that we're overfed (especially the "poor") and underexercised. It has very little to do with the health care system. In fact, cancer survival in the US is several times higher than the socialized countries.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2009, at 11:49 AM, Snertie wrote:

    Obamacare will be great for me in the short term. My current insurance costs me over $500/mo, and that will certainly increase as federal mandates for coverage I don't need (hair plugs, invitro fertilization, drug rehab & viagra) push the cost through the roof. I will drop that insurance and opt instead just to pay the 2.5% "penalty tax" for being uninsured. If and when we do get sick, we will simply sign up for the best plan available, since pre-existing conditions will no longer disqualify us. If and when we're healthy again, we'll drop it again. This will work well until the entire system collapses because everyone else will be doing the same thing.

    At that point, I'll be participating in a business that specializes in shuttling wealthy people who are able and willing to pay for care in other countries. When the taxes in this country finally become too painful, I'll just leave like countless thousands (or millions) like me.

    Good luck to those of you who are left.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2009, at 12:46 PM, mint3p0 wrote:

    I just have to add my two cents.

    Are we as Americans really that selfish as to say to H E double hockey sticks with our fellow man who could use some health plan but has no money to cover it. Let us take a few facts into consideration here:

    1. A visit to the emergency room just to see a doctor for the uninsured costs about $450 on the average low end. (Considering I have never been to the doctor and not had to wait an hour or so to see him for about 5 mins, and for him to prescribe some drug which i also have to go and buy)

    2. Most insurance plans cost about $80-$160 per month. Thats anywhere from $1000-2000 a year. (they usually have a co-pay.) Most of them don't cover 100% of the medical bill, still leaving you with 20% of the costs, and this is only usually after you pay a deductable up to $5000.

    3. Serious conditions that will cost money to maintain, insurance companies can refuse to insure you or charge you up to 2 to 3 times normal if they did insure you. (ex. HIV positve or something the medication for that condition can cost in the $1000s easily).

    and the list goes on... I think the medical field should be one you get in to help others not make a ton of money. As much as we and the media bash Canada I can tell you that for the most part my family there has a smile and a "DECENT LIFE". As thats usually the voice of opposition against a public option. "I can't have a decent life with a public option cause the government will take my money." C'mon ppl. I usually take the USPS over FEDEX in most cases I save a buck or two and they both do the same thing.

    4. The important thing is I can choose public or private. True story my Canadian cousin had both a heart replacement and a brain tumor remove all within a 10 span. All this how much do you think that would have costed him if he were my American cousin WITH INSURANCE (can't even imagine the cost without). Instead it costed him nothing and he got medical disability as part of the deal so as not to stress his new heart.

    Does free cost more, yes it does. Is it worth it? Yes it is. If I can snap my neck and get it fixed without losing my house in the process how is that a bad deal. Why deny FREE CHOICE?

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2009, at 12:50 PM, Nfaifa wrote:

    When comparing health systems it is best to compare the facts, rather than make claims that "obviously" one approach works better than another. Some facts comparing the British and American systems are these.

    (1) Spending on health in the UK is half as much as a proportion of GDP as spending on health in the US

    (2) Life expectancy in the UK is higher than life expectancy in the US

    Sort of belies the mantra that a free market provides better quality at lower cost than a largely state controlled system, doesn't it?

    One reason for the better value across the board is the evidence based medicine approach, which recognises that there is a finite pot of money, and that money should not be squandered on very expensive treatments with marginal or unproved advantages, at the cost of treatments that provide benefits to patients at a reasonable cost. It would be my opinion that NICE (the National Institute for Clinical Excellence) is a tougher customer for those who develop new treatments than a partially informed purchaser of private healthcare.

    Of course in the UK, everyone has the right to private medical care as well as the right to the public healthcare system, and many people avail of this right for various reasons. Despite this, the total cost (not just the cost of the public healthcare system) remains dramatically lower, while people live longer.

    One area in which the US healthcare system beats the UK system is in the compensation it provides for those working within the system, and particularly the best qualified. So the competition seems to be more between the consumer and the healthcare providers, with the latter winning hands down, than between the healthcare providers, fighting to provide good value to the patient.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2009, at 12:54 PM, Nfaifa wrote:

    Another point which is rather interesting, is the increased role of the NHS in the UK in preventive medicine - encouraging people to avoid health risks. Perhaps the fact that the poor health and low life expectancy in the US is largely due to unhealthy lifestyles could be partially blamed on the fact that a private healthcare system has little motivation to engage in preventive health programs to benefit all people.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2009, at 1:34 PM, howardbeale3 wrote:

    Hey Glycomix

    Sounds like you have to much of that Glycomix bacteria in your gut and you are farting out bull sh....

    Here is a little heads up for you. Most of the richest 1% of the country don't pay any taxes. They have there money stashed away in Swiss bank accounts and are citizens of countries like Monaco where once your citizenship is purchased you pay no taxes. I happen to know 2 people personally who at one point or another were on the Forbes 500's richest people in the world list and they don't pay a cent of tax to anyone.... "what a surpirse right". One of my best friends is one of these guy's personal assistants and he knows where his money is going and it isn't going to the IRS so sorry to burst your bubble. I wouldn't worry to much about that 1% taking their money elsewhere. It's already in "elsewhere" sitting in effective tax shelters and even if it wasn't, how much money does any one person or family need to live out there 75 years on earth. How many houses how many cars how many islands. I'm all for a free market; the kind that doesn't protect these mostly privileged inheritors and thieves. I'm all for a real free market jungle where the strongest survive... one where there are no tax's paid to police departments and armies to protect these people from being bashed over the head while having there Mercedes Benz's taken away while they drive down some street. "Now that is a free market" "Master of the Spoon in Mouth Government Funded I'm Protected Universe! So unitl you want a real free market you better get with the program. Little people are suffering. Their lives are at stake they are dying so people like you can fanasize about getting wealthy. Our Judeo/Christian civilization is hanging in the balance while your brand of "Crony Capitalism" eats itself alive after eating everything else just as Marx predicted it would. Oh and by the way I'm not poor and I have health insurance

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2009, at 2:02 PM, TheOpinion wrote:

    mint3p0, your ideas are noble, and nobody wants anyone to lose their house, however, there are a large number of ways that the government can help control health care costs without controlling "everything" and stomping out private insurance/health care facilities all in the same swoop.

    1.) Open up the ability to have hospitals, doctors, and medical facilities to buy drugs, medical equipment and supplies outside of the U.S. Cuba pays approximately 1/20th for their medical supplies compared to U.S. companies.

    2.) Open up the state border requirement. Allow insurance companies to compete over state lines where increased competition lessen the regional demographics risk to insurers. Example, Florida has more elderly patients than any other state probably. Those costs could come down if Florida health insurance companies could include other people in its insurance pool.

    Here are other reasons to not have a "public" health care plan. Posted below is an excerpt from another article.

    -------------------------------------------------

    In 1994 to buy perpetual control of Tennessee, Democrats offered virtually “free” government health care. Tennessee’s version of KennedyCare is called TennCare. Its costs grew exponentially from an initial budget of $300 million to $8.5 Billion by 2005 when it imploded. It grew so large it eventually gobbled up fully 33% of Tennessee’s budget! In less than ten years it was an acknowledged failure, a very expensive failure.

    Major “unforeseeable” problems:

    In just eighteen months it became obvious TennCare was bankrupting the state under the weight of shocking fraud mismanagement and Tennessee style systemic corruption. Originally designed to provide medical insure to 850, 000 of Tennessee’s poorest residents, another 500,000 Tennesseans signed up anyway. Worse still another 300,000 illegal aliens fraudulently registered as well. Tennessee Democrats “tried” to keep illegal aliens off TennCare, but “nothing worked.” Reports of dead people on the rolls infuriated people and helped bring about demands for redesign.

    When the waves of “unforeseen” registrants crashed down on the system and combined with endemic fraud and corruption the program was slammed into crisis. By 2005 TennCare had to be scaled back. Not surprisingly Democrats tried to save it with a first time ever state personal income tax, but people stormed the capital district and shutdown the state until it was taken off the table.

    TennCare: what KennedyCare will be

    A Republican Congressman who worked as a physician under TennCare reports witnessing other doctors refuse to see TennCare patients because of the lower reimbursement rates and difficulty collecting on their invoices.

    In spite of every socialist “good intention” TennCare never was able to cover all Tennesseans leaving 6% uninsured. Tennessee’s socialist adventure serves as a clear red line reminder of what will happen if Kennedycare is made the law of the land.

    (Excerpt) Read more at collinsreport.net ...

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    My opinion is, if you want a government control of your body, mind and life, move to another country where the governments already control there citizens.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2009, at 2:32 PM, Snertie wrote:

    Amazing. People are actually arguing that they want nationalized health care because they want the government to control people's unhealthy behaviors!

    On one hand, this will be great as I will now have the moral authority to berate the obese people I see at the supermarket check-out counters with their ding-dongs and beer. After all, I'm now paying for their health care!

    On the other hand, once the state has total control over our health, and our wallets to pay for it, we effectively become slaves to the state.

    The now lifeless Europeans seem to be comfortable with that idea. I for one am not interested in becoming anybody's slave.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2009, at 3:14 PM, Bennerob wrote:

    RE healthcare reform, Republicans fall broadly into two categories: Cleverly greedy and stupidly stupid. The cleverly greedy have bought up the talk show airwaves where the stupidly stupid get their only news. The ratio of the latter to the former is about a thousand to one, which, when coupled with a whole lot of sadly stupid Democrats as well, accounts for the fact that this country has no hope for the present and little hope for the future unless the Obamanation somehow manages to purge the Abomination of Ignorance that plagues the intestinal tract of our great nation. As long as the national pastime "Ignorance is Bliss" prevails, the big insurance companies (and their Republican and Democratic representatives in Congress) will continue to rip off Americans, most of whom will deserve it for being so predictably stupid...including many of you who write in this forum.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2009, at 3:40 PM, schmidty32 wrote:

    This article didn't show how to CASH IN ON OBAMACARE! what a waste of time

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2009, at 3:47 PM, 170833147 wrote:

    For those who scoff at "death-panels," take a step back and learn from my experience. Our elderly mother, on medicare, was severely ill due to an infection that she contracted while in the hospital on an unrelated matter. She was intubated and several lifesaving measures were instituted. After 3 days a social worker from the hospital "had a talk with the family" about "costs" of moving forward in hopes that she would respond. It was subtle, if not sneaky, soon followed by the attending who gave us his spiel. I argued that we should not give up. The attending didn't know me or what I do, but I got the same financial costs speech peppered with "what are we really trying to do here." I said that I want to give her every chance possible, and he said: "Are you willing to pay the $300,000.00 dollars? At that point I told him I was a doctor and that I would recommend giving her at least another week. He said: "Why didn't you tell me?" Well, she responded after 4 more days, got better and went home. The death panel was real. It comes in the form of a social worker, expedient and jaundiced doctors and a Medicare(govt. program) that wants to reduce costs by using actuarial tables. Death panels are real.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2009, at 4:12 PM, Snertie wrote:

    The "Death Panel" idea is not scare-tactic speculation, but already a reality here in America:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=5517492&page=1

    In this case, the State of Oregon decided to suggest the cheaper suicide drug over the life extending one. The only real question is, do you want some faceless guy from your insurance company making this decision, or a political appointee hack?

    So might I suggest that the way to cash in on "Obamacare" might be to invest in suicide drugs.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2009, at 4:25 PM, chaney5758 wrote:

    Tell me how then we are going to save money in the health-care field if 85% of costs are applied to 5% of the old? They only way to trim cost there is to ration health-care for the old. When a no named government bureaucrat panel decides in some back office in DC who gets that life saving $100k operation when the patient is 88 years old or that expensive $50k meds a year - couldn't you call that a death panel???? Laugh now.... when you realize it - then it will be too late.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2009, at 6:02 PM, bleuskies wrote:

    I am finding that I am, unfortunately, starting to tune out some of these revelations from MF. The headline has almost nothing to do with the body of the report. More often than not, these articles come across as a baited advertisement for one of the premium services thses days. I would like to see the Fool go back to being an information source for investors. I can get sales hype from any number of lesser financial blogs and newsletters.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2009, at 6:07 PM, TomDebbie wrote:

    What are the answers, I don't know. I do know a system that discriminates against a person who becomes ill or injured & punishes them for it.....is absurd. I don't mind paying paying my fair share of taxes, saving for my own retirement or even paying a portion of my insurance premiums & out of pocket costs, but where is it written that if I become sick or injured I should possibly loose my savings, home & retirement fund to get medical care. The fact is whether your 20 or 60 your going to end up in a system built on profits that decides moment by moment what they will or will not pay for should you (heavens forbid) become sick or injured. I certainly don't have a problem with profits; I have a problem with a system steeped in mystery & rife w/corruption. Yes corruption....you have no way to determine what healthcare service is going to cost until you need medical care & get the bill. There is no other country in the world where you loose your House should you get sick or injured. US Co., can't even compete with other country's around the world because of Co. healthcare bills. Where's the justice in this system?? Oh I forgot......once you get sick or injured; you'll never get insurance again.....it's called pre-existing. Heavens Forbid, who thought up this one & why is it considered Fair!

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2009, at 6:28 PM, acommontater wrote:

    For every action there is a reaction-Everyone hates insurance and won't buy it until they need it. Since time began there have been people who are more than willing to have someone pay for their problems, health, life or liability. Everyone wants to focus on the crooks(?) in the insurance business and overlook those poor souls who don't have insurance (who would rather spend their money on fun things) or the people who want to buy it the day(and not tell the underwriter, of course) before they go into the hospital. Realistically most people know when they are seriously ill and if they can buy coverage before they go in the hospital right before they need it, then that's a good insurance policy!

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2009, at 7:12 PM, VChristine wrote:

    The whole health care reform debate is a smoke screen. The real issues, the economic crisis and terrorism fomenting abroad, are being altogether glossed over by the media and this administration who has no answers or plan for either issue. Instead they are clogging the airways and the legislative debates with whether or not to wrest medical free choice from Americans, balloon the current government employment rosters and bankrupt us totally in the process. It's not the details of the bill, its that the whole thing is insane. Wake up and dry your powder. A larger crisis is looming that is completely off the screen.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2009, at 7:41 PM, mrlly wrote:

    The words "Death panel" are definitely a summarization that evoke strong feelings. Americans are afraid of death. We have lived such a decadent lifestyle and have flourished with such great health care that we are spoiled. We make choices like smoking 3 packs of cigarettes a day and then suffer a very poor quality of life struggling for air and spending exorbitant amounts of money on end-of-life care yet we still cannot face the fact that it is okay to die.

    I am NOT one to believe in euthanasia but I have seen all too often where children who have not even seen their parent in the past year suddenly call up and want "everything done for their parent that can be done." We as Americans need to be more educated about end of life issues and not so quick to sue the health care provider who is caught in the middle of trying to provide the best care/death for the patient and yet trying to fit in all the family requests and demands.

    All the rest of this Obamacare is bunk! We have become a nation who is spoiled and doesn't take responsibility for ourselves. We have voted in a president who told us what we wanted to hear and yet turn a deaf ear as to how we are going to pay for all of this.

    Health care is not a right; it is a choice.

    I am a nurse practitioner and my husband is a rural family practice physician. People CHOOSE not to buy insurance. Then, when we see them in the clinic they actually are paying for the costs of the medicaid patient. Let me explain...A level 3 office visit is $70. A person without insurance will pay $70. A person with insurance will pay a co-pay and then the insurance company will reimburse the physician what they feel that office visit is worth. Medicare will pay 80% of that which figures out to be $56. Since I am a nurse practitioner, I get 80% of that which figures to be $44.80. Medicaid will pay even less. Medicaid pays $18 to a physician!!!! Okay so that sounds like alot? Well, there is the staff to pay as well as their insurance and benefits, utilities, proficiency testing for each lab test our lab does which can range from $3,000 to $20,000 a year, and yes...our liability insurance and our very expensive continuing education so we can keep up with all the medical testing and regulation.

    Obama care wants to reduce our reimbursement even more? AND there will be outcome penalties? Sure outcome based payment SOUNDS good but that means that the diabetic that I have counseled at EACH office visit to exercise and eat a low glycemic diet who does not decrease their Hgb A1c because they continue to make poor choices, will cause me to get even less reimbursement? It is frustrating enough to see your patients make poor choices let alone for me to be financially penalized for it. I have actually had people come right out and say to my face, "I will not quit smoking." Despite the fact that I just visited with them the physical damage it is doing to them and that if they would just cut back on one pack of cigarettes a day they could have enough money to pay for their blood pressure medicine or their cholesterol medicine.

    I know it is tough to be self-disciplined. I eat a high fat diet and don't exercise regularly (yeah, it is hard to follow my own advise that I give to my patients.) I am on blood pressure medicine and I don't like having to pay for the medication, but I continue to make the poor choice of eating a greasy hamburger over that salad, or to sit and type on this computer and not get out and exercise.

    BUT it is the people who use the most of our health care dollars that have this sense of entitlement and do not spend our dollars wisely. Although I think the medical card is initially a good thing, there are alot of things wrong with it. In Kansas, it costs $2 for a medicaid patient to see their primary care physician in the clinic. The clinic is the best place to see this patient so we can see trending and we have the patient in the most efficient environment. Despite this, the Kan Be Healthy screenings have become nearly obsolete. These free screenings are not being taken advantage of by the Medicaid participants. On the other hand, it does not cost any money for a Medicaid participant to go the the ER. So, where do you think most of these people go? The most expensive place for care--the ER. There should be a $6 charge for an ER visit. $6 is about the price of a pack of cigarettes (although we have patients who actually say they DRIVE several miles to an Indian reservation to buy their cigarettes so they get the cigarettes MUCH cheaper; yet they DRIVE there and then gamble as well.) If this is truly an Emergency, then the $6 could be found some way and some how. Unfortunately it is the norm and not the rare occasion that we see patients in the ER for things that should have been seen in the clinic. It is also these people who demand unnecessary testing.

    Not all Medicaid recipients abuse the system, but unfortunately it now has become the norm to see this sense of entitlement. I still am flabbergasted when I have 14 year old girls who want to be pregnant because they want emancipated from their home. I still am amazed when people openly admit that they are having another child just to get more money from the government! And this is the system that Obama wants to use?

    Care for these people should not come from the government? Since when has it been in our constitution to provide for it's citizens? That sounds like Nigeria to me--that sense of dependence on a government that works only part time. It is for us individuals to care for our fellow man, not the government? Have you noticed that the philanthropic organizations are becoming less and less?

    Come on people, get some self-reliance and get rid of this sense of entitlement. It is entitlement that has caused Capitalism to fail, not capitalism itself. Capitalism worked until Government became more in control and people began to rely on the government.

    We still have the best health care system in the world. Even here in rural Kansas we have seen people in our own clinic who have come from Canada to get a procedure done that they could not get in Canada. If their system is so good, why would they come all the way to Kansas for care and why are there so many other Canadians and Europeans and others coming to America for care?

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2009, at 8:45 PM, sennichi wrote:

    Our system in Canada is not perfect but still preferable to that in the US.Our economy(nor those of Europe and Japan) is not faltering because of Health care costs. Nor are people being bankrupted because of an accident/illness. I personally do not know anyone who has gone to the US for care. The procedures are available here, but our waiting list can be long for some. People choose not to wait and they can afford to pay which I think is excellent. Takes them out of the waiting pool.

    I was at my doctor's today as a followup to a blood test taken after last week's appointment. I'd hate to think I had to choose between that and food this weekend.

    And I do pay monthly premiums for my provincial health care, though half is paid by my employer.

    I always found it so ironic that the country which claims to be so Christian, so many will do anything and everything to keep from looking after their fellow citizens, especially poor ones. Go watch SICKO (I agree watch it with a huge grain of salt but watch it nonetheless) WWJD

    God Bless America

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2009, at 10:27 PM, Snertie wrote:

    If Canada's system is so great, then why do Canadians, including your Prime Ministers, come to the US for treatment?

    Probably for the same reason that our congresspeople will not put into the law that they must give up their current plan for the new "public option" that they're prepared to force upon the rest of us.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2009, at 10:33 PM, Snertie wrote:

    Christianity vs Socialism: I don't recall anywhere in the Bible where Christ petitions Pontious Pilate to tax the Romans for the benefit of the uninsured in Palestine.

    What you're really suggesting is that your sense of Christianity should be paid for citizens other than yourself. Jesus would not be impressed.

  • Report this Comment On August 29, 2009, at 10:18 AM, newton296 wrote:

    If you think healthcare is expensive now, just let the private insurers run the show for another 5 years ! can you say 100 million uninsured ! and that doesnt include everyone picked up by medicare or medicaid !

  • Report this Comment On August 29, 2009, at 3:12 PM, mgo5 wrote:

    My prescription for health care reform: minus the media/special interests' hype, and with an eye toward investing for the future, based on experience.

    1. ALL the most efficient healthcare systems in the world, per the World Health Organization, have universal heatlhcare coverage. TOP = France, Italy, Malta, Oman, Spain, Andorra, San Marino, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Greece. The US ranks #37. Canada ranks #20. Each Canadian province has its own healthcare system. Those in BC and Alberta are quite happy with theirs. Craft a US system by taking the best from each of the top 20. I would vote for this in a heartbeat. WRITE your legislators. A signed, FAXED letter, with home address, = 25,000 votes. Email = only 10 votes. A congressperson often trumps special interests/lobbyists after receiving only SIX letters. How many can win reelection moving 150,000 votes to an opponent? NOTE: The US spends 2X as much, per person, on health care than any other country. Our overhead: greater than 33 cents/healthcare dollar. Europe's overhead, seven cents/healthcare dollar. 2. Cap "pain and suffering" awards at $250,000. 3. Instead of persecuting physicians who know how to test and correct our immune systems, as well as how to get rid of toxins that cause DNA mutations, pass a law to protect/encourage this training + allow "Freedom of Choice." 4. Forbid, via a law, FDA/government employees from working with "Big Pharma" for ten years. 5. Forbid toxic chlorine/fluorine in drinking water - no other civilized country does this. Their water is ozonated (kills bacteria, viruses, fungus, yeast, internal parasites and cancer cells)/treated with ultraviolet light. 6. Forbid routine use of hormones and antibiotics in livestock. Again, no other civilized country allows this. TOO MANY hormone-positive cancers in the USA! 7. Allow insurance companies to provide insurance, IF people want to buy it! The rich will always have their own system. I DO NOT WANT some medically UNEDUCATED insurance employee telling my MD which tests he/she can/cannot prescribe for me! NOTE: I visited Asia 6X in the last many months, Europe 3X and Canada 2X, working at medical conferences/in top hospitals/with top physicians. 8. Support nuclear/molecular medicine, like they do in most of the rest of the world. I call this medical isotope therapy the "quick fix". In Europe, this is the largest hospital department. Personally, I am heavily into commodities right now, and high-yielding, top rated bonds and stocks/trusts including those with "safe" dividends, both here and especially abroad. Hopefully Big Pharma, Insurance Companies, "pain and suffering" trial lawyers, etc. will start to fade, if people use their brains and pens to effect change.

  • Report this Comment On August 30, 2009, at 2:12 PM, mint3p0 wrote:

    1. Its absurd to think that the people who write in these forums lack brains, for a person to even suggest that reflects your own diluted state of mind.

    There is no problem with looking out for oneself, but you can only do that on the individual level not as a collective whole. No matter what anyone here says the unified group is always stronger than the individual. Right now in my mind we have a group huge insurance/medical companies preying on the individual trying to provide for themselves and their families (everyone seems to dislike government but without it we would be up the creek, just think if there were no military, no public education, etc.).

    Why public healthcare would be so horrible I just can't understand. Even if Obama's plan does not fit, he is trying something to free options (although the page 16 argument is valid if the bill says that then I agree it should be re-thought), who else has a plan? Big Pharma? Their plan is to do nothing and continue to make billions gross and some in profits.

    A grossly generalized statement and rule of business is to be the lowest cost producer of the services you provide while passing most of your cost on to the consumer. That's why a single tee costs Nike $1 to make and you $25 to buy. To argue against that is futile when you support capitalism.

    Viable Healthcare is a right, in my mind (not privilege to only those who have, as some have argued here), to the citizens of a civilized nation. Again USPS vs FEDEX. If I'm going to pay taxes (which you always do in some form) then I want a base infrastructure built to support my citizenship. That's just the name of the game. Our government is not there to profit off us, but our major corporations are, which is fine also. Why fight a universal option entirely? Why not consider it under a plan that makes sense. Obama and his team may not have created that plan but more work from a unified nation can.

    I personally like the USPS, but if its more cost effective to use FEDEX I will, which in some cases it has been. The point is that I feel it is my right for that base infrastructure to be in place should FEDEX fail.

    The story I shared about my Canadian relatives is indeed truth. I visit about once a year and with this being the hot topic of today I wish you could try asking a random Canadian which system they would rather have. The whole "Well if you like Canada so much you should move there, is childish in nature". The point here is to site personal reference, that which all discussions lacking linkable fact are based.

    In my mind perfection is not to be desired and its very nature is stagnant. It leaves no room for imagination. That said there is no perfect Healthcare solution there will always be fault. Instead of knocking the president and his ideas we should help him make the most of what he is trying to do in this case. I mean come on at least he is trying something. How many politicians have been elected on good campaigns only to hide behind a desk.

    I have health insurance, own a small business and make a six figure salary, but contrary to most in my category I am not greedy and I have no problem sacrificing for my family, employees, or fellow man. Some would say thats almost Christian-like.

  • Report this Comment On August 30, 2009, at 10:40 PM, DrMikeMiller wrote:

    Your political "quips" totally took away from what I was interested in reading.

  • Report this Comment On September 01, 2009, at 1:42 AM, KaylieD wrote:
  • Report this Comment On September 03, 2009, at 9:27 PM, MrBimble wrote:

    Man, all of you Americans that are loosing so much sleep over this health care issue need to take a breath... Come and give birth in Canada and THEN see if you think Universal Healthcare is a bad idea (you don't even need a credit card you know!)

    I agree that when the Government gets involved things (often) go bad, but hasn't the past 12 months shown that when CEOs, lawyers and large greedy corporations get involved things aren't all sun and fun either? Do Canadians pay too much for health insurance? yes, likely, but at least the vast majority of us can afford it! If America could say that this would be a non-issue... and your salaries are higher than ours!

    Nothing's black and white of course, but perhaps more interviews should be had with the 'average' citizen of countries that implemented this years ago. It's going to be a long bumpy ride for you - kinda like getting circumcised when your 40 - but hey, Americans are more patriotic than most of us, so I'm sure you'll do what's best for the majority (read: poorest) of your country, right? :-/

    Oh, and yeah, how do I cash in on this??

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2009, at 6:38 AM, thomdd1959 wrote:

    “I'm the president of the United States, and I'll carry out my responsibilities the way I think is appropriate.” --Barack Hussein Obama

    All Healthcare Legislation And Regulation By The Federal Government Is Unconstitutional!

    Government Healthcare Is Not An Option!

    “Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.” --Abraham Lincoln

    We can not compromise on right and wrong! Truth is Truth! Americans need to “draw lines in the sand”. Why is Obama trying to sell us on his Healthcare Reform? He has had more opposition from “We the People” on this issue and lost more support than any other issue, yet he does not listen to us or let it go. Why? Do not be deceived, Healthcare reform is a smoke-screen.

    The real issue here is Power and Control!

    “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” --Thomas Jefferson

    “The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.” --James Madison

    http://www.tomdavidd.com/blog/

    “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” --George Washington

  • Report this Comment On April 04, 2010, at 9:24 PM, Glycomix wrote:

    Mr. Beale.

    I called myself 'Glycomix' because the "essential sugars"sold by Mannatech improved my mother's intellectual functioning from making her unfocused to the point that she started taking control, and running her own life.

    As for the rest. I'm merely venting frustration, and not very clearly. My only defense is that I don't expect you to believe an inarticulate stranger, just the argument and to check the references to see whether I'm telling the truth or just bs....

    My frustrations with Mr. O'Bama's health care program are as follows:

    1) It's expensive for what you get. I get fairly good healthcare by going to my doctor and paying him. Medicine is reasonable if you know how to get a functionally equivalent generic. For the big problems I buy catastrophic insurance for reasonable rates.

    2) the tax is structured to pay for universal health-care is currently to (a) charge employers or (b) require individuals who can't afford the premiums to buy them.

    (A) Based on what I understand happened with the Europeans, in the 1950s, taxing employers to make up the difference cause a competitive disadvantage to US companies who may move to Mexico or Canada who are part of NAFTA and export their products from those companies to the US. They may continue to function as they have before and don't have the burden of paying for health care for people who don't work for them.

    (B) I don't want to want to pay for a deluxe health program because a catastrophic healthcare insurance package is enough for the really serious health issues if they come my way. I have to pony up for other expenses, but I manage, and the local physicians have been reasonable.

    In general, I'm concerned about overspending on the "Stimulus" on silly things like deluxe unemployment insurance with health-care added on, OR buying junk cars worth $2000 and paying $7600 for them may bankrupt the US and cause a hyperinflation. In 2009, Sen. Charles Schumer added money in the "stimulus package" for more subprime loans(1) which are currently destroying our banking system - 2007 Nov 11, According to Deutschbank 30-40% of Subprime mortgages will default.(2)

    (1) http://schumer.senate.gov/new_website/record_print.cfm?id=29...

    (2) http://www.cfo.com/article.cfm/10126890

    According to IMF hyperinflation experts Reindhardt and Savastano, the first step to avoiding (or stopping) a hyperinflation is to stop deficit spending. DO NOT SPEND WHAT YOU DO NOT HAVE!

    http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2003/06/pdf/reinha...

    Bolivia was able to overcome its hyperinflation when government spending was set to ONLY what they collected in taxes. Click to view video It's fun (9 min): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScXCBJkp3s4

    Tn the Great Depression of the 1930s, spending on capital improvements and infrastructure was a good investment of money and brought an increase in general wealth: examples are building Bolder Dam, combating erosion in a cost-effective way and building national roads and bridges.

    However,

    The 'Stimulus Package" turned out to be a lot of pork for the politician's favorite voters. It did nothing except increase the unemployment rate from 8% to 10% because Schumer included subprime loans in the package.

    It has spent money without achieving results except for getting clunkers off the road. You could have done the same thing through inspections with no cost. O'Bama was just trying to give the very poor a loan for a new car..

    Mr. O'Bama appears to have added $10.3 trillion worth of new entitlements(1), that have led to an estimate of an addition of $9 trillion in debt(2) in the next 10 years. That doesn't sound like PayGo (or pay-as-you go) to me.

    (1) http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2009/09/Obama-to-Sp...

    (2)http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08...

    According to one of the Fed Governors, US debt in May of 2007 was $4.83 trillion(3), too much, but OBama proposed to triple with $9 trillion in entitlements that he wasn't willing to pay for? He'd have to double out tax rate to do pay for them, but they'll still need paying in 10 years and we'll have tripled our debt so debt service would eat our income up before we got to paying for the new entitlements. It's better to pay for everything as you use it.

    (3)http://research.stlouisfed.org/publications/review/07/05/Poo... (page 2 at the top).

    The Adjusted Gross Income for everyone in the United States was $8 trillion in 2006, the height of the stockmarket and of employment.

    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/08fallbulintax.pdf

    Do you see why I would be concerned with adding $9 trillion in debt when all of us together have a GROSS income of $8 trillion?

    THE SCARIEST PROBLEM IS THAT 50% OF MEDICARE ENTITLEMENTS ARE UNFUNDED WITH TAXES IT GOES TO DEBT.

    The US income is around $1 trillion/year to be used for everything.

    The added debt from Medicare is $2 trillion a year.

    I came up with that figure when I compared Thomas Savin's 19 Feb 2005 testimony that the US owed 29.2 trillion for Medicare(1) to The Wall Street Journal's remark on 19 May 2009, that the US owed $38 trillion for Medicare ($37.7 more exactly)(2)

    That's $8.5 trillion extra in Medicare, which came out exactly to 2 trillion a year, That means that our medicare debt a year is twice the entire US Government income.

    (1) http://www.ncpa.org/speech/medicare-now-and-in-the-future

    (2) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124268737705832167.html

    Paying off Medicare and is really impossible. Dividing $43 trillion by $7,027/taxpayer over 10 years, we'd have to increase our taxes 500% and pay 80% to these two programs to pay for $38 trillion we owe in Medicare and the $5 trillion unfunded Social Security.

    Whatever happens we'll hit the wall in 5 years, less if O'Bama doesn't wake up to the fact that he can't spend

    I don't know what to do, but I may suggest two ides for savings for Medicare.

    COST SAVING IDEAS FOR MEDICARE:

    (1) restricting prescriptions to generic prescriptions if there's a substitute and bidding prescriptions for everyone who gets medicare.

    (2) Serious Tort Reform (No "Lawyer" Ads and caps on pain and suffering.)

    My father was a neurosurgeon He said that doctors didn't make much more than farmers or businessmen when he stared, but they didn't have to worry about lawsuits. During the 70s, lawyers started advertising and suing anyone who got a bad result, even if that was the state of the art. In medicine people die even if you do your best and do it well.

    From 1970s -1982, he said that he paid from 50% to 75% of his income in malpractice insurance. If you cut out all of the lawyers trying to promote problems where none existed before, then the cost of medicine would drop markedly.

    He was better paid, but he preferred the time when he didn't make much but had a strong bond with his patients. He still had a bond, but he was afraid of his patients too. He felt that many useless tests are run to prove that the physician wasn't negligent.

    In Great Britain, physicians don't have the legal hassles because physicians are employees of the state and don't have any real money. Tort reform could do the same thing in the US.

  • Report this Comment On April 04, 2010, at 9:38 PM, Glycomix wrote:

    Mr. Beale.

    I called myself 'Glycomix' because the "essential sugars"sold by Mannatech improved my mother's intellectual functioning from making her unfocused to the point that she started taking control, and running her own life.

    As for the rest. I'm merely venting frustration, and not very clearly. My only defense is that I don't expect you to believe an inarticulate stranger, just the argument and to check the references to see whether I'm telling the truth or just bs....

    My frustrations with Mr. O'Bama's health care program are as follows:

    1) It's expensive for what you get. I get fairly good healthcare by going to my doctor and paying him. Medicine is reasonable if you know how to get a functionally equivalent generic. For the big problems I buy catastrophic insurance for reasonable rates.

    2) the tax is structured to pay for universal health-care is currently to (a) charge employers or (b) require individuals who can't afford the premiums to buy them.

    (A) Based on what I understand happened with the Europeans, in the 1950s, taxing employers to make up the difference cause a competitive disadvantage to US companies who may move to Mexico or Canada who are part of NAFTA and export their products from those companies to the US. They may continue to function as they have before and don't have the burden of paying for health care for people who don't work for them.

    (B) I don't want to want to pay for a deluxe health program because a catastrophic healthcare insurance package is enough for the really serious health issues if they come my way. I have to pony up for other expenses, but I manage, and the local physicians have been reasonable.

    In general, I'm concerned about overspending on the "Stimulus" on silly things like deluxe unemployment insurance with health-care added on, OR buying junk cars worth $2000 and paying $7600 for them may bankrupt the US and cause a hyperinflation. In 2009, Sen. Charles Schumer added money in the "stimulus package" for more subprime loans(1) which are currently destroying our banking system. On 2007 Nov 11, According to Deutschbank 30-40% of Subprime mortgages will default.(2)

    (1) http://schumer.senate.gov/new_website/record_print.cfm?id=29...

    (2) http://www.cfo.com/article.cfm/10126890

    According to IMF hyperinflation experts Reindhardt and Savastano, the first step to avoiding (or stopping) a hyperinflation is to stop deficit spending. DO NOT SPEND WHAT YOU DO NOT HAVE!

    http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2003/06/pdf/reinha...

    Bolivia was able to overcome its hyperinflation when government spending was set to ONLY what they collected in taxes. Click to view video It's fun (9 min): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScXCBJkp3s4

    Tn the Great Depression of the 1930s, spending on capital improvements and infrastructure was a good investment of money and brought an increase in general wealth: examples are building Bolder Dam, combating erosion in a cost-effective way and building national roads and bridges.

    However,spending for luxuries could end in US bankruptcy.

    If everyone wants universal health care, OK. However, I recommend the VAT, an approximately 20% sales tax that they use in Europe.

    The 'Stimulus Package" turned out to be a lot of pork for the politician's favorite voters. It did nothing except increase the unemployment rate from 8% to 10% because Schumer included subprime loans in the package.

    It has spent money without achieving results except for getting clunkers off the road. You could have done the same thing through inspections with no cost. O'Bama was just trying to give the very poor a loan for a new car..

    Mr. O'Bama appears to have added $10.3 trillion worth of new entitlements(1), that have led to an estimate of an addition of $9 trillion in debt(2) in the next 10 years. That doesn't sound like PayGo (or pay-as-you go) to me.

    (1) http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2009/09/Obama-to-Sp...

    (2)http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08...

    According to one of the Fed Governors, US debt in May of 2007 was $4.83 trillion(3), too much, but OBama proposed to triple with $9 trillion in entitlements that he wasn't willing to pay for? He'd have to double out tax rate to do pay for them, but they'll still need paying in 10 years and we'll have tripled our debt so debt service would eat our income up before we got to paying for the new entitlements. It's better to pay for everything as you use it.

    (3)http://research.stlouisfed.org/publications/review/07/05/Poo... (page 2 at the top).

    The Adjusted Gross Income for everyone in the United States was $8 trillion in 2006, the height of the stockmarket and of employment.

    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/08fallbulintax.pdf

    Do you see why I would be concerned with adding $9 trillion in debt when all of us together have a GROSS income of $8 trillion?

    THE SCARIEST PROBLEM IS THAT 50% OF MEDICARE ENTITLEMENTS ARE UNFUNDED WITH TAXES IT GOES TO DEBT.

    The US income is around $1 trillion/year to be used for everything.

    The added debt from Medicare is $2 trillion a year.

    I came up with that figure when I compared Thomas Savin's 19 Feb 2005 testimony that the US owed 29.2 trillion for Medicare(1) to The Wall Street Journal's remark on 19 May 2009, that the US owed $38 trillion for Medicare ($37.7 more exactly)(2)

    That's $8.5 trillion extra in Medicare, which came out exactly to 2 trillion a year, That means that our medicare debt a year is twice the entire US Government income.

    (1) http://www.ncpa.org/speech/medicare-now-and-in-the-future

    (2) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124268737705832167.html

    Paying off Medicare and is really impossible. Dividing $43 trillion by $7,027/taxpayer over 10 years, we'd have to increase our taxes 500% and pay 80% to these two programs to pay for $38 trillion we owe in Medicare and the $5 trillion unfunded Social Security.

    Whatever happens we'll hit the wall in 5 years, less if O'Bama doesn't wake up to the fact that he can't spend

    I don't know what to do, but I may suggest two ides for savings for Medicare.

    COST SAVING IDEAS FOR MEDICARE:

    (1) restricting prescriptions to generic prescriptions if there's a substitute and bidding prescriptions for everyone who gets medicare.

    (2) Serious Tort Reform (No "Lawyer" Ads and caps on pain and suffering.)

    My father was a neurosurgeon He said that doctors didn't make much more than farmers or businessmen when he stared, but they didn't have to worry about lawsuits. During the 70s, lawyers started advertising and suing anyone who got a bad result, even if that was the state of the art. In medicine people die even if you do your best and do it well.

    From 1970s -1982, he said that he paid from 50% to 75% of his income in malpractice insurance. If you cut out all of the lawyers trying to promote problems where none existed before, then the cost of medicine would drop markedly.

    He was better paid, but he preferred the time when he didn't make much but had a strong bond with his patients. He still had a bond, but he was afraid of his patients too. He felt that many useless tests are run to prove that the physician wasn't negligent.

    In Great Britain, physicians don't have the legal hassles because physicians are employees of the state and don't have any real money. Tort reform may also make medicine more reasonable in the US.

    The diagnostic procedures are really useful, but only if they're used only when they're needed and not all of the time.

  • Report this Comment On November 18, 2011, at 11:24 AM, JWILLWV wrote:

    You all are insane. Sitting here yelling at eachother with your keyboards. Go play with your children, take a vacation, or get back to work.

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