The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.
Showing posts with label Stimulus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stimulus. Show all posts

Friday, May 17, 2013

House Votes to Repeal Obamacare. Why? The Answer Looks Bad.

John Boehner says, “We. Will. Repeal.”
The White House says, “It’s. The. Law”

Do you want perspective on why the GOP has spent 15% of its time on insane repeal Obamacare votes?  Could the governing fallacy have to do with steady stream of contribution to Hose Representatives? If you chose to not view the charts below  at least view the Open Secrets links.  The ;picture is stark and will slap you in the face.

First, let's visit a quote from a very intelligent person.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Blog Market Watch Dot Com published an interesting piece on the GOP and their insanity regarding the useless Affordable Care Act repeal votes. The John Boehner and White House tweets above are extracted from the piece. 

If you read the TPI piece "The Gallery of Shame" you read about the gun lobbying expenditures and contributions to GOP members of Congress.  The contributions shed light on why each member of the US Senate blocked background check legislation. A few Democrats also voted to block background checks and that link shows they probably voted out of fear as the money did not trickle over to their "open accounts". 

Market Watch used an interesting interactive paragraph to show how the ACA has cut into the earnings (share prices) of top Health care Insurance companies. 


Since there is virtually no chance the Democratic-controlled Senate will pass the legislation — and an even more remote possibility Obama would sign it — the move is more a political ploy.


Since the law was enacted in March 2010, share prices of four of the five major U.S. insurers — Aetna Inc. AET -0.50% , Cigna Corp. CI -1.09% , Humana Inc. HUM -0.19% , and UnitedHealth Group Inc. UNH +0.86% — have nearly doubled in value. The fifth, WellPoint Inc. WLP -1.27% , has gained about 20%. The company has struggled with declining membership enrollment and higher medical costs. Read more on Health Exchange blog.

As is frequently the case, regarding the specific corporations listed, we took the Market Watch paragraph above and sought more insight into money trails and corporate performance under the Affordable Care Act. (ACA) We sought narrative information from Reuters, charts from Yahoo Finance, and political contribution information from Open Secrets.  The Think Progress table below concisely summarizes information  about the Market Watch companies. All sources are link on a per corporation basis.

Despite Market Watch's clear indication that four of the five corporations have suffered "Share Prices" erosion, data from other sources (As delineated above) show stellar revenue performance with an exception for WellPoint. In fact, it may be purely coincidental, but charted indicators below show post Obama Stimulus performance at the level of phenomenal. The Stimulus is not a primary consideration and focus of this piece; the charted data drew attention comparable to an unattended "Benjamin" ($100.00 bill) lying in front of me. 

Aetna Inc.
Open Secrets Dot Org: Link

Aetna said its third-quarter profit had risen to $499.2 million, or $1.47 per share, from $490.4 million, or $1.30 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding tax benefits and other special items, earnings rose to $1.55 per share from $1.40. That was ahead of analysts' average estimate of $1.34, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Last week, larger competitor UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N) also reported earnings above Wall Street expectations.

Aetna's revenue increased to $8.9 billion from $8.4 billion, in line with expectations. The company attributed the rise to higher insurance premiums in its commercial, Medicare and Medicaid businesses.

Aetna added 149,000 new medical members in the quarter to reach its full-year goal of 18.2 million.
 Chart forAetna Inc. (AET)
 Cigna Corp.
Open Secrets Dot Org: Link 

Cigna's first-quarter net income fell to $57 million, or 20 cents per share, from $371 million, or $1.28 per share, a year earlier.
The results included a previously announced $507 million charge for a February deal with Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N), which will reinsure two of Cigna's closed annuity reinsurance businesses and remove risk from the company's balance sheet.
Excluding that charge and other items, earnings were $497 million, or $1.72 per share, up from $359 million, or $1.24 per share, a year earlier.
On that basis, analysts were expecting $1.43 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"The beat was driven by stronger-than-expected medical cost management," Oppenheimer & Co analyst Michael Wiederhorn wrote in a research note.
Chart forCigna Corp. (CI)
Humana Inc. 
Open Secrets Dot Org: Link
Humana's first-quarter net income nearly doubled to $473 million, or $2.95 per share, from $248 million, or $1.49 per share, a year earlier.The company said results were 26 cents a share higher than expected because of favorable claims settlements and the delayed cuts to Medicare reimbursement. Excluding those benefits, earnings of $2.69 a share were far higher than the $1.81 that analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S were expecting on that basis.

 Chart forHumana Inc. (HUM)
UnitedHealth Group Inc.
Open Secrets Dot Org: Link 
The company said first-quarter net profit was $1.2 billion, or $1.16 per share, down from $1.4 billion, or $1.31 per share a year earlier.
Analysts on average had been expecting earnings of $1.14 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Investors may have been surprised that the company did not beat earnings by more given that some hospital groups have reported low use of services this quarter, which typically benefits insurers, said Chris Rigg, an analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group. Hospital groups HCA Holdings Inc (HCA.N) and Health Management Associates Inc (HMA.N) both warned that admissions were weak in the first quarter.

"The data points we've gotten from the providers would have suggested a larger beat in the quarter," Rigg said.

The company also lowered its 2013 revenue expectation by $2.5 billion to $122 billion because a major public-sector customer had switched out of a full-risk plan to a self-funded insurance plan. In the latter, the customer pays for its employee healthcare and UnitedHealth administers the plan. UnitedHealth, which provides these services to many large companies, receives lower revenue in that fee-based business.

The switch comes as employers and insurance providers brace for the next wave of implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

"There is an adverse incentive in the Affordable Care Act to move from full-risk insurance to a service, self-insurance type model," Jefferies & Co analyst David Windley said. Moving to a self-funded plan can enable employers to avoid the new insurance premium tax next year, he said.
Chart forUnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH)
WellPoint Inc.
 Open Secrets Dot Org: Link
WellPoint reported a profit of $885.2 million, or $2.89 per share, up from $856.5 million, or $2.53 per share, a year earlier. It now expects 2013 net income earnings of at least $7.75 per share.
Chart forWellPoint Inc. (WLP)

Think Progress
“Combined profits for UnitedHealth Group Inc., WellPoint Inc., Aetna Inc., Cigna Corp. and Humana Inc., which cover one-third of the U.S. population, surged 13.5% to $3.4 billion in the second quarter,” they found. “If the trend holds, the five companies will take a record $14 billion in profits in 2011.”

If the healthcare industry continues to experience higher profits and increasing numbers of people  signing-up for coverage, I cannot get my brain around GOP efforts to repeal the ACA.  They factually accept money from big healthcare. In fact,  Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) has stated the repeal votes are akin to a terrible "Catch-22" for the GOP.  The GOP (Ryan Budget) includes cost analysis and projections based on existing law. The ACA is existing law!  Does the (fallacy laden) Ryan Budget fall part if the ACA is repealed?  Does the GOP care about the impact on their Budget plan if the ACA is non-existent?  I posit the GOP does not care about impact on their budget because their budget is basically "Smoke and Mirrors' (cracked mirrors) in its entirety.
“House Republicans’ budget hypocrisy knows no bounds,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), the Democrats’ leader on budget issues, told TPM. “This Obamacare repeal vote … exposes the mother of all budget gimmicks — the fact that the Republican claim of balancing the budget depends on the savings and revenues from Obamacare. The minute they vote to repeal the law, their budget is out of balance — they can’t have it both ways.”

Martin Bashir and Chrsi Van Hollen

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
John Boehner says, “We. Will. Repeal.” I am possibly being a bit feeble minded, but I see nothing in repeal efforts, but unadulterated politics.  The GOP in the House is clearly working to strip the nation of President Obama's key piece of legislation since taking office in 2009. The following link navigates to a Healthcare Dot Gov webpage.  Specifically, you will be navigated to an ACA Timeline.  As I click though the Timeline, even with my liberal bias, I cannot find any reason conservatives would red the items and take exception. Over the last week a few articles have induced cause to pause as I listen to the GOP.  First, healthcare cost increases have slowed moderately. The less rapid increase in cost may not be due to the ACA, but there is little that indicates the ACA may not have some influence. I am not making declarative statements that the ACA has definite impact on the slowed cost increases. Another article related to well documented reductions in the US deficit. The reports are accompanied by bewilderment from many economist who to the person caution about the future. Well, I find that intriguing.  I am not hearing as much caution from economist who have supported the Administration economic strategies and plans since early 2009. In fact, Paul Krugman was very vocal in early 2009 that the Stimulus was not enough   All the while many of those, now amazed, economist continue their 'all is a world of whoa" in the nations. Yet,  another reason to find fault in administration from the Right.   It appears to date all of the obstruction  and all the resistance has simply slowed progressive towards a better society. How can I, if I was inclined, even think to buy into thought the GOP is on the right (excuse the pun) of the "repeal the ACA" activities, waste and shame?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Spending Is Keeping The Nation Alive!

Enjoy while the caffeine kicks-in!!!!!

A morning report to go along with your Sumatra, Kenya AA, Tanzanian, French Roast, Kona Coast, Jamaica Blue Mountain, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Costa Rican, Espresso,  Moyobama Peruvian Organic, Indonesian Blend, Coffee Latte, Kauai Blend (often bitter), Colombian Red Lips, or your Folgers 100% Colombian. 

Stimulus enacted February 2009............

Did it work?

We understand that conservatism has an endemic paradigm related to spending.  If one is a conservative one of the first words to come from the mouth when asked about government programs is, "where do we get the money, or how do we pay for it".  It is as trite a response as listening to Sarah Palin try to tell Katie Kouric what she reads.  They say 'pay for it without' ever thinking about trimming the 58% of discretionary spending we spend on Defense. Or, eliminating  oil industry subsides as those corporations earns billions quarterly.

"The summary of oil-related subsidies in the U.S. for 2010 totals $4.5 billion. That is a number often put forward; $4 billion a year or so in support for those greedy oil companies."
The GOP and the nations conservatives want to stop spending at the very time that spending has proven to have reverse the Great (Bush) Recession. Spending has also sustained a slow struggle back to future prosperity.  The Party on the right should be smart enough to consider economic woes in the European Union as empirical evidence of the failures of austerity programs.   Factually,  Think Progress reports Europe is looking at a second recession that some economist lay squarely on austerity.   

Ed Schultz MSNBC, The Ed Show. Pay close attention to the closing remarks in this segment.

The GOP has been wrong about all matters related to the US economy for over 40 years.  From the days of Ronald Reagan's "trickle-down" economics to the full collapse of the Bush economic "bubble", the GOP has been well-off from economically adroit.

And, they expect the informed in the nation to again follow them down a path towards recession with economic depression peeping around the next corner.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Romney says, "Jobs " (a GOP aversion since 2009)

1x1.trans Romney’s Campaign: Clean Energy Isn’t Creating Jobs climate progress u.s republica mitt romney jobs green jobs false campaign . politics
Yesterday, Mitt Romney continues on his 'false information' political campaign by going after President Obama on jobs.  One would think no one in the GOP would go there, but of course, my mind is probably thinking in terms of a rational GOP.  A rational GOP that would actually take real positions on real issues, while leaving false mantra as a tired old strategy. And, yes, the Earth was once inhabited by dinosaurs. 

Mitt Romney is guilty of the very same tunnel-vision that has infested his party since Ronald Reagan.  The party fails to allow any thinking, strategy or planning outside their tightly scripted box they call "conservatism".

Despite well documented and long-standing evidence of job growth within weeks of Obama taking office the GOP (via Romney) trots out false-rhetoric that literally verges on demagoguery. Even beyond demagoguery, the messages are outright lies, and some of the lies are so insultingly egregious it is hard to avoid perceptions of the 'comical'.

Romney claimed this past Monday that President Obama did not know how to create jobs.  Well, no president knows how to create jobs; Obama at least knew how to save million of jobs via his support for our automobile industry.  Romney went on to state Obama had created only government jobs.  His implication was clear, the president was about 'big government' with no effective strategy nor inclination towards private sector jobs.

A quick Google search on Public Sector jobs lost yielded the following headline and graph from ThinkProgress. The article and graph dates back to July 2011.  Is it possible the Obama Administration has completely reversed the graph trend-line since last July?  A rhetorical question that needs no answer! Let's take a look.

CHART: Over 500,000 Government Jobs Lost Since Obama’s Inauguration By Matthew Yglesias on Jul 8, 2011

Ed Schultz, MSNBC the Ed Show, on Tuesday of this week, addressed Romney's lies, and exposed more about how the GOP plans to win the November Election.  They are deploying the very same tricks, lies and subterfuge used to place George W. Bush in office (FOR TWO TERMS).  While not part of this screed,  the Right is funneling enough money into beating President Obama, they could fund total hungry relief worldwide for many years.

The following was taken from MSNBC's Ed Show Blog.  (includes video)

How can any political party so underestimate the intellect of the majority of US voters?  If the base will buy into Romney's rhetoric, so-be-it, but what has them (GOP, Romney) thinking the majority of American voters are not aware of the jobs lies.  

The information provided by Ed Schultz completely refutes Romney's political jobs lie. Ed facetiously asked if Romney does not understand the numbers or is Romney being politically expedient (AKA lying)? I vote (pun intended) that Romney and his campaign are, first, appealing to and leveraging the uninformed.  Second, they are speaking to an undereducated base that has no regard for the good of the nation as a whole vs. their self-centered paradigms. Paradigms regarding "The Other" president, a devotion to business at any cost, and a those who desire life as it was prior to 1948 America.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Stimulus Revisited: "The Stimulus Failed"

How sad! Makes you wonder if they were not hoping the stimulus would fail.

I often wonder why conservatives make a habit of grabbing a microphone to rail about how the "stimulus failed".  Despite reams of empirical data to the contrary, the chorus of stimulus failed is as popular as some GOP 'fight song' or as infuriating as tired GOP talking-points.  In order to be fair, (well almost fair), I am going to post a link and a brief statement taken from a conservative website.

NewsBusters...exposing and combating liberal media bias
As Veronique de Rugy, Reason columnist and senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center, explained, "The main lesson of the stimulus is that creating jobs is a very complex process...and certainly it can't be directed by a top down institution that pretty much fails at everything it does." 

The article lays out a GOP gotcha.  I refer to the piece as a gotcha because it is clear the author took every sentence  during stimulus package deliberations and provided 'well-beyond' stimulus (looking back) analysis.  The website as well as the nation's conservatives often use that very tactic in appealing to their base.  They do so while the economy is showing clear signs of improvement and when people are starting to feel better about the economy.  Such actions by the GOP are  for no other purpose, other than attempts to 'poo-poo' on the Obama political parade. Not once in the article did the writer mention the existential reality of GOP cutting the stimulus request from $ 1.3 trillion to $745 billion.  Yet, the author writes about actual deliberation points and Administration "hopes" while dissecting Administration verbiage. The work is accomplished about as effectively as our high school frog dissection projects: shoddy and 'phewy' at best.  It is written craftily enough, however, to reach their political base's paradigms and beliefs for safe haven as you watch the stimulus positively affect the economy.


Monday, February 20, 2012

The Stimulus: Yay or Nay?????

Recuperating from a long drive trip. So it is a data day.
Notice that GOP claims the Stimulus did not work have just about subsided? (All charts are linked for larger view)

TalkingPointsMemo...Strikes hard at the heart of the GOP.

Two telling charts.........

Just a quick note that the 2009 spike in new auto sales is attributable to the Cash for Clunkers program, enacted by Democrats when they controlled both houses of Congress.

From (Linked for larger view)

The White House 

So, the Stimulus did not work, eh?  Of course, you know the stimulus is significant because the GOP to the representative was against the stimulus.  Now, how would McCain/Palin have dealt with the slippery slope with a great depression sitting in the depths with mouth wide-open?