Friday, August 4, 2017

Unhealthy Globe

"Senators launch bipartisan effort to shore up Obamacare" by Robert Pear and Thomas Kaplan New York Times  August 01, 2017

WASHINGTON — Republicans on both sides of the Capitol scrambled Tuesday to defuse President Trump’s threat to cut off critical health insurance payments, moving around the president toward bipartisan legislation to shore up the Affordable Care Act and to “stabilize and strengthen the individual health insurance market” for 2018, the first tangible indication of cooperation between the parties since Republican efforts to scrap the Affordable Care Act collapsed in the Senate last week.

It's an  “imminent crisis” is the needed bailout for insurance companies because of the wretchedly-devised Obummercare, and it is amazing how they move when it comes to their own insurance

We were told this was coming, and what it tells you is repeal and replace was nothing but political bull$h**. They wanted to keep it all along. After all the acrimony, they are now working together!

Payment of the cost-sharing subsidies is a top priority for insurers and for Democrats in Congress, who say that cutting off the payments would cause havoc in insurance markets.

This is reminiscent of the way they sold you on the TARP bailout for banks!

The president has the power to stop the payments because a federal district judge ruled in May 2016 that the Obama administration was illegally making the payments, in the absence of a law explicitly providing money for the purpose.

Isn't that a crime? 

You know, the ILLEGAL part.

The Obama administration appealed the ruling, and the case is pending before the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Headed for the Supreme Court, no doubt.

House Republicans, who filed suit to stop the payments in late 2014, and the Trump administration have told the court, in a joint report, that they are discussing “measures that would obviate the need for judicial determination of this appeal, including potential legislative action.”

Or not.

Asked if the president should stop making the payments to insurers, Senator John Kennedy, a Republican from Louisiana, said: “I don’t think anybody ought to do anything to hurt the American people. Obamacare is not working. It’s bad enough on its own. Until we can get the thing fixed, I think we have to try to maintain the status quo.”

That's what my paper and pre$$ are all about.

Some Republicans say that providing the money would amount to “a bailout for insurance companies,” in the words of Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.

“It’s what the Democrats want,” Cruz said Tuesday. “The Democrats are the party of the big insurance companies. The big insurance companies have had their profits double under Obamacare, and the only solution the Democrats have is to give yet more billions in corporate welfare to the insurance companies while working men and women are seeing their premiums skyrocket.”

The $ad fact is Cruz right.



Pushing the reset button on health care

John Kasich, he who called himself a Jedi to Trump's Vader, says meaningful change happens only with bipartisan support, open debate, and the normal push and pull of the legislative process, meaning whatever $pecial intere$ts need be served.

Healey praises ruling that could help preserve health care subsidies 

I wish she would worry about the crimes and corruption in her own state for once, as well address the Partner's price-gouging that is an open $ecret.

Trump proposal relies on claims by religious researchers A proposal by President Trump’s administration would undo the Affordable Care Act’s five-year-old mandate for birth control coverage.

No surprise there. Agree with it or not, why wouldn't he do it? That voting bloc is the only one standing by him; the Deep State and the Democrats spend each and every day savaging and subverting the guy. Any reach out has been rebuffed, so why waste time placating people who are plunging knives into you?


"The Senate approved Kevin Newsom to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit by a 66-31 vote…
Newsom cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee 18-2earlier this month, despite questions from Democrats about his comments calling Roe v. Wade the ‘most infamous’ of the Supreme Court’s privacy decisions and connecting it to Dred Scott” [Courthouse News]. 18-2. So when you hear liberal Democrats yammering about Roe v. Wade, remember that 18-2; the 31 nays were obviously revolving hero(es)(ines). (Let me toss a bomb here and say that my own personal view is the entire Roe v Wade fracas needs to be rethought, and if Planned Parenthood, as a institution, is in the way of #MedicareForAll, it’s time to heave PP over the side as a political player, based on performance. (Contrast the success of gay marriage, a social change just as seismic as abortion rights.) Universal concrete material benefits like a Jobs Guarantee and a checking account at a Post Office bank would do more for women than a PP clinic on every street corner......"

You may need to take the comments from that site in context, and the selling of fetal tissue scandal has been dispatched down the memory hole. 

As for the kids:

Scientists edit embryo genome but cast doubt on idea of ‘designer babies’ While a long way from clinical use, it raises the prospect that gene editing may one day protect babies from a variety of hereditary conditions. 

That used to be called eugenics, which conjures up all sorts of images including a guy with a toothbrush mustache, but beyond the $pin are the minimized mutations -- which is under$tandable:

Bristol-Myers pays $300 million for Cambridge biotech

Big money at stake, however:

Cambridge biotech Agios wins OK for its leukemia drug

FDA approves another drug to treat Heptitis C

Are you guys sure you want to edit out inherent di$ea$es?

"Analysts who follow the company said they do not see the changes as a harbinger of trouble for Bush. A cousin of former president George W. Bush, Jonathan Bush cofounded the company in 1997 and is considered a thought leader in the field. “Jonathan Bush wants to leave a legacy behind, and his legacy, I think, is making a meaningful impact in fixing the health care system,” Wieland said. “The vehicle in which he can do that is athenahealth.”

How are those transfers of patient records onto a hackable database (part of Obummercare) going anyway? Got all the glitches worked out yet?

Speaking of glitches:

"State takes control of Minuteman Health" by Priyanka Dayal McCluskey Globe Staff  August 03, 2017

State officials said Thursday that they have seized control of Minuteman Health Inc., a small Boston-based insurer created under a program of the Affordable Care Act to provide low-cost policies.

Officials at the Division of Insurance said the unusual step was necessary because Minuteman’s level of capitalization — or cash — is too low. But they said the company is expected to be able to pay its claims this year, and that people who get their health coverage from Minuteman will not be affected.

The company, which has 37,000 members in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, is now fully under the control of acting Massachusetts insurance commissioner Gary D. Anderson. The receivership was approved by the Supreme Judicial Court on Wednesday.

“This proactive step was taken by the commissioner in order to protect policyholders and their health care providers,” Chris Goetcheus, spokesman for the Division of Insurance, said in a statement.

The receivership was announced amid a period of uncertainty for health insurers nationally as the Trump administration continues efforts to upend the Affordable Care Act.

Actually, it's Congre$$ that is the one trying to "upend" the ACA, and rather than toss out an expletive regarding the distortion I'll let it and the inherent bias behind it lie there for you to savor.

State officials rarely take control of health insurers. The last time was in 2000, with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. Governor Charlie Baker, as chief executive of Harvard Pilgrim at the time, led a turnaround of that company.

How ironic.

The receivership comes as Minuteman plans to ditch its nonprofit status and move its business to a new for-profit structure next year.....

What more is there to $ay about health care in AmeriKa?


They are getting out because the rents are too high.

RelatedBaker backs down on demand to rein in MassHealth costs

It's in regards to the rising cost of MassHealth, and decision is likely to please health care advocates but anger business groups. Baker better be careful then, and never you kind all the $et a$ides in the state budget for Hollywood, (I wonder how much Amy will get), horse-racing, GE, and all the rest. The incentives (that's what they call 'em) are to the tune of over a billion dollars a year -- which just happens to match the state budget deficit

After they $et aside all your tax loot for themselves, they then have to divvy up the rest for same taxpayers and citizens. Who knows how much fraud is rampant within, but it's also question of priorities.

"Although Brigham is profitable, Brigham officials said payments from insurers and the government are flat while labor and other costs are growing. Brigham is also dealing with debt from spending around $845 million on a new building that opened last year and on a new patient health record system rolled out in 2015. Meanwhile, hospitals in Massachusetts are supposed to abide by a cap on medical spending that keeps annual increases to a set amount, 3.1 percent next year...."

What are the CEOs making?

A growing trend in employee well being Corporate gardens offer workers a chance for a break and an opportunity to help others.

For the few privileged and elite that have those jobs.

Hey, it's a rich man's paper and they prove that every day. Why shouldn't they? That's of and for whom the paper is written.

"Aetna trumps 2Q expectations after scaling back ACA coverage" by Tom Murphy Associated Press  August 03, 2017

Aetna’s second-quarter profit jumped 52 percent to top expectations, and the nation’s third-largest health insurer raised its 2017 forecast again, this time well beyond analyst projections.

Investors responded by pushing company shares to another all-time high price in Thursday trading.

Aetna added some Medicare customers and grew the health coverage it provides for large employers, but a pullback from the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges also helped its business improve compared to last year’s quarter.

The Hartford insurer’s biggest expense, health care costs, fell and the percentage of premiums it pays in medical claims improved as Aetna slashed its participation in the law’s exchanges to four states from 15 last year. The insurer still expects to lose more than $200 million before taxes this year on ACA-compliant coverage it sells on and off the law’s exchanges. But that’s better than the approximately $300 million it lost last year.

Aetna once covered more than 900,000 people through the exchanges, which amount to a small slice of its overall business. But the company and several other national insurers have scaled back their presence in the Obama-era law’s marketplaces, where they have struggled with a sicker-than-expected patient population and not enough healthy customers, among other challenges. Aetna covered about 180,000 people through the exchanges at the end of the second quarter and intends to completely leave that market next year. 

A sicker than expected population and not enough healthy customers, huh? Maybe if the chemically-laden foods weren't modified and the air, land, and seas fouled with poisons..... sigh.

Health insurance is Aetna’s main business, and most of its enrollment comes from commercial coverage sold through employers or directly to individuals. But the insurer and its competitors also have been expanding into government-funded business like the Medicaid program that covers the poor or Medicare Advantage plans for people who are over 65.

So they are taking over the quasi-single payer system that the whole country likes and you didn't even know it. Imagine the fraud, too.

Aetna on Thursday joined competitors like UnitedHealth Group Inc. and the Blue Cross Blue Shield insurer Anthem Inc. in easily beating second-quarter expectations and hiking its 2017 forecast.

The insurer’s quarterly earnings jumped to $1.2 billion, from $791 million last year, even though its total revenue slipped and enrollment fell due to pullbacks from the exchanges and the company’s Medicaid business and a pause in a health insurance fee. Health care costs fell 6 percent to $10.58 billion.

Adjusted earnings totaled $3.42 per share. Revenue excluding capital gains came to $15.5 billion.

Analysts expected, on average, earnings of $2.37 per share in the second quarter on $15.24 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Aetna also said Thursday that it now expects adjusted earnings of between $9.45 and $9.55 per share for the year, a big hike from its previous forecast for $8.80 to $9 per share.

It’s also well above industry analyst per share projections of $8.98.

The price of Aetna shares jumped past $160 Thursday morning to set a new, all-time high mark. The stock has already reached several all-time highs this year. Shares have climbed consistently for much of 2017, particularly since Aetna said in February that it was doubling its quarterly cash dividend to 50 cents a share and would buy back millions of shares.

It's called manipulating the share price and it is SOP.

That announcement came after Aetna abandoned its planned, $34-billion purchase of Medicare Advantage provider Humana, a deal that had been rejected in federal court.

You can $ee for yourself who$e health is truly important in my pre$$.


Time to move on.

UPDATE: Pfizer profit soars on sales of key drugs