So, just who won with the Affordable Care Act?

With any legislation, there will be winners and losers, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is no exception. We already know who lost: people who already had health insurance lost, as they’ve seen their insurance rates skyrocket while being required to pay for coverage that they do not need. But who won? From The Wall Street Journal:

Fund Boss’s Gamble on Health Law Pays Off Big
Larry Robbins’s Glenview Capital Management has made realized and paper gains of more than $3.2 billion
By David Benoit | July 23, 2015 7:52 p.m. ET

Glenview Capital Management LLC made a bold decision when President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul was rolling out: Bet on it.

The result has been one of the most successful hedge-fund wagers in recent years. New York-based Glenview has realized and paper gains of more than $3.2 billion since it started making investments in hospitals and insurers four years ago, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of securities filings.

The fund is run by Larry Robbins, a billionaire hockey fanatic known for his sermonizing investor letters. Its latest win comes courtesy of Anthem Inc., the nation’s second-largest health insurer by revenue, which is expected to announce a $48 billion-plus acquisition of rival Cigna Corp. as early as Friday, according to people familiar with the matter. Glenview owns shares in both companies, as well as in insurers Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc., which struck a $34 billion deal of their own three weeks ago. Shares of all four companies have rallied in anticipation of tie-ups.

The passage of the Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare,” has riled executives throughout corporate America over concerns about its costs and deeper government involvement in a key industry. But while the health-care industry, many investors and individuals wrestled with the uncertainties created by the law, which was passed in 2010, a team at Glenview was laying the groundwork for the wager early on.

They reasoned as early as 2007 that the health-care system in the U.S. was likely to change, with more people gaining coverage and mergers in the future for hospital operators and health insurers. They largely stuck to that thesis through two presidential campaigns, a congressional brawl and a pair of cliffhangers at the Supreme Court.

There’s a lot more at the original.

Is it any surprise that the insurance industry liked Obamacare? It guaranteed them a significant increase in the number of customers, along with government subsidies to help them pay. The health care industry liked it as well, because it guaranteed them fewer non-paying patients.

And now we find out — not that we didn’t already know it — that Wall Street likes it as well, and the financial wizards are making billions of dollars on health care reform. As long as you aren’t a working American, you pretty much made out, either through increased investment earnings, or taxpayer-subsidized health insurance.

It’s only if you are a working American, who already had health insurance — which was true of about 85% of the population — that you lost on this deal.

Related article from The Wall Street Journal:

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Income inequality

Income inequality is the canary in the coal mine, so we had better heed these warnings and require Congress to act in our behalf on the critical issues. Do-nothing is not an acceptable alternative for our Congress.

Here is all that needs to be said about the results of the do-nothing Congress we have had since the Republican caused Great Recession and worse, since the 2010 mid-terms which gave Republicans control of our House:

Sure, Republicans now also have control of the Senate, so the ball is in their court to impede this growing income and racial income inequality and stop the deterioration of our national character.

Republicans have gained their current power by a series of corrupt tactics and by the Dems themselves not stepping up to the plate in recent mid-term elections. Both bode not well for the future of our nation. Corrupt tactics include filibustering almost every action in the Senate, voting over 50 times in the House to defund Obamacare, and purposeful suppression of the minority vote by such as:
* requiring photo ID,
* not having enough voting organization in minority districts resulting in very long lines,
* disallowing felons from the vote,
* delegitimizing GOTV efforts for minority voters.

There is a pattern of another suppression, of minorities, by the recent revelations of injustices in the killings of blacks by law enforcement officials who then are exonerated without going to trial by either grand juries or worse, the total failure of officials to even follow up after these killings.

Furthermore, blacks are arrested and prosecuted for drug offenses than whites, whereas there are about as many whites committing these offenses as there are blacks.

There is no explanation for these inequalities other than that we Americans continue to have a problem with outright racism, in spite of the fact that the Civil War was won, that we have a Civil Rights Act 100 years after. and that it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race or gender or sexual orientation.

All of these legalisms are meaningless unless we the people are willing to abide by these laws, of which many citizens are unwilling to do so.

The result is a weakening of the American character, a weakening of our country, a flaw in our national moral standing, the final result of which is chaos in our Congress and in our streets.

So this is exactly where we are right now, all leading to the ultimate failure of our state unless we act now!

What are you going to do about this? Vote? Protest? Contact your representatives?

Or are you going to give up and watch the TV and/or play games?

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Executive Orders

We now hear a hew and cry about the possibility of President Obama issuing an executive order aimed at granting legal status to about five million illegals, most of whom are children of illegal immigrants having lived here and been schooled here and work here for many years. Now look at this for some perspective:

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Considering the fact that the immigration issue is a serious one, that we have a Senate Bill on which the House has not voted, then what is a duly elected President supposed to do? Wait for dysfunction to abate? Please!!!

And as bad, the GOP legislators are threatening impeachment of the President.

You decide who is right.

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Mid Term Election 2014: Thoughts

OK, the votes in the 2014 midterm election have been counted, and the Democrats suffered a large defeat. But do you know what, I consider this a good thing, in a way:

**Republicans now have their opportunity to govern. Let us see what they accomplish.

* Democrats have been awakened. Let us see how they recover.

**Republicans won without much of an agenda, but with lots of negative campaigning and racism in the South.

* Democrats lost as most of them unwisely detached from President Obama’s accomplishments.

**Republicans won without a mandate, with only a plurality of less than 50%, reminiscent of GWB.

* Democrats lost by not getting out their vote.

**Republicans have gerrymandered the voting system to the extent that they will not lose the House in the foreseeable future.

* Democrats must retake the Senate and retain the White House to curb Republican extremism.

**Republicans, starting with Reagan and continuing with GWB, cut taxes, increased spending, therefore increased the deficit. GWB doubled it.

* Democrats under Clinton and Obama enabled the country to recover, prosper, while still slowing the deficit.

***In conclusion: There is lots more to do on each issue, under President Obama’s watch, in spite of a mostly dysfunctional Congress and continued abject racism The economy is restored with the stock market at a record high, the deficit is decreasing, unemployment is almost halved to 5.8%, and the ACA is insuring more people at lower overall costs per capita to the country.

Let’s be honest: Our problems were caused by Republican policies under Reagan and Bush, and have been continued by dysfunctional, disruptive, and corrupt Republicans. More work is needed on these issues. Let us see what Republicans can do now that they have full control of the Senate the House.

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The Worsening Impact of Income Inequality

This chart presents a very worrisome message for the United States:

Here, folks, is the current origin of the growing income/wealth inequality in our nation, where it can be seen that the top 0.01% own 10% of our total wealth. Moreover, adding it all up, the top 1% own 40% of our total national wealth.

Both economically and politically, this is unsustainable. Economically, unless the minimum wage is not raised substantially, rising costs of living will put more in poverty and depending on the government to subsist. Politically, the poor and lower income people increasing in numbers have potential power by virtue of the ballot, and will be more inclined to use it. There are limits to what radical Republicans can do to suppress the vote, so they are running out of time, or at least should be unless the Repubs find some more dirty tricks to pull.

Rising wealth/income inequality is a political time bomb. Is it possible that a violent revolution will occur in due time?

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Some Thoughts on the Near Future

Some thoughts on the near future:

I believe we have become complacent. Beginning with the end of WWII we now have had about three generations who have lived through a bustling economy with only a few short downturns, Even with the Great Recession, there has been enough growth, albeit slow, which gives a majority of Americans hope. With all this, very few of us vote. We assume we are going to be OK. Due to extremely clever messaging by the GOP, many folks blame Obama and the Dems for the problems we do have. Due to the likes of Fox News and the Limbaugh hater types. there is not an effective counter message getting through to enough people. Add all this to the fact that the Supreme Court’s abetting the use of tons campaign dark money and voter suppression, and you have a repressive, loud-mouthed, corrupted political party, the Republicans, on the verge of taking over our Congress, thus guaranteeing two more years of dysfunction. Will we be able to return power to the people in 2016. I have very serious doubts that we can, mainly due to the inability to overturn the power of the US Supreme Court in time for reform.

Obama woke up the nation, but times were different then – dire – as the economy was starting to crash. Now, the economy is not dire, there is no Obama so to speak, and the Supreme Court has enabled the Republicans to dominate with black money and voter suppression. Please explain to me how this will change in the short term, that is, until the Supreme Court Extremists leave the Court? The GOP has won the battle for now! The only hope for the Dems is to get out the vote. I don’t see that happening right now or in 2016, unless someone comes galloping in on a white horse.

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Right Wing Hatred

You don’t have to go far to experience the hatred and extremism of the GOP. Take for example The First Street Journal and some of the recent remarks made:

From Hoagie:

Very funny, Dana. How could Perry have posted anything new when he’s a one trick pony and hasn’t had a new thought or idea in fifty years. He’s a lost flower child, trapped in the 60′s full of hate for any American who is not a subversive. The less he posts the better off the entire world is. He just posts the same crap over and over anyway. He’s like a dude in a movie I saw, the guy was a nut case who sat there listening to Puttin’ on the Ritz” over and over.

More from Hoagie:

With Ebola now in Texas and perhaps Hawaii and tuberculosis in Texas, it seems Obama’s dream of turning the American Republic into a third world Marxist state is now complete with third world terrorists, third world “refugees” in the form of illegals and third world diseases. If he can figure out how to re-introduce Polio and small pox he will run for a third term.

The Obama trifecta. Gotta love the man’s dedication. He said he would “fundamentally transform” America and I’ll be damned if he didn’t.

From Yorkshire:

Bend Over Chelsea, we have a line of whoremoan Therapists named BUBBA.

Sad but true. These folks ought to know better, but they have permitted themselves to be swallowed up into the sea of right wing hatred and extremism. What I chose to show above, is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.

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American Campaign Hash

It’s been a month or so since I last posted here, as I have been busy expressing my views elsewhere with some folks who are willing to have a discussion and debate without all the hatred exhibited on the likes of Patterico and The First Street Journal. However, I will return here from time to time to make a statement. Here is one which summarizes the god-awful behavior of the Koch brothers, you know, the ones who desire to subvert our democratic institutions and replace them with an oligarchy, strongly supported by the extremists who constitute a majority of our lock-step GOP:

This pretty much says it all about these anarchists, who represent all that is wrong with the GOP, in my view.

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Racism in America

An important message:

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Republican Exaggerations and Downright Lies

Voters need to keep these in mind when they go to vote in November:

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