Today in Capitalism

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economy

Has anyone else noticed that every other ad on cable television these days is for Medicare Advantage plans? I guess “Obamacare” didn’t kill Medicare Advantage after all.

I also noticed a news story about a company called High Road Capital, which seems to be in the business of buying things, snapping up a whole lot of health care businesses.

Private equity firms have snapped up many companies that provide medical billing, coding and document processing this year in an effort to reap some of the government stimulus earmarked for the digitization of health care and to help the sector meet upcoming regulatory changes.

I assume they expect to make a profit.

Also, rejoice that we just had the strongest holiday sales season since 2006. That’s something you’ll never hear on Faux News.

Pallavi Gogoi, Associated Press, writes that top American corporations are racking up big profits, and stock prices also are up. And they’re hiring! Just not in the U.S.

All but 4 percent of the top 500 U.S. corporations reported profits this year, and the stock market is close to its highest point since the 2008 financial meltdown.

But the jobs are going elsewhere. The Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, says American companies have created 1.4 million jobs overseas this year, compared with less than 1 million in the U.S. The additional 1.4 million jobs would have lowered the U.S. unemployment rate to 8.9 percent, says Robert Scott, the institute’s senior international economist.

“There’s a huge difference between what is good for American companies versus what is good for the American economy,” says Scott.

That last sentence is significant. Naturally, the incoming Congress will be tripping all over itself giving tax breaks to big corporations to create more jobs. India should thank us for subsidizing its economy.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Rick Massimo  •  Dec 28, 2010 @12:12 pm

    “Has anyone else noticed that every other ad on cable television these days is for Medicare Advantage plans?”

    I’m still seeing plenty of ads for scooters for the elderly that the evil socialist Medicare will pay for so you can make it to the next Tea Party rally in style.

  2. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 28, 2010 @12:23 pm

    Well, at least if we haven’t completely eliminated the legislation that INCENTED U.S. companies to outsource jobs, maybe what passed will slow it down some.
    But I don’t see why all of these ‘Jobs, jobs, jobs!’ Democrats and RepubliKlans can’t create a harsh tax on companies whose base is in the U.S. (but maybe not be headquartered here, technically, for tax purposes) and DISINCENT them from sending jobs over there that could be done over here.
    In plain language, lets say the job would pay $35,000 with benefits here, but $7,000 somewhere else (yeah, you don’t want to know where I’m pulling these number out from, trust me). Why not tax that company $30,000+ to incent them to keep the job here. And that way, if they insist that the job really, really, really needs to be outsourced then, by all means, go ahead, after you’ve thrown the difference in salaries and a fine into a kitty for displaced workers for job training/extended unemployment insurance.

    And of couuse I do know the real reason.
    It’s that RepubliKlans are determined to annihilate the middle class in this country until there’s no difference in salary (and benefits, hah!) between a desperate child worker here or in Thailand. You know, the kind of job a starving family is happier to have their child take to help feed the family than the alternative – a sex worker/slave somewhere.
    God Bless America!
    Where the future’s so bright, you’d better wear a blindfold.

  3. Swami  •  Dec 28, 2010 @1:18 pm

    lets say the job would pay $35,000 with benefits here, but $7,000 somewhere else

    Don’t you mean 7,000 rupees elsewhere?

  4. Felicity  •  Dec 28, 2010 @1:56 pm

    There’s a fable (I think its by Thurber) called ‘The King of the Jungle.’ One day the Lion decides to test the claim that he is the King of the Jungle by killing, hopefully successfully, every living creature in his domain. He succeeds only to have his wife, the lioness, remind him when he returns home for dinner that night he has ‘killed’ all their sources of food.

    The continual eating away at the American economy by corporations and the financial sector, aided and abetted by the politicians, will lead to the same disaster faced by our Lion King – starvation. It’s called shitting in your own nest. I seriously doubt that India or any other country will jump to our rescue.

  5. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 28, 2010 @2:07 pm

    Felicity,
    “I seriously doubt that India or any other country will jump to our rescue.”
    How could they? They’ll be too busy laughing!

  6. LillithMc  •  Dec 28, 2010 @3:30 pm

    The seniors are one group that still have health insurance with medicare. The health care plans have increased the co-pays, trimmed down their services and earn a good amount when the senior uses medicare advantage. In my area I have little option because the HMO’s have driven out fee-for-service private physicians.

  7. maha  •  Dec 28, 2010 @4:21 pm

    LillithMc — If you’re talking about fee-for-service Medicare Advantage plans, they were phased out by an act of Congress; the Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA), which passed in 2008 over President Bush’s veto. The fee-for-service plans were costing taxpayers a great deal more for the same services provided by networked Medicare Advantage. And this was pretty intolerable considering a networked Medicare Advantage plan costs taxpayers 14 percent more than regular Medicare to treat the same illness.

    An HMO or other networked plan, as annoying as they are, controls cost a lot more than fee for service plans. This should tell us that private insurance is not more cost-effective than a single-payer health care system, but of course no patriotic American would ever make that connection (she said, sarcastically).

  8. LillithMc  •  Dec 28, 2010 @5:41 pm

    I was talking about having private practice physicians in my area who accept medicare. I am surrounded by Kaiser hospitals and buy Kaiser medicare advantage. My option would be to use a private physician who accepts medicare, but I hear they are rare because Sacramento is the state capitol and most patients belong to HMO’s. Medicare-for-All was my choice years ago.

  9. Jennifer  •  Dec 28, 2010 @7:26 pm

    It’s called shitting in your own nest.

    I remember a professor giving us an analogy (can’t remember what she taught) about people living in a house with slats for the floor. They’d poop and it would fall through the slats. It worked alright and the people were thrilled with the solution until the crawlspace filled up with it and then it wouldn’t fall through and disappear; they had to deal with the big mess. Move? or Clean It Up?

  10. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 28, 2010 @7:42 pm

    Jennifer,
    On the plus side, they could have saved all of the money that they didn’t have to spend on visitors and guests. Who would go?
    And, in true Galtian Ubermensch fashion, all of that money saved might have pushed them into the ‘move’ category, and they could let the government pay to clean up the mess.

  11. erinyes  •  Dec 28, 2010 @9:33 pm

    The T.V. commercials crack me up; ‘next time I’m off to buy a fighter jet, bet yr ass I’m going with Boeing. Then there’s the flyin nunn pushing Boniva, 50 somethings with erection problems, lipitor, insomnia pills that might make you drive to work when you’re asleep, and yeah, I love the mentioned commercials about the evil govt electric scooters, I can’t wait till I need one of those, kind of reminds me of Captain Pike from the old Star Trek series. God, i’m just wishing for those old Parkay commercials where you get a crown, or Madge with her dishwashing cure all, or the Biz quiz.What the hell happened to the Shell “answer man”and the Maytag repair dude? WHERE IS MY UNCOLA!!!or I’d like to teach the world to sing and drink Coca-Cola? Someone sucked the fun out of the whole damned world!
    But now,sadly, I’m a limp-dicked insomniac with high cholesterol and brittle bones, who is bareley self ambulatory( I think my wife prefers me that way for several days per week…), but i need a friggin’ fighter jet and a millionaire fat-assed chair butted attorney who is “for the people!” .(The Fl. readers know who I’m talking about.)
    Great commentary Maha…………..

  12. Swami  •  Dec 28, 2010 @11:06 pm

    and a millionaire fat-assed chair butted attorney who is “for the people!”

    People in other states should be grateful they don’t have to put up with that over inflated gasbag. If ever there has been a case of complete media saturation in the field of ambulance chasing old Morgan takes the prize. ” I’m going to tell you something they don’t want you to know”

  13. maha  •  Dec 28, 2010 @11:17 pm

    Madge with her dishwashing cure all

    Madge tried to warn us that we’re soaking in it. We didn’t listen.

  14. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 29, 2010 @8:46 am

    How about the Obama Presidency viewed by many on the left as a delayed beer ad?
    January of 2009: TASTES GREAT!!!
    December of 2010: Less filling…

    erinyes, Swami and maha: LOL!!!

  15. Pat  •  Dec 29, 2010 @2:58 pm

    that night he has ‘killed’ all their sources of food

    Yeah, no reasonable parasite actually kills its host.

    I’d read the Gogoi AP article this a.m. It was even in the little right wing community newspaper we get to keep up with local news. Didn’t Obama promise to do something about that problem. That was a big campaign promise and I still think taxing the workforce traitors would get popular support. People get ths, I think.

    Keeping the jobs at home is a good idea. Then people get money then spend it. Hopefully to buy American which then increases corporate profits. It could be called trickle-up economics.

    Everyone “knows” this, don’t they?

    Thanks for the healthcare knowledge…my HC IQ is shamefully low.



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