Ezra Klein acknowledges ‘the insurance industry is not a particularly profitable industry’…

Word up. I actually agree with something a member of journOlist said.

Ezra Klein, Wapo:

…The insurance industry is not a particularly profitable industry. To be more specific, they’re the 86th most profitable industry as measured by profit margins, with an average margin of 3.3 percent. That’s lower than drug manufacturers (16.5 percent), health information services (9.3 percent), home health care (8.4 percent), medical labs and research (8.2 percent), medical instruments and supplies (6.8 percent), biotech firms (6.7 percent), generic drug manufacturers (6.6 percent), and much else. That’s not to pretend that 3.3 percent is nothing, but it’s hard to see how that’s a primary driver of health-care spending, much less the growth in health-care spending….

But of course, Max Baucus calls for an excise tax on them anyway, one that they will be forced to pass on to we consumers, thereby preventing them from containing premium increases, and thereby hitting the Snowe ‘trigger’ and dumping us all on to the Zeke Emanuel/Liverpool Pathway to Doom.

Doom I tell you!

Washington Wire has a copy of the health-overhaul plan that Sen. Max Baucus presented to the “Gang of Six” bipartisan negotiators over the weekend.

We reported the outlines this morning, but some details struck us as noteworthy. To pay for the plan, there are across-the-board fees not just for health insurers but also for pharmaceutical manufacturers, medical device makers and clinical laboratories. The hits are likely to arouse industry concerns, although companies also have a lot to gain from a health bill that expands coverage to millions of uninsured.

Like other bills, the proposal from Baucus, chairman of the Finance Committee, would require most people to carry health insurance. But it slaps higher penalties on those who refuse, ranging from $750 for the poorest single people to as high as $3,800 a year for families. By contrast, employers wouldn’t be required to provide coverage for employees. They would only have to pay a contribution for employees who get tax credits to buy individual insurance.

Doctors may be irked by some of the payment changes in the Baucus plan. In particular, one measure seeks to give primary-care doctors higher Medicare payments, and funding it by cutting payments to other doctors….


You know, Canada is already Creating jobs, Aussies are doing better as well. Gee wonder why USA is not creating jobs yet? Hmm could it be b/c they didn’t spend 700 BILLION in a stimulus that did not stimulate job creation but instead assured a long term contraction under an unsustainable deficit? See the Aussie CONSUMER is pulling them out of it, which the US consumer would do as well, were DC to HIT THE BRAKES!

…Central bank Governor Glenn Stevens said: “Economic conditions in Australia have been stronger than expected a few months ago, with both consumer spending and exports notable for their resilience. Measures of confidence have recovered a good deal of ground. This suggests that the risk of a severe contraction in the Australian economy has abated. The most likely outcome in the near term is a period of sluggish output, with consumer spending likely to slow somewhat and investment remaining weak. Stronger dwelling activity and public spending will start to provide more support to overall demand soon, and growth is likely to firm into 2010…

Could it be we are not recovering the way Canada and Australia are b/c the loons in DC are acting out textbook examples of what NOT to do in a recession?

ie raising taxes, raising fees, expanding every level of government, enacting layer upon layer of regulation…and in varied ways scaring the consumer and leaving no safe haven in capital markets (except Gold)..

You do not need to be a SOOPERGENIUS to see this, and maybe that is the problem. The smartest folks in the room seem to have an amazing dearth of common sense. I do not think Keynes would have written the stimulus bill ANYTHING like the way they put our spendulus together..and had he seen the size of the deficit and state of consumer balance sheets I am confident he would find a need for incentivizing job creation through TARGETED tax brakes to encourage capital investment and economic expansion…

Cameo courtesy of  DiamondChick

September 10, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Finance, Obama Administration, Politics, Taxes, Unemployment Statistics, Wall St.


  1. Soda Computer Man replied:

    Thanks for the great stuff.
    Loving your work and Ill keep coming back.


  2. sdn replied:

    hello 🙂


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