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JimVanMeerten (63.33)

Why be afraid of the health care bill?

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March 23, 2010 – Comments (31)

I was just watching the President sign the health care bill and I was watching the stock market action in the margins. What is all the fear about? Why are people afraid of change?

Over the past few weeks as I listened to my favorite stations, congressmen and commentators I sensed that there was a lot of fear and anxiety in their voices. In spite of all their protests and the protests they were covering the bill passed anyway. I started to ask myself how could something pass that it seemed everyone was against and then it hit me. Maybe I was listening to the wrong people. I stepped back to see what was happening.

I don't think there is anyone, rich or poor, Democratic or Republican that really wants someone to die or stay sick because they haven't got the financial means to purchase the services or drugs that will save their life or ease their pain. Americans are just too carrying to let that happen. Things will be different and we shouldn't fear that. But how will I change my plan?

In the past change meant innovation and opportunity. Those who can up with the new solutions usually reaped great rewards. Why should the future be any different than the past?

I'm looking forward to change. I've got to realize that some of the industries and stocks I may presently own may not adapt and change with the times. Hasn't that been the way it has always been?

Change has been forced upon us and the status quo has been upset. So what? Will I run through the streets in panic and yell: " The sky is falling, the sky is falling!" My plan for the future will be the same one I've had in the past.

I'm going to make sure my stop losses are in place on the positions that I presently own and I'm going to keep looking for the companies and people that are the innovators and are positioning themselves to take advantage of the new opportunities that will come in the future.

Don't you think you should do the same?

Jim Van Meerten is an investor who writes on financial matters here and on Financial Tides. Please leave a comment below or email JimVanMeerten@gmail.com

31 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On March 23, 2010 at 1:01 PM, truthisntstupid (80.94) wrote:

Thank you.

A voice of reason. Surely the same kind of people that railed against social security and medicare are the ones raising hell now.  And how many millions of people were allowed to live in dignity and increased security in their old age because of these programs? 

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#2) On March 23, 2010 at 1:12 PM, starbucks4ever (97.35) wrote:

"I don't think there is anyone, rich or poor, Democratic or Republican that really wants someone to die or stay sick because they haven't got the financial means to purchase the services or drugs that will save their life or ease their pain. "

No, they don't, because they realize that they won't obtain any money from a corpse, so they want you to stay alive, feel as much pain as possible, and under no condition have access to healthcare that is too cheap for them to make a profit.  

"Change has been forced upon us and the status quo has been upset. So what?"

So what? You are not concerned that the bill sets a precedent? From now on nobody can be sure that tomorrow they will not make it your "individual mandate" to purchase 100 shares of GS at $500 a share. 

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#3) On March 23, 2010 at 1:13 PM, angusthermopylae (38.65) wrote:

I thought it was amusing (and enlightening) that health care stocks climbed so much yesterday.  Investors certainly appear to see the passage as a Good Thing(tm), don't they?

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#4) On March 23, 2010 at 1:23 PM, ChrisGraley (29.67) wrote:

I don't fear it, I fear the mentality behind it. The only thing that this bill does is help the health care companies and shift more of a burden on the young and healthy.

Health Care rates will go up faster.

Medicare and Social Security were robbed to pay for it.

The worst of the bill won't kick in until this administraion is out of office though.

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#5) On March 23, 2010 at 2:01 PM, blake303 (29.19) wrote:

zloj (99.23) wrote: You are not concerned that the bill sets a precedent? From now on nobody can be sure that tomorrow they will not make it your "individual mandate" to purchase 100 shares of GS at $500 a share. 

Health care mandates are not a slippery slope. Give it a rest.  

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#6) On March 23, 2010 at 2:01 PM, cashkid79 (93.09) wrote:

Yes, there is no doubt CAPS is where the brightest minds come to congregate/discuss issues ... and BAM!!! gotta go (for now) :>>>>>

Liprie, TP

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#7) On March 23, 2010 at 2:11 PM, starbucks4ever (97.35) wrote:

"Health care mandates are not a slippery slope. Give it a rest. "

I think it is. 

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#8) On March 23, 2010 at 2:23 PM, Turfscape (44.12) wrote:

zloj wrote:
"Health care mandates are not a slippery slope. Give it a rest."
I think it is.

It's as slippery as all the other slippery slopes...like allowing ladies to wear trousers, interracial marriage, letting gay kids go to prom, and alcohol sales on Sundays.

When will the madness end! Won't someone think of the children!

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#9) On March 23, 2010 at 2:24 PM, miteycasey (30.30) wrote:

2010 federal budget.

 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/ce/Fy2010_spending_by_category.jpg

Too much redistrubition of wealth and this will only help it grow.

 

 

 

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#10) On March 23, 2010 at 2:30 PM, starbucks4ever (97.35) wrote:

#8,

Things you mentioned were just a return to normality. I don't see how you can equate that with forcing consumers into a contract with a private company.   

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#11) On March 23, 2010 at 2:32 PM, blake303 (29.19) wrote:

The slippery slope is evidenced by what exactly? What other products/services do countries with individual mandates force their citizens to purchase?  

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#12) On March 23, 2010 at 2:51 PM, Ironbob (70.96) wrote:

WAKE THE HELL  UP!  What in the world were you kids taught in school?  I mean I'm getting up there in age so maybe I'm jaded but I have always felt I could trust the American people to run their own economy.  The ONLY place that government fits into that equation is in the area of exploitation and public safety as depicted in Sinclair's "The Jungle" but even that was nothing more then a call to replace one oppression with another oppression by its author. 

 But this is an entirely different situation and it's time you STOPPED and thought about what you're asking for.  I'm sick and tired of Americans being segregated into the "conservative" and "liberal" camps so that socialists can convince us that the only thing worth working for is to defeat the opposition, all the while screwing the middle class, destroying the poor and disenfranchising the rich.

 You don't see something inherently WRONG with a government that would jail and fine its citizens for NOT buying a product?  Seriously, WAKE UP because it's not going to stop here now that we've decided to travel down this razor blade. 

Oh I know, you'll say well states require people to buy car insurance!  Well, guess what?  THEY DON'T penalize you for not buying it, only driving without it.  They don't FORCE you to buy it at all, you can choose just not to drive.  You still may think that's the same thing but it's not. 

Some thugs from the IRS aren't going to come and jail you because you didn't buy car insurance but in this little Nazi Obama's world, that's the world he wants!   That's why he's going to HIRE 16,000 more IRS agents!  He's not hiring even ONE doctor, not ONE nurse, not building ONE hospital!  The guy is worse than Hitler because Hitler actually told the world the truth about his intentions.

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#13) On March 23, 2010 at 2:59 PM, Turfscape (44.12) wrote:

Ironbob wrote:
"The guy is worse than Hitler because Hitler actually told the world the truth about his intentions."

Godwin! Wow, that was fairly quick...only 12 comments in!

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#14) On March 23, 2010 at 3:01 PM, catoismymotor (51.49) wrote:

Ironbob,

I agree with some of your rant. But I must say that you are way off base when you compare Obama to Hitler.

Cato

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#15) On March 23, 2010 at 3:07 PM, outoffocus (22.74) wrote:

I agree with some of your rant. But I must say that you are way off base when you compare Obama to Hitler.

Agreed. This monstrosity of a bill is a result of Barack Obama actually fulfilling his campaign promise.  Imagine that, a politician fulfilling a campaign promise.

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#16) On March 23, 2010 at 3:49 PM, Goofyhoofy (< 20) wrote:

**The ONLY place that government fits into that equation is in the area of exploitation and public safety as depicted in Sinclair's "The Jungle" but even that was nothing more then a call to replace one oppression with another oppression by its author.**

I am fairly sure that the construction of roads gave a massive subsidy to automobile manufacturers (without which their products would have been useless), and I don't see you complaining about that.  The construction of the Panama Canal made trade between the coasts cheaper, and the Erie Canal brought the transport costs between the East Coast and midwest down by a factor of 10. Should we have waited for the private market to do that? (Oh wait, we did. For 50 years and it didn't happen until government got involved.)

Railroads prospered by grants of land and incentives to build, and early colleges were formed thanks to land grants and research grants from government which allowed them to build institutions of higher learning from which we all have gained. The GI Bill took tax monies and gave it to returning GI's which sent an entire American generation to college, producing the most educated workforce in the history of the world. 

The telephone system was a basketcase of small companies which wouldn't and couldn't interconnect until government took it over (in the runup to World War I because the defense department had no way to communicate with itself). Was that a bad use of government? Or did we end up with what was, for the next 50 years, called "the best telephone system in the world."?

Are you against the FDA approving drugs, or would you rather return to the days when anybody could throw anything onto the shelves, and the way the market sorted it out was with people dying? Do you know that the FCC (actually the FRC at the time) had its regulations stripped by the courts in 1926, and that year is sometimes called 'the year of chaos" because of how screwed up everything got as entrepreneurs decided to broadcast whenever and wherever they wanted?

Do you know who invented the internet? (Hint: the Defense Department) Or how GPS came to be? (Hint: the same). Or how weather forecasting got out of the dark ages? (Hint: likewise).

There are a thousand and one things that government has done - and done well - which have improved your life immeasurably. And you want to go back to the days before Sinclair Lewis exposed the grotesque machinations of "The Jungle" in some twisted theory that life was better then. Good luck with that one. 

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#17) On March 23, 2010 at 3:55 PM, blake303 (29.19) wrote:

I love that the people comparing the president (or anyone for that matter) to Hitler never forget to throw in a statement challenging what others learned in school. 

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#18) On March 23, 2010 at 4:49 PM, truthisntstupid (80.94) wrote:

Are you drawing social security, ironbob? If not, are you going to?  WHY?

People like yourself probably said the same thing about social security. So DON'T DRAW IT....unless you're a hypocrite.

Me, I may, like millions of others be able to go to a doctor for the first time in 25 years soon. 

I see NOTHING inherently WRONG with that. 

 

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#19) On March 23, 2010 at 5:10 PM, MKArch (99.73) wrote:

Why be afraid of change? Well how about the fact that we can't afford the entitlement programs we already have without adding the mother of all entitlements on top? How about the fact the proponents of the bill lied about the costs just to get it passed. How could anyone have any faith in their projections 10 years down the road when they are writing their memoirs and a whole new set of politicians are supposed to be making the tough choices? Maybe we should be afraid because the chickens are coming home to roost soon on the underfunded entitlements we already have and adding a massive new one on top is just insane.

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#20) On March 23, 2010 at 5:26 PM, Turfscape (44.12) wrote:

MKarch wrote:
"Well how about the fact that we can't afford the entitlement programs we already have without adding the mother of all entitlements on top?"

Can you tell me how this differs than any other time in the past 10 years?

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#21) On March 23, 2010 at 6:28 PM, MKArch (99.73) wrote:

Can you tell me how this differs than any other time in the past 10 years?

How about scale. BTW just because Bush and the republicans were fiscally irresponsible doesn't excuse Obama and the democrats for fiscal insanity.

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#22) On March 23, 2010 at 6:43 PM, MKArch (99.73) wrote:

A voice of reason. Surely the same kind of people that railed against social security and medicare are the ones raising hell now.  And how many millions of people were allowed to live in dignity and increased security in their old age because of these programs?

Get back to me in about a decade when the bills start coming due on these chronically underfunded programs and tell me how much everyone loves them. The people who took out zero down option arm mortgages a few years ago loved them at the time. It was great living in a house they couldn't actually afford.

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#23) On March 24, 2010 at 11:17 AM, Turfscape (44.12) wrote:

MKarch wrote:
"How about scale. BTW just because Bush and the republicans were fiscally irresponsible doesn't excuse Obama and the democrats for fiscal insanity."

Scale? Seriously? Perhaps you need to re-examine the last ten years.

You are correct that fiscal irresponsibility by one does not excuse fiscal irresponsibility by another. But, boy oh boy, does it reveal hypocrisy fast. If you'd really like to avoid these kinds of laws from coming to pass, you can't pick and choose when to fight government interloping. You can't de-emphasize deficits for one party and not the other.

This bill doesn't frighten me. Quite simply, America is stronger than this bill.

What frightens me is that we STILL think the solution is to put the "other" party into office...THAT will solve everything. 'Gee, if Republicans had won in '08 none of this would've happened'. I've been watching this go back and forth since Reagan took office in '81. We kick, flail and spit when the 'other side' wins and look to stop them by voting in 'our side'. THEY'RE THE SAME PLAYERS! As Seinfeld once said: "Basically, we're rooting for laundry." We're voting not for ideas and platforms, but for a little letter in parentheses after a candidate's name.

And when you stop supporting the true ideals that create freedom and liberty in order to support a win for the 'team', you get bills like this...or the Patriot Act...or Don't Ask, Don't Tell...or Star Wars defense budgets...or most any of the major legislation that has passed in my lifetime.

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#24) On March 24, 2010 at 11:46 AM, Goofyhoofy (< 20) wrote:

or most any of the major legislation that has passed in my lifetime.

 

By "in your lifetime" do you mean during "the richest, most successful, freest, most egalitarian society in the history of the world" lifetime? 

Or were you pining to go back to the days when half of all elders lived in poverty, minorities and women were treated like chattel, when most people couldn't get higher education because of cost, when the only basic scientific research came from Bell Labs through its monopoly, when the army trained with wooden sticks instead of guns, or when 600,000 Americans died during an influenza epidemic because nobody in government thought about being prepared for anything like that?

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#25) On March 24, 2010 at 1:11 PM, MKArch (99.73) wrote:

I'm sorry turfscape but you are out of your mind if you think long term costs of a chronically underfunded government run health care system are on par with a few years of fiscal irresponsibility during the Bush/ Republican reign. I don't remember the exact number but Medicare by itself right now clocks in at something like a 70 trillion dollar unfunded liability that's going to go BK in a few years. I'm not making an excuse for Bush or the republican congress during his reign, I think they sucked. That doesn't make them equal to the catastrophe the Obama Care will be if it's not repealed and replaced. You can't have top notch care for everyone in the country and slash costs at the same time. Something has to give and it's going to be the cost cutting first and then the entire system will collapse under it's weight later. You can't have your cake and eat it too no matter how much Obama and the democrats want to believe you can.

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#26) On March 24, 2010 at 1:31 PM, Turfscape (44.12) wrote:

Goofyhoofy wrote:
"By "in your lifetime" do you mean during "the richest, most successful, freest, most egalitarian society in the history of the world" lifetime?"

Yes. And, of course, that was all brought to us by the major legislation passed by hyper-partisan politicians. And, of course, they has been no decline from that world-leading position. And, of course, there have been no long-term negative affects from the artificial economies built on massive deficit spending and ultra-short-term thinking that prevailed for three decades. Yes. That is what I meant. Anything else?

MKArch wrote:
"I'm sorry turfscape but you are out of your mind if you think long term costs of a chronically underfunded government run health care system are on par with a few years of fiscal irresponsibility during the Bush/ Republican reign."

You've illustrated the true problem with our system perfectly. Thank you.

-Turfscape
P.S. to all Fools: I think I'm going to run for office. I'm making posters now with the following message: "Sure, we're bad...but  they're WAY worse...so vote for me!" Can I count on your votes?

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#27) On March 25, 2010 at 12:39 PM, cashkid79 (93.09) wrote:

Irrational decisions shouldn't be made (irrationally) ?? And - I was away, but the internet, wasn't that credited as starting from one spot to the other in CA with a university (or two) involved?? --

Emotions do kindof bring you down...there was just an article about that from WSJ I think...(no I don't work for them)

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#28) On March 26, 2010 at 7:37 PM, stockjock12 (< 20) wrote:

All this "Health Care Bill" is going to do is bankrupt the country within 4 years. Just take a look at our total debt. 55 TRILLION dollars! The debt to GDP ratio is 88%! And this bill is attempting to fundamentally transform America into a socialist country! I'm not going to sugarcoat it, it's just the way it is!

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#29) On March 30, 2010 at 8:58 PM, Donnernv (< 20) wrote:

Obama is a kind, caring and concerned President.  He feels he has the task before him of solving the nation's problems during his tenure.

America is a kind, caring country.  The wealth produced during the last 60 years has been shared among those who are disadvantaged.  Not as fast as some would like, but the trend is apparent.

But America cannot afford this and Social Security and Medicaid and Medicare and all of the entitlements that have been built into the system.  We just don't have the money!

How will this all be reversed or brought into fiscal reality?

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#30) On March 30, 2010 at 9:17 PM, Br0oklyn (< 20) wrote:

Government is getting too big. although the bill is a benefit to alot of us. health care stocks will gain all due in time.

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#31) On March 30, 2010 at 10:41 PM, llewnrab (62.49) wrote:

I’m a US citizen who has lived in Canada for the past 15 years — and despite what you may have heard, the Canadian healthcare system doesn’t work very well. In theory, everyone has equal access to services here — however, you may not get those services when you need or want them. Here in Quebec, there are doctor shortages, long waits, and the quality of care is substandard compared to that in the US. While the US moves toward greater govt involvement in healthcare, in Quebec ironically there is a move to private care. Many private, for-pay clinics outside the public system are opening up, and these provide better quality service, but you pay out-of-pocket. Plus, the taxes here to support the healthcare system are onerous. Thanks to "tax harmonization" we have a 13% sales tax on everything, except most groceries. (Tax harmonization means the provincial sales tax is applied to the federal sales tax -- i.e., buy something for $1 apply 5% fed sales tax then apply 7.5% prov.sales tax == $1.13). You can add 13% to the cost of everything else, whether it’s a car, a suit, a newspaper, and even — unbelievably — stamps at the post office. Today, gas is about C$1.10 a liter (~US$4.00 a gallon); and has been as high as C$1.40 a liter ( ~US$5.00 a gallon) -- most of that cost is tax. We pay federal and provincial income tax; the marginal rate is higher and applied at lower income levels than in the US. There are fewer deductions and no joint filing. And, despite the heavy taxation, provincial healthcare costs consume about one-third of the budget, and there are still wait times for simple surgical procedures. 

So, if you guys want ObamaCare, fine — but don’t think that it will come cheap, or that you will continue to have the range of choices you currently have. While things may work for 10 or even 20 years, the rules of economics will eventually catch up to you. Eventually, the quality of healthcare will suffer, access to healthcare will suffer, and your personal freedom will suffer because you will be obliged to transfer increasing amounts of your income to the government. (The bill included $10 billion to hire new IRS agents, after all.) And please don't delude yourself with the argument that this healthcare bill shows the American government to be kind or compassionate. Compassion and kindness can only be shown by people, not bureaucracies -- and you have just signed on for the mother of all bureaucracies. The unionized functionaries who will be operating the bureaucracy (when they're not on strike) will be more concerned about when their next break will be, than in making sure you're getting served. Taxes destroy wealth; and as more of your productivity is eaten up by a government bureaucracy, your standard of living will decline. Enjoy! 

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