Sunday, August 2, 2009

Wall Street and Hedge Funds Profits Makes All of Us Poorer: High Oil and Healthcare Prices

Why Were Oil Prices So High? I watched a Democratic congressional hearing on C-SPAN of non-corporate experts on the reason for such high oil prices even with a decrease in demand. They all concluded during the time when oil prices of a barrel of oil was close to $150 that if the speculators were prevented from speculating with Naked Future Options (without owning any of the stock), the price for oil now would be only $1.70/barrel. We saw a very sharp drop in price once the rule was put in place going towards $1.70 per barrel and below as demand drops due to our irresponsible Big Investment Banks and everyone else.

Why are Healthcare premiums so high with an increasing out of pocket amount paid by patients? A recently retired Public Relation Propagandist for CIGNA Healthcare was interviewed by a highly perceptive Bill Moyers on Bill Moyers Journal on every Friday on PBS

Wendell Potter was straight forward and clear with his answers which were devastating to know by those average Americans who do not have time to analyze what is happening to them and all Americans. He gave an example of AETNA HEALTHCARE run by a ruthless CEO Mr. Williams.

When Aetna did not meet expected earnings the Hedge Funds sold off in mass and the stock price dropped by 20 percent! Williams was hired to fix Aetna by removing mass numbers of “unprofitable patients” from his plan either by eliminating that part of the company or by raising premiums so high so truly sick members that they were forced to leave the plan. The stock price went up sharply and Williams made hundreds of million dollars in bonuses. Williams is handsome and very smooth talking and I nearly up chucked when he made the lying comments about reducing healthcare costs to President Obama.

The facts are is that we are Denying that Wall Street is now structured so that the most ruthless CEOs have been put in place. Unless we change Wall Street and the role profits play in our Healthcare system, we are all doomed to escalating healthcare costs with the current plans put forth by the House and Senate.

Switzerland and Germany solved part of the problem by making Healthcare Companies Non-Profit. I think one suggestion from a Harvard Professor who is an expert on understanding the healthcare system is that we need to go gradually to a Medicare for All system. President Obama is trying to do that trying to including Medicare for those 55 and over. when 40 percent of Americans are now Obese which leads to diabetes, kidney failures, and more heart attacks and strokes, our healthcare costs will mushroom. Even now Obese members costs our system twice as much as a typical member. Since most of the obesity started with Reagan ruthless capitalistic policies, we can expect these costs to mushroom.

We must included a mandatory effort of doctors being knowledgeable enough to advise their patients to change their diet, and not use the diet plan tricks which never work for long.

Jim Kawakami

August 2, 2009 Heathcare and Wall Street and Hedge Funds

Why are Oil Prices So High: Hedge Funds Responsible NY Times David Segal, August 1, 2009 ... That suggests that last summer, drivers paid more at the pump, at least in part, because of people like Andrew J. Hall. How do you hand $100 million to a guy who may have profited because gas hit $4 a gallon?

Whatever the answer, the case of Mr. Hall highlights the hazards of mixing the public interest with capitalism at its most unbridled, and it raises basic questions of fairness. There was outrage last week over a report by the New York attorney general that about 5,000 traders and bankers at bailed-out firms got more than $1 million each last year. So it could be politically untenable for a company like Citigroup to pay gargantuan sums even to those who generate gargantuan profits — the very people the company must retain if it is to recover. ...

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