Tales from the Trail

Dean, Scarborough claim health insurance stocks hit 52-YEAR high. Really?

December 20, 2009

Numbers can be tricky. And when trying to make political points in Washington, they probably should be checked twice (like Santa’s list of naughty and nice). USA-WEATHER/SNOWSTORM

So when Howard Dean, an influential liberal Democrat, and Joe Scarborough, a conservative Republican commentator, both used the SAME figure to make the SAME point that the Senate healthcare bill would mainly help insurance companies, it caught our attention.

First came Dean on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” saying:  “In this last week of unseemly scrambling for votes, we have committed to go down a path in this country where private insurance will be the way that we achieve universal health care.”

He went on:  “It is not a coincidence … that insurance company stocks, health insurance company stocks, hit a 52-year high on Friday.  So they must know something that the rest of us don’t.”

Yes that was a 52-YEAR high in that comment.

Then Joe Scarborough decided to repeat it, again on “Meet The Press.”

“And as Howard Dean said, and this is a devastating fact, insurance companies’ stocks reached a 52-year high on Friday after this so-called reform bill got its 60th vote,” Scarborough said. “So David Axelrod, who I, you know, love and respect, but David Axelrod kept saying, ‘We took on the insurance companies. This is real reform. They’re against it.’ Really? I don’t think so.”

Hmmmm… got me wondering, how did I miss hearing about the 52-YEAR high? Was it because of the snowstorm in Washington? So I did a little checking on health insurance company stocks.

As far as I can tell, Aetna, Humana, Cigna and UnitedHealth Group ended Friday NEAR 52-WEEK highs, but not the half-a-century peak that Dean and Scarborough mentioned.

And so the healthcare debate continues….

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Photo credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst (snow blower clearing walkways at U.S. Capitol)

Comments
4 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

The cold hard fact is…. if passed, this bill will benefit the insurance carriers the most… you will immediately find gap policies, similar to those offer Medicare recipients… a boon to the companies…

But I ask again, how can we implement any health care reform without first addressing the issue of immigration… The Senate Democrats continue to speak of 30 million AMERICANS who will now be covered… don’t “we” really mean RESIDENTS of the US… the majority being people whose legal status here, is dubious at best!

The people are here… they are now going back, nor are we going to even attempt to send them back to the country of origin… Face it, our economy demands their presence here. Currently is takes some ten years (why?) to complete the process of naturalization… thus, issue five year temporary entry visa’s. Renewable with the proviso that the person is still in the process of becoming a citizen… issue Social Security cards, receive these, and income taxes…transfer them into resident aliens and bring them out of the dark and emergency rooms; into our society… perhaps, even English speaking at that!

FYI, At present, without a valid Social Security number the vast majority of these people do not, cannot, have a bank account. Granted at present most banks wink at the bogus cards being presented… but this will result in tens of billions of dollars in new bank accounts from those afraid to have any record of their being here! Deposits, desperately required by the banking institutions… and how about those new Wall Street investment accounts… OK,OK so this may be deemed another bail out of the financial institutions!!!

Posted by GotDOCG | Report as abusive
 

Let’s use the Health Care bill as an Obama “teaching moment” — not him ‘teaching us’ but us ‘teaching him’!

This ‘Health Care’ (sic) bill reminds me of the illogic of the Vietnam War:

“It became necessary to destroy the bill in order to save it”

And, in fact, the reason that this illogic applied then in the Vietnam War “abroad”, and now in the corporatist oppression of health care “at home” is precisely the same reason — that a ruling-elite corporate/financial/militarist EMPIRE makes all decisions, and not the people of America.

As Hannah Arendt presciently warned from her direct experience with empires:

“Empire abroad (always) entails tyranny at home”.

Let’s teach Obama a critical lesson that he needs to understand. The famous old phrase was, “What goes around, comes around”. But today, “What goes around, comes home to roost” as his own minister tried to teach him.

Let’s tell Obama:

“If you are only going to pose as another front-man for the ruling-elite Global corporate/financial/militarist EMPIRE that controls our country — by hiding behind the façade of its two-party ‘Vichy’ sham of democracy — then that’s not the ‘hope’ and ‘change’ that we voted for.

We’ve been fed that old “Okie Doke” (as you called it) since the Vietnam War, for forty years!

Now if you really believe that times they are a changing, and that you don’t need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowin, and that ‘Yes we can’ confront Empire, then why don’t you give us a chance, and help lead us in a second American Revolution for democracy against Empire — cause if you’re not going to lead, then at least ‘get out of the way’.”

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

Posted by amacd | Report as abusive
 

Did people really vote for Obama thinking he was going to stop Empire?

Man. They should have checked his policies before voting for him.

Posted by defcon86 | Report as abusive
 

I love hearing people talk about Empire and Tyranny. These are the same people who sat deaf, dumb, and blind the last eight years playing pinball.

Posted by Streetfighter | Report as abusive
 

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