You feel a sharp pain in your chest. A spouse or friend rushes you to the hospital. You are having a heart attack and need immediate attention.
“Wait!” you cry from the gurney as the IV is being placed. You blurt out last-minute instructions as the sedatives begin to take effect: “Make sure to get a bid from at least three doctors. Negotiate the operating room expenses and the room rate. If St. Luke’s is less expensive, pull me out of here. . . . and don’t . . . .”
When this moment occurs, if it hasn’t already, I’m sure you will demand this kind of price check. We want our healthcare providers and insurers to make a profit; however, we must keep them honest, with competition and tough negotiation.
“Free markets and profit incentive are essential to the American system, even with healthcare.”
Free markets and profit incentive are essential to the American system, even with healthcare. Government involvement, like Obamacare, hampers the markets and hinders the effects of profitability. Look at what’s happened to health insurance companies, for example.
Take Aetna and Humana. They are two of the largest health insurers and agreed to participate on the Obamacare individual exchanges. Last year they reported losing money and threatened to withdraw from the exchanges unless their proposed merger was approved by Obama’s Justice Department. Of course, It wasn’t.
Since 2010, when Obamacare went into effect, these two companies have distributed to shareholders a total of $2.6 billion in dividends and $19.4 billion in stock buybacks. This represents a total of about $22.0 billion of distributions to shareholders between 2010 and 2016, an amount that could have been much higher if not for the effects of Obamacare and a blocked merger.
Under the new healthcare proposal from the Republicans, Aetna, Humana and the other health insurance providers will be freed of the anti-market, unprofitable restrictions of Obamacare and able to better serve their shareholders.
Better stock performance and removal of the Obamacare tax burden on the wealthy will be a big boost for those who really drive our economy.
Take super yachts, for example, those luxury boats longer than 79 feet. Super-yacht sales have been down under Obamacare.
In 2010, the year Obamacare was enacted, combined reported sales of super yachts were over $3.0 billion. In 2016, they had dropped to around $2.8 billion. In 2010, the average price of a super yacht was $15.0 million and by 2016 it was less than $8.0 million.
Once the Republican healthcare proposal is in place, fewer people may have health insurance, but yacht budgets should increase, creating good jobs for yacht builders, brokers, crew members and others.
Hang in there yacht people. Relief is on the way.