First, Bankrupt the Liars
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
2017-10-07 07:00 by Karl Denninger
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First, Bankrupt the Liars
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How do you go after an industry when every single organ of the media plus virtually everyone in the political sphere lies blatantly and misleads with criminal intent to rob you on a daily basis?

The Trump administration will issue a rule on Friday to sharply limit the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage mandate, a move that could mean hundreds of thousands of American women would no longer have access to birth control free of charge.

That's a lie.

They then double down with this lie that ought to be treated as a felony act of fraud:

The action by the Trump administration is almost certain to spark fresh litigation. The National Women’s Law Center — which estimates that in 2013 alone, the contraception requirement saved women $1.4 billion in oral contraceptive costs — has vowed to challenge the administration in court.

The "contraception requirement" has not saved a single woman one penny in oral contraceptive costs.  It has in fact cost women more money than its absence would have.


Because always and everywhere the cost of "insurance" is given by a mathematical formula:

$ (Cost) = (P (event) * $ (Event)) + profit (to the insurance company)

P = probability.

If P(event) is 1.0 (in other words, you are already taking contraceptives, in this case, or you intend to) then the cost of running a contraceptive purchase through insurance as opposed to paying cash will always cost you more because the insurance company has to get paid for the process of handling the money; without such compensation the company would go broke.

Further, there are other extraordinarily perverse incentives that increase cost dramatically when "insurance" is involved in a routine thing.  One of them is that the price of a given item tends to become obscured because you never see the actual bill.  This means that the providers (including the pharmacy where you fill said prescription) have a strong disincentive to not post prices and give you comparisons between different brands of a given thing because all you see is your "co-pay", if there is one.

Since a pharmacy like most businesses usually operates on a margin basis (that is, a percentage markup) their incentive is to sell you the most expensive thing they can get someone else to pay for if the amount out of your pocket doesn't change.  Would you rather make 10% of $10 or 10% of $200?

The problem with this scheme is that it's a fraud upon you and ought to be treated as a felony against you.


Now let's add to that this fact: No matter how you get your "insurance" you pay for it -- every single damn dime of it.  If you work and have it through your employer the average cost for your family's "coverage" is now $17,000 a year and some 80% of that price is due to these frauds.  That's $17,000 in salary you don't get but would if your employer didn't have to pay that much.  If the cost of your insurance was 80% less (that is, about $3,500 a year) then you would receive an immediate $13,500 a year raise!

Think about that folks -- for the average middle-class family what would $13,500 in increased salary mean to you?  That's an utterly enormous amount of money; more than $1,000 a month!  It would pay your entire grocery bill with some left over.  It would almost cover a $250,000 home mortgage payment.

The average middle-class family is being literally screwed out of a house by this crap and everyone in the political class and media including the Washington Post which is owned by Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, is intentionally lying to you on a daily basis for the explicit purpose of maintaining and expanding this fraud that bilks you out of the mortgage payment on a middle-class house each and every year.

Instead of demanding that those who steal a house payment from you every month go to prison or even hang in the public square you instead buy into the idea that you should whine about a drug that costs $10 a month to buy for cash.

If you tossed the jackasses in prison who were stealing $13,500 from you every year you wouldn't care about paying $10 for your birth control pills over-the-counter.

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Posts: 576
Incept: 2010-03-12

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Just like my dentist, no insurance 10% discount on services.

My Vet gives a 5% discount for not using a credit card.

Imagine the cost benefit if everyone had to pay for an office visit with out using health insurance. Only would apply to those that go once or twice a year after that it the third or subsequent visits would be covered with a copay.

Back in nineties I had an employee with three kids who's husband was an engineer for Westinghouse Nuclear. Back then her Copay on the kids was $2, so of course when one kid got sick she automatically took all three into the pediatrician.
A couple years go by and she is on the warpath because the copay's jumped to $20 per visit, plus the husband gets hit with a $200 monthly deduction. She just couldn't understand why the big change in the health insurance. Duh!!!

She and the kids were at doctor for every little thing when the copay was $2 that behavior changed real quick, when the copay went to $20.
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The South
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Looking at this from a historical perspective, it really is amazing how effective the Socialists have been in getting the wealth redistribution that they wanted. And yet, the great majority of people think we live in a capitalist society! Transparent information especially with regards to pricing is a bedrock of capitalism, and we have the opposite of that.
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Posts: 7089
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A True American Patriot!
Drain the Swamp!
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A friend's husband had a heart attack a week ago. They put a stent in. Now he's on 8 (eight) drugs day-in-and day-out. Eight? That seems like a lot.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, and not our Darkness, that most frightens us. -- Marianne Williamson
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A True American Patriot!
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Of course! If one is good eight is better, especially when you don't see the bill. Or do you?

Winding it down.
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Pacific Northwest
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Listening to the radio, one would think that EmperorGod Trump just made birth control illegal. I found myself yelling at the radio at the top of every hour.

What does BC cost... $30 month? Why does one need insurance coverage for that and why the **** can't a gal just buy it otc? I guess to ask the question is to answer it. Surprised we don't need a rx for buttwipe.

I know the press needs to spin this to club Trump, but all it does is confirm my belief that women are insufferable whiners that demand somebody take care of them.
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$10/month in most of the world -- including the western world. It's also available OTC most-everywhere (except here, where of course you need to spend money to see a doctor first.... you don't, of course, to buy rubbers. All the while women scream about "inequality" but never once do they demand OTC birth control pills with posted, market prices.....)

It's all about the feelings, never about the facts, and anyone who brings them up is a bigot. FEELINGS HAVE NO PLACE IN A PUBLIC POLICY DEBATE AND THIS IS WHY.

Winding it down.

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S.W. Ga
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To me it is looking like the reason Private employers have been pointing out the premium payments made on my behalf since the early 90's is to point out our true compensation and reduce pressure on wages. And yet we keep taking what they offer?? If we could start a movement to not accept the mandate and take the penalty we could break them, but the system is still rotten to the core and will not be fixed. Without pain there is never adequate reaction.
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Why a guy would take a chance with a girl that isn't on the implant or has had a tubal ligation or a vasectomy for himself is beyond me.

Who screws a scrub that can't afford a condom or cash for the pills?

You Play, You Pay.

Raise your standards ladies.

Preparing to go Hunting.
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Incept: 2011-12-08

United States
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I have a theory that this conversation could be had, close to verbatim, with the vast majority of people who are taking some multiple number of pills:

Q. Why are to taking pill z?
A. Because of "[some side effect] of pill y"

Q. Why are to taking pill y?
A. Because of "[some side effect] of pill x"

Q. Why are to taking pill x?
A. Because of "[some side effect] of pill w"


Q. Why are to taking pill c?
A. Because of "[some side effect] of pill b"

Q. Why are to taking pill b?
A. Because of "[some side effect] of pill a"

Q. Why are to taking pill a?
A. Because of "some condition I can't remember that I mentioned to my Doc 15 years ago"

Posts: 130
Incept: 2017-06-27

New York City
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There are a few aspects to this issue. A part of the female psyche regardless of modern liberation expects to be cared for due to a special status closely linked to reproductive issues. In more traditional domestic modern roles, the husband assumes all costs and female daughters rely upon the family. In areas of reproduction it is possible for the female to feel very helpless and actually be so both physically and financially. This is internalized at the level of the unconscious. Anything at this level is subject to ego manipulation as the primal fear is paired with various angles. As roles were redefined concurrently the female experienced a societal push for the society's usual role of being her protector to one of holding her up at a goddess-like status. In this transition, her actual needs and expectation of her limitations in the physical and financial sphere being protected and guided morphed to being upheld as a worthy and noble cause. Given that their bodies are very dedicated to reproduction and house these assemblies, the needs of the female body become socially paramount with elevated status. By extension all female issues of assumed well being are elevated to higher status. This is the root cause of the sperm is cheap and eggs are valuable illogical argument which becomes accepted as fact by its repetition. Additionally anything a female does predominantly gains high social status without question, i.e. the teaching profession special status.

In the case of most of the females arguing for the "free" birth control benefit, there is another dynamic closely related. One "affected" female recently interviewed on TV is a law student; are not they always. This female is in the age range of reproduction and of course young, middle-class and attractive enough to be sexually active. The middle-class is where this dynamic takes place. Chances are that her family paid all of her medical bills and the mother was used to the same under some plan and indirectly communicates the way that the system works in so many ways. After a huge debate young adults were granted status on their parents' health plans long after the age of emancipation. In this young female's case all costs are absorbed by others. She will also look forward to her special status absorbing all of her costs unfairly distributed to her coworkers in a traditional job setting or as part of a married couple. Any questioning of this arrangement is a shock to her expectations and evokes a fear response which can be manipulated politically not logically. This female is the type cast for the larger population leading this debate now with some overhang of the millennial generation middle-class who very much experienced the softer and "provided for" world. They could be called the "Nerf" generation as in the soft and safe toys.

A basic principle of marketing and probably the most effective is name recognition. This is often achieved by repetition. The constant message of health care should be a right along with the other related messages has turned them into an army and tools of too many interested parties including the political class, insurance industry and health care industry. Add in the willing collaboration of the society with their special status and you have an impossible task to win logically with the argument that such a product, birth control pills, should cost $10 per month. There is too much working against such an argument emotional issues such as, "my body, my choice," "women's health issues," not enough research on women's health issues, abortion rights, whatever. It does not matter if these issues are completely false, half-right, illogical. They are too ingrained.

The only way to fight this is to consistently project a new message provoking a fear response with the desired outcome being the only option that cannot be hijacked by the current power structure. It will require buy in from all interested parties and here is the problem. There is no large and cohesive movement barely approximating the contemporary one that can do this. The financially sensible crowd is not large enough and integrated with enough related and interested groups to make this a message.

Only by winning the emotional war can these females be able to accept logical arguments. This is why societies that embrace democracy or shift away from the principles and foundational state of constitutional democratic republics always descend to mediocrity. People emotionally vote their own destruction.

Lastly, these arguments are easily absorbed by young people, females included, who live their younger formative years, teenage and young adult in environs of moderation, frugality, sometimes scarcity and the discipline of increasing responsibility and challenges and future planning. The middle-class college student for the most part has for the past two generations, in some cases longer, does not have this reference set. I meet them everyday, Generation Nerf.

Young females that show an interest in getting to know me or young men who want to be hired or seek some sort of guidance or association have no grasp of basic life principles or have been tested to any sustained degree. It is not the techno gap that separates us although it seems so and is used to justify the disconnect by the larger society subconsciously protecting itself from the realization of its creation. That is easily transcended when there is commonality of adulthood building experiences over a sustained period of time. When I meet one occasionally, it is amazing how we click.

Millennials figured out how to game the system with their so-called manners and the fact that they seem to want fairness and niceness, BS. They are simply an exaggeration of what has been building for a few decades with added wimpiness for flavor. Their POS parents will never criticize them as this would be an affront to their grand creation and reflect upon them. Remember when the millennials were being sold as the next greatest generation, blah, blah.

Invert their so-called causes and you get to the crux of what they are. Don't want to drive, used to be driven everywhere in a new vehicle replaced every three or so years. Uber drivers must have very new cars, appealing to the this market, guaranteed. Don't want to see others firmly criticized, make no demands upon anyone to conform, everyone is special, one word projection. College should be free, healthcare free, housing affordable; parents paid for everything. Safe places, never seen a hard challenge. Flexible work schedules, never had to be somewhere at very early hours on a sustained basis. Remember the discussion of making the school day start later. Flexible work schedules, never had a demanding job because they desperately needed the money and do not want one, no way. Bike friendly cities, **** you on this one and I ride, never want a long commute to work since gods forbid they commute a long distance from the house or apartment that they can actually afford on their own. Hey, this sucks, us olders know, but one must make trade-offs between wants and reality. You know like ****ing adults.

There is only one thing good that comes out of this. Older people are more and more being noticed by the business world. Yea, it kind of sucks if you have to go back to work later in life or if in the Gen X case you were in the shadow of a larger more dominant generation that thought that you were **** anyway. Now, we can write our own ticket and it is coming on stronger. These spoiled little *******s may **** the economy with their SJW **** and possibly do even more political damage by being the worthless ****s that they are, but if you need something done, the world will know who to call.

There are two ways to be rich: One is by acquiring much, and the other is by desiring little.
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The "contraception requirement" has not saved a single woman one penny in oral contraceptive costs.

Sure it has, because people are compelled to participate in the scam, for whom P=0:

Women beyond childbearing age
Women who are sterile or have sterile partners
Posts: 7833
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Scottsdale, AZ
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The ACA is a complete travesty because it discriminates against anyone forced to buy their own policy vs people on group plans. The premiums are absolutely insane and we literally have no coverage until the deductible is met. Most group plans still operate like regular insurance keeping the employees from seeing what is really happening. They added insuring your children to age 26 to give them their first taste of welfare. It's time for the nanny state to go away and bring back free markets. Of course, Congress needs to eliminate the monopolistic exemptions on healthcare companies and force them to both disclose and compete like the rest of us in business.
Posts: 37
Incept: 2017-01-09

Southern Arizona
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As Tickerguy has pointed out before, it is possible to strategize the ACA income thresholds and get low cost "insurance". Mrs Planck and I are both on an Obamacare Silver Plan with Ambetter/Healthnet (the only ACA carrier in our county). We pay $69 per month for both of us and have a $5 indivudual/$10 family annual deductible. PCP visit is $3 and Specialist is $5. The low deductibles and copays are a direct result of Cost Sharing Reductions (of deductibles and copays) that are passed out to the insurance companies under the ACA to limit low income health insurance costs to a percentage of income. The silver plans have the best CSRs. In additional to the CSRs our monthly premium subsidy is $1,447 per month or $17,500 per year. The monthly premium is $1,525 all in. This our third year on an ACA silver plan, and I think our premiums (after subsidies) have gone down this year because we're down to one carrier (with the usual bronze/silver/gold plans) in the county, so they get all the ACA business.

In order to get this deal we have to hit a taxable income of not more than $22,103 per year. By using a combination of pensions and IRA withdrawals we hit it pretty close. Now we can't live on that so we withdraw savings on which the taxes are already paid to the tune of about $15,000 per year. We can continue this for quite a few years (paid for house, older vehicles, etc, etc). Next year I will be starting Social Security in August so no more IRA withdrawals, starting SS in August will hit the magic $22K number. So spending $15K per year in after tax savings to live on results in $17,500 in premium subsidies and some unknown dollar value of deductible and copay reductions through CSRs.

Then there is the moral argument/guilt trip that is sometimes hauled out. Because we are in a position to strategize the system, we are making others pay more. Well, my efforts to reform the system have consisted of trying to vote for reform when possible, and inform others of the depth and breadth of
the Medical Scam. I feel guilty for collecting $17,500+ through entirely legal means several times a year at least.
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**** that.

Winding it down.
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Incept: 2017-01-09

Southern Arizona
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Yeah, well those feelings last an average 476 milliseconds per my records (several times a year).

@Aztrader - Firestorm Defense in Phoenix is you? I found you some years ago but can't remember the business name.
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The South
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@Max, I speak as one in my earning prime, subsidizing your lifestyle: good for you. You are running a scam, but it has been blessed by the masses, so good for you.

I told my retired teacher mother the same thing. She gets a full pension at her highest salary level for 20 years of teaching: "What you are doing is a scam and I am opposed to it. But I am happy that it is working out for you."

Point is, don't waste time feeling guilty.
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