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George Acs  

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  • A Dog Of A Week - A Tale Of 3 Flags [View article]
    Having spent many years on hospital budget committees a major issue is that they really have no idea of what their true costs are. They may know what it costs to buy a new MRI machine, but they have no idea of the true costs of delivering a unit of diagnostic service related to that machine or for delivering a dose of that Tylenol.

    It turns out to be in the best interests of both hospitals and insurers to see prices climb, and in the case of the insurers, particularly when there's a lag in raising reimbursement rates to cover rising expense submissions, that may or may not be based in reality.

    For both sides those rising rates result in increased margins, as so many of the costs of running a hospital are fixed or already fully amortized, such as real estate costs, infrastructure costs, older equipment, etc..

    A bad system, all in all. Hospitals should be able to provide care and have their actual costs reimbursed in doing so, including expansion and modernization, but there shouldn't be profits, nor shareholders.

    The nation's health is too important to cloud decision making by introducing greed
    Jun 30, 2015. 10:59 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Dog Of A Week - A Tale Of 3 Flags [View article]
    Sometimes the old days had a better answer.

    People didn't even know that they were partially subsidizing the care of the uninsured and the funny thing is that a Tylenol didn't cost $32 when that was the case. Having health insurance companies have to answer to shareholders isn't necessarily the best way to deliver care, but it certainly has improved the bottom lines of their CEOs, SVPs and board members.

    I had a heart attack while in London almost 3 years ago and received a stent. The total cost was so low that my insurer asked no questions and reimbursed me in an instant.

    I assume that your hearing is alright though, despite the psychiatric, vision and dental ailments. That's at least something to be thankful for, until you realize that most of what's being said around you is reason enough to turn off the volume.

    But as long as the volume is off I suppose you can compensate by turning volatility on, but it's been a long time since the VIX has been and stayed beyond about 20 for any period of time.

    Given how irrational the leadership is in Greece and how uncertain the outcome is, there may be more room for volatility to keep moving higher and that can be pretty good.
    Jun 29, 2015. 06:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Dog Of A Week - A Tale Of 3 Flags [View article]
    I added Cisco this morning to try and capture dividend, but should have waited. I wasn't expecting a second leg lower this morning.
    Jun 29, 2015. 12:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Dog Of A Week - A Tale Of 3 Flags [View article]
    One nice thing about VXX is that even if you get a short term move that goes against your short option position, calls or puts, is that its options market is very liquid and there's usually a narrow spread even for deep in or out of the money positions when looking for a rollover.

    Sometimes after the big and unexpected moves in the wrong direction it just becomes a waiting game for the other direction to assert itself while you still collect a premium.
    Jun 29, 2015. 12:24 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Dog Of A Week - A Tale Of 3 Flags [View article]
    They sell fear, I'm afraid.

    With VIX up even up nearly 25% this morning, it has to add another 15% to its current level, to begin getting into the territory it would go when we've had those mini-corrections over the past few years and before we'd start seeing something creeping back into short term premiums of run of the mill stocks.
    Jun 29, 2015. 12:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Dog Of A Week - A Tale Of 3 Flags [View article]
    Well, I was wearing a tie dye tee shirt when writing the article.

    I was being PC, as I thought that the editors might not want the Confederate flag itself on display and I wanted it to get through the process.
    Jun 29, 2015. 11:43 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Dog Of A Week - A Tale Of 3 Flags [View article]
    Absolutely.

    One of my sons also works for a wedding company and they are in expansion mode worldwide.

    Unless you live in the moonshine belt, setting up households is a good thing for the economy.
    Jun 29, 2015. 11:41 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Dog Of A Week - A Tale Of 3 Flags [View article]
    I'm biased, because up until about a month ago my daughter-in-law was a senior health care policy advisor in the White House.

    The one thing I know is that the groups and individuals involved in crafting the details were incredibly dedicated to a vision of a more equitable right to access to care. Balancing that vision with political and budgetary demands was the feat of a lifetime.
    What the Supreme Court's decision means is that we are one step closer to beginning the process of tweaking and improving the ACA, as data warrants, as it gets less likely that it will be entirely scrapped.

    What many refuse to recognize is that for years they were able to get relatively inexpensive insurance because others were blocked from the same access to insurance. It's too bad that the days of a non-profit Blue Cross, when it was the primary insurance provider, basically assuming the costs of uninsured care and building it into the premium structure, have long disappeared and created a fee for all and free for all, that seeks only to maximize profits.

    Dental and vision are, together with mental health and hearing all carved out historically, as the head has been pretty much ignored or left to other ancillary kind of insurance policies. How strange is that? I think you could see pet insurance benefits incorporated into regular health care policies before you see the traditionally carved out areas get properly integrated.
    Jun 29, 2015. 10:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Dog Of A Week - A Tale Of 3 Flags [View article]
    Thanks. I chose my words very carefully and avoided any additional commentary/
    Jun 29, 2015. 10:16 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Dog Of A Week - A Tale Of 3 Flags [View article]
    I'm not as pessimistic as you, particularly since experience over the past 70 years shows that nothing is sustainable at its current price.

    As to whether the ACA will meet its goals and be affordable, it really depends on the economy. The more people are employed in jobs that pay a decent wage, the less will be the need for government subsidies.

    Additionally, if the demand for workers increases, we may see a return to the days when the distinguishing factor between one employer and the next was in the benefits package and health care is as enticing of a benefit as ever. Rather than letting employees fend for themselves inthe private or public marketplaces, employers, in an expanding economy could see themselves back in the benefits business.

    The real challenge may end up being consolidation in the insurance industry and ever increasing sizes of hospital systems that could decrease competition even further and put health care cost increases back on its upward trajectory.
    Jun 29, 2015. 09:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Dog Of A Week - A Tale Of 3 Flags [View article]
    With the market's open this morning I'm not jumping in, especially with INTC holding steady right now. But if it gave the gift of a pre-announcement sending shares lower, all the better, but for me, general caution still reigns
    Jun 29, 2015. 09:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Dog Of A Week - A Tale Of 3 Flags [View article]
    I do like Cree at this point. It's hard to imagine any more bad news ahead of it and it's been so long since it has had a meaningful bounce, as it used to do eventually after disappointing earnings.

    I also would like QCOM just a little lower, but think I might climb even if not getting all the way to $60.

    I had some Mosaic assigned last week and generally use it rather than POT, but mostly for legacy reasons, as MOS was early to the weekly option list and then into the expanded options list, as well. But POT definitely wins on the dividend front. It may be time to re-look at POT for my own trades.
    Jun 29, 2015. 09:41 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Dog Of A Week - A Tale Of 3 Flags [View article]
    Some weeks it may pay to be passive and let everyone else fight it out.

    For now that's how I'm prepared to go through the week.
    Jun 29, 2015. 09:35 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Dog Of A Week - A Tale Of 3 Flags [View article]
    How could I have missed not making a White flag reference? I should definitely have included that in the article. I wish I had thought of it.

    Yeah, it will be an interesting week. I'm a;ready looking forward to Friday.
    Jun 29, 2015. 09:13 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Dog Of A Week - A Tale Of 3 Flags [View article]
    It's hard not to call it a victory for those raising the flag.

    Now, the pain in the ass part. Was that a literal or figurative comment?
    Jun 29, 2015. 09:09 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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