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  • The Pros and Cons of Mandated Health Insurance…and How Investors Can Profit 0 comments
    Jul 21, 2009 5:11 PM | about stocks: AMED, HUM, JNJ, QSII, SNY, TEVA, AGN


    The Pros and Cons of Mandated Health Insurance…and How Investors Can Profit
    It's no secret that health care costs are spiraling out of control in this country. On average, we now spend more per person on health care than both food and housing. Insurance premiums are multiplying much faster than inflation, which prevents economic growth and leaves businesses with less money to give raises or hire more workers. While the quality and availability of medical care in the United States remains among the best in the world, many wonder whether we'd be better off adopting a universal government-controlled health care system like the one used in Canada. We have outlined some of the points that Proponents and Opponents of the Healthcare Bill argue.
    Proponents make the following points….
    ·         The number of uninsured citizens has grown to over 40 million
    ·         Health care has become increasingly unaffordable for businesses and individuals
    ·         We can eliminate wasteful inefficiencies such as duplicate paper work, claim approval, insurance submission, etc.
    ·         Free medical services would encourage patients to practice preventive medicine and inquire about problems early when treatment will be light; currently, patients often avoid physicals and other preventive measures because of the costs.
    At the same time, opponents argue…
    ·         There isn't a single government agency or division that runs efficiently; do we really want an organization that developed the U.S. Tax Code handling something as complex as health care?
    ·         “Free" health care isn't really free since we must pay for it with taxes; expenses for health care would have to be paid for with higher taxes or spending cuts in other areas such as defense, education, etc.
    ·         Profit motives, competition, and individual ingenuity have always led to greater cost control and effectiveness.
    ·         Government-controlled health care would lead to a decrease in patient flexibility.
    ·         Just because Americans are uninsured doesn't mean they can't receive health care; nonprofits and government-run hospitals provide services to those who don't have insurance, and it is illegal to refuse emergency medical service because of a lack of insurance.
    ·         Government-mandated procedures will likely reduce doctor flexibility and lead to poor patient care.
    ·         Patients aren't likely to curb their drug costs and doctor visits if health care is free; thus, total costs will be several times what they are now.
    ·         Just because Americans are uninsured doesn't mean they can't receive health care; nonprofits and government-run hospitals provide services to those who don't have insurance, and it is illegal to refuse emergency medical service because of a lack of insurance.
    ·         Government-mandated procedures will likely reduce doctor flexibility and lead to poor patient care.
    ·         Healthy people who take care of themselves will have to pay for the burden of those who smoke, are obese, etc.
    ·         A long, painful transition will have to take place involving lost insurance industry jobs, business closures, and new patient record creation.
    ·         Loss of private practice options and possible reduced pay may dissuade many would-be doctors from pursuing the profession.
    ·         Malpractice lawsuit costs, which are already sky-high, could further explode since universal care may expose the government to legal liability, and the possibility to sue someone with deep pockets usually invites more lawsuits.
    ·         Government is more likely to pass additional restrictions or increase taxes on smoking, fast food, etc., leading to a further loss of personal freedoms.
    ·         Patient confidentiality is likely to be compromised since centralized health information will likely be maintained by the government.
    ·         Health care equipment, drugs, and services may end up being rationed by the government. In other words, politics, lifestyle of patients, and philosophical differences of those in power, could determine who gets what.
    ·         Like social security, any government benefit eventually is taken as a "right" by the public, meaning that it's politically near impossible to remove or curtail it later on when costs get out of control.
    Whether the healthcare bill passes or fails, we at OTCPicks.com are dedicated to helping our members make money. In fact, we have compiled a list of stocks we think could benefit from its passage. And at the same time, we have provided a list of stocks we think members should add to their radars if the bill fails.
    Related Stocks to Watch
    If the Healthcare Bill passes…..
    Teva Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TEVA) -- engages in the development, production, and sale of a range of generic and branded pharmaceuticals, biogenerics, and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) worldwide. Its research and development efforts focus on therapies for the central nervous system (with emphasis on multiple sclerosis), autoimmune diseases, and oncology.
    Watson Pharmaceuticals (WPI)—is a specialty pharmaceutical company that engages in the development, manufacture, marketing, sale, and distribution of generic and brand pharmaceutical products primarily in the United States. The company’s products are used in various therapeutic areas, including central nervous system, hormones and synthetic substitutes, cardiovascular, nephrology, gastrointestinal, and other areas.
    Genzyme (GENZ)--operates as a biotechnology company worldwide. The company’s Genetic Diseases segment manufactures and distributes therapeutic products, including Cerezyme as an enzyme replacement therapy for the treatment of Type 1 and Type 3 Gaucher diseases; Fabrazyme, a recombinant form of the human enzyme alpha- galactosidase for the treatment of Fabry disease; Myozyme as a therapy for Pompe disease; and Aldurazyme for the treatment of Mucopolysaccharidosis I.
    Quality Systems (NASDAQ:QSII)—is in the development and marketing of healthcare information systems in the United States. Its system automates various aspects of medical and dental practices, as well as networks of practices, such as physician hospital organizations and management service organizations, ambulatory care centers, community health centers, and medical and dental schools. The company offers proprietary electronic medical records software and practice management systems.
    And if the Healthcare Bill fails….
    Johnson and Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) -- engages in the research and development, manufacture, and sale of various products in the health care field worldwide. Its Consumer segment provides products used in baby care, skin care, oral care, wound care, and women’s health care fields, as well as nutritional and over-the-counter pharmaceutical products
    Cigna (NYSE:CI) -- provides health care and related benefits in the United States and internationally. It operates in five segments: Health Care, Disability and Life, International, Run-off Reinsurance, and Other Operations.
    Humana (NYSE:HUM)--provides various health and supplemental benefit plans for employer groups, government benefit programs, and individuals in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Government and Commercial.
    Amedisys (NASDAQ:AMED) -- provides home health and hospice services to the chronic, co-morbid, and aging American population. Its home health services include skilled nursing and home health aide services; physical, occupational, and speech therapy; and medically oriented social work to eligible individuals who require ongoing care
    OTCPicks.com is located at 3533 Twin Lakes Drive, Prosper, TX 75078, Telephone: (972) 546-3740, Email: Publisher@OTCPicks.com.
    DO NOT BASE ANY INVESTMENT DECISION UPON ANY MATERIALS FOUND ON THIS REPORT. OTCPicks.com is not registered as a securities broker-dealer or an investment adviser either with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) or with any state securities regulatory authority.  We are neither licensed nor qualified to provide investment advice. OTCPicks.com makes no recommendation that the purchase of securities of companies profiled in this web site is suitable or advisable for any person or that an investment such securities will be profitable. In general, given the nature of the companies profiled and the lack of an active trading market for their securities, investing in such securities is highly speculative and carries a high degree of risk. You are receiving this email because you have registered on OTCPicks.com or one of our affiliate companies.
    Disclosure: OTCPicks.com has not been compensated by anyone for dissemination of this OTCPicks.com Market Blog.
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