Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thursday; The Kashagan Debacle Is Making ObamaCare Website Look Good; Seth Sees Dow Hitting 20,000 By 2018; Young Won't Support ObamaCare -- Critical If ObamaCare Is To Survive As We Know It

Young folks support Obama; won't support Obamacare
Mounting opposition to ObamaCare among young adults is creating a new crisis for the White House.
While the federal enrollment website appears to be improving by the day, polls show the “young invincibles” key to making the law work are becoming less likely to enroll.
Younger people were skeptical of the healthcare reform law even before its troubled rollout, despite their support for President Obama.
Medicaid is latest health-site victim. Yes, it's a trainwreck, also. We're gonna see the same thing come January 1, 2014, for ObamaCare. Reporting in today's Wall Street Journal:
States are refusing to process Medicaid enrollments from people who signed up through the troubled site, citing incomplete information. Thousands who thought they got insurance may not have it.
Active rigs:

Active Rigs19318120016466

RNB Energy: Part 3 on the "painful" situation in western Canada.
Expanding Western Canadian Oil Sands production is currently butting up against pipeline constraints to move the crude to markets in the US and beyond. The result is painful price discounts for producers and an increased inventory of crude in storage at the Edmonton and Hardisty hubs in Alberta. New storage capacity is being added in both hubs to handle the growing volume. Today we detail TransCanada and MEG Energy expansion plans in Edmonton.
Observation for the day: the NSA can track 5 billion cellphone locations per day, Amazon can ship over a million line items per hour, and can accommodate (maybe) 50,000 people at any one time. Apparently in general, the state health exchanges are in worse shape, and the Oregon website is not even up yet.

The Wall Street Journal 

Drug-cost surprises lurk inside new health plans.
Americans with chronic illnesses—who are expected to be among the biggest beneficiaries of the health law—face widely varying out-of-pocket drug costs that could be obscured on the new insurance exchanges. 
Under the law, patients can't be denied coverage due to existing conditions or charged higher rates than healthier peers. The law also sets an annual out-of-pocket maximum of up to $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for families, after which insurers pay the full tab.  [As far as I know, this is the ONLY unlimited liability any non-government entity has in the United States. I don't think folks have given this much thought.]
But depending on the coverage they select, some patients on expensive drug regimens could reach that level fast. Some medications for conditions including hepatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV and cancer can retail for thousands of dollars a month, and some plans require patients to pay as much as 50% of the cost.
 Early interbreeding more widespread than thought. This is really, really exciting, coming on heels of James Shreeve's 1995 The Neandertal Enigma: Solving the Mystery of Modern Human Origins. Yes, it's an old book, and I don't generally care for his writing style, but it brought me up to speed regarding human origins. Now this fascinating article comes along. From The Journal:
Researchers analyzing DNA found in ancient bones from Spain discovered a stranger in the mix, suggesting that interbreeding between human species in Ice Age Europe was more widespread than suspected, according to research published Wednesday.
Geneticists led by Matthias Meyer at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany extracted the oldest known human DNA—dating back more than 300,000 years—from a fossil thigh bone preserved at the bottom of a cave shaft called Sima de los Huesos—the pit of the bones—in northern Spain, where remains of 28 early humans belonging to an unknown species have been discovered.
By the appearance of their bones, these primitive precursors to modern humankind likely looked most like stocky, barrel-chested Neanderthals. But the genetic analysis reported in Nature showed that their maternal DNA, drawn from special cell structures called mitochondria, was different than that of Neanderthals and also unlike that of more modern humans. It was most closely related to a mysterious species called the Denisovans.
The Denisovans themselves were unknown to science until 2010, when their DNA was first identified from the fingertip of a young female discovered in a cave in Siberia. Her remains dated to about 40,000 years ago, offering evidence that Neanderthals, anatomically modern humans and Denisovans coexisted at that time.
CBR under attack by Sierra Club; they were late on fracking; they won't let the CBR issue get away from them.

I'm beginning to think there's only one story worse than the website and that's the Kashagan debacle. Today The Journal reports:
Operators of the giant Kashagan oil field in Kazakhstan are homing in on microscopic cracks in a steel pipeline as they race to understand the cause of dangerous gas leaks that have forced them to halt output indefinitely and could result in hefty repair costs.
Members of the NCOC consortium running Kashagan fear the stoppage could extend well into next year if a technical investigation, launched in October after leaks were detected for the second time in three weeks, concludes that a poisonous mix of hydrogen and sulfur contained in the crude oil has done extensive damage to the pipeline system in the $40 billion project, people familiar with the matter said.
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The Journal is reporting:
When Seth Masters, chief investment officer at Bernstein Global Wealth Management, first predicted the Dow Jones Industrial Average would hit 20,000 by the end of this decade, he said he was ridiculed as a "starry-eyed optimist." 
That was June 2012, not long after the worst of the euro-zone debt crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 12,500, some 3,500 points lower than today, a rally of nearly 27% for the blue chips. Now, with the Dow at 15,889, Mr. Masters isn't just sticking by his call, he is moving it up. 
He reckons the Dow could reach 20,000 by 2018, a 26% gain from Wednesday's level. The Dow is up 21% in 2013. "We are actually ahead of schedule," said Mr. Masters, whose firm manages $69 billion in assets.

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