Friday, July 3, 2015

Friday! Happy 3rd Of July -- 2015


Later, July 3, 2015, 1:33 p.m. Pacific time, tweeting now:
California regulators approve higher electricity rates for most customers - @AP  
Original Post
Big, big story. Predicted on the blog years ago -- consolidation. A couple of story lines.  First, Centene Corp will buy HealthNet, Inc. That was announced yesterday. Then, this was announced today: Aetna will buy Humana.
A gusher of Obamacare money is fueling a merger frenzy in U.S. healthcare.
The latest jolt came Thursday when Woodland Hills insurer Health Net Inc. agreed to be bought by Medicaid insurer Centene Corp. for $6.8 billion.
And more billion-dollar deals are in the works as health insurers, hospitals and drug companies bulk up in size so they can seize on government spending in Obamacare exchanges, state Medicaid programs and Medicare Advantage for the baby boomers.
Riding high on Wall Street and flush with cash, big health insurers in particular have been on the prowl for deals. Atop the shopping list are companies that boost their government business.
“The Affordable Care Act is really driving this merger mania,” said Gerald Kominski, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. “There are billions of dollars pouring into the system, and it's money to buy insurance.”
President Obama's signature health law has unleashed the biggest expansion of insurance coverage in half a century, lifting stock prices and revenues across the healthcare industry.
So many story lines. 

One that is not mentioned in the blurb above: if the regulators approve Centene's bid for Health Net, that will be another company that will move out of California. Health Net is headquartered in Woodland Hills, CA; Centene is based out of the fracking sand capital of the US: Wisconson.

One step closer to a single-payer system. With the Supreme Court ruling that Federal exchanges are "legal," we now have a national health care program.

No 3-Day Holiday 
For The Hard-Working Folks 
At The California Public Utilities Commission

By the end of the day, we should find out how high our electric rates in California will be going up for the price of feeling good: closing access to coal plants, relying more on expensive solar and wind electricity, and building mile-high walls to keep the CO2 from China from coming into California.

USA Today is reporting:
Two days before a major vote that could raise electricity rates for millions of Californians, ratepayer advocates were scrambling to understand last-minute changes to a plan several years in the making.
The California Public Utilities Commission is set to vote Friday on dueling proposals that would revamp electricity rates for customers of Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric. Both plans would raise rates for those who use the least energy and for those who use the most, but one would do so much more dramatically.
Edison and the other utility companies have supported the more dramatic changes, proposed by commission President Michael Picker. Ratepayer advocates have thrown their support to an alternate plan written by commissioner Mike Florio, arguing that Picker's proposal would discourage energy conservation and benefit the wealthy at the expense of low-income families.
Can't wait to see the new rates. One word I don't like to see in the same paragraph as "new rates" is "higher." A word that is even scarier is "dramatically."

No comments:

Post a Comment