Saturday, March 8, 2014

Friday, March 7, 2014 -- Morning

Note the date: March 7, 2014 -- posting was delayed due to traveling.

Active rigs:

Active Rigs192186204204171

RBN Energy: on the road to New England. Natural gas continues to make in-roads into the Pacific Northwest's hydro-electricity. A war on hydro-electricity, next?
In Part 1 of our series, we provided an overview of the Pacific Northwest’s incredible hydro infrastructure, especially the series of hydro dams along the Columbia and Snake rivers that together can generate as much electricity as 20 nuclear plants. We also talked about how natural gas has always played second fiddle to hydro in the region, but that rising demand for electricity and plans to retire the last remaining coal-fired units is giving gas a higher profile. Depending on how successful the Pacific Northwest is at increasing the energy efficiency of its homes and businesses, several thousand MW of new gas-fired generating capacity may need to be added in the region over the next few years. A need that would only grow if a threat to remove one or more hydro plants for environmental reasons is carried out.
ObamaCare and The Uninsured

The "30 million uninsured" was pure demagoguery, of course. But let's say it was accurate. If so, the numbers are even worse. McKinsey/Forbes took a look:
The Obama administration has, for months now, been peddling nice-sounding numbers as to how many people are gaining health coverage due to Obamacare.
But their numbers have been inflated on two fronts. First, not everyone who has “selected a marketplace plan” under Obamacare has actually paid the required premiums, payment being required to actually gain coverage. Second, only a fraction of people on the exchanges were previously uninsured.
A new survey from McKinsey gives us a better view into the real numbers. Of the 3.3 million people that the White House has touted as Obamacare exchange “sign-ups,” less than 500,000 are actual uninsured people who have actually gained health coverage.
If Hillary and Barack were accurate, that there were 30 million uninsured, only 1.7% of the uninsured have taken advantage of ObamaCare. Fail.

Of course, 30 million folks were not chronically uninsured; many were in-between jobs. Most had access to medical care. Be that as it may, less than 500,000 enrollees were actually uninsured prior to ObamaCare. 

Talk about a failed solution looking for a problem. 

Be that as it may, the perception on the street is that the entire ObamaCare program is now on hold through the end of 2017 (that is the perception, though it is not entirely accurate). That perception will create havoc in the health insurance industry, and perhaps spell the end of ObamaCare before it was even fully in place. I opined a long, long time ago, the best thing the GOP ever did was not defund ObamaCare. It failed on its own. They say the president is even beginning to recognize that. My hunch is that after March 31, 2014, we will never hear another speech by President Obama on the importance of enrolling in ObamaCare, if for no other other reason that the whole "enrollment thing" is now moot -- it's been delayed until after he and Michelle leave the White House with their daughters in tow.

The Fiscal Times also reported the same story / same data. 

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