ObamaCare: healthcare premiums rise well ahead of healthcare costs for employer-provided health insurance. Huge story over at WSJ. How often do folks buy $500 washing machines? How often are folks paying premiums for ObamaCare?
Report finds boost in spending as use of most health-care services declined.Spending on health care accelerated in 2016 for Americans who get insurance through work, even as use of most health-care services declined or remained flat. The reason, according to a new report: price increases.Canadian CBR: we just talked about this the other day. Now Reuters is reporting that Canadian National Rail cannot meet demand for Canadian CBR.
Rising prices for prescription drugs, surgery, emergency-room visits and other services drove a 4.6% increase in total spending per person, versus 4.1% in 2015 and less than 3% in the two previous years, according to the research nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute, which analyzed data for nearly 40 million people up to age 65 with employer-sponsored insurance.
The institute found the same trend when it analyzed spending over the five years from 2012 to 2016. Prices and spending rose, while use of health care largely declined.
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At least this part of GE is working: BHGE adjusted earnings beat forecasts on strong North American demand.
KMI: Motley Fool has thoughts. Very, very positive.
Closing: Toys "R" US closing 180 stores in the US.
They must be reading the blog: we wrote about this the other day, "more reasons why the stock market is surging." This will only add to "synchronized global growth." From The WSJ:
foreign firms brace for potential cost increases after U.S. tax overhaul finance. Executives worry certain provisions of the new tax law could offset some of the gains from the lower U.S. tax rate.
Foreign companies are calculating whether the cost increases they will bear under the new U.S. tax law will outweigh the benefits of a lower corporate rate.
New measures, such as taxing large companies on payments made to international affiliates under the Base Erosion and Anti-Abuse Tax—or BEAT—are raising alarm among international companies operating in the U.S. Meanwhile, tighter rules on the deductibility of interest and one-time charges linked to a reduction in the value of deferred tax assets are also sparking concern.
Foreign companies worry these moves will put them at a competitive disadvantage.GS/CEO: incredibly bullish on the market. But worries that once interest rates "normalize," things will change (get worse). "Easy money" driving the market. Haven't we had easy money for sixteen years? Certainly we've had easy money for nine years. The "easy money" story didn't change. What changed? Trump. GS/CEO says he likes Trump's policies. On CNBC this morning.
Still, a centerpiece provision of the new tax law ushers in a steep reduction in the U.S. corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%, which makes doing business in the U.S. more attractive.
Back to the Bakken
RBN Energy: ONEOK's plan to boost Bakken and Niobara/DJ Basin NGL takeaway capacity.
There has been growing concern regarding NGL pipeline takeaway capacity out of the Williston Basin and the Niobrara — particularly the DJ Basin — over the past year, with one of the major pipes through those regions now running full. Finally, ONEOK has announced plans for the Elk Creek Pipeline, which will have an initial capacity of 240 Mb/d and be expandable to 400 Mb/d. The new pipe will transport mixed, unfractionated NGLs from eastern Montana to the Conway/Bushton fractionation hub in central Kansas, and provide long-term relief for a lot of Bakken, Powder River and Denver-Julesburg (DJ) Basin producers. But with an end-of-2019 in-service date, will the new capacity come soon enough to avert NGL takeaway constraints? Today, we discuss the Elk Creek project, the flows on existing NGL pipes to Conway/Bushton, and the growing significance of ethane as pipelines fill.