The market dropped back into the the middle of the sideways trading range that has contained prices over the past few weeks. The Dow was down nearly 400 points on increased volume. The have been a couple of attempts at rallies over the past couple of weeks, but in the case of the Dow and S&P, the trends have remained down. The Nasdaq has been much stronger and has a slight uptrend. Momentum has now turned back down in all indices. There has been some support building at recent lows. It would only be a guess if support will hold or an impulse move down will begin. The market is responding to news and can swing back and forth without paying attention to technical indicators. But with trends basically down and momentum also turning down, I will have to assume the path of least resistance is down unless new information comes into the market to change direction once again.
The excuse the talking heads came up with for the drop today was that Geithner wasn’t specific enough on the bailout. What does one expect from someone appointed to run the Treasury and the IRS who isn’t smart enough to use TurboTax and pay what he owes in taxes over four consecutive years. And Obama is still campaigning instead of acting like a president. He won. He can stop campaigning now. All he can do is blame and bash Bush. You might remember that Bush also inherited a recession when he stepped into office. I don’t recall that he went around giving townhall meetings blaming Clinton for the mess. He also faced a terrorist attack, waged two wars, had natural disasters, and yet for six of the eight years the economy somehow managed to grow with a rising stock market and low unemployment. The bottom really fell out mysteriously right in the middle of the presidential contest. Obama campaigned on hope and change. So far there has been little change in the Washington establishment he has appointed. And his message seems to be more of fear than hope. I guess the slogan of “yes we can” really means “no you can’t without the government there to help.” One really horrifying part of the bill that is well hidden in the more than eight hundred pages is the beginning of his plan for socialized medicine. Even Arlen Specter, one of three republicans who voted for the bill, didn’t seem to know the medical plan was part of the bill. Here is part of an article copied and pasted directly from Bloomberg news. It should frighten anyone over the age of 50.
Elderly Hardest Hit
Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free.” Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. That means the elderly will bear the brunt.
Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective. The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost- effectiveness standard set by the Federal Council (464).
The Federal Council is modeled after a U.K. board discussed in Daschle’s book. This board approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit. Treatments for younger patients are more often approved than treatments for diseases that affect the elderly, such as osteoporosis.
In 2006, a U.K. health board decreed that elderly patients with macular degeneration had to wait until they went blind in one eye before they could get a costly new drug to save the other eye. It took almost three years of public protests before the board reversed its decision.
If the Obama administration’s economic stimulus bill passes the Senate in its current form, seniors in the U.S. will face similar rationing. Defenders of the system say that individuals benefit in younger years and sacrifice later.
The stimulus bill will affect every part of health care, from medical and nursing education, to how patients are treated and how much hospitals get paid. The bill allocates more funding for this bureaucracy than for the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force combined (90-92, 174-177, 181).
Hiding health legislation in a stimulus bill is intentional. Daschle supported the Clinton administration’s health-care overhaul in 1994, and attributed its failure to debate and delay. A year ago, Daschle wrote that the next president should act quickly before critics mount an opposition. “If that means attaching a health-care plan to the federal budget, so be it,” he said. “The issue is too important to be stalled by Senate protocol.”