The Dow Is In A Long-Term DOWN TREND AGAINST GOLD Since 1999 — DOWN 70% !!!!

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Hi everyone:

 

Because the following article by Mike Savage is so good and addresses some of my favorite “hot buttons”, I’m going to move on to his thoughts with only a quick recognition of the source of this email’s subject title, that being the EXCEPTIONAL copied article titled  The Grand Illusion, $80,000 Gold And A Worldwide Nightmare just below the linked articles.  Now with no further personal remarks, here’s Mike Savage.   Take care.

          

                                                                                                                                                   Leo

 

Mike Savage

 

Is anything “safe”?

 

A week ago last Friday our family had our fourth addition to our next generation. He is our second grandchild in the last 4 months. It’s at a time like this that I sit back and realize that my past is likely longer than my future and I start to think about the world that we will be leaving behind to this next generation.

 

I happen to be on our parish council and the finance committee at my church. Our pastor made a comment that over 30 cars were in our parking lot looking for Pokémon. I didn’t know what he was talking about and my first reaction was “why” and secondly I wondered who has enough time to be playing a (I’m guessing here) virtual reality game for hours and hours.

 

It appears that many people have a lot of time on their hands when they are not at their part-time gigs.

 

I also heard that there have been accidents, robberies and all sorts of unintended consequences of people playing this game.

 

I also started thinking about how this microcosm is similar to how we are running our affairs both in the political arena and in the economic arena.

 

Politically, it appears that there is no will anywhere to address the real problem of our nation-, which is in my opinion – bankruptcy. You can’t get elected talking about actual problems and even less with solutions. We have been living above our means for decades now and it is spiraling out of control as we speak. I think the GAAP (General Accepted Accounting Principals) annual deficit for just the federal government in 2016 (USDebtClock.org) of over $5.5 TRILLION Dollars is a sign. Instead we worry about which bathroom to use and not “offending” anyone!

 

Of course, the massive deficits are just a result of where our real bankruptcy lies- morally. It is immoral for the central banks to “print” money out of nowhere and buy real assets. It deforms all laws of supply and demand and enriches a few while impoverishing the many.

 

Keep in mind that they are purchasing real assets with the idea of increasing asset prices (of course that only helps those that already own them- anyone who wants in will buy at a higher price that is artificially higher because of their actions).

 

Those in high places are taking advantage of deals that seemingly allow them to break virtually any law and pay a fine to fix it- as long as you are part of the crew- anyone else is usually dealt with in unusually harsh ways. I guess if you can make trillions skimming off the rest of us and “only” get fined billions it must be a good business plan- until the marks (us) catch on which is by then usually too late!

 

Those at the top of course want more “printing” while those being disenfranchised don’t realize why it is happening and don’t make a fuss until far too late. I believe we are seeing the beginning of the fuss coming to fruition globally.

 

I remember a politician named Gary Hart from Colorado. His political career was ruined as recently as the early 1990s because he was caught in an extramarital affair. This is not ancient history. We actually had a moral compass of some kind even as recently as this.

 

The person who actually won that election over the next 8 years was disbarred, fined and impeached for lying about his own infidelity. Of course, there were no real consequences and his escapades are legendary to say the least. It has been reported he has been known to associate with convicted pedophiles and people still look at him with respect. SAD!

 

Because of our lack of morality we have a president that ignores the constitution any time he wants to and nobody challenges him on it. We have a person running for president that, if it were anyone else, they would likely be being tried for treason and espionage. In addition, it appears that the charitable foundation with her family name on it is a charity mainly for her family and anyone who cares to “donate”.

 

The fact that so many people can be led to believe that they could get free college, free healthcare, free food, etc. is a HUGE sign of no morality. There is NEVER something for nothing. Anyone who questions this – are the doctors practicing for free? Are all of the professors going to give up their jobs and teach for free?

 

If everyone gets free cellphones, food, booze, etc. who produces it? How much food, water, energy, communication, infrastructure or ANYTHING is produced by “printing” currencies-, which is how we are currently paying for these “freebies”. The answer is NONE! That is the obvious problem. Currency units are just that- as Gerald Celente of Trends Journal says “The dollar is not worth the paper it’s not printed on”.

 

The fact that many can be deceived into thinking that the unemployment rate is 5% or so when it is really 22-25% (Shadowstats) is a stark reminder of how little critical thinking takes place these days. Most everyone knows the numbers are bent to tell the tale that the authorities want told and yet the “experts” on the financial game shows throw out the massively massaged numbers as if they are actually true. This leads to massive mistakes if you invest in this less than honest information. Of course, if you are foolish enough to just believe the narrative without doing your own homework you will likely be highly disappointed.

 

The fact that central banks are seemingly purchasing real assets with nothing more than entries on a computer screen in many cases illustrates the level of corruption and deceit in the entire system. If current paths are not changed central banks could own virtually all of the assets and they will have gotten them with nothing more than stroking a computer keyboard.

 

I’m sure you may be thinking that this is something for nothing. It is not. They will have gotten tremendous assets for virtually nothing on their part but the price will be paid by us. As you are seeing, as these assets are being stockpiled, the actual buying increases the asset price short-term but also destroys economic activity because there is no corresponding economic activity to back up the higher price. It is an illusion- plain and simple. This might explain why corporate earnings are down for a 5th straight quarter (Bloomberg). It may also explain why global trade and exports are collapsing and central banks are doing massive interventions to keep markets from revealing their true value. In my opinion Far, Far lower on stock, bond and real estate prices and likely much higher on monetary metals in particular.

 

Think about that as you are out working yourself half to death and some fellow can potentially click a button and purchase assets that you can’t buy until after you earn your money, pay your taxes, purchase the necessities of life and finally, if you’re lucky, have enough left to put into something for your future. Of course, that is also harder today because since the central banks are buying bonds and reducing the rates you can earn if you DO save. They are sucking the life out of the economy in yet another way. Good luck to retirees, pension funds and insurance companies who depend upon bonds and interest rates to meet income and investment goals.

 

I haven’t seen anyone addressing higher premiums for virtually ALL insurance as we go forward because of a lack of returns on insurance company portfolios because of low rates. So far, they have been saved by increasing value of the bonds as rates decrease but that day may be rapidly coming to a close.

 

The unintended circumstances of low interest rates are not easy to spot from a distance but up close the danger is readily apparent. They will affect pensions (states and municipalities as well as private companies) which means future liabilities will be far higher than expected and may have to be reduced or – more likely- muni bonds, state issued bonds and corporate debt may either take a serious haircut or default to provide pension guarantees. That STILL may not be enough! Don’t think so? Check out Detroit and Puerto Rico. Many more to come in my opinion. Do traditionally “safe” assets sound safe in this scenario?

 

Actually the main question right now would be “Is Anything “Safe?”.

 

To survive, and hopefully thrive, in this new reality you cannot rely on traditional ways of thinking. You have to think outside the box and take action based upon the best information you can get and the risks that you are willing to take. There are answers- you just have to look in the correct places and …

 

Be Prepared!

 

Mike Savage, ChFC Financial Advisor

2642 Route 940 Pocono Summit, Pa 18346

(570) 730-4880

Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_gxEBnPm7w  An excellent Greg Hunter interview of Karl Denninger.

 

https://market-ticker.org/  Go to this site and scroll down to the article titled The Rule of Law.  It’s long, but boy oh boy, it’s worth it.  He lays it out big time of how our government is SERIOUSLY FAILING the American people.  Basically he’s saying that without “The Rule of Law”, the viability of our country is TOAST!

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_5gr3OKYNw  I cannot emphasize enough the importance of watching this video on climate geo-engineering.  It is absolutely critical that we all do our part to learn about this and support geoengineeringwatch.org.  If we care about the very existence of life on this planet, we must step up and lend our support.  THANK YOU!

 

 

The Grand Illusion, $80,000 Gold And A Worldwide Nightmare

 

The Grand Illusion, $80,000 Gold And A Worldwide Nightmare

With continued uncertainty in global markets, today the man who has become legendary for his predictions on QE, historic moves in currencies, and major global events, spoke with King World News about the grand illusion, $80,000 gold and a worldwide nightmare.

(King World News) Egon von Greyerz:  “Welcome to the wonderful world of illusions. This is a world where few people can see the difference between reality and fantasy. And maybe there is no difference. Just looking at the US election and the candidates, it seems like total fantasy from this side of the Atlantic. It is difficult to take the whole election process as well as the candidates seriously. But this is the world we live in today. Having in the last week seen people in many European countries run around the countryside and cities chasing Pokémon Monsters, you wonder if the presidential candidates might also be part of the same game…

 

King World News - What Will Happen When Central Planners Finally Lose Control?

The U.S. Puppet Masters Are The Best In The World


Egon von Greyerz continues: It seems like markets are also an illusion. How else can the Dow be 63% above the 2000 high whilst the Euro Dow 50 stocks are down 45% in the same period and with Emerging Markets down 36%, Brazil and Hong Kong down 35%, Nikkei down 25% and Shanghai down 49% all since 2014-15. We live in a totally interconnected global economy but there just seems to be more skilled illusionists in the US who can defy reality. With corporate profits declining fast, with current account and budget deficits for half a century, with 95 million people not in the workforce, almost 50 million on food stamps, with Q2 GDP at 1.2% (if real inflation rate was applied GDP would be negative) and with exponentially growing debts of over $200 trillion (incl. unfunded liabilities), you wonder what US investors are smoking.

The illusory Dow finished July at an all-time monthly high. Stock markets in general tend to totally ignore reality and US stocks in particular are living on a different planet. The Schiller P/E is now 27, with the average at 16. There is no question that the US stock market is in bubble territory.

King World News - Legendary Short Seller Warns We May See Gold Surge Violently $100 - $150 In A Short Space Of Time

$80,000 Gold?


In spite of the manipulation of gold and gold stocks, over time gold will always reveal the truth. And the truth is that the massively inflated US stock market is underperforming in real terms in spite of making new highs. Since December 2015, the Dow is down 19% in real terms, which of course is against gold. This puts the Dow/Gold ratio at 13.6. The

Dow is in a long-term down trend against gold since 1999 — down 70% in the last 17 years.

But it won’t end there, this ratio will at least reach the 1980 low of 1/1, but probably

overshoot to at least 0.5/1. Will this mean gold at $10,000 and the Dow at 5,000, or will it

reach the hyperinflationary level of 40,000 Dow, which would make gold at least $80,000?

And against gold stocks, the Dow is down a massive 55% over the last 7 months. We are likely to see this index reach the 2011 level at least. This means that the Dow will come down another 72% vs the HUI gold index.

King World News -- The BIS Is Trying To Hide The Terrifying Nightmare That Is Going To Collapse The Global Financial System

The Grand Illusion, $2 Quadrillion Nightmare & Phony Bank Stress Tests


But the illusion doesn’t stop with stock markets. The global banking system is an even bigger illusion. The financial system was bankrupt in 2006 but governments and central banks around the world managed to patch it up by injecting $25 trillion, and by allowing banks to value all toxic assets at maturity instead of at market. Here we are 10 years later and the financial system is now in a much worse state than it was in 2006. Global debt has grown exponentially since then by 65%, from $140 trillion to $230 trillion. And this figure doesn’t even include unfunded liabilities and derivatives of another $2 quadrillion or so. We are looking at total debt of over 30 times global GDP. But that is a false comparison. Let’s say that 5% of GDP could be saved annually to reduce debt, and that would be very optimistic. Anyway, with 5% of GDP it would take over 600 years to get rid of all debt. However you calculate it, the world is bankrupt and will never repay its debts. Nor will the debt be serviced at any rate of interest above zero.

Global banks have just had illusory stress tests. Countries like Portugal and Greece were naturally excluded as their banks are bankrupt. The criteria were set so that every bank would pass except for Monte dei Paschi in Italy. Since the whole world knew that this bank is bankrupt, it was impossible to cheat. Otherwise, in the illusory world, all banks were considered to be in decent health. The top performing banks were the Swedish ones, with Swedbank and Nordea shining. This is particularly fascinating since only a couple of weeks ago, the regulator in Sweden, in an internal report, had expressed particular concern that Nordea was severely undercapitalised to the extent of SEK 50-80 billion. This report was quickly hushed down and clearly ignored in the stress test.

King World News - Richard Russell On What Is Really Happening In The U.S. And PCR Weighs In On Greece And The IMF

The International Manipulative Fund


The total failure of the IMF has just been exposed by the IEO (IMF Independent Evaluation Office). IMF stands for International Monetary Fund but International Manipulative Fund would be more accurate because the IMF is a political entity that serves the political aims of its masters. The recent IEO report has just condemned the IMF for total misjudgement and complacency in connection with Greece. All projections and actions of the IMF have been a total failure according to the report and have contributed to the demise of Greece. In other words, the report confirms that the IMF hasn’t got a clue. The IMF seems more interested in political manipulation than monetary assistance. The IMF verbal intervention in the Brexit referendum on the Remain side confirms this.

Central banks worldwide are really struggling in their futile attempts to get out of the mess which they have created. In Japan, Abenomics is totally failing in spite of unlimited money printing and negative interest rates. Before the Japanese economy sinks into the Pacific there will be perpetual bonds with no or negative interest and more helicopter money. Japan is doing all it can to win the currency race to the bottom but currently with the yen strengthening, the world is making the race difficult for Japan. The Fed has since 2015 left the world with the illusion that rates would go up in 2016. Already back in December when the Fed raised rates and indicated several more increases, I stated that the US would also go to negative rates and it still seems probable that this will happen in 2016.

Turning to the US dollar, it looks particularly sick currently. It seems likely that the dollar will soon start a major secular downturn. The world’s reserve currency is greatly overvalued, and due to the state of the US economy discussed above with ever increasing debts and current account and budget deficits, the dollar will soon start the final leg to its intrinsic value of zero. It has been a 100-year race but it now looks clear that the dollar will be first to the bottom of the major currencies. This will have significant effects on both debt and stock markets.

King World News - Time Is Running Out As Western Governments Prepare To Steal Money And Other Assets

Exchange Controls Are Coming And The Time To Act Is Short


Gold and silver will be major beneficiaries of the dollar’s decline. US dollar based investors still have a window to get out of dollars and out of the US. But soon there will be exchange restrictions that will prevent this.

It is very important not to own illusory or paper gold. It must be physical gold and silver which is stored outside the fragile banking system. ETFs are not recommended. Most ETFs don’t hold the metals free and clear, regardless of what they say. Also, they store the gold and silver, if they have it, in banks which is not where investors want to hold it. In addition, the ownership is subject to counterparty risk since it is signified by a piece of paper held within the financial system. Physical precious metals, held correctly, are the best insurance investors can own against a totally rotten financial system.”

 

Paul Craig Roberts Rages “The Democratic Party As We Knew It No Longer Exists”

 

         by Tyler Durden

Jul 31, 2016 7:25 PM

 

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

 

The Democratic Party that once was concerned with workers’ rights, the elderly, civil rights, and the constitutional protections of America liberty no longer exists. As the just completed Democratic presidential primaries and the Democratic presidential convention have clearly demonstrated, the United States now has two Republican parties in service to the One-Percent.

 

The organized Democrats-the Democratic National Committee-have shown themselves to be even more venal and corrupt than the Republicans. Leaked emails document that the Democratic National Committee conspired with the Hillary campaign in order to steal the nomination from Bernie Sanders. It is clear that Sanders was the choice of Democratic Party voters for president, but the nomination was stolen from him by vote fraud and dirty tricks.

 

The DNC and the media whores have tried to discredit the incriminating emails by alleging that the leaked emails resulted from a plot by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in behalf of “Putin’s American agent,” Donald Trump. “A vote for Trump is a vote for Putin,” as the presstitute (a commonly used term for prostitutes of the press who blather the propaganda of the deep state elite) scum put it.

 

This diversionary tactic has not worked. Not even Americans are stupid enough to fall for it.

 

Consequently, the corrupt “leader” of the DNC had to resign and was unable to deliver her speech at the nominating convention from fear of being booed off the stage.

 

Sanders’ supporters have abandoned Hillary and the fake “Democratic Party.” Probably most of them will vote for the Green Party candidate.

 

The organized Republicans-the Republican National Committee-and the Zionist neoconservatives wanted to block Donald Trump from the nomination just as the DNC blocked Sanders, but could not. The neoconservatives are organizing for Hillary as she is their warmonger and Trump says he is not, but as the Presidential contest is really a contest between the two Republican parties about which gets to be the whore for the One Percent, the RNC, impressed with Hillary’s lack of voter support, seems to be sticking with Trump. Better to be a well-paid whore than to be out in the cold.

 

In the coming presidential election, the outcome will probably be determined by whether the powerful oligarchic interest groups decide whether Trump is an actual threat or whether they can cozy up to him and rope him in by appointing his government.

 

Trump’s disability is that no matter how able an individual is, that person cannot simultaneously make themselves a multi-billionaire and be knowledgeable of economic and foreign policy issues. The bald fact is that Trump, if he becomes president, does not know whom to appoint in order to have the support from his government to effect the changes for which his supporters hope he stands.

 

When a person becomes President, that person doesn’t suddenly become an encyclopedia with full knowledge. The President is dependent on the information flows from his government. If those information flows support the interests of Wall Street, the corrupt “banks too big to fail,” the military-security complex, the Israel Lobby, agribusiness, and the extractive industries (energy, mining, timber), the President’s decisions will support these material interests.

 

Donald Trump is the American people’s choice, because he is opposed to the offshoring of American jobs-a corporate practice that has enriched the One Percent at the expense of the American middle class.

 

Donald Trump is the American people’s choice, because he opposes the fabricated, gratuitous conflict with Russia. Even Americans understand that taking war to a major nuclear power will not end well.

 

Donald Trump is the American people’s choice because he realizes that NATO-an organization whose purpose disappeared 25 years ago when the Soviet Union collapsed as a result of the coup against Gorbachev by extreme elements of the Soviet Communist Party-now serves as a vehicle and cover for Washington’s aggressions, which are war crimes under the international statutes that Washington created. Washington’s wars benefit some of the One Percent at the expense of both the 99 Percent and millions of innocent peoples in many countries.

 

 

What will happen now is that the presstitutes will demonize Donald Trump even more than they have demonized Vladimir Putin. The scum presstitutes will do everything that they can possibly do to make a vote for Trump into an act of treason against America.

 

Now that the presstitutes have learned that they can tell the most blatant lies-Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, Iranian nukes, Assad’s use of chemical weapons, Russian invasions-without being held accountable, they know that they can lie about Trump.

 

And they will. To the hilt.

 

But the presstitutes have lost credibility. A person has to be an imbecile to believe a word that they say.

 

“Progressives” will wander off the track. They will be turned off by Trump’s stand on immigration, which is where the American people stand. “Progressives” will be worried about whether the ‘fascist” Trump will persecute transgender and homosexual people or revoke the right of women to abort the unborn. To “progressives” this will seem all important as Washington and its NATO vassals hurl the world into nuclear war.

 

Neither can any intelligence be expected from the defunct American left wing. The American left wing supports the official story of 9/11, the excuse for the last 15 years of illegal wars and the American Police State. To find the American left-wing totally allied with the official explanation of what is in reality a false flag event, committed in order that the neoconservatives would have their new Pearl Harbor in order to invade the Middle East, is demonstrable proof that the American left-wing is irrelevant.

 

The American left interprets 9/11 and subsequent false flag events as oppressed peoples striking back at their oppressors. The emotional satisfaction of this takes the impotent American left-wing out not only of action but of relevance in commentary. The American left wing has become an asset of the enemy-the neoconservatives who control policy in Washington.

 

So, where do we stand? The answer is that we are closer to nuclear annihilation than ever before. I know of what I speak. I held the highest security clearances. I was a member of a secret committee that enabled President Reagan to end the Cold War.

 

The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin is doing everything he can possibly do to avoid the nuclear war that the crazed American neoconservatives are bringing to humanity. For his efforts in behalf of planet Earth he is demonized 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year after year. For simply stating facts, I am described by the presstitutes as “an apologist for Putin.”

 

The endless lies about Russia have convinced the Russian media that Washington is mobilizing its NATO vassals for an attack on Russia. Read the transcripts to this Russian media broadcast. https://vimeo.com/174777588

 

If you aren’t scared after absorbing this Russian news broadcast, you are stupid beyond belief. The message is clear: the West has declared war on Russia but is trying to keep Russia off guard by denying it.

 

The video of the Russian news broadcast also shows the dismissive way the Russian media was treated at the recent NATO conference in Poland. The non-entity representatives of the non-entity countries of Latvia, which has been ruthlessly looted by the West, Estonia, Lithuania, and Poland, and the Ukraine representative either refuse to speak to the Russian media or use the interview to repeat Washington’s false accusations against Russia. These imbeciles insulting Russia are representatives of countries that Russia could destroy in a few minutes. If these idiots think Washington could save them, they are as stupid as the Polish colonels who thought that the British guarantee in March 1939 meant anything and could save Poland from the rash action of sticking Poland’s fingers in Hitler’s eye. This Polish stupidity provoked by the stupid British set off World War II with the British and French declaration of war against Germany, thus consigning Poland to Soviet rule for a half century. Some guarantee! The imbecile Chamberlain who wanted peace started WWII with Britain’s worthless “guarantee.”

 

Does it make you feel safe that the arrogant warmongering imbeciles in Washington have convinced a nuclear power the equal of the United States that America is going to attack?

 

Moreover, Russia is a nuclear power allied with another nuclear power, China, which has had enough of Washington’s imbecilic provocations. Are you willing for “your” government to lead your future into nuclear war with two nuclear powers?

 

Here we Americans are going into a presidential election and the overpowering fact of our time-that Washington is threatening humanity with nuclear war-is not a subject for discussion! What is the matter with us Americans? Are we stupid beyond all belief? We sit stupidly, thinking that issues of no importance are the most important issues of our time while “our” insane government provokes nuclear war. Have any people in history failed their obligation to this extent? If so, who?

 

My case rests. There is no countervailing evidence against the fact that unadulterated evil rules the West and is driving the world to extinction. Western democracy is a total failure. Democracy could not prevent the crazed warmonger Hillary from presidential nomination despite the opposition of the American people.

 

How long can Russia, and China, wait before they conclude that they have to pre-empt the coming attack from Washington? Does anyone, even stupid Americans, think that once Russia and China are convinced that they are targets for attack that they will just sit there and await the attack?

 

Do peoples as guilty of dereliction of duty as Western peoples are have any right to survive?

 

I’m not trying to be political or to suggest whom you should vote for, but it sure does seem like the outcome of the upcoming election will shape the destiny of our country and our portfolio.

 

Looking at the choices I feel like I’m in a “Heads you win, tails I lose” situation.

 

 

 

Aetna Posts $300 Million Obamacare Loss, Warns May Exit Altogether

After every other major US health insurance provider already admitted to generating substantial losses on the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamcare, earlier today Aetna became the latest to report that its annual loss on Obamacare plans would be more than $300 million, and said it had scrapped plans to further expand its Obamacare business next year. More ominously, Aetna joined the biggest US health insurer UnitedHealth in reviewing how, if at all, it would continue providing ACA services in the 15 states it’s currently in.

The move, coming after a similar shift in tone last week by Anthem, is the latest sign of instability and financial pressures in the marketplaces that are at the heart of the health law. It also confirms that in its current iteration, Obamacare simply does not work and will require a major overhaul by the next administration, one which could lead to even higher premiums for plan participants as well as for subsidy providers, i.e., taxpayers.

Aetna, which had previously expressed relative optimism about the ACA exchanges, said it was setting up a reserve of $65 million to account for expected losses on individual plans over the rest of 2016.  The company also said it no longer expects to reach breakeven in 2016 on individual plans.

“While we are pleased with our overall results, in light of updated 2016 projections for our individual products and the significant structural challenges facing the public exchanges, we intend to withdraw all of our 2017 public exchange expansion plans, and are undertaking a complete evaluation of future participation in our current 15-state footprint,” said Aetna Chief Executive Mark T. Bertolini. Aetna had previously made regulatory filings indicating it was considering growing into five new state marketplaces in 2017.

Nobody is getting adequately reimbursed,” unless we start including specialty pharma which current risk adjustment mechanism doesn’t, Bertolini added during the Q2 call, explaining that the risk-adjustment mechanism “a zero sum game.”

Aetna’s shift represents a significant revision to its previous position on Obamacare. In April, the insurer said that after a loss last year, it was aiming to roughly break even on its exchange business this year and move toward profitability in 2017. Then, Mr. Bertolini called its position in the ACA marketplaces a “good investment.” The five new states in which Aetna was considering expanding were Maine, Oklahoma, New Jersey, Kansas and Indiana.  Not so much anymore: according to Bertolini, “we are evaluating our footprint as it exists today to understand what solutions we can put forward to either fix the business or exit the business.

Surprisingly, despite the poor exchange results, Aetna still posted better-than-expected profit and revenue growth in the second quarter and reaffirmed its 2016 operating earnings guidance.

As the WSJ adds, Aetna’s darkening perspective on the ACA business echoes comments by Anthem, which last week went from projecting a slight profit this year to expecting a mid-single-digit loss on ACA plans. Anthem roughly broke even on individual plans in 2015 and had a positive margin in 2014. Anthem said it expected improvement on its results next year, but also that it would re-examine its full-on commitment to the exchanges. UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Humana have in recent weeks deepened their projected 2016 exchange losses and confirmed they will largely withdraw from the business next year.

In what is likely a shocking revelation for the administration, a big part of the problem, according to S&P analysts, has come from insurers finding that enrollees were running up medical costs greater than they expected when the companies set their premiums. Who would have thought that when presented with a quasi-blank check, the recently uninsured would milk it for all it is worth?

So what happens next?

WSJ predicts that the pullbacks by UnitedHealth and Humana, in addition to Aetna’s possible move, will likely sharply increase the regions with limited or no competition among insurers on the exchanges. That will put a heavy weight on Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers, which in some states, including Alaska, as well as several largely-rural areas of others, are now expected to offer the only ACA marketplace plans. “What you end up with is the not-for-profit Blues and other regional plans becoming the insurer of last resort in parts of the country,” said Sam Glick, a partner with consulting firm Oliver Wyman, a unit of Marsh & McLennan Cos. The situation is “a real concern,” he said, particularly since a number of the Blue insurers are themselves losing money on the exchange business.

In other words, all the negatives of a single-payor system with none of the positives.

What about those states where the ACA services will remain? Why more of the same, which means another year of double-digit increases in premiums.

The punchline? As we reported back in May, most Americans will see the surge in their health insurance premiums on the unfortunate, for Democrats, date: November 1, or just one week before the presidential election. As Politico said: “the last thing Democrats want to contend with just a week before the 2016 presidential election is an outcry over double-digit insurance hikes as millions of Americans begin signing up for Obamacare.”

Then again, what difference will a double digit health insurance price surge make?

 

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