Friday, September 26, 2008

Is This What We Want in Healthcare?....10/7

Looking back at the sub-prime mortgage mess, you have to consider what the original 'intent' was, and what has happened in practice. There are considerable parallels that can be drawn between that and what the future of healthcare holds for us. Freddie and Fannie were pseudo governmental entities--sort of like the Post Office.

"1970: The U.S. Congress creates the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., nicknamed Freddie Mac."
What may play out could possibly be foretelling the fate of healthcare in a foreseeable future.

Well, what do I mean by that? De-regulation is being slapped about as the cause of the problems, but was it de-regulated? There were several mandates that were placed on lenders to make sub-prime loans. They made them, but in order to minimize their exposure (risk), they would re-sell those mortgages. Those were repackaged and sold as securities by Freddie Mac. When the mortgages were defaulted, the securities were we see where this is heading?

"Freddie Mac is a shareholder-owned corporation whose people are dedicated to improving the quality of life by making the American dream of decent, accessible housing a reality. We accomplish this mission by linking Main Street to Wall Street--purchasing, securitizing and investing in home mortgages, and ultimately providing homeowners and renters with lower housing costs and better access to home financing. Since our inception, Freddie Mac has achieved more than 30 consecutive years of profitability and financed one out of every six homes in America."
30 years of profitability---didn't quite make 40, did we? And, for the last several years, the CEO of Freddie Mac was stating that the reported figures were not accurate! Why isn't the former management team of the F.M.s coming under the same scrutiny as Enron? There is far more money and far more impact in the trickle-down effects.

Do we want this kind of management turned loose on healthcare? How about the politics? Speaking of politics, Senator Obama has the honor(?) of being the recipient of the second largest amount given to campaigns of elected officials by Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae ($126,349). McCain's campaign also received contributions, but far less substantial ($21,550). I'd say both would be better off returning the money. (Note: The Republican 'leader' that is being touted by the Democrats as having reached an agreement on the bailout was on the list--the most money taken in by a Republican campaign from the F.M.s.)

Current members of Congress have received a total of $4.8 million from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, with Democrats collecting 57 percent of that.
Can you say, "Deal Maker?"

We see the purpose as providing 'accessible' housing. Isn't that similar to the mantra of 'accessible' healthcare.

Can you see the writing on the wall?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I Understand....9/29

Yep, my attention has been diverted as well--the election looms in two months! Bet the decision on our case comes out within the week (after the election results.) Any takers?

But, let's go back to the election. It became a horse race in the middle of the Republican Convention...and with such a weak start, I was beginning to feel that it was all over.

Senator McCain took some advice, and brought in a ringer. She has to be. This was a conservative's wet dream: A working MOM, a member of the NRA, Pro-Life, happily married, active, a governor, and bucks the 'good ole boy' authority in the Republican party. And she can stand up before a record number of people and deliver a punchline. And a punch.


Maybe there are some fleas, but the Democrats are panicking. There are more PIs going through Sarah Palins life (and trash) than the number of times that Obama can say 'uh' in a speech. Their version of recycling is to hand the garbage to the next investigator in line.

And the more that the Democrats poke at non-issues, the more popular and the more of the sympathy vote the Republicans get. Kind of like the blog. When Essent was pursuing hot and heavy, they stirred up national attention. Now, the blog is barely hitting a thousand-fifteen hundred hits a week. (The record is about that in a day!)

But why bring the election up? Just trying to play on the Palin effect? Maybe, but Duc-boy's 'practice Scotish spending' reminds me of the Obama plea to fill your tires to solve the energy crisis. Far too little, Far too late