DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING "Cost of Freedom Recap" CONTAINS STRONG OPINIONS WHICH ARE NOT A REFLECTION OF THE OPINIONS OF FOX NEWS AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS INVESTMENT ADVICE WHEN MAKING PERSONAL INVESTMENT DECISIONS. IT IS FOX NEWS' POLICY THAT CONTRIBUTORS DISCLOSE POSITIONS THEY HOLD IN STOCKS THEY DISCUSS, THOUGH POSITIONS MAY CHANGE. READERS OF "Cost of Freedom Recap" MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN INVESTMENT DECISIONS.
New Worries Medical Costs Will Soar After Health Care Law Ruling
MIKE OZANIAN: Insurance premiums are going to skyrocket. Jonathan Gruger the MIT economist and a big advocate of ObamaCare who the big pushes of the plan were pointing to back in 2009, has gone from saying that insurance premiums bought in the individual market, that is non-group programs, would go from declining 13 percent to 30 percent. Two years ago to now in states like Minnesota, Colorado, Wisconsin, are actually going to increase 19 to 30 percent more than they would have, had ObamaCare not been law.
RICK UNGAR: Guys, I hate to shoot this down, but I'm going to tell you where you got that information. You got that from an email that was sent to the daily caller and was reprinted by our colleague at Forbes, and guess what, if you read the Washington Post, which I will gladly make available to you and the viewers, he set the record straight. He never said that that's what was going to happen. It was completely out of context, and to this day, I spoke to him yesterday, this is not what he believes, he does not believe it is going to force premiums up. That said, look, we all know that insurance premiums will go up. The question is will the ACA play a role in keeping them lower than they would have been without the law. What we never focus enough on are the provisions of this law that are designed to bring down the costs of health care. Inspiring ACO formation, keeping hospitals from having outrageous recidivism rates, which we've been seeing over the past many years. All of these things bring down the cost. If these ideas work-and we won't know until we know-then you're going to have it reflected in your health control over premiums.
ELIZABETH MACDONALD: And Mike Ozanian is right. The Congressional Budget office has already said that premiums will go up, because when you have 30 or 50 million people back in the system who are uninsured, naturally they'll go up, but you're also covering pre-existing conditions, retiree health insurance costs, covering drug costs. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, who voted for ObamaCare, but John Roberts also said that significantly higher health insurance premiums are what's in store.
MORGAN BRENNAN: I think that brings up a really good point here, and that's the fact that we can argue about premiums if ObamaCare were in place or were not in place, but the truth of the matter is that premiums will rise, but they will not rise as dramatically as they would have if the mandate was struck down. That's the pint that needs to be made here, and I'll give you some examples. We've seen similar things happen in states over the past few years-Washington State in 1993 had a very similar form in place. They struck the mandate but had mandatory coverage for everyone. We saw those premiums rise, we saw individual coverage disappear in 1999. On the flipside, Massachusetts has kept the mandate and premiums have not risen nearly as much. (E-Mac arguing) It depends which report you look at and compared to the state, they've actually gone way down compared to every other state.
JOHN TAMNY: I don't need an email everyday from the daily caller to tell me what's obvious. The affordable care act, as they call it, says that you can't refuse individuals based on pre-existing conditions. Even more than that, if you refuse to pay the tax that is going to be imposed, you can always later in the game get an insurance policy. By definition, if we're doing this, we're going to raise the risk for insurance companies, which means that insurance premiums are going to go up. This isn't debatable, this is just basic economics and to deny it is just dishonest.
BILL BALDWIN: What's going to happen is that initially only the older and sicker people will buy and prices will go up. There's one big reason for this. One of the reasons is that ARP, the Association of Retired People, got a revision in there that basically says that by law, young people basically have to be overcharged, so that the old people can get a better deal. So what's going to happen is the young people will drop out. They will pay the mandate tax-they'll pay the penalty! We will have a death spiral.
PRESIDENT OBAMA'S CAMPAIGN HAS NEW AD ACCUSING ROMNEY OF OUTSOURCING JOBS WHEN HE WAS AT BAIN. BUT HAS OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ALSO INVESTED IN COMPANIES OUTSOURCING JOBS?
ELIZABETH MACDONALD: Well General Motors has outsourced jobs, General Motors got a lot of bailout money under this White House. Also the green energy companies that got a lot of taxpayer money, they have outsourced jobs overseas. Also the banks that have continue to get bailout money the bailouts that started under George W. and have continued under President Obama, they have been outsourcing jobs too, creating jobs overseas as have Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
RICK UNGAR: The big difference is that President Obama does not sit on the board of directors of General Motors, while Mitt Romney was sitting on the board of directors at companies that were outsourcing jobs. The difference is that General Motors saved an entire industry because of the President's help, while Mitt Romney shut down factories all over the country, because he sent those jobs outside the country. That's the critical difference.
VICTORIA BARRET: It's your tax dollars and you were also told by these politicians and especially in Obama's case and in the case of the green industry that we were creating jobs and yet we were giving taxpayer dollars to companies and they were creating jobs but not in the United States. There is nothing wrong with that on the surface, except that it is taxpayer dollars. They are both pioneers, they are both doing capital allocation and there is nothing wrong with it.
MORGAN BRENNAN: If you look at green jobs stimulus money the first 2 billion went to companies. 80 percent of companies that received that money were actually companies from other countries. There was an Australian company that built a wind farm in Texas, brought in Japanese made wind turbines, so we have seen a lot of that over the past couple of years. I think it is hypocritical but I do think there is a bigger issue here. That's the fact that companies in general are outsourcing because it's less expensive to do that. In a global economy, they need to have that international presence. I think that's the issue that needs to be addressed rather than who is outsourcing what.
MIKE OZANIAN: During Mitt Romney's stay at Bain Capital, Bain created far more jobs than it lost in the companies that they had invested in. Sometimes it's necessary to outsource jobs at a company that is not doing well in order to raise profits so you can actually hire more people otherwise the company goes under completely. What President Obama has done is funnel tax payer money, taking money out of the private sector and pumped it into companies like Solyndra, that go bankrupt. Or companies like General Motors that are still running at a big loss in the taxpayer investment. That's one of the reasons the economy has averaged job creating of 188,000 per month from two years ago when Joe Biden was promising us it would be 250,000 to 500,000 a month.
BILL BALDWIN: I think there is no hypocrisy if everybody does it. Right now under Obama, the US government is either investing in, or subsidizing or bailing out every corporation in North America. Every corporation in North America is one way or another, is outsourcing. That's how the world economy works. So maybe there is no hypocrisy.
Do we need a mileage tax to help repair our roads and bridges?
MORGAN BRENNAN: I think we should be looking into this. First off the technology and even rolling out a program like this is years away which is why we should be looking at it now. Here's the thing, the federal government subsidizes the majority of highway infrastructure projects which most reports will tell you that our highway infrastructure is in dismal state of repair across the country right now. The program that the federal government uses to subsidize this is experiencing a deficit. About $10 billion, the CBO estimates it will experience in a shortfall this year in solvency as soon as next year. We should be looking at all options and ways to raise revenue to be able to repair our ways.
VICTORIA BARRET: I think in general you end up taxing commuters and you end up taxing goods from flowing around the country. These are things you don't want to tax. These are things you want to allow to have freely without a tax, so it's negative in that sense. I hate to be so cynical but I don't trust our government with more money. I don't think this money would effectively fix our problem with, you're right; there are a lot of potholes in our highways. In this political climate, I think the money is going to be siphoned off and put to really inefficient uses.
RICK UNGAR: I see the potential problems, but we should remember that everybody on the east coast uses E-Z passes which is a device that is put in your car that could probably tell where you are going. The reality is, our infrastructure is crumbling, come up with better ideas, that's ok but what congress did here, they voted to stop the administration from looking into this program, how silly is that? Yes we see the downside, yes we see the potential problems, but we got to find solutions. You don't just say ‘you can't do this' and not come up with something better.
ELIZABETH MACDONALD: The fix here is, have the government mandate so that everyone has to buy an electric car and then you can slap a mileage tax on everybody, and then you can fix those potholes. I'm joking, the issue is, the states get to oversee the spending and they can use it for other things.
JOHN TAMNY: I'm not good with this at all. For one, E-Z pass is something that we choose to do voluntarily. Two, I don't what the government knowing how many miles I'm traveling, I don't like to prove my income, I don't like to prove what I drive. I think the better answer is to privatize the roads. To basically sell the access to roads to private business who will then charge us for use so that the people that use it can pay for it.
INFORMER: STOCKS READY TO SOAR IN SECOND HALF OF YEAR
ELIZABETH MACDONALD: Rayonier (RYN)
52 WEEK HIGH: $47.56
52 WEEK LOW: $34.68
BILL BALDWIN: Lexmark (LXK)
52 WEEK HIGH: $38.34
52 WEEK LOW: $24.50
MORGAN BRENNAN: Vodaphone (VOD)
52-WEEK HIGH: $29.28
52-WEEK LOW: $24.31