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Harry Reid's Vivid Imagination

Michael Laprarie was on this first. See below.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's comments about American business during the health care debate could fill a thesaurus of inanity. Just last week, while the Majority Leader was appearing as a witness before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Reid told this whopper:

As for insurance companies, "There isn't anything we could do to satisfy them in this health care bill. Nothing," Reid said. "They are so anti-competitive. Why? Because they make more money than any other business in America today... What a sweet deal they have."

It is uninformed, moronic demagoguery such as this that passes for debate in the world's greatest deliberative body. The dumbing down of the healthcare polemic has had many low points (according to its proponents it is "defecit neutral", it will lower business costs, and it will eliminate wasteful spending) that simply require the suspension of disbelief. In a refreshing moment of real fact checking, the AP's Calvin Woodward" laid the wood to Reid's brazen dishonesty about the profitability of U S healthcare insurers:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Quick quiz: What do these enterprises have in common? Farm and construction machinery, Tupperware, the railroads, Hershey sweets, Yum food brands and Yahoo? Answer: They're all more profitable than the health insurance industry.

In the health care debate, Democrats and their allies have gone after insurance companies as rapacious profiteers making "immoral" and "obscene" returns while "the bodies pile up."

Ledgers tell a different reality. Health insurance profit margins typically run about 6 percent, give or take a point or two. That's anemic compared with other forms of insurance and a broad array of industries, even some beleaguered ones.

The latest annual profit margins of a selection of products, services and industries: Tupperware Brands, 7.5 percent; Yahoo, 5.9 percent; Hershey, 6.1 percent; Clorox, 8.7 percent; Molson Coors Brewing, 8.1 percent; construction and farm machinery, 5 percent; Yum Brands (think KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell), 8.5 percent.

If the Senate leaders attempting to ram ObamaCare through the Congress are telling easily disproved lies such as this one must wonder about the real whoppers yet to be unearthed in the still unreleased released bill?

Update: You can't make this stuff up. Jim Hoft notes that Congressional raises topped insurance industry profit increases last year.


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Comments (32)

About ninety per cent of th... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

About ninety per cent of the time after Harry Reid says anything, I always hear kazoo music followed by a rim shot.
As with the above statement, he seems to utter some of the most absurd statements concerning the economy and governance. The mind is quickly shunted to digesting his remarks as very poor comedy.
He is a pitiful creature who projects absolutely no leadership presence or common sense.
It will be nice when he heads out to pasture next year.

The truth about Health Care... (Below threshold)

The truth about Health Care in America is that it is very good and most, the majority of people who shop carefully for Insurance get it at a good price and are happy. So to change the whole system the dems have to tell one lie after another to fool people into believing we should throw the whole system out and start over.

If individuals could take a tax deduction in the amount of their health care policy or some portion of it and others could get subsidized, how simple would that be. People with pre-existing conditions could get a bigger tax credit or subsidy, it would solve alot of problems. First it would encourage people to buy their own insurance, so moving jobs is a non-issue. Buy across state borders, and tort reform would help tons. Let's do the easy things and see how it works. Then we can stop lying.

No, you can make this stuff... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

No, you can make this stuff up - by using misleading statistics and reporting percentages, not dollars.

And I guess if you repeat a lie often enough someone might believe it.

From the comment thread at the link above:

UnitedHealth's netearnings in 2007?


UnitedHealth's return on shareholder's equity in 2007?


UnitedHealth's gross revenues in 2007?

$75 Billion.

Yes, when you have annual revenues of $75 Billion the margin is smaller - that's true of many of the giant corporations.

But $4.5 Billion is a huge profit nonetheless.

And using the profit margin percentage and not reporting the profit in dollars is how the insurance company shills are playing you for suckers.

And BILLIONS for this health insurer and BILLIONS for that health insurer equals BILLIONS AND BILLIONS and BILLIONS of dollars in profits.

Billions upon billions - that's a huge profit.

Compare the profits in dollar terms instead of percentages, and then tell me that $4.5 BILLION in profit for 2007 isn't obscene.


So it's far better to give ... (Below threshold)

So it's far better to give billions upon billions to the government, to provide a crappy level of care for all, right?

Whatever - but if you want ... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

Whatever - but if you want to talk profits - talk dollars, not profit margins.

One health insurance company - one year - $4.5 BILLION in profits.

"It is uninformed, moronic demagoguery such as this that passes for debate in the world's greatest deliberative body. The dumbing down of the healthcare polemic has had many low points..."

To which, thanks to HughS, you can now add discussing profits without mentioning the dollar amounts!

Uninformed demagoguery indeed.


Victory is Ours wrote:... (Below threshold)

Victory is Ours wrote:

And I guess if you repeat a lie often enough someone might believe it.

Does the concept of "projection" mean anything to this person?

Perhaps he has a perception problem, since he links to a thread in which his claims have been completely discredited--not the type of thing a smart person would call attention to.

VicIf you were reall... (Below threshold)

If you were really concerned about obscene profits (which you are not) you would be attacking the Wall Street investment firms and hedge funds that contributed record amounts to Obama, during a recession. (All the while recording what in your definition were obscene profits.)

Nope, your just another demagogue. Help yourself to some more rope....

"No, you can make this stuf... (Below threshold)

"No, you can make this stuff up - by using misleading statistics and reporting percentages, not dollars."

VIC you are so full of crap it's pathetic. If all comparisons are based on the same formula, it's apples and apples.

So take your freaking bullshit and park it over at Daily Kos.

Apples to apples? Cherry pi... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

Apples to apples? Cherry pick your parameters and you can make statistics say whatever you want.

Compare dollars to dollars, since nobody spends "percentages" - and you'll find that $4.5Billion in profits for one year alone - and that's obscene.

Feel free to compare dollars to dollars. Let's pick a company with a similar percentage profit - how about Hershey's at 6.1%

They both earned about 6% profit in 2007.

Hershey's 6% Profit in 2007 - $559 Million

UnitedHealth's 6% profit in 2007 - $4.5 Billion

UnitedHealth's profits were almost 800% higher than Hershey's -- but their profit margins were the same.

And you say you're comparing apples to apples?

Demagoguery indeed.


Whatever - but if you wa... (Below threshold)

Whatever - but if you want to talk profits - talk dollars, not profit margins.

No. You don't get to set the debate that way, Vic.

If you're concerned about money, talk about the trillions that it's forecast this malignant mess that Obama's trying to shit out is going to cost us in 10 years. Care to explain why WE are having to pay for that, as well as 'subsidies' to folks making under a certain amount per year - which ALSO has to be figured into the cost because (and I realize this is completely and utterly news to you...) FREE MONEY FROM THE GOVERNMENT COMES FROM THE TAXPAYER.

In fact - ANY service coming from the government is going to be paid for by money taken from the taxpayer.

Now, maybe you don't see anything wrong with that. Maybe you see taxpayers as inexhaustable cows to be milked, chickens that lay the golden egg on an annual basis - maybe you see people with jobs as serfs who must be properly subjugated so the lords in the high castle (as in Washington) can have goodies to pass out to the unemployed peasants to buy their allegiance against the employed serfs.

That's not a long-term workable model, Vic - and you know it.

And let's talk about the success record of this administration so far, Vic - you've got Cash4Clunkers, which was an administrative nightmare and hasn't been finished up yet. You've got the wonders of the Stimulus Package that Obama shoved through - that created 30k jobs at a cost of $878 billion. Heck of a deal, man! There was the H1N1 flu shot... that's NOW a national emergency. There isn't ANYTHING this Administration's turned its hand to that has NOT been either a disaster, or not gone anywhere near as well as forecast.

And YOU want to eagerly hand over health care to those fools inside the beltway? And YOU actually expect a pleasing result from it?

There's no workable plan coming out for health care reform that ISN'T going to increase the deficit, Vic. We're $13 trillion in the hole now - how much more do you want the US to go into debt?

Belief is a fine thing, Vic - but you're well into the blind worship stage, ignoring reality for the promises poured into your shell-like ear.

"No. You don't get to se... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

"No. You don't get to set the debate that way, Vic. "

Don't talk about dollars when talking about profits?

It's the whole point of the article above. Comparing profits.

I showed that HealthUnited's 6 percent profit is 800 times more than Hershey's 6% profit.

Demonstrating the pure demagoguery of using profit margins to compare profits.

$4.5 Billion in profits in one year is obscene.

One company - one year - $4.5 Billion.


"Compare dollars to dollars... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

"Compare dollars to dollars, since nobody spends "percentages".

WOW!....and being stupid in some instances can be obscene.

It's funny, I thought that ... (Below threshold)

It's funny, I thought that the oil companies had the highest profit margins, or was it Haliburton or the drug companies? It is so hard to keep up with the evil profit maker of the week.

And vic you can't seriosly be a stupid as you pretend, can you? UH profits are 8 times higher than Hersheys because they laid out eight times as much money as Hersheys. It is really quite simple. And I know that in your world Billion is a very big and scary number, unless Barrack Obama is using it to describe how many billions he flushed down the tiolet, but in the world of business if a company spends billions of dollars they do it with the expectation of getting billions back plus a little extra. Why the extra, because it is a Business. And profit margin is they of measuring the efficacy of a business.
Hope I helped.

Vic...$4.5 Bil... (Below threshold)

Vic...$4.5 Billion in profits in one year is obscene.

One company - one year - $4.5 Billion.

Vic , one of Obama's biggest benefactors, Goldman Sachs, just reported quarterly profits, in the middle of a recession:

Goldman Sachs (GS) reported its 2Q09 results this morning. Net income for the quarter at $2.7 billion, or $4.93 per share, (up from $2.05 billion, or $4.58 per share, during 2Q08), was way ahead of consensus estimates of $3.49 per share.

vic - "Hershey's 6% Pro... (Below threshold)

vic - "Hershey's 6% Profit in 2007 - $559 Million... UnitedHealth's 6% profit in 2007 - $4.5 Billion

You're whining about apples to apples, or apples to oranges and you pull that out. Geesh, why don't you compare them to the Mom & Pop store around the corner while you're demonizing?

Excuse me but, is that a necklace your wearing or a scar from your sphincter muscle?

vic - ""Compare dollars... (Below threshold)

vic - ""Compare dollars to dollars, since nobody spends "percentages".

Tell that to the IRS, they GRAB a percentage don't they? A percentage YOU SPEND.

Compare the profits in d... (Below threshold)
George Hanshaw:

Compare the profits in dollar terms instead of percentages, and then tell me that $4.5 BILLION in profit for 2007 isn't obscene.

Obscene? Obscene?? OBSCENE????

The Obama administration put together an $800 billion 'stimulus' package that was used to fund every half-assed liberal cause out there without even providing any real stimulus - and they did it with borrowed money. Even if inflation DOESN'T go through the roof and we end up paying 15% to get people to buy thirty year treasuries (happened with Carter) We will still be paying at least 4%. That means OUR GRANDCHILDREN will be paying $32 billion a year until that money is paid back which will be.... let me guess... Friggin FOREVER!

You want to talk about obscene and immoral? The dems are enslaving generations of American kids who haven't even been born yet - commiting them to trillion dollar deficits in perpetuity - each one of which will cost another $40 billion more EACH YEAR to finance.

This can't go on. If my grandkids revolted and took up arms against this country I wouldn't blame them. Hell, the oldest is only eleven - he won't be able to vote for seven more years. During that time the Obama budgets will commit him and his generation to over a third of a trillion dollars annually in debt payments.

Whatever happened to taxation without representation?

vic - "Apples to apples... (Below threshold)

vic - "Apples to apples? Cherry pick your parameters and you can make statistics say whatever you want."

Sure can, and you did a mighty "fine" job of it by comparing a candy co to a co in health care industry.

"Compare dollars to dollars, since nobody spends "percentages"

Again, BS, the IRS forces you to spend a percentage, and so do most states with a sales tax, etc, etc.

Simply, you're flailing around for anything to justify demonizing the health care industry.

There's no friggin way to rightfully compare two companies with wildly different business models and two wildly different end products.

But go ahead, that sphincter scar around your neck is becoming more pronounced with each post.

It is so hard to keep up... (Below threshold)

It is so hard to keep up with the evil profit maker of the week.

So true, STaylor - but that's by design. Next week it'll be something else, and once again Vic will be eagerly spraying his 'wisdom' over the boards.

And he'll receive the same sort of warm reception, and not understand why he's not considered believeable!

Big numbers clearly confuse... (Below threshold)

Big numbers clearly confuse Victory is Ours. Since he loves 2007 so much, let's look at profit to asset ratios for 2007.

Unitedhealth was a little over 8%, a bit lower than DuPont at 10%. Dell, Lowe's, and Intel were at 11%. 3M was at 18%. Coca Cola was at 16% and PepsiCo was at 18%.


Jeez, they're not going to nationalize Coke and Pepsi, are they?

The clueless of vic is rema... (Below threshold)

The clueless of vic is remarkable.
Wait till the oil companies do there quarterly report he'll shit a brick.

Whatever - but if ... (Below threshold)
Whatever - but if you want to talk profits - talk dollars, not profit margins.

This is poor old vio's way of saying he's just to dumb to truly understand the concepts but feels that he must spew all over the screen anyway.

A hint - I own my own business. I pay very close attention to the percentages. My business is having a record year and my profits are even higher - because I focus on the margins. That's where I make my money. That and the percentage known as market share.

vio sounds like a college kid majoring in mary-jane and "journalism".

This whole health-scare pla... (Below threshold)

This whole health-scare plan is such a crock. I just wish someone would explain to me how it is a crisis for only 86% (260M/300M) of Americans to be covered by health insurance plans.

The other 8% have access to medical care and the other 8% have access to medical care, but a major medical problem could ruin their credit for 10 years (where the agencies are required to remove anything from your record) forcing them to use cash instead of credit.

If we set the bar at 86% of Americans having access to a necessary service, I'm betting there are a heck of a lot more crises out there. Otherwise, why in the heck are we talking a massively expensive entitlement bill during a massively huge recession?

Oops. Typo in my last comme... (Below threshold)

Oops. Typo in my last comment. I meant 14%, not 8%. With there was an edit button on this thing.

pvd - "vio sounds like ... (Below threshold)

pvd - "vio sounds like a college kid majoring in mary-jane and "journalism".

In that case vic shouild be happy as pig in shit.

"Mary Jane" has the very real possibility of falling under obama's health care plan, such as it is.

As an aside, and because th... (Below threshold)

As an aside, and because the overall topic is dingy harry's delusions, pelosi is obviously on the same drug as dingy harry.

In an interview with MSNBC's Keith Olberman last night, Nancy Pelosi announced that she would move to bring a vote to the floor of The House of Representatives as early as next week to ban Fox from covering Congress. "That Fox regularly grants access to Republican Congressman to spread their lies and propaganda on their airwaves is a violation of the public trust, and their continued desire to challenge such well documented facts as Global Warming, and the efficacy of single payer health insurance, proves that they are simply doing the work of the special interests. They should thus be stripped of their journalistic access in the halls of Congress," argued Pelosi.
This over-botoxed bitch is nuttier than a dozen squirrel winter hide-outs.

Their both on botox and for... (Below threshold)

Their both on botox and formaldahyde to keep up appearances.

Its not working.

SCARY HARRY REID he a bigge... (Below threshold)

SCARY HARRY REID he a bigger liar then barror muchhasen and barron munchauasen is more honest

I was reading a blog once w... (Below threshold)

I was reading a blog once where the resident liberal troll put forth the proposition that what Israel needed to protect itself from the daily Hamas missile barrage from Gaza was to construct a mile high dirt berm between Israel and Gaza.

A mile high dirt berm.

Was that you, Vic?

re: 1Eneils, I just ... (Below threshold)

re: 1
Eneils, I just drove by Searchlight, and there aren't any pastures there yet, unless you think an abandoned mine and mesquite make great pastures.

epador re: 30Yeah, n... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

epador re: 30
Yeah, not been to his hometown, not been to Nevada but a couple of times. Used to spend lots of time in San Francisco. I would take I-80 east up through Truckee, Donner Pass, Reno, over to my favorite named town in the USA, Winnemucca.

Anyway, as far as Reid goes, just ridding him of his Guvment job will be sufficient. Hey that's a good idea, just make him hang out in an old mine. What did they mine near Searchlight, silver?

Harry Reid telling all abou... (Below threshold)

Harry Reid telling all about the big one that got away






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