NVE, HMO, D O DO I
by Vice President Knight Allen
Originally published on August 14, 2014 - reprinted with permission
Let's start with a follow up regarding NV Energy's (NVE) proposed rate increase. The headline
read "No shock: Electricity rates soar" "PUC report: Customer bill that was $67 in 1985 now
costs $161."That's an increase of 140%. When I stepped back and thought about
it that didn't
seem so terrible to me.
Three decades 140%? When you consider the insane growth we experienced here in Clark County
and the amount of capital Nevada Power had to invest to keep up with it the 140% comes close
to being a loaves and fishes miracle. Now before you get all upset with me, I'm not in love
with NVE. I never owned a share of the company's stock when it was NVP or when it became NVE
before the Buffett buyout. Also, I own no shares of any public utility so I've got no self
interest in praising NVE. Assuming the PUC's numbers are accurate the company did one heck
of a job. Just to get a little perspective I dove into my files and found the average wage
in Clark County in 1985 and compared it to now: $18,000 to $44,142 equals 145%.
Are you a Medicare Advantage (MA) member? Do you like it? I am and I do. I've had two major
incidents both requiring hospitalization and rehab and in both cases I have been very satisfied
with the care I received. I have this very uncomfortable feeling MA has a bull's-eye
on it. Back
in February the Wall Street Journal reported the Health & Human Services (HHS) Department has
"warned the insurance industry . . . . . to expect a cut (to MA) of roughly 6% to 7%. That's
a real decline in funding, not a slower growth rate and much steeper than anticipated." The
same report said the number of MA plans has shrunk from 48 in 2009 to 20 now.
On the other hand, all the articles I've seen telling me not to worry, that MA is fine are
coming from inside of government and I admit that I can no longer accept those assurances.
At some point in time the talking points coming from both sides go by the wayside and you
get to the bottom line. United Healthcare, which runs the Senior Dimensions MA plan here
in Clark County, reported a 2 percent drop in second-quarter earnings primarily due to the
Affordable Care Acts' MA funding reduction. Two percent isn't much but it's really just
I ran across a report about the Declaration of Independence. It pointed out the Declaration
is really two documents. One declaring the natural rights of man, "We hold these truths to
be self evident---"and the other a statement to the nations of the world documenting twenty
eight actions by the King & Parliament justifying why " . . . these United Colonies are and
of Right ought to be Free & Independent States . . ."
Here's where it gets very interesting. Over one half of the 193 member countries of the
United Nations actually have a Declaration of Independence. Every one of them, like ours,
documents the reasons why they should be recognized as new nations. But . . . are you ready
for this? Only a couple declares commitment to the natural rights of man. In other words the
people had no rights under the old regime and they still have no rights under the new one.
Authoritarians, dictators and tyrants in all forms, including benevolent, and in every age
can't stand "We hold these truths . . ." and that seems to include more than a few sitting
in Washington DC right now.
Contact Director Knight Allen
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