Trump, The MSM, Self Destroying

Why Oh Why? 

It seems to us that the President is in a spiral downward. The constant drumbeat of negativity from the MSM continues unrelenting and the President’s personality flaws are providing constant feeder.
Now, on top of his directing Donald Jr’s misleading statement, comes additional fodder. Today the media is reporting he was involved with an unsubstantiated story to run on FoxNews.
It seems everyday the President gives the opposition something to report and talk about. Why? Think about it. Not because he and his team colluded with the Russians which was the story, but because his ego couldn’t take being attacked and he had to act. Why oh why didn’t he just let the story he did something wrong unfold and prove him innocent? He couldn’t, and still can’t, because an attack drives him crazy.
He is destroying his presidency and falling right into the MSM trap.

Some issue updates:

ACA:
Watch this closely now. Some insurance companies are raising rates for the ACA (Obamacare) by 30%.  This is no surprise as we’ve told you the bills are coming due. But watch this:
Is the administration adept enough to manage this and remind people the Democrats promised a $2,500 per family cut and let blame fall there?
Or, will the Pelosi’s and Schumer’s manage this to blame Trump and team for sabotaging the ACA?
EDITORS NOTE: At the bottom of the ratings we have copies a WSJ story on the rate increases to illustrate the increases announced and expected.

SODA TAX:
Remember when we told you this tax would spread. Well, add Chicago. If you buy a beverage there today you have a penny an ounce tax added. So buy a 2 Liter bottle for 99 cents, add .05 cents deposit charge and .67 cents tax. New price $1.71.
They expect to add $200.6 million in revenue. Wanna bet? We predict declining sales and lost jobs in the city.

TRANSGENDERS IN THE MILITARY:

So one day the president tweets a change in policy. It appeared his defense department and military leaders were caught by surprise. Since then nothing except some back tracking by military leaders that they were not planning on any actions. What happened here? Did the president simply talk to someone or hear something and tweet out a major policy change that no one approved? It certainly appears that the policy tweet is going to be reversed. This may yet up a big issue and reflect additional light on how the president acts impulsively.

Venezuela:

The left touted Venezuela’s socialist government and plans (as they did Cuba). Where are they now with the turmoil in that country. Isn’t it funny the MSM is not talking about it at all.

THE RATINGS:

Lots to report today as the sands continue to switch. Below are the ratings for Saturday, Sunday and Monday (FoxNews wins Saturday and Sunday overall viewership easily Monday was close as they edge MSNBC).
Then we included the week of July 24 morning shows and evening news (ABC wins both)
Finally we have the monthly cable viewer reports. (Fox wins the month)

Total Viewers (Live +SD) SATURDAY

  • Total day: FNC: 1.223 | CNN: 718 |  MSNBC: 650 | HLN: 264
  • Prime time: FNC: 1.676 | CNN: 660 | MSNBC: 641 | HLN: 269
4p: 5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p:
FNC NwsHQ:
933
NewsHQ:
965
NewsHQ:
1.068
Report:
1.148
Watters:
1.673
Pirro:
1.929
Gutfeld:
1.425
Watters:
1.050
CNN Nwsrm:
691
Nwsrm:
734
Smerc:
771
Nwsrm:
802
Nwsrm:
758
Declassified:
670
90s:
550
90s:
508
MSNBC News:
756
News:
651
AMJoy:
618
Hayes:
596
O’Donnell:
782
Williams:
798
Lockup:
343
Lockup:
326
HLN Files:
234
Files:
294
Files:
289
Files:
240
Files:
236
Files:
263
Files:
309
Files:
338

Total Viewers (Live +SD) SUNDAY

  • Total day: FNC: 1.038 | CNN: 762 | MSNBC: 589 | HLN: 327
  • Primetime: FNC: 1.160 | CNN: 851 | MSNBC: 553 | HLN: 467
  4p: 5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p:
FNC NewsHQ:
714
Gutfeld:
797
NewsHQ:
876
Report:
1.163
Watters:
1.273
Hilton:
1.120
FNSunday:
1.086
Watters:
874
CNN Nwsrm:
743
Nwsrm:
735
Nwsrm:
690
90s:
589
90s:
644
90s:
950
Comedy:
960
90s:
506
MSNBC News:
609
News:
761
News:
700
MTP:
769
EngelSpcl:
718
DtelineXtra:
598
Lockup:
343
Lockup:
353
HLN Hunt:
285
Hunt:
313
Hunt:
310
Hunt:
353
Hunt:
461
Hunt:
457
Hunt:
483
Hunt:
524

Total Viewers (Live +SD)  MONDAY

  • Total day: FNC: 1.785 | CNN: 927 | MSNBC: 1.399 | HLN: 210
  • Primetime: FNC: 2.730 | CNN: 1.363 | MSNBC: 2.587 | HLN: 247
4p: 5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p:
FNC Cavuto:
2.048
Specialists:
2.085
Baier:
2.436
MacCallum:
2.234
Carlson:
2.860
Five:
2.617
Hannity:
2.713
Carlson:
1.454
CNN Tapper:
1.493
Blitzer:
1.294
Blitzer:
1.133
Burnett:
1.242
Cooper:
1.357
Cooper:
1.363
Tapper:
1.368
Cooper:
944
MSNBC Wallace:
1.477
MTPDaily:
1.429
Melber:
1.312
Matthews:
1.989
Hayes:
2.220
Maddow:
2.916
O’Donnell:
2.611
Williams:
1.842
HLN Files:
145
Files:
153
Files:
138
Files:
200
Banfield:
245
Hunt:
203
Files:
293
Files:
306
Morning and Evening News for July 24:

The averages for the week of July 24, 2017: MORNING NEWS

Total Viewers: ABC: 3.831 M  / NBC: 3.632 M  / CBS: 3.221 M

Numbers for the week of July 24, 2017:   EVENING NEWS

ABC NBC CBS
• Total Viewers: 7,553,000 7,212,000 5,574,00
Overall Cable for week of July 24th:

Fox News was the most-watched cable network in total day for the 30th consecutive week. Additionally, they won prime time in total viewers for 10 straight weeks, Monday through Sunday. The top five cable channels by day part:

Basic Cable Top 5 – Prime Time (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (2,102,000)
  2. MSNBC (1,871,000)
  3. HGTV (1,467,000)
  4. USA (1,445,000)
  5. Discovery (1,404,000)

Basic Cable Top 5 – Total Day (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (1,306,000)
  2. Nickelodeon (1,149,000)
  3. MSNBC (1,012,000)
  4. HGTV (821,000)
  5. CNN (760,000)
Month of July — Ratings:

Fox News ranked No. 1 across cable in total day viewers for the 13th straight month. Additionally, FNC was No. 1 in the month of July in total prime time viewers, and has now defeated rivals CNN and MSNBC in total prime time viewers for 187 straight months.
Rachel Maddow was the number one show. Fox News did have the No. 2 (Tucker Carlson), No. 3 (Hannity) and No. 4 (The Five) shows in total prime time viewers this past month.
Here’s the top 15 shows. Note 10 are FoxNews. 5 are MSNBC. 0 are CNN.

MSNB:    RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
FOX:        TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT
FOX:       HANNITY
FOX:       The FIVE
MSNB:    LAST WORD
FOX:        SPECIAL RPT W/BRET BAIER
FOX:        The STORY With Martha MacCallum
MSNB:     ALL IN W/ CHRIS HAYES
FOX:         SPECIALISTS
FOX:         AMERICAS NEWSROOM
MSNB:      11TH HOUR
MSNB:      HARDBALL WITH C. MATTHEWS
FOX:        OUTNUMBERED
FOX:         FOX AND FRIENDS
FOX:        YOUR WORLD W/NEIL CAVUTO

WSJ Article:

Some Insurers Seek ACA Premium Increases of 30% and Higher

Major health insurers in some states are seeking increases as high as 30% or more for premiums on 2018 Affordable Care Act plans, according to new federal data that provide the broadest view so far of the turmoil across exchanges as companies try to anticipate Trump administration policies.

Big insurers in Idaho, West Virginia, South Carolina, Iowa and Wyoming are seeking to raise premiums by averages close to 30% or more, according to preliminary rate requests published Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Major marketplace players in New Mexico, Tennessee, North Dakota and Hawaii indicated they were looking for average increases of 20% or more.

In other cases, insurers are looking for more limited premium increases for the suites of products they offer in individual states, reflecting the variety of situations in different markets. Health Care Service Corp., a huge exchange player in five states, filed for average increases including 8.3% in Oklahoma, 23.6% in Texas, and 16% in Illinois.

Together the filings show the uncertainty in the health-insurance marketplaces as insurers around the U.S. try to make decisions about rates and participation for next year amid open questions about changes that could come from the Trump administration and Congress.

Insurers face a mid-August deadline for completing their rates. The companies have until late September to sign federal agreements to offer plans in 2018. In some cases, insurers warn, the figures revealed by federal regulators may not reflect their up-to-date thinking.

The insurers’ decisions will be closely dependent on moves by the Trump administration and Congress. Most important is whether the federal government continues making payments that reduce health-care costs for low-income exchange enrollees, which insurers say are vital and President Donald Trump has threatened to halt.

Insurers are also concerned about whether the Trump administration will enforce the requirement for most people to have insurance coverage, which industry officials say helps hold down rates by prodding young, healthy people to sign up for plans.

In Montana, Health Care Service linked 17 percentage points of its 23% rate increase request to concerns about the cost-sharing payments and enforcement of the mandate that requires everyone to purchase insurance. Kurt Kossen, a senior vice president at Health Care Service, said the company’s rate requests are driven by causes including growing health costs and “uncertainty and the associated risks that exist within this marketplace, including uncertainty around issues like the continued funding of [cost-sharing payments] and mechanisms that encourage broad and continuous coverage.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.), who chairs the Senate committee that oversees health policy, said Tuesday that he had told Mr. Trump directly that the government should continue making the payments to insurance companies

The effect of the rate increases will be blunted for many exchange enrollees, because lower-income people receive federal subsidies that cover much of their premiums.

On the RiseAverage premium increases proposed by big insurers for Affordable Care Act plans inselect statesTHE WALL STREET JOURNALSource: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Anthem (N.H.)Anthem (Ky.)Highmark (Del.)BlueCross BlueShield (S.C.)Highmark (W. Va.)Blue Cross of Idaho (Idaho)Health Care Service Corp. (Texas)Health Care Service Corp. (Mont.)BlueCross BlueShield (Tenn.)Health Care Service Corp. (Ill.)Health Care Service Corp. (Okla.)0%5101520253035404550

But increases could be tough to stomach for those who aren’t eligible for the help, like Harland Stanley, 53, of Louisville, Ky. Mr. Stanley, who owns his own research business, pays about $400 a month for a plan from Anthem Inc., which is seeking an average increase of 34% in the state, though Mr. Stanley’s own premiums might rise by less or more than that.

“It’s going to hurt,” said Mr. Stanley, who said his monthly premium this year is about $120 more than he paid in 2016. “I worry about, what if it keeps going? When is this going to stop?”

Anthem, which is seeking rate average increases of 30% or more in states including Colorado, Kentucky, Nevada and Virginia, has said it would refile for bigger hikes and may pull back its exchange offerings more if uncertainty continues around issues including the cost-sharing payments.

Centene Corp.’s requests ranged from less than 1% in New Hampshire to 21% in Texas and 12.49% in Georgia. Those rate proposals generally assume the current rules surrounding ACA plans continue, the company said.

Within the marketplaces, “there is relative stability,” said Chief Executive Michael F. Neidorff. “The uncertainty is driven by these policies on the ACA.”

CareSource, a nonprofit insurer that offers exchange plans in four states, has prepared alternate rate filings for different scenarios, and one of its state regulators Monday asked it to refile with proposed rates that assume no cost-sharing payments.

“It’s challenging; you learn to be very fluid,” said Steve Ringel, president of the Ohio market for CareSource. According to actuarial firm Milliman Inc., at least seven states have made similar requests in the past week, while others had earlier asked for two versions of rate filings.

“Resolution of the [cost-sharing payments] is an urgent issue,” said Bill Wehrle, a vice president at Kaiser Permanente, which offers exchange plans in a number of states. “We’re coming up at a point that’s fairly soon, where the pricing decisions we make are set for all of next year.”

The impact of potentially losing the cost-sharing payments was also clear in the rates requested by Blue Cross of Idaho, which average 28%. That would probably be in the lower teens if the payments were guaranteed, said Dave Jeppesen, a senior vice president. “It’s a big swing,” he said. “There’s a lot of risk associated with the uncertainty in Congress right now, and we are pricing appropriately for that risk.”

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation analysis found insurers’ financial results on exchange plans improved in the first quarter of this year, a sign of potentially emerging stability in the business. That is reflected in a number of states where rate-increase requests are limited. The exchange in California said Tuesday that insurers there were seeking an overall average increase of 12.5%—but there would be an additional 12.4% boost layered onto middle-tier “silver” plans if the cost-sharing subsidies aren’t paid.

However, in a number of cases, insurers’ rate requests are well above 20% because of market factors not directly tied to the federal uncertainty. Anthem has warned that it may need to add 18% to 20% to its existing rate requests if the cost-sharing payments aren’t locked in, and it may pull back in more states beyond the five exchanges where it has disclosed plans to leave or sharply reduce its footprint. An Anthem spokeswoman declined to comment on the company’s rate filings.

In Iowa, Medica said its rate increase request was 43.5%, driven by the dynamics of the local market, including the departure of other insurers and the fact that Medica itself has been losing money because enrollees’ health costs ran higher than expected. “You have some element of catching up to what the claims experience is,” says Geoff Bartsh, a Medica vice president.

Medica’s requests in other states have been far lower, he said, a sign of increased steadiness in those markets. But, he said, if the cost-sharing payments go away, Medica estimates it will need to add around 13% to 19% to its rate requests.

 

 

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