First suggested in February at around 85 cents, ETRM closed at $1.55 yesterday after Cannacord Genuity raised its price target from $1.50 to $3.  (“Given the relative safety of the device, moderate weight loss, and lack of alternatives for obese patients, we believe the likelihood of a positive panel result is high.”)  Guru believes “there is a growing realization ‘the train is leaving the station’ — namely, that ETRM will get FDA approval.”   He sees it going to $5 or more if the panel does approve their device.  So hang in there — though only with  money you can truly afford to lose.


WheelTug signed Malaysia Airlines this week, its twelfth, adding 68 more planes to what is now a 641-plane order book.  Seven of the twelve are “flag carriers.”  Malaysia is a “five-star” airline — one of apparently just seven in the world.  (American, Delta, and United are “three star.”)  Also, like American, a member of the Oneworld Alliance.


I don’t know how could have been so unprepared for October 1 — maybe that’s what happens when government puts too much faith in private sector contractors — but clearly it’s not been done right.

That said — and assuming the worst of it doesn’t last more than another week or three — who cares?

The big picture is not an embarrassing first-month launch, but that for the next 50 years almost everyone you know will have better health care security — even the tens of millions with already good coverage at work — and that over time we will have

. . . a healthier citizenry

. . .  and a healthier economy

. . . and a less unequal society.

(That last because a good chunk of the improvements for the 99% are being paid for by investors with taxable income above $250,000.  Their new rates are still lower than when Ronald Reagan left office, but, yes, higher than the rates George W. Bush bestowed upon them.  This dings billionaires but lifts the working poor and middle class — and that makes things a little less spectacularly unequal.)

Here’s one site that seems to be working:  Check it out, including the info on your state, at the bottom.


I think we can all agree Obamacare is not perfect — many of us, presumably including the President himself, believe we should have a single-payer system like all the world’s other industrialized countries.  But as  opportunities for improvement are identified, we may, with time, find the political will to seize them.  If not 100%, at least part way.  

For example: What a glorious day it will be if the government is ever allowed to negotiate with the drug companies over prices.  It won’t happen this year; but in two or three?

For another example: For any health insurance system to succeed, it’s important that young healthy people participate.  In the private sector, they are simply compelled to:  Group health insurance comes with their job.  Obamacare, by contrast, allows them to opt out of the group — but only if they pay a $95 fine.  So if it turns out that not enough healthy young people buy coverage, one obvious tweak to Obamacare will be to raise that fine to some number — perhaps $300 — where enough decide to opt in to make it work.  Only time will tell what the number will be — if we’re lucky, $95 is high enough ; maybe it will have to be $450 — but as you raise the fine, you do two things: collect that much more revenue to fund the system;  and increase the proportion of young healthy people who decide that, rather than pay a fine for nothing, they may as well pay more and get coverage.

And don’t tell me it’s outrageous to tax people for something they may not want or need: we do it all the time.  We tax antiwar demonstrators to pay for wars they hate; we tax childless people to pay for schools.  Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.  A civilized society provides the dignity and security of affordable health care.

Have a great weekend.

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