Obama's pal Buffett enriched again by govt; taxpayers lose
Suddenly, the government has dramatically raised the profit potential of a company, Da Vita, that Obama donor Warren Buffett has a huge investment in. DaVita runs dialysis centers across America.
From the Wall Street Journal:
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it would reduce payments to kidney dialysis providers by less than 1% over the next two years in a reversal of the much-larger cuts it had proposed this summer.
The decision handed at least a temporary victory to dialysis providers such as DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc.
Medicare pays for the majority of patients with life-threatening kidney failure, also known as end-stage renal disease, through lump-sum payments for each patient receiving treatment at dialysis centers.
In 2014, the base rate paid per patient will be $239.02, down 0.55% from the 2013 base rate of $240.36, Medicare said after the market's close on Friday.
In 2015, the rate will remain flat from the year before.
Shares of DaVita rose 8.7% in post-market trading Friday; Fresenius shares rose 6.3%.
The payment rate will be reduced by roughly $29 over the next three to four years, according to documents released Friday on the CMS website.
But, at least for the next two years, the reductions will be almost entirely offset by inflation adjustments that Medicare makes each year to reflect changes to providers' costs.
DaVita stock has soared in value the last few days in the wake of this announcement. In a time of soaring entitlement costs, the Obama administration piles on more debt in a way that favors one of his favorite crony capitalists.
Warren Buffett heads Berkshire Hathaway -- an investment vehicle that owns approximately 17% of DaVita.
Another nice pay day to add to the payday that another Berkshire company, railroad company Burlington Northern, enjoys transporting oil from Western fields-a booming business since Obama has prevented pipelines, including the Keystone pipeline, from being built.