Shrewd investors Duncan McAllister and Remy Forrester, both former hedge fund analysts have started their own investment firm. Primarily they are investing in coffins. That may seem strange but the duo’s reasoning seems to make a lot of sense.
McAllister had this to say, “It was the natural choice. As soon as the Supreme Court came down with the decision that states could opt out of the Medicaid expansion we knew there was a lot of money to be made.”
The Medicaid expansion, under the Affordable Care Act, serves people making less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level ($31,322 for a family of four), was made optional by the Supreme Court. As of now, only 26 states are participating in the program.
What makes this particularly troublesome is that there are no subsidies for private insurance for people making less than the poverty level. So if you’re poor and in a state that hasn’t accepted the Medicaid expansion, you’re out of luck.
Forrester added to the discussion, “There are now 4.8 million people that don’t have access to insurance. Statistically speaking approximately 27,000 of them will die each year. That’s where we come in. They have to get buried. Now, their families often can’t afford much so the state ends up footing the bill. We’re not selling a lot of high end caskets but what we lack in quality we make up for in quantity.”
The pair seemed to get very excited by the prospect of how much money they would be making off the suffering and deaths of others.
McAllister was almost giddy when he described how their investment would grow. “Look every single state that refused the Medicaid expansion is a Republican run state. They are also the poorest states to begin with so it creates this domino effect. Either people just don’t seek out care and they die of perfectly curable diseases or the uninsured go to emergency rooms; then local governments and hospitals have to shoulder the costs, which in turn drives up the local taxes, which leads to a weaker state economy, which drives more people under the poverty line. It grows exponentially. We expect that 27,000 figure to rise rather rapidly.”
Although, what the investors are doing is perfectly legal we asked if they thought it was moral. We were rather disgusted by the response.
Remy Forrester piped up quickly, “It’s capitalism. It’s the American way.”
McAllister added, “Look, we have every right to make a profit off the laws these guys are enacting. They do. Take Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, he signed a bill requiring drug testing for anyone seeking government assistance. Who do you think owned a huge chunk of stock in the company he chose to administer the testing? He did, of course. Then there’s Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, he was a little more stealth about it. He signs a Texas abortion law that effectively shuts down any clinic that isn’t equipped as an ambulatory surgical center. His sister, who is VP of government affairs for United Surgical Partners International stands to make a fortune.
“Don’t forget the Granddaddy of them all”, Forrester inserted. “Dick Cheney. When he was Vice President he pushed for the war in Iraq and his company Halliburton and its subsidiary KBR was the number 1 recipient of government contracts for the war. They raked in $39.5 billion by keeping that war going for 10 years.”
A bit sick to our stomachs at this point we asked the duo one final question which concerned any other investment prospects they were pursuing. They were quick to offer:
“We are looking into private prisons now. As soon as more and more people drop below the poverty line in the red states, crime will go up. It’s inevitable. People are going to start knocking over drugs stores just to get a flu shot.”