Cigna Plus Iowa Caucuses Thoughts

First, a note on my problems with Cigna HealthSpring Medicare Advantage. I finally received a membership card after weeks of calling and emailing different support organizations in Cigna. In fact, I received two cards in the mail yesterday. When dealing with a dysfunctional company like Cigna, it pays to be a persistent whiner. 🙂 At least I don’t have to warn seniors not to sign up for one of Cigna’s Medicare Advantage plans. The federal government has banned the company from enrolling seniors in these insurance plans until Cigna straightens out its internal mess.

I notice that if I Google “Cigna mess,” two of the top four search results my blog posts on the subject. I wonder if that was what caused Cigna to finally sent me card verifying that it is my health insurance company. I suspect that some of the top people in Cigna management is using Google to see what is being written about its internal disorganization.

I notice that some hedge funds are buying Cigna stock. They seem to be taking advantage of the stock’s lower price and to still believe that Anthem will acquire the company. They must also believe that Cigna will be able to solve its internal problems. Cigna insiders apparently don’t share that optimism. Cigna management has been selling Cigna stock, despite its depressed price. I think it’s a matter of cutting their losses. Does Cigna management know something that hedge fund managers do not? My guess is that the merger will not go forward. if I were more of a gambler, I would be selling Cigna stock short.

I’m glad the first event in the primary season is over, the Iowa caucuses. The presidential election season is far too long.

At least I can take solace from having correctly predicted the winners. I had picked Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz. I must admit, however, that I had not expected the Democratic race to be so close with Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders separated by a fraction of a percent of the votes.

I predicted that Senator Cruz would win on the Republican side due to his support among conservative, fundamentalist Protestants. These are people who vote. Mr. Trump had a big lead in the polls going into the caucuses, but I suspected that many of Mr. Trump’s supporters are people who don’t vote. That proved to be the case in Iowa.

Nevertheless, I believe Trump will win in New Hampshire. On the Democratic side, it’s hard to go with anyone but Bernie Sanders. He’s from New England and is almost sure to get the local-boy vote.

In the end, I think the election will come down to Secretary Clinton against Senator Rubio. As less-radical Republican candidates for the nomination drop out, I think the “moderate” Republicans will gather around Marco Rubio. These so-called moderate Republicans are outnumbered by the supporters of the more-radical candidates, but the latter vote in smaller numbers, especially in primary elections.

Why do I put “moderate” in quotes? Marco Rubio backs tax policies that would accelerate the transfer of wealth to the well-heeled form the rest of us.

By the way, in my book about the fictional presidential candidate Jason Wilder, Jason has now won the Republican nomination and is visiting his parents on Fletcher Street in Chicago while the Democratic convention rubber-stamps Barack Obama’s nomination for a second presidential term. In my book, Barack Obama will end up being a one-term president, and Jason will occupy the Oval Office with a large political and financial debt to the ultra-conservative Hogson Brothers. Yes, the “hog” part of their surname is intentional. What will happen if Jason defies the Hogson brothers? I haven’t quite decided yet. I can guarantee that it won’t be pretty.

In the meantime, anyone who is interested can read my non-fictional account of my hike along the Camino de Santiago de Compostela last summer. Click on the image of the book’s cover in the left sidebar to go to the ebook’s Amazon page.