Costco: Lessons from Member Obsession.

Some call them clients, others guests or customers. Costco (Ticker: COST, revenue $141B) calls them members, a term that makes you feel like you're part of a special club. It's a club that will not sell you junk*. They do not exaggerate. Theirs is not fake-Enron-style-ethics-bragging, and they actually list shareholders' interests last. Focus on the … Continue reading Costco: Lessons from Member Obsession.

The $20,000 Price Tag: Insights into the 2018 Kaiser Family Foundation Employer Survey.

Today the cost of healthcare landed on the front page of The Wall Street Journal, just below a story on bond yields, and next to the dancing UK Prime Minister, Teresa May. The angle of the story is how the cost of family healthcare premiums in the United States now approaches $20,000. The genesis of … Continue reading The $20,000 Price Tag: Insights into the 2018 Kaiser Family Foundation Employer Survey.

Part 2: Is The Cheesecake Factory in The Healthcare Business?

Now known in some circles for something beyond its array of cheesecakes, 2,000 calorie dishes, and cruise ship-meets-Las Vegas décor, The Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) added a second consecutive quarter of negative healthcare news, a cost that’s hidden in most companies' income statements. The impact of this quarter’s negative healthcare surprise was $4,600,000, or 44% of … Continue reading Part 2: Is The Cheesecake Factory in The Healthcare Business?

Trends, Big Numbers, and Risks: Lessons from UHC’s Earnings

It's July and that means earnings season. We get a view of the workings of UnitedHealth Group ("UHC"), the "diversified health care company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and helping make the health system work better for everyone." We've all carried a United Healthcare card at one point. UHC is the largest healthcare company … Continue reading Trends, Big Numbers, and Risks: Lessons from UHC’s Earnings

Why Employer-Provided Healthcare is Here to Stay

No economist, junior high student, employee, or small business owner* in the United States thinks healthcare should be tied to employment. Ask around. It's equally unpopular across the political spectrum. But we have it, and it's not by accident, but rather an unintended consequence of the 1942 Stabilization Act. The WW2 era Act led to … Continue reading Why Employer-Provided Healthcare is Here to Stay