Chapstick Or Cure For Cancer

A reader piles on items the U.S. Congress should be working on:

“You missed a few to add to your list [from yesterday’s contributor]…

“How about Congress must abide by all laws they pass for John Q. Public…and use the same insurance and medical programs?

“Last, no special perks for being in Congress…they [are] ordinary citizens at ordinary jobs and should be treated no differently.”

Most readers concur. Chopping salaries is just a start:

“I agree, [salaries] should be cut but also their pension plans should be comparable to other peoples’. Tell them to contribute to IRAs like the people they represent. NO lifetime of the same salary they were receiving…and yes to term limits!”

Riffing on that idea…

“[It’s] not so critical to cut salaries as to bring benefits in line with what the rest of us have (or don’t have).

“Arguing about the ACA is pure hypocrisy.”

Finally, this reader’s solution for the American healthcare crisis:

“Want to fix healthcare really quick?

“Put Congress on the same thing we are on…and same goes for Social Security.”

One topic that seems top of mind for Rundown readers is healthcare. More on that to below…

But while we’re on the topic, what are your thoughts on the Texas federal judge’s ruling that Obamacare is unconstitutional?

Send your opinions to,

Your Rundown for Wednesday, December 19, 2018:

Chapstick Or Cure For Cancer

A giant healthcare deal’s on the horizon.

GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer are merging their consumer healthcare businesses into one company with annual sales of $12.7 billion.

“Ultimately, our goal is to create two exceptional, UK-based global companies,” says GSK CEO Emma Walmsley, “with appropriate capital structures, that are each well positioned to deliver improving returns to shareholders and significant benefits to patients and consumers.”

The venture, GSK Consumer Healthcare, will have GSK owning 68% of the company; if approved, the company will be listed on the London stock exchange within three years.

We just have to point this out: If you notice the CEO’s statement above, she mentions “capital structures” and “improving returns to shareholders” before mentioning patients.

And…that about sums it up. When it comes to healthcare, the patient/consumer comes last.

It’d be great if this merger culminated in something useful. Curing cancer, for example, rather than putting another iteration of Pfizer’s Chapstick on the drugstore shelf.

Ultimately, we can only hope that two companies with considerable capital and — we expect — brain power will double down on the great plagues of our time.

That’d be a net win for patients.

Market Rundown for Wed. December 19, 2018

S&P 500 futures are up 20 points to 2,566.50.

Oil is up 58 cents to $46.83 a barrel.

Gold is up $1.30 to $1,254.90

Bitcoin’s also up by $139.13 to 3,854.98.

Send your comments and questions to,

Have a good day. We’ll catch up tomorrow.

For the Rundown,

Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler

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Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler is the publisher of Seven Figure Publishing. He is also the editor of The Rundown and has been with Agora Financial / Seven Figure Publishing since 2005. He's been covering technology and markets for over a decade.

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