- M&A Frenzy Stays Hot With Pfizer's $3.6 Billion Deal for King Pharmaceuticals
- Congressional Spat Over Doctor's Medicare Pay Threatens Obama's Healthcare Reform Effort
- Japan's Astellas Pharma Is the Latest Company to Go Global to Dodge Patent Problems
- Question of the Week: Do the Pitfalls Outweigh the Promise For the New Healthcare Reform Program?
- Healthcare Reform Losers: Companies Providing Retiree Benefits Face Multi-Million Dollar Tax Costs
- We Want to Hear From You: What Do You Think About the New Healthcare Law?
- Drug Companies and Hospitals Get a Boost from Healthcare Reform
- Teva Pharmaceutical Wins Fight in the Generic Drug Market Battle
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The all-cash bid is Astellas' second for the sought-after OSI after a March 1 $3.5 billion offer was rejected. Astellas will pay $57.50 per OSI share, 11% more than the first offer and 55% more than OSI's last closing price before Astellas starting bidding. OSI closed at $59.80 Friday.
OSI's money-making cancer drug Tarceva generated $1.2 billion in sales last year and is projected to bring in $7 billion in revenue through 2020. Astellas wants to build a global cancer-drug business and jointly develop more cancer drugs with OSI.
The fact is that many Americans will have healthcare for the first time ever. Offsetting that bright spot, however, is the reality that the program could add trillions in debt to the country's already burgeoning national debt, further complicating the matter.
Going forward, it will now be left to the pundits, analysts and the healthcare industry to decipher what these provisions really mean for the industry, for individuals, for taxpayers - and even for investors.
But here at Money Morning, we wanted to know what you think about this new law. That's why we made healthcare reform the inaugural topic in our new "Question of the Week" feature.
Money Morning Question of the Week: U.S. President Barack Obama's controversial healthcare proposal is now law. What do you think? How do you feel? Do you think it's a beneficial or harmful move for you as a consumer, as an investor, and as a taxpayer? What do you think it means for our nation's economy?
What follows is a sampling of the enthusiastic and passionate responses that we received. Make sure to also check out next week's "Question of the Week," a query that seeks your thoughts on the growing levels of U.S. debt.
Part of the new healthcare law places a federal income tax on government subsidies given to companies that provide retirees and their spouses with drug benefit plans. The 28% subsidy was created as Medicare Part D, adding a prescription plan for senior citizens to the Medicare Act of 2003. To encourage companies to continue offering retirees a drug plan, the tax-free subsidy reduced companies' costs. Fewer senior citizens then went through Medicare's prescription program - which would have cost taxpayers much more than the subsidy price.
Caterpillar Inc (NYSE: CAT) and Deere & Company (NSYE: DE) are just two of the businesses that fought the new stipulations. The manufacturers estimate the tax will cost them $100 million and $150 million this year, respectively. Other companies who will pay handsomely include AK Steel Corp. (NYSE: AKS) with $31 million in charges, and Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON) with an estimated fee of $42 million.
Consulting firm Towers Watson & Co. (NYSE: TW) estimates these taxes could cost companies about $233 per person receiving drug benefits - a hefty price tag when a company gives benefits to 40,000 retirees, like Caterpillar.
Overall, more than 3,500 companies offer drug benefits to 6.3 million retirees. Although the tax won't be effective until 2011, accounting practices force companies to recognize the fees in the period in which the law is signed. That means the tax could nab $14 billion from corporate profits in a year when companies were hoping to recover from huge losses during the recession.
President Barack Obama yesterday (Tuesday) signed the $940 billion health care reform bill with support from pharmaceutical companies and the hospital industry. Both will benefit from a sharp increase in the number of insured customers, as the bill expands healthcare to up to 32 million more people.
While the bill will cost tens of billions of dollars over the next 10 years, the planned reforms create something drug companies and hospitals can't live without: paying consumers.