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Are Obamacare Penalties Driving Americans to Buy Insurance?

From fears about Obamacare penalties to the latest breakthroughs in health-care research, The Motley Fool's Market Checkup drills down on the hottest headlines and biggest market movers in the health-care sector. This episode -- featuring a special guest appearance by Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning -- highlights a biotech stock that popped 40%, gives a full examination of the Affordable Care Act's debut week, and finishes off with two stocks poised to profit from Obamacare.

In the following video, Dan discusses with Fool health-care bureau chief Max Macaluso and health-care analyst David Williamson how various insurers are benefiting from Obamacare's opening success and the impact of Obamacare penalties on customer demand. Dan notes that WellPoint (NYSE: ANTM  ) in particular has focused its attention on the Obamacare exchanges and stands to benefit more quickly from their success than rivals UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH  ) , Cigna (NYSE: CI  ) , and Aetna (NYSE: AET  ) . Yet Dan also points out that we have yet to see whether many of those who went to health-exchange websites will actually buy insurance and, if they do, whether they'll go with exchange options from WellPoint and other exchange participants or seek outside products like the ones UnitedHealth and its peers offer.

David notes that investors in Cigna, Aetna, and UnitedHealth shouldn't be too alarmed if those companies fall behind, noting that they have reputations for being conservative. Dan concludes by speculating that many Americans could be concerned and intimidated by Obamacare penalties, describing how the penalties could impose extra costs of either $95 or 1% of income over a certain threshold, whichever is greater, for 2014. Although those penalties will rise substantially in future years, just the existence of a small penalty for 2014 seems to be enough to be driving Americans to get information about Obamacare, and that could help insurers throughout the industry in the long run.

Should you be scared of Obamacare?
Even if the penalty provisions under Obamacare aren't as draconian as some think, plenty of Americans have other worries about the law's future impact on their personal finances and the government's long-term fiscal viability. Learn more about how Obamacare will affect you by reading the Fool's special report on the Affordable Care Act. Inside, our top experts walk you through these opportunities and the companies that are positioned to exploit them. To access this free report instantly, simply click here now.

Read/Post Comments (63) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 9:07 AM, DunkVT wrote:

    Here's a solution.

    How about a contract for those WHO DO NOT WANT HEALTH INSURANCE that states:

    "You will not have access to emergency rooms in public or private hospitals unless you have contracted with them in advance for services; and if you incur medical expenses due to a chronic health condition such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes or other conditions, you face having any and all assets (including your home, car and retirement funds) confiscated should you be incapable of paying your bills."

    Let's see how many people sign this contract.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 9:26 AM, JePonce wrote:

    What is Obamacare?

    Obamacare is about many things, none having to do with the health care of American citizens.

    1. Obamacare is an attack on Christians who know their unalienable right to Liberty comes from our Creator, not from a centralized politburo of elitist rulers greedy for absolute power and the wealth of others. Liberty is not just the absence of chains; it is the freedom to make individual choices about one’s personal life, choices that do not infringe on the rights of others.

    2. Obamacare is about eliminating citizen’s right to choose personal courses of action under penalty of fine and imprisonment, and forcing them into subservience.

    3. Obamacare is about implementing man’s law to destroy the Supreme Law of the land established by our Creator and documented by our Founders in the Constitution; namely the 4th Amendment which guarantees the citizens the right to privacy of their “personal papers,” which includes their personal medical and banking records.

    4. Obamacare is about taking control of $5.1 Trillion private sector U.S. capital created annually by our insurance and health care industries.

    5. Obamacare is about increasing the power of the centralized politburo by eliminating the power of the people.

    H.L. Mencken said, “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

    Mencken also said, “The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.”

    Thomas Jefferson said, “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”

    Obamacare is the will of tyrants, not the will of the people.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 9:37 AM, stratman2k wrote:

    Could it be people are signing up because they need health care?

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 9:39 AM, DunkVT wrote:

    How about a contract for those WHO DO NOT WANT HEALTH INSURANCE that states:

    "You will not have access to emergency rooms in public or private hospitals unless you have contracted with them in advance for services; and if you incur medical expenses due to a chronic health condition such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes or other conditions, you face having any and all assets (including your home, car and retirement funds) confiscated should you be incapable of paying your bills."

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 9:40 AM, Danielle772 wrote:

    For me only and the people who doesn't understand what the health care has done for people like me. I am 58 had lung cancer 8 years ago. At the time my Blue Cross cut me off while I was in the hospital Cobra co pay was now $4,635 a month for what I was paying was about $389.95

    a month before the lung cancer. Well Thank you Tax payers and all those churches who gave me money for my bills. But on October 4th 2013 I signed up for new health care at $155.00 a month.

    No Tax payer help here just me and my money.

    I send close to $569.60 a month on drugs not any more thank you for passing health care reform the many haters who do not want health care do not get it or move to a state that blocks it. But after 2014 I will have the best health care for me. Thank you Dems

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 9:41 AM, neognome wrote:

    I checked out the Obamacare plans and it's now official. I'm better off dead.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 9:48 AM, rdmcdonald48 wrote:

    The people will find in the long run that this fiasco is designed to extort money from the American people under the guise of providing health insurance and will further increase the debt of the nation in the process.

    It is very likely that in the next 30 months the people seeking exchange coverage will pay into the system more than $ 135 Billion before the system pays out the first dollar in any benefit. We have seen what the government does with the money from the Social Security and Medicare systems over time, and they have robbed it blind to the point of fiscal failure. There is NO evidence that this government will not do the same with the proceeds of Obamacare.

    When this "Rag" of legislation goes down in flames and takes very real people with it, then the next step will be a nationalized, single payer, plan to replace it. It's coming, watch and see.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 9:51 AM, globeflyer wrote:

    For you younger, and more "urban" readers, there is an old saying..."You can't get blood from a turnip". Translated: Unless the Government is going to loan you the money (if you don't have it), then you don't have it! If you don't have it, then one would presume you won't get treatment. I thought they whole idea was that EVERYONE would have "access" to health care. No one thought this whole thing through before passing it. (We know they didn't read it.) Have you heard of an plan for more doctors, since there will be more patients? Basic math and economics be damned, this is just another method of wealth redistribution.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 9:52 AM, skypilot2005 wrote:

    As Obama Care is implemented, many voters are going to solidify or change their opinions of it.

    It is important to voice your opinion via the ballot box in the next election.

    Voter participation percentages are pathetically low in the U. S.. So, I suggest you include a link to The House of Representatives’ and U. S. Senates’ websites with each article. That way, readers will know whether their representative voted for or against Obama Care. Then hopefully, they will take the time to register and vote in the next election.

    Just a thought….


  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 9:53 AM, sumdood wrote:

    Why in the world would they be scared into buying insurance? The penalties are easily avoided.

    Step 1. Ensure that you will not receive a tax return by overstating dependents at the beginning of the year.

    Step 2. After determining how much taxes you owe at the end of the year, pay that amount minus the amount of the penalty for not having health insurance.

    The ACA states that no additional penalties may be imposed for failing to pay the fine, and furthermore, the IRS cannot seize your property or garnish your wages for failure to pay the fine. Obamacare will be a complete failure, as it was designed to be. Why on earth would somebody barely surviving paycheck to paycheck, pay $250-$500 a month for insurance, and still have a $5000 deductible before insurance pays for anything? I wonder how long they will milk the technical glitch excuse before we get a peek at the laughable enrollment numbers, which I predict will be very similar to the amount of very sick people who were denied coverage previously.


  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 9:55 AM, Deewanger wrote:

    Everyone on here including Obama needs to look up the definition of FREEDOM!

    'There are many needs in this world but when the freedom to chosse is removed, the biggest need then becomes to remove the ones removing your freedoms. ANY penalty is wrong and completely unamerican. Welcome to socialism. I was hoping I would be dead before America fell but I am not. We don't need a government that is corrupt to do us in, we have each other to do that now.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 9:58 AM, RickLV wrote:

    Obamacare is the Democrat's version of Marie Antoinette's "let them eat cake"

    Most Americans who don't have health insurance would probably love to have it, but can't afford it. So Democrats are going to FORCE Americans to buy what they already can't afford??????? THIS is a healthcare "fix"?

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 10:00 AM, peckbill wrote:

    Is our American flag going to be replaced by the swastika? Will Democracy be replaced by Fascism? These are very meaningful questions; and for those of us that remember Hitler and World War II, they are very meaningful and open old wounds and fears. Getting rid of Hitler and Fascism and the widely displayed flag with the swastika cost thousands of American and other free world country’s individual lives. For those of us old enough to remember those days of old we began to attach programs and movements of a group called the “Tea Party”, a group of very influential people that are in United States of America politics today. We must begin today. All members of the House of Representatives come up for re-election in November 2014. All GOP members of the House of Representatives share responsibility for the government shutdown that occurred on October 1, 2013, especially Tea Party members who’s action mirror the Fascists of Hitler’s days in power. We, the people, must demonstrate, by voter participation that we are in charge of the United States of America. We, the people, MUST NOT vote for any Republican to fill a position in the United States of America House of Representatives. Remember what these people have done to American people in the past few years. On 1 October 2013 the House Republican members of the Congress shut down the United States government because they did not get their way and cut 150 million people out of available medical care by eliminating the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the GOP voted more than 40 times to repeal this law but failed every time; the GOP does everything it can to make sure the poor remain poor and the middle class is reduced to poverty. They could not accept that the President of the United States of America is BLACK (isn’t this a belief of Hitler and his followers). Look at other crippling changes supported by the same GOP, 1) in 2006 they enacted a law requiring advanced money payments that has crippled the U.S. Postal, 2) they enacted laws and made adjustments in federal and state operations that greatly cripple women freedom of choice rights, and 3) they fights to cut much needed services such as Social Security, retirements, including military capability, that makes America appear to all foreign countries as a downward spiraling Nation without leadership, 4) they demand drastic reductions in the food stamp program that is needed to insure our hungry, mostly single mothers and kids, are fed at the minimum healthy levels, 5) they supports legislation in every state that would restrict voting rights of blacks, Hispanics and whites that support Democratic candidates or beliefs. We must replace these radical members of the United States Congress and show them that, we, the people, still run this Country. Should the GOP candidate have no challenger write in the name of your local Police Chief or someone else you and trust?

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 10:02 AM, Ndpndnt wrote:

    As a healthcare provider/owner of a private practice physical therapy clinic, I would think that United Healthcare has to be raking in huge profits. I have personally witnessed that they insure massive numbers of people. It has also been my personal experience that they are experts at using denials to delay, reduce, or even avoid payments to providers altogether with extreme efficiency. However, I would also think that at some point this tactic would come back to bite them. Only time will tell.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 10:06 AM, sabebrush6 wrote:

    Obama is following the Lenin playbook step by step.


    Lenin stated that " if you can control people health & medical sources, you can control the people".

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 10:06 AM, glenn08020802 wrote:

    JeLeponce beautifully written. Our family to had an experience similar to Danelle772 where the hospital bills were over whelming and clearly something has to be done however the ObamaDem medical plan is not the answer. In the end for temporary security we sell out our freedom. Health care by force.

    Health clubs for a small fee you can contract with a doctor. That is illegal now. In NY a doctor offered such a plan for 75 dollars a month and was shut down.

    A small tax of over the counter meds could be used to help those without insurance and catastrophic care. medical medicine help.

    Catastrophic care plans like Medishare could be instituted. Check them out its creative and works well. Low cost without the government.

    Insurance exchange web site without the government is a good idea. Clear posting of what the insurance companies offer is a good idea. Also there may be more options than you realize.

    Medical savings plans

    Medical job loss insurance. Why not? I wrote a few companies with that idea.

    Help me out here do you have ideas as well? Maybe the Motley Fool can feature them.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 10:07 AM, ccfishcatcher wrote:

    If you are a young person between 18 and 35 your options are to either sign up for insurance coverage and pay an average of $350 per month OR pay an annual penalty (tax) of $95 and wait until you become ill and then sign up since you cannot be denied for a pre-existing condition. Having these young people sign up is critical to making the economics of the ACA work. The liberals are living in some kind of fantasy world to believe this will happen.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 10:08 AM, Philyp wrote:

    "Obamacare's opening success"?? What the heck are they referring to? What success?? Did they miss the fact that the gov.ment's server crashed on day one (and was then closed "for servicing"), or that several states saw NOT ONE SINGLE enrollee, not to mention the demoralizingly low number of enrollees in almost all other states??

    Dan, Max, and David (the article's authors) must be getting their news from the nuts at MSNBC.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 10:11 AM, MeFirst1 wrote:

    I'm still trying to figure out what exactly was the "Opening Success" myself.......LOL - the media is over the top!

    I wonder how much of our tax dollars are paying to buy the media off into selling this disaster?

    Come on media - not all of us are low information voters and not all of us can have the wool pulled over our eyes!

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 10:11 AM, Ndpndnt wrote:

    It would seem to me that for the ACA to have any teeth, there must either be large penalties for not participating, or there must be an exception to the "no denial of coverage for pre-existing condition" clause; otherwise, young healthy people will simply pay the penalty, and in the event they become seriously ill resulting in the need for extensive healthcare services they will simply sign-up at that time. Unless there are financial incentives to participate (large penalties for non-participants, or denial of coverage for non-participants that attempt to obtain coverage after becoming ill), then exchanges will be bogged down with only the elderly and the infirm, meanwhile the brunt of the financial burden is born by those least likely to access services - the young and healthy. In other words, state that for access to healthcare services, participation is mandatory. Of course, government is not going to do this because this would be "calling a spade a spade" by admitting that the ACA is social medicine.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 10:14 AM, Sparkmechanic wrote:

    peck bill you are obviously delusional. The libtard party is intent on destroying our nation. I don't hate obama because he is black I hate him because he is a traitor. The TEA members are trying to get the hand of .gov out of where it does not belong.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 10:22 AM, NiceShootinTex wrote:

    Sorry, Bubba, but what early success of Obamacare?

    The only thing in neon right now is its failures.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 10:23 AM, skypilot2005 wrote:

    Vote in the next election!


  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 10:23 AM, violet7489 wrote:

    Here's how it goes when you apply;

    You are asked to provide all your personal information,bank account numbers, you name it. Now once they have you in the palm of their hands, having full control of your finances and information, you are able to choose a "PLAN". Not a plan is cheap. The deductibles are hugh. So when you decide to opt out of applying, you are given a message indicating that because you have decided not to buy, and they know you have no insurance, the penalties will come out of the bank accounts you have provided. If there is no money in the account or you close the account, they will put a lien on your house. Yes, you stupid dumcrocrats, stupid stupid stupid! Put you feet on the floor and go to work like the rest of us. DO NOT TELL ME you cannot find a job. I have three to support myself after my young husband died of pancreatic cancer and I am now alone to pay all the bills two people use to support. LAZY GENERATION !

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 10:30 AM, skypilot2005 wrote:

    On October 06, 2013, at 10:08 AM, Philyp wrote:

    “Dan, Max, and David (the article's authors) must be getting their news from the nuts at MSNBC.”

    News “flash”:

    For the most part, the conservative view point is nonexistent here at The Fool.

    They are missing a big opportunity to be “Fair and Balanced”. A strategy that has worked with great success at Fox. Why they do not embrace it here is beyond me.

    Go figure.


  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 10:31 AM, sp1999 wrote:

    Choice was the American way. We have a government that is removing choice and is moving everything to dependence. Obamacare is a classic example of dependence. Tax payers and what is left of the working class will pay and pay and pay. Rather than do dependence and turning this nation into a welfare state why doesn’t the government work on developing jobs and work on bring back jobs that Corporations have and are continuing to send out of the country. Tax laws favor sending jobs out of the country as well as other laws, NAFTA is an example of a law that has turned the US from a manufacturing country to a welfare country.

    1. Companies that lay off workers or move jobs out of the country, we need a law that requires them to continue with insurance and 80 percent of their wages for up to 3 years or until new jobs are found.

    2. Insurance companies can not drop an individual or family do to health.

    3. If you are low income or no income then the government should offer health insurance that costs only 1 percent of your income.

    Jobs are the key to a successful America and bring jobs back is number one and in order to do so

    1. Corporation or companies that are sending or have sent jobs out of the country should be taxed 10 percent of their gross and these funds should be used only for unemployment and health insurance, training or schooling the unemployed workers .

    2. Tax laws need changed corporations and companies that make billions of dollars and pay zero taxes due to laws is once again extremely unfair, taxes should be equal among all companies and simplified.

    3. With a change in taxes government spending needs restricted. All spending should be based on the US first and any overseas spending must be approved by the voters who now pay and pay and pay.

    Obamacare is a major problem as it forces Americans to pay and takes away their freedom of choice but that is just a very small problem caused by the government, a lack of good paying jobs, lack of focus on America, out of control spending and professional politicians that put their parties ahead of America that is the number one problem

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 10:35 AM, alGorzeera wrote:

    Young people, many of whom never paid for or wanted health insurance, are beginning to understand the cost of ObamaCare. They will spend that $200/ month on a car payment, not health insurance.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 10:49 AM, ThisIsUnReal wrote:

    IFFF people are FLOCKING to sign up, it's for the same reason they supported ObamaCare in the first place, the Patriot Act, the Assassination of Bin Laden and the flying of the armed Drones in foreign countries... Ignorance...

    "Pilousi Day" came and went and the websites weren't ready, which is very Obastic. I did log on to "sign up" but it was simply to see "It work", as Pilousi said we needed to do on the same day she said we didn't need to read it, which was quickly followed by her re-election with a 80% landslide... We are now in the process of connecting her San Fransistites to Southern California with a high speed train paid for with some of that Federal Tax Money Obama printed Up... Spread the Idiocy... (They are going to be in for a suprise, when they get here and find nothing but illegal aliens)

    The most successful thing Bill Clinton did was the Dumbing-Down, my estimate is, it was 95% successful.

    There is NOTHING affordable about the Affordable Care LAW, especially to the 35% of Americans that it was suppose to help.

    The $95 is a simple lie since the minimum income needed to be forced into buying is above $9500 per year... 1% of anything over 9500 is greater than 95... BUT since the number is below 100, it looks great... Still when you make $1,000 per month, a $10 penalty is much more affordable than a $180 "Emergency Room Only" plan.

    Fact is, Just-Not-Poor people, under 30 years of age, will pay 18% of their too low to support them paychecks, to have catastrophic only, or 1% to have nothing... Over 30 will pay 30% of their too low to support them paychecks, to have a 60/40 plan, which will ultimately drive them into bankruptcy from the 40% piling up... OR they will simply fail to use it BECAUSE they know they can't afford the 40%... Their $1,000 per month becomes $700, BY LAW... How is that even remotely "Affordable"...

    AND what is a 60/40 plan anyway, if not a road to bankruptcy?

    Basic rule of thumb is base your plan on the amount that you can afford to pay out of your pocket... ObamaCareites say that the 60/40 plan is good for poor people... Just the opposite is the truth...

    When I was a kid, my Mother boycotted Nestle for giving formula to new Mothers in Africa, just long enough for their natural milk to dry up, then they charged full price making African families decide between feeding the fam,ily or just the baby... isn't this the same thing?

    Poor people of intelligence should buy the expensive plan because they can't afford the 40%, BUTTTT they can't afford the premium...


    If this isn't enough to make us Garb Obama Strip Him Tie him to a Log and Float him out in the Atlantic... We are as lost a cause as the world thinks we are

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 10:56 AM, Neil4liberty wrote:

    PECKBILL- Wow , I am amazed how exactly backwards your take on the shutdown is. The ACA is an assault on liberty plain and simple. Dems should be purged from offices. Everyone making just enough not to get much or any subsidies , the lower middle and middle class people that Obama/Dems "SAY' they are working for, are going to be forking it over for this. It will cause a recession. People will learn really fast why Republicans have been willing to take a stand against it . And , when the lights go on in people's heads , they will learn why historically periods of Democrat control are always followed by long periods of Republican resurgence. lol They ALWAYS jack things up .

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 11:00 AM, JomammaJohnson wrote:

    To answer the question: No, Obamacare is not scaring Americans into buyiing insurance. It is creating a fear among the lower middle class (or should I refer to that segment as 'what's left of the near extinct middle class') that they will be criminalized for not having the financial means to purchase health insurance. Premiums are on the rise and with the increase in income taxes we are all feeling this year, we are bringing home less of what we earn. Five pounds of ground beef was $6.98 five years ago and is now $14,59 (Walmart), gas prices have doubled and it is harder to obtain a mortgage and rentals have nearly doubled in cost in that same time (four years ago, a two bedroom apaartment in this area was $795 monthly and now they are $1,390) For people that are living week to week and paycheck to paycheck, the issues run deep because they are making about 60% of what they earned five or six years ago and it costs twice as much to live. That creates a convergance of income and cost of living that doesn't allow for additional expendatures, and if a person has no additional income and the high cost of food and housing doesn't come back down, there is just no wiggle room to add health insurance at any price.These are the people whose income is above the egregiously low poverty level that would qualify them for assistance, yet below the actual cost of living. Unfortunately figures like CPI are completely erroneous in that they include luxury items and high tech electronics that have either remained stagnant or risen very little in cost of acquisition to the consumer. There is a large portion of the US population that can't fit these items into their budget and are affected only by the rising cost of life's necessities. For these people, a bonus on their tax return is not going to give them the funds when their rent or mortgage payment is due. Ex post facto reimbursement is therefore a either horrible and naive concept by Xanax addicted crackpots, or a deliberate attempt to render the final crushing blow to Americas back bone. I'm not a conspiracy theorist and realize most politicians are just those who somehow, by the grace of God or openess their parent's wallet, managed to graduate from law school but lack the intelligence or ambition to become actual practicing attorneys that work for a living, so I would have to assume that they overlooked this out of pure Washington stupidity. This is why intelligent Americans, Republicans and Democrats alike, oppose Obamacare, not because because of party lines.

    Those for or against any issue simply due to party affiliation are obviously blindly following a sewer tide of morons, so no further discussion on them.

    The other issue: freedom to chose.

    Forcing this potential hardship on Americans is a 1) a socialist concept and

    2) it will elliminate other choices that Americans would have regarding where they are going to spend their finances.

    e.g. The toothless redneck that lives in a $5,000 trailer and drives a $40,000 monster truck may be a complete idiot and have made the wrong decision by buying a brand new monster truck when he lives in a roach infested, rusted out mobile strucure and has no health insurance. Obviously a used Ford Focus and teeth would have been a better idea, but it is his right as an American to make those bad decisions with his money and from the sales person at the dealership to workers on a production line, that $40K went back into the US economy.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 11:15 AM, drakeiverson wrote:

    I WOULD buy the insurance if I could get on the damn site! My private insurance MODA) just raised their monthly premium by 30%! That means I am now paying OVER HALF MY PENSION toward medical insurance!!! Don't try to tell me insurance companies aren't the dirtiest, greediest SOBs on the planet. Also, unless you buy the MOST EXPENSIVE plan in the ACA, virtually NOTHING is covered! Yep, the insurance companies sure had this thing figured out before it even began. Once again, THEY are the big winners, no matter which direction you try to go. This country deserves to fall into the sea.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 11:17 AM, slanciano wrote:

    Don’t forget to sign up for your free Obozocare paid for by the white working person.

    Obozo takes the term idiot to an entirely different level.

    O idiot ! How stupid thou art R !!!!

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 11:18 AM, earnestbunbury1 wrote:

    The new system is set up so that insurance companies will have to compete for your business. If you live in a high crime area in Chicago you'll pay more for insurance than if you live in (shudders) Iowa. They still have their guidelines as to what insurance will cost them to make a profit. Some insurance companies just pulled out of certain states altogether. The lack of competition lets the companies that are still there charge more.

    Eventually, word of mouth will pick the best companies in each area. Soon, your neighbor will be telling you how good his insurance is compared to yours and you'll switch companies.

    I worked in government for years. Every year we got a big book full of insurance companies- the same book my congressman gets- and I get to pick which company I want. I stuck with the same company for years, even though everyone told me 'Cigna is better., or that 'Blue Cross is the best and has the most doctors signed up for it.'

    Now YOU have the same options your congressman has. Pick the best company at the best price.

    Of course, all over the country a bunch of rubes are going to pick the absolute cheapest insurance, with a super high deductible. When they get sick the insurance company is going to have to explain to them that they won't pay until the customer pays the $3000.00 deductible first. Then they'll be on Fox News saying how they got ripped off by Obama-care. So, if you want insurance, try to get one with a reasonable deductible.

    Once word gets out that one company is doing a great job at a cheaper price people will switch and flock to that company. It'll make the competition make that company treat its customers better or lose money. It's called capitalism, which is new to the world of insurance.

    I'll end this by saying that we SHOULD have socialized health care- a single payer system, just like all of the other civilized countries in the world that get better health care than us at half the cost. But, this is the most we could muster.

    It only takes a handful of rich individuals to threaten to give tons of money to your congressman's opponent in the next election if you fall out of lock step with their agenda. A lot of the Republicans know this is a horrible system of threats and bribery, but their hands are tied. Vote NOT to repeal Obama care and you're done politically. They can't even vote their conscience (not that they have consciences).

    Try to ignore the Fox News spin on how evil this all is and remember, YOU now have the same system as your senator and congressman. And DON'T get the cheapest insurance. You never know what's going to happen to you, even if you're young. I always paid a little more, but in the long run it was worth it. Whenever I went to Wal-Mart to pick up my prescription I watched the five people ahead of me being told by the clerk, "Your insurance doesn't cover this medicine, that'll be $500.00. I always pay next to nothing for my medicine. And when I go to any doctor I only pay an $18.00 co-pay. (And even that is to try and stop me from going to the doctor every time I sneeze twice, which a lot of people do, especially older people.) And look at the 'preferred provider's' list on whatever company you picks web site; that way you can keep your doctor. He or she is probably on their anyway. Besides, you probably feel comfortable with him/her because they were the first doctor you went to and you're used to them. Picking doctor's is a crap shoot anyway.

    And as an added benefit it saves (according the the non partisan Congressional Budget Office) about 123 BILLION dollars off the deficit in the next ten years, with more to come after that.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 11:21 AM, bizzgroup wrote:

    For years people have been avoiding health care insurance, and when they are stricken with an illness depended on the emergency rooms to take care of them. It seems that everyone is selfish and is only concerned about keeping their health care costs down.

    However, as a nation paying approximately 18 to 20 % of our GDP for health care that is a problem. In most of Europe the cost per health care runs 10 to 11 % per GDP.

    In my opinion there are two factors to dealing with health care

    1. Over Pricing.

    We have a system where companies are allowed to consult together to extract more than usual from customers. This has to do with our entrepreneurial spirit where we are allowed to charge they we see fit. In many cases they have paid lobbyist to keep the status quo.

    Most drugs costs at much as 25 % cheaper in Canada.

    Here are some examples

    Mirapex, for Parkinson's disease: $157 in Canada vs. $263 in the United States. Celexa, for depression: $149 in Canada vs. $253 in the United States.

    Diovan, for high blood pressure: $149 in Canada vs. $253 in the United States.

    Oxazepam, for insomnia: $13 in Canada vs. $70 in the United States.

    Seroquel, for insomnia: $33 in Canada vs. $124 in the United States.

    Recently I've looked at T.V about the E.R charging $890.00 for a bottle of I.V which costs only 0.89 cents to manufacture.

    2. Bargaining Power

    If the health care providers have 1 purchaser to negotiate against the price can be easily reduced.

    If everyone pays into 1 system which negotiated with the health care providers then we are in a better position to have the prices reduced.

    An example is the Military - the biggest purchaser of drugs are allowed a special rate because their bulk purchases.

    Recently the pharmaceuticals pushed back against the democrats when they wanted Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices for millions of older Americans.

    A practice now forbidden by law. In 2007 Republicans in the Senate blocked the bill.

    Note that Bush was lobbied aggressively by "the drug lobby" a group off paid lobbyers paid collectively by the pharmaceuticals to keep the status quo.

    The tax payers must stand collectively against the health care providers. This is what I hope happens eventually with the Affordable Care Act.

    If a lot of people are utilizing it, price reduction will be much easier for both pharmaceutical drugs and also services


    Napoleon was able to easily defeat the Germanic tribes because they were scattered into many Duchies. He was able to negotiate with the various Duchies independently and just walked across Germany. This was not possible after German Unification in 1871.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 11:25 AM, MsAbby wrote:

    Republicans rightly argue that by pressing ahead with Obamacare before the implications of the programme have been properly assessed risks adding to America's debt mountain at a time when the American economy is still recovering from the biggest economic crisis in recent history.

    I think that is a responsible and prudent thing to do. Why are there so many exemptions? Unions? Nevada? Muslims? various organizations such as ACORN?

    We are some $87 TRILLION in DEBT when you rightly county under funded and unfunded government obligations and future population growth and demands on the entitlement systems.

    Even the CBO estimates that Obamacare will cost $2.1 TRILLION over the next ten years and will grow as the population grows. Give that we are importing poverty and under educated immigrants to this country at a phenomenal rate, it's bound to grow massively.

    That means that every American born today will have massive debt, inflation and high interest rates for more years than I care to county once the FED tried to sell all the bonds they have purchased.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 11:29 AM, MsAbby wrote:

    drakiverson - Who do you think helped craft the health care bill? Insurance companies and there is no limits on what they can charge, nor is there limits on drug costs.

    My employee insurance premiums went up 17% last year and another 10% this year because of the added mandated coverages in obamacare.

    AARP, who support Obamacare, is going to make around $1 MILLION extra per year shilling for United Health care, who by the way, was conveniently ready to participate in the exchanges.

    It's not about health care. It's about a government take over of our entire health care system. It's the most massive transfer of power ever given to the Executive branch of government and that should scare the crap out of every TRUE AMERICAN left in this country.

    Obamacare is estimated by the CBO to cost over $2.1 TRILLION in just ten years. Our national DEBT is really $87 TRILLION when you count unfunded and under funded government obligations. so you will pay for this monstrosity one way or the other, via premiums or via taxes, but you will pay add pay and pay, just like Medicare and Medicaid.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 11:32 AM, PEGformula wrote:

    Reduce health care worker salaries. No more $120K per year nurses, no more $300K per year anesthesiologitsts, no more $80K per year hospital janitors, and no more $80K/yr dental hygienists.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 11:34 AM, davesmith435 wrote:

    When youngsters realize that it will be a drop in the bucket to pay for the penalty instead of health care, they'll just pay the penalty. Such a joke!

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 11:35 AM, PEGformula wrote:

    You want to save money? Simple.

    Cut 20% of the overpaid, under-worked, bad attitude government loafers and pay the remaining at 15% below instead of the current 55% on average ABOVE the private sector.

    You would save a WHOPPING $1 TRILLION per year.

    The real solutions are at the site: proposedsolutions. If you care about your country and have the brains to understand what is necessary, including compressing the wealth divide, you better start acting now to pressure Congress otherwise, with Bernanke's help of taking us down the path of a third world country with his ANTI-STIMULUS QE, this country is doomed.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 11:44 AM, gwsjr425 wrote:


    ZeroCare will be just like every other government boondoggle....a never ending money pit who's success will not be judged on its sustainability but on the number of those that the government can get hooked on the handouts.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 11:44 AM, True411 wrote:

    Nice try, but ObamaCare has not been a success.

    People were forced to sign up under penalty of law, they weren't given a choice. People have had great difficulties connecting to the servers and, so far, a very low percentage of people who tried were successful.

    Besides, ObamaCare HASN'T yet taken effect.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 12:02 PM, skypilot2005 wrote:

    Be sure to notice what Obama Care is going to do to the budget deficit. The youngsters that voted for Obama will end up paying for it, eventually.


  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 12:23 PM, jw1263 wrote:

    I just got quoted over the phone since I could not get to the site and there is a reason I don't buy a new car...I cant afford one the amount I was quoted would be a nice car or mortgage payment.....I didnt give all of my personal information, such as bank acct and they can find it but I wont give it....I cant afford the ACA when Im trying to keep a roof over my head, food to eat and clothes on my back.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 12:27 PM, Barmil wrote:

    The real answer to this healthcare issue relates directly to creating jobs. I mean jobs from the poverty line on up. Ditch digger and menial labor right up Corporate executives.

    If the government would have created jobs and really monitored all the free bees going out in welfare as entitlements and then concentrate on employment there would be no need for this bad plan.

    With income coming in to the house hold there would be a means of paying medical bills as they arise.It is called being responsible for yourself.

    I don't know where in the history of this country that our government is responsible for taking care of me.

    The Government owes me nothing but to do it job set down in the constitution by providing an environment to exist and profit from. Universal health care is not one of them.

    So lets try to be responsible for yourself and your family. and that means keeping yourself in work.and productive in society.

    This Government has gotten into a dangerous pattern of trying to fix every bodies problem and they fail every time they do it.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 12:32 PM, Wasatcher wrote:

    I'm sick and tired of hearing the elite right-wing rich and/or religious people harping on about how awful the ACA is and how it's going to turn America into a socialist country! We have a lot of socialized things, like law enforcement, military, mail delivery, schools, including universities, and every government employee in America gets affordable health insurance paid by taxes from citizens. Why do you begrudge others the same access to affordable health care? Stop drinking that red Kool-Aid and read something factual!

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 12:52 PM, entitled wrote:

    'Obamacare's opening SUCCESS' ????? What planet do these 'fools' live on?

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 1:13 PM, rmm200 wrote:

    Maybe they are signing up because they are tired of America being the only industrialized nation without comprehensive health coverage. Because of Republican intransigence, this is no where near as good as a single payer system, but it does benefit insurance companies, which is why Republicans like it.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 1:20 PM, brad1breather wrote:

    if you could not afford health insurance before "yo-momma" care what makes anyone think they will be able to pay the penalties?

    this is a prime example of it sounds good in theory but sucks in the real world.

    demand and elect people who have experience in the real world. otherwise nothing will ever change or be changed.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 2:43 PM, johnnny321 wrote:


    Your idea of a contract illustrates the assumptions that people like you are not even aware. Let me bring them to light here.

    I will sign such a contract when you add this to it:

    - I, the doctor, promise to treat this patient with the cheapest methods available, which will also provide the patient with quickest possible recovery, with NO regard for what will improve my company's or hospital's bottom line. I will NOT keep the patient in hospital longer than necessary, and will not use expensive treatments when cheaper ones are available. I will also not manipulate the system so that the patient ends up with a huge bill, and will use all means necessary to PREVENT expensive treatment, most notably cancer and heart disease, by applying what is already known in science today, but ignored in my profession (e.g. that most cancers are caused by viruses, the same ones we administer through vaccines, and that most heart disease is caused by bacteria which can be treated with few dollars worth of antibiotics).

    I will further make sure that the therapy I administer does no harm, as I have sworn when I became a doctor, and will also employ the best practices as have been discovered within my field of medicine and outside of it including, but not limited to alternative medicine, holistic medicine, chinese medicine, energy medicine (think R. R. Rife), spiritual readings (Edgar Cayce who helped some 15,000 people comes to mind), prayer, and so on.

    In addition, I will make 100% certain that I do not waste anyone's resources in doing this, and that my patient recovers from the disease or injury quickly. I also promise that should my patient be unhealthy for longer than needed, due to my own lack of knowledge, I will reimburse the patient fully, and will also cover all unnecessary expenses that I have incurred through my lack of expertise and knowledge, including but not limited to lost wages, lost time with family, and so on.

    The above will be deemed true when the death rate from reported AND unreported doctors mistakes falls to - ZERO.

    And also all the instititutions involved in healthcare, such as government, hospitals, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and such, have to sign a contract, but there is too little space here for all of that...

    You see what you have been missing while thinking that you were very smart?

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 2:49 PM, johnnny321 wrote:

    So, my little one cuts herself. Nothing terrible, not even blood there... but out of precaution, we take her to hospital.

    While there, they take her blood pressure. Why? Because that way they can charge us $75.00 more.

    Yes, you read that right: a 1 minute effort to take a perfectly healthy child with a 1" cut which is not even bleeding, costs $75 USD. That was in California.

    Then comes the doctor. He wants to put on stitches, which will one day look ugly. I ask for a glue. The doctor is surprised with my expertise. He finally uses the glue, and today my child has no scar there.

    The total cost?

    - 75 for blood pressure

    - 600 dollars to the hospital

    - 600 dollars for the doctor's 15 min of work

    - 400 dollars for "materials"

    - and few hundred more for whatever...

    Total for a brief visit to a hospital due to a small cut: almost $2000.00

    In a country in Europe, my wife went through a serious surgery to remove a benign tumor, by a specialist who left no scar, on top of performing a wonderful job.

    Total cost?

    $250.00 USD.

    Yes, almost 1/10 of the above.

    perhaps the 250 USD charge was a little on the low side. But $2000 for a cut?

    Now, tell me that is normal, and not inflated???

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 2:56 PM, Rerednaweht wrote:

    I am more concerned that there are more people stating miss-information as fact.

    Yes I read both the House and Senate versions when it was a bill and then the final version.

    I find that like many things there are items I like in the ACA and some that I do not.

    While I would have preferred a single-payer system (Obama's original idea) similar to the ones in many other countries that works just fine, unfortunately we ended up with insurance. (And I do assign blame for that to Heritage->Romney->Republican Party.)

    Does making auto insurance mandatory make everyone a better driver? No.

    Does making health insurance mandatory give everyone better health care? No.

    However for many people, the ACA as is, is far better than what they currently have, which is nothing. Because it makes health care available by addressing the cost. For-profit HMOs can no longer gouge you for whatever they want, as their maximum administrative (read pure profit and markup) is capped under the ACA.

    And everyone keeps forgetting...if you really don't like a law, you can petition your representative to repeal it. However be responsible and only do so when you have read the law and know what it is about.

    Remember the principle of compromise: "Everyone walks away unhappy about something."

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 3:02 PM, DroctorMitt wrote:

    Met 4 friends that signed up for Health care. Asked them why and what have they been waiting for to get insurance. They just replied that it now makes sense to have insurance.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 3:17 PM, vbnmcx wrote:

    Freedom. How about the freedom to not have to pay for deadbeats who think that they don't need to pay for insurance (most who can afford it) I have been paying huge insurance premiums for years because of people who think I should cover them, I would like the freedom to not have to pay for idiots

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 3:33 PM, terrjm wrote:

    Opening success? They are lying their a--es off again. Try utter failure. Maybe a lot of hits but very few sign ups despite all the lies and propaganda. The reality is that people just cannot afford this overpriced godd for nothing plsn. Most Americans can barely pay their bills and this monstrosity charges you hundreds each month and then you have to come out of pocket for thousands of dollars before the garbage even kicks in AND THEN you STILL have to pay. I bet there is not one single clause in obamacare that addresses WHY an aspirin costs $50 or WHY an ambulance ride 4 blocks is $ 10,000.00? My friend went to the ER and all they did was push him into another room yet it was $10,000.00 for the ER visit. WHY don;t obama address that? obamacare is total BS and the factr that these idiots have to lie and tell us how great it is is on par with monsanto saying GMOs are good for you.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 3:37 PM, terrjm wrote:

    I hear a lot of people whining about paying for someone else but did you ever stop to think that if they really made it affordable then people would pay? How is the average guy going to pay $50 for an aspirin or $10,000.00 for a ten minute ER visit. Some prescriptions are 20-30 THOUSAND dollars a pop! Why doesn't ACA address this? Because it is BS and just another rip off. Watch within a year they will all be crying about what a rip of it is.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 3:40 PM, Disgustedman wrote:

    To those demanding I sign a statement that I will not use the ER at all if I don't pay for insurance. I'll agree if you agree to remove all illegal aliens, build a SOLID border wall and restrict entry and if anyone is caught illegally in the country, they MUST do 5 years hard labor as punishment, before being sent back to their country.

    Fair enough? Because the illegals are costing us more then our own citizens.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 3:49 PM, terrjm wrote:

    If you cannot get a job in this glorious economy and are barely paying your bills all the while refraining from welfare then how do these idiots expect you to pay for health care. If you are working and have kids and just getting by HOW are you going to cover the THOUSANDS you will need out of pocket before this obamacare garbage even kicks in? Not to mention you STILL have the monthly charge AND once it does kick in YOU still have to pay a percentage. This is going to break America except for the rich but then that is what they want. Only a fool would accept this boondoggle. The republicans are right for trying to defund it. Notice obama says they won't compromise yet he REFUSES to budge an inch. I cannot afford it and will not be buying it.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 3:51 PM, terrjm wrote:

    disgustedman, I will agree also if they remove every single illegal alien parasite and secure the borders. Good post!

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 7:13 PM, doco177 wrote:

    "Fathom The Hypocrisy Of A Government That Requires Every Citizen To Prove They Are Insured....But Not Everyone Must Prove They Are A Citizen."

    "And Now, Any Of Those Who Refuse, Or Are Unable To Prove They Are Citizens Will Receive FREE Insurance Paid For By Those Who Are Forced To Buy Insurance Because They Are Citizens."

    Google "Obamacare Flowchart" at Intellectual Takeout to see a visual representation of the convoluted, corrupt mess this really is

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 7:49 PM, DevonShire123 wrote:

    You call 1% enrollment a "success"? Wow. Journalism has really gone downhill.

  • Report this Comment On October 07, 2013, at 1:04 AM, Loxly wrote:

    Threats of penalties are the norm. The same thing happened with the roll out of Medicare Part D. Like driving cattle through stocks.

    Wellpoint is probably best suited of the companies mentioned since they also host many of the government servers for HHS/CMS so they're "Well" aware of what a mess PII data can be. Most likely they've been poised for this unlike our government.

  • Report this Comment On October 07, 2013, at 6:24 AM, BeverlyT wrote:

    Talk about a burden on the American people!!!!!

    If they can't afford health care insurance in the FIRST place, how can they afford the minimum premiums charged (supposed to be $100/month min.), then burden them MORE with penalty charges they have to pay or it will be taken out of their income tax refund??!!! The definition of Law is to protect people from others and from themselves (like suicide, self destruction with mental illnesses). Law in the United States is NOT supposed to be forcing the people to BUY a product they don't want or can't afford. What is America coming to?!! Obviously, it is our current socialist administration and president.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2013, at 3:10 PM, brad1breather wrote:

    you don't think the prez knew the young and stupid(y&s) would want "cheap" health care, do you?

    and the knew he could raise premiums at will and the y&d would pay because that is what they were taught in school, don't question the government, they are your friends, do you?

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