5 Ways Obamacare Will Fail

Whether you're ready for it or not, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known collectively as Obamacare, is going to be fully implemented in less than nine months. The blatant rising costs of health care in this country, compounded by the successful implementation of socialized health care from our neighbors to the north, pre-empted President Obama and lawmakers to vote for change in 2010. Yesterday, in fact, I examined five ways that this bill will improve the scope of health care in this country.

However, not everyone is on board with the proposed changes set forth in this bill. In fact, the opposition has tried everything under the sun in order to get Obamacare repealed without any success.


Source: White House on Flickr

Today, I propose to turn the tables and examine five areas where Obamacare appears destined to fail.

1. Health insurers will keep most of their leverage.
If you recall, one of the key points I touched on yesterday where Obamacare is a boon for paying members is that it requires the insurance industry to spend at least 80% of its premium revenue on actual health services. This will cap the profit potential of insurers and is expected to cancel out unwarranted premium hikes under the PPACA.

Conversely, there's little in the way of fines and regulations that will ultimately stop health insurers from raising their premiums or from shocking current members with huge premium hikes in advance of the full implementation of the PPACA in 2014. Obamacare was expected to take the power of premium pricing away from health insurers and put it into the hands of consumers in a competitive marketplace, but it appears it will be more of the same even after the bill is put into action.

A perfect case in point is the complete 180 that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, pulled on Medicare Advantage providers last week. In February, insurers like Humana (NYSE: HUM  ) and Universal American (NYSE: UAM  ) that provide Medicare Advantage -- a broader-care coverage plan for seniors that involves fewer out-of-pocket costs -- were informed that their Medicare reimbursement rates would drop 2.3%. Following weeks of rigorous lobbying to lawmakers, the CMS reversed its decision from a 2.3% reduction in reimbursements to a 3.3% increase, claiming that it changed the scope by which it expected doctor pay to fall as its reasoning. In essence, by complaining and lobbying, the insurance industry orchestrated itself a nice raise and completely debunked the premise of Obamacare, which is to reduce the reliance of private insurers on the governments' wallet.

2. Premiums will continue to rise.
The entire premise of creating the PPACA was to avert what seemed like an exponential growth in health-care costs due to high hospitalization and prescription drug costs. However, it appears that the usually conservative Society of Actuaries believes otherwise.

The SOA released a report (link opens PDF) two weeks ago that showed ACA-driven non-group member claim costs are expected to rise by a whopping 32% over the next four years, with 37 of 50 states seeing costs jump by 20% or more. The SOA's reasoning included the addition of higher risk patients to the coverage pool, employers dropping group coverage, and higher morbidity levels caused by patients who would previous have been uninsurable (think those with pre-existing conditions).

Higher premiums are also an end result of the insurance industry itself -- it's a for-profit business. We've already seen that regulators have been unsuccessful at pushing for less reliance on government subsidies, so why should we expect that insurance premiums would stand pat as the required number of benefits required under the PPACA -- and the subsidies required to fund up to a 16 million person expansion under Medicaid -- expands?

3. It will encourage job and R&D outsourcing, as well as domestic hourly cutbacks.
This could be perhaps the most visible and negative immediate impact of Obamacare -- the outsourcing of American jobs and research and development, as well as the hourly cutbacks associated with the higher costs of providing subsidized group coverage.

In the health care sector, the reaction has been decisive and swift. Stryker (NYSE: SYK  ) , a maker of medical devices, implants, and supplies, shed 5% of its workforce because of the impact of the 2.3% medical device excise tax in a move expected to save the company $100 million annually. Keep in mind, this isn't an after-profits tax; it's 2.3% off a company's top-line revenue figure that goes to directly to pay for the Medicaid expansion. The world's largest medical device maker, Medtronic (NYSE: MDT  ) , is another perfect example. It announced its intentions to hire up to 1,500 people last year, but commented that the majority of hires would be in markets abroad, like China.

But, the truly dangerous aspect of Obamacare is that its outsourcing and hour-cutting aspects aren't just limited to the health care sector. For some large corporations, the cost of supplying subsidized health coverage to its employees versus cutting back their hours to part-time status and avoiding that requirement altogether is simply too great. In January, 11 franchised Wendy's (NASDAQ: WEN  )  locations in Nebraska cut back hours for about 300 non-management employees in an effort to save costs since part-time employees are not required to be covered under the PPACA. Unfortunately, this isn't -- and won't be -- the only instance of this, and could negatively impact hourly employees' wages, as well as their potential to obtain health coverage.

4. Hospitals and physicians will be overwhelmed with the influx of millions of newly insured people.
There's a give and a take with every situation. Yesterday I proposed that one of the greatest benefits of Obamacare is that it will open up the opportunity for previously uninsured or underinsured persons to get regular preventative care screenings. The downside of this scenario is that it will absolutely overwhelm our current health-care network.

In 1996-1997, 46,965 first-time and multi-time applicants applied to medical school, according to data from U.S. Medical Students and Applicants. In 2011-2012, that figure has actually fallen to 43,919! Further, the actual graduation rate of people with a medical degree has only increased by an average of 0.3% -- that's right, 0.3% -- since 1982-1983. How is the current system expected to react by the introduction of up to 30 million new members in a matter of years when the number of qualified physicians is increasing by just 0.3% annually?

My suspicion is that patient care will be negatively affected, and those wanting covered but non-necessary exams as deemed by physicians, will be waiting even longer for the care they desire.

5. The middle class will pay, pay, and pay some more.
In order to fund the PPACA, it was expected that higher taxes on higher-income individuals and cost reductions in the form of fewer reimbursements to private health insurers would keep the wheels turning. In reality, it appears that Obamacare's insurance subsidies, Medicaid expansion, and higher taxes are going to aim squarely at the middle class that President Obama has fought so hard to protect.

Higher payroll taxes have already begun to take a bite out of the middle-class worker's paycheck. Learning to live with less will become the norm since the federal poverty level subsidies will begin to phase out for a good chunk of the middle class, exposing these individuals to lofty insurance premiums caused by a greatly expanded health benefits package.

In addition to expected higher premiums and taxes with fewer subsidies for a majority of the middle class, the individual mandate will require a tax of up to 2.5% of a person's adjusted gross income in 2016 if they fail to carry health insurance. Two other changes brought about by the PPACA that will be most unwelcome by middle-class families include a flexible spending account cap of $2,500 each year -- FSAs allow families to use pre-tax dollars to pay for special needs education and other medical expenses -- and a boost in the medical itemized deduction from a minimum of 7.5% of adjusted gross income to 10% of AGI.

Obamacare will certainly hammer home reform, but not before hammering much of the middle class with taxes and restrictions first.

Having seen both the benefits and weaknesses of Obamacare, where do you stand? Sound off in the comments section below.

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  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 12:47 PM, lee1948 wrote:

    I take exception to your use of the term "Obama has fought so hard to protect". He pays much lip service to fighting for the middle class, but many of his policies are aimed directly at taxing the middle class. His taxing of small business was an attack of the middle class, his health care bill will hit the middle class. His agenda is to make himself look like a defender of the little guy but they are real the target because that is where the money is.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 1:30 PM, Darwood11 wrote:

    "Obamacare will certainly hammer home reform, but not before hammering much of the middle class with taxes and restrictions first." That sums it up!

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 1:31 PM, wmsawvel wrote:

    As insurance premiums rise, less money is available for consumer spending. Coupled with businesses having to cut back on the number of its employees, due to the increased cost of providing its workers with Health Care benefits, Obamacare may well cause the next recession.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 1:35 PM, scottyg123 wrote:

    OBAMA in 2008 said the mandate wouldn't solve our problems and it wouldn't lower premiums. He also said if the mandate was the solution, you fix homelessness by mandating everyone buy a house, but it doesn't work because it ends up costing too much!

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 1:46 PM, thebard77 wrote:

    What people need to realize is that while premiums rise, your coverage will decrease. Companies that have group plans will offer reduced packages due to the need to offer health plans while managing high premium costs. We have seen this happen in Massachusetts. The result of this will be that yes, you will have medical coverage but all of your diagnostic tests will fall under a deductible. Your yearly physical may be guaranteed without a copay but the blood work will come out of your pocket. Deductibles are great if you have a serious medical problem that will thrust you over the yearly limit. For the rest of us who only go to the doctor a few times a year (if that), it is like having no insurance at all. I was sick at the end of last year and needed bloog work... $500 out of pocket. I needed repeat tests last month to determine if my treatment was working... another $500. All of this after $475 is taken out of my wife's paycheck for our family plan. My employer offers the same package but it would be 550 a month.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 1:48 PM, mapsguy wrote:

    The fact of life is that it isn't all about profit and money. Hopefully what will happen is that all 5 good and all five bad will balance out somewhere and we will move to a single payer system. In this case the free market seems to be more about collusion then actually being "free."

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 1:54 PM, benjonson wrote:

    Obamacare or any government-led program can only destroy the program. Healthcare should be between physicians, hospitals and patients.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 2:01 PM, RLS2BE wrote:

    Obamacare failed the day it was passed, Why?

    Medicare is Bankrupt, Social Security is unsustainable, and the US has $17Trillion in debt.

    Passing another Multi-Trillion $$ Socialized program without fixing the already Broken and bleeding ones, (especially during the longest recession in US History), is beyond insanity. Obamacare has & will continue to be the weight around the neck of economic growth, and has already done tremendous damage, some of which may not be reversible for decades.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 2:03 PM, bbianski wrote:

    Would what you write here be the case if we had a PUBLIC OPTION? When this law was craftd it contained one. I think if a public option was part of the competition for business we would see savings. Since the Republic's got rid of that, it is clear that no matter how many more new people get coverage, the coporations get to still charge what they want. They just have more conusmers at a higher price.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 2:10 PM, wilitfool wrote:

    Working in a for profit hospital, I see the present system, left alone, having a devastating effect on hospitals on tthe private side.As local budgets shrink, public hospitals are closing their doors putting a undue burden on private hospitals..Left unchecked with the flood of uninsured people flooding the emergency rooms.Your taxes will go up 2 to 3 times more with government having to pay the private hospitals to keep there doors open.We need to get people healthier..How we do this is the trick of this trade..I say government subsidies for healthy food and high taxes on fast food/ alcohol/cigarettes..Thats this fools opinion..

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 2:11 PM, Fridaypm2002 wrote:

    The impact of obamacare will have massive and un-reversable implications if it is allowed to proceed. This bill was never fully reviewed before the Dems pushed it through. Now, Peliso, we are seeing what's in it. And it is BAD. Healthcare in America will be rationed. Who gets treatments will depend on various factors, but you can bet if your a senior citizen, your screwed. There isn't enough money to spend on your knee replacement, heart condition, kidneys ... Your expendable. This is a BAD idea folks. BAD.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 2:12 PM, altmd71 wrote:

    In my opinion the result of the PPACA will make "insurance" so expensive, and so unfriendly people will cry out for relief. Obama and the socialists/progressive movement will then say total government take over of health care with a one payer system is what we need and it will pass if the Dems have a majority. Insurance companies will probably be given a part in this to appease them from losing their autonomy. A two tier system will develop as people who can afford it will buy supplemental policies to guarantee them better service and care. It will happen and we will have "socialized medicine" of some sort in the next 10 years. God help us then.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 2:13 PM, TSP1973 wrote:

    I remember when GWB came into office, which I did not care for the job he did or his policy's, my private insurance premium was about $400 every two months. When he left office in 2008 I was paying about $500 a month. So only raised about $100 in eight years!

    Then Obama came in office, which I do not care for the job he has done or his policy's either, and got Obamacare passed in 2010. Since Obamacare got passed my private insurance premium is now $789 every two months! So it raised $289 in just two years!

    Yeah Obamacare has sure lowered down my premiums... NOT!!!

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 2:14 PM, YankeeDoodleDoo wrote:

    My family's healtcare has already been severely impacted by this. One of the two Endocrinologists at the practice my son goes to decided enough was enough and retired 10 years early. They had already been searching for a 3rd provider for a full year, with no luck. One doctor is now left to serve the patient load of 3 doctors, and our appointments have been cut back to half the visits we need to go. The next closest practice is 3 hours away, and they are hoping some of us will leave to go there. There is no way we are getting the same level of care as before; I only wonder how long until the doctor drops from exhaustion.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 2:17 PM, Applianceman wrote:

    Everything boils down to money. With 23 new taxes kicking in at end of 2013, the Gov gets more money to play with. The middle class will pay for greatest cost of Obamacare per Paul Krugman (Obama advisor). What happens when there is no more money?

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 2:18 PM, deewus wrote:

    This article is an astonishingly sophmoric attempt to pass off right-wing talking points as "facts." Number 5 alone is pure and utter speculation and non sequiturs. Here are the author's assertions, and the facts:

    "Higher payroll taxes have already begun to take a bite out of the middle-class worker's paycheck."

    And this has NOTHING to do with Obamacare or health insurance.

    "Learning to live with less will become the norm since the federal poverty level subsidies will begin to phase out for a good chunk of the middle class, exposing these individuals to lofty insurance premiums caused by a greatly expanded health benefits package."

    Yes, and it is generally recognized as a GOOD THING that your income is ABOVE the federal poverty level. As to your assertion that that this group will have "lofty" insurance premiums - lofty as compared to what, the premiums they pay now? The out-of-pocket medical expenses they pay because they are uninsured?

    "In addition to expected higher premiums and taxes with fewer subsidies for a majority of the middle class, the individual mandate will require a tax of up to 2.5% of a person's adjusted gross income in 2016 if they fail to carry health insurance."

    This is perhaps your stupidest point - it is obvious to any idiot that no one could be subject both to the supposedly "higher" costs of having health insurance and the penalty for not having it. They are mutually exclusive, and yet you start with "In addition" to tie them together.

    "Two other changes brought about by the PPACA that will be most unwelcome by middle-class families include a flexible spending account cap of $2,500 each year -- FSAs allow families to use pre-tax dollars to pay for special needs education and other medical expenses -- and a boost in the medical itemized deduction from a minimum of 7.5% of adjusted gross income to 10% of AGI."

    The number of middle class persons currently uninsured who rely on FSAs to cover medical expenses above $2,500 is so miniscule that this assertion is laughable on its face. You see, the people that actually reasearch these things suggested the phase out amount because they know this, as opposed to the people who just make crap up like you. Same with the second assertion - having insurance after Obamacare is implemented obviates the need to use tax deductions to pay for catastrophic medical expenses. Those "generous benefits" you denounce earlier are the same ones that would limit a newly insured person's out-of-pocket expenses, and that is infinitely preferable than hoping your medical expenses are so onerous that they exceed 10, or even 7.5, percent of your income.

    How you ever convinced anyone that you have any idea how the health insurance industry operates, much less how the ACA will work, is beyond me.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 2:18 PM, TBRIGIDA wrote:

    This plan was designed.to.fail. I don't understand why people cant see that. This bill was never intended to provide coverage for all. It was poorly designed and done on purpose. Once this bill fails, the liberals will do what they wanted to do in the first place, which was go to a single payer system. They could never get that through Congress, so they developed this flop of a bill to fail and then they can say,"see it didn't work, we need to go to a single payer system."

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 2:21 PM, Morgana wrote:

    Rls2be: social security is extremely healthy and NOT part of the budget. Too bad all administrations have been borrowing from it and now want to destroy it so they do not have to pay back the iou's.

    In general: which god in your pantheon could uncurl the vise-like death grip of the insurance companies and their profiteering on the health and lives of human beings? As long as an investor's insurance company is making money, investors do not care. Until the American people find their voice, do not expect any change. Americans will just keep watching stupid tv shows and being conditioned for war with violent video games.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 2:22 PM, bobspeldbackwrds wrote:

    My wife opened a bill last week from a medical diagnostics firm where she had an MRI done because her primary care physician suspected she had a bone spur in her foot. The bill indicated that our insurance which costs my employer and me around $25,000 per year, is covering none of it. We owe $524.00. 100% out of pocket. She called the insurance carrier to ask why none of it was covered. They said that starting January 1 of this year, the Affordable Heathcare Act prohibits them from paying because of a jumble of rules. We have a child who has diagnosed with a chronic epilepsy condition last year. The insurer paid 100% of the costs associated with that in 2012. My wife asked if they are covering the cost of it this year since regular checkups are required. The representative didn't have an answer but said its very possible it wouldn't be covered going forward because of the new rules. I want to cancel the health insurance since it won't pay, but I would be breaking the law by doing so. I don't blame the President. I blame the souless and brainless morons who put him in the White House. We all knew who he was and is. But they voted for him anyway. In droves. Thanks for nothing.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 2:25 PM, tks1994 wrote:

    Our middle-classed family of four is covered under spouse's High-Deductible plan. We pay $300/month for "coverage", essentially nothing is covered due to $11,500 deductible (we pay that b4 anything is covered). Also there is a separate deductible for prescriptions, and eyeglasses. (Dental, another story).

    What really gets my blood boiling, is that on spouse's W-2 form, they have begun to list about $11,000 as what the company's contribution is (please, honestly, that CANNOT be true!), which seems like in the future, they will be taxing US for another $11,000 in "income".

    We make about $88,000 per year before taxes, which is barely enough for the basics. We are sick and tired of being taxed to death!

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 3:05 PM, MuchMoremoneyx10 wrote:

    Maybe we should increase the supply of health professionals to take care of the additional demand for those services. I've known many smart and well educated people dropping out of their quest to become doctors due to admission restrictions and costs. I would think care from a C rated doctor or a nurse would be better than no care at all.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 3:15 PM, frk1099 wrote:

    This will be to health care what "Model Cities" was to urban redevelopment.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 3:20 PM, doco177 wrote:

    1. Millions are and will lose the insurance Obama promised they could keep. Because ObamaCare forces employers to offer expensive Cadillac plans but also offers the option of paying a fine for not providing health insurance that can be cheaper than providing it, between seven and twenty million Americans are likely to lose their health insurance coverage according to the Congressional Budget Office. The original estimate was closer to four million.

    2. The cost of healthcare premiums is about to further skyrocket. Premium costs have already exploded, but that is a slow-motion explosion. In the near future, we could see costs double or worse. Naturally, these costs will hit an already burdened middle class hardest.

    3. Lost jobs. Lost jobs.

    The Federal Reserve's March beige book on economic activity noted that businesses "cited the unknown effects of the Affordable Care Act as reasons for planned layoffs and reluctance to hire more staff."

    Meanwhile, human resources consulting firm Adecco found that half of the small businesses it surveyed in January either plan to cut their workforce, not hire new workers, or shift to part-time or temporary help because of ObamaCare.

    4. Potential doctor shortages that will mean rationing: The healthcare industry is already a bureaucratic quagmire. ObamaCare is about to add steroids. As the profession becomes tyrannized by government, the talented people currently practicing medicine plan to get out sooner than expected. Who knows how many will choose not to get in.

    Doctor shortages are what lead to the nightmare known as rationed care. Here's an unsettling example already being practiced.

    5. Somewhere around $800 billion in tax increases will hit America's middle class. This added burden will not only further oppress a middle class already reeling from a drop in wages over the last few years, but could damage the overall economy.

    6. Inflation, the cruelest tax on the poor. When businesses get socked with added costs brought about by higher taxes and burdensome government mandates, they pass those cost along to the consumer in the form of higher prices.

    7. Added bureaucracy. Even those Obama lapdogs over at the Washington Post's Wonk Blog are admitting that applying for health care is about to get more burdensome than the byzantine paperwork involved in buying a home.

    8. To cut costs or to avoid having to provide insurance, workers on the economic margins are already losing hours, which means a lower paycheck. There are a million sad stories in ObamaVille; here are just a few of them.

    9. ObamaCare is projected to add $6.2 TRILLION to a deficit the GAO has already declared "unsustainable." That's "trillion" with a "t".

    10. More taxes than currently estimated are likely to hit because of situations like this one.

    Three years ago, Obama, Democrats, and his media lied to us about cutting the cost of health care, being able to keep our insurance, and not taxing the middle class.

    Today, those lies and what ObamaCare is and will do to the working and middle class are the biggest untold story in America.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 3:20 PM, Ironbob wrote:

    We have a public option that is a disaster! IT'S CALLED MEDICARE AND IT'S BANKRUPTING THE COUNTRY!!! So what is the solution from brain dead progressives? Let's make a new Medicare, extend it to everyone and their brother, call it something else and hope that it works even though it's a proven failure! Good job, leftists. Go back to protesting for peace and leave the economics to the adults.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 3:26 PM, clydeglyde wrote:

    number 5 is what i think people will feel the most.and it's not just healthcare.what's left of the middle class will shrink as taxes will put us below the poverty level.but hey,that's been the plan all along.more people dependant on government.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 3:48 PM, outoffocus wrote:

    Nice how a discussion on healthcare still manages to bring out the racists...

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 3:55 PM, abarisc wrote:

    I think just about everyone has missed the entire point. This isn't just about health care. Obama promised change to get elected. What he neglected to indicate was the change he had in mind was to finish the process of turning the US over to the top 1%. His policies have pushed us closer to a full blown depression. Only, at the end of it, we will be in a feudal system of government because congress has already laid down the groundwork by eroding the constitution and bill of rights beyond recognition over the past 4 decades.

    Profits are king and human life is expendable for an exempt few such as the congressmen and president. Old money controls and can literally get away with murder. Things the average citizen would be put in prison for, old money is just slapped on the wrist - if it even gets to that point because something accidentally went pubic. Check your history folks, the American citizen has been under educated and asleep for way too long already. Welcome to "1984".

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 3:57 PM, raduzmf wrote:

    ...and the #1 reason it will fail is: It doesn't do anything to bring down the costs that providers are charging. The problem is the cost of these services. Get the lawyers out of this.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 3:59 PM, midwestguy13 wrote:

    Whats everyone complaining about? You wanted change? You got it. Just remember be careful what you ask for.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 4:06 PM, emjayay wrote:

    deewus is right. This article is a bunch of unimformed right wing talking points. Details of various plans in various countries, exactly how is it that every other comparable country on earth manages something like universal medical care for all its citizens, with similar and often better outcomes in general, and all for 25-50% less than we pay while we don't cover up to a quarter of people in some states?

    The ACA is the most conservative of any plan in any country. The next closest one is in Switzerland, which is similar except for not allowing companies offering basic comprehensive health insurance being for-profit. Is maybe profits for hospitals and insurance companies resulting in facilitating many-multi-million dollar salaries of CEOs and other top executives the real problem? And how about the fact that your doctor or dentist office has an employee or two who do nothing but deal with insurance companies all day, and all the insurance companies have platoons of employees who do nothing but deal with providers all day? How about the fact that we pay about double for drugs compared to any other country on earth? Are these just maybe the real problems?

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 4:08 PM, emjayay wrote:

    The second sentence should have read "Details of various plans in various countries aside,..."

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 4:37 PM, Makikijoe wrote:

    Why don't you be fair and write ANOTHER article.

    The title could be, "Five Ways Obamacare WIll Help Millions Of People Obtain Health Care Access They Could Not Afford Before".

    There are some kinks to work out, sure.

    There were plenty of kinks to work out when the Medicare Program was started back in the 1960's. And again, when Medicaid was first begun. But these days, very few people would argue that those programs have not helped millions of people become eligible for health care.

    I thank God every day that Obama was elected in the 2008 election.

    Had John McCain won, we would not have acheived Obamacare, an important step on the road to universal health care.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 4:41 PM, robrif wrote:

    To all those complaining about Obamacare: keep in mind a key fact; virtually all other industrialized countires provide universal care for less than 40% of the cost of care in the US!!!! What does this tell us about the cost of care? That we are being scammed by insurance companies and hospitals who are essentially stealing 60% of the medical resources. All the arguments about how to pay for care are irrelevant and no solution can be find until the waste in the system is eliminated, that waste being the exhorbitant profits made by insurance companies and hsopitals, money tha should be going to providing care instead of administrative costs and profits. All studies of health care have shown that our healthcare is at best middling quality compared to these othe countries. Why should we be faced with the dilemma of with leaving large numbers of citizens without any medical care or paying too much? Read Steven Brill's article in TIME magazine on the cost of medical care. The only solution is a single payer system that can negotiate with hospitals to keep costs contained. Addressing the litigation problem is also important. Half of all tests are unnecessary and performed to insulated provides against malpractice suits. As it stands now, of your 100 pennies in each medical care dollar you spend, you are actually receiving only about 35 cents of medical care. The rest goes to insurance companies, hospital administrators and extra testing for malpractice protection. All other discussions are tantamount to the proverbial "rearranging the deck charis on the Titanic". Obama, you recall, wanted a government options, essentially Medicare available to all. He was blocked by Republicans and forced to resort to the current program - he is not to blame for the problems that it has.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 4:45 PM, sdchanman wrote:

    "Now, there's one thing you might have noticed I don't complain about: politicians. Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don't fall out of the sky. They don't pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It's what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you're going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain't going to do any good; you're just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it's not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here... like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There's a nice campaign slogan for somebody: 'The Public Sucks. F*ck Hope.'"

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 4:51 PM, tristinstone wrote:

    I know this has been used many times? But here we go again. How can you tell when Obama is lying? his lips are moving.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 4:53 PM, jimhealthguru wrote:

    Hilarious article! I enjoyed reading your wonderful misdirected analysis of the problem with Obamacare! You point every reason the reaction to the law is going to hurt us all, but you point the finger at those reacting, rather than the cause, which is the law itself! You should be writing for and paid by the Democratic party for this one!!

    The law is going to fail because it was short sighted, gave misleading information about the cost, creates the illusion that insurers are the "bad Guy" and promotes the idea that the Government can do a better job of regulating an industry than free market competitive pressures!

    Oh and by the way; People will wait longer for medically needed tests and procedures. NOT as you so eloquently seem to misdirect! Tests that people simply want to have!

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 4:54 PM, tristinstone wrote:

    Obama is going to walk out of our White house in 2016. He will have accomplished absolutely NOTHING! He will be worth millions, and he will laugh all the way to the bank at you Lemmings who put his inept aszzs into office twice!

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 4:55 PM, tristinstone wrote:

    This type of medical insurance works over seas and in Canada at the expense of everyone paying 45-50% taxes?

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 4:56 PM, tristinstone wrote:

    Our president is the laughing stock of the world leaders.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 5:02 PM, jimhealthguru wrote:

    In addition to my previous post I am amazed at your brazen analysis of your number 1 reason for health care reform failure. The 180 degree turnabout by CMS, you refer to was done because of the truck load of documentation that was provided regarding the need for funding increase. Your comment seems unprofessional, misguided and uninformed! It appears to me as though you are simply writing things you think might appeal to the uneducated reader! SHAME ON YOU Sean Williams!

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 5:16 PM, drjcm wrote:

    Washington talks about jobs created, but a lower percentage of working age people have jobs than at the depth of the recession, and there are fewer and fewer employees with full time jobs-- all the (illusory) job growth is part-timers. Small business owners are likely to pay the fine instead of the huge insurance premium, and if they get sick, business will close as hospitals are required to collect for care. This will cost the small business e3mployees their jobs. I see this as a disaster for young people entering the job force, trying to find 2 or 3 part-time jobs and with employers afraid to grow, add hours, or provide other benefits, and with huge government outlays borrowed from the future, so that the economy fails to grow for a generation. We are impoverishing the young by robbing them of a future or a present by structuring this the way Congress and Mr Obama chose to. I won't even mention the increase in overhead that providers will have to comply with the rules imposed, and the inevitable rationing of care for the elderly to try to pay at least a little for this.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 5:29 PM, Giggleflower wrote:

    I called WELLCARE the other day to get a name of a doctor. It took over an hour since the lady had to look it up for me - then call and verify if they accept them THEN she had to choose 2 more - call them and see if they accept well care- THEN after begging her for the phone number she finally gave it to me.

    I THINK that was a bit wasteful - don't you? That is why the cost is going up BECAUSE OF MADE UP PAPERWORK. Funny how other countries can handle this but we in the USA cant do anything without it going through 15 or more layers~~

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 5:40 PM, marilynndw wrote:

    I became unemployed. Signed up for COBRA and it cost me $540 per month and I would have the same coverage for 18 months that I had while employed. Three months prior to my COBRA ending I started looking for insurance because I am still unemployed. I was told that I could not seek a price for coverage more than 60 days from expiration. In some cases it can take 45 days to get any kind of response/approval/denial notice. I have some minor pre-existing conditions, elevated cholesteral and acid reflux. By the time United Health Care and BC/BS CareFirst finished with my application, they each quoted me a single adult $1800 and $2800 respectfully per month. This is mostly due to Obamacare. How is this more affordable healthcare for someone that is not on a group plan. Please keep in mind that you have 63 days to acquire healthcare from the end of your current policy or it will be more expensive. And, if they deny you a regular policy and you tell them you want to apply using your HIPPA rights which is what I had to do, this is where the huge montly premiums came in. I am fortunate not to have any serious pre-existing conditions, but the insurance companies will check to see if you have taken any kind of medication over the past 5 years, and they can go back as far as they want. If you had cancer 15 years ago and have been cancer free for the past 15 years, look out. They can use an ailment you have had and taken medication for to refuse you affordable coverage. If I am at all wrong here, I want to know because I spent months looking for health insurance and ended up with a very substandard plan. Nothing close as good to what I have had over the past 25 years when employed. Try looking for work and healthcare at the same time. Also, keep in mind that if your coverage ends, as I said above you have 63 days to acquire health insurance and it can take up to 45 days for the company to provide you with a plan, but some of these plans also won't start until the 15th or the 1st of a month and this can cut into your 63 day window of no coverage. One reason you truly want something is because if you have to go to the doctor and an office visit is $125, if you have insurance, you may pay a co-pay or it will go towards your deductible, but the insurance contract about will reduce the $125 from 10 to 60%. If you have no insurance at all, it will cost you $125. Feels like a penalty because you don't have or cannot afford health insurance. I wish all luck. I didn't have any.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 5:42 PM, skiraft213 wrote:

    I expect that you explanation of the shortage of doctors and staff is way understated. That will be become a far more serious problem that you have projected. This is going to be a disaster. It will adversely impact jobs, the economy and American competitiveness. We are only just beginning to see how bad it is going to be. Many of the people who voted for Obama have no clue how bad this is going to be.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 6:14 PM, ponponja wrote:

    I got lucky to have found a job with a company that currently provides Kaiser insurance for free to its employees and their families. However we already got notified by the VP of HR that the company will have to drop all insurance options including Kaiser and switch to Cigna only in order to be able to maintain the current benefits. The change is due to Obamacare. We have not seen how much the copay will increase yet. I'm pretty sure the copay will go up with the new insurance. It is too bad as I really like Kaiser.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 6:24 PM, Powhatan101 wrote:

    I just read a comment stating healthcare should be between the physician, hospital and patient. I have worked in the Medical environment and that

    statement is over simplifying the healthcare problem. The uninsured aren't overtly turned away from healthcare, but trust and believe when I say they get sub-level care, if any at all (generally through an E.R.). Obama can't fix everything....no

    president ever has. I cannot cast a negative eye on what he deems important and his attempting to

    help the poorer citizens. In another comment I read.....it stated that "everything doesn't always have to be about money". I'm inclined to agree but it's NOT the American way. We've been indoctrinated that money defines who we are.......

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 6:31 PM, beyondo1 wrote:

    I'm sitting here laughing at these comments predicting the end of the world as we know it because of "Obamacare".

    As long as we're all prognosticating...

    I predict that the world will continue to spin at the same rate, life will go on, we will survive. Slight chance of a zombie apocalypse, but that's it!

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 6:31 PM, therylmccoy wrote:

    I can not wait to tell Anthem Blue Cross to go to hell. They raised my rates twice in one year to ramp up for this change. First time was 17.3% then a few months later they raised my premium by 20.5%.

    It is a shame that we need to pass a law to force these insurance companies to behave properly. Denying people insurance who need it most is a crime.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 6:37 PM, Howard1ii wrote:

    Working great so far. "Everyone has insurance!!!" NO doctors will take it. My primary care doc just announced he was quitting. I have called 3 other primary care docs to find a new one and ALL of them said they were NOT taking any new patients with Medicare. So "FREE" health insurance for EVERYBODY, but NO doctors will see you.

    GREAT plan, but what do you expect from a Community Organizer who hates business?

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 6:37 PM, garytheodore wrote:

    And still we have those that try to blame this whole mess on anyone other than those who actually did this to us. This is called Obamacare for a reason, this is Obama'a fault and the rest of his party. Republicans controlled nothing at the time so don't blame them. Our insurance has doubled here in Utah in four years and I do not think it is done yet.

    Hope and change is what was wanted then and then we reelect the guy, man we are slow. Don't make the mistake again.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 6:40 PM, campswampy wrote:

    As the father of a physician, husband of a nurse, and Certified Financial Planner serving physicians and their families, I can tell you a little about what to expect:

    1. Higher insurance premiums for all. A $10,000 deductible Major Medical policy for my wife and myself is now $1277/month (yes, you read that correctly). We are 60 and 61 and have NO health problems. This premium is 35% higher than last year, solely due to the new mandates that will take effect in 2014. By definition, if you have been uninsured but are now forced to purchase health insurance, you have higher insurance premiums.

    2. Greater personal cost of care in the form of higher deductibles, co-pays, and coverage limitations.

    3. Rationing of care, either by design or default, as more physicians leave their practices. All of my physician clients are focused on their retirement as quickly as possible.

    4. Lower quality of care as many "routine" cases will be handled by nurse practitioners or physician assistants.

    5. An eventual "tiered" system where the general population will be stuck with what is available while those with means will go to private pay, concierge care, or separate individual insurance coverage. This already occurs in most countries with "socialized medicine". Witness all of the Canadians flocking to the US for care or the booming private health insurance business in Britain. Where do you think the best doctors will be?

    6. Increasing "medical tourism" as astute physicians open health havens off-shore. Heart by-passes in the Caribbean, hip replacement at a beautiful resort in Costa Rica anyone?

    Still, I am not all that convinced that ObamaCare is the end of the world. With the exception of remarkable premium increases, we really haven't seen the effects of full implementation. While I think that the law and the process that got it passed is an abomination, it is the law. We will all figure out how to live with the system. Some will figure out how to thrive and even prosper with the system.

    In the meantime, I encourage all to take responsibility for their own health. Get down to a health weight, exercise regularly, end your addictions to tobacco, alcohol, whatever, and practice simple moderation in all things. The best health care (your own) is already free.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 6:41 PM, cmm912 wrote:

    EVERYTHING obama says is a LIE.

    1) He says he's looking out for the "middle class" - LIE, LIE, LIE! All he's looking out for is the MONEY he is going to ROB from the "middle class" - because as one other poster here said, THAT is where the money is!

    2) He said "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor" - NOT if my doctor retires, which MANY, MANY, MANY will be doing in 2014.

    3) He said "it won't raise taxes by "one dime" - HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!

    4) He said "your premiums will go DOWN" - again, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!

    I could do this all night, but the tip off that should have made EVERYONE run to the phone and demand that no one vote for obamacare was what Nancy Pelosi said: "you have to pass the bill, to see what's in the bill." WTF kinda logic is THAT?!

    obamacare is scary, but it is equally as scary to know that 50% of the country support that Pelosi logic!!

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 6:44 PM, therylmccoy wrote:

    My application for insurance was once denied because I sprained my knee 5 years prior. The injury healed on its own and all the doctor did was look at an xray and advise. They called it a preexisting condition.

    Insurance companies are forced to remove their limit on benefit payout. Insurance companies are also forced to insure you with a preexisting condition. Obamacare gets my vote for these two reasons alone.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 6:49 PM, valcansa wrote:

    What amazes me is that people are so up in arms about Obamacare. They only had to look at Canada and Great Britian the folly of government health care. If government health is great, why do Canadians and British people come to the U.S. for care. Both of those countries have long waiting lists for tests and surgeries for life threatening illnesses (in most cases, people die before they can get the test/surgery they need). I guess that's one way to keep health costs down (NOT!). I firmly believe that we will see health care rationing in the near future especially our population is getting older. I can even see a time when the government will decide to cut health for people that reach a certain age and just give them medication to ease pain and even strongly endorse euthenasia (does anybody remember to movie called Soylent Green). It may sound crazy, but let's face it our government is crazy to begin with. All of us should have figured that obamacare was crap when the senators, congressman and other federal officials DO NOT have to have obamacare, they get to keep their super premium health as opposed to obamacare.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 6:55 PM, yankeestonk wrote:

    "We have to pass the bill, uh, duh, to find out what is in it." Nancy "Mulit-millionaire-hypocrit" Pelosi. Obamacare was never about making anything more affordable. It was about redistribution. Get the working class to pay for the lazy....who happen to vote Democratic when you give them lot's of free stuff.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 6:57 PM, HailObama wrote:

    The author of the above article is an amatuer writer with no expertise in what he is bloviating about. His dire warnings should be taken with a grain of salt. Our healthcare system was a total disaster before the PPACA, and it will certainly have continuing problems ongoing under the PPACA, but it will be an improvement. The real solution to our despicable healthcare-for-profit is to eliminate the for-profit insurers and establish a single-payer system - Medicare for all from cradle to grave, and paid for by payroll taxes and surcharge taxes on stock trades and exorbitant income levels of the uber-wealthy.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 7:00 PM, jodigirl2 wrote:

    We could have had universal access for primary care if we had gone the Direct Primary Care model, where people can get super cheap services because the middle-man is gone and overhead is incredibly low. If you're sick, if you're high risk, if you're uninsured, if you're not living here legally - It doesn't matter, you can still get very cheap services. Check it out.

    That would have to be followed with allowing insurers to provide catastrophic policies where all the "stuff" is not required, and the price drops dramatically.

    But, alas, it is more fun as a politician to promise people the moon - FOR FREE, no less. My guess is that politics and ego is more the undercurrent of the new health care law, not really solving our problems in any lasting or meaningful way. And I voted for him in 2008!! I was wrong.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 7:02 PM, janpaus wrote:

    All the new Obamacare enrollees will operate under the delusion that having health insurance equates to getting healthcare. Providers will be paid Medicaid rates. Even now many providers don't accept Medicaid patients because the reimbursements don't even cover their costs. So all these new patients are not going to get to have a nice chat in a nice office of their very own physician. Nothing has been done to increase the number of health care professionals. The training programs were gutted of funding years ago. Of course, we still have all those lawyers looking for the sap who is their next meal ticket. What do all the ads for class action lawsuits mean? Has anyone thought about that? The ER's will be the modus operandi of giving care to all these new enrollees. That isn't the kind of care they voted for when they cast their ballots for Obama. When they all figure it out while sitting overnight in an ER with their sick kids, things will get nasty. In the meantime, the rest of us who have been paying for insurance for our employees all along are getting totally fleeced by both the goverrnment and from our insurance companies because we have been doing the responsible thing voluntarily. Apparently as many as 40% of the hospitals in this country will be closed in the next few years. All is going according to plan isn't it? Yes, no crisis will go to waste.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 7:33 PM, indy06 wrote:

    For all of the comments talking about our health care problems pre Obamacare. Could you just save us a ton of space and speak to the ones that it fixes? I think we all generally understand there were some issues there. Just not sure why adding a bunch of new terrible problems to the old ones makes it a good idea?

    To whoever up there was saying that the payroll tax increase was not because of Obamacare. The article doesn't say that it does. Read it again.

    Since you brought it up however. The GAO estimates that Obamacare will add 6.2 Trillion to the deficit. The GAO if you are not aware is a nonpartison group interestingly enough headed up by an Obama appointee. All of goverment including the president have been forced to accept this fact. He can't just add a 10% tax to pay for this thing, congress won't approve it including his own people. What you are seeing with letting the tax holiday expire, now willing to cut social security, ect. is just the start of paying for Obamacare. Every tax increase, every program cut is Obamacare tax you just have to think a little to understand it.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 7:44 PM, jcphenry wrote:

    The numbers of doctors available to our population is not determined by the aggregate size of the graduating medical school classes but by the numbers of residency slots in existence. The numbers of residency slots is for the most part controlled by the federal government as CMS funds these programs, and without funding, hospitals capable of operating resident teaching programs will not hire and train residents. Up until very recently, the numbers of residency openings exceeded the numbers of graduating medical school fourth-year students, the difference being taken up by graduates of medical schools overseas.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 8:01 PM, southwestguy wrote:

    Obamacare is yet another entitlement / wealth redistribution debacle. Health care before Obamacare was bad and getting worse, especially for the truly needy which I support. But now it's getting far worse because Obama failed to do the two most needed things. (1) Healthcare reform is enormously complicated. Trial and error should have been worked out at the state level -- not the Federal level. And, healthcare is not "one size fits all"... psuedo-socialized health care kind of works in Massachusetts but would fail miserably in Texas or Louisiana. (2) Obamacare doesn't even address the real problem with American health which is "Why does it cost so much? How can we control health care costs?" Our quality of health stinks but costs way more than that of countries with much better health care. One place to start would be to incentivize or perhaps mandate people to have "End-of-Life" directives in order to stop wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars for outlandish medical interventions in hospitals during the last few days or weeks of a dying person's life (making it miserable for both them and their family), and instead spend a few thousand dollars to make their last few days more comfortable at home. Maybe they'd live a day or two less but, in most cases, dying people would greatly prefer the latter.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 8:07 PM, daveweave2 wrote:

    Just like the bailout this was not created to help the American people. The bailout helped the banks and did nothing to keep people in their homes thus averting the housing crisis, instead it only protected banks by spreading out foreclosures. I knew when health reform was given to the insurance companies it would fail. Their profit has already increased about 6 or 7 percent. The two parties are owned by corporate America, American Politics is always about money. A real solution would have been a national insurance cooperative a non profit insurance company, and an end to private for profit insurance. The president, congress and all our elected are owned and do not take their orders from us but the 1 percent are their masters. Partisanship is a diversion so people do not realize Democracy is slipping away and this country is fast becoming an Oligarchy. As long as Republicans or Democrats remain in power this will be the way of things.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 8:15 PM, Freddbe wrote:

    The real fact about healthcare is that healthcare should have never been apart of Capitalism. Capitalism is a profit and profit should never be apart of healthcare.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 9:17 PM, hahahaha1 wrote:

    Lets examine why Healthcare costs are so high...

    Who makes more profits per capita... Hospitals or Union workers in Education who profit at the expense of Healthcare workers and the Taxpayer.?

    Who makes more profits per capita... Hospitals or Union workers in Healthcare who profit at the expense of Consumers and the Taxpayer?

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 9:18 PM, hahahaha1 wrote:

    Primary Care direct is market based Healthcare.

    Eliminate Insurance as method of payment.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 9:19 PM, JGBFool wrote:

    "Higher payroll taxes"?

    They are at the same level they were at before.

    It was idiocy to lower them as the baby boomers were retiring en masse. It's only sensible that they are returning to the level where they had been. Social Security should be funded.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 9:20 PM, hahahaha1 wrote:

    End Socialism.. the Government of Aristocracy.

    They are the only ones who dont need socialism because your labor ensures that you have money to pay your needs but ends up in their pocket.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 9:22 PM, hahahaha1 wrote:

    I support primary care direct payments. In Seattle a single person pays $15 a week. Look it up....

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 9:24 PM, hahahaha1 wrote:

    Payroll Taxes were 2% total from 1936-1949.

    Today its 15.3%.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 9:41 PM, kiddmarks wrote:

    Oboy;another insurance increase to subsidize everyone else.I am with an hmo with a deductable.

    my family of four already pays$1925 per month.Not including dental insurance which is a total joke.If my premiums increase another 20% over the next four years wtf?Already,my premiums are a lot more than the social security I can start collecting in another 2 years but of course I cant afford to stop working.Why?Health insurance,car insurance,homeowners insurance.I am self employed so also my biz insurance.............

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 9:58 PM, Hibiscusanole wrote:

    I never wanted it. I lived in the Louisiana, the state who's Senator decided to let the progam proceed. The state of Louisiana covered its uninsured for $430 per person per year. People from all walks of life went uninsured, including RN's and other professionals.

    I was gratified to see Motley Fool say the same thing I did about the profits going to the stockholders of health companies.

    It was presented fraudulently as a program with vouchers covering those earning less than $40,000. I believed that they were giving us breathing room for gymn memberships, dance classes, massages: whatever you did to stay healthy. Then Yahoo said the cost would start at a $12,000 income, and it would be $235/mo.

    Cuba has doctors, and also dire poverty, squalor, prostitution as the only means for some people to eat. Poland lived under Communism, and the people were too poor to afford teeth. I usually just have to pay the dentist. The Russians wore neutral, natural colored clothing, not to spare the environment from bleaching and poisonous dyes, but because THEY COULD NOT AFFORD COLOR IN THEIR CLOTHING.

    Obamacare has to go. The Senate must follow the house, and repeal it.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 10:03 PM, NAcres wrote:

    No one dares to mention the effect of frivilous lawsuits on this morass.

    Why not give people the OPTION of not suing for "mental anguish" in case of a medical mistake and getting a lower premium in return?

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 10:10 PM, PoliticsDebunked wrote:

    There are many was Obamacare will drive up prices that pundits missed, it is full of "crony capitalism'. For instance Medial Loss Ratios requirements pretend to be a way to force insurers to cut back on overhead&profit. In reality they provide incentive for insurers to help medical costs rise instead of finding ways to reduce them. For details see this new page which explains in detail why healthcare prices rise and Obamacare isn't the answer.

    http://www.politicsdebunked.com/article-list/healthcare

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 10:43 PM, chuckcllr wrote:

    Duh, if an employer that has over 50 employees is required to buy healthcare for it's full time employees I bet he very quickly changes that to 100 part time employees. Anyone who fell for this obamacare stuff is a sucker.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 11:16 PM, LouBodoh wrote:

    Why isn't this question being addressed concerning the health or death care system in America?

    Why are so many Americans so sick all the time?

    Could it be the Standard American Diet(SAD) of overprocessed, fragmented, devitalized, chemicalized, GMO ladened, dead and stale material which passes off as food.

    Americans are overfed and undernourished.

    Diseases of deficiency run rampant. Obesity rules the land. We have become a nation of apathetic sloths.

    The root of the problem is a piss poor diet of all this fast, chemicalized, overcooked slop.

    In all my travels around the world over the past 45 years, I have never seen a country with one of the highest standards of living as the US with the high numbers of the ill, ailing or dying. What is causing all of these illnesses? Do we need to keep studying the problems to death for generations?

    Rather than focus on treating the problems, what about spending more time on prevention.

    Obamination Care is nothing more than money being taken from you and transferred to those in the medical-industrial complex and insurance companies who helped finance his ascendancy to the White House. More scams will follow to screw you of your money.

    Americans get the government they deserve.

    Wake up and get involved and educate yourself of the coming conflicts as Mary Harris "Mother Jones" spoke about.

    Another question about Obama Care. If this program is suppose to be so good for Americans, why doesn't it also cover those in Congress?

    Your government is not only worthless, they are dangerous.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 11:37 PM, 7light wrote:

    The law was ill conceived, poorly planned and pushed through by hook or crook. What did Pelosi say-you don't have to read it -you will like it. What an idiotic statement. Now as the details are better understood more and more people will dislike the new law.

    Obama gets a free pass on just about every mistake he makes. It will be hard for Obama to escape the torrent of criticism that will transpire under his namesake law-Obamacare. The liberal elites had all the answers and excuses. Watch the gutless wonders run and hide and play the blame game when parts of the law such as setting up healthcare exchanges are long delayed in starting.

    This law is a disaster about to happen.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 11:51 PM, brianjrn wrote:

    I have been telling people this for a long time. (See #5) Higher taxes, (See #4) less services, and zero cost containment(See #2). Thanks liberals.

  • Report this Comment On April 10, 2013, at 12:02 AM, DBKDDS wrote:

    I have been a dentist for 37 years . I accepted medicade for 33 years. When it reached a point that it would not cover my overhead and it cost me to treat medicade patients and the government placed requirements that would not allow me to diagnose prevent or properly treat patients I stopped taking medicade. Who will treat these patients. You can have all the people on medicade and no one to treat them

  • Report this Comment On April 10, 2013, at 12:05 AM, kkrimmer wrote:

    For the worst possible advice, read the Fool.

  • Report this Comment On April 10, 2013, at 12:06 AM, kkrimmer wrote:

    50 years ago the CEO to Average worker pay was 30 to 1.... Today it's 400 to 1.

    Top War Contractors Among The Nation's Wealthiest

    There's the top 1% of wealthy Americans (bankers, oil tycoons, hedge fund managers) and there's the top 0.01% of wealthy Americans: the military contractor CEOs. tinyurl.com/3ptzve7

    Report: Firms spent more on CEO pay than taxes

    Twenty-five of the 100 largest U.S. corporations paid their chief executives more than they paid the government in federal income taxes last year, according to a report released Wednesday.

    The nonprofit Institute for Policy Studies says the 25 CEOs averaged $16.7 million in salary and other 2010 compensation. Most of the companies they ran, meanwhile, came out ahead at tax time, collecting tax refunds that averaged $304 million, according to its review of public filings. tinyurl.com/3qnyamm

    The GOP’s Intellectual Dishonesty Regarding Bush Tax Cuts For The Rich

    Republicans say that tax cuts for the wealthy must be extended to protect the economy and small businesses, even though neither would be affected by their lapse. tinyurl.com/2cgltuc

  • Report this Comment On April 10, 2013, at 12:26 AM, james27613 wrote:

    Home Depot has cut back all part timers to 29 hours a week MAX, so no way you can hit over 30 hours.

    If you do, to cover vacations for example, your next week schedule will be reduced by that overage of hours.

    Now I don't need insurance, I have it at my full time job but that don't matter, Obamacare don't have any provision for that, if they did we can't find it in that stack of 2,800 plus pages.

    This obama care is a failure.

  • Report this Comment On April 10, 2013, at 12:27 AM, james27613 wrote:

    Obamacare is taking your piece of the pie, giving it to somebody else who has a smaller piece and you get left with NOTHING.

  • Report this Comment On April 10, 2013, at 12:51 AM, downeysoca wrote:

    Voting Obama in as President is what was and still is the failure of this country! And everyone knows who they voted for and I hope you got what you were hoping for, I for one did not vote for this man either time!

  • Report this Comment On April 10, 2013, at 1:22 AM, jad9000 wrote:

    Let's start adding it up. What has Obama done to buy his second term:

    - Encourage twelve million new food stamp recipients, most of which were never means tested..

    - Allow three million new "disability" claims (One county in Alabama has 24% of their population claiming it.

    - Make illegal appointments to the NLRB which, in turn, support the unions on everything.

    - Add 200,000 workers to Federal payrolls, 100,000 of whom receive an average of $200,000 per year in pay and benefits.

    - Give billions of taxpayer dollars to hostile regimes like Pakistan and now Egypt.

    - Hide all of the evidence on Benghazi from Congress and the American people.

    And, his crown jewel, bankrupt the country completely with a health care mandate that completely avoided cost savings measures and sent the bill to every man, woman and child in this country who has a moderate income (if you don't, it's free compliments of your neighbor).

  • Report this Comment On April 10, 2013, at 6:15 AM, devoish wrote:

    "1. Higher insurance premiums for all. A $10,000 deductible Major Medical policy for my wife and myself is now $1277/month (yes, you read that correctly). We are 60 and 61 and have NO health problems. This premium is 35% higher than last year, solely due to the new mandates that will take effect in 2014. By definition, if you have been uninsured but are now forced to purchase health insurance, you have higher insurance premiums."

    Nothing has stopped private insurance premiums from rising before Obamacare - otherwise there would be no Obamacare

    "2. Greater personal cost of care in the form of higher deductibles, co-pays, and coverage limitations."

    Nothing has stopped greater personal cost of care in the form in the form of higher deductibles, co-pays, and coverage limitations being implemented by private insurers before Obamacare- otherwise there would be no Obamacare.

    "3. Rationing of care, either by design or default, as more physicians leave their practices. All of my physician clients are focused on their retirement as quickly as possible."

    Nothing has stopped rationing of care either by design or default, before Obamacare - otherwise there would be no Obamacare.

    "4. Lower quality of care as many "routine" cases will be handled by nurse practitioners or physician assistants."

    Nothing has stopped the lower quality of care as many "routine" cases are already handled by increasing numbers of Nurse Practitioners before Obamacare - Otherwise there would be no Obamacare

    "5. An eventual "tiered" system where the general population will be stuck with what is available while those with means will go to private pay, concierge care, or separate individual insurance coverage. This already occurs in most countries with "socialized medicine". Witness all of the Canadians flocking to the US for care or the booming private health insurance business in Britain. Where do you think the best doctors will be?"

    Nothing has stopped the USA from having a two tiered system with some people forced to use emergency room symptom treatment and others able to access the finest quality preventative care in the world before Obamacare - Otherwise there would be no Obamacare

    "6. Increasing "medical tourism" as astute physicians open health havens off-shore. Heart by-passes in the Caribbean, hip replacement at a beautiful resort in Costa Rica anyone?"

    Nothing has stopped the growth of "medical tourism" as astute physicians open havens off-shore before Obamacare either, It is also important to note that in the politics expressed by campswampy Canadians,don't skip US healthcare and go directly to Costa Rica. It is also impriotant to note that their Gov't insurance covers canadians in the USA or Costa Rica, our private insurers do not.

    "Still, I am not all that convinced that ObamaCare is the end of the world. With the exception of remarkable premium increases, we really haven't seen the effects of full implementation. While I think that the law and the process that got it passed is an abomination, it is the law. We will all figure out how to live with the system. Some will figure out how to thrive and even prosper with the system."

    This I agree with. With no Gov't option there is no competition for private insurers who are in collusion with each other and no competing model that does not reward CEO's and investors with money that could have provided healthcare to whoever among us needs it next.

    "In the meantime, I encourage all to take responsibility for their own health. Get down to a health weight, exercise regularly, end your addictions to tobacco, alcohol, whatever, and practice simple moderation in all things. The best health care (your own) is already free."

    So if you do get sick, it is your fault, not because XOM spilled something toxic in your neighborhood or there is round-up pesticides in your corn you did not know about.

    Best wishes,

    Steven

  • Report this Comment On April 10, 2013, at 8:23 AM, gene132 wrote:

    The "Affordable Care Act"-AKA "Obamacare" is the realization of "1984"-less is more. It does not lower costs-it massively increases them. It does not address the tort system of medical malpractice-in fact, it makes the present system worse in many ways. look at Massachusetts (mandatory health insurance). There are no savings from "competition"all of the insurers offer plans that are within a few dollars of eachother. In short, it is a disaster that was never thought out. Real reform needs to take place, bt the Trial Lawyers of America will never allow it. Your best option: pay cash to a "Mezzanine service doctor"-you will get attention right away, and save yourself a lot of money and precious time.

  • Report this Comment On April 10, 2013, at 11:37 AM, japohl wrote:

    Already one of the Obamacare programs has proven to have costs grossly out the initial estimates. I read at http://obamacareaca.com/obamacare/an-obamacare-canary-is-dyi... that one program had to be cut off 10 months early and that the premiums had to be increased over 50% what they were started at.

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 7:09 AM, gringo73 wrote:

    As a healthcare provider, there are so many more ways this will go bad. Number 1 is supply and demand. You cannot add 30 million people to an already crowded healthcare system and not expect costs to rise and waits to increase. When your insurance is paid for by the government, they won't wait 4-6wks for a primary care visit so they will go the the emergency room. $75 vs $500. It's hard not to be pissed because we're all going to pay for it.

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 2:01 PM, JPublicus wrote:

    I'm so disappointed here. I thought fools were smart. At least intelligent!

    This rehashing of partisan talking points, both in the article and even more so in the comments!

    The lions share of 'waste' is at the hospital level. The obscene profits of the health insurers is number two on the hit parade. Single payer slats both beasts.

    As far as I'm concerned the dems out maneuvered the reps in every way here. Yes, this system was designed to fail-by the reps and the previously mentioned. All the dens did was allow them to stir their toxic crap into the mix and create a failure. Bad on them for that.

    Once that happens (give it two more administrations tops) single payer results oriented care will prevail and then we can get back to the business of business in this country, before a country with an advanced society eats our lunch more than china is.

    Fool on!

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 2:46 PM, rckz3 wrote:

    The problem comes when costs unduly inflate because too much of the purchasing is being done with "other people's money" and "no one is minding the store." What is obvious is that any solution that does not give the consumer of services more "skin in the game" will never contain costs. Anything that is "free" WILL BE ABUSED as surely as an all you can eat buffet. There are already far too many people getting "free" healthcare and paying no income taxes...they are freeloaders and not contributors...serfs of the government. Insurance may be a gamble and even a scam but government healthcare programs are a gigantic ponzi scheme.

    Oh yes, if you had a single-payer system, the government could (as it does in Britain and Canada) ration care. This would reduce costs in the aggregate...with a huge advantage in control over the spigot compared to what private insurance companies can hope to achieve. But at what price?

    Of course there is "rationing" going on even now but it is contractually-based rather than based on the requirements of a government budget...which means that there is a legion of ambulance chasers to help you fight it if you are being screwed. There is a world of difference between fighting the government and fighting some company when a dispute arises about anything…and there will be disputes no matter who the bureaucrats are working for. This “death panel” thing is overly dramatic but there is the functional equivalent in a faceless bureaucracy putting cost/benefit analysis to work in deciding who will have what treatments available to them. The government should be there as a referee on health care, NOT as your opponent.

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 6:30 PM, overlarry wrote:

    Single payer works. In works in most of the civilized world and it works BETTER than the hodge-podge of payment scenarios here. Nearly all of the rest of the civilized world has better healthcare OUTCOMES that the U.S. has. It's going to take a generation before Obamacare becomes cost-effective due to all the uninsured (and sick) patients to either get better or die off. Afterwards, access to care for everyone will result in a healthier nation - with subsequently lower cost.

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2013, at 12:13 PM, GaryFranke wrote:

    It seems everyone will be impacted differently by Obamacare.

    www.achieve-alpha.com/unbiased-overview-of-obamacare

    BASIC HEALTH INSURANCE OVERVIEW:

    __Healthy people, Younger people, and the Rich (anyone with a decent job) WILL pay MORE

    __Unhealthy people, Older people, and Poorer people WILL pay LESS

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2013, at 3:15 PM, HurricaneJohnson wrote:

    Many of the comments above deflect the cause for the imperfect nature of Obamacare to the Republicans. Like, "if only the GOP had allowed x or y to happen, all would be perfect with Healthcare".

    Please, for those of you that like to focus blame, the Democrats had a super majority in both the congress and Senate. They could have voted for and gotten any system they wanted. Timing for the Obamacare legislation was due to the fact that Republicans had no power to thwart it.

    They also delayed implementation of it till 2014 - after the 2012 elections.

    This is a pure political play designed to keep democrats in power. Shame on us, their tactics worked.

  • Report this Comment On April 15, 2013, at 7:50 AM, circa1850 wrote:

    Please add to my previous post approx 1 hr ago... The only thing that works for health care is you own personal responsibility to stay as active and healthy weight as possible. Having to invest (both through payment and staying healthy) is the best incentive.

  • Report this Comment On June 03, 2013, at 2:10 AM, gulfcoastrebel wrote:

    Republicans and the tea party know the most important way to make the ACA fail is to persuade people who don't have insurance to keep doing without it. How is that even possible, especially with subsidies available if you buy insurance and fines levied if you don't? By keeping the masses in the dark as to benefits and eligibility. They know they have only until the end of this year to pull off this hoax, and so they are working overtime. Here's some truth about so-called "Obamacare" that conservatives would just as soon you not know:

    - Subsidies are available for those making up to $90,000 a year. (family of 4) If you make more than that chances are you have insurance anyway.

    - After the subsidy, your annual cost for insurance will be from 0 to no more than 9.5% of your annual income.

    - A couple (no children necessary) who makes $15,700 or less would be eligible for Medicaid (unless they live in a hyper-Republican state that out-lawed Medicaid expansion), or free exchange insurance (if they don't)

    Republicans and the tea party have a pressing agenda to sink the ACA, because they don't want another popular, successful Federal program, like Social Security was, to have to run against. It's urgent that it be stillborn. If 50 million uninsured and millions more about to get help buying their insurance are hurt, so be it. Widespread ignorance is their ally. We presently buy insurance. We will receive a subsidy. If Americans sadly squander this opportunity, my wife and I will just continue buying our insurance for 4 more years and then get Medicare. But what about those younger or unable to afford insurance? If you are unsure about your "Obamacare" eligibility, go to the Kaiser Family foundation website and look up your income. Give the ACA a chance. Give yourself a chance. If it fails, you'll have lost nothing. If the Republicans somehow scuttle it, with your collaberation, you and future generations will never see this opportunity again.

  • Report this Comment On June 03, 2013, at 2:29 AM, gulfcoastrebel wrote:

    RE Hurricane Johnson:

    You are mistaken on 3 things you said:

    There are two reasons the Democrats couldn't have "gotten any system they wanted." The Republicans filibuster and willingness to use it, and the insurance companies' power. The latter used money on ads that got the public to oppose and stop the 'so-called' Hillarycare in the 90s, for those of us who can remember. Obama learned from this.

    Why would anyone who is in favor of Obamacare want it delayed? I'm buying insurance. Why would I want to pay full premiums for 4 years extra? The reason for the delay was that the Republians had everybody in an anti-tax mood, even to pay for something worthwhile. So time was needed to build up funds for the start-up. It was a necessary evil for the times we live in.

    "Pure political ploy" by the Democrats? Hardly. Could it be "purely" coincidental that a "political ploy" could just happen to also benefit 50 million Americans so directly?

  • Report this Comment On June 03, 2013, at 2:32 AM, gulfcoastrebel wrote:

    To circa 1850

    See if that is the "only thing that works" when you get cancer or have an accident and have no insurance.

  • Report this Comment On June 03, 2013, at 2:43 AM, gulfcoastrebel wrote:

    GaryFranke:

    Only "the rich", those making over $200,000 a year, will see their taxes go up because of the ACA. Any speculation about premium increases is short-term and just that - speculation - fostered by conservatives to gin up support for a repeal, if they can. Maintaining the status quo, when there's change in the air that would help the majority of people, is in the Republicans' interest.

  • Report this Comment On June 03, 2013, at 2:49 AM, gulfcoastrebel wrote:

    RE Gringo 73:

    Here's news for you: the 30 million uninsured are already in "the system" From cradle to grave everybody is now getting the medical care they need to keep them alive. They get it at the ER. Very costly. To have them see a doctor regularly has been shown to cost less than our current system of delivering health care, if you can even call it that.

  • Report this Comment On June 03, 2013, at 2:56 AM, gulfcoastrebel wrote:

    To Gene132:

    The ACA will not cost more, on average, because we treat at the general practice level, not on the ER level. Ask anyone involved in the medical profession which is cheaper. You are the one that is engaging in Newspeak, trying to tell us all that caring for people without insurance at the ER is going to be cheaper than at their family doctor. If you repeat a falsehood enough times, maybe someone will believe it, right?

  • Report this Comment On June 03, 2013, at 3:10 AM, gulfcoastrebel wrote:

    devoish:

    How long have you and your wife had your insurance? My wife and I are both 60, in good health and have been buying our own insurance since 2005. It went up 16 to 20% a year in the first years we had it, and 11-18% since. Need I remind you that Bush was the president, Obama was a senator, and the ACA was all in the future back then? So what made our rates go up? Actuarial data. Our age. That's all. Don't go conflating your premium increases when you are 60 and a growing health risk with "Obamacare" You'd be that much more anyway. Just another way, conservatives conceal the truth.

  • Report this Comment On June 03, 2013, at 3:17 AM, gulfcoastrebel wrote:

    james27613

    It's not as you say at all.

    "Obamacare is taking your piece of the pie" only if you are like Rush Limbaugh and making 10 million a year. If you make less than $200,000 a year you will owe no more taxes due to the ACA. If you earn less than $90,000 a year and have a family of 4, you will benefit from subsidies for your insurance you buy, down to having free insurance. The rest will stay the same.

  • Report this Comment On June 03, 2013, at 3:29 AM, gulfcoastrebel wrote:

    What do conservatives fear about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act?

    If it works out as planned, 30 - 40 million of us will have insurance, others will have help paying for it or we keep what we have. If it is bad for most of us and we don't like it we can change it or repeal it then. But if they stop it from going into effect, we know what we will go back to: insurance cancellation and pre-existing conditions, paying full price for policies and the uninsured doing without care. We would be fools to reject something before trying it first.

  • Report this Comment On June 03, 2013, at 3:46 AM, gulfcoastrebel wrote:

    I've got to correct something in point #5 of the article. "Higher payroll taxes" "already taking a bite" has nothing to do with the ACA. Payroll taxes returned to their historical level as we eased off our stimulus footing to dampen the recession. The 2.5% tax for not buying insurance is a self-imposed tax. You pay more and have insurance that might keep you from bankruptcy, or 2.5% and get nothing, if that's your choice. Flexible spending account are not as important if you have insurance, and changes in itemized medical deductions affects only those well off enough to itemize with medical bills.

    These things do not affect the real "middle class", unless you don't want to be uninsured for some reason.

  • Report this Comment On June 03, 2013, at 4:38 AM, NOTvuffett wrote:

    gulfcoastrebel, maybe you should google 3.8% and ACA. then you may have an inkling why this is such a bad bill.

    A girlfriend of mine who lives in Chicago owns rental properties. Women are typically more liberal in their views than men. When she found this out, she was like "WTF!", but not in a polite way. She thought it was going to be like free candy for children, she didn't know she was going to pay for it, lol.

    The bill is about 2700 pages long and will generate many thousands more pages of regulations. The phrase "the director of HHS shall determine" appears so often that we are giving our lives over to these petty bureaucrats.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 11:02 AM, webwise1 wrote:

    I view expanding health benefits to more Americans as a moral imperative. Those who "have" may "have" a little less as a result. We are a wealthy country, and millions have more than enough to meet their needs. Be thankful and quit your bitchin'. Think about the millions who will now have health benefits they couldn't get before. This is a massive reset to our economy. It will come with some pains and probably many tweaks. Accept it and move on. I can only hope that employers who try to "game" the system by outsourcing or reducing hours will eventually get hit by tax penalties for doing so.

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