Don't Wait Until 2014 to Understand Obamacare

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Next year will be the year. Although the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, was passed back in 2010, the most significant parts of the major health-reform legislation don't become effective until 2014. 

Just because major components don't kick into gear until then, though, doesn't mean you shouldn't understand as much as possible about Obamacare now.  Here are some important things you need to know.

If you're employed by a relatively large organization
The letter of the law states that employers with more than 50 full-time employees (defined as working at least 30 hours per week) must offer health insurance to all those employees in "months beginning after December 31, 2013" or pay a $2,000-per-employee fine. However, the Obama administration decided to interpret the law as giving it latitude to push back this deadline until Jan. 1, 2015. If you're employed but your employer doesn't offer health insurance, you'll have to wait a while longer.

That wait could really be a long one for some workers. That's because, in some cases, employers could find it more cost-effective to pay the fine instead of offer health insurance. Some organizations could also opt to use higher numbers of part-time staff to reduce their costs of compliance with Obamacare.

If you're employed by a smaller organization or are unemployed
The threshold for qualifying for Medicaid will increase in states that choose to implement the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. Generally speaking, individuals or families with income up to 133% of the federal poverty line will qualify for Medicaid. However, some states will have more lenient thresholds.

Anyone who doesn't qualify for Medicaid and is not covered by group health insurance by Jan. 1 will be required to get insurance or pay a penalty. This penalty will be the greater of $95 or 1% of income in the first year. The penalty escalates to the greater of $695 or 2.5% of income by 2016.

To avoid the penalty (again, assuming you're not covered by Medicaid), you'll need to purchase insurance through an online health insurance exchange. Some of these exchanges will be operated by states and others by the federal government. The exchanges are scheduled to become available on Oct. 1 of this year. 

You could be eligible for federal tax credits to help you purchase insurance. The amount of the subsidy you're eligible for depends on your household income level. The less you make per year, the more financial assistance you get.

There's one other important thing to know if you're buying individual coverage: Insurance companies won't be able to charge higher rates because of gender or pre-existing medical conditions. That's good news for many, but it could increase the premiums for lots of Americans.

Regardless of employer size
There are some provisions that will apply for employed Americans beginning in 2014 regardless of employer size. For example, if you're relatively new to your job, your insurance plan can't impose an eligibility waiting period more than 90 days.

Some Americans will get hit with more taxes. Individuals making more than $200,000 per year and married couples who file jointly that make more than $250,000 annually must pay an extra 0.9% tax. If you use a flexible spending account for health care, the maximum amount of pre-tax contributions you can make is $2,500. Also, the deduction for qualifying medical expenses jumps from 7.5% to 10% of adjusted gross income.

If you're an investor
Upcoming changes resulting from Obamacare are likely to help and hurt different industries. Many observers think the requirement that individuals obtain health insurance will help hospital chains. Hospital stocks have soared with the anticipated implementation of the individual mandate. Shares of Tenet Healthcare (NYSE: THC  ) , for example, are up 137% in the past year.

However, research by Deloitte casts some doubt as to whether hospitals will really be helped much by higher numbers of insured patients. Even if Deloitte is right, though, hospitals with better pricing power could still do well. This is the driving factor behind Tenet's recent purchase of Vanguard Health Systems.

HCA Holdings (NYSE: HCA  ) might be the best choice when it comes to hospital stocks. It's the largest hospital chain in the nation. HCA shares haven't surged as much as most of its peers, and as a result, the stock appears to be more attractively valued than others right now. If Obamacare does help as much as some expect it to, HCA will benefit.

Turning to health-insurance companies, you might think the increased restrictions could hurt their profits. Think again. The companies will just increase premiums to make up for having to provide more benefits.

Obamacare's Medicaid expansion should particularly help several of the insurers. WellPoint (NYSE: ANTM  ) looks to be in good shape to benefit after its acquisition last year of Amerigroup. The combined company serves 4.5 million Medicaid beneficiaries in 20 states. With a trailing price-to-earnings multiple below 10 and projected annual earnings growth over the next several years of 11.5%, WellPoint seems to be a good pick to profit from Obamacare.

One company that just might emerge as one of the biggest winners from Obamacare is eHealth (NASDAQ: EHTH  ) . The health insurance website operator scored a major victory last week with a contract that allows it to sell insurance plans participating in Obamacare exchanges. If millions of Americans purchase health insurance as intended, eHealth will profit significantly.

Clear as mud?
Do all of the coming Obamacare changes seem as clear as mud to you? Don't worry -- you're not alone. In fact, an April survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 40% of Americans didn't even know that Obamacare was still a law. At least you're now more knowledgeable than nearly half of your fellow citizens.

Editor's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that an annual maximum deductible of $2,000 for an individual or $4,000 for a family is applicable for employers of any size. This deductible limitation applies only to smaller employers. The Fool regrets the error.

If you're still wondering about the details on how Obamacare might affect you and your portfolio, we can help clear things up. The Motley Fool's free special report, "Everything You Need to Know About Obamacare," takes a 360-degree look at how the law may impact your taxes, health insurance, and investments. Click here to grab your free copy today. You'll be glad you did.

Read/Post Comments (50) | Recommend This Article (17)

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 August 10, 2013, at 6:05 PM, JePonce wrote:

    There are 40,700,000 citizens age 65 and older who are on Medicare.

    Obamacare, and it’s funding panel, often referred to as the Death Panel, determines on a case by case basis what Medicare will and will not pay for in terms of surgeries, treatments, and drug regiments. If this panel uses the same criteria as the Internal Revenue Service, the enforcement arm of Obamacare, in reaching those decisions there is nothing preventing the panel from refuse funding based on political party affiliation.

    Like Obama said, if you have terminal cancer you had better be prepared to receive only pain killers and attend an end-of-life seminar. If you are elderly, and need a hip transplant, get used to your wheel chair. Someone of working age will get it first.

    Obamacare is only an illusion of health care. It is about absolute power. It about politicians making life and death calls. Is it any wonder Congress and their staff want no part of it. When government owns your health, government owns you.

    Thomas Jefferson said. “If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as the souls who live under tyranny.” Hope and change is bringing big time sorry.

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 6:14 PM, meeeto wrote:

    JePonce Stop watching Fox news they only lie and lies the death panel BS was dis proven a long time ago!!!!

    Republican, with the help of the liberal news media like Fox News….

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the Republican can use the new media to shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the Republicans to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the republicans.”

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 6:21 PM, GeorgeHarris wrote:

    There is only one thing to understand....that this law is worthless for those of us who have and are still working to provide of our families. We are now going to work so that a bunch of lazy people who are already benefiting from government help to get even more help.....

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 6:25 PM, tasmit99 wrote:

    meeeto are u stupid or what?

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 6:31 PM, awwwfool wrote:

    This terrible law was voted on by one party, passed by Dumbocrats who never even read it and will bankrupt our nation. No one likes or wants it unless they only benefit from it and not many are in that category, unless they rely solely on government handouts. Support its repeal and promote non-compliance with it.

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 6:38 PM, dakotajim wrote:

    saw a picture of the Obama care 'affordable healthcare plan... it had to be over 10' high all stacked up like it was... and I suspect, an application is no where to be found in it...

    as Obamacare 'navigators' -hired to counsel and help people apply sign up for the programs, are not allowed to be covered by the plan as they do not work enough hours to earn it...

    and here in brown county everyone working on Obamacare and it implementation has been muzzled from speaking to anyone about it even though they are the ones hired to help people sign up...

    it simply does not bode well

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 6:43 PM, Dadw5boys wrote:

    Oh no, those kids working fast food joints will no longer be able to go in debt for a New Car, spending at least 3 of thier pay checks on car payments, insurance and maintance each month.

    So they won't be that many out there driving reckless and putting other people in the hospitals or getting into trouble with the law speeding.

    They will have to buy older used cars and learn how to repair those themselves.

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 6:47 PM, hagar2935 wrote:

    JePonce is ABSOLUTELY correct. Meeto, you need to stop drinking the poisoned Obama koolaid... your whole brain is shrinking massively (your Iq must be already below 50).

    This TRAIN WRECK will kill more Americans than the Vietnam War. Healthcare in the USA is currently one of the finest in the world, but after Obamacare gets through with us, it will become one of the world's worst. Currently, people come from ALL over the world for healthcare in the USA because it is the best. Now we will become like England and Canada, where the wealthy are the only ones who get decent healthcare because they can afford to travel to places where they can get the care they need.

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 6:47 PM, Dadw5boys wrote:

    The Health Plans are really simple !

    It's the Legal junk that makes it look crazy.

    The Doctors will still treat you, hospitals will still be there doing their thing.

    And the Insurance Companys who are NOW limited to 20 % in profits will still be trying to relcaim their 39 % profit margin.

    So don't expect the lies to stop comming anytime soon !

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 7:00 PM, Thebopper2 wrote:

    I had to laugh at a few of the folks who obviously live in Glen-beckistan.

    NO, using private insurers, private hospitals, and private doctors for health care ISN'T SOCIALISM.

    YES, we have some of the best health care in the world,

    NO because having the best health care and not being able to use it because you can't afford it is like showing starving people pictures of good food, you can say it's good, but it's worthless to who needs it.

    The results of Obamacare, according to the CBO, you know those non-partisan people that only score bills say that Obamacare will cut costs, not bankrupt the country. Right now WE SPEND DOUBLE---DOUBLE or more per patient for the SAME treatments than in EVERY other country. ANYONE--ANYONE, who thinks the current system is working is either incompetent or refuse to look at FACTS as they exist.

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 7:24 PM, nrtoma wrote:

    meeeto, instead of using the tired old fox news liberal response please in as much detail as you can regale us with you knowledge about obamacare and how it will benefit the producers and not the entitlement parasites who you people pander to.

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 7:26 PM, gulfcoastrebel wrote:

    When a Motley Fool article promises to give the "good, bad and ugly" on anything "Obama" you can bet the good will get the short end. It failed to mention anything about the most important "good" thing:

    - that everyone can afford to have health insurance now. No more than 9.5% of your income will go to insurance if you buy on the exchanges; many pay much less. More on the "good" side:

    -You don't have to pay the penalty for not buying on the exchanges if it causes a hardship, such as will be the case for the thousands being dumped from Medicaid expansion because they happen to live in a Republican state.

    - Those who will be paying more on premiums, will be paying less in actual bills, as fewer people become medically bankrupt and get treatment only in ER situations, leaving us with their bills.

    - Clear as mud? Fool fails to mention that the very Kaiser Family Foundation mentioned has a website that will spell out for anyone who puts in their income and age what their subsidy will be and the amount and % of their income they will be paying for what plan they choose. No more mud.

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 7:42 PM, JePonce wrote:

    Meeeto...Even your Leftist Economist, Paul Krugman, wrote an Oped stating there is a death panel and Obama will have to use it unless he wants to go the Democrats have bankrupt Detroit, Chicago, Stockton.

    It all about Obamanomics; the antediluvian Leftist hypothesis that the Left can spend themselves into prosperity, and borrow their way out of debt with OPM ( taxpayer dollars).

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 7:50 PM, JePonce wrote:

    Of course, it is socialism. It is the same system found in Cuba. Note when Fidel is sick he abandons Cuba's medical for other countries.

    When government owns your health, government own you.

    Frederic Bastiat said, “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”

    It is just that most on the Left are ignorant, and recipients of entitlements and welfare.

    Jefferson said, “The Democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”

    The Left, like their Unions live like parasites on the arse of humanity.

    Margret Thatcher said, “The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

    Winston Churchill said, “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

    Everyone of them is spot on.

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 7:58 PM, JePonce wrote:

    When government takes away your choices, and makes those choices for you and forces compliance under penalty of fine and/or imprisonment, it is the purest definition of centralized control Socialism.

    Government is sucking $2.7 trillion dollars out of the private what would you call it.

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 8:05 PM, egret67 wrote:

    For those on this post that think JePonce knows what he is talking about, I have a bridge for you. Let start with the "Death panel" Palen was one of the first to use that term. What she was referring to is the Medicare Hospice Counseling benefit that was passed under President Bush at the request of the AARP. Seniors really like it. Of course I did not hear that on FOX I know since it I work in the area of health care.It is one of the dumber things she had said and for those that quote it, you are right there with her. For goodness sakes at least read a newspaper!! As for socialism, the Obamacare is just as much as socialism as Medicare and social security. There is no difference. I hope JePonce is willing to not accept benefits from those programs, but I suspect he will take them!!

    While the Republican leaders have stated they want to repeal the law, ALL of them have said there are parts they would keep. Sometimes facts just get in the way of ignorance.

    OOPS have to go now so I can watch FOX with JePonce ridiculous!!!

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 8:17 PM, Hazeleyesgrl wrote:

    There is nothing exciting to people about this bill. I dont believe you should be forced to buy insurance or have to pay a penalty..Everyone should have car insurance that drives but does not need it if you dont.

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 8:20 PM, Hazeleyesgrl wrote:

    I know its sad that they had to make back room deals behind close doors just to pass this law..You know something cant be a good cause or trusted if that took place which I heard did.

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 8:37 PM, Freddbe wrote:

    Obamacare is better then what we had and could even get but it could have been better but the Republican did they best to make sure you get as much of the shaft as they could put on you. . The republicans would try to repeal Social security and medicare if they thought they wouldn't get abolished. One day people are going to wake up to the B S they are feeding them. If any country can't afford healthcare, they can't afford any wars. Like it or not. War now that is what the Republican Party sicko's are about.

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 9:48 PM, crossle27 wrote:

    Sorry 'Bopper', but I have to laugh at YOU. This 2700 page tax fiasco is totally unmanageable, and will cost everyone but the poor dearly. My company told us recently to expect a 41% increase in costs next year! Not to mention the probable loss of the doctor I have been seeing for 32 years. So imagine my excitement at this mess being forced on us by these inept radical idiots.

    So as usual with this marxist regime, only those who are below the poverty level will benefit from this scam, and they will do so at our expense, because the goal of this muslim fraud and his fools brigade is to bury this nation in entitlement debt so massive that they (the almighty government) will step in and make us all wards of the State. Anyone who still can't see that fact is a blind fool of epic proportions...

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 9:56 PM, crossle27 wrote:

    Get a clue 'egret' because the death panels are in the middle of this scam, and I have read it! If you are over a certain age and need extensive medical care, you may or may NOT get it, and the one who will make the ultimate decision is some paper pusher - not your doctor!

    As far as AARP, they are so far up the butts of the dems they can't see where they're going, and naturall they will make tens of millions off this crap.

    This tax scam was a 100% partisan democrat generated fiasco, period, so why you clueless libs always try to shift the blame to the right is confusing... and really, really stupid.

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 9:59 PM, Rusty56 wrote:

    Keith - I didn't finish your article as I found a glaring error. Next year groups of less than 50 employees won't have deductibles over the $2000 threshold. This does NOT apply to larger groups. You also make the assumption everything begins on 1/1/14 but this is not true either. The rules take effect for groups of 50 or more employees on their renewal in 2014 not necessarily on 1/1/14. I hate reading articles from people who think they understand the law but really don't. This law is destined for failure by the way!

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 10:04 PM, Rusty56 wrote:

    Keith - your article has some glaring errors in it. For one, not all groups are forced to have a maximum deductible of $2000 next year, it applies to small groups of less than 50 employees in the majority of states. For groups of over 50 employees the rules also do not apply on 1/1/14 necessarily. They apply on the groups renewal date in 2014. I didn't finish the rest of your article as I can't handle so called experts writing this stuff who don't know squat.

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 10:30 PM, igorotenad wrote:

    meeeto, when did Fox News become a liberal news media

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 11:05 PM, raytnla wrote:

    Health care, government care or insurance care is the issue here??

  • Report this Comment On August 10, 2013, at 11:46 PM, midarkmind wrote:

    I'm coming for you Republicans! 0.o

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:00 AM, Alreadyhappening wrote:

    Take it from retirees that is already seeing results of Obamacare. Insurance companies are raising their premiums by large %. Our Medicare supplement premiums are going up 30 and more %, as well as Medicare premiums. The only ones that will benefit is the insurance companies. Get your Obamacare provided insurance at a reasonable rate, then sit back and watch the rates go higher and higher each year. Not same % increases, but big ones. If Obamacare is going to be so good, why is the President and Congress and federal employees not going into the Medicare system. Why are they not willing to go into the same insurance system they are MAKING the rest of the people accept. Go to Town Hall meetings, call the President and your Congress and ask that question. They will talk all around it, and not give you a reasonable answer. This is not a Repulican or Democrat, a conservative or liberal issue. This is an AMERICAN PEOPLE issue. Treat ALL of us alike.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:09 AM, jfrankh57 wrote:

    Why don't you call it what it is...a power grab of extraordinary measure. The central government is taking more and more power unto itself and we have little choice in the ensuing fray. I do not recognize the country we live in today. Not only is our government dictating more and more to us about what we do daily, it taxes everything we do and everything we earn. There are more hidden taxes in that monstrosity that is called variously "affordable healthcare act" or Obamacare. Nancy Pelosi infamously spoke that we must pass it to know what is in it. If it were so good, why must the ruling elite and their cronies seek exemption? We see the costs now, Nancy, both real and hidden. The many who still will not be covered and the many jobs lost to the sundry policies of the central government, chief among them this law, but by no means is this law the only problem from big central authoritarian government.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:14 AM, 20082012wewin wrote:

    I cannot WAIT for the Affordable Health Care Act! I was laid off last year & had insurance for the past 1 1/2 yrs on Cobra and was just cancelled on my insurance for a little fall on my head. I am 62 and the cheapest insurance is $260 a mo. and $5000 deductible. I was paying $330 a mo. and they paid $400 on a $1400 bill. I've always had group plans - you guys are soooo lucky!

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:23 AM, Chiara2 wrote:

    There is only the ugly.

    63% of Americans consistently have never wanted it.

    3 different union bosses have written letters to Pelosi and Reid that the rank and file are irate, they feel they have been snookered, and want out.

    Even the IRS wants out.

    Max Baucus says it is a train wreck.

    Now even 22 Democrats don't like the "death panels."

    Even the congress critters don't want it for themselves.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:42 AM, DevonShire123 wrote:

    Understanding Obamacare is easy--insurance companies win, People lose. Skyrocketing rates, low quality health care, death panels, bankruptcy. It is UN Agenda 21, part of the push to end the United States. And because people are retarded, their plan to destroy us is working perfectly.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:50 AM, gghanseng wrote:

    This article is false. I went to Kaiser Family Fdn Subsidy Calculator, to see what our family of 4 (55, 52, 21, and 18) was predicted to pay.

    This article says $4,000 max for our family; Kaiser says the 3 oldest pay $12,700 EACH.

    This ACA is completely screwy. Our combined income (3 oldest adults, youngest goes to college part time & works PT) is ONLY $88,000. We can barely pay mortgage, cars, gas, food and utilities, we don't have cable and have never taken more than a camping trip in tents as a vacation.

    I wish Obama would limit himself to lifestyle LIKE OURS.

    20 years ago, I could go to a doctor for $20 and get an Rx for $5. The same visit is now over $200, and RX is $135.

    Go figure. SOMEBODY ELSE IS GETTING RICH, and it ain't me.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:59 AM, 20082012wewin wrote:

    There is no reason why unions would even be interested because they have group insurance and those with group insurance don't have to worry about any changes at all. And Max Baucus is retiring. The IRS only has to create a few new programs to see if people actually have insurance, which will be less than 1%. I have already experienced "death panels" so not sure if they will increase with the ACA. And Congress has group insurance so once again they escape ACA requirement.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 2:56 AM, fooooul wrote:

    Who doesn't let him claim it then.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 4:38 AM, kmacattack wrote:

    In 1994, President Clinton warned that if we didn't act to approve some sort of national health care coverage, health care costs would soon be above 10 % of GDP. The Big Insurance companies, hospitals, nursing homes, drug companies, etc. combined to turn public opinion which was 80% Pro "Hillary Care"to 80% against, with the help of $80 Million in misleading and outright LIE TV ads the government could not match dollar for dollar to disprove. In the ensuing 14 years, the republicans mad no attempt whatsoever to pass any type of universal coverage which would control health care costs. The result was as Clinton predicted, except worse. We were paying as of 2009, 18% OF OUR GDP for "health care," which is SICKENING since it is DOUBLE THE RATE OF THE next nearest nation. Since 2009, the Insurance lobby has spent over $700 MILLION, NINE TIMES the amount they spent to kill "HIllary Care." WHY would the insurance companies want to kill universal coverage? MAYBE it's because of the big TAX Justice Roberts talked about, the PENALTY he said was a TAX. This PENALTY was triggered within 2 hours of the Supreme Court decision upholding Obama Care. Sec Sebelius held a press conference and ORDERED the Insurance companies which had been CHEATING customers by CHARGING more than the 20

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 5:00 AM, kmacattack wrote:

    More than the 20% PROFIT allowed over and above ACTUAL Claims paid versus premiums collected to REFUND $12.5 BILLION in overcharges to Americans. This is the first time in history that the government ordered an industry to refund overcharges to customers and the process was labeled a TAX by the Supreme Court. The Government NEVER took possession of the money, and didn't write the refund checks, yet they were TAXING us by ordering crooked businesses to give the money back that they STOLE. THIS was the HUGE TAX that Fox told everybody about, but failed to mention all the details. Surprised? Only 5% of companies failed to follow the 80/20 rule, so the savings to consumers were about $250 BILLION in the first year versus "business as usual" under the old system. Of the first 12 states which just announced the premium costs of Obama care, 11 of the states premiums were FAR LESS than original CBO estimates. Only Blood RED state Indiana said that Obama Care would cost more money, and I suspect that it's a case of "Liars figure and make figures lie." I got a quote from Blue Cross about 8 months ago for "CATASTROPHIC COVERAGE" With a $5,p00 deductible, and assuming that I was in PERFECT health, the premium was going to be a little over $1,000 per month. Obama care is going to cost me less than $400 per month, so for the first time in about 10 years, I will be able to afford health insurance. I gave up the policy I had back then when the premiums more than doubled in less than 3 years and when my wife had a hysterectomy, the insurance company paid less than $2,500 out of a $10,000 bill.

    For many Americans, buying health insurance has been a choice of going bankrupt today or waiting until tomorrow. This has been borne out statistically when you consider that of all bankruptcies filed for medical reasons, 70% of those filing for bankruptcy HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE. Under Obama care, the Insurance companies will no longer make money if they delay claim payments or fail to pay, because if their premiums collected exceed 20% above actual claims paid, they MUST REFUND THE OVERCHARGES. The insurance companies would be thrilled with Obama Care if it weren't for this "unreasonable burden" placed on excess profits. The CEO of United Health care made $102 Million salary and bonus in 2011, with $98 MILLION of that $102 Million based on a BONUS ON PROFITS. Now, he's going to have to trim his sails a little bit, as will all the other CEO's and top executives of Insurance companies.

    As for those who knock the INEFFICIENCY of a government run health care system, Medicare operates on a budget of 4% above premiums collected, yet private insurance companies claim they can't survive on only 20% profit.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 5:10 AM, kmacattack wrote:

    Obama CARE is ROMNEY CARE, period. There is NO DIFFERENCE, according to the MIT professor who wrote the mathematical formulas for both programs. Over 80% of Massachusetts Citizens love Romney Care, and wouldn't go back to the oid system for anything. It brought costs down dramatically, as Obama Care is ALREADY doing. Obama care resulted in premium reductions of about $250 BILLION the first full year the "penalty clause" which forbid insurance companies to charge more than 20% for premiums above actual claims paid out. 5% of the companies cheated, and were ordered by HHS secretary Sebelius to REFUND $12.5 BILLION directly to consumers 2 hours after the Supreme Court decision upheld Obama care. Does anybody believe that the insurance companies would have EVER given back that $12.5 BILLION if Obama Care had been ruled unconstitutional? This is the PENALTY that Chief Justice Roberts called a "Tax.", and of course Fox and friends on hate radio jumped on Roberts mis statement and ran with it. This money was never collected by the government and the refund checks weren't written by the government. Have you ever heard of a tax which referred to money the government never collected? IT was a PENALTY for CHEATING, paid directly to consumers, not the government.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 5:25 AM, kmacattack wrote:

    The former Canadian CONSERVATIVE PARTY LEADER (Canada's republican party, without the insane faction of the US version) APOLOGIZED on National TV to the people of Canada for having ever opposed universal health care for Canada about 25 when it was approved about 25 years ago. He said "It was the single best piece of legislation ever passed in Canada."

    And as to the matter of all the poor Canadians who are "dying while waiting in line to see a specialist" this is going to stick in a bunch of republicans craws. According to the CIA website on world health statistics, Canadians OUTLIVE Americans by more than 3 years on average, despite the much harsher climate. WTF???? Say it ain't so !

    Do ANY of you nay sayers think that Canada would EVER vote to throw out their health care system in favor of the US system? Not ON YOUR LIFE. I'm sure there are a few selfish billionaires in Canada who wouldn't pay a nickel out of their own pocket to save a neighbor's life, just like our top 2% seem to see things. Why is it never reported that the top 2% funded 95% of Mitt Romney's camapaign? Sol Adelson, the Las Vegas Sands CEO who "donated" $100 Million to Romney and other republican cadidates was promised an end to the capital gains tax if Romney had won the election. His $100 Million "BET" on Romney would have resulted in at least $12.5 BILLION in tax savings, a 1,000 to 1 return on investment. Of course, you and I, and our grandchildren, would have had to pick up the slack and pay the $12.5 Billion in uncollected taxes. But as famous republican hotel heiress, Leona Helmsley once said "Taxes were made for poor people to pay."

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 5:27 AM, ck63 wrote:

    What better way to control the populous than this? Obumer is determined to turn this great nation into a Socialist State!

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 6:11 AM, kmacattack wrote:

    I wonder if all the bashers of Obama Care listened to the source of all their talking points on this subject 5 years ago when Fox told all their "FLOCK" to keep thier money hidden in a mayonaise jar in the back yard, because Obama the "socialist" was hell bent on destroying the great Bush economy, which was on the verge of a second GREAT DEPRESSION by the 2008 elections. I remember the Fox "entertainers", the Limburger network and the entire hate radio crowd telling their sheeple that Obama was going to drive the Dow down from it's 7,000 mark to 2,500. Snot nose Santenelli and one foot in the grave Larry Kudlow sang the same tune.

    If I had watched Fox and believed them, I would be one pis.ed off guy, because they would have caused me to miss the greatest 5 years in stock market history. The only other time which compares to this rally is the 8 years of the Clinton ("the other Socialist") Presidency. In the 8 years of "W" Bush, my IRA made a whopping 1% annual return. In Obama"s first 4 years, my IRA has MORE than DOUBLED. My account would have done even better had it not been for the republicans deliberately sabotaging the economy. The republican politicians are being well paid to deliver us back to the mercy of their corporate "contributors" or "sponsors." The word "Employers" is probably the most accurate description of their relationship with 'donors." Donors get a return of about 1,000 to 1 when laws are written, and you and I are the ones who are paying back the thousand times return.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 6:31 AM, kmacattack wrote:

    If Obama Care is SO BAD, why do over 80% of the citizens of Massachusetts LOVE IT? Massachusetts' "Romney Care" IS "OBAMA CARE." The SAME MIT Professor who crunched the numbers for Romney Care did the same thing for Obama Care. He says "IT IS THE SAME THING."

    And, Once again, over 80% of Massachusetts citizens LOVE it.

    I can't wait till it kicks in. I'm 62 and self employed. I had catastrophic coverage I gave up more than 10 years ago after the premiums doubled in 2 years. My wife had a hysterectomy which cost $10,000, and by the time the insurance company was through screwing us over, they paid about $2,500 of the $10,000 Bill. Actually, because of the secret arrangements they have with hospitals, etc. They more likely paid about $500 at most.

    My wife is disabled and has medicare. She fell about a year ago and I took her to the Emergency room. She had an ankle sprain, a knee sprain, one X ray and one CT scan. The hospital screwed up and billed me their normal "rack rate" of about $10,500 for a 2 hour ER visit in which she never saw a doctor. I called them when I got the bill and reminded them that she had Medicare. I got a letter of apology, and a "corrected" bill which medicare was going to pay. it was about $650 total, versus the $10,500 the hospital charges the uninsured. This practice was made legal by congressional republicans years ago. it allows the hospitals to in effect commit tax fraud so that they can write off uncollected debts and maintain their "Non profit" status. It only takes 100 bills like this to offset a $1 Million salary paid to a CEO or top executive. If I took such a write off in my business, I would be in prison, but the republicans took care of the lobbyists clients, which is also why they made it ILLEGAL for Medicare to Negotiate prices with drug companies. Do you think that if Negotiation were allowed, taxpayers might get a better deal, which would add years to the solvency of Medicare????? Maybe???

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 6:33 AM, kmacattack wrote:

    Please pay no attention to the factual information I have presented in my posts. Just go ahead and call me names and throw mud. I'm sure that Fox will approve of your efforts.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 7:32 AM, reasons70 wrote:

    I have a neighbor...he makes good money. How I know this...he has no problem telling how much money he makes!!! One day he was screaming about having to get health insurance. I thought he had it all along...he said he hasn't paid for health insurance for years. He said he just goes to the hospital when he needs to and never pays the bill. I said know those cost are passed on to other people in premiums. He didn't care. These are the people I am worried about. The ones that have the means but still get over. They won't pay their fair share. It is only him, he has no family...he said this was one of the reasons he isn't getting married. GEEZ!!! This drives up cost. He works in construction so he is at the hospital regularly!!! He says they can't refuse him care. So now he is mad...his medical train is about to run into a brick wall. He has employees...he is screaming murder because of Obamacare. He doesn't want to pay for himself, he sure doesn't want to pay for others. If he feels this way...I bet he isn't paying his employees like he should. I bet they can't afford health insurance.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 8:24 AM, lm1b2 wrote:

    I don't think anyone knows how Obama care is going to affect them,including our idiot representatives who voted for it without even reading the Bill as usual ! I do believe they will have to make changes after it goes into effect. This Bill which no one who voted for it has read,will affect all of us differently,and is just another reason for Term Limits for the Thieves that are in office now !

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 10:12 AM, Chouworyuu wrote:

    Who said the USA has great health care? It ranks #37 in the world!!!

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 10:27 AM, wgcross2 wrote:

    I see a lot of comments, one way or another, however I feel the need to point out one glaring omission- Immigration. The current bill regarding immigration will increase the number of 'legal' new faces by 33 million (incl 11 mil "illegals") over the next 10 years, with 11 million upfront. Also each immigrant will be allowed to bring in at least 4 family members, which increases these new faces to 132 million over the next 10-15 years. All these new greencards/visas are exempt from Obamacare. Employers that stack the deck with greencards can circumvent the employer mandates. Illegal immigration will continue, birthright citizenship will continue to be abused and people will continue to overstay their visas. Point being, all the so called savings to the American taxpayers by giving the uninsured 'some skin in the game' will never happen. Birthright citizenship will continue to grant Medicaid automatically and greencards will continue to flood our clinics and county/city hospitals at the taxpayers' expense. Think about it people, the taxpayer is going to get hammered in the long run.

    Secondly, there are NO death panels. Insurance companies already decide your fate by approving or denying necessary coverage. This is nothing new. They don't provide a blank check for the consumer.

    I'm mostly concerned that the so called 'savings' we taxpayers were to realized by not funding the uninsured anymore will be grossly offset by this Immigration Shamnest bill. IMHO.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 1:22 PM, jfrankh57 wrote:

    kmacattack : What is the population of Canada? What is the population of many of the countries that have universal health care where it MATTERS? Personally. I do not want to pay for the idiots who do extreme sports or those who decide to have 10 kids when they cannot even afford to care for themselves. Those who are truly and legitimately in need are often overshadowed by those who take advantage of a system. With 312 million (+) people including many non-citizens (call them illegal aliens if you want) in this country, we cannot afford to provide for them and share our wealth and protect so many others in the world like we have for the past 70+ years.

    I have an idea. Let charity hospitals, run by religious organizations, handle the masses (as they did in the distant past) and allow the for profit hospitals to continue as in the past to cater to the rich and to those who carry insurance.

  • Report this Comment On August 17, 2013, at 11:42 AM, jrj90620 wrote:

    I believe that Democrats know Obamacare can't work.They plan to promote a single payer,govt controlled healthcare system,after Obamacare fails.The problem is that Obamacare depends on healthy people overpaying,for high deductible insurance to cover all the people who are going to be subsidized.Only those getting large govt subsidies or are sick and using lots of healthcare will sign up,causing massive deficits.This may be the reason bonds are falling.Investors know Obamacare will lead to large govt deficits and Fed monetization of the debt.

  • Report this Comment On August 17, 2013, at 11:52 AM, jrj90620 wrote:

    Typical Democrat program that punishes good behavior and rewards bad behavior.Logic would say that if you take good care of yourself and don't use or need healthcare,you should get a big discount,for insurance.Wish Democrats would start rewarding good behavior and punish bad behavior.Instead,they do the opposite.Just brings the country down.I haven't had any healthcare insurance,since 1979,pay my own way and am not going to buy an overpriced,high deductible policy,that will return me nothing and I don't need.

  • Report this Comment On August 17, 2013, at 11:53 AM, jrj90620 wrote:

    Some idiot has mentioned RINO Romney as a reason for supporting Obamacare.Not much of a reason.

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