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3 Ways Obamacare Is Ending Business as Usual

The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, and even though full implementation doesn't begin until next year, we're already seeing businesses react to a dramatically different health-care landscape.
UPS (NYSE: UPS  ) recently announced that it will drop coverage for 15,000 spouses of white-collar employees that also get insurance through another job. UPS was quick to blame the increased costs of Obamacare, with the expected rate of health-care spending to jump more than 50% thanks to the law. 
But we also see positive developments as companies adapt to the changing landscape. Thanks to Obamacare's expansion of Medicaid, pharmacies are planning to capture newly insured lower-income patients who may not be able to see a general practitioner. Also, the acquisition by large medical-device company Medtronic (NYSE: MDT  ) of Cardiocom, a patient monitoring and disease management specialist, pushes Medtronic into a more comprehensive health-care service-provider role. The Affordable Care Act attempts to shift the health-care model from one paying for service to one of paying for quality outcomes, and Medtronic is smartly shifting with this dynamic.

In this video, health-care analyst David Williamson discusses the three ways the Affordable Care Act is affecting these health-care stocks, whether they're making the right move, and what it all means for investors.

Still in the dark about how Obamacare might affect you and your portfolio? Don't worry -- you're not alone. To help prepare investors for the massive changes coming to the American health care system, The Motley Fool created a special free report that makes this complex topic easily understandable. Download "Everything You Need to Know About Obamacare" and discover how the law may affect your taxes, health insurance, and investments. Click here for your free copy today.

Follow David on Twitter: @MotleyDavid.

Read/Post Comments (21) | Recommend This Article (8)

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 September 08, 2013, at 3:47 PM, TSP1973 wrote:

    I don't know why the Liberals are bitching and whining about businesses doing this? They were the ones wanting this whole damn thing! We tried to tell them this was going to happen and every time we tried to talk some sense into the Brain Dead Obama Zombies we were called racist and wanting people to die.

    Oh well Liberals you ask for it and now you got it, so leave and deal with it!

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 3:54 PM, VRSEFgold wrote:

    Since the OvomitCare billed passed in 2010, our 2-member family premium (hospital only) with Blue Cross has increased from $124 to $298. Blue Cross has projected substancial increases in 2014.

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 3:56 PM, hagar2935 wrote:

    The three catastrophic effects of Obamacare:

    1) Transformation of the US employment from a largely full-time to a almost wholly part-time environment where employers reduce the vast majority of employees to less than 30 hours per week and hire more part-time employees to fill their needs.

    2) Transformation of the benefit environment from one wher most employers offer health insurance to an environment where MOST employers drop healthcare insurance and give employees a small raise and tell them to find their own.......

    3) The medical profession is shrinking with fewer doctors to care for millions of new patients who will wait, in many cases, months or even years to get important surgical care.....and many will die like they do in England and other Socialized medicine Countries while waiting for needed surgery. And many doctor are refusing Medicare.Medicaid patients and even some are opting to refuse ALL insurance and accept CASH ONLY PATIENTS! In this environment ONLY the VERY WEALTHY and the PRIVILEGED FEW VIP (Political Leaders) will get the best medical care. Look at what this environment did in Russia, England and Canada...

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 4:35 PM, Yamadutra wrote:

    Funny how Obama care dose not cover things that people need, Really need like dental care or vision care. My Question is why are they not included. I must have written to half the members of congress and the Senate and not one has committed or written back on the lack of these basic health care needs.

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 5:19 PM, sli1965 wrote:

    VRSEFgold, your rates went up on their own Obama care passed but it does not go into effect until Jan 2014 so do not blame it on Obama Care.

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 5:50 PM, angelakolios wrote:

    As a retiree I am afraid my company will drop my insurance coverage like IBM did to their retirees. I like my company's coverage so a big raspberry to the Democrats for voting for Obama care. I understand that congress and the unions opted out of Obama care.

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 6:14 PM, hobo21 wrote:

    we are headed for govt. health care and every one on the same insurance but congressman and their aides,and of course mr. obama which will get the best health care in the world. get ready for the govt. black pill cure all that will put you into eternal sleep.

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 6:17 PM, doco177 wrote:

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

    Congress,Muslims, Amish, Native Americans are exempt from mandate and penalties under Obamacare that the rest of us have to pay.

    1. Millions are losing 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."

    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. 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.

    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.

    The govt becoming more involved in health care is the reason the costs have increased. So Govt creates a crisis, then provides a solution that comes at the expense of liberty and freedom, costs trillions, and by most accounts won't solve the problem but in fact make it far worse.Corruption, incompetence, disregard of the Constitution, and lying are integral to the way that this country is being run.

    REFUSE and Repeal Obamacare...If only a mere 20% of the over 300 million population of the USA boycott Obamacare the government would be overwhelmed to even think they could penalize or mandate every citizen that refused to participate in the most corrupt and unlawful ways which it was passed that circumvented the constitution of the United States.

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 6:36 PM, gulfcoastrebel wrote:

    Here we go again: MF using code words like "business as usual ending" to spread their tea party alarm to the business community about the ACA. But if you've been rescinded by the insurance business, lost your insurance for any reason, or couldn't buy, or afford insurance, but now will be able to; the words are music to your ears. Happy days! Good riddance to "business as usual"!

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 7:35 PM, sogole wrote:

    Any government needs business for its very day to day operations. Without it there can be no government.

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 8:04 PM, cerberus39 wrote:

    "Since the OvomitCare billed passed in 2010, our 2-member family premium (hospital only) with Blue Cross has increased from $124 to $298."

    Here's another little stat, Executive pay at Blue Cross blue Shield rose 43% at the same time, and the executives at UPS have had similar increases in their compensation. This is why trickle down economics is not good for the US worker because the only thing that trickles down is expenses.

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 8:30 PM, Rodski wrote:

    I have paid for my employees health ins for 35 years. I just received my annual renewal and the increase is 1%. That is the smallest increase ever. My normal increase is 8 to 20% every year. Obama care is necessary if for only the elimination of pre-existing conditions and ins co cherry picking. And because everyone gets treated in our country whether insured or not you are

    paying for it now anyway. So it is good to get uninsureds contributing something.

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 8:51 PM, lasaavgold wrote:

    I was kicked off my husbands health insurance back in 2007 so it was going on before Obamacare.

    The medical system has been broken a long time, someone had to try something! Go Obama!

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 9:02 PM, mdmn48gof wrote:

    Obamacare needs to be repealed on the grounds

    it said 100% of the people will be in the plan., the President has no authority to exzempt any one person , union or congress? suit needs to be filed with the supreme court, discriminitation.

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 9:21 PM, therylmccoy wrote:

    Dear Motley Fools,

    The ACA was a much needed overhaul of the health insurance industry. We are tired of your 'Obamacare' bashing with every ACA article.

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 9:22 PM, Theadmiral32 wrote:

    There needs to be a change in health care period. Thats why it has been voted into law. I am not a fan of suprises and the change will be painful. Any change in this country is painful. I dont like certain things like business cutting hours to not insure people that is not what this is about. I dont know all the changes and Im a business owner however im open for the change because something had to give. It did not work for me before lets see if it will work now. I feel for all the business and people that are going to feel the increase. That sucks. but lets pay attention to the real value once we know what the hell is going on. Thank you

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 9:24 PM, therylmccoy wrote:

    To all of you people who had their health insurance increased recently. Once we are able to shop for a lower rate THIS OCTOBER, you can switch your carrier, lower your premium, then tell your current carrier to go to hell for raising your rates. They only did that because it will be THE LAST time they will be able to.

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 9:32 PM, jgroceryman wrote:

    My health insurance and out-of-pocket cost for prescriptions have doubled in two years. The only people seeing anything good out of Obamacare are the low life scumbags that voted in Obama. They and the illegal aliens will get reduced or free healthcare and precriptions. All of this payed for by the hard working Americans who have worked all their live to have something. This was done by Obama so illegals and low life trash can get something else for free!

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 11:50 PM, go4dan0 wrote:

    Motley Fool is controlled by right wing reaction writers!

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 11:50 PM, gidget048 wrote:

    Your rates going up because of Obamacare are BS. They are putting the screws to you because starting next year, they will be S.O.L. Actually, go ask your senators why. Rate increases are approved by rate boards for each state, how can they justify those kinds of increases? I know for sure, their costs did not go up 45%.

    I started looking at a plan for my mother who will be 60 and doesn't work, and it looks like she will be able to afford the middle of the road plan for roughly $300.00. Without Obamacare, she would be paying at least $600-$700 and a high deductible. My dad will be 65 next year, so he will get medicare.

    Companies cutting back, hiring part time, blah, blah, blah....they were and are already doing this, just using this as an excuse to get away with it. Very few places offered benefits to part-timers anyway. If a company really wants to keep you, they will offer you more hours, make you full-time and give you benefits, not just health benefits.

    Companies such as IBM and UPS are just plain greedy, especially IBM, who continues to outsources 1000s of jobs, cut pensions, and now retiree insurance. To be honest, I wouldn't really blame them dropping retiree insurance if they kept the pensions but they screwed new workers on that front, so not much to look forward to when you retire at IBM. The least they could do is pay for supplemental Medicare insurance.

  • Report this Comment On September 09, 2013, at 12:01 AM, gidget048 wrote:

    No jgroceryman, it wasn't Obamacare, it hasn't even taken effect!! This will at least make people who don't pay a dime for health insurance, pay a fine to generate some revenue. Remember, illegals and low-lifes are already milking the system - They get free health insurance(Medicaid), free rent(Sec-8) and food(food stamps), so get over it

    I think they should make the fine higher, at least $1000. I think it's only a couple of hundred now. If you are poor, you will qualify right now anyway. The fine is meant to get people who aren't paying anything because they are young and not sick, pay something into the system so that next time they get a cold and go to the emergency room, the tax payers don't get hit with the full bill.

    Besides, if we instituted 10% min tax on corporations, we would have plenty of money to pay for all this and get this country going. Somehow on wonderful elected Congress, is able to make policies that allow companies to get tax breaks for sending jobs overseas, and even tax refunds for companies such as GE and Boeing, who made BILLIONS in profit.

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