The Success of Obamacare Hinges on Only One Factor

With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's state- and federally run health insurance exchanges set to open in less than 24 hours, the number of predictions as to whether this law, better known as Obamacare, will be a success or failure are off the charts.

Many of the current prognostications do have some merit as we've seen nothing but mixed data and finger-pointing from the early onset of this law. Supporters will point to the expansion of Medicaid and the millions of people people who should gain insurance through government-sponsored care that had previously never had access to affordable health care as a testament to its upcoming success. In addition, the average silver plan premium cost across the nation came in well under the Congressional Budget Office's projections at $328 per month. President Obama himself and supporters certainly have to be pleased by these figures.

Conversely, opponents of the law will point to a staggering number of technical and educational delays that are putting tomorrow's health exchange launch into serious jeopardy in certain states at a time when neither party can agree on a federal budget. The employer mandate was pushed out a year, and the Spanish-language and small business online marketplaces are delayed by three weeks to a month. Numerous individual states are encountering problems -- such as in Vermont, where the online marketplace won't be ready to accept payments for another month, or Washington D.C., where the software is currently unable to calculate the proper subsidy should an individual be entitled to one.

Despite this back-and-forth battle, there's just one thing that's going to determine the success or failure of this law... and it may not be what you think.

Will the technology behind Obamacare speak wonders of its effectiveness?
A lot of speculators want to place the onus of success or failure on the enormous technical and educational challenges of this law. There's no question that connecting multiple government agencies together via cloud-based software and then having that software calculate plan rates and subsidies (if any) from multiple geographic regions across the U.S. is going to come with a few glitches.

But, as I've pointed to previously, preceding health reform laws have had similar glitches from the start and turned out just fine. Medicare Part D had more than a handful of problems when it debuted in 2006, but those were largely contained within the first year. While many would just assume that the technology and educational factors behind Obamacare will determine its success, it's very unlikely to be the case.

Is it Medicaid enrollees?
Others will point to Medicaid-eligible uninsured individuals as being the lynchpin of success for Obamacare. The proposed Medicaid expansion under Obamacare was originally expected to reach approximately 16 million people throughout the rest of this decade. However, with 22 state governors either opting out, or strongly leaning in the direction of opting out, of expanding Medicaid in their respective states, somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 million to 6 million lower-income people may not gain access to affordable health care.

Some would view this as a potential failure of Obamacare, but I would consider the addition of 5 million to 10 million newly insured individuals be a big boost to hospital operators such as HCA Holdings (NYSE: HCA  ) that are counting on more insured people to walk through its doors so it doesn't need to write off 10.25% of its revenue as it did in the previous year.

It's much simpler than that...
Behind all the white noise -- the political bickering, the technical glitches, the delays, the better-than-expected premium figures, and so on -- only one thing really seems to matter: Will young adults sign up for health insurance?

Without question, Obamacare's success hinges on young adults willingly going onto health exchanges and purchasing health insurance to help offset the high costs of terminally sick and elderly patients who comprise the vast majority of health care spending in the United States. A report from the U.S. government just last year pointed to the stark fact that in 2009 1% of people accounted for 22% of all health care costs. Expanding that out a bit, just 5% of people accounted for 50% of all health care costs. Without young, healthier adults paying into the system, there's nothing to stop premiums from going sky high.

The only unanswered question that matters is: How will young adults react?

On one hand, you'd expect contempt from this age group. Comparatively speaking, young adults get the fewest subsidies and thus have the highest premiums. Furthermore, many young adults that had been previously able to purchase catastrophic plans are now going to need to purchase beefed-up insurance plans that comply with Obamacare's broader benefits package. In other words, most catastrophic plan costs have doubled. Then there's also the group of individuals who are young and feel invincible and are now compelled by law to purchase insurance when they have, in fact, never purchased insurance before. Given the above factors and the extremely low penalties within the first year of the greater of $95 or 1% of annual household income, I could very easily see a path where few young adults sign up and Obamacare flounders.

But, there's also another side to this story. Never before have price and benefit packages been as transparent and comparable as with the new health exchanges. This generation of young adults grew up with technology and may jump at the chance to take part in this nation's health reform given the myriad of transparent choices they'll now have.

Who wins and who loses?
There are obviously going to be companies that will wind up as winners and losers in each scenario.

Clearly, insurers are on the ropes and in desperate need of a good showing from young adult sign-ups, especially in the early going. The reason is that new Medicaid-eligible patients and the most sick and in need of care are likely to be the first to sign up on Oct. 1. With insurers no longer having the ability to turn away patients with preexisting conditions, medical costs are likely to balloon over the next couple of quarters. This will place a lot of pressure on companies that spent big to get a slice of the government-sponsored health care pie like WellPoint (NYSE: WLP  ) , but will also affect the nation's largest insurer, UnitedHealth Group. If young adults don't join in, it's unlikely that either company will meet already lofty profit expectations in the upcoming year.

A winner here -- even if young adult turnout proves to be disappointing -- could be e-commerce insurance platform provider eHealth (NASDAQ: EHTH  ) . The thing about young adults is they like choices, they like technology, and they like a company that's been around for a while. Unlike the Obamacare health exchanges, which are just magically going to pop into existence on Tuesday, eHealth has been around offering a private health insurance platform for more than a decade. If there's a potential winner here, it could be eHealth.

There are implications, though, beyond just insurers. I've already mentioned that hospitals like HCA Holdings are eager to get as many people signed up as possible in order to reduce their doubtful revenue totals. If young adults shun the exchanges and essentially nothing changes, hospitals could respond by looking to reduce expenses, which would wind up being both a good and bad thing, depending on what sector you were in.

It'd be great news for Cerner (NASDAQ: CERN  ) , which we looked at recently as a beneficiary of hospitals needing to go digital and improve efficiency. Cerner provides a myriad of health care software including electronic-health record cloud-software and revenue cycle management software that helps hospitals manage their expenses. Everything these days is about efficiency and saving money to which Cerner is poised to benefit.

Yet, the downside is that if hospitals don't see that influx in insured patients they could scale back their purchases of higher priced medical equipment. Here, I think of a company like Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG  ) whose da Vinci robotic surgical system is cutting edge in technology (no pun intended), but can cost upwards of $1.5 million per machine. I proposed once before that hospitals could use their cost savings from having more insured persons walking through their doors to buy medical equipment that would differentiate themselves from other hospital operators. Unfortunately, the reverse could prove true and tight cost controls may wreak havoc on innovation and high-end medical device sales like those of Intuitive Surgical.

Ultimately, we're now just one day from finally getting some concrete answers. My suggestion is to closely monitor how many young adults sign up for health care on the exchanges or a privatized platform as that'll be the key to determining the long-term success or failure of this overhaul.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to the ACA as a bill and also stated that 10 million should gain access to health insurance under the law. The Fool regrets the errors.

If you've got questions, we've got answers!
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 impact your taxes, health insurance, and investments. Click here for your free copy today.


Read/Post Comments (134) | Recommend This Article (78)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 3:10 PM, MartyTheCanuck wrote:

    Young people were a lot of the uninsured, BEFORE the cost was sky-rocketing. The cost is exploding because the mandate is too wide and prohibits catastrophic coverage. So I bet they don't get insured now, not until the penalty get significantly higher.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 4:23 PM, AkaThePerfessor wrote:

    What do you mean, "before the cost was skyrocketing"? You mean before 1990????? Because health care costs and premium costs of all kinds of plans have been soaring for a couple of decades. I remember one friend in the late 90's saying "these rate rises can't continue". LOL oops!

    Actually, there IS a catastrophic coverage option for those people under age 30. It's a bronze level plan (actuarial value 60%) with a deductible and out of pocket maximum set at $6400.

    Bottom line is, if you want to take personal responsibility, have coverage if something bad happens so you won't become destititute, obey the law and avoid the penalty, PLUS support a system that you mind need when you are older, you should get insurance.

    If you want to be a freeloader, live on the edge, with no protection, pay the penalty anyway and get nothing for it, and risk the system gonig back to the one where you might not be ABLE to get ANY coverage, than you can avoid the exchanges and pay the penalty.

    Which really sounds better?

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 4:33 PM, TMFHousel wrote:

    <<Young people were a lot of the uninsured, BEFORE the cost was sky-rocketing. The cost is exploding because the mandate is too wide and prohibits catastrophic coverage.>>

    Health care cost growth is currently at a 50-year low.

    http://g.foolcdn.com/img/editorial/HCGrowth.png

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 5:19 PM, zontar100 wrote:

    Oh, if only we had compomised back in the Clinton days and accepted this plan when the Republicans took credit for it :)

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 5:21 PM, frankc1949 wrote:

    The bigger issue is that because ACA allows for virtually immediate enrollment, why would a low-risk young person pay premiums for months or years without a claim?

    The only way "insurance" works is that everyone subscribes and pays a premium "in the event" they have a claim. Enrolling the week before you need surgery makes the finances unworkable. Why purchase insurance in month 2 of a pregnancy when you can purchase it in Month 8--that's what the pre-existing condition waiver that the POTUS demanded does "to" the system.

    Low utilization users have zero motivation to pay $3600/annually in premiums when the penalty is $1500. They will roll the dice, much like they have always done. It's only when one quantifies the financial risk (losses) does one purchase insurance.

    Again, the pre-existing condition clause allows those with the greatest risks to enroll and have others fund their health care. Remember, you cannot qualify a person under ACA and adjust their premium. So, the obese, smoker who won't change their lifestyle pays the same as the young low-utilization person. Much like SS, the young will fund the old--and in ten years statistics will determine what we already know--the program is unsustainable.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 5:21 PM, ricksue777 wrote:

    I priced on the Washington State Exchange. My new Obamacare price = $1300/month, my existing provider = $266/month. I don't seem to be getting the advertised number.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 5:32 PM, eldetorre wrote:

    Let me tell you what the plan should have been. 1-The medicaid/medicare tax should have been doubled BUT instead of the government getting the additional funds, the extra amount would be put into personal healthcare spending accounts. Before anyone got any government benefits you had to exhaust the funds in your personal accounts.

    2-National standards for healthcare/health insurance products. The market works inefficiently because consumers can't compare.

    3-Transparency, transparency transparency.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 5:38 PM, xetn wrote:

    I believe ObamaCare will be a complete failure. The reason is that all government programs have two features: The costs always rise and quality always declines.

    At this point, nobody knows what this monstrosity will provide and at what cost.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 5:47 PM, JayLowell2 wrote:

    Nobody is going to apply for this mess. It is socialism at it's most suffocating. Instead of going after the real culprits of price gauging and fraud we TAX the very people that it was intended to help. To the fool's who supported this Titanic mess you will soon reap the load of swill and bilge that this sinking ship has been keeping in her cargo holds, enjoy Davy Jones locker.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 5:51 PM, RodgerKing wrote:

    Another problem. The government doesn't verify what income bracket you are in. By lying about your income you can get in a low income bracket and save yourself $5,900 per month. Why would anyone tell the truth if there is such a discount for fudging your income.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 5:55 PM, HuskerJon wrote:

    I'm offended by the photo that is shown with this article. I think it attempts to show Obama is a deity. The ring around the head and the hand gestures can be found in paintings of Christ. Knock it off MF or i won't be re-upping on my subscriptions.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 5:55 PM, SpiderMike46 wrote:

    I can't imagine healthy young people signing up. I'm a healthy 67 and have still have not signed up for Medicare. I probably have been to the "quacks" four or five times in my life and doubt I've even paid $1,000 in total. I always figured if I had a problem it would be the result of a car accident and my car insurance would cover it. Most young people who don't abuse themselves do not get sick. Insurance of any type is about "fear". Don't eat or drink to excess, don't smoke, exercise, use a condom, don't get married and the average guy will be fine. It's marriage that will kill you early. We're all gonna die, get over it.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 5:55 PM, MartyTheCanuck wrote:

    The price for most young people will be much higher than what was previously available, at least if they were getting a catastrophic coverage. This is the minimum that everybody should have. If you want a prepaid goldplan that covers everything, that should be your choice, not the law of the land. I'd rather pay moderate expenses from out of pocket, and be covered for major injuries/ilnesses. But that kind of insurance is now illegal, so you either buy something much more expensive, or you become a "freeloader". Great options !

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 6:05 PM, modelEngineer wrote:

    Since few if any of the people who voted for this bill actually read it I expect that the fine print will begin to cause the costs to go out of sight within a year.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 6:15 PM, dbman5 wrote:

    I really would like to see articles like this QUIT just referring to the penalties in the first year. For those that don't know, they increase to $695 or 2.5% of income (less $9,750 for a single person) in the third year. And the $695 will be linked to inflation. Someone making just $40,000 would pay a penalty of about $750. I think that will prompt a lot of young people to purchase at least the plan with the lowest price. Yes, it will have the highest deductibles but at least they'll have coverage if they do get sick, break a leg while skiing (I know young people never get hurt at sports but maybe it will happen to one of them anyway), etc. I don't know yet what the exchange prices will be but I know I've seen current policies for young people that can be purchased for as low as $480/yr.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 6:25 PM, sdlimolady wrote:

    I have been looking up rates for many of our driver/employees. Since they do not work full time for us, they qualify for subsidies. They are all blown away at the low to no premium quotes we are seeing. Some of these guys and their families have gone years without coverage... and they are generally healthy! So now they can opt in, pay a small premium via the cafeteria plan on payroll, and they increase the pool of younger healthier participants. Just the way it is supposed to work!

    So what if there are a few computer glitches... name a government agency that doesn't have them now and then. And yes, some technical wording may have to be adjusted over the next few years, and the IRS will have a learning curve, but it looks like pretty smart plan so far!

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 6:28 PM, MKArch wrote:

    <<<Without young, healthier adults paying into the system, there's nothing to stop premiums from going sky high.>>>

    --------------------------------------

    Premiums are going up no matter what, it's the fate of Obamcare that depends on young adults acting against their best financial interest. All Obamacare does is shift some of the increase from the sick to the healthy.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 6:34 PM, frankc1949 wrote:

    @sdlimo So, in other words, you're okay with everyone else subsidizing the premiums for your employees. That's effectively a tax on everyone who works--including those of us that are healthy!

    That means you are hiring low skill employees, paying them minimum wage. That's not any different than asking everyone else to subsidize your business.

    I could make the argument that you should subsidize your own employees health insurance (after all they have "gone years without coverage") but most likely you would scream that it would crash your business. It's only good for your employees because you do not pick up the tab....Nice.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 6:48 PM, ahmiowa wrote:

    I think people will be surprised... young people aren't oblivious to the need for health care (or, "risk management").

    As an example, my son, a VERY healthy 27, would have been charged $900 per MONTH to stay on my plan via Cobra. Instead, he reluctantly signed up for a catastrophic plan for $185/month!

    And gee - under the ACA, and the NY Exchanges, it looks like he will pay a similar price for COMPRHENSIVE coverage! Maybe not a cadillac plan, but a whole lot better.

    Is the ACA perfect? No. Is it a he11 of a lot better than what young people or the uninsured had? Clearly so.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 6:51 PM, kbeck02 wrote:

    First, anyone who gets sick and has insurance has been paying for the uninsured all along. Hospitals, etc. eat part of the cost, but other people using hospitals pick up the rest. That is part of the reason health care is so expensive.

    Medically speaking I have been quite lucky. Except for the small bout with cancer a few years back (luckily I had insurance through my employer, but still ended up paying a few thousand out of my own pocket) I have been healthy.

    When in college I had student insurance through the college. When I graduated and became employed I had insurance coverage through my employers.

    Since I retired I have Medicare and a supplemental through my former employer. Both require me to pay premiums. The premiums are fairly low compared to being thrown into the open market.

    I was one of the "young and feel invincible" types until I was in my early to mid-30s when I heard a news program that proclaimed 35 to be middle aged!

    What age group constitutes "young adults"?

    I suspect the healthy people under the age of 35 will be purchasing the least costly program, if they purchase anything at all. Unless they have seen first hand what happens to friends (think about that ski accident mentioned by dbman5) without insurance they will balk at spending money on insurance premiums. Besides, you can wait until a medical catastrophe hits and buy in then. This is a major flaw in the ACA.

    I would like the WalMart/Home Depot (and other businesses who have dropped their insurance coverage on part time employees that have not received press coverage on this) ploy of getting tax payers to pay for their part time employees insurance premiums to be addressed.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 6:55 PM, ShahT12 wrote:

    What about those young adults who pay big amounts in employer sponsored plans whether they like or not? Why not allow them and infact everyone to take entire employer contribution in HSA account and buy whatever insurance they need on exchange? I have never seen any employer offering different plans for 25 yr old unmarried, 40 yr old employee with family of 4 and 62 yr old empty nester couple. I also have not seen any employer offering 50 different plans based on state where employee resides. Why not delink insurance from employment and free employers from negotiating with insurances and maintaining benefit dept? They would be very happy to pass on their portion to HSA and focus on business which they should.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 7:00 PM, LAVol wrote:

    Government has never done anything better or cheaper, that private business is willing to do. Why does anyone think Obamacare is different.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 7:05 PM, mikiheart wrote:
  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 7:26 PM, Cruiser55N wrote:

    Young people are already subsidizing older generations heavily through the Social Security and Medicare ponzi schemes. No doubt they will be delighted to be forced into more of the same through Obamacare.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 7:42 PM, QuandoInQuando wrote:

    I want the same choices for my house and car. I don't want to pay for insurance until after there is an earthquake or an accident. How about allowing my kids to wait until after I die and then then they can decide how much my life was worth? How about retirement? I would like to wait until I am 79 years old before I decide whether or not I want to pay for Social Security Insurance. And what about our pets? Why shouldn't our dogs, cats, birds, etc. be covered by government mandate?

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 7:44 PM, oldmandave1951 wrote:

    I read a post that , sdlimolady wrote about the rates for their part time drivers...I have been searching like hell and can't find ACTUAL rates.I might add the websites were as confusing as trying to read the 2,000 plus page bill!The sites say that I can compare tomorrow Oct.1st...I have seen some speculating that what they THINK it will cost but nothing concrete...Who are these so called YOUNG people they talk about getting into Obama care...I thought the bill allowed CHILDREN up to the age of 26 to remain on Mom & Dad's policy...love the way that has been put out as the word children...when I was 26 I would have been pissed if you referred to me as a child...hell was was married and had my own home at 24. Hang on peoplebwe are in for one hell of a ride!!!

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 7:56 PM, USAFTV1365 wrote:

    All of the stats and opinions that are flying reminds me of a WW II (Battle Of Britain) quote from Air Chief Marshall Dowding to the Air Minister:"Minister: Ah, Dowding. Er. Look. Our people in Washington are having trouble with the American Press. It's about today's figures. German sources there are saying that our claims are wildly exaggerated.

    Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding: (listens, but says nothing)

    Minister: Hello? Are you there Dowding?

    Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding: I'm here Minister.

    Minister: Well I mean, can you verify the figures?

    Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding: (clears throat) I'm not very interested in propaganda. If we're right, they'll give up. If we are wrong, they'll be in London in a week!". Same applies to Obama Care. My big gripe is how it has divided the country. The law will take care of itself. It will either succeed or it will crater. If it succeeds, great for the USA, if it fails, Obama can say "My Bad"...

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 7:57 PM, fishers2tall wrote:

    As much as I would like to take Mr Williams to task for all the Obamacare loving opinion he has woven into his article and carefully debunk his statements I will not simply because his entire article misses the point. The sole factor in whether Obamacare is a success or not (at least to Democrats) is if it is funded and actually goes into effect. Once it is funded and going it is a success for Obama because this bill has never been about healthcare, it is about expanding governmental control over every aspect of our lives and increasing the number of people who are dependent on government for everything they need. Even if Obamacare is a complete disaster it does not matter because Obama is well aware that NO modern entitlement program has ever been repealed once it was enacted. If Obamacare completely ruins the insurance industry Obama does not care because that will make it easier to roll this into a single payer program which is what they would have preferred anyway. If it is a financial wreck and is unable to fund the costs of healthcare well that is ok also as they will simply ration what care can be provided. If you don't think rationing will happen do a little research and look at how long people in Britain and Canada have to wait for routine surgeries.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 9:06 PM, wrenchbender57 wrote:

    @ricksue777: How could you get figures from the Washington State Exchange when it does not even go online until 10-1-2013? Sounds like you made up a number. I tried to get on a few days ago and got a message that the system would go online on October 1st. So, I did some research and sure enough, that is the case.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 9:10 PM, Don354 wrote:

    Just got an "IMPORTANT NOTICE" Horizon BC/BS advising me my Medicare plan won't be offered in 2014. THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG WITH MY OLD ONE. OBAMACARE SUCKS!

    If it craters, he'd absolutely positively NEVER admit it.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 9:10 PM, wrenchbender57 wrote:

    Funny, what I hear from the folks in Canada is that they like their health care system. Does it make sense to deny health care to some of our citizens so we can get scheduled for surgery faster? Why is it that our country is one of the few developed countries without universal health care? Why is that a good thing? I don't think it is so much about government control as it is about everyone saying that because they are afraid of change. Come on folks, get real. Get these folks using the emergency rooms for routine health issues on some kind of health maintenance. The current health care system in this country is a disgrace.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 9:34 PM, wan2bretired wrote:

    golfingfanatic has it correct. wrenchbender57 keep living in your eutopic thoughts. To some my thoughts up; as a healthcare provider I worry who or what will be caring for me as I get older. I fear most for my kids and grand kids. The father of the Canadian health care system says it is a mess (google it). The pime minister came to the US for what is a routine heart surgery ... he stated "it is his life and his health".

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 9:45 PM, hbivins wrote:

    As an end user, Cerner products are horrible. They will need to vastly improve or their products will be replaced.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 9:56 PM, szcz wrote:

    Another article by the young socialists at the Fool. It seems to me that the leftist education that this Fool received has had its intended effect.

    He has no idea what a disaster this will be. Rest assured that the ruling elite in Washington will receive the benefit of wonderful new medical technology but the rest of us will stand in line - just like when we are at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 11:11 PM, Chontichajim wrote:

    In a short time there will be no turning back, but hopefully we will improve upon the initial insurance mandate. A significant number of employers will take advantage of the exchanges if they are more economical than carrying independent coverage.

    Hopefully this is only step one in keeping the percentage of our GDP going toward health care under control. What we really need to focus on is why we pay more per capita for health care than any other country in the world. Is it arrogance that prevents us from adopting best practices from around the world?

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 12:35 AM, FinnMcCoolIRA wrote:

    "....the some 10 million-plus persons that will gain insurance through government-sponsored care..."

    ObamaCare is NOT 'government sponsored care': It is TAXPAYER sponsored care. In fact, OC is not 'care' at all but only slip-shod 'health insurance'.

    The Government is giving no American citizen anything at all! Nothing new here, as no government has ever given their citizens anything that the government has not already taken from their citizens, their offspring and/or their neighbors. NEVER....

    Essentially, ObamaCare has forced 300 million people to surrender not only their wallets but also their consent and independence in order to foist a great socialist experiment on America .... Why?: because a small group of elitist Leftist politicians have decided that only they know better than 300 million free (?) individual citizens!

    We are about to lose a once great Republic due to the vanity of a small group of Utopian Socialists.

    Shame on those who've brought this blight upon us.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 1:23 AM, FoolMJ42 wrote:

    Is there some reason you are calling a Law, a bill instead. The debate is over. This is a Law.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 1:59 AM, FinnMcCoolIRA wrote:

    "Laws" can be changed ..... this one (OC) MUST be changed and consigned to oblivion.

    We must also end the incremental slide into Marxist-Socialist Nirvana...not!

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 3:25 AM, tomd728 wrote:

    I'm certain that every Fool who posted up on the "Affordable Health Care" issues herein means well and most know and understand the act more than I do.

    Now, very little commentary,if any, has been written or posted on the act by the people who are candidates for this coverage.....

    1.Do they understand what is in the blll ?

    2.Are they willing to pay for it or simply pay the penalty?

    3.Do they feel that the coverage therein suits their needs? Is it enough ? Long Term ?

    4.Do they feel this coverage is truly "affordable" ?

    Just so much commentary,disagreement,political jockeying, mis-understanding and even more money to sell this program to those it is aimed at.And now it all spills over to our budget,spending,debt,while we thought Sequestration was over the top.

    The men and women who "represent" us in Congress have made the U.S. look ridiculous internationally and at home and one has to fear the day that this party line nonsense effects us on an issue that must have resolution immediately or we face grave danger while they are busy throwing sand at one another.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 8:16 AM, broknrekord3 wrote:

    The fear-mongering is thick in these comments, eh? While I love the Fool, I find the taste of imagined self-sufficiency of its fans a bit too rich...

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 8:23 AM, Sam101101 wrote:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3ZL83k9FBk

    For the long run, OC is the honorable thing to do. Civilization can be inferred from how a nation treats its needy.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 8:48 AM, Stockgamblr wrote:

    Republicans fear Obamacare will become popular and like Medicare, it's difficult to recind a popular program. But wouldn't it be a relief for hospitals that must treat so many indigent emergency patients for free, tacking the cost onto those of us who pay for our insurance? We must buy car insurance and home insurance. Aren't our bodies worthy of insurance as well? Finally the richest and only industrialized nation in the world without affordable insurance has embraced the common good.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 9:38 AM, prginww wrote:

    Thank you for EHEALTH and CERNER. Mobile device marketing can shape up healthcare like PRICELINE did airlines.

    Buy 50 quality stocks, let them sit for 30 years, re-invest the dividends, live 100 years with healthy lifestyle, enjoy the fruit.

    Optimize your tax and health care costs, turbo charge your assets growth.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 9:39 AM, neocolonialist wrote:

    It's amazing to me how many people measure what is "right" by what they get out of it.

    The whole idea of forcing the American people to buy something, anything, is just wrong. I don't care if you or your son, or your employees, or your well deserved elderly relative gets a great deal out of ObamaCare, it's still unjust and immoral simply on constitutional grounds.

    It's also amazing to me how many people think it will fail under its own dysfunctional weight. THAT will never happen!

    If history has shown us anything, it has shown us this: If the government does something anything horribly wrong or bad, it redoubles its efforts and does lots more of that.

    Nope, ObamaCare is here to stay if someone in the government doesn't do something to kill it right now. And the odds of that are not even measurable.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 10:35 AM, drchemy wrote:

    Obamacare is meant to make healthcare affordable to people with preexisting conditions. They are the burden of the program. The numbers you should be quoting is how much do people who are uninsured with PREEXISTING conditions spend on healthcare. It is a very different number than the numbers you quote that show only a few % of people spend a disproportionate amount on health care. Most of that spending comes from people who already have health insurance.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 12:06 PM, hifive55 wrote:

    Working stiffs who are already working hand-to-mouth just to keep a roof over their heads, food scraps on the table, and a 15 year old vehicle running just to get to work...where are they supposed to come up with this extra money for insurance? Now that employers have cut hours and dropped coverage, it's the working lower-middle-class, once again, who CAN'T pay but will bear the brunt of what's wrong in this country. Get the government out of our personal lives. The problem never was and still isn't having or not having health insurance. It's the government ruling and taxing every aspect of our lives.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 12:22 PM, mgiuseff9 wrote:

    These young kids who have lived through the last five years of the Obama Depression are not likely to pony up money for Obamacare.

    There has been a huge generational transfer of wealth from the young to the old. If I was young and healthy, I'd rather pay the penalty.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 12:25 PM, hifive55 wrote:

    I am continually dismayed to see that supposedly intelligent people still seem confused about this issue, equating buying overpriced health insurance with "buying" health "care". You receive health care. You buy health insurance. Everyone knows that insurance is a gambling game of statistics, and like any kind of gambling, the house can stack the deck. The house always wins and the jerk at the table loses. All Obamacare does is require everyone in the nation to become a player in the scam.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 12:44 PM, AshtonElder wrote:

    Have you considered how insurance companies are able to survive CAT losses? Because they invest with a portfolio that's touches all of us. Obamacare forgets that. The insurance companies couldn't survive by trying to swap money with no investment.

    Obamacare will fail for the same reason.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 12:45 PM, redmanrt wrote:

    "The 'Success' of Obamacare Hinges on Only One Factor."

    On whether the general public realizes in time the danger an enhanced IRS represents.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 12:49 PM, illegalnotlegal wrote:

    The way Obamacare has been sold to the public via all media outlets is disturbing. It is being sold only how low or free it is per month. No discussion about what percentage you will be copaying even if you premium is free. Who buys insurance just based on a low price? : apparently millions of people are.

    I would love to see the media cover the actual bottom line costs. From what I have read the plans have anywhere from 20 percent to 40 percent that you the patient will have to pay for Dr. and Hospital bills.

    How about telling the American public the facts instead of using carnival barker techniques?

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 12:56 PM, redfox435cat wrote:

    That best thing about this is it the young guys who really got Barrey elected and they are the ones getting the shaft on this deal. It absolutely hilarious.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 12:57 PM, PaulPhoenix wrote:

    Can't take money that is not there.

    This govt., this country needs an enema.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 12:58 PM, wfo75080 wrote:

    I just received my letter from BCBS today. They informed me that my plan was no longer available, and that if I wanted the same coverage they would increase my premiums to $663.00. An increase of over $300.00. They also informed me that I could apply through the PPACA, but didn't know how much my premiums, deductible or co-pay would be at this time. My insurance will be cancelled in 30 days.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 12:59 PM, madisoncompany wrote:

    everybody is totally missing the most important point-the RATE is one thing, the LEVEL OF COVERAGE is yet another. Just received the notification letter offering what is considered a comparable package closest to current rate- an increase in the rate GOT 5X the deductible. In other words, an increase in rate ended up with a plan that offers 1/5 the financial coverage. This is not HEALTHCARE, this is what is commonly known as MAJOR MEDICAL. Had a $900 deductible, NOW ITS $4,500!!!!! other items that used to be covered at 80% are now covered at 40%!!! AND THE PLAN COSTS MORE $$$$$$$. Preventative practices, what insurance companies used to push for personal responsibility and awareness of one's own health will no longer be an active part of their message.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 1:04 PM, Teako3 wrote:

    The proof of what is going to happen is when the pudding is served. People are signing up today and it actually starts in three months. If it is as bad as the conservatives want to believe, it will be very apparent by 2016 and they will win everything in sight and actually be able to repeal the law (not bill). If it is as good as ther libeerals believe, they will own both Houses and the Presidenncy for a decade or more. Until then, none of us really knows aything about whether the ACA/Obamacare will work or not. I am suggesting that most of us are blowing hot air and idiot-ology.

    To date the only things we do know for sure is that the ACA law was written and approved by Congress, signed into law by the President, passed Constitutional muster with the Supreme Court, that the current President was elected and reelected while supporting this type of healthcare law, and the government is now shut down because one party believes they should never compromise, but the other party should.

    I get the feeling the rest of the world laughing that we can't solve this problem and sweating because they see us making every attempt tto shut down the world econmy while we are at it.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 1:04 PM, farmgirl54 wrote:

    Why can't we have FREEDOM of CHOICE? Why do we have to be dictated to by the Govt? Why should the innocent have to pay for the lazy freeloaders? I don't mind taking care of my own, but I don't think I should be forced into taking care of all the bums!

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 1:11 PM, echodan wrote:

    "Unfortunately, the reverse could prove true and tight cost controls may wreak havoc on innovation and high-end medical device sales like those of Intuitive Surgical." I work for a major corporation with a high profile medical products division. Yesterday, they announced 15,000 job cuts by 2014, many in that division. Government controlling is health care is about the worst thing that could happen to the industry. I've been saying from the start, people might get "more" healthcare, but it's going to be much worse healthcare. Almost no innovation, poorly made products, medical professionals leaving...not good.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 1:16 PM, DZPM wrote:

    Go John Boehner! Down Harry Reid Republican are right Democrats are wrong Barack Obama & government bureaucracy spend too much money on worker expense.

    John McCain is a liberal kiss bat and need to be kicked out of the Republican Party he is also to old and need to retire you can't be Senator for life we need to change the low and apply the same principal for Senator and Congressmen that President have to terms in the office and no one day more.

    Ben Bernanke “Giant Ponzi Scheme” know precisely there is no exist without big Consequences so hi is stein put and will let new Chairman to deal with his mass. This is a pure crime. Scam bag is always a scam bag! Yesterday “what we got was an increasingly dovish handoff from Chairman Bernanke to Janet Yellen,” “Bernanke has metaphorically left the building. We are living in a Yellen world. And Yellen is a dove with a capital D.” And she is stupid to grasp that, because she is in love with Ben. What an arrogance and Ignorance. Now this brings us to the bond market. The reason that the bond market was going down, and why interest rates were going up, was that the Fed was going to taper. Now there is no tapering, and bonds have not rallied that much! Why? Because the Fed is losing control of the bond market; the bond market is telling the Fed that it has printed too much money.

    This brings us to the stock market. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) and Dow Jones Industrial Average(INDEXDJX:.DJI) broke out to new highs. Part of the reason, I believe, that we got no tapering is because the Fed is somewhat scared of what it would do to the equity markets. Part of its belief is that the re-creation of a wealth effect (even if only a small amount of investors have profited) has trickled down into the economy. Now the Fed is scared to take the punch bowl away -- or better yet, it's scared to confiscate the heroin needle away and take the market off of its juice.

    The next meeting is in December; at that time, Bernanke will be one month away from stepping down. The next meeting after that is in March, and Janet Yellen, frontrunner for the Fed chair, will be barely two months into her job. I do not see major shifts with an incoming or outgoing Fed chair.

    I actually think that investors should ignore the talk of taper. The Fed is going to print until it can’t. Until bond rates spike and the market starts to tank and inflation takes off. Then the market will take the printing press away. However, until then, the Fed is trapped in a box and can’t get out.

    Federal Reserve comity and Ben Bernanke “Giant Ponzi Scheme” .When we have bad economic data market is going up on speculation Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will kip printing money. When we have god economic data market is going up speculation Bernanke is steel printing? This entire look like exuberance sign of market is in the crash mod and will burst 1000 down ward point any second. Bernanke ruin billions and billions of ordinary people’s lives with kipping interest zero in favor of Banks and Speculators Bernanke committed the biggest crime to humanity The Biggest Ponzi Scheme Ever. Bernanke is a Scam bag! Communist was using seam principals like Fed > Bernanke (printing money for ever), and day collapsed next is USA to Collapse, because off arrogant sociopath Ban Bernanke. Printing money is poor pyramid scams, artificial unreal! Every pyramid scam crash everybody loses regular investor watch out doesn’t fall in to the trap. A record breaking stock market is distorting a frightening reality: The U.S. is being eaten alive by a horrific cancer that will ultimately destroy the economy and impoverish the vast majority of its citizens. Despite "phony" signs of an economic recovery, the cancer destroying America stems from a lethal concoction of our $16 trillion federal debt and the Fed's never ending money printing. Currently, Bernanke and company is buying $1 trillion of Treasury and mortgage bonds a year. That's about $85 billion per month against a budget deficit that is about the same level. These numbers are unsustainable. And the Fed has no credible "exit strategy."

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 1:18 PM, rw93003 wrote:

    I don't know a single young person who would spend $200-$300 a month on insurance they don't want or need instead of spending the same money for a monthly payment on new car.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 1:19 PM, smokedsalmoned wrote:

    So the whole thing is dependent upon young people signing up for health care system that will double their ocst as it is designed to subsidize the elderly (elderly cost 8 times more than the young to insure but the law says you can't charge more than 3x for the old than the young in terms of premium).

    Strong young leftists might be dumb enough to sign up for a year or two but after they have no illnessess look for a tidal wave of opt outs.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 1:20 PM, flakyme wrote:

    My issue with this reporting is the repeated use of affordable health care. This ACA has nothing to do with health care costs. It is health insurance and there is nothing affordable about it once you add in the premiums, deductibles and out of pocket costs. This turkey of a bill does nothing but mire our country further in debt without addressing the real issue of health care costs.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 1:22 PM, swmoman47 wrote:

    Like many others it seems they are finding that this joke is going to be rather expensive piece of sex for America. My proce for the same coverage I have is $1,200 and I currently am paying $225 with EXCELLENT coverage. Oh please can we have more sex at our expense Harry and Obama? Come on, can we, pretty please? Clowns

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 1:27 PM, julio2 wrote:

    Democrats are calling young people without insurance "freeloaders". If the republicans did that for people on welfare they would scream that republicans are heartless greedy monsters.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 1:28 PM, Paulson545 wrote:

    Democrats keep bragging about how affordable obamacare is going to be because of the Federal Subsidizes. I am curious , if subsidizes means money from taxes, who is paying the taxes and who speaks for the taxpayer who is being forced to subsidize someone else's entitlement ?

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 1:28 PM, julio2 wrote:

    Young people won't sign up until the penalty is more than the insurance. Of course by then we will have republicans in total control of Washington and the individual mandate will be repealed.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 1:36 PM, peckbill wrote:

    The people will determine the success of ACA. Well the GOP and Tea Party members of Congress have finally succeeded. The battle in Congress is not a battle over the budget and anyone who thinks differently is an idiot or a fool. After trying to de-fund the Affordable Care Act (nickname Obamacare) over forty times (a plan that Congress previously approved) the GOP/Tea Party Congressional members invoked such a childish tantrum that the United States of America is forced to close all operation (technically). This childish act, by the GOP and Tea Party members of Congress may well be the straw that broke the camel’s back. The GOP and Tea Party members will deny that they had anything to do with the shutdown and clearly state that they gave the Democratic Administration a reasonable alternate. The alternate does not provide medical care for those who need care nor did it address the defunding of un-important non-American programs, such as foreign aid and programs that enhance only rich people. Do not be fooled, the GOP and Tea Party members of Congress caused the shutdown. The parents and children of the GOP and Tea Party members of Congress will have to hang their heads in shame for some time to cover this blemish on the United States of America. The GOP, Tea Party and big money have shown the American people who is running the government; only the people can change this trend. At every election, from this day forth, the people must not vote for any GOP or Tea Party member and also do not vote for any of the GOP or Tea Party members who switch parties to gain votes (Lieberman is a good example of party switching to stay in office). The American people must take back control of the government; they only way this can be done is to be sure the Congress is aligned with and supports the President and the people. This action must apply at all levels of government. God bless America.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 1:38 PM, 165grBoattail wrote:

    We already know the winners will be the insurance companies- until they pull out because they're losing money; losing money due to an insufficient number of healthy subscriber's premiums offsetting the higher costs to insure those with pre-existing conditions. Nonetheless, according to this piece, that "silver plan" that the administration seems to like will still cost roughly $4,000/year. To the poorer classes, $4K is a hefty chunk of change and they'll opt out of insurance for a penalty later. How does that help? This program will still leave millions of Americans without HC insurance- something even those supporting this program readily admit to.

    What isn't being talked about are the health care providers (Etna, Blue Cross, Humana, Signa, etc) who are pulling out of some states due to the cost burden they'll have to embrace. What isn't talked about will be "who" is administering these new "exchanges" in states like California: ACORN, SEIU and Planned Parenthood- all decidedly far left groups. Also not talked about is the loss of your privacy as all personal records will now become a matter of public record! Penalizing someone for not buying insurance has implications of violating a person's rights against illegal search and seizure- i.e., "due process". I don't see much chatter on the "elite" being given a subsidy that the rest of the working class Americans won't get (namely, members of Congress, their staffers, some if not most of the unions- is that "fair"?

    And if this is already the "law of the land", how is it that obama can unilaterally circumvent congress and begin granting extensions to big business and political (cronies)- but not to us "ordinary citizens"? I remain skeptical- extremely skeptical!

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 1:40 PM, genthore wrote:

    Why would any sane person sign up BEFORE the actually need it when you can just sign up AFTER you get sick or hurt?

    I wish car/home owners insurance worked like that

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 1:41 PM, jcvette50 wrote:

    The government won't get a penny out of me. If they think they are gonna take penalties out of my income tax refund, then I'll claim less and take home more so there will be nothing left to collect. If they think they are going to attach my pay check, then I quit my job and be a "welfare" forever person. This is what it has come to. Why are we taking this? The country is ruined. Let's all get together and do something. I you have any ideas post your comments.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 1:42 PM, heathkits wrote:

    Why should anyone in good health join. Unless they have a chronic malady that is expensive to treat, It is much cheaper to wait until you are sick. On average it will cost nearly $4000 per year to join, and the cost to join once you get sick is a few hundred, including the fine.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 1:45 PM, Teako3 wrote:

    Fundamentally, nobody on this board really knows what is going to happen at the end of the day. It will take at least a couple of years to iron out loose ends and hopefully educate the public

    Like I said before, quit messing up our economy short term, and just let the ACA go into effect (it's probably what is going to happen anyway).

    If it doesn't work, the conservatives/teabaggers/Republicans will retain the House, win the Senate and Presidency, and they will repeal it.

    If it does work, the liberals/progressives/Democrats will win the Hosue and retain the Senate and Presidency, and they will try to expand it into a single-payer system.

    Sounds like real democracy in action to me.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 1:52 PM, entitled wrote:

    It's an emphatic FAIL from the get go...Anything the government controls, and administers to the ordinary folk is a FAIL, just a matter of to what degree it fails. Will it be as corrupt as MEDICARE or as abysmal as MEDICAID? How about the Food Stamp program, eh?

    It's a FAIL, unquestioned.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 1:57 PM, spydercoendura wrote:

    " success hinges on young adults willingly going onto health exchanges and purchasing health insurance to help offset the high costs "

    Americans being compelled by law (individual mandate) to purchase something they do not need or want, at a greatly inflated price,to pay someone else's cost. This is nothing but a socialist redistribution scheme.

    In other words, the success of Obamacare depends on how willing Americans are to comply with Obama mandated socialism.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 1:58 PM, genthore wrote:

    why but it now when you can buy it after you get sick?

    And have you seen the deductibles?

    who can afford paying a $6400 deductible on top of paying premiums every month?

    Affordable care act? should be called the Ruin the Heathcare System Act

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 1:58 PM, AR15Pistol wrote:

    My prediction is that the younger people will not be interested and even if they sign up, will tire of paying premiums without getting a benefit. Most of them are healthy and will rarely use the system. And when they do they will be disappointed because of the high deductible and out of pocket costs and will so stop paying the premium payments.

    When this happens the reaction of the government will be to take the premium out as a payroll deduction which would be quite easy because, after all, the premium payments are enforced by the IRS.

    In other words, this will be the largest tax every placed on the middle class, which will be Obama's legacy.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 2:00 PM, cityperson wrote:

    I guess the jails will be full , if people do not want the Obamcare and the IRS comes after you and your family. Also what happens if no penalities are paid to the IRS and Obama by the legal citizens, I guess the same thing your going to jail. Not much has been said or written about the people that will not pay the ransome or tax money for Obamacare. Another glitch not mentioned.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 2:02 PM, homeric wrote:

    Insurance companies are nothing but legalized extortion.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 2:06 PM, AR15Pistol wrote:

    That $328 a month may be reasonable for health care, but that is also $328 a month that is taken out of the general economy; money that would spent on car payments, restaurants, clothes, savings for a down payment for a house, etc.

    Obama says that the Republicans are putting a fragile economy in danger by their antics, but what is the real threat here?

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 2:08 PM, genthore wrote:

    Funny how you don't hear the corrupt liberal media pointing out all of the LIES that were told to us when they were jamming this down our throats.

    If you like your doctor you can keep him- LIE

    If you like your health plan you can keep it- LIE

    It is going to cost less - LIE

    there are no death panels- LIE

    won't add anything to the national debt-LIE

    I could go on but what' the point- you know and I know the only news media that will point these things out is Fox News - and liberals don't believe anything Fox News says- just because it is Fox News

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 2:12 PM, wiredog86 wrote:

    Why are we even at this point? The problem is that Americans have forgotten what it means to be an American. Freedom is not free and it seems to me most of the country is giving away the few freedoms we have left. When I walk into a voting booth I ask myself how would our Founding Fathers pull the lever and more often than not the choices presented to me are the very reason they pulled the trigger! The cherished citizenship that we're too willing to give away should come with the responsibility of knowing the values this country was founded upon and what it means to be an American. This health care reform law is yet another unamerican expansion of government. As an American I am willing to accept the voice of the people if this is truly what the country wants. As an American I will also voice my disappointment with the direction our country is heading. Unfortunately, I see less freedom and more government control.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 2:14 PM, EweRBaad wrote:

    This promise of insurance, while comforting, is only a placebo or, perhaps rather, a bottle of snake oil touted to cure all the health-care woes of Americans. But the success or failure of any health program depends on having health-care professionals, especially doctors. You can have all the machines and insurance in the world, but without healthcare professionals who have the time to spend with patients or interpret results, the technology is almost useless. Where I live, it might take you a week or two...or even more...to see a doctor in some cases and that's even if you HAVE the best insurance available. Doctors are retiring and others are not accepting new patients. And don't expect an emergency room doctor to accept insurance; the ones in our closest local system DON'T and I bet that trend will grow. Again, I think this promise of cheap insurance may end up with many people paying a bill for coverage and STILL not being able to see a doctor as much as they want or even need.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 2:30 PM, smokedsalmoned wrote:

    Obamacare sticker shock

    Feds claim lower health insurance premiums, but the data show costs will skyrocket for many Americans

    The Affordable Care Act’s state health exchanges open for business today serving the uninsured and customers like Home Depot’s 20,000 part-time employees and all 180,0000 Walgreen’s workers. But the Department of Health and Human Services has already got the ins overhaul off to a dubious start with its claim that premiums will “be around 16 % lower than originally expected.”

    That’s deceptive advertising

    In truth, most premiums are due to skyrocket, including in Michigan. That’s because the HHS based its announcement on a November 2009 Congressional Budget Office estimate that ins premiums would go up by an avg $2,100 per family because of Obamacare’s increased coverage mandates. So when HHS says rates are “below projections,” it actually means costs are still going up — just by less than originally advertised

    That’s a long way from then-presidential candidate Obama’s promise that health reform would reduce premiums by $2,500 per year. And it is an indictment of the health care law’s top-down, over-regulated structure

    The solution is to broaden individual choice: Let the exchanges act as true marketplaces for the needy & extend the health ins tax credit enjoyed by businesses to individuals so that health care becomes portable from job to job. That would reduce costs & address the bulk of the uninsured, who are transient workers who lose ins between jobs

    MI officials are cautiously optimistic because the HHS study, released last week with limited data, rated Michigan premiums below avg. But HHS’s deceptive claims of reduced costs were excoriated by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the C.B.O

    “There are literally no comparisons to current rates,” he says. “That is, HHS has chosen to dodge the question of whose rates are going up, & how much.”

    An exhaustive study by the Manhattan Institute comparing current rates to HHS’s estimates of the exchanges’ cheapest plans gives a clearer picture of the sticker shock many Americans will face, especially the young who the president is counting on to sign up in the exchanges

    “Obamacare will increase underlying ins rates for younger men by an avg of 97 to 99 % & or younger women by an avg of 55 to 62 %,” report Institute scholars, whose results echo an earlier Wall Street Journal study.

    Better off are the 13 states that set up their own exchanges which will see premium hikes of 24%. Worse off are the 37 states, including MI, where Washington set up the exchange

    NE will see the biggest increases, with premiums a staggering 279% higher for men & 227% higher for women. MI will see a 166% increase for men & women

    The study finds that 40-year-olds will face a similar landscape. The cheapest Obamacare plan today will be an avg 99% more for men, 62% higher for women. Men in MI face a 76% increase while 40-year old women will see a 131% spike.

    For low-income participants, these costs will be cushioned by massive federal subsidies, but, reports the Manhattan Institute, “most people will not receive enough in subsidies to counteract the degree to which Obamacare drives premiums upward.” That also means middle-class Americans will face the double-whammy of higher premiums & potentially higher taxes to cover the subsidy

    The New York Times also finds that insurers, in trying to rein in costs, will restrict health providers to small networks of doctors & hospitals that will be paid less, echoing the unpopular HMO programs of the 1990s & Medicaid plans notorious for inadequate access to caregivers

    Obamacare sticker shock is the predictable result of Washington setting ins requirements. The Administration knows this, which is why its 15-page report makes n0 mention of premiums for ins available on today’s market

    Govt has a role in health care exchanges by providing subsidies for the needy. But for everyone else, more choice & less govt is the road to truly affordable care

    Detroit News 10-1-13

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 2:35 PM, LksLady wrote:

    The $328 monthly premium and $6,000+ deductibles ARE NOT "AFFORDABLE"!

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 2:41 PM, Dadw5boys wrote:

    Americans use to have a community where they cared and helped each other. Before the wealthy Panders started Social Engineering pressing all Americans to be greedy and self absorbed. Admit it Consumerism is dead and has done a lot of damage and got out of the way let Americans reclaim the Country we all knew and loved. We are tired of living in fear of our Fellow Americans, living job scared and of Terrorist who kill maybe 2,000 people a year. We lose more than 400,000 people a year to Medical Malpractice and 10,400 to Drunk Driver.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 2:42 PM, mostleyright1 wrote:

    According to the California Insurance Exchange website this morning, my insurance is going to more than double in price with OBUMMER CARE

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 2:43 PM, sagehopper wrote:

    Working Americans. Not many of them around these days.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 2:48 PM, s2kreno wrote:

    Young people don't care about health insurance. I wouldn't have bought it when I was young (and poor) either. However, young people may not get sick but they have accidents. And when they end up in the ER after breaking something while snowboarding, they just walk away and dump the cost on the rest of us. So perhaps the best way of motivating them to buy health insurance is making it very very hard to blow off medical bills if you choose not to be insured. Similar to the way it's almost impossible to avoid repaying government-backed college loans.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 2:53 PM, jred1979 wrote:

    The "smart" move by sheer mathematics would be for young people to avoid signing up for ACA until such time as they need it. The penalty for not signing up is less than the cost of the plan. If you need covereage later, you can simply sign up at that time.

    However, the individual mandate is backed by a tax. Many otherwise intelligent people will do anything they can to avoid paying taxes, even if doing so is the dumber move.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 2:53 PM, RMengineer wrote:

    "...hospital operators such as HCA Holdings that are counting on more insured people to walk through its

    doors so it doesn't need to write off 10.25% of its revenue..."

    That fallacy is in thinking that that cost of providing healthcare magically disappears if people are "given" health insurance by fiat and decree.

    The reason they have to write that off is because those people can't pay for the economic cost of their health care (economic "risk", or "expected value" or whatever you want to call that cost). Simply giving them health insurance where they are _still_ not paying the that economic cost they incur still doesn't make that cost disappear. *Paying* for that cost _still_ has to come from somewhere. Who is going to (willingly) pay for someone else's economic costs just because "Obamacare" has been decreed when they wouldn't pay for someone else's cost before?

    So they build these "exchanges" and they expect them (insures) to come? Well, the insurers who participate in the exchanges are going to exist in the same math of _expected value_ as outside. The exchanges don't get some magically different mathematics than the rest of the universe.

    And if that math of _expected value_ didn't work to make it financially possible to extend insurance to some high risk (costly) individuals who could not afford to pay the _expected value_ cost of their health care risk, how does an "exchange" change that mathematical reality?

    The basic mathematical reality is that if someone can't pay the _expected value_ economic cost of providing their health care needs, then someone else is going to be tapped to pay for that cost. Trying to play a shell game to hide that cost isn't going to make it go away nor get people to pay for the _expected value_ of someone else's economic healthcare risk cost.

    People who can pay for their _expected value_ health care costs will continue to do so. And they will continue to expect to pay no more than their own _expected value_ health care costs and not pay for someone else's expected health care costs on top of their own. And trying to scam people into paying for other people's _expected value_ of health care costs, despite whatever "cleaver" scan one comes up with, whether you call that scam Obamacare or "health insurance exchanges" probably isn't going to work.

    This is the principle commonly referred to as "the young invincible". These people know that their _expected value_ of health care cost is quite low (very unlikely to rack up costly health care bills), so when they are expected to pay more than that _expected value_ cost (so that someone else can pay less than their _expected value_ cost), well then they just opt out of paying for more value than they receive. And trying to trick people into paying for more than they receive is not likely to work and the only way to get people to pay for more than they get (so that someone else can pay less than what they get) is to _force_ them to - oh wait,, that's what Obamacare does. But how often does it work in the end trying to make people do something by fiat and decree that they don't want to do, like pay for more for something than they get?

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 2:54 PM, RMengineer wrote:

    "...hospital operators such as HCA Holdings that are counting on more insured people to walk through its

    doors so it doesn't need to write off 10.25% of its revenue..."

    That fallacy is in thinking that that cost of providing healthcare magically disappears if people are "given" health insurance by fiat and decree.

    The reason they have to write that off is because those people can't pay for the economic cost of their health care (economic "risk", or "expected value" or whatever you want to call that cost). Simply giving them health insurance where they are _still_ not paying the that economic cost they incur still doesn't make that cost disappear. *Paying* for that cost _still_ has to come from somewhere. Who is going to (willingly) pay for someone else's economic costs just because "Obamacare" has been decreed when they wouldn't pay for someone else's cost before?

    So they build these "exchanges" and they expect them (insures) to come? Well, the insurers who participate in the exchanges are going to exist in the same math of _expected value_ as outside. The exchanges don't get some magically different mathematics than the rest of the universe.

    And if that math of _expected value_ didn't work to make it financially possible to extend insurance to some high risk (costly) individuals who could not afford to pay the _expected value_ cost of their health care risk, how does an "exchange" change that mathematical reality?

    The basic mathematical reality is that if someone can't pay the _expected value_ economic cost of providing their health care needs, then someone else is going to be tapped to pay for that cost. Trying to play a shell game to hide that cost isn't going to make it go away nor get people to pay for the _expected value_ of someone else's economic healthcare risk cost.

    People who can pay for their _expected value_ health care costs will continue to do so. And they will continue to expect to pay no more than their own _expected value_ health care costs and not pay for someone else's expected health care costs on top of their own. And trying to scam people into paying for other people's _expected value_ of health care costs, despite whatever "cleaver" scan one comes up with, whether you call that scam Obamacare or "health insurance exchanges" probably isn't going to work.

    This is the principle commonly referred to as "the young invincible". These people know that their _expected value_ of health care cost is quite low (very unlikely to rack up costly health care bills), so when they are expected to pay more than that _expected value_ cost (so that someone else can pay less than their _expected value_ cost), well then they just opt out of paying for more value than they receive. And trying to trick people into paying for more than they receive is not likely to work and the only way to get people to pay for more than they get (so that someone else can pay less than what they get) is to _force_ them to - oh wait,, that's what Obamacare does. But how often does it work in the end trying to make people do something by fiat and decree that they don't want to do, like pay for more for something than they get?

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 2:59 PM, rightislight wrote:

    So many people miss the point. The point isn't ACA or costs of healthcare. The point is simple:

    SHOULD THIS GOVERNMENT BE ABLE TO FORCE AMERICANS TO PURCHASE A SERVICE.

    No matter how good or bad, should our government be able to tell free Americans on what they should be spending their money.

    Simple. I say NO. I don't want government to tell me how to run my life....

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 3:04 PM, AceOReilly wrote:

    It is NOT a Bill.

    It is the Law. It is the Law. It is the Law.

    How does this get past the editors - that you can have a major piece of legislation that is the LAW, one that was so scrutinized that it has been deemed "constitutional" by the highest legal body - and somehow call it a "bill" throughout?

    It isn't a bill. It is a law. Do you understand?

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 3:07 PM, Teako3 wrote:

    Eveerybody seems to have an anecdoctal story to tell, so let me add mune. I have been withthe same emplyer for over 6 years. We soplit the health insurance cost 80/20. My coverage is slightly better thanit was wheni started. My premiums went up by the follow percentages 2009 through 2013 with 2014 estimated by HR last week.

    2009 +3.15%

    2010 0.00%

    2011 -6.11%

    2012 +1.59%

    2013 +6.84%

    2014 ,+5.00% (estimated by HR)

    Why am I NOT seeing the same increases? We did add/start a number of number of 100% covered wellness programs related to snoking, obesity,immunizations, etc. We lowered the number and size of teh claims with the insurance company reflecting this with lower or reduced premium increases. We also have 100% participation in the plan. The company, the employees, and the insurance company all worked together to accomplish this without knowing what the results would when we started the plan.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 3:15 PM, ImtheBaldEagle wrote:

    Interesting that obamacare needs many, many young people to sign up in order to function. As I recall about 70% of young blacks are unemployed, Young whites, etc are under employed or can't find any work so their unemployment rate is high. So Obama how can they pay into the system with no income other than entitlements?

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 3:15 PM, mpflinn wrote:

    If the exchanges are not ready it is the responsibility of the State. California, where I live, began preparing when the ACA was passed. We are a large state and ready. I was able to access the exchange easily and it is quite user-friendly. Thank you to the reformers.

    My work has entailed years out of country, both where the health care systems provided for all residents. It's about time.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 3:27 PM, Teako3 wrote:

    Way to many strawman arguments on this board. Everybody is saying "If this is true, then this will happen". The problem is that we know very little that is true because thge bulk of ACA/Obamacare has not even started yet. What has been implemented seems to have gone over well withthe public so far.

    I seem to recall it took about a year to iron out Medicare Part D. I expect some a bit longer for ACA/Obamacare because it is a larger effort.

    Interesting facts:

    The ACA laws' funds largely comes from the Medicare and Medicaid entitlement programs and don't need Congress's annual blessing. I'm not sure can even defund the bulk of rthe law.

    It also appears that many of the REpublican governors are embracing the ACA in their states and I am pretty sure that is because it saves them some money..

    Most of fthe recent polls shows that finds that Americans generally oppose defunding Obamacare by 4 to 8 points.

    and finally, the early numbers show no negative effects on job growth.

    Facts are facts and truths are not necessarily true. We just believe them to be true because we want themm to be true.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 3:35 PM, Teako3 wrote:

    70% of young blacks are NOT unempolyed.

    According to the August 2013 Bureau of Labor blacks have an unemplyment rate of 13.0% for ages 20 and up and 38.2% for ages 16 to 19.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 3:41 PM, santashelper wrote:

    just a fact that as you get older you require more meds and more trips to the Doctor, however with that in mind how about the other 49 years of my working Tax Paying, Health Insurance Premium Paying life? Until after I was 50 years old I only saw a Doctor twice and those were work related injuries, but I paid health premiums for my wife, 2 kids and myself. While you are complaining about the elderly, try remembering that fact. We paid our dues and now the Libs are trying to throw us to the dogs. Just remember folks, what goes around comes around. You have the same treatment.......or lack thereof, waiting for you.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 3:49 PM, AlexBss wrote:

    The Phrase "Success" and anything "Obama" does not belong in the same sentence unless there is "Failed to" or "Un-" infront of the success word

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 3:50 PM, jd1958 wrote:

    For this abortion to work. It takes everyone to sign up and start paying. O'bama picks and chooses which laws he wants to follow and which ones he wants to ignore or modify at will. Let us follow his example and NOT SIGN UP FOR MAO'bamacare.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 3:53 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    I been with humana for over 5 years , I am 45 years old and healthy , over the last 5 years my premiums increased on average about 6% per year !

    My latest premium was $196 for a 80/20 plan with $2500 deductible and $1000 pharmacy deductible !

    Now I got a letter from humana telling me my plan is not ACA Compliant and I have the choice to either renew the old plan now and switch in dec 2014 to a new plan or switch now !

    Here is the bottom line : if I renew the old plan my premium increases by 7% to $211 a month which is still within the historical average , but if I change to a ACA compliant product then my premium is ESTIMATED to go to $354 a month !!!!

    if I go to the exchange than the only thing that gets me close to a $200 premium is a plan that has a $6000 deductible which is a joke !

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 4:11 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    Here is some simple math based on the following assumptions :

    - 45 year old

    - goes to the doctor twice a month

    - 4 prescriptions

    - $100 a month insurance premium

    - 2500 deductible

    - $100 per office visit

    - $10 for refills

    24 Office visits @ $100ea = $2400

    12 months * $100 = $1200 insurance premiums an

    $10 per refill * 4 meds *12 month = $480

    Total annual healthcare cost = $2840

    - deductible ($2500) = $2340 + premiums paid ($1200) = $3540 !!!

    So WITH INSURANCE you pay $3540 out of your own pocket each year !

    Without insurance you pay $2840 , granted that does not include the fine but it shows that you are better off without insurance !

    Now I "lowballed" on the premiums, off course the higher the premiums the more money you save by not having insurance !

    Next I was interested in calculating on just how much money you can earn before the fine eats up your savings and you break even , for this we subtract the $3540 and $2840 and get $700, now since we know that the fine is 1% all we have to do is multiply this number by 100 and get $70000 this is the point where you break even

    So do the math before signing up !

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 4:15 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    oh and before libs are start questioning the numbers for office visits and prescriptions :

    1.) the numbers for office visits were derived from information of the AMA for primary care physicians, the calculated average over the entire US is $100 and some change !

    2.) the prescription costs are based on generics

    offered by WALMART, WALGREENS and

    other pharmacies as well as special

    programs of pharma companies offered

    for the uninsured

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 4:17 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    So here is the big question

    Why do I have insurance and pay $25 copay for drug refills if I can get the same refill at walmart for $4 without insurance ?

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 6:47 PM, Teako3 wrote:

    I have never met a 45 year old man that visited a doctor once a month let alone twice every month. Why would the average man need 4 prescriptions?

    I only visited a doctor four times in my 40's, all of which were because of injuries. I never received a single prescription. The same was true in my 50s, but no injuries, just physicals. I'm now in my 60s and still running to that same schedule, but will have more physicals as a precaution.

    If I was single, 80/20 plan would cost me about $85/month through my employer. I have a $500 deductible with a maximum out of pocket of about $1,500. Copays are $20. Wellness care is covered 100%. WE have 100% of the people in the company covered by this plan or their spouse's plan.

    You are getting screwed by your insurance vendor.

    2013 shows me with one office visit costing a $20 copay and a $59 charge for uncovered expenses. No prescriptions beyond OTC aspirin. And insurance premiums of about $1020. Yearly Total = $1099.

    Oh, yeah, our plan passes ACA muster with flying colors, so I am good for 2014 and beyond. Probably be on Medicare sometime starting 2015.

    We have about 500 people quite happy with their insurance and the company is happy to provide it.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 6:55 PM, ac010505 wrote:

    The Example using "simple math" based on "assumptions" is interesting...

    How about applying that same "simple math" formula, but this time expand on the "assumptions."

    Let's say, during one of those "twice a month" visits, he learns he has cancer and/or needs surgery, and/or is admitted to the hospital, or...maybe he fell out of a tree and has to be taken to The Emergency Room by ambulance..

    Suddenly, that $100 premium doesn't sound so bad, considering the cost of ambulance service--without insurance is, at its minimum, well over $200.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 10:02 PM, modestfool13 wrote:

    I'm a young financial advisor.... one of the first questions I ask people is do you have health insurance?

    I'm considering removing that topic from conversation considering my time is valuable and I have enough problems with people going off on tangents as is...

    As a 27 year old male I will be downgrading my coverage, and none of my "20 something" friends without coverage plan on buying it for at least 2-3 years.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 10:16 PM, modestfool13 wrote:

    I'm a young financial advisor.... one of the first questions I ask people is do you have health insurance?

    I'm considering removing that topic from conversation considering my time is valuable and I have enough problems with people going off on tangents as is...

    As a 27 year old male I will be downgrading my coverage, and none of my "20 something" friends without coverage plan on buying it for at least 2-3 years.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 11:06 PM, dealer04 wrote:

    Everyone keeps talking about the subsidies and the monthly premiums associated with the ACA.

    Nobody seems to want to talk about the deductibles, the co-insurance, and the co-pays very much.

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 11:13 PM, Teako3 wrote:

    As a financial advisor you probably understand the insurance concept of shared risk. It is what makes insurance work. Do you ever suggest that clients use life insurance to cover potential "life changing" events? How is health insurance not a part of that conversation, because it also protects you from these "life changing" events. How is it your time is so valuable not to have a complete conversation with your client? Is it that you need more time to "sell" something other than good financial advise?

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 11:37 PM, BackStabbed wrote:

    Pleased? At $3,936.00 per year, per person? $7,872.00 for my wife and I when for the both of us we were paying less than $1,00.00 per year? Who finds that "pleasing"?

  • Report this Comment On October 01, 2013, at 11:46 PM, JADEKRAPE wrote:

    I am a retired federal employee and have gone through a few shut downs,,,what has me confused is WHO IS CURRENTLY RUNNING THE OBAMACARE ROLLOUT? Health & Human Services are federal employees and for the most part can not be deemed ESSENTIAL and so were furloughed along with 800,000 others.

  • Report this Comment On October 02, 2013, at 12:16 AM, Teako3 wrote:

    The exchanges are fully funded and open for business in every state right now.

  • Report this Comment On October 02, 2013, at 12:32 AM, True411 wrote:

    Health care premiums were less than projected, that's true. However, the projections were for large cost increases. What actually happened was, in fact, large cost increases for the average consumer - just slightly less of an increase than the slightly pessimistic projections. Bottom line, ObamaCare increased costs for the average consumer who buys individual health insurance.

    This must be dead obvious to anyone who has half a brain - you can't extend coverage to millions who can't pay and to people with preexisting conditions without increasing the cost to people who were already buying insurance.

    Tell the unadulterated truth, Fool. Otherwise you will lose credibility and eventually no one will believe anything you write.

  • Report this Comment On October 02, 2013, at 4:14 AM, commonsense1532 wrote:

    come on wake up people. they don't care if you get it or not. Think about it. you buy it they get paid, you don't they fine you. they get paid. This is just a way for them to get double what they already get for the same thing. And glory be to the way things are the able are paying for the unable. the healthy for the unhealthy. it is the way this country works and just all games to them to keep us right where we are fighting to get ahead while they are taking large amounts of our hard earned money away. I got a job and insurance so it won't effect me that much. I am 32 and just got insurance about 2 years ago and it is a really good plan but I never needed it so I didn't buy it. This is just another example of the government trying to step all over us and force us into things we do not want to. American's have set idly by for to long and let the government get a big head and on a power trip thinking they know what is best for us. Yes everyone needs insurance but you go to the hospital they want to send you to 3 other people because they have no idea what is wrong, or the guess. I was in a traffic accident and went to a specialist meaning expensive and he tried to tell me the problems I was having was due to acid reflex. and wanted to send me to someone else. that visit cost me 900 bucks for a wrong guess. Dr's are over payed and just want to get you in, get your money and get you out. I saw where jimmy kimmel went around asking people what they liked better Obama care or the affordable care act. EVERYONE OF THEM THEY ASKED PICKED ONE not knowing there the same thing. this is how we got to this point. people voting and not knowing what they are doing, or what they are really even voting for. America is dumbed down and the government is loving it. American's need to stand together and take our country back. it is our right and in our constitution that if the government ever gets to powerful that they are no longer in favor for the people that we may rise up and overthrow them and seek a government that better suits the needs of the American people. All Obamacare is for is to try and dig us out of the hole they dug for this country. All they would have to do to fix the U.S is make it easier for people to own there own business lower the taxes. STOP SENDING BILLIONS of dollars over seas in aid to country's that hate us. BRING OUR TROOPS home as promised and keep them here. Right there problem solved with the economy. they sent 100 million to Syria last year and now they want to bomb them and we would pay to rebuild. 10 million a month tax payer cost for afganastan.

  • Report this Comment On October 02, 2013, at 4:20 AM, irishVermonter wrote:

    Social security will never go above 2% Democrat Roosvelt Medicare will cover everthing 100% and be free Democrat Kennedy Obama care will cause insurance rates to drop Democrat Obama {What is average increase} will we ever learn

  • Report this Comment On October 02, 2013, at 5:09 AM, Mathman6577 wrote:

    People without health insurance today will only sign up for ACA if they have a job to pay for it. Based upon their unemployment numbers, the younger generation is unlikely to be able to afford coverage. The people who created ACA do not understand simple economics.

  • Report this Comment On October 02, 2013, at 10:19 AM, 48ozhalfgallons wrote:

    Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum..... all plummeting in value. Soon to be: the Plutonium Plan for the elderly.

  • Report this Comment On October 02, 2013, at 3:02 PM, mikecart1 wrote:

    Who wins? Obama.

    Who loses? Everyone else.

    Rates will increase for those that already have insurance through their employer or elsewhere. Those without insurance will get excited about the golden chance to finally have it at low rates only to find out that deductibles for when they need to see a doctor will nearly bankrupt them in the process.

    Obamacare is the healthcare version of the housing bubble. It sounds great to have healthcare/house now. But when you realize the REAL COSTS, everyone suffers.

  • Report this Comment On October 02, 2013, at 5:11 PM, Teako3 wrote:

    The main Web site for the federal marketplace, HealthCare.Gov, has tallied more than 4.7 million visits in the first 24 hours of open enrollment.

    "My opinion is that its probably 99 percent capacity right now and not glitches,"

    The federal government says it's fixing this problem, adding more capacity for HealthCare.Gov by the hour.

    Sounds like there are more than a few people interested at a minimum.

  • Report this Comment On October 02, 2013, at 10:05 PM, neocolonialist wrote:

    Sure, there is no shortage of free-loaders, why else would we have 40+% of food stamp recipients in the population? Really over 40% can't afford to buy food? I mean, Obama has done everything he can to stall the economy, but we don't have 40% unemployment yet.

    This argument is ridiculous, there are always going to be those of us who produce, and those who consume. I just wonder when we who produce get tired of seeing all of our hard work benefiting those who are unwilling to work instead of those we love and care for? These ponzi schemes can't go on forever at our expense, that is a mathematical certainty.

  • Report this Comment On October 03, 2013, at 7:25 AM, trac1964 wrote:

    Hey what a huge response! Just a few points-

    To those complaining about the higher quote they got from the ACA

    Don't you get to choose?

    For those crying about paying for other people-

    Don't you actually pay much more when they are forced into Emergency Room Treatment?

    For those crying about people only enrolling when they get a catastrophic illness-

    Do you really believe that folks are chomping at the bit to get cancer so they can rig the system?

    Let's just unplug the media circus and at least give this plan a chance!

  • Report this Comment On October 03, 2013, at 2:42 PM, Teako3 wrote:

    Somebgody here seems to forget that most of the people on food stamps (includes children) have jobs. the problem is that the jobs don't pay enough to live on. i am pretty sure they would like to have a higher paying job if there was one available. I am also sure they would rather not be getting food stamps and would change places withj neocolonialist (whatever tha is).

  • Report this Comment On October 03, 2013, at 2:47 PM, Teako3 wrote:

    Neocolonialism (also Neo-colonialism) is the geopolitical practice of using capitalism, business globalization, and cultural imperialism to influence a country, in lieu of either direct military control or indirect political control, i.e. imperialism and hegemony.

    In post-colonial studies, the term neo-colonialism describes the domination-praxis (social, economic, cultural) of countries from the developed world in the respective internal affairs of the countries of the developing world; that, despite the decolonisation occurred in the aftermath of the Second World War (1939–45), the (former) colonial powers continue to apply existing and past international economic arrangements with their former colony countries, and so maintain colonial control.

    It doesn't sound to be a good idea for third world countries, especially those in africa. I think I'll pass.

  • Report this Comment On October 04, 2013, at 1:29 PM, spendley wrote:

    I find it interesting how so many complain that they shouldn't be "forced" to buy anything. You mean like car insurance? It's part of being responsible.

    And those who think younger people shouldn't contribute because it's something they may not use until they are older are suggesting that we don't all share a social contract. I don't have kids, but I support schools. I don't live in a high fire danger area, but I pay taxes for fire and police support. I don't drive a lot, but I pay for roads for everyone, and I think I should. There are many such examples.

    Not to take part is to subscribe to a kind of "it's all about me" selfishness that is below what we are as a people.

  • Report this Comment On October 04, 2013, at 5:17 PM, JCoeur wrote:

    Some people are saying young people won't buy insurance until they have an illness, and thus the system won't work. But as I understand it, except during open enrollment which ends in March, or certain other times, you will not be able to do this.

  • Report this Comment On October 04, 2013, at 10:45 PM, neocolonialist wrote:

    >I find it interesting how so many complain that they shouldn't be "forced" to buy anything. You mean like car insurance? It's part of being responsible.

    Ah, I see, so we will do the right thing and force everyone to be responsible? Is that it? That always works.

    Oh, but we won't really be doing that anyway will we? No, we will claim that is what we are doing (and the constitution be damned, but why let that get in the way), while what we are really doing, and the supreme court nailed that part right, is taxing the bejezus out of the citizenry. No where does the obamacare law force you to be responsible, there are no criminal penalties for not buying the insurance. It is breaking a law, but they just tax you more for your offense.

    This is a sham. And what is really amazing is what it is going to do to young people. Those without the history, knowledge, power, and real say are getting screwed to the wall. The long term affects of this law, its precedent in our laws, the economic ruin it is absolutely guaranteed to bring, is just sad to see.

    I am tired of these dim wits knowing what is best for my hard earned work output. How about we try a little freedom, just once, and see how that works out?

    Healthcare is screwed up the way it precisely because the government put their grubby little paws into the medical field to begin with. Not likely more government involvement is going to fix the problem. Especially, given the costs at a time when we are, on average, individually broke, and certainly collectively this government is bankrupt by any reasonable accounting measure.

  • Report this Comment On October 04, 2013, at 11:30 PM, neocolonialist wrote:

    >I am also sure they would rather not be getting food stamps and would change places withj neocolonialist (whatever tha is).

    Sure and I would love to change places with Bill Gates. What does that have to do with anything?

    I have been really poor, their plight is not lost on me. But there is NO WAY that 40% of the population of the U.S. cannot afford food and basic goods. That is a crock.

    And I make a pretty good salary now. Really good by some measures. So, I am sure a lot of these nit wit do-gooders both in and out of the government think "well, its time to pony up your fair share!". But guess what they don't know? They don't know a damn thing about me that's what. Like, they don't know my charitable giving situation right now. They also don't know my retirement planning situation. Every dollar they take from me is a dollar I can't give to give meaningful help to someone else. Every dollar they steal from me is a dollar I can't use to take care of my wife and I and some of our family when we retire. I started making decent money later in life than most people who make decent money. Every retirement calculator I can find has me drastically underfunded for retirement no matter what I do. There is no way some bureaucrat could know that. They don't care, they steal my money anyway.

    No, I make absolutely no apologies for my statements. I feel really bad for those who are trying their best and just not catching a break. I have been there and it sucks! But the solution isn't stealing other peoples money and giving it to those poor people. That is not ever a moral, just or even beneficial solution.

    Individuals should be left to and should help other individuals where they see fit, and where they see they are able.

    The best way, nay, the ONLY way, a government can help those who are down is to give them opportunity. The way you do that is get the government out of our pockets and out of our way.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 12:57 AM, lesmith205 wrote:

    We continue to hear "ad nauseum" that Obamacare is the law. It was passed by the house and the Senate and signed by Obama.

    Is it not true that since Obama has made many changes in the text and intent of the system after passage of the Bill, it is no longer the same Bill which was passed by the Congress ?

    Does this not render the current Obama proposals inconsistent with the settled law?

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 5:10 AM, jenwills3 wrote:

    I want to offer a little comfort to those who fear a government run system,a little comment from over the pond from someone who has lived and worked as a nurse in the US and has had to seek healthcare (thankfully with insurance).

    Once revered, I now view the US healthcare system with horror and appreciate more than ever the national insurance contribution system we have in the UK which supports our wonderful National Health Service to provide excellent care to those in need free at the point of delivery. At no time in our government run system will you dread attending your physician for fear of what it costs, or have to make choices about what level of care you can afford or indeed have to sell your home and declare yourself bankrupt to support your family in a time of crises. If your needs are not urgent e.g. a knee relacement for arthritis you may have to wait a while for your surgery - but if you are impatient and want to have it done privately the option is there if you can afford it. Your care will be no different - the same surgeons that work in the NHS do private work too - though your hospital will have a nice carpeted entrance and pictures on the wall.

    There is a huge problem of over investigating and over treating in the US driven by greed not need. The drivers are from the giant drug companies and healthcare corporations as well as fear of litigation. The power they wield is just wrong(republicans) and its time they had their wings clipped. In case you are wondering, life expectancy is shorter in the US than in the UK despite the excessive treatments. The NHS is not perfect - there are sometimes stories in the press highlighting those imperfections. Trust that the US system is far from perfect, but a private company will do everything in its power to keep those stories under wraps.

    As far as innovation in medical technology is concerned, some of the best research and innovations come from the UK and other parts of the world without such a bloated system - that argument does not stand up.Stop listening to their propaganda - they are breeding on your fear.

    You do not have to be afraid.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 11:35 PM, RMax304823 wrote:

    The article is balanced, perceptive, and lacking in any propaganda value.

    Yet these comments reflect some of the same incandescent hatred of the government and the programs it sponsors as can be found on blogs and web sites frequented by those who move their lips while reading.

    It's astonishing to read that the AHA is "a complete failure" and "a mess" when it's not yet been fully implemented.

    Romneycare in Mass. was a kind of wind tunnel experiment and is widely considered a success. More than 70% of the state's MDs approve of it.

    Give it a chance.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 8:25 AM, WenzelAnalytics wrote:

    If it were insurance, premiums would be set according to risk and there would be no transfer from young to old. Obviously, it is not insurance but rather an entitlement program of social insurance where premiums are unrelated to risk or utilization. Generally, we older people have more wealth than our children starting out. Why should they pay our medical bills? The flaw to the Affordable Care Act is to use insurance concepts for uninsurable risks such as chronic health services. We need to replace insurance language and use more appropriate modes of economic transactions, i.e. procurement, outcome contracts, entitlements, charity.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 5:47 PM, neocolonialist wrote:

    So, everyone realizes that Social Security is broke right? I mean, I'm not alone in understanding this correct? Like everyone understands that your retirement age (as SS sees it) is going to have to move up, and/or benefit percentages down yes? The government today is no longer taking in enough tax money to pay for Social Security. Everyone has got that right and understands the implications? It's broke, whether they call it that or not, the govt can't fund Social Security at current levels without incurring more debt. That is clear right??

    So, I am not sure how people think that Social Security is a success. It is obviously an abysmal failure. And I am also not sure why people think that ObamaCare will be any better than Social Security when it comes to success or failure?? Also, why does anyone think the govt can afford it? The govt can't pay its unfunded liabilities now, so what, we pile on more??

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