What Would Defunding Obamacare Mean?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was at the center of the recent fight in Congress over the debt ceiling and government shutdown. Some lawmakers have called for defunding Obamacare entirely. But many people don't understand exactly what that would mean.

In the following video, host Alison Southwick interviews Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, to find out more about exactly what defunding Obamacare would mean. Dan notes that defunding would leave the Affordable Care Act in place but prevent expenditures of money under the law, including subsidies for health-insurance premiums to eligible recipients as well as state aid for states that comply with certain aspects of the law. Dan then goes on to discuss the impact to business, noting that insurers UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH  ) and WellPoint would continue to have to bear the burdens of the law while potentially losing some of its benefits. The same is true of hospital companies Community Health Systems (NYSE: CYH  ) and HCA Holdings (NYSE: HCA  ) , which have hoped that subsidies would mean that fewer uninsured patients would create uncollectible losses at their hospitals. Finally, medical-device makers Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG  ) and Medtronic (NYSE: MDT  ) would still have to pay the medical-device excise tax even if Obamacare were defunded. In the end, Dan concludes that defunding would probably be unpopular among the businesses that have counted on Obamacare's benefits to offset its costs.

What impact will defunding Obamacare have on you?
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  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 10:56 AM, Clarence1306 wrote:

    Republican have given about as much though to the affects that defunding Obama Care would have on the american people as they did to shutting down the government at a cost of $24billion.They gave no though to that and are only concerned with doing whatever they can to make President Obama look bad.Bringing down the president seems to be the only thing on their agenda that they deem worthy of pursuing.

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 11:10 AM, metazip wrote:

    What Would Defunding Obamacare Mean? It would mean lower healthcare costs and actually being able to keep your existing doctor, hospital and healthcare plan.

    For the poor it would mean Medicaid which they already have. For the 20 million, notice it's 20 and not 50 now since they can once again afford healthcare costs, it would mean they have their free choice not to choose to have healthcare. If they do need healthcare, then they can have Medicaid just like before.

    For the federal government, they will need to try and come up with another form of taxing the middle class and the poor.

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 11:12 AM, perryj123 wrote:

    Can Americans afford medicaid and subsidies for additional 50 millions people?

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 11:21 AM, stellar451 wrote:

    I'm pretty sure Dan and Alison don't understand what defunding would mean.

    If it was defunded - its a short step to dismantling ACA entirely - you really think the medical excise tax would stay? Really? Sky falling much?

    We would just go back to what it was - trotting out elders on TV who got minor prescription benefits out of the plan aside - and look for a better solution.

    One off of top of my head - why not a 1% tax on everything - buying/selling/what have you - and using that to expand medicaid for everyone. Everyone then has insurance. Want better? Work for it - go to school get a a better job.

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 11:24 AM, tristinstone wrote:

    I wouldnt invest in anything with Obamas name on it! What our Gov, needs to do is STOP taking care of people who can take care of themselves?

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 11:25 AM, tristinstone wrote:

    People who are mentally and physically able to work, should work! if you dont, then you get nothing but a free ride in a Hurst!

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 11:38 AM, raider55 wrote:

    hey clarence...........that 24 billion is one day loss with Obamacare............thats how much the government has to CHIPIN daily to pay for this entitlement.........thats all this prez knows how to do have the ones that work pay for those who don't....not everyone makes good money......not everyone works their arse off either...............................................I know you are trying to be racial AGAIN.............but this prez is worthless

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 11:39 AM, bene45us wrote:

    hey metazip just because you are poor does not mean you qualify for Medicaid. Remember with this law states where supposed to expand Medicaid so people could get it but a lot of states, including my state of Alabama, chose not to. so many poor people couldn't have Medicaid then and can not get it now.

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 11:39 AM, joegreen13207 wrote:

    Eliminating Obamacare would mean that Democrats could not count on 50 millions Americans that will receive Obamacare free voting for Democrats at each election. Let's be honest, Democrats view Obamacare as an extension of free services to individuals that are low income and have no intention of paying taxes or working. Individuals that receive Obamacare, free housing, welfare and other FREE governments funds and services will continue to vote for Obamacare regardless of what policies Democrats force through DC.

    In the very end, working class Americans will pay for it all and received nothing in the end. Middle class is the big losers with Obamacare.

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 11:39 AM, raider55 wrote:

    hey clarence,...I already have kids to pay for.................I don't need to pay for yours also

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 11:42 AM, Chiara2 wrote:

    Defunding would mean cutting off lining the pockets of the corrupt crony capitalists better known as the CBC. "The District of Corruption" needs to be purged. No amount of DISINFORMATION by the corrupt elites propaganda machine will change the fact that 57% of Americans have consistently wanted no part of socialized medicine.

    The UNAFFORDABLE care act will go the way of prohibition.

    The same corrupt lobbyists who wrote Obamacare are now busy selling their wares to anyone with enough dough who wants to get around the law. Meanwhile politicians are busy collecting campaign donations and other favors while carving out the lobbyists’ requested exemptions for various cronies.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/10/20/Sarah-Pal...

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 11:52 AM, jimmymae wrote:

    "What Would Defunding Obamacare Mean?"

    More apropos, What does funding Obamacare mean to the Country?

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 11:54 AM, KarlHand wrote:

    I won't be signing up.

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 12:01 PM, drakeiverson wrote:

    Why stop at defunding the ACA? Why not defund ALL Welfare, AND Social Security, AND Medicare, AND unemployment, AND school lunch programs? I'm certain that all the Tea Partiers and others who rely on these UNNECESSARY benefits will agree that it would be in the Nation's best interest to get rid of these SOCIALIST "gimmes". In fact, I think it is high time the American People stepped up, showed their true PATRIOTISM and tore up their food stamps, social security checks and refused to accept ANY kind of medical treatment funded by Medicare/Medicaid. If you are meant to get sick and die, then you should just get on with it. Prayer is the only "social program" you need. If you need something and truly deserve it, God will provide it. You should NOT depend on the govt! This country was not founded by poor people. It was founded by wealthy land (and slave) owners. Today it is STILL run by the wealthy. These are the Elite who deserve to survive in hard times. (They wouldn't even be in office if God hadn't placed them there.) So I say again: DEFUND ALL PROGRAMS that would aid the poor, the lame, the diseased and the generally undeserving. In Jesus' name, amen!

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 12:01 PM, drakeiverson wrote:

    Insurance companies have always had the power of "life and death" over the population. They have been able to pick and choose who they will or will not insure, and they adjusted their rates based on their own self-serving criteria. People with pre-existing conditions--including children--were basically told to go die in the street. If you are only listening to the anti-Obama rhetoric then you are NOT getting the real story. You need to get personally involved and do your own research.

    The Number One cause of personal bankruptcy in this country is MEDICAL EXPENSES. When people don't have insurance, they don't go to a doctor. Instead, they wait until the condition (like cancer) is so far advanced that the most expensive treatments are required. In addition, when an uninsured person gets sick or injured, they rush to the ER, knowing that they cannot be turned away (even if they cannot pay for the treatment!) THIS alone is one of the main reasons our medical costs are outrageously high!

    When FDR put through the Social Security Act, the Republicans screamed that it would bankrupt the govt! When LBJ instituted Medicare, again the Republicans wailed and cried and prophesied doom and gloom and disaster! Now they are attacking the Affordable Care Act (derisively calling it "Obamacare") with the same predictions of financial Armageddon. Do you see a pattern here? Why is it always the Republicans who scream the loudest and try to crush these programs designed to help American citizens?

    If you are receiving Social Security benefits or Medicare or food stamps or unemployment benefits you have a DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT to thank. Think about THAT before you join the ranks of doom-sayers. EDUCATE YOURSELF before you condemn.

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 12:01 PM, drakeiverson wrote:

    Why isn’t anyone talking about “Romneycare”? During his presidential run, Mitt Romney couldn’t boast enough about how he authored and launched the single-payer, affordable health care program in his home state of Massachusetts. And the truth is…it IS a highly successful program, and it IS self-sustaining, and according to a recent poll 86% of the people enrolled in it ARE very happy with it.

    So, why aren’t the Obamacare haters (aka Republicans) singing the praises of their “home boy’s” triumphant health care program? WHY? Because, even though Obamacare was created almost point for point from the Romneycare blueprint, it is still viewed as a “DEMOCRATIC” entity, and the GOP is more concerned about destroying everything Obama-related than it is helping to build a nationwide healthcare system that would help ALL Americans.

    If anything sounded treasonous or “terroristic” in nature, it is the way the Republicans are deliberately subverting and sabotaging the President of the United States of America at every possible turn. We are on the brink of making history by putting comprehensive healthcare within the reach of every American citizen. Yet all the Republican party wants to do is DESTROY OBAMA AT ALL COST! And they don’t seem to care who must suffer in the process. (But then, why should THEY worry? They know they are guaranteed HEALTHCARE BENEFITS FOR LIFE—all at taxpayers’ expense!!!)

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 12:03 PM, drakeiverson wrote:

    Why isn’t anyone talking about “Romneycare”? During his presidential run, Mitt Romney couldn’t boast enough about how he authored and launched the single-payer, affordable health care program in his home state of Massachusetts. And the truth is…it IS a highly successful program, and it IS self-sustaining, and according to a recent poll 86% of the people enrolled in it ARE very happy with it.

    So, why aren’t the Obamacare haters (aka Republicans) singing the praises of their “home boy’s” triumphant health care program? WHY? Because, even though Obamacare was created almost point for point from the Romneycare blueprint, it is still viewed as a “DEMOCRATIC” entity, and the GOP is more concerned about destroying everything Obama-related than it is helping to build a nationwide healthcare system that would help ALL Americans.

    If anything sounded treasonous or “terroristic” in nature, it is the way the Republicans are deliberately subverting and sabotaging the President of the United States of America at every possible turn. We are on the brink of making history by putting comprehensive healthcare within the reach of every American citizen. Yet all the Republican party wants to do is DESTROY OBAMA AT ALL COST! And they don’t seem to care who must suffer in the process. (But then, why should THEY worry? They know they are guaranteed HEALTHCARE BENEFITS FOR LIFE—all at taxpayers’ expense!!!)

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 12:30 PM, stellar451 wrote:

    Umm no the obamacare wasn't created point for point from romneycare.

    I don't have the space to educate you. Please go look it up yourself and then you'll understand.

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 1:06 PM, clutch1958 wrote:

    Wow, Drake-you've repeated every lie that your Democrat masters have told you!

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 1:26 PM, jaysixty wrote:

    Drake, your list including welfare programs that you say the GOP warned would bankrupt the nation was only partial but that is OK, what is not Ok is you acting as though it has not done exactly what the GOP screamed that it would!!! IDIOT!! WHY DO YOU THINK WE ARE 17 TRILLION IN DEBT? You people amaze me with your total disregard of the facts even though they are plastered in front of your all seeing eyes 24 hours a day. How is it that you know the complete difference between Romneycare and Obamacare yet you have no clue that we are absolutely bankrupt and have just not figured out how to tell the creditors they aren't getting their money? It is much like a corporation that owes more than they can pay and they go to their creditors and tell them you better help me with more cash until we can get back on our feet or you will lose everything for sure. The creditor has so much invested that he is blackmailed into extending more credit to shore up his massive losses if he does not help. This is the state of this country today and I am not so sure that it was not planned to take us down. The world cannot defeat our military and our resolve but they can take us down financially and that would destroy our will.

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 1:37 PM, hawkhell wrote:

    Defunding the Affordable Health Care Act would mean the USA has some hope. This will mean we have some chance of trimming our debt and stop our federal government from becoming communist. Anyone know why we have local government, state, city, town? To keep the power of the people alive. Taking healthcare from a state level and putting it at a federal level takes makes it ignore the people and gives it to congress. Not to mention the fairy tail people are living in thinking that we have the money for this and that everyone is going to live happily ever after.

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 1:59 PM, jeffpetersen wrote:

    Here is my question...why is Yahoo and the Motley (lefty) Fool talking about the consequences of defunding Obamacare...NOW? Why weren't they talking about it PRIOR to the the Government closing. Before it was all "Ted Cruz is a Terrorist shutting down the country"...mass hysteria. Now, when it is too late, the Motley Fool wants to take a serious examination of what Ted "the Terrorist" Cruz was ACTUALLY TALKING ABOUT! Interesting, that earlier, when Americans could have been educated about what Ted Cruz was doing, it was nothing but hail and brimstone from the corrupt US Mainstream Media. Now, it seems like some health companies would have been hurt. Interesting....no fire....no brimstone

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 2:09 PM, solar6529 wrote:

    Hey jaysixty, you have a short memory. The reason we are in so much debt is because the previous administration did not pay for the 2 wars they started, or the tax cuts for the rich, the bank bailouts in 2008, or the Medicare part D, which they wouldn't even allow us to negotiate for lower prices with the pharmaceuticlas. Also why are we still giving subsidies to oil companies and large corporations? Why does 1 in 4 large corporation pay no federal taxes? Why are there so many loopholes in the tax system? Do you think maybe those are some of the reasons we are so far in debt? The middle class gets stuck making up the difference in lost taxes. When Republicans say they want to cut welfare, they don't mean corporate welfare, or defense spending, only the kind that helps the poor, disabled, elderly, veterans, and children, then they try to tell you how Christian they are.

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 2:22 PM, boom987654321 wrote:

    Yeah, It would mean no Obamacare!

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 2:24 PM, Dayo2 wrote:

    According to Obama's investigation on Medical Hospitals, all 535 persons running this country should be prosecuted for working for the bad part of the one percent directly or indirectly. Obama mentioned similar to this. If you entered a hospital with an illness that cost approximately six thousand for one illness and then anther enters another hospital with the same illness and procedures the cost would be approximately eighty thousand. This is what is happening and has been for several years and those people that are supposed to be standing up for us are not. They are like Nancy one of the poorest at thirty million and rising. Medical today is something similar to your car. Just look at all the tech around it, and then look at the gas engine that is similar to 1910. At the end of 1940 a young man invented 100 mile a gallon, Shell Oil purchase it and it disappeared. !950 another young man invented similar and refuse to sell. He came up dead and many others would not go ahead to produce this. Medical is the same procedures. Not much difference and all for money. Tech should be without the one percent in charge of it all for money. We are brain washed completely and our children have no chance of happiness as the 50's

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 2:24 PM, rw93003 wrote:

    Hey solar6529. In 2007, at the height of both wars Bush spent $584 billion on the military and somewhat less on Welfare. Obama has spent more than $1 trillion a year on Welfare alone. Clinton, with the benefit of the 1997-2000 tech bubble increased the national debt by 32% in 8 years; Bush increased the national debt by 38% in 8 years; Obama has increased the national debt by 57% in 4.5 years. $7 trillion in inflation adjusted dollars has been spent on all wars in US history, including the Revolution and both sides of the Civil War. Since the beginning of Johnson's War on Poverty in 1964 we have spent $17 trillion on Welfare. Poverty rates had been falling steadily before 1964 at which time it was 17% when the EOA took affect. Guess what the poverty rate is today? It's 17%. What you say is completely wrong

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 2:26 PM, carletha wrote:

    Why is it that some of you people THINK that there are some of US who don't want some of YOU to have insurance? I don't think that there is ANYONE that doesn't want every American to have insurance.. What we DON'T WANT is for US to have to pay 300-400 dollars A HEAD for ours while tens of millions of others get theirs for free. I'm not rich but nothing tells me that it's ok for me to take from others or force other people to be taxed to take care of my familes welfare.. What's wrong with you people? The same people that are already being taxed to death to pay for billions in welfare subsidies are the same people that are going to be forced to pay once again while the "bottom feeders" are going to continually suck the welfare tiddy.. What IS right about that? WHAT MAKES YOU THINK that it's ok to tax other people to insure these people ( on top of all the welfare now already out there) just because some of us can afford it better than others? THINK REAL HARD? Why is it that you THINK that its OK to FORCE someone else to pay for your upkeep simply because you can't afford it? If you don't understand that then you have no common sense. Sure I want you to have health care and when they devise a "UNIVERSAL TAX" ( maybe a national sales tax) to pay for UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE whether everybody gets the same coverage from the tax pool , then I will be ok with it . Until they do that, I"M NEVER going to be ok with the fact that I will be having to pay over $440.00 A MONTH for health care thats nearly crap while some of you get BETTER COVERAGE than I get and you get it for free.. If you don't see SOMETHING wrong with that then you just have mental problems..

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 2:36 PM, LibsSuck wrote:

    The Republicans don't have to make Obama bin-Laden look bad, Obama is very capable of doing that himself!

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 3:25 PM, iosax wrote:

    It would mean the medical lobby has succeeded in defeating a long series of US presidents, starting with Roosevelt and Truman, then Lyndon Johnson and even Nixon then Carter, who tried to modernize our medical care and bring it on par with other developed countries. Our medical care will continue being overpriced and underperforming and patients being fleeced by every entity involved: insurance companies, hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, etc.

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 3:27 PM, iosax wrote:

    It would mean the medical lobby has succeeded in defeating a long series of US presidents, starting with Roosevelt and Truman, then Lyndon Johnson and even Nixon then Carter, who tried to modernize our medical care and bring it on par with other developed countries. Our medical care will continue being overpriced and underperforming and patients being fleeced by every entity involved: insurance companies, hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, etc

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 3:28 PM, Baxter1939 wrote:

    The fight over Obamacare is long from over.

    The US SC ruled the penalty was a TAX and the Congress had the right to impose taxes. The SC did not answer the question of where the tax (Obamacare Penalty) was a legal tax.

    The question of where the tax (Obamacare Penalty) is legal can only be asked after someone is damage by having to pay it.

    If there anything that’s a sure bet in the USA , it is that’s there a Lawyer just wait to file a lawsuit that this tax is illegal as soon as someone has to pay the tax (Obamacare Penalty). As soon as it is presented to the SC you will see a smile on John Roberts face.

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 3:33 PM, Baxter1939 wrote:

    Losax, other countries would like to get back to where the good old USA was. SEE

    Finance September 17, 2013

    AMSTERDAM (AP) — King Willem-Alexander delivered a message to the Dutch people from the government Tuesday in a nationally televised address: the welfare state of the 20th century is gone.

    In its place a "participation society" is emerging, in which people must take responsibility for their own future and create their own social and financial safety nets, with less help from the national government.

    "The shift to a 'participation society' is especially visible in social security and long-term care," ….

    "The classic welfare state of the second half of the 20th century in these areas in particular brought forth arrangements that are unsustainable in their current form."….

    "The necessary reforms take time and demand perseverance," … "lay the basis for creating jobs and restoring confidence." …. people expect and "want to make their own choices, to arrange their own lives,..."

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 3:40 PM, BoogieTooo wrote:

    It's amazing most on this string seem to ignore this is originally an Republican idea from the conservative Heritage Foundation. A program that works very well in the State of Massachusetts, instituted by a Republican Governor name Romney.

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 6:35 PM, meeeto wrote:

    The insurance companies will make Trillions to help them buy elections for their puppets and millions of Americans will die early!!!

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 6:37 PM, meeeto wrote:

    Unions are against ACA they will loose millions, they are nothing but corp. monkeys any more...

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 10:29 PM, airjackie wrote:

    I wondered why lawmakers fought so hard to stop the health care bill. Well it seems the private insurance companies had deals with States to insure State citizens as the rate was put for a profit for State/Company. States like Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama and many others have made this a system. But Obamacare would end the middle man and that had to be stopped. Poor people, Middle Class suffered as many jobs don't give health care. This is about money and greed and Senator Cruz will make sure the Obamacare is repealed once the Tea Party get to fill the Republican seats.

  • Report this Comment On October 21, 2013, at 8:43 AM, Freddyfreebe1 wrote:

    Insurance is not, was not and will not ever be the answer to healthcare. Insurance is the problem and till that changes it will always be the problem. Go to any business that deals with insurance and you will notice you can not afford the cost. Insurance got business to over price there work so you have to get insurance to afford the work they need done. This is what insurance has done to this country.

  • Report this Comment On October 21, 2013, at 11:36 AM, angelsgiggle wrote:

    I would be cancelled immediately just like the insurance company did to my dad in the 80's. You don't get chemo in the ER....you need an insurance card or cash or you die. He died.

    You people don't realize what you are asking for to go back to the 80's and 90's and give the insurance companies charge over you and your loved ones lives....they serve a money God only.

    I'll take my chances with Obama and the new insurance plan. I do believe that in the future the Republicans will be trying to take credit for this new policy....JUST like the do Social Security.

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