The Obamacare Number That Should Impress You the Most

If nothing else, it was a symbolic victory.

7.1 million Americans signed up for health insurance through exchanges established as part of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. The White House celebrated this achievement with great fanfare, especially after the disastrous launch of the Obamacare exchanges left many doubting that the goal of 7 million enrollees would be reached by March 31.

While the comeback was dramatic, the enrollment count isn't the Obamacare figure that should impress you the most. And that number is one that you probably haven't heard about at all.  

Source: WhiteHouse.gov

Subtraction that adds up
It's not that the latest enrollment figure isn't important. However, it is incomplete.

From an optimistic viewpoint, the number could rise since the Obama administration extended the enrollment deadline for anyone encountering a hardship in signing up for health insurance. The negative perspective, however, is that up to 20% of the 7.1 million individuals haven't paid for their insurance and might not ultimately be included in final enrollment totals. And how many of those individuals are relatively healthy -- a number that still isn't known -- could be more critical than the total itself.

There is a statistic, though, that doesn't require us to wait for more information and is overwhelmingly positive. The national rate for readmission of Medicare patients to hospitals after 30 days is falling significantly.

Source: Office of Information Products and Data Analytics 

After hovering around 19% for years, hospital readmission rates began dropping beginning in 2012 and continued to do so into 2013. (The above chart reflects data through August of last year.) The national rate appears to still be falling considerably this year based on the latest data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS. 

Readmissions cost U.S. taxpayers a pretty penny. The federal government estimated that hospital readmissions for just Medicare patients has historically added up to $26 billion annually -- $17 billion of which could be avoided. 

Cause and effect
CMS attributes the remarkable decline in readmission rates to implementation of Obamacare's readmission penalties in 2012. Hospitals must pay financial penalties if they report Medicare patient readmission rates for specific conditions above established thresholds. During the first year of the penalties, over 2,200 hospitals paid around $280 million for too-high readmission rates. CMS expects the fines to drop to $227 million for the fiscal year beginning in October 2013.

There's one wrinkle in the theory that Obamacare caused the big decline in readmission rates, though. The financial penalties for hospitals didn't go into effect until October 2012, but the sharp drop-off began earlier that year.

Also, a report from CMS published last year stated that "many factors could have played a role in the observed changes in readmission rates." Researchers suggested that health reform could be one explanation. Another possibility could be that more patients received care at hospitals after being discharged without being readmitted -- such as in emergency rooms or observational stays. 

It makes sense, however, that Obamacare's financial penalties for hospitals made a big difference. Less money for high readmission rates provides ample incentive to improve. Hospitals across the country scrambled to focus on efforts to minimize readmission rates. Many began those efforts prior to the actual implementation of the penalties, which could help explain the drop in rates in the earlier part of 2012.

Opportunities
Astute investors know that where money flows, there's usually an opportunity to profit. One potential way to win from this trend could come from telehealth.

Several health systems have reported astounding success in reducing hospital readmission rates using telehealth technology. Geisinger used remote home monitoring to cut hospital readmissions for patients with congestive heart failure by 44%. Partners HealthCare reported a 50% drop in readmissions for cardiac patients participating in a telehealth study.

Market researcher IBISWorld projects that the market for telehealth will expand by over 30% annually during the next five years. Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM  ) represents one smart way to ride this wave. The big technology company's Qualcomm Life subsidiary markets a hub that pulls data wirelessly from medical devices and sends the information to remote systems for clinical professionals to monitor. Qualcomm Life already partners with more than 100 medical device and software companies.

Polycom (NASDAQ: PLCM  ) looks to be another way to take advantage of growth in telehealth. The company develops products that help connect medical professionals with each other and with patients through video. Eight of the top 10 hospitals in the world plus all top 10 pharmaceutical companies use Polycom's technology.

Other telehealth opportunities also exist that aren't connected to reducing hospital readmissions. Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD  ) , for example, launched its first NowClinic in 2011. The clinic allows patients to engage in remote video consultations with a physician. Early last year, Rite Aid expanded its NowClinic telehealth concept to 58 in-store health clinics.    

Be prepared for continued Obamacare figures throughout 2014, from enrollment of younger Americans to how many previously uninsured individuals gained insurance. Readmission rates might not get as much attention, but they could present opportunities for investors to receive the best kind of numbers -- the ones with dollar signs and commas.

This stock could make you wealthy
There’s a huge difference between a good stock and a stock that can make you rich. The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it’s one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.


Read/Post Comments (119) | Recommend This Article (38)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 2:00 PM, empirep wrote:

    Any article praising Obamacare must be bought and paid for by the Obama administration, because no one with a brain could possibly support this law. Just kidding. Lots of really smart people support this law.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 3:55 PM, djkumquat wrote:

    smart people may support a few aspects of obamacare, but no one with a fully operational brain supports the whole law.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 4:23 PM, Lewis52 wrote:

    I'll take your word for it that this is a very good thing. Could it not have enacted without the other 13,000 (or however many) pages of the law?

    And do those in support of the law really want to tout a provision that punishes hospitals for readmitting medicare patients?

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 4:28 PM, sabebrush6 wrote:

    In a recent survey commissioned by President Obama, his supporters have proven to be the most likely to have had sex in the shower. The survey was carried out for Democrats by a leading soap and toiletries firm. The results revealed that 86% of Obama supporters said that they have had sex in the shower. The remaining 14% said they haven't been to prison yet.

    Sort of brings tears to your eyes, doesn't it?

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 4:32 PM, CrazyDocAl wrote:

    I have a friend who works in a major hospital. She said that if someone does come back they just classify it as a "new" issue and not a readmission for the same issue. She calls it a game.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 4:40 PM, 2smartforlibs wrote:

    Really The number that should impress you the most is the number of lies compared to the number of kool aid drinking liberals still to ignorant to realize this is a bad deal. This law has been held up as the end yet almost as soon as it passed your overlord started in with his pen and phone. NOt the DNC is telling liberal no to support it say its no the law you passed. Well that is until the regime send out these BS number last week

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 4:44 PM, ISHKANOTA wrote:

    the only number that means absolutly nothing, zip zero, nada. is the total # of people enrolled. the # that obama is dancing around in celebration thinking the Americans are idiots and will praise him for this.

    the #s that do matter are the

    - # of total uninsured in the country

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 4:47 PM, Michaellaborde wrote:

    By all means, give your personal healthcare to an impersonal government who can't even run anything and see how soon you loose your health. It might be that those who gave us the ACA had good intentions, but one mold doesn't fit everyone. Managing your own health care is the best solution. This way you get to choose your best policy for the price you are willing to pay. ACA doesn't give you that option and charges you (taxes you) for services you either don't want or can't afford.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 4:51 PM, Bushdidit wrote:

    If RE-admissions cost you money, then simply CHANGE THE REASON why someone is admitted into a hospital!!!!!!! It's done all the time. Example... A woman isn't admitted for an abortion. NO! She's admitted for a D&E ...Dilation And Extraction... of a foreign object.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 4:57 PM, panola60 wrote:

    The 7.1 million sign-ups is deceptive. . . . . . . .

    The Obamacare New Enrollee Goal was 7 million but they actually had -200,000 new paid up enrollees.

    They claim to have signed up 7.1 million. Fifteen percent of those did not pay bringing the number to 6 million. Then 6.2 million already had insurance but were canceled by Obamacare. So the NET number of new enrollees is a negative - 200,000. In other words, 200,000 less people are now insured because of Obamacare.

    Obamacare New Enrollee - Goal : 7,000,000

    Obamacare New Enrollee Actual: -200,000

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 4:57 PM, drjcm wrote:

    Actually the number to evaluate Obamacare is the number of uninsured. If we had 30 million last October, how many are there now. Re the readmission rate for hospitals, the standards and hospital response ore ridiculous. For example, if a patient is admitted with pneumonia, and then 3 weeks later is hit by a car, this is counted as a readmission. Hospitals have responded by taking people who may not be critically ill and calling them observation rather than admission. This makes the readmission rate look better, but adversely affects patients by making them ineligible for Medicare to cover nursing homes, and by at times increasing out of pocket costs because they aren't formally admitted. As someone who does peer review looking at readmissions I can state that this article is very misleading.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 5:00 PM, ISHKANOTA wrote:

    # of people enrolled is as important as cowdung

    important #s obama wont tell-

    # historical total uninsured people

    % historical total uninsured people

    # who had policys canceled

    # who lost doctor not in network anymore

    # qualified for medicaid regardless of the ACA

    # who did not save an average of 2,500 a yr.

    # itemized dollars spent and will be spent

    # lies told to pass the bill into law

    # paid celebrities to promote law

    # documents hidden from public view

    until the #of uninsured is below 25 million this was a waste of time and money.

    only good about obamacare to date is there have been some funny jokes all over the place

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 5:02 PM, manno wrote:

    Noooo.....the number that should be important is how many of these people were dumped from their existing policies because of OBAMACARE in the first place......that number is estimated at 6 million. So, we have destroyed our healthcare system for.....at the verrrry best............1 million people. And that assumes 100% pay.

    We will probably end up with a net result of ZERO.

    OBAMACARE IS A DISASTER. And in November....any Dim that is not currently committed to totally removing it from law.....should be voted out....into the dustbin of history.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 5:07 PM, hoeldon wrote:

    With all the lies Obama and his cronies have told about this affordable care act, my guess is the number who haven't paid is way more than 20%

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 5:13 PM, ISHKANOTA wrote:

    48 million total uninsured before the ACA

    12 million were previously already eligible for medicaid without the ACA.

    6 million canceled plans

    - 20% got re-covered thru a private plan

    - 70% got covered thru the ACA

    - 600,000 newly uninsured

    1.1 million newly insured

    ---total # of newly insured at a cost of 100s of millions just for the website

    = 500,000

    source - HHS CBO and others taking averages/

    even if #s are 5% error rate that

    is not significant what so ever.

    until the uninsured rate is below 25 million obama is a failure.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 5:24 PM, Bhishma1 wrote:

    Americans don't realize that Obamacare has split the America (remember 'Fundamentally change America?', 'Change & Hope?') into those who:

    - Got Health Insurance.

    - Lost Health Insurance.

    Then again, Americans voted for 'Change'.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 5:43 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    more flaky conclusions that can not be backed up, I guess the dems now start attributing everything positive to the ACA even if its far fetched !

    There are many factors that influence the medicare readmission rate , hospitals may just have chosen no to report readmissions to get around the penalty for example !

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 5:50 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    as a former hospital administrator I can offer a pretty easy explanation for the drop , hospitals simply changed the way they categorize the patients to make the rates look lower !

    Here is a simple example :

    You have 1000 people you treated that are medicare readmissions , you face a $2M penalty under the ACA for that but the actual treatment of those people only cost you $1M , instead of billing the 1M to medicare you simply run patients that fall under readmission as "uninsured " and write off the 1M as non recoverable debt , not only does this give you a added tax relief but in addition you save 2M in penalties !

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 5:51 PM, LarryR836 wrote:

    Readmission rates for patients has absolutely NOTHING to do with the ACA. This would be like trying to claim that if people signed up for uninsured motorist protection then that directly led to a decline in high way deaths or trying to claim that increases in ice cream sales directly led to more sex crimes.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 5:52 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    Every day you see more flaky math and far fetched assumptions !

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 5:52 PM, jc09058 wrote:

    The only numbers I wish to see are the following

    - number of people who lost preexisting insurance due to ACA

    - number of people without any issuance prior to ACA

    - number of people without any insurance prior to ACA that got insurance thru ACA

    - number of people who lost preexisting insurance due to ACA that got insurance thru ACA

    - number of people with ACA insurance that paid first premium

    - age breakdown of everyone under ACA in five year groupings

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 5:53 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    as the writer points out , YOU HAVE NOT HEARD ABOUT THIS BEFORE and this is just the proof that it has nothing to do with the ACA !!!! Don't you think that the dems who are desperate for every chip of good news had jumped on this ?

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 5:54 PM, renten10 wrote:

    When it comes to Obamacare, almost everyone including the programs most ardent supporters make things much too complicated.

    Simply put, Obamacare is a new social program that mandates that every American citizen have health care. Now the more important part

    Every citizen must have health insurance in order

    that every citizen has access to AFFORDABLE

    health care no matter, what previous conditions

    or risks they may have. Unaffordable health insurance for people who have previous health conditions is a horrible injustice. Obamacare corrects this injustice.

    Many young people will pay more for health insurance than they are likely to use, Yet when the young people get older, they may well be the beneficiaries of receiving more in health care than they pay for.

    There are already two programs that operate in this way

    One, social security, Two, Medicare. Is anyone in favor of repealing these two programs?

    Finally, my reasoning is open to attacks: But, just remember younger people are much more likely to use and need healthcare in the near future; than the liklihood of young people using Social Security or medicare in the near future.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 6:01 PM, michaelkm88 wrote:

    The White House must have a time machine to be so accurate on how many people would enroll to the day. Wait, haven't they been saying for six months now that they don't actually track number for enrollment? This would be the first and only time that the government got anything right.

    Ok but what about:

    % that are medicaid and now paid for 100% by taxpayer dollars.

    % of that number that are inmates that now apparently count as "previously uninsured" that are also 100% paid by taxpayer dollars. Even though they were insured and paid for by the state.

    % that just won't pay in the end.

    % that actually pay close to the full amount.

    Why are we paying 1 trillion over a 10 year period to insure 7 million people?

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 6:09 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    the numbers ( according to HHS and LA Times ) :

    - 7.1M enrolled in ACA Coverage

    - 3M enrolled in Medicaid

    - 3M can stay on their parents plan

    - 9M Enrolled in private insurance

    Then you find another writer in the LA times citing a study that shows that the rate of the uninsured has dropped by 5.4M since the ACA took effect and calculates a rate of the uninsured now covered by the ACA to be 77% ( 7.1M enrolled and 5.4M drop )

    But if you look at the numbers and let them sink in for a minute you see that the numbers don't add up !

    Adding it all up 22.1M people have gained coverage under the ACA but statistics only show a drop of the uninsured by 5.4M so where did the other 16.7M come from ?

    there are 3 possibilities :

    1.) the number of policy cancellations was much higher than published ( 16.7M instead of 6M)

    2.) enrollment numbers are exaggerated or flawed ( double and triple enrollments)

    3.) the statistics that show that 5.4M reduction is wrong !

    the third one is unlikely because numerous liberal outlets jumped on and are using the 5.4M number which means that the numbers must be correct , my personal favorite is the second one !

    Good thing is that we don't have to rely on HHS and the WH for numbers, insurance companies will soon release their own enrollment numbers and unlike HHS they cannot afford to "cook the books " or use rose colored glasses , next years rates as well as the general question about whether or not to participate in the exchanges at all next year all rides on the numbers, once those numbers are out this is where things get really interesting

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 6:15 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    @ renten10

    a few comments on your statements ,

    You seriously are not suggesting that medicare is better than private insurance ?

    do I REALLY need to start counting out all the flaws of medicare ? and lets not even talk about the ever rising cost burden of this program .

    MEDICARE and SS are both poster children on why you don't want the government to run anything that has to do with healthcare or retirement !

    Why do you think insurance companies sell supplemental policies to medicare and why more affluent seniors rather buy those policies to be able to see a non medicare doctor than to use their medicare benefits ?

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 6:17 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    @ renten10

    explain the AFFORDABLE part to me because I don't see anything affordable about it , off course if your definition of affordable is to get people on government subsidies or people paying 75-200% more in premiums plus higher deductibles than yes we have affordable healthcare indeed !

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 6:29 PM, Joe1Zitti wrote:

    O is a 0 (zero).

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 6:29 PM, JohanStrauss wrote:

    "...up to 20% of the 7.1 million individuals haven't paid for their insurance..."

    Uh...from what I've read, as of the "deadline", only 850,000 out of the "7 million" enrolled have paid. That's a bit more than the 20% quoted here.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 6:30 PM, nkeaton wrote:

    I WOULD LIKE TO RECOMMEND THIS ON FACEBOOK USING f Like Follow, IS THERE A WAY?

    The Obamacare Number That Should Impress You the Most

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 6:31 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    So you bought a house and just moved in , you sit in your den as the light goes out , you go to the breaker box and find that one of the breakers tripped , you reset it and the lights come back on just to go out again 5 minutes later !

    If you are a REPUBLICAN :

    You leave the breaker tripped and call a electrician to investigate the problem , he promptly finds some bad wiring and repairs the problem which cost you $500

    If you are a DEMOCRAT :

    You keep on re setting the breaker but it trips again and again , finally you conclude that the breaker is not strong enough , you go to the store and buy a 50A breaker to replace the old 10A breaker , the lights now stay on and you are really proud of yourself but sometimes later on in the night the house burns down because of the faulty wiring and your insurance don't pay because the breaker was too strong for the wiring !

    Case in point : if you have a problem you find and eliminate the ROOT CAUSE of the problem , you treat the CAUSE and not the SYMPTOMS, the ACA however failed to address the ROOT CAUSE of high insurance premiums , the law was fashioned in a typical government fashion totally backward missing the goal !

    Insurance companies don't set the rates providers charge they merely pay the bill , if you want to get real relief than you have to either implement cost control mechanisms like medicare does ( and I do not elaborate on the downsides of this approach ) or you have to take a close look at WHY our provider costs are so much higher than in other countries ( hint : it has NOTHING to do with single payer or insurance companies but much more with lawyers and lawsuits ) !

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 6:34 PM, randydevinney wrote:

    Our founding fathers must be turning over in their graves knowing that we are abusing the power of our government against our own citizens to force working people to pay the hospital bills of those who don't work.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 6:41 PM, vindicti wrote:

    There are no good number with the ACA (Obamacare) once you take into account all the people that lost insurance thanks to this law, which was what about 6 million people? seven minus six equals 1. So what good does it do to take away insurance that people are happy with just to sell it back to them at a higher price. Just who pays you to write anyway?

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 6:42 PM, dukeoftralee wrote:

    Your total non stop partisan cheer leading for liberal causes in general is so apparent. Total lack of fairness and objectivity.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 6:56 PM, ferdiefor wrote:

    Credit is deserved for finally coming down on hospitals with a big enough stick to force hospitals to be much more careful in handling elderly patients.

    My sister is a nurse and always said there were too many incentives for medicare patients to return to hospitals and the penalties should have been in place years ago.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 6:59 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    a few years back I was working for a big Telco company and as part of my job had to travel to finland about twice a year.

    one time I had to fill in for a colleague on a short notice and forgot my meds , my only option was to go to see a doctor in oulu to get a prescription and then go to a pharmacy to get my meds.

    So I went to see a physician in Oulu, the office visit cost me $75 , then I went to a pharmacy and got my RX , $20 for a 30day supply all without insurance !

    Since I had to pay out of pocket for my meds and office visit in the US before I had some "baseline data " to compare : $175 for a office visit and $325 for a 30 day supply of meds.

    As soon as I got back to the states I called my mother who lives in Germany asking her to inquire with her doctor and pharmacist on just how much a office visit and RX is in Germany if paid out of pocket , $83 for office visit and $22 for the RX !

    All for brand name drugs not generics btw !

    My next call was to Pfizer asking just why there is such a big difference in pricing between the EU and US , after getting connected numerous times I ended up with a nice lady who explained to me that the higher cost in the US was mainly because of possible legal liabilities the company had to cover ! she told me that the ratio of legal expenditures between the US and EU was 15.3/1 meaning that for every $ spend in the EU to fight off legal challenges they spend $15.30 in the US !

    she further pointed out that the chance of the company getting sued in the US is a whopping 300% higher compared to the EU and that due to the higher risk the insurance premiums for liability are about 50 times higher in the US than in Europe !

    The same off course also applies to doctors and hospitals , malpractice lawsuits are virtually non existent in Europe !

    I have sincere doubts that our physicians and hospitals are much worse than the ones in Europe, the real problem here lies with the ever growing army of lawyers getting rich filing lawsuits that in Europe would not stand a chance !

    The problem of malpractice suits has gotten so bad that malpractice insurance providers in the majority of cases offer settlements instead of taking their chance in court , lawyers use this fact to game the system using baseless or exaggerated claims to extract large sums of money but in the end everybody pays in the form of higher provider costs !

    Trial lawyer associations spend millions each year to lobby congress to choke off any attempts for tort reform and most of the lawmakers with a D attached to their names are former trial lawyers , this is why tort reform never even was discussed

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 7:05 PM, gaffen wrote:

    So i was looking at their graph and noticed that REDMISSIONS were dropping off. That is great because I would hate to contract a virus or a disease from mars.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 7:07 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    the ACA cost the taxpayer 1.5T maybe even more over 10 years

    the CBO estimated that there are 28M uninsured in the US , now take 28M and multiply by $500 = 14B , now multiply by 12 and you get $168B per year now divide 1.5T by $0.168T = 8.9 Years !!!

    Where I am getting at is to show that if we had taken the money allocated for the ACA and send EVERY UNINSURED a $500 subsidy each month to pay for health insurance we could have done this for 8.9 years without major red tape , cancelations and all the fuzz !

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 7:15 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    1.) create ONE federal exchange website where EVERYBODY can shop for insurance across state lines !

    2.) keep the protections that nobody can be denied coverage BUT allow the insurance to charge appropriate rates !

    3.) Subsidize the premium differential for people with pre existing conditions

    4.) instead of mandates create INCENTIVES for people to buy and companies

    to offer insurance ( Tax credits )

    5.) cap malpractice settlements and create a independent review board to deal

    with malpractice claims !

    6.) create a tax sheltered HSA system to replace traditional insurance

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 7:15 PM, cgoody1950 wrote:

    Of course the readmission rate has gone down. The hospitals don't want to pay a bunch of fiines, so the patients don't get the medical treatment they need. The new rules probably stopped some abuse but it without question reduced medical care to those in need.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 7:38 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    the very existence of any kind of insurance leads to higher prices as it inhibits meaningful competition between providers !

    Take a look at weight-loss surgery, lasik or dental , all areas that are not commonly covered by insurance , as a result providers compete which leads to lower cost and better quality of care !

    So lets say you have a system similar to esurance or priceline where providers post their prices for the consumer to pick , if you need a procedure done you can review prices and testimonials on the website , providers could run specials and advertise their services on TV and billboards which will boost the advertising industry !

    Now I know what you are saying next : medical care is expensive and not just everybody has the money laying around , I thought about this too and this is what I came up with :

    Essentially it is what I call a HSA401K a hybrid of a HSA and a IRA , here is how it works :

    The individual contributes money pre-tax out of his paycheck, self employed will receive a tax credit on the money contributed , employers who match the employee contribution will be allowed to write the money off their taxes !

    In the case of unemployment a min contribution is made 50% by the state and 50% by the federal government for a period up to 2 years as long as eligibility for unemployment benefits exists !

    The funds are invested in different funds just like money in a 401K but unlike a 401K this account would be FDIC insured !

    The account holder would receive a ID card that works like a mastercard and can be used to pay for medical services and drugs only !

    Once the account holder turns 65 the funds in the account will become available to be used as supplemental retirement income !

    Initial accounts will come with a $50000 "line of credit " as a safeguard, the line of credit gradually gets reduced as money is paid into the account , so if you contribute $1000 the line of credit drops to $49000 and so on.

    the advantages of this approach should be clear to see :

    - no red tape or administration costs

    - incentive to life healthy , the less medical cost you have the more $ you have left

    once you retire !

    - money is not lost , higher incentive to contribute, especially for the young

    - no provider networks mean lower administration cost for providers that can be

    passed on to the consumer and more flexibility for the consumer !

    - enhanced competition between providers means lower cost

    - coverage not limited to one state or even country , funds can be used worldwide

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 7:42 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    wait a few weeks and the real numbers will come to light

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 7:43 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    I will chuckle in a few weeks when sebellius goes on TV telling us that the 7.1M had to be revised to 5.4M due to multiple enrollments and faulty data

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 7:45 PM, Kay10 wrote:

    You have to pay for it and have your claim turned down before you understand it.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 7:46 PM, asICit wrote:

    Fewer readmissions would be great news if the financial penalties imposed by the Obamacare on hospitals aren't causing seniors on Medicare to be put at undo risk just save money.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 7:54 PM, alnico51 wrote:

    Are they checking how many people are going to the Funeral Home instead?

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 8:00 PM, Teamhertz wrote:

    That's due to re-admittance is typically elderly and now when old people come back in 30 days they cut off treatment and pump the old folks full of opiate's pain med's till they can longer eat or speak then tell there family its time to end their suffering because quality of life etc.. then they pass away. Seen it happen to many older folks at hospitals are putting out the cost savings squads (helping people pass) in full force.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 8:15 PM, ddh1961 wrote:

    The only number that's gonna impress me is the number of MY tax dollars that have to fund this socialist abortion when all the sick, lame, & lazy finally get signed on & the millennials who are supposed to pay for it tell the gov't to take a hike!

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 8:38 PM, johnnypoindexter wrote:

    They weren't readmitted to the hospital because the Death Panel got to them first.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 8:39 PM, Baron0602 wrote:

    The re-admission rate you think is so important has already been shown to be a pawn of the system. Since it became a metric, hospitals have been holding patient for "observation" to avoid the possibility of ending up releasing them and having to re-admit them within 30 days. Articles have been written about patients which had no financial coverage for their hospital stay because unbeknown to them, they were never admitted. If hospitals were not being penalized for re-admission, this might be a meaningful statistic, but it isn't. This is just another unintended consequence of the rules/laws whatever.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 8:43 PM, vet212 wrote:

    What has thus far impressed me about Obamacare is the higher deductible and cost of my insurance, and oh yes I have been to the doctor twice so far this year once for the Flu and then for Allergies I haven't seen a Doctor yet

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 8:51 PM, DaSky wrote:

    A fan of socialist healthcare Fool?

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 8:59 PM, yoyomo wrote:

    They forgot the 30% increase to my premiums for the year all thanks to Obamacare. Thats an important and impressive number since I was promised a $2.5k savings!

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 9:12 PM, cupera1 wrote:

    The only 7 million goal made by Obamacare are the number of health care policies that were canceled in 2013. Obama has claimed millions have signed up. They have inflated their numbers by including the individuals that are getting Medicaid, running 80% to 90% since October 1st. Of the people that are getting Obamacare only half have paid anything to get their policy. Many of them that have gone to their doctor or hospital they have been turned away because there is no card or proof that they have ANY POLICY AT ALL. Soon Obama will have blown through his newest trillion dollar credit card and Obamacare web site is still down. Cruz is looking like the profit Elijah for all his correct prediction he made during his first filibuster. There will soon be 10’s of millions of people that will received the "Letter" that they must go to the Obamacare web site to sign up for health care. They will all suffer sticker shock from the sky high rates and deductibles, 50%-500% increase in rates and a minim of $5000 deductible. They will opt for the fine and join the TEA Party.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 9:13 PM, Carrot1530 wrote:

    "There is a statistic, though, that doesn't require us to wait for more information and is overwhelmingly positive. The national rate for readmission of Medicare patients to hospitals after 30 days is falling significantly."

    People who "die" don't get readmitted.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 9:19 PM, jingle wrote:

    This chart is the REPORTED readmission rate for the same person for the same condition. When hospitals do that they PAY A FINE. So,........guess what???? The hospitals DONT REPORT it! They either don't report it or they report a different diagnostic or admission code for the same person when they return. This is so lame and transparent that it is shocking that even the most die hard liberal Obama media suck up should see it. Please, the American people are not stupid enough to believe this stat.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 9:19 PM, shesalloverit wrote:

    This entire article was about a 1% drop in re-admissions for medicaid recipients? Are you kidding me? Wow. I knew the spin meister's of the Obama administration were desperate, but I had no idea it had become this bad. NEWS FLASH Mr.Speights; Medicaid admissions are down, because referring physicians accepting Medicaid are ... wait for it ... down. Significantly (which by the way is a term typically used to describe a change of much more than 1%). Also, just as an FYI, my daughter is a cardiothoracic surgeon, so trust me, I do know what I am talking about.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 9:42 PM, Fusileer wrote:

    ObamaCare is a disaster by any measure. Who's "Foolin" who

    Apparently, in a scheme possibly to gain more readers and potential investors, Motley Fool seems to have joined The Huffington Post, the Associated Press (AP) and other far left propagandists in propping-up the Obama regime. The "Fool" tries to tell us it's just the rain falling on our collective heads and that it's normal with sunny days ahead. When in fact we know it's the Marxist Obama regime urinating on our entire nation and that Obama is digging us into a dark and dangerous hole.

    Well, if the "Fool" has gone "Koolade" drinking with Karl Marx, then I can no longer have any confidence in their financial advise. Because I know for sure that Liberals/Socialists are all about separating me from my dollars and not helping me gain any.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 9:56 PM, youcallmeroy wrote:

    April 2, 2014 / The Los Angeles Times

    The Los Angeles Times reported on the study and is the only news outlet so far that has seen the secret Rand study. Moreover, a McKinsey & Co. study says that just 53% of the previously uninsured have paid their first premium and activated their coverage. That would mean that just 1.2 million of those the White House calls "enrollees" are actually paying Obamacare customers who were previously uninsured. Obamacare's purported purpose was to provide coverage for America's 48.6 million uninsured people. Based on the Rand study, Obamacare has provided private insurance for only 2.5% of America's uninsured. The highly unpopular Obamacare program has Democratic strategists and candidates scrambling for cover. One prominent Democratic pollster told Politico that the best thing Democrats can do is change the

    subject. "The less we're talking about Obamacare, the better off we are," said the pollster. The latest Associated Press poll shows Obamacare has hit

    an all-time low approval rating of just 26%. Millions have lost their health insurance. Many more have seen their premiums skyrocket. It's also being

    reported that the RAND Corporation has compiled a study that shows the true numbers behind the enrollee claims. They've found that only 53 percent of Americans who previously did not have health insurance have actually paid for their new plans. In fact, the RAND Corporation's study shows that only roughly 858,000 Americans who did not have insurance beforehand have gotten it since ObamaCare took affect. They suggest that only 23 percent of enrollees had no insurance before this entire debacle began. Yet we're told that ObamaCare will provide insurance to everybody. Looks like Obama has another 47 million Americans to go. All that chaos and disruption for having less than a million people covered as prices spiral drastically upwards for everyone.'The debate over repealing this law is over': Obama boasts 7.1 MILLION have signed up to Obamacare - but study shows just 858,000 newly insured Americans have paid up!

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 10:01 PM, franksalot wrote:

    Simply said, nothing about Obamacare is impressive but depressive.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 10:12 PM, Gramma1944 wrote:

    Well, congratulations! My cousin, Roger, died 2 Apr 2014 because he was diabetic and needed to be on dialysis, but the good doctors in Lufkin, TX chose not to begin dialysis. They had no trouble collecting from medicare for putting the "port" in his arm over a year ago in anticipation of dialysis.

    The number that indicated need for dialysis all over the internet was 15. The last time he was tested, his number was 10. But, no dialysis yet, said the Dr. He had an appointment to be tested again on the 7th of April. But, he didn't make it. He died on the 2nd.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 10:20 PM, Colliegurl wrote:

    Hospitals have acted in anticipation of the new law. They have reformed their practices. The law is lowering health care costs for the nation.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 10:33 PM, ed223 wrote:

    Keith and the MF should stick to stocks. They understand squat about the ACA and dynamics driving health care costs. It's nothing more than cost shifting. Those patients hospitals boot in order to remain compliant instead receive out patient care covered under Medicare Part B. Assuming these patients have a Med Ad or Med Supp in place, their 20% Part B coinsurance is now picked up by the private market, the price of which will be, necessarily, beyond any doubt, reflected in MA and MS premiums. Nothing is free. The folks at MF should know that much.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 10:33 PM, IlliniMD wrote:

    Agrees, hospital systems changed their practices because they were no longer going to be paid for and in addition penalized for, readmissions. A lot of work has gone into development of streamlined 48 hour followup visits with primary MD, quicker setup of home health care after discharge; in other words, a fair amount of trial and error as well as expense to set this up. I love how the politicians take credit for this improvement by simply stopping payments and implementing penalties! That is about all their combined brainpower could come up with as a solution; implement punishment to those who are not responsible for patient noncompliance, etc and let the hospitals figure out how to survive, then take credit for the improvements!

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 11:29 PM, skipgainer61 wrote:

    you do realize that 7.1 million sign up is completely bogus don`t you. We actually have fewer people with health care coverage because of obamacare that is the sad truth.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2014, at 11:45 PM, cjones2467 wrote:

    "Motley FOOL" is a grand descriptor if anything about this "law" impresses you...

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 12:20 AM, runuts wrote:

    The Democrats are celebrating because the there are 7.1 million Obamacare enrollees but 4 million are new Medicaid enrollees that will pay zero. The other 3.1 million will get subsidies so it begs the question "who is pay for all of this and the huge government infrastructure that Obama created to develop/maintain the website and to administer Obamacare?" The answer is we the working Americans. Meanwhile, the Democrats are working hard to get illegals that don't pay taxes onto Obamacare to increase the enrollment numbers. Again, guess who is paying for it?

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 12:53 AM, Notmyproblem109 wrote:

    I am waiting to be impressed with the Number of persons who paid for their Obamacare and compare this data with those who were kicked off of their Healthcare plan. Does anyone else think this would be significant, or is it another Benghazi .... no one knew and no one is responsible Progressive outcome?

    Does the News Media take any Responsibility for Reporting factual truth to Voters to allow them to make a valid and logical decision as is necessary for this Republic to survive???

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 12:54 AM, chrismireya wrote:

    This article reeks of filthy propaganda! More people have LOST insurance than the small number who were previously uninsured and "gained" insurance!

    Moreover, the number of PAID enrollment figures is so low that the Obama Administration hurriedly claimed "victory" prior to the release of that number in order to lessen the negative impact that such a number will have on Obamacare.

    Obamacare will go down in history as the WORST DECISION by one of the worst and most useless presidents in American history.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 12:56 AM, chrismireya wrote:

    If you think that Obamacare is unpopular now, wait until the exemptions cease and the IRS fines begin to roll in!

    There may be pitchforks and torches at the Capitol calling for the impeachment of anyone who pushed this reckless and unsustainable law down the throats of Americans.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 12:57 AM, RickLV wrote:

    How about the OTHER number the lying Obama administration won't talk about?

    How many Americans that signed up for the unaffordable care act were kicked off their insurance before signing up? This socialist, Ponzi SCAM will never be self sustaining!

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 1:00 AM, RickLV wrote:

    Like income tax in 1913, which the Democrats also shoved down our throats, I feel bad for my daughter who has to grow up with yet ANOTHER left wing socialist failure.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 1:10 AM, daddyowarbucks wrote:

    The number that impresses me the least is the 7.1 million people that signed up to this horrible law. The most impressive number is the 14 million that got kicked off their insurance so that half of them could sign up again... and 80% of those actually pay. Some joke eh?

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 2:45 AM, DevonShire123 wrote:

    There is nothing impressive about the number of people who sign up for something that is MANDATORY.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 3:19 AM, albattista8 wrote:

    How nice! ObamaScare removed 3/4 of a trillion out of Medicare, and now will keep the elderly from the hospital in many situations. We can now see how this terrible bill will save money-KILL YOUR GRANDPARENTS, PARENTS, seriously ill, MENTALLY ILL, ETC! Hitler missed the mark with his ovens. If he thought of ObamaScare he would be a hero, instead of the villan!

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 4:51 AM, Chinajohn wrote:

    the only significant numbers these days is the dwindling number of days this fool has left in office

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 6:03 AM, Sonny119 wrote:

    The private health insurance market was not only bad before Obama and Pelosi's unconstitutional govt mandated socialized medicine Obamacare destroyed the healthcare industry, which Obama gutted about 500 billion dollars from Medicaid, it was the best in the world. But because of Obamacare's massive regulations, it has destroyed, cancelled, and otherwise removed tens of millions of people's private healthcare insurance, forcing tens of millions of people from their personal doctors and hospitals they preferred, along with thousands, if not tens of thousands who were receiving vital life sustaining treatment for Cancer, and other serious illnesses, are now being forced from even having access to their medical treatments, medicines, and doctors, thus forcing them to find alternatives which are now virtually non-extistent/ no longer available now because of Obamacare, they have completely destroyed the American healthcare system to implant a socialized marxist substandard inferior govt mandated tyrannical system, for which they- Obama and Congress and their families and staff and their staff's families, their goldfish, dogs and cats have all exempted themselves from. 

    In addition, Obamacare has forced tens of thousands of businesses to fire employees, move them to part-time positions, or close their businesses because of Obamacare, ie; millions of jobs have been lost, pushing the already weak and anemic Obama recessive economy-which Obama intentioanlly made this way, deeper into a Jimmy Carter stagflationary malaise. 

    Where does it say anywhere in the US Constitution, the govt can make laws that force/coerce the American people to purchase a product, especially a govt created, induced product, against their will. No where, that's where. 

    This doesn't even touch the massive top of the Obamacare iceberg that is to be used as a govt tool to terrorize the American people, from it's 15 member unaccountable to anyone (even Congress) board, aka Death Panel, that is used to determine who get's and who does not get medical treatment, based upon cost, and or political reasons, to giving the govt authority to intrude and invade into private people's homes and businesses, and worse- at the point of a gun. This is the jackboot of govt tyranny yet to be felt, and if not repealed, will be.

    "Obamacare "Troops" Planning Mandatory Home Visits"

    08/15/2013

    Constitutional attorney and author Kent Master Brown: "This ’s NOT a “voluntary” program." 

    quote: "As you prepare for the IRS to start monitoring your health insurance and make your medical records accessible to thousands, perhaps you also should vacuum your floor, wash the windows and lock up any weapons, should you be so unwise as to actually have them.

    It’s all in readiness for Obamacare, which will include home visits for many citizens, maybe even everyone, depending on the interpretation of the law.

    Health and Human Services’ website states that your family will be targeted if you fall under the ‘high-risk’ categories below: Families where mom is not yet 21. Families where someone is a tobacco user. Families where children have low student achievement, developmental delays, or disabilities. Families with individuals who are serving or formerly served in the armed forces, including such families that have members of the armed forced who have had multiple deployments outside the United States,” unquote

    http://www.wnd.com/2013/08/obamacare-troops-planning-home-vi...

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 6:04 AM, Sonny119 wrote:

    The private health insurance market was not only not bad before Obama and Pelosi's unconstitutional govt mandated socialized medicine Obamacare destroyed the healthcare industry, which Obama gutted about 500 billion dollars from Medicaid, it was the best in the world. But because of Obamacare's massive regulations, it has destroyed, cancelled, and otherwise removed tens of millions of people's private healthcare insurance, forcing tens of millions of people from their personal doctors and hospitals they preferred, along with thousands, if not tens of thousands who were receiving vital life sustaining treatment for Cancer, and other serious illnesses, are now being forced from even having access to their medical treatments, medicines, and doctors, thus forcing them to find alternatives which are now virtually non-extistent/ no longer available now because of Obamacare, they have completely destroyed the American private healthcare system to implant a socialized marxist substandard inferior govt mandated tyrannical system, for which they- Obama and Congress and their families and staff and their staff's families, their goldfish, dogs and cats have all exempted themselves from. 

    In addition, Obamacare has forced tens of thousands of businesses to fire employees, move them to part-time positions, or close their businesses because of Obamacare, ie; millions of jobs have been lost, pushing the already weak and anemic Obama recessive economy-which Obama intentioanlly made this way, deeper into a Jimmy Carter stagflationary malaise. 

    Where does it say anywhere in the US Constitution, the govt can make laws that force/coerce the American people to purchase a product, especially a govt created, induced product, against their will. No where, that's where. 

    This doesn't even touch the massive top of the Obamacare iceberg that is to be used as a govt tool to terrorize the American people, from it's 15 member unaccountable to anyone (even Congress) board, aka Death Panel, that is used to determine who get's and who does not get medical treatment, based upon cost, and or political reasons, to giving the govt authority to intrude and invade into private people's homes and businesses, and worse- at the point of a gun. This is the jackboot of govt tyranny yet to be felt, and if not repealed, will be.

    "Obamacare "Troops" Planning Mandatory Home Visits"

    08/15/2013

    Constitutional attorney and author Kent Master Brown: "This ’s NOT a “voluntary” program." 

    quote: "As you prepare for the IRS to start monitoring your health insurance and make your medical records accessible to thousands, perhaps you also should vacuum your floor, wash the windows and lock up any weapons, should you be so unwise as to actually have them.

    It’s all in readiness for Obamacare, which will include home visits for many citizens, maybe even everyone, depending on the interpretation of the law.

    Health and Human Services’ website states that your family will be targeted if you fall under the ‘high-risk’ categories below: Families where mom is not yet 21. Families where someone is a tobacco user. Families where children have low student achievement, developmental delays, or disabilities. Families with individuals who are serving or formerly served in the armed forces, including such families that have members of the armed forced who have had multiple deployments outside the United States,” unquote

    http://www.wnd.com/2013/08/obamacare-troops-planning-home-vi...

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 6:07 AM, Sonny119 wrote:

    "April Fool's Day ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers"

    quote: "Plucky little ObamaCare fought against the big bad Republicans who tried to sabotage it, and in the end, with a last minute surge powered by Americans desperate for the care that only a messiah like Obama could offer, compassion triumphed.

    Debunking this tale requires a little hard analysis, and that is beyond the capabilities and attention spans of a large share of the public. Nevertheless, it can and must be done. Mark Thiessen of the Washington Post raises some of the key questions. How many of the people counted as “signed up” have actually paid? Nobody knows (or so we are told).

    ...the number that matters is not how many Americans signed up for Obamacare but rather how many previously uninsured Americans signed up for Obamacare. By that standard, Obamacare may be headed for an epic failure.

    Recall that between 5 million and 6 million Americans lost their health plans because of Obamacare last fall. If the administration now succeeds in signing up 5 million to 6 million previously insured Americans, it will have achieved . . .nothing. Breaking even is no great accomplishment.

    And let’s not forget: Many of those new Obamacare sign-ups are self-sufficient people who were previously paying their own way and now receive government subsidies for insurance. Creating government dependency is not progress — it’s a step backward.

    The stated goal of Obamacare was not to move millions of privately insured Americans into taxpayer-subsidized health coverage. The goal was to cover the uninsured. That was the justification for all the chaos and disruption Americans have experienced….

    Wynton Hall at Breitbart does some calculations based on the data so far released by the Obama administration:

    McKinsey & Co. says that only 27% of those who have picked a plan through Obamacare were previously uninsured.

    Moreover, McKinsey says these individuals have an unusually high rate of failing to pay their first month's premium. "Only 53 percent of them had paid their first premium, compared with 86 percent of the previously insured," reports CNBC.

    Even conceding the White House its alleged six million enrollment figure (which, again, includes duplicates and incomplete applications), that would mean that just 810,000 of paying Obamacare customers were previously uninsured, a figure that represents 1.7% of America's 48.6 million uninsured people.

    So we have turned the medical care system of the United States on its head at the cost of billions of dollars (trillions in the course of a decade) , and all we got was 1.7% of the uninsured covered." unquote

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/04/april_fools_day_...

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 7:03 AM, panola60 wrote:

    Losing your insurance, thank a Democrat & The Liar of the Year

    Losing your Doctor, thank a Democrat & The Liar of the Year

    Paying much higher insurance premiums, thank a Democrat & The Liar of the Year

    Forced to buy coverage you don't need, thank a Democrat & The Liar of the Year

    Paying much higher deductibles, thank a Democrat & The Liar of the Year

    Losing access to your hospital, thank a Democrat & The Liar of the Year

    Paying higher co-pays, thank a Democrat & The Liar of the Year

    Medicare services being cut, thank a Democrat & The Liar of the Year

    Receiving a lower standard of care, thank a Democrat & The Liar of the Year

    Paying higher taxes, thank a Democrat & The Liar of the Year

    Only able to find a Part-Time job, thank a Democrat & The Liar of the Year

    Losing hours at work, thank a Democrat & The Liar of the Year

    Totally losing your job, thank a Democrat & The Liar of the Year

    Why do so many hate filled democrats want to hurt 85% of America.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 7:15 AM, foolsall wrote:

    Nobel's & Pulitzers seem to agree the Wall Street is inculcated with a Criminal Culture; and, that only, "Fools," or, those who have access to the Fed's, "Free Money," play in the World's largest Casino.

    Certainly, Medicare was superior to many Junk Insurance Policies that were sold to all Economic Classes - - Rich and Poor - - prior to the ACA. Reason: Lack of Standards; and the Fog of having an understanding of the Language in Contacts. "Am to please my Boss; aim to confuse you if you fail to read, and understand what U bought!" Having a lack of Standards is a License to Steal!

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 7:57 AM, fovey1988 wrote:

    I have been a hospital CEO since 1993, and I can assure that the change in readmission rates have absolutely nothing to do with Obama Care. It's frightening when authors have these national forums and then publish things that are completely not true. Please do your homework next time.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 8:01 AM, PJSolarz wrote:

    Investigative journalism begins with the gathering of the "facts" and seeing that the Obama administration will not release the numbers, there are no facts. Are we are supposed to take his word for it? Just like we did with his promises such as:

    -If you like your health insurance plan, you can keep it, Period!

    -If you like your doctor, you can keep him, Period!

    -Obamacare will cost less than your monthly cell phone bill

    -This health care package will pay for itself

    -The health care bill will not raise the deficit by one dime

    -We should not mandate the purchase of health care

    -This law will save the average family $2,500 a year

    -Planned Parenthood provides mammograms

    -Under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions

    -ObamaCare fee is not a new tax

    -Annual checkups, screenings, and vaccines are now free (once your deductible is met)

    -Over the last two years, health care premiums have gone up — it’s true — but they’ve gone up slower than any time in the last 50 years

    -All health care deliberations will be covered on CSPAN

    -I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care plan

    -Doctors choose amputation because they get better compensation

    -Greedy Doctors taking out tonsils for more money

    -Illegal immigrants will not be eligible for Obamacare

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 8:29 AM, bc33 wrote:

    Actually, there is something else influencing the Medicare readmission numbers. While some of the impact has been due to an increased use of home healthcare services and other factors, some of it is simply a result of how hospitals count admissions. They've taken to categorizing episodes as "observation" rather than an admission. These observation periods can be days long. Then if the person ends up back in the hospital it is not a readmission. The problem for the patient can arise if they are stepped down through a rehab unit after the observation episode and were never actually admitted, it is not covered by Medicare. Since most people don't read the paperwork they sign at a hospital, they don't know whether or not they were actually admitted and can get hit with huge rehab bills. This is something to be cognizant of if you go to the hospital.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 8:35 AM, danboone1 wrote:

    The only number about Obama that impresses me is January 20, 2017....the day he leaves office forever.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 8:44 AM, woodman1947 wrote:

    There has been widespread reporting that hospitals are using "observation" status for patients more frequently now than in the past. Its been reported widely that there are instances that patients have been receiving treatment for as long as 2 or 3 days in the hospital and are classified as being there for "observation". If they are ultimately released, then return to the hospital and are admitted, this counts as their first admission, since the previous stay was classified as "observation". Is this possibly part or all of the reason for the reduction in readmissions? Hospitals are under intense government pressure to improve their numbers and this could be one mechanism they use to meet that goal.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 8:50 AM, tvorfa wrote:

    I worked as an RN on a "general" floor at a hospital. We would see babies, on up to seniors. President Obamas law reguarding readmissions of medicare patients, is a deterent for hospitals to send Medicare patients home to soon on their first stay, which is obviously not a good idea. I saw patients get sent home, only to be readmitted for something related to their first stay. Tax payers should not have to pay for poor hospital practices.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 9:12 AM, True411 wrote:

    Unbelievably bad analysis. The readmission rate dropping does not mean that people are getting better care. There's every reason to believe that these poorly-thought out ObamaCare fines are causing some people to be denied readmission when they need more hospital care.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 9:20 AM, sogole wrote:

    If you failed to vote in the 2012 election,and made the majority of the above comments"ITS YOUR FAULT".

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 9:45 AM, JJiijj wrote:

    I've seen the difference in my father's COPD treatments. 2 years ago it was - to the hospital for days, go home, get worse again, back to the hospital, repeat. This year it was... to the hospital once, get a nurse to the house to teach him how to take care of himself better, really learn about how to take care of himself, get some rehab and see real improvements. Total change.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 9:56 AM, canaryinthemine wrote:

    The important number is every American who protests this control of our bodies that the governing have no right to. How many numbers of people who died from being bumped early from the hospital or then died in nursing home care? Note that information is never given. Another media source bites the dust here. Your commenters are more astute than thee.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 10:01 AM, Avenger wrote:

    The cake is a lie.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 10:19 AM, pjstroh wrote:

    Motley Fool's original prediction was fiscal disaster for the law because Obamacare would not get the 7 million people. That no longer holds water. So now Motley Fool has officially moved the goal posts and are pointing to the people that have not paid yet.

    THEY HAVEN'T PAID YET BECAUSE THEY HAVEN'T BEEN GIVEN A BILL YET ! People who signed up in March wont get their first bill until this month. Hello !

    Where will Motley Fool and the right wingers move the goal posts next? A good way to measure the law's success is to simply count the number of time they do.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 10:35 AM, VegasSmitty wrote:

    Obamacare, like Obama = EPIC FAIL.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 10:40 AM, Mathman6577 wrote:

    @pjstroh: The goal post was torn down by the angry fans a long time ago after Obama missed the field goal.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 10:41 AM, Acttorneyatliar wrote:

    Putting aside the total baloney that is this article, consider that even assuming that readmissions are falling. The article's author - undoubtedly a strident Obamanite - admitted that the reason is that the hospitals pay penalties for readmitting patients it recently released. Hence, those patients are being denied presumably essential hospitalizations and necessarily must be suffering, even dying unnecessarily as a consequence. However, what I gather from commenters here who have a basis to speak on the subject, the reality is that it is all a name game; readmissions are simply deemed "new admissions." I hope so. It make me sick to think that Obama and his socialist cronies could actually succeed in quietly killing off Americans in this fashion, or making us suffer more than they already have otherwise, all so that they can shout. "Hey, look what a great thing we and Obama did!" They still wonder "what's in it."

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 10:45 AM, Aristodd wrote:

    Tell people to sign up or pay a penalty and your numbers will go up. No brainer.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 10:48 AM, Ardadius wrote:

    Absolutely nothing about obamacare "impresses" me in any positive sense.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 10:49 AM, cat2009 wrote:

    Obama doesn't isn't interested in the paid numbers the only one's he's concerned about are those that enrolled that way he can say they reached the 7 million mark. Also the 20% that haven't paid go along with those that qualified for Medicaid those don't count either.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 11:17 AM, SLTom992 wrote:

    rftech has pretty much analyzed what's happening pretty well.

    The people are lied to in an almost continuous stream from the Obama administration.

    And they are bragging about hitting their "goal" of 7 million. Remember back when the goal was going to be 20 million?

    The fact is that for every person without insurance that is now getting free or heavily subsidized insurance from Obama-care there is at least one other person that lost their employer benefit health care and now has to buy their own independent insurance at perhaps ten times the expense.

    Why is the media dodging this?

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 11:30 AM, nddtrader wrote:

    Let's see. ObamaCare becomes law. As a direct result of that law an estimated 6 million citizens lose their health care plans and favorite doctors. On March 31 the President dances in the Rose Garden when he announces that 7.2 million have signed up using a contrived "honor system" that allows those those "applicants" to forego monthly premiums if they declare that they have financial problems. That sounds to me like the watch maker who celebrates the fact that his watches are on the mark twice a day.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 11:35 AM, nofoolhere01 wrote:

    These medicare readmission numbers are useless....

    Actually had a Doctor tell me that if my elderly parents needed to return to the hospital within 30 days to make sure they are admitted for something different, and then after it is all entered and coded into the hospital system to then tell the doctor that the problem was their original problem. It's all a game to cook the numbers.

    These medicare changes, and hospital reporting, is to just send all of us home as we age to die!

    He's celebrating 7MM out of 320MM in this country of which another 45MM will be on medcaid. Healthcare plans sold on exchanges that are not accepted at 1,000s of places.

    This program is a COMPLETE DISASTER!

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 12:22 PM, danceusmc wrote:

    Nothing impresses me about Obama or Obamacare. I beleive this will forever be remembered as the biggest mistake in American History.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 12:42 PM, doraglasberg wrote:

    A hospital is NOT a doctor's office.

    Every admission IS A NEW ADMISSION.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 12:53 PM, ProfTommy wrote:

    That 20% of those who enrolled for ACA may have not yet paid their premiums, it's not a big issue yet since probably half of those have not yet received their bills, from their new insurer. They'll pay when they get billed. The GREAT part of ACA is going to be the impact on public health.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 1:14 PM, gikygik wrote:

    Just curious what everyone else's opinion is. This has nothing to do with republican vs. democrat. What I don't understand is why the 7.1million means so much success. They said that there was 40 million people with out healthcare and thats why we need this bill. They managed to only get 18% to sign up. And further more how shocked can they be and claim it was a victory to get that many people when they made it mandatory! Thats like saying success we made billions off of taxes, duh you did it was mandatory!

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 1:26 PM, cboome wrote:

    I am not surprised at all at the dramatic decline. And the measured decline is, IMO, completely attributable to Obamacare. Whenever the government says "Do this or we will penalize you". Guess what? They get the response. The measure of readmission rates go down.

    The real issue to me is what is behind the numbers?:

    1. Are hospitals actually doing better care than they were before resulting in a lower readmission rate? (i find it hard to believe that you would ever see such a radical change in such a short period of time, as it would almost imply that the hospitals were intentionally doing a bad job before just to get readmissions.

    2. Are hospitals responding by making sure that admissions are not categorized as "readmissions". I.e. "i know you still have a respiratory problem but doesn't your foot really hurt?"

    3. Or even worse, are hospitals denying admissions and sending readmissions to another hospital so that it doesn't count against them.

    I suspect the answer is a bit of all

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 4:41 PM, irishmafia116 wrote:

    This admin continually lies to it's citizens, and doesn't even bother to try and cover it's scandals, just throw them into the peoples face and say "what are you going to do about it?" What planet do you live on to think that any of those numbers are close to being real?

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 5:03 PM, irishmafia116 wrote:

    When barry was first lying to us about obozocare, the number bantered about was 11 million uninsured. That number was used for months until the obamalites realized it wasn't getting enough attention. Overnight it jumped to 25 million, within months it was 35 million, then 40 million,last year a Democrat senator said it was almost 70 million. But I surely believe the Obama admin is now telling the truth ! Right.....

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 6:43 PM, BDub wrote:

    What impresses me the most is that my friend Paul is alive because of ACA. What impresses me a lot is that I no longer have the burden of possibly going bankrupt due to unexpected healthcare issues. At 62, that means more to me than you might know. But what also impresses me is the number of people who hate Obama so much that they would deny my friend Paul his life, and wish the burden of bankruptcy on me. Thanks, ACA. And thanks President Obama. Lives are being saved. I can attest to it.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 7:42 PM, AleBrewer wrote:

    A symbolic victory? Yeah I suppose it's kinda like the Broncos scoring the winning touchdown 4 1/2 months after the Superbowl ended.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 11:55 PM, malclave wrote:

    I still want to know how many of these Obamacare cheerleaders have cancelled their existing insurance in order to sign up on the exchanges.

  • Report this Comment On April 08, 2014, at 8:19 AM, sbkenney wrote:

    I filled out all the requirements to get a quote. I wanted to get away from the noise and see for myself what this Obamacare was all about. Of course I already have insurance through my employer but I was curious none the less. Based on my age, health, and income, my rates tripled. Yep, that's right TRIPLED. This thing is a bad deal all around.

  • Report this Comment On April 08, 2014, at 8:20 AM, Fudgy wrote:

    @CrazydocAl - Readmissions are calculated through paid claims not through admissions at the hospital.

  • Report this Comment On April 08, 2014, at 8:31 AM, Mathman6577 wrote:

    @sbkenney: Not only do premiums go up the deductibles and max out of pocket numbers also go up for most people (in my case would have gone by 67%). It's not a very "affordable" program. (And I can;t wait to see how the actual coverage goes. I have heard a few horror stories that some procedures are not covered.)

  • Report this Comment On April 08, 2014, at 8:40 AM, drgroup wrote:

    Anyone who believes any numbers presented by the Obama-ites should not be allowed to drive or vote....

  • Report this Comment On April 08, 2014, at 4:11 PM, HoosierRube wrote:

    Only a fool would cheer the drop in Medicaid readmissions.

    You are confusing the idea of getting medical care with restricting access.

    How can anyone cheer the idea that people are not getting the treatment they should.

    Do you honestly believe such a drop in readmissions is because they are 'doing a better job'??

    Dont fool yourself, people are not readmitted because the providers cannot afford the penalties.

    People are stupid to believe this is a 'good thing'.

    Here is what you will receive under government programs, Pain Management.

    Thats it. Thats all you get. No cures, no progression towards health. Nothing.

    For the author, I hope and pray you will have the opportunity to watch someone you love very much be denied treatment because of government penalties.

    I watched what Medicaid did to my family. Its not compassionate, its not affordable, its corrupt and everything is about the money.

    Motley Fool has drank the kool-aid for sure.

  • Report this Comment On April 08, 2014, at 4:17 PM, HoosierRube wrote:

    The government puts a gun to your head and forces you to do something. And this is all they accomplished.

    Maybe they should water board people who do not OBEY the OBAMA. That could push the numbers much higher dont you think?

    We should have a parade maybe?

    Yeah, thats a huge victory for a tyrant and the minions that keep them in power.

  • Report this Comment On April 08, 2014, at 5:04 PM, jafpernice wrote:

    I'm not a defender of the ACA, but the critics of it forget we had a broken health care system in this country. Nobody seams to have a solution. Letting people die or go bankrupt because of a sickness that is treatable is not a solution that works in the real world in this country.

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2903848, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 12/19/2014 4:47:49 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement