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I Bet You Didn't See This Obamacare Twist Coming

By most marks the Affordable Care Act, known better as Obamacare, was proven a success in its first year. What began as a disaster with the federally run experiencing many months of technical glitches gave way to an end-of-March surge in enrollment from procrastinators and young adults who didn't want to face a penalty when filing their 2014 taxes.

Source: White House on Flickr.

Overall, Obamacare netted 8.1 million enrollees, a full 1.1 million more than the Department of Health and Human Services had forecast in September prior to the beginning of the open enrollment period. As more people purchase insurance the ability to spread medical care costs over a greater swath of the population should become easier for health-benefits providers and lessen the rate of health-care inflation, which is one of the primary goals of Obamacare.

But, just because Obamacare's enrollment figures topped estimates doesn't mean that premium pricing is necessarily going to work in consumers' favor.

On the surface things look healthy
A Gallup poll released this week offered some encouraging data on the demographics of Obamacare enrollees, but it also offered a twist that you probably didn't see coming, and which could adversely affect your premium in 2015.

According to Gallup, 5% of more than 31,000 adults surveyed between April 15 and June 17 responded in the affirmative that they were newly insured in 2014. Specifically, Gallup notes that 56% of those new enrollees signed up through their state-run exchange or via, while an additional 44% signed up for health insurance but not through an exchange. By Gallup's estimates, the uninsured rate is now less than 14%.

What was more intriguing about Gallup's survey was the age breakdown of respondents:

Age Range

Newly Insured & Used Exchange

Age Distribution of National Adult Population

18 to 29



30 to 49



50 to 64



65 & up



Source: Gallup. 

As you can see above, a majority of newly insured individuals that signed up using an exchange tended to be younger, which bodes well for the success of Obamacare and insurers. Younger individuals are crucial to Obamacare's success since young adults tend to be healthier and require less costly hospitalizations. In other words, insurers are counting on premium dollars from young adults to help counteract the higher costs associated with caring for elderly and terminally ill patients. In total, 18 to 29 year-old persons that signed up were a full eight percentage points higher than the age distribution of the national adult population.

By now this data must be looking great for insurers who are looking to spread their costs across a younger population, and for consumers who are hoping for a negligible rise in premium pricing in 2015, or perhaps even a premium drop.

Source: White House on Flickr.

Here comes the twist
Gallup also asked the 56% of enrollees that signed up using the health exchange how they would describe their own personal health. The assumption here would be that a higher percentage of younger individuals signing up should lead to a disproportionately high number of "excellent" or "very good" responses which eclipses the national average.

Here's how the responses actually shook out:

Health Status

Newly Insured & Used Exchange

Health of National Adult Population




Very good












Source: Gallup.

You are indeed reading that correctly! Whereas 50% of the national adult population describes themselves as being in "excellent" or "very good" health, just 38% of new enrollees described themselves as being in these two categories. Unfortunately there's no age breakdown as to how respondents viewed their own personal health, so there's no way to know if older enrollees are skewing this scale far below the national average. However, I would opine that to some extent the health profile of younger adults that insurers were looking for is actually lower than expected.

This could obviously have some negative ramifications for national insurers such as UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH  ) and Aetna (NYSE: AET  ) which are struggling to get their Obamacare enrollment operations to profitability. While most insurers haven't been too forthcoming with demographics data, this initial look from Gallup could imply that less-healthy young adults were among the first to sign up in 2014. While this could mean plenty of potential for insurers such as UnitedHealth, which recently offered to expand into Connecticut and Washington state, and Aetna to gain healthy individuals in 2015 and beyond, it could set consumers and insurers up for larger than expected premium hikes in the coming year.

These question are still unanswered
Of course, there are still a number of unknowns to consider, even with Gallup's poll in mind.

Source: Robert Couse-Baker, Flickr.

For instance, even if the perceived health of those signing up is below the national average, what really matters is how often these individuals seek medical care. Younger adults are often less likely to seek preventative care than older adults or the elderly, so how the eventual medical utilization rate shakes out will go a long way to determining if sicker people signing up actually proves detrimental to insurers' bottom line. As of now we don't have enough data to accurately make that call.

Also, don't discount the bias that we are our own worst critics. While we may describe our health as merely "good" or "poor," a trained physician may disagree. Of course, this could work in the opposite direction and consumer's health perceptions of themselves could also be overstated. Put simply, we aren't doctors (at least most of us anyway), so take self-reported health statuses with a grain of salt.

We're likely a few more weeks away from getting a better idea of where premium proposals will stand in 2015 for most states, but this poll is definitely food for thought as we head into another telling year for Obamacare.

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Read/Post Comments (60) | Recommend This Article (37)

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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 June 29, 2014, at 11:31 AM, longspree wrote:

    The best laid plans of jackasses and men....

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 11:32 AM, EricMJohnson wrote:

    The REAL deficiency in our health care system is the funding model we have adopted. The USA has rejected a free market health care system, where consumers shop around and producers advertize their services and prices. We now have government and insurance companies providing almost all of the funding, so that there is no market discipline to keep costs in check. Advertising prices for health treatments has been taboo for ages; doctors have been held up to a position where they are perceived to be above the day to day economic realities of most everything else. Patients are shocked when they learn an aspirin cost $50, but the insurance pays for it so nothing comes of it. The prices and rates are negotiated between middle men of the respective institutions, who also must be paid to handle all the paperwork, but add nothing to the medical treatment itself.

    Obamacare won't fundamentally improve anything, it will only shift costs and raise the overall expense of our health care. The administrators can propagandize how wonderful the system is with facts and figures and polls, but people can see through the rosy facade.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 11:38 AM, Randyjrr wrote:

    The data in this article is inaccurate and therefore a worthless story.

    Stop relying on propaganda for your info and do your own investigative research.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 11:38 AM, nvslurker wrote:

    Fortunately, this article opens with the following sentence: “By most marks the Affordable Care Act, known better as Obamacare, was proven a success in its first year.”

    This patent proof of propaganda by Sean Williams negates the need for further reading…and saves wasting one’s time.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 11:45 AM, tpogle69 wrote:

    The affordable care act has taken every American's freedom away, now you have two choices to make from birth till you die to be fee, you have to purchase a service, or pay a fine to be fee, if you don't do either , you will go to prison, so you now have to pay to be fee, you are no longer born fee, so Obama is the president that took your freedom away.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 11:52 AM, JG54 wrote:

    If your low income this program works great.

    If your middle income this program pays minimally towards your healthcare.

    All Americans should be treated equally. This fails terribly.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 11:52 AM, jimwolf511 wrote:

    Apparently you have forgot that the original numbers needed to get Obamacare off the ground was 12 million Americans.. This administration knew it was impossible and kept lowering that number till they were comfortable.. Even now I mistrust those numbers and think Obamacare will be a total failure when the major employers are required to enter this train wreck..

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 11:55 AM, bronto wrote:

    It is true that we are losing our rights and freedoms day by day and we are abdicating to the Government. Healthcare is not promised by the Constitution; it is a privilege for those that want to access it and not a right.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 12:13 PM, Kris1964 wrote:

    The writer is a fool.

    Obama is the worst POTUS of all time.

    Those who give up liberty for safety, deserve neither, and will lose both.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 12:20 PM, patlang wrote:

    Obama has unilaterally decimated the American economy with his inept ability to make a single intelligent fiscal decision. This is what happens when you elect someone who has never run and does not possess the ability to manage a business. We have clown as a president. And like a circus clown, his job is to distract the audience from a tragedy. Unfortunately, this duplicitous clown cannot distract the populace from his tragedy by blaming George W and saying that all bad press is the result of fake accusations from the opposition.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 1:33 PM, jbirdo69 wrote:

    The author of this article is a moron, spewing lies and garbage stats..... NObama and Sean Williams are losers....and so are we for having both of them waste our time and money !!

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 1:41 PM, irram58 wrote:

    I previously had an insurance policy that I lost. The only insurance I am eligible now is Medicaid. I have to admit that it is the best insurance that can be had. I get excellent care, still use the same doctor, and have more coverage. I now have NO PREMIUMS, and very low co-pays if any. I'm sure there are many more people in the same boat. Now I wonder how many more are going to abuse this system. In exchange for this health care the government has a lean on my home. I am constantly encouraged to seek programs considered preventive medicine. I don't go to the doctor unless I have to & don't plan to change this. It seems to me that our government is trying to eliminate the working class so all but the very wealthy are dependent on the government. We need a government that will turn things back to the days when a person could support his family on his income. Working people should not have to rely on Medicaid and food stamps. It's degrading and makes me feel like I'm no better than the lazy degenerates. What the hell has this country come to and what kind of future can we look forward to?

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 1:44 PM, Phooey80 wrote:

    The greatest thing about the ACA is that the inflationary effects of increased government spending on expanded Medicaid will strip away so much buying power from the wages of the working and middle classes that they're sure to be mired in impoverished debt-slavery for life which should ensure they keep voting for Democrats and more social programs. Hooray for reliance on government paternalism! Feudalism is cool when democratic socialists do it!

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 1:53 PM, middleclasser wrote:

    The unusual twist of Gallup respondents on the condition of their respondent's health is based upon pure speculation, as it is from the respondent's feeling, which is not scientific. Only basing the condition on one's health based on quantifiable measures, compared to the overall health of the population is a legitimate assessment on this matter, such as a doctor's physical and ... or life insurance company's ratings based upon the total population compared to the respondents. Although logic says, one would also suspect that a greater proportion of those enrolling would believe that they will need care in the foreseeable future at a greater rate than those who believe that "they don't want to pay for something that they think that they don't need."

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 2:02 PM, middleclasser wrote:

    By the way, it's amazing how people can be critical of saving the lives of tens if not hundreds of thousands of people because they didn't have health insurance also will relieve: emergency room visits and the respective costs. Logic also says that insurance premiums will not increase as fast as more and healthier people will be covered.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 2:03 PM, PamlicoKid wrote:

    A few have enrolled because they think its the best thing since sliced bread. The rest enrolled at the point of a gun.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 2:10 PM, middleclasser wrote:

    For those critical of Obama, LOOK AT YOUR STOCK PORTFOLIO compared to what as it was when George Bush left portfolio is doing quite well thank you...the fake growth (which crashed) during Bush administration was based upon the illusionary growth when banks and mortgage companied allowed you to borrow as much as you want for buying a real estate or borrowing from it, regardless of your ability to pay your borrowing...which you may recall - resulted in FORECLOSURES!!!!

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 2:13 PM, Texas008 wrote:

    "the illusionary growth when banks and mortgage companied allowed you to borrow as much as you want for buying a real estate or borrowing from it, regardless of your ability to pay your borrowing...which you may recall - resulted in FORECLOSURES!!!!"

    That fact was a function of Liberal Policies. It was called "red-lining" -- look it up.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 2:15 PM, Dutch0524 wrote:

    Like many, first sentence saved me from reading this propoganda. Shame on author for a lazy, biased article.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 2:16 PM, middleclasser wrote:

    PamlicoKid: I believe your assessment that a few enrolled because it was the best thing...and most because of the penalties...but we are ALL BETTER OFF with the millions more enrolled, as 1) these new enrollees will be healthier, 2) the new enrollees won't die prematurely due to not having insurance, 3) we won't be paying for their health care when it is MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE health care as they'd only go when there is a health crisis, 4) premiums will not go up as fast because millions more have entered the market (basic economics). Could it have been better - you betcha...including having more than market controls on the increase of health care costs...

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 2:21 PM, middleclasser wrote:

    Texas008: redlining is not when I went to get a home equity loan and could have put any number on the value of my house...people were buying houses that they couldn't afford, people were buying second and third homes that they didn't have the income to pay the mortgage....the cause of the mortgage and banking crisis is little to NO REGULATORY CONTROLS on borrowing...Somehow, this sounds more like Conservative Policies - not liberal policies...

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 2:27 PM, middleclasser wrote:

    Texas008: By the way, Obamacare was enacted and signed into law before Nov. 2012... and then Obama was re-elected by a landslide. You may not have wanted Obama, but the majority of those who voted did to someone that didn't care about you unless you were in the top one percent...and since I'm only at about the top 20...Romney didn't care about me...

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 2:32 PM, FrankMcKinney wrote:

    Didn't see it coming? Ray Charles could have seen this coming. People skeptical of the ACA warned about this exact scenario from day one, when it was still being non-debated in Congress. Any one who understands how the world works could see that this was the most likely outcome. Good Grief!

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 2:33 PM, Texas008 wrote:

    Bank redlining occurred when Libs wanted everyone to own a house, so no one was denied credit. As to this hot market: When the Fed dumps billions into the market every month you will have a hot market - but this is artificial, thus there are NO JOBS. When all of this comes crashing down, I hope you not only remember what we said, but I hope we all stop spending and pay down our debt before we lose our reserve currency status and lose a large %-age of our dollar's valuation.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 3:11 PM, Terries wrote:

    No one seems to notice another fiasco waiting for a place to happen and I saw it in my office this week. Medical providers are now shifting patients from one local to another. I am a mental health provider with many years of experience. Please listen up! Rather than psychiatrists who specialize in specific medical/psychological interventions with ongoing counseling provided collaboratively, I now see Primary Care physicians untrained to provide specific care prescribing medications to patients in an unsafe and untested manner. Benzodiazepines handed out like candy, Pain killers once restricted to those in the absolute worst conditions provided for every day aches and pains. I had 2 clients come in last week asking for a new psychiatrist because their old physician "won't see me anymore because I now have HIP instead of "whatever"" Now they are in severe withdrawal and at risk of death, told to simply stop taking their medications.

    If you think the financial fall out is bad, just wait until we start having emergency rooms filled with patients who are being sent to the wrong hospital, pharmacy and physician. It has already begun and the financial collapse will be the least of the fallout.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 3:15 PM, mrchris1964 wrote:

    well I just hope I am packing my glock when they try to arrest me for not signing up or not paying the fine . I will die free!

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 4:19 PM, doraglasberg wrote:

    I agree with many of the posters here in regard to all this silly foolish repetitive tired alerady




    ACA is here.

    GOP never put a "REPLACE" on the table.

    Has survived all the ca ca challenges.

    Even the dolts at FOX, Cavuto, Kelly, seem to have tired of the pointless attacks on ANYTHING and everything Obama does.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 4:26 PM, borninkenyafools wrote:

    As you can tell by the comments most of the readers are NOT fools and realize this article is a crock of crap written by an idiot.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 4:46 PM, eddievegas wrote:

    All the people who like Obama Care are getting something for free. All the un insured had FREE health to begin with. Illegal Mexicans get free health Ins, don't pay taxes. Employers break the law by not paying taxes on them, half on welfare. Most can't even speak english. The Gov is us, if you pay in. We have whole races with 80% never work. Shame on you for living life off others. All free loaders are democrat..ya think!

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 4:51 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    @ doraglasberg

    do you HONESTLY believe that if the GOP were to propose and vote on a replacement for the ACA that the Harry reid and Obama would EVER let this become law , no matter how good it is ?

    The ACA is here - for now - mainly because with the senate and the WH controlled by democrats there is no chance that this law will be repealed but it wont be like this forever , once the Democrats lose the senate this fall many senate democrats up for election in 2016 will be more interested in saving their rears in 2016 then toting the party line, with harry reid gone a replacement proposal will get a fair vote and enough dems will join the GOP in overriding a presidential veto - case closed !

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 5:23 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    comparing the number of enrolled in each age group to the percentage of adults in this age group isn't really valid though it makes the numbers look a lot better !

    What you really need to look it is the percentage of the UNINSURED in each age group and then look at the percentage of those who did enroll

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 6:43 PM, sporked wrote:

    I guess success is viewed in the amount of people that signed. Thats like a judging a battle by the amount of bombs dropped not targets hit!

    I've seen first hand that most bought the cheapest policy. With 5000 dollar deductibles. Its nothing except catastrophic insurance. Employers are dropping insurance coverage and telling people to get there own insurance.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 6:49 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    I am not too much of a fan of either HUFFPO or FOX simply because they both are biased too much , but every now and then surprisingly you find some pieces that are surprisingly objective and right on the money.

    The writer of the piece I am talking about claimed that the GOP is backing off repeal because they already won if it comes to the ACA.

    It is easy to see that he is correct if you consider the following facts :

    1.) public opinion : the numbers have not budged much since the ACA passed,

    disapproval since 2009 is jumping up and down between 53 and 57% and its

    not very likely this will change before Nov !

    2.) changes, and more changes : any time obama changed the law or delayed part

    of it he essentially admitted not only that the law was not ready for prime time

    but also that there are severe flaws in the law , which pretty much confirms

    what the GOP was saying all along for years !

    3.) Hesitation of democrats to run on the law: sometimes silence says more than

    words, and the silence of democrats on the campaign trail says it all , this

    hesitation is a indicator that Democrats are lacking confidence in the law and

    trust in their leadership . remember that they all blindly believed the promises

    of obama, Pelosi and reid and in return gotten a ear full from their constituents.

    So they are playing it safe which in turn is a concession to the GOP !

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 7:07 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    Both sides are wrong on the ACA, its too early to declare a victory but its also too early to declare doom and gloom !

    But by just looking at the numbers so far I tend to say that they are not looking too favorable , and I am not talking about the enrollment numbers but some other very important key metrics here .

    The goal of the ACA was to extend coverage to the uninsured and to lower the cost of health insurance to make it more affordable ( remember obamas $2500 promise ? ) the CBO estimated the number of uninsured americans to be 28M and the price tag of the ACA to be 1.5T over 10 years, later on the number was revised to 1.8T and some even place the number closer to 2.2T but lets stick with the original numbers !

    The AVERAGE yearly premium was supposed to go down by $2500 each year, 8.1M enrolled in Exchange coverage and 3M in Medicaid expansion, 80% of the exchange enrollees are on subsidies and the average subsidy is $270.

    if we take the 1.8T and divide it by 10 we get a cost per year to the taxpayer of 180B each year, we know that 11.1M enrolled so lets divide the 180B by 11.1M and we get $16363 which is the cost burden to the taxpayer per enrolled in the first year , divide this by 12 and get $1363 per month !

    Now lets take the total cost over 10 years and divide it by the number of uninsured and you get $64000 or $6400 per year, divided by 12 and you get $533 per month !

    the point I am trying to make here is that we could have send every uninsured a check for $533 each month for 10 years to help paying for coverage without affecting the coverage for anybody else !

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 7:16 PM, MotleyFoolStinks wrote:

    Horrible law that helps about 10% of the people it was supposed to help. Forces other people to switch plans, and either pay more or have higher deductibles. It subsidizes people, so it will also either raise you taxes or the debt.

    We could have fixed the problems without totally destroying our healthcare system.

    When we win the Senate back in November, this will be one of the first things to go.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 7:33 PM, sabebrush6 wrote:

    I would sure like to know where these polls were taken & who designated those particular areas.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 7:52 PM, crumbhead wrote:

    People are always confusing health insurance with health care. They are not the same thing. Before Obamacare no one was denied health care. If anyone walking down the street were to fall out from a heart attack or anything, does anyone doubt that person would have received medical attention? The heads of the AFL-CIO and the SEIU, whose staffs had a major role in writing the ACA, said at the time that Obamacare had nothing to do with health care. It was all about re-distributing wealth. That's why government controlled health care has always been #1 on the socialists to-do list. Since LBJ (one of the worst presidents ever) got the feds heavily involved in health care, we've been lurching from one "crisis" to another. And anytime the feds start subsidizing something, the cost always skyrocket, e.g., college tuition.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 8:03 PM, doraglasberg wrote:

    Needing help in an emergency is not HEALTH CARE.

    I have dozens of doctor's appointments a year for assorted conditions. THAT'S HEALTH CARE.

    Some of you posters are so ignorant - it hurts.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 8:13 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    we need to look past partisanship and pull together to get our country back on track, we the people need to take back the rains that we have handed over to "representatives " who really are not representing us !

    In order to get this done we need to push for reforms to level the playing field and to restore our political system to a fair and unbiased system !

    Here is what we need to do :

    1.) Campaign finance reform :

    - limit political donations to $500 per person /year

    - prohibit contributions from corporations

    - prohibit direct contributions , all contributions must be made into a trust fund

    and the funds in this account are then equally distributed between all


    - limit personal "loans" or contributions of runners to $2500, every cent above

    this limit must be contributed into the trust fund for distribution

    2.) end nominations:

    all federal and supreme court justices as well as other government officials

    should be elected by the people rather than nominated by the president,

    Elections for federal judges should be held every 6 years and supreme court

    justices should be elected every 10 years with a max of 2 terms !

    this will bring accountability to the bench and end judicial activism !

    3.) Change the senate :

    return to the practice of senators being elected by the House every 6 years

    instead of the public , this is the way it was originally intended by our founding

    fathers !

    in order to be qualified as a senator the runner will have to have served in the

    house of representatives for at least 4 terms OR have served in a state senate

    or state house in his home state for at least 2 terms !

    4.) Changes to the presidency :

    Elect the president directly rather than using electoral college , change the

    requirements to be president to a requirement to have honorably served

    in the US Armed forces , have served as a governor , house member or senator

    for at least 8 years !

    5.) changes to executive orders :

    require ALL executive orders to be confirmed by the senate AND the house and

    to be ratified by 2/3 of all states ( if this sounds familiar , those are the reqs

    for a constitutional amendment )

    6.) Veto power to the people :

    add a constitutional amendment to give veto power on all legislation, executive

    orders and policies to the states and the American people.

    under this law the states or the people directly could veto any existing legislation

    or over ride a presidential veto of any legislation !

    this could be done by 2/3 of the state governors signing a formal veto petition

    and then sending it to Congress , or by people signing a petition for a

    public referendum , once the petition is received by the governor of the state

    a election will be called and if in 2/3 of the states voters approve the veto then

    a formal veto will be send to congress and the president !

    7.) end lobbying .

    I think there is no explanation needed on this one

    8.) Term limits :

    limit house terms to 2 terms and senate terms to 1 term

    9.) require voter approval on debt limit increases and spending bills

    its our money we should have say so on how it is spend

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 8:17 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    @ doraglassberg

    look up the definition of healthcare in the dictionary !

    whether you fall off a ladder and need to be taken to the ER or you have diabetes and need to go to the doctor twice a month it does not matter, both situations fall under HEALTHCARE !

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 8:27 PM, skypilot2005 wrote:

    Sean, here’s a couple of ideas for the topic of a future article.

    The Veteran Administration and Internal Revenue Service scandals.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 8:34 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    For the ones who have a problem comprehending the difference between health insurance and healthcare I will break this down for you :

    HEALTHCARE is a SERVICE or health related GOODS you receive by a medical provider , this can be a hospital, doctor or pharmacy !

    This is further broken down into emergency and non emergency care ,

    Emergency care covers all medical conditions that have a rather severe impact on

    your life or health if not treated immediately , a heart attack for example falls under

    emergency care because you can die if you don't receive immediate treatment, same goes for severe injuries that result in trauma or severe bleeding !

    Non emergency care covers all medical conditions that if untreated do not have a

    immediate and severe impact on your life or health , a cold or flu for example does not qualify as emergency care because normally you don't die from a flu or suffer

    severe damages !

    HEALTH INSURANCE, is the party who pays the bill for HEALTHCARE - period !

    with very few exceptions ( Medicaid/medicare and certain risk pools ) the insurance does not set prices for services but simply pays either a portion or all of what a provider charges !

    The main focus of reform should have been on creating a SAFETY NET for people not a full blown fancy entitlement with all bells and whistles !

    Safety net meaning that if you fall off the ladder , have a car wreck , have a heart attack or stroke or get diagnosed with cancer or kidney problems that you don't have to worry about getting in big debt or losing your house or life savings.

    Safety net however does NOT mean for you to go the doctor because of a flue , cold , allergies , minor cuts or similar things or that you have your pregnancy or abortion fully paid for.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 9:05 PM, leobowdyo1 wrote:

    In the long run numbers don't matter...

    the federal government is paying 500 dollars so your obamacare policy cost like 80.

    Then the government is bailing out insurance companies ( if and when..but more like when) the actually numbers tell us that they didn't sign up healthy younger people with tons of money.

    so they don't take a bit hit financially this year and won't have to raise rates drastically in 2015..

    so obamacare really is all smoke and mirror and taxpayers are left with the hefty tab..

    the numbers don't add up so they have to cook the books to make obamacare look like it is working

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 9:05 PM, Tommylee2 wrote:

    A song just for all us old folks that used to be able to count on medicare.


    "Glory glory Obamacare sent us out to die

    Glory glory we can't even find out why,

    Oh glory glory what a helluva way to die

    Just so Obama's legacy sits on high.

    And the truth went running away."

    Obamacare need to be called Abominationcare because that is what it really is, put together in the dead of night, under tight security, by thieves, thugs and liars with no regard to the actual wants or needs of the people. Ramrodded through the house by Nancy Pelosi and approved by a democrat majority led by Harry Reid and then quickly signed into law by the magic pen of Barrack Obama.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 9:30 PM, thegodfather4u wrote:

    As I stated at the inception of this communist program..............The RAPE of America continues with the Democrats at the helm and has been evident for OVER last 6 + years.... Racism being created by Obama...Holder...their buddy Felon Sharpton....impossible unemployment, history making deficits, never mentioned millions of homeless, spying on American's phones, computers, email, financial information, stolen billions from our Medicare and social security, increased false racism data fed to us by government...Democrat owned media (CFR/TLC brainwashing) to try and put American's into a false sense of security, allowing over 38 million illegal's pushed on our floundering economy, increased racial fabricated tensions, having more and more CFR/Trilateral nominee's appointed and a Supreme Court making laws against Americans, allowing insider trading with the senate, congress, and every "in the know" employee in the fed, propaganda through the AP/Bloomberg/CNN/CNBC/Yahoo/ etc creating more in-fighting , and the violation of our constitution over and over by the individuals we elected and are supposed to be working for all American's plus the farce of the Unconstitutional OBAMACARE ...As all the VIOLATIONS committed against our Constitution.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 10:24 PM, cvcrl1 wrote:

    Is this Motly Fool Writer A LIBTARD????? SOUNDS LIKE IT, Starting to get sick of your LEFT WING VIEWS

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 11:46 PM, Azzy wrote:

    14% are still uninsured, we have over 300 million people. That leaves 45 million uninsured. Even obozo said there were 30-50 million. This math is pathetic for anyone especially site claiming to help people make money.

    Success?? They refuse to release the actual number of people paying, not just enrolled, hoping naive reporters keep using this 8 million number.

    Foolish is it. Remember credibility is a hard thing to get back when you lose it,

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2014, at 12:09 AM, cyfan2000 wrote:

    Why is the press continuing to be fooled (pardon the pun) by the data released from the govt on Obamacare? The comparison in the first table is misleading. You don't compare how much of the young population is newly insured to their share of the population, you compare it to the total number of UNINSURED prior to Obamacare. For example, assume that 100% of the young were uninsured and they are 21% of the population. If 16% of the young are now insured, was getting 15% of the 100% uninsured a success? No, it was a complete failure! So your comparison is useless!

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2014, at 12:11 AM, cyfan2000 wrote:

    What exactly was the "twist" here that we didn't see coming? That the press would continue to present misleading numbers? Or, that sicker people want subsidized healthcare?

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2014, at 1:05 AM, justavenger wrote:

    Show me the actual numbers, real facts, not made up cooked numbers spewed by the gubermint. Independent verifiable numbers.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2014, at 1:11 AM, ardalporto wrote:

    The Gallup Poll is comparing apples to oranges. It is erroneous to compare pct of newly insured for each age cohort against their representation in overall pop.

    See "Purported Incorrect Prediction #5" here:

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2014, at 4:00 AM, fibro wrote:

    America is the most obese country in the world. The "so called young" are the ones that are overweight.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2014, at 4:11 AM, DevonShire123 wrote:

    The only people who "didn't see this coming" are the idiots who believe stat-run media (ahem! Motley Fool). Here they try once again to prop up the lie that Obamacare isn't a disaster, and make it seem like the skyrocketing costs are a "twist" or surprise. They're not. This has been the plan from the start. Obamacare is part of UN Agenda 21, a globalist plan to dissolve nation-states, bankrupt the general populace, and enslave them to the state, for food, medical care, and housing. Basically the exact opposite of "life, liberty, and property."

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2014, at 7:24 AM, Rifleman3006 wrote:

    Middleclasser - Hey idiot, your president has absolutely NOTHING to do with how well the stock market has done - absolutely NOTHING!

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2014, at 8:26 AM, toray99 wrote:

    Wow, sell-out. Motley fool is propaganda for the government.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2014, at 8:30 AM, Bexaroo wrote:

    I bet we (the thinking population of this country) DID see this coming...what a load of malarky! Propaganda at its finest! And what about the lower middle class, that can't really afford the policy that would be for their family...because the premiums and the deductable would be outrageous?! Hello! That's my family! We are still cash patients...and now we're treated even more like second class citizens for it...because surely, we can afford the Affordable Care Act...cause it is affordable...and for everyone...thankfully, my family is in the excellent/very good health category and we rarely/almost never need or go to a doctor...

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2014, at 12:26 PM, watson5813 wrote:

    For the age categories 18 - 29 and 30 - 49, do you have the statistics of the number of women who signed vs the number of women in the general population. Ages 18 to about 40 are the prime child bearing ages. Maternity adds a lot to health care costs as does the first year of life for a healthy baby. If there are more women signing up, maternity costs will be high and if they consider themselves unhealthy, the pregnancies could be complicated and we could have many more children needing NICU care. These people need care so its good they can get care. We may be looking at costs way more than anyone is talking about yet.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2014, at 1:15 PM, rbitrage wrote:

    So... people who buy insurance rate their health as largely merely just "good" when compared to others who are more likely to pick both excellent and poor. I am not sure it tells us much.... except that people who buy insurance may be more realistic. Perhaps this is the opposite of the study that showed that most people think they are better drivers than the average driver. I have long wanted a bumper sticker that said "Warning: AVERAGE driver." Except that I don't think anybody else would get the joke.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2014, at 7:42 PM, republicanfalcon wrote:

    Dead bodies will be lined up in the streets. We respect the dead but not our moron President. That is as respectful as it gets. Very, very sad.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2014, at 8:03 PM, GStark wrote:

    Wow! So many deranged comments for such a small agit-prop article.

    There are many major problems with the assumptions made in the article and, for that matter, in the surveys.

    But hey! Opine away!

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Sean Williams

A Fool since 2010, and a graduate from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Economics, Sean specializes in the healthcare sector and in investment planning topics. You'll usually find him writing about Obamacare, marijuana, developing drugs, diagnostics, and medical devices, Social Security, taxes, or any number of other macroeconomic issues.

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