There are a lot of important Obamacare facts and numbers you can't afford to ignore.
Let's start with the enormity of U.S. President Barack Obama's signature healthcare bill. To date, some 2,572 pages of regulations have been written (more are expected).
More familiar numbers tied to Obamacare include 50 - the headcount at which companies must provide insurance or pay a fine ($2,000).
Now consumers have less than one month until the next round of Obamacare regulations kick in Oct. 1, with open enrollment in the online Health Insurance Marketplace (formerly called exchanges).
When looking into the facts and full impact of Obamacare, here are 15 of the most important numbers you need to know:
- $2.6 trillion: The true cost of Obamacare once fully implemented, according to the Office of the Speaker. An analysis by House Budget Committee Republicans stated the healthcare law will cost significantly more than the $90 billion originally estimated and will add $70 billion to the deficit in its first 10 years.
- $829.3 billion: Total taxes collected from Obamacare (CBO) by 2023. The ACA contains 20 new or increased taxes on American families and small businesses. Among them: the excise tax on charitable hospitals, the "black liquor" tax hike on a type of biofuel, the tax on innovator drug companies, the Blue Cross/Blue Shield tax hike, the tax on indoor tanning, the medicine cabinet tax hike that prohibits Americans from using health and flexible saving accounts to purchase nonprescription drugs, the surtax on investment income, the hike in the Medicare payroll tax, and the employer mandate tax.
- $716 billion: Medicare spending cuts made due to Obamacare (CBO) by 2022. Low-income seniors (more than 14 million) will see an estimated 7% to 8% reduction in their Medicare Advantage benefits in 2014.
- $101.7 billion: Obamacare tax on insurance providers (Joint Committee on Taxation) by 2022. Because of a new excise tax providers are subjected to, two major healthcare providers, United Healthcare and Aetna, already stopped providing coverage in some states.
- $45 billion: Total cost of Obamacare's mandated penalties on Americans who opt not to carry insurance (CBO). Starting in 2014, most people will be required to have insurance or pay a "penalty deducted from your taxable income." For individuals, the penalty starts at $95 a year, or up to 1% of income, whichever is greater. By 2016, it rises to $695, or 2.5% of income. For families, the tax will be $2,085, or 2.5% of household income, whichever is greater.
- $34.2 billion: Taxes imposed on manufacturers and importers of branded drugs over the next 10 years (Joint Committee on Taxation).
- $29.1 billion: Taxes on medical device manufacturers by 2022 (Joint Committee on Taxation). Medical device manufacturers employ 360,000 people in 6,000 plants across the United States. The ACA imposes a new 2.3% excise tax on devices. The tax has already cost the industry $1 billion and scores of jobs since it kicked in on Jan. 1.
- $24 billion: Tax on flexible savings accounts (Joint Committee on Taxation.) Dubbed the "Special Needs Kids Act" because Obamacare imposes a $2,500 cap on FSAs, it's a particularly cruel move to households with special needs children since thousands of families with such children use FSAs.
- 7 million: Amount of Americans who will lose their employer-based health insurance due to Obamacare (CBO) in 2014, a number that could rise to 12 million by 2019.
- 6 million: Retirees who will lose prescription drug coverage in 2014 (CMS).
- 62,900: Shortage of doctors by 2015 due to Obamacare (The New York Times). Scores of doctors will opt for early retirement or change careers instead of dealing with the overwhelming rules and regulations on the amount and type of care they can offer patients.
- $695: Obamacare penalty on Americans who decide not to carry insurance by 2016 (CBO).
- 49%: Americans who say Obamacare is a bad idea (NBC/WSJ poll).
- 48%: Small businesses that say Obamacare is bad for their business (Gallup).
- 19%: Number of families who believe they will be better off under Obamacare (Kaiser Family Foundation poll).