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With Grocery Prices Soaring, This High-Tech Food Play Belongs on Your Shopping List

Aside from the continued sell-off in U.S. tech stocks, one of yesterday’s top financial news stories was the fact that U.S. inflation is accelerating – and at a pace that’s exceeding forecasts.

And the surge in food prices is one of the big catalysts…

  • healthcare stocks

  • Nearly Half of Americans Say Obamacare is a Bad Idea Pout Q

    Obamacare critics have maintained from day one the president's signature healthcare bill is disastrous and doomed to fail.

    Now with just months until the bill takes full effect, more and more Americans are beginning to think the same thing.

    According to recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, support for the Affordable Care Act is slipping.

    The fresh poll shows 49% of Americans say President Barack Obama's health care reform bill is a bad idea. That's the highest percentage since the poll began measuring backing and opposition for the reform in 2009. Only 37% say the plan is a good idea.

    The numbers reflect a sharp increase in disapproval since July 2012 following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold President Obama's healthcare overhaul. At that time, 44% of survey respondents called it a bad idea vs. 40% who called it a good one.

    The latest poll also revealed 38% of participants said they and their families will be in worse shape under the new health care law, the highest negative outlook percentage toward Obamacare since it was signed into law in 2010.

    Now just 19% say they will be better off while 39% say the law won't make much difference.

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  • Meet the Controversial "Bad Actor" Who Will be in Charge of Your Health Care Medical stethescope

    Amid a wash of government scandals, America is vulnerable right now. Actions taken by the IRS have left us feeling utterly degraded by the Obama administration.   

    And another Washington scandal we see brewing won't make Americans feel any more comfortable about the power granted in our nation's capital.

    You see, there's an unelected official who is known as a bad actor, and she's about to be granted broad, undefined power over the people of this country.

    The source of her power: Obamacare.

    I'm talking about the U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, who come 2014 could be in charge of your health care.

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  • California Just Gave Us a Glimpse of How Obamacare Will Fail Games Dominoes Q

    Turns out no one knows how Obamacare will work - not even the big-name insurers.

    And now, we're starting to see the effects of uncertainty.

    Today (Thursday), the Los Angeles Times reported that United Health, Aetna, and Cigna have opted out of the California insurance exchange.

    UnitedHealth has adopted a wait-and-see policy: "We are simply taking the time to carefully evaluate and better understand how the exchanges will work to ensure we are best prepared to participate meaningfully in their development," explains a spokesman to the LA Times.

    Cigna resolved to participate in exchanges in only half of the 10 states where it sells individual health policies, and California didn't make the cut.

    Aetna referred LA Times' questions to Covered California, the state agency in charge of implementing Obamacare.

    That means millions of Californians who will have to choose health insurance from exchanges or face a penalty will not be able to pick plans from those three big insurers - signaling limited options ahead thanks to Obamacare.

    UnitedHealth, Aetna, and Cigna's response to the California exchange is just the beginning.

    These three companies are but the first dominoes to fall to Obamacare's less-than-clear implementation.

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  • How the Sequester is Killing Healthcare Jobs Medical healthcare costs small

    Sequester-driven budget cuts to Medicare are threatening to spur massive job cuts in the healthcare industry.

    And the pain doesn't stop there - the sequester cuts are already making healthcare harder to obtain for some Medicare patients.

    Unfortunately, this is just the beginning. The longer Congress allows sequestration to continue, the deeper the cuts will go and the more widespread their impact.

    When President Barack Obama and Congress failed to reach agreement on $1.2 trillion in cuts to federal spending before March 30 -- as mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 -- the sequester kicked in.

    Medicare providers faced mandatory 2% across-the-board reductions in their reimbursements.

    After the cuts went into effect on April 1, hospitals, doctors, insurers, prescription drug plans, and other healthcare providers immediately felt the impact.

    In short, the sequester is delivering precisely the kind of broad, damaging and indiscriminate cuts that politicians warned would happen.

    And as each day passes, the drastic consequences grow worse.

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  • Healthcare Costs: Same Procedure is $7,000 Here and $100,000 There Roulette Wheel Close Top

    When it comes to healthcare costs, Americans have been left in the dark.

    Unlike when booking a hotel or buying a new flat-screen TV, Americans haven't had easy access to cost-comparison measures when deciding where to have their medical procedures done.

    Turns out, if we had, some of us could have saved tens of thousands of dollars...

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  • Obamacare Facts: Check Out How High Your Premium Rate Will Soar Chart up exponential

    Here's something from our list of Obamacare facts we've been examining: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was supposed to make healthcare cheaper for all Americans, even free for some.

    Facing constant criticism for his landmark healthcare bill, U.S. President Barack Obama continues to preach that new healthcare will indeed lower costs. Just two weeks ago he went so far as to claim that "for the 85% to 90% of Americans who already have health insurance, they're already experiencing most of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act even if they don't know it."

    Unfortunately, it's looking increasingly unlikely that's the case.

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  • 15 Obamacare Facts the President Doesn't Want You to Know Stock Market News Today - 2014

    From the first rumblings of a new healthcare law, critics have preached that the real Obamacare facts are far worse than the promises.

    The real Obamacare facts include higher healthcare costs, diminished treatment quality, hidden taxes and an inflated deficit.  

    "Obamacare was a political nightmare for Democrats in the 2010 election. In 2014, it's shaping up to be a political tsunami," Brad Dayspring, a communications strategist for the National Republican Senatorial Committee wrote in a recent email to supporters.

    Indeed, President Obama's own party is even having second thoughts.

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  • Exclusive Interview: Protecting Yourself from the Worst of Obamacare Even its staunchest supporters are beginning to worry it's a "train wreck".

    But the truth is there's no fixing it now. 

    In less than five months, on Oct. 1, the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchanges will go live online. Soon for millions of Americans Obamacare will become a reality.

    But are you prepared for the changes Obamacare promises to bring?...

    This issue is so important and misunderstood we had our own Frank Marchant interview one the country's foremost experts on the Affordable Care Act.

    Here's are the dangers she says you need to be aware of...
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  • Healthcare Stocks Start to Feel Pinch from Obamacare Law Medical healthcare costs small

    When the Supreme Court upheld the Obamacare law last year, many pundits set about predicting the winners and losers among healthcare stocks.

    Now that full implementation of the Affordable Care Act is less than a year away, it's starting to look like the law will produce mostly losers.

    Fallout from Obamacare has had a negative impact on the first-quarter earnings of many healthcare companies, a bad sign with so much time left before the law hits full force.

    So far, we've seen disappointing reports from healthcare stocks in areas as diverse as medical testing, hospitals, insurers, and medical device makers.

    "It's still early in the reporting season, but so far, it all points to softness," David Heupel, senior healthcare analyst at Thrivent Investment Management, told Reuters.

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  • Healthcare Stocks: Second Quarter Earnings a Bitter Pill to Swallow Healthcare stocks have been a hot topic since the Obamacare ruling marked a historic turning point for the industry - but so far companies' earnings have failed to keep the excitement going.

    Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) was the first of the big healthcare stocks to release earnings, and the health care giant was in need of one of its trademark B and-A ids when it reported second- quarter net income fell by half.

    With others in the sector set to report in the coming days, the mainstream numbers look weak.

    J&J, dealing with tough market conditions, continuing manufacturing problems and other issues, lowered its profit forecast for the year. Second- quarter net income suffered due to a spate of litigation and acquisition- related charges.

    The New Brunswick, N J - based company's r evenue slid by 0.7% on lower sales in the United States and lagging sales for consumer health products worldwide.

    While results beat analysts' expectations for adjusted profit by a penny, they missed revenue forecasts by nearly $250 million.

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  • Healthcare Stocks: Mergers Show How Obamacare Will Deliver Profits Want proof that healthcare stocks are poised to reap rewards from Obamacare?

    Just take a look at this recent blockbuster healthcare merger.

    Giant managed care firm WellPoint Inc. (NYSE: WLP) announced July 9 that it would buy Amerigroup Corp. (NYSE: AGP), the country's largest private Medicaid managed care company, for $4.9 billion in cash.

    The day acquisition was announced, Amerigroup stock jumped 38%.

    Of course, healthcare mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are nothing unusual. But a close look at this deal sheds light on the direction of the next major trend of consolidation within the industry.

    In fact, when it narrowly upheld the Affordable Care Act (informally known as Obamacare), the Supreme Court unwittingly set the table for a new wave of M&A in a downtrodden healthcare space --Medicaid.

    Government-sponsored programs like Medicaid and Medicare have traditionally been viewed as ho-hum businesses with razor-thin profit margins.

    So why is WellPoint jumping with both feet into a business that is typically not a big money maker?

    Let's take a closer look...

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  • How the New Healthcare Tax Affects You The Supreme Court recently upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, sparking concern in the United States about the future of healthcare tax.

    Even though some people argue the healthcare law is not a tax but instead a penalty, right now it's been ruled the former - and has become one of the key issues in Election 2012.

    In a July 12 poll by Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, 55% of American voters said ACA is a tax hike. But it doesn't necessarily mean they are against it.

    Interestingly, 48% agreed with the U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold the law, while 49% believe that the U.S. Congress should repeal it.

    In addition, 55% of American voters said a presidential candidate's position on health care is "extremely important" or "very important" to their November vote. Those who think Obamacare breaks the president's promise of not raising taxes could be lured to a GOP presidential vote.

    Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a press release, "President Barack Obama has worked mightily to avoid the 'T' word, but most American voters say the ACA is in effect a tax hike. The big question is whether the Republicans can sell the idea to voters that the president's Affordable Care Act breaks his promise not to raise taxes on those who make less than $250,000. That's why what voters believe on this issue matters."

    Whether it is a tax or a penalty, either way people are going to have to pay.

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  • Obamacare Ruling: Key Takeaways for Investors and Taxpayers It's time to buy some insurance for your portfolio following Thursday's landmark Obamacare ruling.

    The Supreme Court voted 5-4 in favor of President Obama's controversial healthcare reform law, formally known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    The chief and appellate justices upheld the core of the law which has sweeping political and economic ramifications. Many economists, analysts and healthcare experts warn it's a Pyrrhic victory at best.

    President Obama and his supporters cheered the landmark healthcare decision - as Republicans reached for an aspirin, an antacid or an analgesic.

    While the GOP vows to throw out the law on day one if Mitt Romney wins Election 2012, the ruling does remove some of the dark clouds that have been looming over healthcare stocks. The uncertainty of the law's passage has had many market participants staying away from the sector.

    Obamacare Ruling and the Average Household

    What Obamacare means for the average American working family with an annual household income up to approximately $90,000, is that starting in 2014, they will be able to purchase private insurance through new state insurance markets at prices subsidized according to income level.

    Mammograms, cancer screenings and other preventative healthcare measures will be available without deductibles or co-pays.

    Adult children can remain on parents' health insurance plans until they are 26. Seniors can continue to receive discounts on prescription drugs, and health insurers will continue to pay rebates on premiums not adequately targeted at healthcare services.

    In addition, insurers will no longer be able to deny coverage to adults with a pre-existing medical condition and must stop or limit the practice of discriminatory pricing based on gender, age and current health status.

    Furthermore, healthcare providers will gravitate away from the conventional fee-for-service approach toward systems that coordinate care.

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  • Healthcare Stocks: What Happens if Obamacare is Overturned With the Supreme Court ruling on President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law just three weeks away, investors in healthcare stocks need to be prepared.

    While some are confident the Supreme Court will rule in favor of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a rejection of the law -- or at least of the mandate requiring everyone to buy insurance -- may be more likely.

    If so, Obamacare could be toast.

    Based on tough questioning from moderate Justice Anthony Kennedy in Supreme Court hearings in March, the odds of that happening are rising. In close cases, Kennedy is often the swing vote.

    At InTrade - where people can bet on the outcome of real world events -the probability of Obamacare being overturned has risen to about 70%.

    So what would happen to healthcare stocks if Obamacare was overturned?

    Surprisingly, it is less than you'd think.

    In fact, most healthcare stocks will benefit simply by having a definitive answer on the fate of the law. A decision would lift the uncertainty hanging over the sector since Obamacare passed in 2009.

    "Coming off the market lows of 2009, you saw multiple expansion in virtually every sector of the S&P 500, but very little in health care," Eddie Yoon, Fidelity Investment's top health-care analyst, told Barron's.

    Still, some healthcare stocks would gain more than others if Obamacare gets torpedoed. And a few could get a little dinged.

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  • With or Without "Obamacare" These Healthcare Stocks Are Headed Higher The fat lady hasn't sung yet...but she is warming up.

    Three days of arguments before the Supreme Court have made it abundantly clear - "Obamacare" is in danger of being gutted or completely wiped off the books.

    Only one thing's for sure. Investors will want to keep buying healthcare stocks -especially as 10,000 baby boomers a day turn 65 years old for the next 20 years.

    But there's one segment of the healthcare sector that will be sitting in the driver's seat when it comes to delivering healthy profits and investment returns - no matter how the court rules.

    Here's what you need to know...

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