We've talked about how Obamacare will affect our regular health insurers and routine doctor visits, but how about how Obamacare will affect Medicare?
We've all known for a while that the future of Medicare, the program than provides health insurance to seniors, is in dire straits. What we're just finding out is that Obamacare is making it worse.
The White House's decision earlier this month to postpone part of U.S. President Barack Obama's signature healthcare reform (the employer mandate that will fine businesses that don't offer employees insurance) underscores how flawed the bill is and how unprepared we are for its full roll-out.
Nearly Half of Americans Say Obamacare is a Bad Idea
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.
Meet the Controversial "Bad Actor" Who Will be in Charge of Your Health Care
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. Â Â
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.
California Just Gave Us a Glimpse of How Obamacare Will Fail
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.
How the Sequester is Killing Healthcare Jobs
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.
Healthcare Costs: Same Procedure is $7,000 Here and $100,000 There
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...
Obamacare Facts: Check Out How High Your Premium Rate Will Soar
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.
15 Obamacare Facts the President Doesn't Want You to Know
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. Â
"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.
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.Â
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? Or are you still completely in the dark?
Healthcare Stocks Start to Feel Pinch from Obamacare Law
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.