After more than three years, $400 million, and a steady stream of assurances from the Obama administration, the government's healthcare exchanges should have been ready to go.
But the problems with Obamacare, at first brushed off as the result of an overwhelming initial response, run much deeper than the Obama administration would like to admit.
"These are not glitches," an insurance executive who has taken part in many conference calls on Obamacare told The New York Times. "The extent of the problems is pretty enormous. At the end of our calls, people say, 'It's awful, just awful.'"Here's why Obamacare is falling apart and what that means for you...
Obamacare Online Exchanges: 9 Real Life Experiences from Money Morning Readers
Considering taxpayers shelled out more than $500 million to build the Obamacare online exchanges, we'd like to know how they're actually operating, for good or for bad.
We know it's not all good...
For example, the federal government is operating an exchange for 36 states, and it's seen some of the worst complications. Part of the problem is volume: Within three days, a whopping 8.6 million people visited healthcare.gov.
We also know that Obamacare's success depends on having a large number of people enroll - especially the younger, healthier crowd. The Congressional Budget Office says Obamacare needs 7 million people to sign up at a minimum for it to stay afloat financially.To read more click here...
5 New Obamacare Facts You Need to Know
Keeping you up to date on the latest Obamacare facts - Today (Tuesday) marks the beginning of the much-anticipated Obamacare open enrollment for the new marketplaces - which hasn't gone smoothly.
The federal government operates these marketplaces, or exchanges, across 36 states, and the Obama administration anticipates seven million people will apply for coverage across the six-month open-enrollment period.
The exchange rollout comes as a wash of just-released polls on Obamacare shows the public hasn't embraced our country's new healthcare law.
That's why U.S. President Barack Obama has ramped up speeches and interviews this week addressing Obamacare facts and issues, along with party leaders across the country.
And he has plenty to address...Read more...
Obamacare Facts: Support Slips to 39%; Defund Talk Gets Louder
Americans following the stream of Obamacare facts out of Washington aren't as happy with the new law as they were before, according to a new poll.
According to this just-released CNN/ORC International survey, support for the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, slipped from 51% in January to a current low of 39%.
Support dropped in all demographics, with the steepest slide in two core Democratic groups: women and Americans making less than $50,000.
Fight Club: Is Healthcare (aka Obamacare) a Right?
The always vocal, usually incorrect and always extremely left Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Leerecently said:
"Healthcare is a right! It should be in the Constitution. Although it was not listed per se in the Constitution, it should be!"
Many who support Obamacare think socialized medicine is a right.
I tuned in to a national television show to see how she would defend her silly dribble, not surprisingly she was a no show!
My short answer to her and my opponent this week: "What a load of crap!I don't believe anything tangible can be a right." And neither should you!
Healthcare is a tangible item, like a house, a car or a wide screen TV.
Just to clear up any doubt: You are invited to read my cliff notes on the Constitution below but it would be better if you took the time to read them in their entirety.
It had been awhile since I read the Bill of Rights, I had forgotten how rich with human spirit they are!
Why the Obamacare Law Can't Stop Soaring Healthcare Costs
One of the many promises of the Obamacare law was that it would help reduce out-of-control healthcare costs.
But as we get closer to the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act in January 2014, it's becoming increasingly clear that the law will do little to lower what healthcare providers charge.
Basically, the Obamacare law focuses mostly on who will pay and how they pay - the insurance side of the equation - rather than why costs are so high and rise much faster than the overall inflation rate.
Journalist Steven Brill, who wrote an exhaustive piece on this topic for the March issue of Time magazine, was blunt as he broke the bad news personally last week to the Senate Finance Committee at a hearing to determine if adding transparency to the pricing of healthcare services could help control costs.
"[Transparency] starts the conversation about prices that we didn't have in the debate over Obamacare. It's only a start," Brill said. "Obamacare does nothing about these prices. Nothing to solve the problem - Zero."
The Scariest Obamacare Facts Yet
There have been fears surrounding the "real" Obamacare facts since the Affordable Healthcare Act was first mentioned.
"An unfolding disaster for the American economy," 2012 Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney said of Obamacare. Fellow candidate Rick Santorum called it "the beginning of the end of freedom in America."
Signed into law on March 23, 2010, Obamacare was peddled to Americans as the answer to the precarious problems plaguing the country's healthcare system.
Among its promises were: uninsured Americans were to gain coverage through an expansion of Medicaid; insurance providers couldn't deny coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions; employers had to offer health insurance to employees; and costs would come down.
As many Obamacare provisions start to kick-in, the nation is finding out how the sweeping health care overhaul fails to live up to its promises.
At over 20,000 pages long, the legislation is full of stipulations chipping away at what it claimed it would achieve.
Following are some of the most alarming Obamacare facts uncovered to-date.
Romneycare vs. Obamacare: Insurance Companies Win Either Way
Insurance companies would love to see a Mitt Romney victory in November that would result in the arrival of "Romneycare."
But they'd be equally happy if President Barack Obama is re-elected and his Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land.
In short, the insurance companies will profit either way and are planning accordingly.
But how is this possible?
By extending insurance to millions of people previously without coverage Obamacare will provide insurance companies with millions of new customers, a development that clearly will boost their bottom lines.
Romney has promised to dismantle Obamacare and replace it with his own "Romneycare," but don't mistake this new version for the comprehensive reform plan he signed into law as governor of Massachusetts in 2006.
Romney says his new plan would free up the healthcare markets to increase competition and drive down costs.
But this new incarnation of Romneycare -- perhaps more accurately described as Romneycare 2.0 -- is unlikely to contain healthcare costs and almost certainly will deliver fatter profits to private insurance companies.
"Under [Obamacare] reform, you get market expansion, and that's a good thing" for health companies, Dan Mendelson, the chief executive of Avalere Health, a consultancy told The Wall Street Journal.
"Under Romney, it's going to be like managed-care city," he said.
One thing is clear, however -- neither Obamacare nor Romneycare can stop Americans from getting older and swelling the rolls of government medical plans.
And that will spell huge profits for the companies who manage government programs.
WellPoint (NYSE: WLP) Rides the Obamacare Profit Wave Even Higher
Merger Monday lived up to its moniker today with news that WellPoint Inc. (NYSE: WLP), one of the largest U.S. health insurers, inked a deal to acquire Amerigroup Corp (NYSE: AGP).
The $4.9 billion deal would make the Indianapolis-based company the top private manager of Medicaid benefits.
The strategic move underscores WellPoint's bid to shore up its Medicaid business following the recent Supreme Court decision upholding Obamacare. The combined company will have a Medicaid business presence in 19 states, the largest in the nation.
The transaction is expected to close in early 2013. Under the terms of the all-cash deal, WellPoint will pay a lofty $92 a share for all outstanding shares of Amerigroup, a nearly 43% premium to the company's closing price prior to announcement.
WellPoint CEO Angela F. Braly said in a statement, "We believe that this combination will create an industry in the government sector serving Medicaid and Medicare enrollees. This is an opportunity to capitalize on the strengths of both companies to better serve our members and position our companies for future growth as the health insurance industry changes."
WellPoint has been on a buying spree of late. In May, the company purchased contact lens retailer 1-800-Contacts, and last year it picked up CareMore, a provider of managed care for the elderly.
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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