Obamacare

Is Obamacare Creating a Part-Time America?

Time Sheet Q

America has become a part-time nation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that in June part-time employees in the labor force reached an all-time high of 28 million, 3 million more than when the recession began in 2007.

The economy lost 240,000 full-time jobs in June and added 360,000 part-time jobs, the BLS noted. Of the 753,000 jobs created this year, 589,000 were part time.

The real unemployment rate in June, the U6, stood at 14.3%, up from 13.8%, a figure that includes part-time workers seeking full-time jobs and those who have become discouraged and are no longer looking for work.

Now many economists and many in the financial press with sympathies to the administration have attributed the rise in part-time America to uncertainty among employers about future profitability and growth and not to the looming Obamacare mandate.

It's ironic that in trying to play down Obamacare's influence on the job market, they end up dissing the president's stewardship of the economy.

However, Obamacare has likely played a significant role in the part-time job wave. Under the Affordable Care Act, companies with 50 or more full-time workers must provide health insurance to all full-time employees, those working 30 or more hours per week.

So if your workers don't work 30 hours per week you don't have to provide health insurance. It makes economic sense to have a part-time work force in many cases. Even with the administration's recent one-year extension of implementing the employer mandate until 2015, most small companies are still preparing to it.

A reported 74% of small businesses are positioning themselves to slash hours, layoff workers or both.

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These Obamacare Facts Have Our Readers Rattled – Where Do You Stand?

Want to sound off about the most frustrating, upsetting Obamacare facts you’ve heard? Want to know how others are preparing? Here you go… Read more...

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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The Scariest Obamacare Facts Yet

The real Obamacare facts keep emerging as we get closer to the implementation of this law. Check out the seven scariest facts yet. Read more...

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...

Why Workers Are Getting Squeezed by Obamacare

Medical healthcare costs small Obamacare stipulates that large employers don't have to provide health insurance to those working fewer than 30 hours a week.

As a result, critics say, employers have increasingly cut worker hours to stay within the limit.

Fox Business' Stuart Varney noted Monday the latest jobs report showed 278,000 people were pushed involuntarily into part-time work when they wanted full-time work.

"In large part, that's because Obamacare's coming down the pike," Varney said.

The squeeze isn't happening only in the United States.

In Japan, employers have been limiting workers' hours to avoid paying health insurance for them for decades, Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald said on Fox Business' "Varney & Co."

Check out this video to hear Keith's take on the Obamacare provision and how it will affect American employees.

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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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Obamacare's War on Full-Time Jobs Will Sucker Punch Economy

Colorful pills isolated

Obamacare's rules regarding hours worked and employer-sponsored healthcare coverage have entire industries looking at cutting down on their number of full-time employees in favor of more part-time employees.

Large industries affected include hotels, restaurants and retailers, as well as small businesses of all stripes.

In essence, the hefty financial burden imposed by Obamacare for having too many full-time employees is creating a huge incentive for many employers to cut workers' hours, or, in some cases, avoid hiring altogether.

Tens of millions of American workers are at risk of being denied employer-sponsored health insurance as a result, and will end up with less pay to boot.

It could be a disaster for the still-lagging U.S. economy.

"If you want to have reduced work, lower wages and economic stagnation, this is a great way to do it," Ed Haislmaier, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told FOX News.

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How Obamacare Navigators Will Waste Your Time and Tax Money

Medical doctor female

The insurance exchanges mandated by the 2009 health care law will be so utterly baffling that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services now needs to hire of tens of thousands of "Obamacare navigators" - at a cost to taxpayers of $9 billion or more every year.

Anyone who uses the new exchanges will quickly find out why Obamacare navigators were deemed necessary. 

The draft application form for an individual is already up to 15 pages, while the form for a family is at 21 pages. And the instruction book is 61 pages.

"It's a lot of information that consumers are going to have to provide, and that could deter people from signing up," Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst at InsuranceQuotes.com, told MarketWatch. "That could be an issue for some people who don't like paperwork. And who likes paperwork?"

The government estimates the form will take anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes to complete, but that doesn't count all the information and document-gathering an applicant will need to do before even walking in the door of an exchange.

"If you like IRS forms, you're going to love this one," Ken Hoagland, chairman of conservative advocacy group Restore America's Voice, told MarketWatch. "These are the kinds of things that are going to drive people crazy."

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