After three years and more than $400 million, it's obvious the technology underpinning Obamacare was woefully inadequate. But even if the government manages to fix the initial problems by late November, as it's promising now, that won't end the website's troubles.
- Early Problems with Obamacare Are Bigger Than a Glitch
- Obamacare Online Exchanges: 9 Real Life Experiences from Money Morning Readers
- The Scariest Obamacare Facts Yet
- Why Workers Are Getting Squeezed by Obamacare
- Romneycare vs. Obamacare: Insurance Companies Win Either Way
- WellPoint (NYSE: WLP) Rides the Obamacare Profit Wave Even Higher
- With or Without "Obamacare" These Healthcare Stocks Are Headed Higher
- Obamacare in the Balance: Key Takeaways from the Affordable Health Care Act Hearings
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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...
Three fast-paced days was all it took for nine justices to grill advocates arguing for and against the Affordable Care Act - better known as Obamacare.
A decision is expected in late June, just months before 2012 presidential elections.
Although it is notoriously difficult to predict U.S. Supreme Court decisions purely based on their questioning, here are my takeaways from these momentous three days.