Obamacare's health exchanges opened on October 1. Hopefully you weren't one of the unlucky guinea pigs who attempted to sign up with a system so crummy that even the Washington Post is calling it a disaster.
Though Obamacare has been the law of the land for 3½ years, this marks its first major milestone that impacts Americans on an individual level. That's because Obama designed his crowning achievement to phase in slowly, over nine years—probably a good idea considering it's a hive of onerous regulations and 20-something new taxes that, if unleashed all at once, would wallop the US economy. Better to boil the frogs slowly.
The next major milestone is approaching fast. On January 1, the individual mandate will take effect, forcing all Americans to either buy health insurance or pay a penalty. Well, almost all Americans. If you happen to be friends with Obama, or a donor, union, or political ally who supports him, you may get a waiver, which you'll read more about below.
Given that the impact of Obamacare will only grow from here on out, I asked Dr. Lee Vliet—physician and acclaimed Obamacare expert—what we should expect as the calendar turns to 2014.
Importantly, Dr. Vliet is independent in every sense of the word. Not only is she an independent physician, she's also a registered political Independent, and has no ties to pharmaceutical, insurance, political, or any other interests. Like any good doctor, she is professionally concerned with one thing and one thing only: her patients. You'll find her criticisms of Obamacare quite harsh, but only because she's disturbed about the impact it will have on her patients. ...