Insurance Issues

Obamacare's Impact on German Firms

Obamacare-AP
Pharmaceutical firms hoped Obamacare would lead to more refill slips.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    U.S. health care reforms are helping millions get insurance, but the long-term impact on the wider pharmaceutical industry remains far less clear.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • U.S. President Obama’s health care reforms were first introduced in 2010 to improve care for more than 40 million uninsured Americans.
    • The newly insured are expected to bring companies $115 billion in extra revenue over 10 years.
    • Germany’s Fresenius Medical Care reported a 3-percent decline in profits in 2014, in part due to reduced services compensation and new taxes stemming from the U.S. law.
  • Audio

    Audio

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The patients waiting in the Catherine M. Abate Health Center in Manhattan aren’t suffering from toothaches or any other illnesses. They just want to prevent such things from happening in the future – and have decided to insure themselves in advance.

For this, they have made their ways to this non-profit medical center in south east New York. In total, there were two dozen who came to sign up for what has become known as “Obamacare.” They want to have a worry-free life and were hoping to get the cheap type of health insurance that U.S. President Barack Obama had promised.

After some enormous starting hurdles, the prestige project of Mr. Obama’s first term in office has been doing well. Some 16.4 million Americans have bought policies under the program, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. More than 7 million of these previously didn’t have any insurance in the case of illness. That makes it the most successful social reform in the United States in decades.

Pharmaceutical and medical technology firms had been hoping for a win-win situation. The hope has been that more insured patients will profit from their products, prompting revenues to soar.

But the industry may have been dreaming about Obamacare’s potential too early, and too enthusiastically.

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