" Isn't more likely that Private companies that are beholden to the Gov't will just fade away"
"Fade?" Maybe. Maybe not.
Remember that the feds and states have no administrative capacity to handle the enrollment, eligibility verification, claims adjudication, issuance of benefit reimbursements, and related accounting functions. The feds and the states hire private companies to do these things, and it's a big business for the private companies. I doubt that will change - in fact as the feds grow their insurance presence, that private business will most likely also grow.
So it's not at all clear what will happen over time.
poboy, your predictions about the insurance giants may turn out to be true, but I think you are missing a few things:
1. You are confusing private insurance with public programs. For example, the great majority who are now enrolling because of Obamacare are enrolling in Medicaid. This will not affect private insurers' bottom lines. And, for example, Obamacare does not affect Medicare at all (other than reducing its funding.)
2. So far very few have enrolled in private plans thru the exchanges, yet millions of private policies have been terminated for non-compliance with ACA regulations. At this rate, there will be even fewer people covered by private insurance on January 1, 2014 than on January 1, 2013. Losing business like this is damaging the insurers, not helping them.
3. No one knows what the demographic will be for the people who eventually enroll in private plans thru the exchanges. If it turns out to be a mostly older population, the premiums - even if subsidized - are less likely to cover the costs. That will damage the insurers.
4. The private insurance subsidy is a part of the total premium, not some addition to the premium. In other words, the subsidy helps individuals, not insurance companies. If the total premiums (including the subsidies) are not sufficient to cover the total cost, the insurance company still loses money.
5. You suggest private insurance will take over the "space" that Medicare holds. That's highly unlikely under ACA because, as already noted, ACA only affects Medicare funding. In fact, the only intersection between private insurance and Medicare is Medicare Advantage - which Obama has stated he wishes to kill off by reducing its funding. So it's much more likely that Medicare will expand into the Medicare Advantage space now occupied by private insurance.
It's unclear whether this stock is a definite buy or a definite sell and it may turn out to be neither.
The individual mandate may not prove to be a game-changing factor because (1) individual insurance is only about 5%-7% of the market is mandated (2) so far, the large majority of individual enrollments have come into MEdicaid i.e., welfare, not insurance, (3) who knows how many young people will volunteer to be ripped off rather than pay the fine? and (4) the feds intend to kill the individual market anyway.
On the other hand, fears of insurance companies disappearing seem way overblown - because the feds will always need a massive private sector to administer the monstrosities they create.
neo, sorry to read you have learned so little in the past 4 years.
You still don't understand how insurance works. Worse, you still don't demonstrate any understanding that insurance is expensive because medical care is expensive. Because you don't understand these things, you are bound to be disappointed in National Health Care when it comes (I agree with you that it will come).
National Health Care is welfare - not technically insurance - but its cost will rise the same way private insurance does now. And you will find your cost rising for no reason related directly to you, just as you find that's true of private insurance.
Your expectations for National Health Care are starting out pretty high so it's possible you will be even more disappointed with it than you are now. Just keep in mind you won't be able to cancel your National Health Care.