UPDATE 1-Hospital shares jump, insurers fall after Obama win
Nov 7 (Reuters) - Shares in hospitals jumped on Wednesday as President Barack Obama's victory cleared the path for U.S. healthcare reform laws to be enacted as planned, but health insurer stocks fell because of the possible costs of those changes. Hospital companies including HCA Holdings Inc. were up as their costs for paying for services for the poor are expected to drop over time thc.as the ranks of the insured grow starting in 2014. About 30 million more people are expected to be insured over the next decade. After the stock market opened, HCA rose 7 percent to $33.21. Tenet Healthcare Corp. gained 5.7 percent to $26.40 and Community Health Systems was up 9.4 percent to $31.29. But the election results were not initially viewed as favorable for healthcare insurers with large employer-based businesses, including UnitedHealth Group and Aetna and their shares were off. Healthcare reform sets limits on the companies profits and mandates on coverage. UnitedHealth dropped 2.6 percent to $54.92 and Aetna fell 3.4 percent to $43.04. "There's a little bit of disappointment that you're not going to see any easing of the regulations on the insurance industry that are going to be put into place under the Affordable Care Act. At the same time it's not a change in the current operating environment. It's mostly just a change in expectations," Leerink Swann analyst Jason Gurda said. Healthcare reform is, however, expected to help insurers who cater to the poor through Medicaid insurance as more states are expected to expand their programs under Obama, and shares in Centene Corp. for instance rose 8 percent to $43.13.
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