Nov 7 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
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.