Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Psychiatric Hospitals Major Beneficiary of Obamacare"

Continuing yesterday's look at the political economy of the election.
From Barron's:
The president's re-election should help hospitals and insurers who can benefit from health-care reform. However, medical-device makers and big insurers may struggle.

With the re-election of President Barack Obama, investors can look to 2014 when as many as 30 million uninsured Americans could have health benefits under provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.

Granted, it stands as one of the most contentious pieces of legislation passed in recent memory. Its critics remain vocal. But with the legislation affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court, the campaign to repeal all or some of the law is now a lost cause.

Just look at how stock prices are moving Wednesday. Shares of HCA (ticker: HCA) soared 9.7% to almost $34, leading gainers in the Morgan Stanley Health-Care Provider Index. And at $43 a share, Medicaid insurer Centene (CNC) rose more than 8.4% in afternoon trading amid a growing belief that profit will soar along with membership in Medicaid programs. Share prices should keep climbing over the next year.
Yet Obama's victory doesn't clear away all the clouds hanging over the health-care sector.
To help defray the cost of giving all Americans health benefits, medical-device makers will have to start paying excise taxes next year, while drug makers must give bigger price rebates to Medicaid and Medicare patients.

And big health insurers like Aetna (AET), WellPoint (WLP) and UnitedHealth Group (UNH) face tough new rules governing how they do business that could squeeze future profits....MORE
See also:
Psychiatric Hospital Operator Jumps on Obamacare Ruling (UHS)

Along with the firearms manufacturers UHS was one of yesterday's winners, up 4.3% to $45.60.