Earlier this morning Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) unveiled his committee’s health care bill, which has no public option and mandates that everyone buy insurance. While Baucus has failed to garner support from any congressional Republicans and has outraged progressives, there has been one very positive response to his proposal.
Following Baucus’ announcement, HealthNet shares increased by 3%, United Health Group Inc shares rose by 2.7%, Humana Inc. grew by 2.6%, Wellpoint stock gained 1.7% and Aetna Inc rose 1.6%:
Earlier this week, ThinkProgress interviewed Wendell Potter — a former health insurance executive — who pointed out that “every time there is an article in a big newspaper questioning the success of progressives in getting a good bill passed, the stock will go up.” “The analysts/investors don’t think any good reform is going to happen, or anything that would happen that would adversely affect the insurance companies,” he said. Watch it:
In fact, since the President signaled that he is backing away from the public option, health insurance stocks have been on the rise. “Health-care investors are starting to breathe a sigh of relief as they feel the worst case could be averted,” John Sullivan, director of research at Leerink Swann, told the Wall Street Journal in August. “Health-care stocks have risen 22% since late February, when President Barack Obama began his push for an overhaul; the overall market is up 38%” between late February and August.