Morning CheckUp: April 3, 2012

Health insurance stocks rally after SCOTUS hearing: “Now that the Supreme Court has given a glimpse of how it will consider the healthcare overhaul, more investors in health insurance stocks are breathing easier about the eventual ruling. Wall Street is less worried about the worst-case scenario for insurers: that the court strikes down the individual mandate requiring people buy insurance, but keeps in place provisions that could force insurers to cover more sick, high-cost Americans. Investors also increasingly believe the whole law may be tossed out, analysts said, which could boost health insurer stocks in the near term. Several analysts pointed to UnitedHealth Group as a stock that should do well regardless of the ruling, while Aetna Inc has been a strong performer this week .” [Reuters]

Democrats wage pressure campaign on SCOTUS: “Democrats have waged a not-so-subtle pressure campaign on the Supreme Court in recent days by warning a ruling against the healthcare reform law would smash precedent and threaten popular social programs. President Obama was the latest to weigh in when he declared Monday that a wide array of legal experts would be astonished if the court struck down part or all of his signature domestic initiative.” [The Hill]

Romney responds to Obama’s SCOTUS prediction: “Isn’t this wonderful to finally have a liberal talking about judicial activism? I think we can come together on this. We’ve been concerned about judicial activism for years and years and years,” Mitt Romney said Monday night in response to Obama’s suggestion that overturning the Affordable Care Act would constitute judicial activism. }What the president’s complaining about, however, is that the Supreme Court might actually apply the Constitution to the bill that he passed! And the whole purpose of the Supreme Court is to make sure that Congress does not pass laws that are in violation of the Constitution.” [GOP12]

California officials hope to protect reform: “As doubts grow about the survival of the federal health care law, state officials are considering ways to keep key elements of the legislation alive in California.” [The Sacramento Bee]


Health statistics help shape local health policies: “Better access to health care data helps local governments improve preventive health policies aimed at reducing overall medical costs, say researchers who released the third annual national County Health Rankings today.” [USA Today]