Health care still loves a divided Congress

Health care stocks skyrocketed after Tuesday’s election results indicated Republicans likely will maintain control of the Senate, all but assuring continued gridlock in both chambers of Congress.

A Republican Senate means “the public option and direct government negotiation on drug prices are dead for at least the next two years,” Spencer Perlman, an analyst at Veda Partners, wrote to investors Wednesday.

Health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and medical device firms scored the biggest stock gains.

  • The status quo has been lucrative for pretty much every sector of the health care industry, and the prospect of no major federal reform under Biden or President Trump would insulate employer coverage, which is the ultimate pot of gold.

The Supreme Court is about to hear a case that could invalidate the Affordable Care Act. If the conservative majority strikes down the entire law, the industry would face considerable upheaval after spending the past decade incorporating the law into their businesses.

  • Hospitals would be most affected by the Supreme Court invalidating the ACA: Millions of people would lose Medicaid and individual health coverage, resulting in more uncompensated care. Stocks of hospital companies like HCA Healthcare and Tenet Healthcare were down Wednesday.

This same health care stock surge happened after the 2018 midterms guaranteed congressional gridlock.


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