Health-insurer stocks rallied Wednesday after Democrats took control of the U.S. House in Tuesday’s elections, buffering further attempts by the GOP to repeal or further weaken Obamacare.
The approval of Medicaid expansion referendumsin Idaho, Nebraska in addition to Utah was also seen as positive for insurers. The expansion would likely mean potentially thousands of poor Americans gaining access to health-care coverage.
Shares of UnitedHealth Group in addition to Humana were up more than 4 percent in intraday trading Wednesday. Anthem’s stock was soaring more than 5 percent.
More Americans with health coverage was also seen as boding well for hospitals. Shares of hospital stocks HCA Healthcare in addition to Tenet Healthcare were higher midmorning Wednesday.
“Coverage won last night,” Benjamin Isgur, a director of the Health Research Institute, told CNBC. With Democrats taking control of the House, “there probably won’t be some major policy change in terms of the current health-care policy we have going from the system.”
Health care emerged as a key issue This particular year, with 41 percent of voters saying that will was their No. 1 concern from the election, followed by immigration, the economy in addition to gun control, according to an NBC News exit poll.
Democrats, who pushed a health-care message during midterms, flipped enough seats to take the House majority away through Republicans in Tuesday’s election. Republicans, however, kept control of the Senate in addition to added seats.
Isgur expects Democrats taking the House likely will slow, although not stop, the Republican Party’s pursuit of their health-care agenda, which he said has focused on recasting the role of the federal government from the U.S. health industry.
President Donald Trump in addition to the Republican Party have threatened to repeal the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, in addition to GOP lawmakers have cited budget concerns due to increased enrollment in federal health programs.
Both Democrats in addition to Republicans have pledged to bring down high health-care costs from the U.S. although are divided on how to do so.
Matt Borsch, health-care analyst at BMO Capital, said he expects a “mixed” outcome for Medicaid expansion. He said offsetting outcomes include the election of GOP governors in Florida in addition to Georgia who are both against Medicaid expansion.