Hospital Stocks Rise on Supreme Court Decision
In a surprise decision, which saw Chief Justice John Roberts side with the liberal contingency on the Supreme Court, the vast majority of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (better known as Obamacare) has been upheld -- including the individual mandate. The ruling has caused large moves in a number of subsectors in the health care industry. Several circuit breakers have been tripped in hospital stocks in particular, which have soared on the decision.
The Court's ruling will benefit hospitals because far fewer patients will be uninsured, reducing the number of patients who receive treatment and do not pay.
Among the winners are Tenet Healthcare (NYSE: THC), which was up around 6% late Thursday morning to $5.27 and Community Health Systems (NYSE: CYH), which jumped almost 7% to $27.20. Other hospital names that moved higher include Health Management Associates (NYSE: HMA), HCA Holdings (NYSE: HCA) and LifePoint Hospitals (NASDAQ: LPNT). An analyst on CNBC also said that Universal Health Services (NYSE: UHS) will be a beneficiary of the ruling. That stock was up a little better than 3% to $40.51.
Managed care and Medicaid stocks also reacted favorably to the ruling. Amerigroup (NYSE: AGP) was up almost 6%, Centene (NYSE: CNC) added nearly 7%, and Molina Healthcare (NYSE: MOH) was up 8%. Another name that surged was WellCare Health Plans (NYSE: WCG), up more than 8% to $53.72. Commercial managed care stocks fell in the wake of the surprise decision.
WellPoint (NYSE: WLP) was halted at one point, and it was last trading down about 7%. Aetna (NYSE: AET) shares are traded lower, along with Coventry Health (NYSE: CVH) and UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH). Managed care and Medicaid stocks such as Humana (NYSE: HUM) and Universal American Corp. (NYSE: UAM) were mixed. Humana shares had lost 3% to just over $77.00, while Universal American was up slightly on the news.
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