Gov Careers

By Phil Piemonte

Blog archive

The more things change ...

If you are still steaming over impending health insurance premium increases, or get angry (one way or the other) when someone mentions “Obamacare,” then you probably should stop reading this.

Late this afternoon, we spotted a headline that said the stock market was moving higher ahead of the mid-term election results. So of course we had to have a look.

When we checked the tickers toward the end of the trading day, the Dow as up a little over a half percent (somewhere around 60 points), the NASDAQ was up about 1 percent and the S&P 500 had risen about 0.75 percent. Decent increases, but nothing exceptional.

At the same time, on a whim, we checked to see how the health insurance sector was doing. Interestingly enough, the health insurance sector as a whole had gone up more than four times what the Dow had—a composite 2.4 percent by late afternoon.

Within the sector, the top 10 intraday increases belonged pretty much to the big health insurance companies you’d expect. Increases among them during the trading day ranged from about 2.25 percent to just over 4 percent.

While we don’t pretend to be Wall Street wizards, and all of these numbers may mean nothing, we can’t help thinking that that those who invest in health insurance stocks believe that the anticipated turnover of control of (at least) the House is going to improve the financial success of those companies. More profits, and so on.

Nothing wrong with profits, of course. Almost anyone who owns a mutual fund probably has some indirect ownership of health insurance stocks. A lot of the big firms reported very healthy earnings in the latest quarter. And companies are in business to make money for shareholders like you. Shareholders with high insurance premiums.

What does it all mean? Is there a way to adjust the system so everyone benefits? You tell us. We’re too tired to think about it anymore.

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Nov 02, 2010 at 12:13 PM


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