Monday, December 21, 2009

The Senate Bill--Wall Street Likes It and the House Will Have To

In morning trading HMO stocks are once again hitting 52-week highs with each of the major publicly traded plans up 3% to 6% from their Friday gains.

Hospitals and pharmaceutical companies are also doing pretty well.

Liberals have been talking all weekend long about having to make the Senate bill better—and more like the House bill. That just won’t happen. Reid’s 60-vote majority is held together with bubble gum and bailing wire and can’t withstand any significant changes.

Look for lots of noise from House liberals on how they will demand more but the fact is there will be little if anything for them. And then, just like all the liberals in the Senate who back-peddled on all their bluster about not compromising over things like the public option, they will too.

There is a lot of anxiety over what some Democrats think was too good a deal for insurance companies. The stock market’s reaction to the bill this morning isn’t helping.

I would not be shocked to see House liberals demanding some more hits to the health insurance industry—perhaps in the form of more pre-2014 concessions—as part of a few face-saving measures before the House signs off.
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