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Investors in healthcare stocks unfazed by ACA drama

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Despite Republican threats to destroy the Affordable Care Act, healthcare stocks  are generally doing very well and people in the sector generally don’t expect the GOP to make major changes in what turns out to be a remarkably sturdy ACA.

Bloomberg News reports:

“Healthcare companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index have rallied 16 percent this year, beating the overall market’s 11 percent gain. Insurers, the companies tied most closely to the Affordable Care Act, are up even more at 22 percent.

“Wall Street’s apparent indifference to the possibility that Republicans will succeed in repealing the ACA shows how the for-profit health industry has largely separated itself from the law’s fate. ”

“’It’s really steady as she goes,’ said Les Funtleyder, a health investor at E Squared Capital Management. ‘Most of the stocks are basically calling the Congress’s bluff, in that really nothing material is going to happen.’’’

“Republicans appear to be scaling back their ambitions. One possible path forward is a ‘skinny repeal,’ ending just a handful of the law’s most controversial features. GOP senators would likely push to halt requirements for all people to have health insurance and for companies to provide health coverage for full-time workers. A repeal of the tax on medical devices might also be included. But the insurance subsidies and Medicaid expansion would remain.”

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