By Jaimy Lee
Stocks of health care providers and health insurers are rallying Monday after Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Friday that she plans to hold off on Medicare for All legislation until the third year in her presidential term.
Shares of major commercial health plans like Cigna Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208431372/composite CI -1.81% , CVS Health Corp. /zigman2/quotes/209664499/composite CVS -1.35% and UnitedHealth Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210453738/composite UNH -0.88% are slightly up; however, managed care firms, including Centene Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208900023/composite CNC -2.17% , Molina Healthcare Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205492029/composite MOH -1.48% and WellCare Health Plans Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207459018/lastsale WCG +1.35% are reporting larger jumps in share price.
Analysts say Warren’s delay in pursuing Medicare for All legislation until 2023 should lessen industry fears about a battle in Congress in 2021. “This should be a positive for managed care and hospital names,” Raymond James /zigman2/quotes/201697413/composite RJF -0.35% analysts wrote in a note Friday.
SunTrust Robinson Humphrey’s David MacDonald on Monday raised price targets for nine companies. “The Medicare for All plan release provides improved clarity and likely allays some concerns,” he wrote in a note. “We continue to view the managed care companies as a key part of the health care cost solution.”
Warren announced she instead plans to make a number of smaller changes that expand health insurance coverage in her first 100 days in office and then later focus on a more comprehensive Medicare for All bill after the 2022 midterms. The first phase of her plan includes offering Medicare for All to children and to low-income families. “No later than my third year in office, I will fight to pass legislation that would complete the transition to full Medicare for All,” Warren said.
Sen. Bernie Sanders released his Medicare for All plan in April.
Shares of hospital operators were mixed in morning trading. Universal Health Services Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208539347/composite UHS -0.80% and HCA Healthcare Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205934574/composite HCA -0.87% were down a little over 1% in afternoon trading, after rallying on Friday. Tenet Healthcare Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207964487/composite THC -2.35% tacked on 0.3% after climbing 3.6% on Friday, while Community Health Systems Inc. shares /zigman2/quotes/203657360/composite CYH -1.10% followed a 9.4% surge on Friday with a 2.9% pullback on Monday.
The SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF /zigman2/quotes/205918244/composite XLV -0.62% slipped 0.3% on Monday, after rising 2.1% on Friday, which was the biggest one-day gain since Jan. 4. The ETF is up 12.3% year-to-date, while the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.19% is up 24.6% over the same time.