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Will Obamacare Crush These Health Care Giants?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, now commonly referred to as Obamacare, remains one of the most contentious issues in the United States. After the widely reported "glitches" that accompanied the rollout of the online exchanges in October, the finger pointing on Capitol Hill that soon followed in November, and the latest enrollment figures released by the Department of Health and Human Services this week, the impact of the ACA is still unclear for many consumers and health care investors.

Despite the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the implementation of Obamacare, however, many managed care stocks have performed well this year and haven't seen massive declines since the exchanges were launched on Oct. 1. Shares of WellPoint (NYSE: ANTM  ) have climbed more than 50% in the last 12 months, and UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH  ) , another major health insurer, has also outperformed the market in the last year.

WLP Total Return Price Chart

Source: YCharts.

So what drove the stellar performance of these stocks over the last 12 months, and are there still opportunities ahead despite the challenges and ambiguity? Senior analyst Michael Olsen discusses these topics with health care bureau chief Max Macaluso in the video below.

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Read/Post Comments (7) | Recommend This Article (1)

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  • Report this Comment On December 13, 2013, at 7:11 PM, joegoldner wrote:

    Obamacare was designed to destroy the healthcare insurance companies from the beginning. The idea is to get to a single payer government run healthcare system. The insurance companies were fools to side with Obama and the Democrats. In 2014 every Democrat will choke on Obamacare and lose their elections. FIRE DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ IN 2014! PINK SLIP DEBBIE!

  • Report this Comment On December 13, 2013, at 10:23 PM, altmd71 wrote:

    Buying health insurance company stocks is like playing craps in Vegas. The present administration will destroy them in an instant to get a single payer system.

  • Report this Comment On December 14, 2013, at 1:06 PM, Suthenbelle wrote:

    I love it! It's about time the insurance companies got screwed!!! Just like they have been doing it to consumers for years. And according to Consumer Report majority of insurance plans from traditional insurance companies are JUNK POLICES. So I don't feel sorry for them nor their share holders. They've been robbing people for years. That thing that capitalism lovers love is competition. Competition is all that Obamacare is. Why are insurance companies and their supporter so upset? Because now the market has a competitor with a more superior product at a low price? Oh... yeah.. I don't have ANY pity for them. No more than they had pity for cancelling people policies WAAAAY before the Affordable Healthcare Act was passed. Necessity is the mother of invention. It was necessary to provide people with health insurance that they could actually help people that they could afford. That bubble that the insurance companies created may not pop, but the air is slowly but surely being released. I'm sure if insurance companies really wanted to compete with the ACA they'd come up with a product that was able to do so vs complaining or raising prices on their consumers just to maintain their unethical, greedy practices of old.

  • Report this Comment On December 14, 2013, at 1:58 PM, mlfool wrote:

    The question is "Will Obamacare Crush These Health Care Giants?" The answer is "Will Obamacare crush us?" and the answer is yes. It will crush all competition and which will cause rates to go up and service to go down.

  • Report this Comment On December 14, 2013, at 10:12 PM, MS wrote:

    If those giants are not crushed they will he wounded. The ACA was designed for government profits like for national debt, sience, education ect. So it also has to ration you from your healthcare to pay for all of that. Also, sticking up for ACA wont get you better care, im prof of that. In 2007 i helped implimate ACA into my doctors office during the sweeping state test so i could get care though him while on ACA. Result, lost all meds, had no treatment, doc even called them and argued on my behalf. Still nothing. So he left the ACA. Was many years ago and i was in ACA for a moth or 2. Now same problem. over 6 years later its the sole responcibility of the ACA to provide me a ACA doctor and my rep even called them, went to thier door for 2 weeks every day and no answer there, mailed them. After ACA was informed, they said they would send me my paperwork to start seeing a doctor. Took i think a few years to get them to realise i have no doctor. To this day, they have not sent the paperwork so i can start seeing a doctor. And they were contacted and talked to about it by my local rep. Again, sticking up for ACA will NOT get you better care. So dont be fooled people.

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2013, at 4:26 AM, energizedat54 wrote:

    Do you have questions about Obamacare - Read the following:

    After scrutinizing the new plans offered by Care-first BCBS in Maryland, I have learned that at ages, me - 54 and my husband - 61, respectively, our periodic prenatal visits are free of charge and our blood work for prescriptions is essentially uncovered... that is until we reach our deductible of $3,500.00 per person coupled with a $655.00 monthly premium. That quote is defined as the "Bronze" Obamacare PPO Plan offered by Carefirst in MD.

    Just last week, I visited my doctor in Carroll County, MD for a prescription renewal, one for which he ordered blood work. The blood work cost me $370.00 and the doctor's visit $120.00. I paid $490.00 for a $20.00 prescription that I've been taking for ten years for a Hypothyroid condition. I'm absolutely positive that the doctor has no idea how much that blood work cost.

    Needless to say, I've requested my entire 30 year medical file in order to scrutinize the history of the blood work, the test results, etc. to negotiate directly with the doctor and these labs before I go completely broke.

    Managing my little condition speaks nothing of the significant conditions, with which many suffer. The order of the day is one of taking charge of your own medical care and managing it yourself. That's where we are, like it or not.

  • Report this Comment On December 23, 2013, at 4:55 PM, BCBS wrote:

    To MS, ACA has not started yet so your your bs paragraph is just that, bs.

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