Health Law Having Effect On Managed-Care Firms, Medical Suppliers
Managed-care firms may be positioned for a rebound on the stock market, The Wall Street Journal reports. "Over the past two years, the Standard & Poor's 500 managed-care index has fallen about 19%, weighed down by the health overhaul bill, weak economy and specific industry issues. But now that the industry has successfully fought off a public health-plan option and is digesting new laws, investors see opportunity in the large managed-care companies" (Wisenberg Brin, 5/27).
In another article, The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires report that biotech companies and medical suppliers may also be "winners in the health overhaul." Some see "real value in companies with innovative products, like biotech concerns, which [some think] will give investors more bang for their buck than most big pharma companies." Other analysts "also [like] companies, such as distributors and drug stores, that should benefit from increased utilization of health-care services as more Americans gain insurance coverage" (Brin, 5/27).
Small business owners are worried they will lose money because of the new law, the Southeast Missourian reports. The law "requires employers with more than 50 employees to offer health insurance coverage or face fines by 2014." Though some businesses will get tax credits to help buy insurance starting now, not all owners are convinced the credits will offset cost increases. "The threat of penalties also will serve as a barrier to many companies to grow and hire new employees," a spokeswoman for a local business lobby said (Miller, 5/28).