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View Diary: Health insurance stock prices tell the story loud and clear. (68 comments)

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  •  No one disputes that. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Turkana, blueoasis

    The point is they are confident whatever finally hits the president's desk will be just fine for them.

    •  I dispute that! (3+ / 0-)
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      humphrey, MikMouse, nandssmith

      If HCR fails, so fails also the individual mandate, through which the government forces young healthy people into the clutches of the insurance companies, basically without strings. Never, ever has there been a bill in US history in which I am forced to pay money to a corporation merely for breathing air. [Or am I missing something?] I don't mind paying taxes to local and federal governments, and I'm ok with paying for car insurance, because diving is a privilege. But this is entirely different. Merely living is not a privilege.

      Don't forget about this gigantic and unprecedented win for the insurance companies!

      •  Right now, (1+ / 0-)
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        it's the Wild West out there for them. They can do whatever they want: not accept sick customers, kick off sick customers, cut off payments past a certain limit, raise rates indiscriminately (without recourse), and on and on.

        It's not pretty. Sure, this will bring them new customers, but it will also bring them new responsibilities and obligations. It will be a new world for them. They will now be bound by a social and regulatory pact, and will risk losing ALL business (on the exchanges, anyway) if they break it.

      •  Its Called Mandated Indentured Servitude (1+ / 0-)
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        Mark that term Mandated Indentured Servitude. We now live in a new world indentured to corporations. We have no choice. We must pay them money - ie Work for them!

        So we now have workers and owners. Note that WE are not the owners. It is not too far a stretch to claim that with this bill Congress establishes the principle that they own us.

        I miss the days when the people owned Congress.

    •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

      why do you use the 52-week range? Why not two or three years?

      52 weeks back puts us at a point when insurance investors would have already started worrying about health care reform.

      Look two years back, and you've got Aetna, for instance, at a high of close to $60. It's at $32 and change currently. That's hardly gangbusters.

      My sense is that they've come back some from the lows because they were worried about government competition. But they're still far below where they'd be if there was going to be no new government regulation.

      •  Because Obama wasn't president then. (3+ / 0-)
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        itskevin, blueoasis, Lovo

        Why compare the state of play under Bush to now?

        •  Fair enough... (0+ / 0-)

          I read the stock price picture as the stock prices coming back into a "middle ground" between the pre-Obama heady days and the post-Obama uncertainty days. It gets complicated because of the financial crisis at the end of last year, when all stocks were falling in concert, so I don't think we can clearly attribute strength in the insurers now (vs. at that time) to industry/regulatory issues over general market forces.

          •  When you compare BAC, C, JPM (0+ / 0-)

            to the health insurers, you don't see the drop in September or the rise in Nov and Dec.

            I think that's because they are not responding to the HCR debacle (from our point of view) in the same way.  That makes sense.  Their profit in the government screwing us with mandates and no options is not clear.

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