This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Obama Health Care Plan Squeezes ETFs

Health care companies consider President Barack Obama's budget a potential profit-killer. Investors agreed and dumped their shares last week, dragging down exchange traded funds.

The budget aims to raise taxes and deduction limits for people who earn more than $250,000 a year. The ultimate goal is to raise $634 billion to help fix the health care system. The tax hikes will generate $318 billion of that amount, and the rest will be squeezed from Medicare, the government-sponsored health program for seniors.

The actual cost to create a universal health system is projected to be significantly higher than the budget estimates. To close the gap, the government might cut reimbursements paid to health-care providers, eroding profitability.

The Medicare Advantage plans offered by private insurers could lose as much as $175 billion. The Advantage program is on the chopping block because it pays 14% more to providers than Medicare would for the same services.

The health-care and biotechnology ETFs we track lost 7.4% during the five trading days that ended Feb. 26. The worst performer of the group, the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare Providers Index Fund (IHF), sank 16% after HealthSpring (HS), Humana (HUM - Get Report), WellCare Health Plans (WCG - Get Report), Psychiatric Solutions (PSYS) and UnitedHealth Group (UNH - Get Report) each lost at least a third of their values.

Obama promises that workers who like their company plans will be able to keep them. But if the government offers better benefits with lower premiums, private health groups might be forced to compete. If people move en masse to government plans, private insurers would suffer.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
HUM $168.39 0.00%
IHF $123.84 0.00%
RXL $66.63 0.00%
WCG $82.56 0.00%
UNH $114.41 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,813.39 +1.20 0.01%
S&P 500 2,088.87 -0.27 -0.01%
NASDAQ 5,116.1430 +13.3350 0.26%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs