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TheStreet Open House

Brown's Win Overrated: Today's Outrage

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Scott Brown's victory in the Massachusetts special election to replace the late Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy is not a new American mandate for the Republican agenda.

Whatever the pundits say, this is the voice of the 6.5 million folks in Massachusetts speaking not all 304 million Americans.

That said, Brown's victory will have a national impact because he replaces a liberal icon in Congress and breaks the Democrats' filibuster-proof majority.

Some are interpreting this as the death knell for President Obama's health reform agenda because the Democrats no longer control enough Senate seats to thwart Republican efforts to forestall votes. Democrats had enjoyed the magic three-fifths majority of 60 votes that allowed them to ram through their agenda when everyone in the party fell in line.

I don't think that's the case either. The notion that health care reform is dead hugely underestimates Obama.

Nonetheless, we started to see a health care rally yesterday as the Massachusetts election unfolded, and many are expecting health care investors to cheer Brown's win today.

We may indeed see more gains for HMO stocks like Humana (HUM) and UnitedHealth (UNH) and some analysts have singled out drug makers like Eli Lilly (LLY) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) as having much to gain from the defeat of health care reforms.

Long ago, major insurers stopped playing nice on health reform and began a campaign to paint the plan as an expensive, ill-conceived proposal that will raise the cost of health care for all Americans. The insurance group leading the attacks is called America's Health Insurance Plans, which represents 1,300 insurance companies, including big names like Aetna (AET), Cigna (CI), and WellPoint (WLP).

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