This blog post originally appeared on RealMoney Silver on Jan. 20 at 7:59 a.m. EST.
I fully recognize that the crowd usually outsmarts the remnants and that the momentum in health care stocks and in the overall market has been strong.
The conventional view is that the Massachusetts election result will kill health reform and, thus, is bullish for health care stocks and for the market as a whole, but, for several reasons, I think that the crowd could prove mistaken on this one. I would not be surprised to see both health care stocks and the major market indices sell off over the short term.
A Scott Brown Senate win was growing more likely over the course of the past week. This was not unnoticed by investors in health care stocks; the group has already ripped in anticipation of a Democratic loss, and so have the overall markets lifted.The health care legislation and reform can't die -- it can be modified -- or the Democratic party will have a problem for a long period of time. Moreover, it is unclear whether the Democratic Senate plurality (of 60 votes) will ultimately be a health care game-changer; it might just be a time out. The Democrats won't go down easily and shouldn't be underestimated. I am fairly certain that last night's defeat will not change the President's agenda, nor will it likely push Obama toward the center or in a major course correction. In fact, the Massachusetts Republican Senate win could conceivably result in administration policy initiatives that are much more punitive toward those who are seen as being privileged relative to the ("oppressed") masses (e.g., banks, brokerages and the wealthy).