Healthcare Stocks Unfazed by Obama Plan

The market appears unfazed by fresh news about a new Obama healthcare proposal, and is keeping healthcare stocks in positive territory Monday.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- The market appears to be unfazed by Obama's latest healthcare proposals, having so far kept health care insurance stocks trading in positive territory Monday -- indeed, shares in the health care stocks are up, across the board, on the day.

Among the most attention-grabbing aspects of Obama's proposal is the President's goal to empower the U.S. government to limit premium rate hikes by health insurers.

WellPoint

(WLP)

, which the Obama Administration has made an example of in its goal of pushing through reform plans, has risen 1.4% to $59.30. The company is being scrutinized for planning rate hikes of up to 39% for hundreds of thousands of individual Anthem Blue Cross policyholders in California.

Meanwhile,

UnitedHealth

(UNH) - Get Report

advanced 2.3% at $32.70, while

Humana

(HUM) - Get Report

jumped 3.6% to $47, helped by an announcement by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services estimating a preliminary 1.38% rise in Medicare Advantage payments for 2011.

HealthSpring

(HS)

, which also generates significant top-line growth from Medicare plans, jumped 3.8% to $18.70. HealthSpring recently reported fourth quarter earnings that topped analysts estimates, helped by a 25.5% increase in Medicare premium revenue. The company expects its earnings to be in the range of $2.25 to $2.50 a share for 2010, while analysts by consensus expect the company to earn $2.27 a share.

Aetna

(AET)

has risen 1.5% to $29.40 and

CIGNA

(CI) - Get Report

has increased 1.8% to $33.40.

Also,

Health Net

(HNT)

has inched up 0.7% to $23.10.

WellCare Health Plans

(WCG) - Get Report

is 0.5% lower at $26.10, and

Molina

(MOH) - Get Report

is up 1.5% at $21.80.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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