A medical bill that won congressional approval Wednesday would cancel a planned 11% pay cut to physicians who treat Medicare patients -- a move funded by cutting reimbursements to insurers.
In an unexpectedly early return to vote, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D, Mass.) who in June had surgery to remove a malignant brain tumor, helped champion the measure.
The bill is funded in large part by cutting some $13 billion in reimbursements to insurers -- such as
-- that contract with Medicare, according to the
report cited Lehman Brothers analyst Tony Clapsis who predicted that shares of companies that operate a lucrative version of the Medicare Advantage program, dubbed fee-for-service, will be weaker today.
Medicare covers 44 million elderly and disabled Americans, while roughly 10 million seniors use the private plans known as Medicare Advantage.
Stocks in the health-care space were generally trading lower Thursday morning. UnitedHealth edged down 15 cents, or 0.7%, to $22.78, while Aetna slipped 25 cents, or 0.7%, to $37.
was down 78 cents, or 2%, at $37.86;
was losing 81 cents, or 8.5%, to $8.67;
Coventry Health Care
was down $1.20, or 4%, at $28.90.
lost 27 cents, or 0.8% to $35.34, and
lost 70 cents, or 1.5%, to $46.85.
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.