The GOP-led U.S. House of Representatives has finally rolled out its "repeal and replace" health care bill, taking direct aim at the Affordable Care Act that stood as the signature achievement of the Obama administration.
The bill was released this week, and it didn't take long for the partisan gloves to come off arguing the bill's effectiveness, as both parties take hardline stances on "Trumpcare" versus "Obamacare."
As usual, we'll leave the bitter partisan bickering to the political experts. Instead, let's focus on the potential impact of the bill - if it passes into law - on health care industry companies, especially the stocks and funds that invest in that industry.
So far, the only item both Wall Street and health care sector experts agree on is that continued uncertainty remains the order of the day.
"There's no direct impact yet," says Martin Gaynor, professor of economics and health policy at Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College. "What we have is a proposed bill in its very initial stages. However, quite a few stakeholders are concerned: individuals who have coverage through the ACA, insurers, hospitals, doctors, and governors, among them."
Individuals are worried about whether they'll lose the coverage they have or if it will become substantially more expensive, Gaynor says. "Meanwhile, insurers are concerned about whether any changes will alter their ability to be in the black, or at least break even, in the individual health insurance market," he says. "Hospitals are concerned about whether they will experience an increase in the uncompensated care they provide."