Wall Street continued to batter health care stocks last week, especially the health insurance names, which erased tens of billions of dollars in market value.

What we're hearing: People are citing fears of "Medicare for All" as the driving force behind the sell-off, although it’s not as simple as that. Regardless, many stock analysts are imploring investors to ignore the Democrats' health care plan.

  • "Health care lawmaking is difficult, and change occurs infrequently," wrote Spencer Perlman, director of health care research at Veda Partners. "This is not a bug in the American political system, it is its design. Enacting a wholesale change of the American health care system is highly unlikely, and we urge investors to follow the M4A debate with a wary eye." 
  • "It's a once in a decade opportunity to get high-quality names at these depressed multiples," analysts at SVB Leerink said of health insurers, adding that if a Democratic supermajority could not pull off M4A in 2009, then the chances of it happening this time are "overblown." 
  • Gary Taylor of J.P. Morgan wrote to investors that insurance stocks likely will fall even further as part of a broader market correction, but they could improve a lot if "[Joe] Biden wins the Democratic nomination without changing his current view against single-payer."

The big picture: The stock prices of 5 of the largest health insurers (Anthem, Centene, Cigna, Humana and UnitedHealth) still have all vastly outperformed the broader stock market since the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010.

Late breaking: UnitedHealth filed its annual proxy statement late Friday.

  • CEO Dave Wichmann, who railed against M4A during the company's earnings call last week, made $21.5 million in 2018 compared with $83.2 million in 2017.
  • Stephen Hemsley, the former CEO who sits as UnitedHealth's executive chairman, made $66 million in 2018 compared with $27.2 million in 2017.

Go deeper: Political uncertainty could bring volatility to health care stocks

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Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 21,020,216 — Total deaths: 761,393— Total recoveries: 13,048,303Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 5,289,323 — Total deaths: 167,948 — Total recoveries: 1,774,648 — Total tests: 64,831,306Map.
  3. Health: CDC: Survivors of COVID-19 have up to three months of immunity Fauci believes normalcy will return by "the end of 2021" with vaccine — The pandemic's toll on mental health.
  4. Business: How small businesses got stiffed — Unemployment starts moving in the right direction.
  5. Cities: Coronavirus pandemic dims NYC's annual 9/11 Tribute in Light.
  6. Politics: Biden signals fall strategy with new ads.

Harris: "Women are going to be a priority" in Biden administration

Sen. Kamala Harris at an event in Wilmington, Del. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In her first sit-down interview since being named Joe Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris talked about what she'll do to fight for women if elected VP, and how the Democrats are thinking about voter turnout strategies ahead of November.

What they're saying: "In a Biden-Harris administration women are going to be a priority, understanding that women have many priorities and all of them must be acknowledged," Harris told The 19th*'s Errin Haines-Whack.

Facebook goes after Apple

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Facebook is seeking to force a face-off with Apple over its 30% in-app purchase commission fee, which Facebook suggests hurts small businesses struggling to get by during the pandemic.

The big picture: Facebook has never publicly gone after Apple, a key strategic partner, this aggressively. Both companies face antitrust scrutiny, which in Apple's case has centered on the very fee structure Facebook is now attacking.