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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

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations before leaving office

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump plans to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: This is a continuation of the president's controversial December spree that saw full pardons granted to more than two dozen people — including former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

  • The pardons set to be issued before Trump exits the White House will be a mix of criminal justice ones and pardons for people connected to the president, the sources said.
  • CNN first reported this news.

Go deeper: Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.