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Photo: David Hogan/Getty Images

The S&P 500 is up by more than 300% over the past nine years. The S&P Managed Care sector, which includes the country's biggest health insurers, is up more than 1,100% over the same period.

Why it matters: That's a big surprise for some analysts, who in 2009 thought the ACA would be bad news for the insurance industry, CNBC reports.

Flashback: Insurers' stocks were at a particularly low point in 2009, when the overall stock market hit its recession-era bottom, in part because investors were worried about regulations in what would become the ACA.

Surprise! Giving an industry millions of new customers, with most of their purchases subsidized by the federal government, is actually quite good for the bottom line.

Between the lines: The ACA's Medicaid expansion has been the biggest boon, CNBC writes, because it coincided with so many states transitioning to Medicaid managed care — allowing private insurers to administer their programs.

  • Diversification — like UnitedHealth Group's growing Optum unit — also helped.

The biggest winners, per CNBC:

  • United's stock has gone up 1,400% since 2009. Centene is up 1,800%, and Medicaid insurer WellCare is up 4,000%.

Wall Street isn't worried about the future. Despite their panic about the ACA in 2009, at least some investors now aren't even too worried about the growing popularity of single-payer.

  • "Even if it's Medicare for all, it would probably be Medicare Advantage for All," Standard & Poor's analyst Deep Banerjee tells CNBC. "Health care today is a public-private partnership ... it's very hard to see a system without a private player meaningfully involved."

Go deeper

Fringe right plots new attacks out of sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Domestic extremists are using obscure and private corners of the internet to plot new attacks ahead of Inauguration Day. Their plans are also hidden in plain sight, buried in podcasts and online video platforms.

Why it matters: Because law enforcement was caught flat-footed during last week's Capitol siege, researchers and intelligence agencies are paying more attention to online threats that could turn into real-world violence.

Kids’ screen time up 50% during pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

When the coronavirus lockdowns started in March, kidstech firm SuperAwesome found that screen time was up 50%. Nearly a year later, that percentage hasn't budged, according to new figures from the firm.

Why it matters: For most parents, pre-pandemic expectations around screen time are no longer realistic. The concern now has shifted from the number of hours in front of screens to the quality of screen time.

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

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