Nov 7, 2018

Wall Street: Split Congress is a boon for health care

Congressional gridlock is good for health care stocks. Photo: Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images

The stock prices of health care companies soared Wednesday morning, as Wall Street analysts predict a Democratic House and Republican Senate will keep the profitable status quo humming for at least two more years.

The big picture: Health care companies have thrived in the Affordable Care Act era, and they don't want large-scale changes to the law or the industry at large.

Winners: Dialysis companies DaVita and Fresenius (stock prices up 11% and 9%, respectively).

  • They funded the campaign that helped defeat a California ballot measure that would have capped dialysis profits.

Health insurance companies also rallied Wednesday, because ACA repeal is pretty much dead for now.

  • Several states that expanded Medicaid through ballot initiatives also helped boost the prices of Centene, Molina and WellCare — big Medicaid insurers that stand to benefit by covering those people.

Mixed bag: Hospital chains were all up Wednesday, but a split Congress doesn't change the fact that fewer people are getting hospitalized. Pharmaceutical companies also saw their stocks rise, but they could face Democrat-led House hearings — although those hearings usually lead to short-term public shaming and little to no action on their pricing practices.

Looking ahead: The industry will aggressively fight any calls for single-payer or "Medicare for All" as the 2020 campaign kicks off.

  • Gary Taylor, a health care analyst at J.P. Morgan Securities, sent a note to investors this morning that said Republican Senate gains "make it much more difficult for Democrats to regain the chamber in 2020, regardless of the presidential outcome. This should provide a measure of gridlock comfort beyond 2020, diminishing the anticipated 2020 'Medicare for All' campaign overhang."

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Axios-Ipsos poll: America’s big racial divide on police, virus

Data: Ipsos/Axios survey; Note: ±3.2% margin of error; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

A new Axios-Ipsos poll finds that America has a massive racial gulf on each of our twin calamities — trust in police, and fear of the coronavirus.

  • 77% of whites say they trust local police, compared with just 36% of African Americans — one of many measures of a throbbing racial divide in Week 11 of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index, taken the week George Floyd was killed by a white policeman in Minneapolis.
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Updates: George Floyd protests nationwide

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued for a seventh day across the U.S., with President Trump threatening on Monday to deploy the military if the unrest continues.

The latest: Four police officers were struck by gunfire while standing near a line in St Louis on Monday after a peaceful demonstration, Police Chief John Hayden said early Tuesday. They were all taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He said a small group of people had thrown rocks and fireworks at police officers.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,273,402 — Total deaths: 375,683 — Total recoveries — 2,697,873Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,811,277 — Total deaths: 105,147 — Total recoveries: 458,231 — Total tested: 17,340,682Map.
  3. Public health: Nearly 26,000 coronavirus deaths in nursing homes have been reported to federal health officials —Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country.
  4. Federal government: Trump lashes out at governors, calls for National Guard to "dominate" streets.
  5. World: Former FDA commissioner says "this is not the time" to cut ties with WHO.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The virus didn't go away.