AHCA Vote Has Broad Stock Market Implications

After an embarrassing false start on health care reform earlier this year, Republicans narrowly passed an amended version of the American Health Care Act on Thursday. If some analysts are right, a similar version of the bill could pass the Senate and be all teed up for President Donald Trump to sign into law by the end of the month.

Should the scenario play out like that, there would be quite a few health care stocks that would move accordingly.

Republicans made enough minor adjustments to the original Obamacare replacement bill to win over a handful of conservative Republican representatives who opposed the first draft of the bill. The new version of the bill now contains a provision allowing individual states to opt out of certain coverage requirements and provides $8 billion in funding to help states cover citizens with pre-existing conditions.

Now that the bill has made it through the House of Representatives, Height Securities analyst Andrew Parmentier says an amended version of the AHCA could be on Trump’s desk by Memorial Day.

“So long as House Republicans approve an ACA repeal bill in May, we continue to expect the Senate will be able to quickly pass its own, more moderate version of ACA repeal that in turn quickly receives final approval by the House and [is] sent to President Trump prior to the Memorial Day recess,” Parmentier wrote in late April.

For investors, the uncertainty surrounding Obamacare repeal has made it difficult to gauge potential winners and losers in the market.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that by 2026, the original version of the AHCA would have covered 24 million fewer Americans than were covered under Obamacare. When Republicans withdrew the original health care bill back in March, hospital and medical facility stocks such as Molina Healthcare (ticker: MOH), HCA Holdings (HCA) and Acadia Healthcare Co. (ACHC) all reacted positively to the news. Fewer insured Americans could mean less profits for these companies.

At the same time, health savings account (HSA) platform Healthequity (HQY) could see an increase in business from a heavier reliance on HSAs instead of insurance.

While health insurance companies such as UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Aetna (AET) and Humana (HUM) could see…

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