CHICAGO (Reuters) – The one thing the Supreme Court will have no impact on as it decides the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act is the immutable trend in U.S. healthcare: the growing cost of caring for an aging population.
A handful of industries will remain profitable despite the thorny politics of healthcare policy, and the best way to view this volatile situation through the lens of stocks is in the long term.
The annual growth rate in healthcare spending is expected to remain around 4 percent from now until 2014, then ratchet up to 6 percent, according to recent forecasts by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In comparison, general consumer prices are rising just under 2 percent on an annualized basis.
Other than burgeoning costs, there’s demographics. Some 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day – a trend that will continue until 2030, when boomers will comprise almost one of every five Americans, according to the Pew Research Center. Naturally, their healthcare needs will be increasingly costly and complex. They will still demand specialized care for chronic conditions, pharmaceuticals and acute care.
With those likely developments in mind, here are two sectors I think will prosper.