It may be a gamble, but at least one tell says that President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress may win the big bet they have made to push healthcare reform legislation over the finish line, despite public doubts and Republican opposition.
Just look at the healthcare provider stocks. Health insurer shares were lower on Thursday in afternoon trading after the White House announced Obama would meet with several House Democrats in an apparent bid to lock in votes.
“It looks like he’s really getting involved at the very micro level, and I think that probably shows the administration is really going to put everything on the line for this initiative,” Morningstar analyst Matthew Coffina told Reuters correspondent Lewis Krauskopf in New York. ”They’re kind of going for broke at this point.”
“The prospects of healthcare reform are up. Stocks are down,” said Tim Nelson, a healthcare analyst with First American Funds. “These stocks go up and down with the prospects of healthcare reform.”
With the help of some well publicized health insurance premium increases, Democrats have decided that they will be better off in the November congressional elections having passed the sweeping healthcare overhaul than letting it die. Many rang the death knell for the reform effort after Democrats lost their supermajority of 60 votes in the Senate when a Republican won a special election in liberal Massachusetts.