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Health Care Stocks Down After Federal Judge Rules Affordable Care Act Is Unconstitutional

Hospital and health care stocks are being sold in the wake of a federal judge’s Friday ruling that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.

Traders began ditching their hospital and health care stocks as soon as the markets opened Monday morning, Business Insider reports, causing Obamacare-related shares to dip. The selloff is occurring although the judge’s decision will be appealed and won’t affect Americans who signed up for 2019 health coverage.

According to Bloomberg, shares for managed health company Molina Healthcare dropped up to 13.5%, its lowest dip since February 2017. CNBC reported that Centene shares went down 7.5%; HCA Healthcare, which is the largest for-profit operator of health care facilities in the U.S., dipped 5%, and insurance companies Cigna and Humana saw their shares decrease by 4%.

Even though Centene took a hit, the company issued a release Monday morning announcing it expects 2019 peak enrollment through the ACA to exceed its 2018 peak enrollment by 150,000 to 200,000 members.

“We are pleased with the continued positive momentum in our enrollment for 2019,” Chairman and CEO Michael F. Neidorff said in the release that acknowledged the court ruling and emphasized the fact that Centene has operated for three decades under five different presidents from both sides of the aisle. “Everyone should have access to affordable, high-quality healthcare. This need has never been more urgent for all Americans.”
This sentiment was shared by Molina Healthcare, which saw double-digit dips. “While we are disappointed in the recent Northern District of Texas court’s ACA ruling, we recognize that this is a first step in what will be a lengthy appeals process,” the company said in a Monday statement. “Regardless, the ACA will remain in effect for 2019, and we are optimistic that it will remain in effect thereafter. We support efforts by Congress and the Administration to stabilize the ACA’s programs and ensure continued protection of Americans with pre-existing conditions.”
Although the ruling has been praised by President Donald Trump, it received a swift condemnation by Democratic leadership, as well as some Republican lawmakers.
“I think this will be overturned on appeal,” Senator Susan Collins (Maine-R) said on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday.