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Hospitals win in Obamacare decision

Friday, June 26, 2015 - 02:21

Health care stocks rallied after the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare's tax credits to low-and-middle class Americans. Fred Katayama reports.

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The big winners from the Supreme Court's decision to uphold a key part of Obamacare are the hospitals, health care investors, and the more than 6 million Americans who stood to lose tax credits. Hospital stocks like Community Health Systems, Tenet, and Hospital Corporation of America rocketed higher with some of them hitting all-time highs. Also rising but not by as much: health insurers led by Centene, UnitedHealth, and Humana. Reuters correspondent, Caroline Humer, explains why hospitals were the big beneficiaries. SOUNDBITE: CAROLINE HUMER, CORRESPONDENT, REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Those subsidies over the last year-and-a-half have driven in millions of new patients. Their profits have been up quarter after quarter. They say that the volume is up, and they're getting paid. And that's really why those stocks are going up." The Court ruled six to three that the Affordable Care Act may provide tax credits to help low-and-middle class Americans buy health insurance. At issue: whether the law restricted the subsidies to those who bought insurance in the few marketplaces run by states, as opposed to the majority of exchanges run by the federal government. The decision means all subsidies will remain in place. President Obama's landmark legislation survived its second Supreme Court challenge. SOUNDBITE: BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The Affordable Care Act is here to stay." House Speaker, John Boehner, vowed Republicans would keep trying to repeal Obamacare. But, even if they were to retain control of both houses and gain control of the White House, Brookings Institute's Henry Aaron says, they may not be able to greatly change a law that will covered over 30 million Americans by mid-2017. SOUNDBITE: HENRY AARON, SENIOR FELLOW, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The hospitals that we were talking about before, the insurance companies, they are all going to have a lot of business resulting from that law. Simply saying, that we're going to roll it all back and repeal its root and branches as some have suggested, or even, in a major way to curtail its, coverage in such a situation, I think, will be something that elected officials will undertake only with the greatest hesitancy and at very very considerable risk." That, he says, will make any future legal changes evolutionary at best.

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Hospitals win in Obamacare decision

Friday, June 26, 2015 - 02:21