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HMOs Up Despite Looming House Vote

A healthcare reform vote in the House tomorrow; why are HMOs trading up?

You'd think the likelihood of a vote—and better than even chance of passage—would be a negative for HMOs.

The bill under consideration:

1) requires individuals to buy insurance

2) provides subsidies for many low — and moderate-income people

3) requires employers to offer healthcare coverage

4) includes a public option.

But HMOs are up today—because many are calculating that the Senate is where reform will stall. Consider that the Senate:

1) is unlikely to finish their version of the bill for a month

2) even if it is finished, there may not be time for a House-Senate conference by Christmas

3) if it is pushed into 2010, there is a strong chance political headwinds will derail it.

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