US Fund Managers Betting Against Trump On Obamacare …

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US Fund Managers Betting Against Trump On Obamacare …
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

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Hi,

U.S. fund managers betting Trump fails to rewrite Obamacare

By David Randall | NEW YORK

Some prominent U.S. fund managers are betting that former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law will not undergo the widespread changes that President Donald Trump promised on the campaign trail.

Portfolio managers from Fidelity, Gamco, Thornburg and other large firms say they see the broad outlines of the Affordable Care Act – commonly known as Obamacare – remaining intact despite Trump’s signing of an executive order on Friday, his first day in office, that sought to weaken it.

As a result, these fund managers say they are buying shares of hospitals, health insurance companies and biotech firms they see as unfairly hit by political uncertainty.

“They may do enough to try to rebrand it as Trumpcare, but I just don’t think it will be that dramatically different from what we have today,” said Jeff Jonas, a portfolio manager at Gamco Investors in Rye, New York, who said he has been adding to his position in hospital and nursing center company Kindred Healthcare Inc and large health insurance companies.

“The executive order itself was very vague, and it’s a little hard to say at this point what actual effect it will have,” he said.

Trump’s order directs government departments to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation” of provisions of the law that imposed fiscal burdens on states, companies or individuals, but provides no details.

HOSPITAL STOCKS GAINING

Investors overall still look hesitant to buy healthcare stocks, with fund flows to the iShares US Healthcare ETF, a widely held exchange traded fund that tracks the healthcare industry, falling 4.8 percent in the week ending Jan. 11, according to Lipper data.

Healthcare stocks fell swiftly after Trump was elected on Nov. 8, and have underperformed since. The S&P 500 healthcare sector has gained 2 percent since Election Day, compared with a 6.3 percent rise in the S&P 500 over the same time.

But hospital stocks such as HCA Holdings Inc have outperformed since the start of January on signs that Republicans plan to replace the Affordable Care Act at the same time they repeal it. Shares of HCA are up 7.9 percent since the start of the year, compared with a 1.2 percent gain in the S&P 500, and are trading slightly higher than they were on Election Day.

Although repealing the law requires only a majority in the Senate, replacing it would require at least 60 votes in the Senate, meaning that Republicans would have to win some Democratic support. As a result, fund managers said they expect only incremental changes.

A repeal without a replacement could put pressure on hospitals by rescinding the Medicaid expansion and individual subsidies, prompting more individuals to go without insurance and be unable to pay their hospital bills.

Representative Tom Price, Trump’s nominee for health secretary, said in a hearing Wednesday that the administration will initially focus on individual health plans sold on exchanges and is not interested in “pulling the rug out on anybody,” though he said it would also focus on Medicaid.

Some Republicans in Congress have been pushing for an outright repeal in order to give states more control of their healthcare programs. The House and Senate passed resolutions to have draft legislation that would repeal the law ready by Jan. 27. Other Republican senators have proposed that states have the option remain in the Obamacare insurance program.

NOT “A WHOLE LOT OF DISRUPTION”

Eddie Yoon, portfolio manager of the $6.1 billion Fidelity Select Heath Care fund in Boston, has not changed his holdings since the election because he does not see large changes coming.

He said he remains bullish on the medical device and biotech industries because both do not look like they would be significantly affected by any of the Republican healthcare proposals. He expects the moratorium on a tax on medical device sales, due to expire at the end of 2017, will be extended, and that controls on drug prices floated by Trump are unlikely to be enacted.

“I don’t think the new administration wants to get bogged down in healthcare and they want to move on to immigration and tax reform and bigger policy items,” said Yoon. “I don’t anticipate that there will be a whole lot of disruption.”

Biotech may also benefit if Congress passes legislation that cuts the taxes companies pay on profits earned overseas, leaving pharmaceutical companies flush and ushering in a wave of mergers and acquisitions, he said.

The Nasdaq Biotechnlogy Index is up 3.8 percent since the beginning of the year after falling more than 20 percent last year.

Connor Browne, a portfolio manager with the $889 million Thornburg Value fund in Santa Fe, New Mexico, said he added a position in biotech company Seattle Genetics Inc in late December. He also has been adding to his position in medical device makers in anticipation that little will be done to change the law, meaning that millions of Americans will still have insurance that will help pay for devices.

“While it hasn’t so far paid to underestimate Donald Trump, it sure seems like we might be seeing indications that he doesn’t understand how hard it will be to get legislation done,” Browne said.

To view the original of this article CLICK HERE

Regards,
Greg_L-W.

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Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
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Early Diagnosis of Cancer In USA Increased By Obamacare …

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Early Diagnosis of Cancer In USA Increased By Obamacare …
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

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Hi,

Researchers credit Obamacare with helping find early-stage cancer

By Ronnie Cohen

(Reuters Health) – The Affordable Care Act likely extended the lives of thousands of seniors who took advantage of free screening exams and were diagnosed with treatable, early-stage colorectal cancer, a new study suggests.

“I think the prevention-related provisions of the Affordable Care Act helped to detect cancer at earlier and more treatable stages and eventually will save lives,” said senior author Nengliang “Aaron” Yao, a health-policy professor at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville.

Before the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, took effect, people ages 65 and older who were insured under Medicare had to pay $275 for colonoscopies, the report in Health Affairs says.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) directed that colonoscopies be offered for free.

From 2011, when the law took effect, until 2013, an additional 8,400 seniors, or 8 percent more than before, were diagnosed with early-stage colorectal cancer, researchers estimated.

“The study does a very nice job of showing that when you remove financial barriers to healthcare, health improves,” said Dr. Cary Gross, a professor at the Yale School of Medicine, in New Haven, Connecticut who was not involved in the study. “When the Affordable Care Act granted more generous coverage, we were more likely to detect cancer at an earlier stage.”

“This shows that when it comes to creating a new healthcare plan, the devil’s in the details, and policymakers need to look at things like how will the proposed changes affect cancer screening,” Gross said in a phone interview.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of U.S. cancer-related deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. Nearly 52,000 Americans died from colorectal cancer in 2013.

Though research shows that screening reduces the risk of dying from colorectal cancer, only 25 percent of uninsured people and 60 percent of insured people had been screened as recommended, a 2015 CDC study showed.

Both Yao and Gross would like President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers, who have pledged to repeal the ACA, to consider the ramifications of the new study before ruling on future healthcare legislation.

“I’m very concerned that policymakers who are trying to save money by not covering cancer-prevention services are being penny-wise and pound-foolish,” Gross said. “They may save money today, but we will be paying a lot more taking care of patients with metastatic cancer down the road.”

“I’m worried on behalf of our patients and our communities that these great strides we’ve made against cancer will evaporate if the important provisions of the Affordable Care Act, which ensure that patients can access cancer screening services without additional costs, are taken away,” he said.

In the new study, researchers examined data from 18 cancer registries across the U.S. They found no change in the number of Medicare early-stage cancer diagnoses for breast cancer between the period before Obamacare, from 2008 until 2010, until the period after, from 2011 until 2013.

Mammography to screen for breast cancer became free for Medicare patients under the ACA, but before that, it cost just $9 – a significantly smaller financial barrier than the $275 cost of a colonoscopy, Yao said in a phone interview.

In addition, breast cancer screening had been marketed more successfully than colorectal screening before the ACA was enacted, he said.

Gross noted that colonoscopies can actually prevent cancer, because doctors can remove polyps during the procedure, whereas mammograms only allow doctors to see growths in the breast.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force found convincing evidence that colorectal cancer screening substantially reduces deaths in adults between 50 and 75 years old, it said last year. The task force recommended screening with colonoscopy, stool analyses or flexible sigmoidoscopy combined with a fecal-occult blood test.

The new study could not determine the impact of free colonoscopies on metastatic colorectal cancer rates or mortality from colorectal cancer. Gross urged follow-up studies examining those numbers after they become available.

To view the original of this article CLICK HERE

Regards,
Greg_L-W.

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Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 44 (0)1594 – 528 337
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NB:
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  2. ALL MY BLOGS & WEB SITES are clearly sourced to me
  3. I do NOT use an obfuscated eMail address to hide behind
  4. I do NOT use or bother reading FaceBook
  5. I DO have a Voice Mail Message System
  6. I ONLY GUARANTEE to answer identifiable eMails
  7. I ONLY GUARANTEE to phone back identifiable UK Land Line Messages
  8. I do NOT accept phone calls from witheld numbers
  9. I Regret due to BT in this area I have a rubbish Broadband connection
  10. I AM opposed to British membership of The EU
  11. I AM opposed to Welsh, Scottish or English Independence within an interdependent UK
  12. I am NOT a WARMIST
  13. I do NOT believe the IPCC Climate Propaganda re Anthropogenic Global Warming
  14. I AM strongly opposed to the subsidy or use of failed technologies eg. WIND TURBINES
  15. I AM IN FAVOUR of rapid research & development of NEW NUCLEAR technologies
  16. I see no evidence to trust POLITICIANS at any level or of any persuasion
  17. I do NOT believe in GODS singular or plural, Bronze Age or Modern
  18. I value the NHS as a HEALTH SERVICE NOT a Lifestyle support
  19. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial or GBH rape.
  20. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial, terrorist, mass or for pleasure murder.
  21. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial gross child abuse including sexual.
  22. I do NOT trust or believe in armed police
  23. I do NOT believe in prolonging human life beyond reasonable expectation of sentient participatory intellectual existence
  24. I believe in EUTHENASIA under clearly defined & legal terms
  25. I try to make every effort to NOT infringe copyrights in any commercial way & make all corrections of fact brought to my attention by an identifiable individual

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