The health insurance stocks listed below may experience some extra volatility this week, as President Obama is scheduled to address the nation about health care reform on Wednesday, September 9.
After months of speeches, interviews and town hall meetings, this Wednesday, the President will tell Congress and the American people something they haven't heard before: exactly what he wants to see in health care reform.
As White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told the press, "people will leave that speech knowing where he stands."
That may answer whether President Obama will insist on the controversial "public option," a government-provided health insurance alternative. The White House was still avoiding directly answering that question today.
"He believes the public option is a good tool," White House adviser David Axelrod said today. "It shouldn't define the whole health care debate, however."
A September 15 deadline for a bipartisan deal on health care reform is looming. The deadline was set by Democratic Senator Max Baucus of Montana, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Six members of the committee - three Democrats and three Republicans - have been trying to negotiate a bipartisan health reform bill. However, Baucus has said he would pull the plug on the talks "around September 15."
Presidential aides have promised Obama will take back the reins after allowing Congress to work its will on his idea, without one specific plan for Democratic lawmakers to defend back home. We’re entering a new season,” senior adviser David Axelrod said in an interview Tuesday. “It’s time to synthesize and harmonize these strands and get this done. We’re confident that we can do that. But obviously it is a different phase. We’re going to approach it in a different way. The president is going to be very active.”
“We have been saying all along that the most important part of this debate is not the public option, but rather ensuring choice and competition,” an aide said. “There are lots of different ways to get there.”
Some of the stocks to keep an eye on include:
Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET)
UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH)
Health Net, Inc. (NYSE:HNT)
WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP)
Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM)
CIGNA Corporation (NYSE:CI)
WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG)
Coventry Health Care, Inc. (NYSE:CVH)
Health Net, Inc. (NYSE:HNT)
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