In a sign of investors’ growing anxiety about the health-care regulatory landscape, shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. tumbled Tuesday, despite the company reporting first-quarter earnings and revenue that beat expectations and boosting its full-year profit outlook.
The health insurance giant’s stock UNH, -4.01% was up as much as 3.4% in intraday trade moments after the opening bell, then steadily traded lower throughout the session, as did the shares of the company’s peers, as Chief Executive David Wichmann took a combative stance toward “Medicare-for-all” proposals unveiled by some Democratic presidential hopefuls.
“The wholesale disruption of American health care being discussed in some of these proposals would surely jeopardize the relationship people have with their doctors, destabilize the nation’s health system, and limit the ability of clinicians to practice medicine at their best.”
UnitedHealth CEO David Wichmann
The shares fell 4.5% in afternoon trade, enough to pace the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s decliners. The price decline of $10.26 cut about 70 points off the Dow’s price, which was up 82 points.
“We believe the market is ascribing an inordinately high probability that some form of Medicare-for-all proposal could become reality,” Cowen analyst Charles Rhyee said in a note to clients on Tuesday.
“The problem… is that investors are making many assumptions about unpredictable future events that all have to fall the right way in order for Medicare for All to be a possibility,” he said.
It’s not likely that all those pieces will fall into place, Rhyee said. For such a bill to pass, a far-left