Health Care Down as Tax Bill Lifts Insurance Penalty -- Health Care Roundup

By removing the financial penalty for individuals who don't purchase health insurance, the tax act removes one of the cornerstones of the Affordable Care Act, and throws the future of health exchanges into doubt. One brokerage said a wave of mergers will change how people think about health care in the U.S. Features Dow Jones Newswires

Shares of health-care companies ticked down after President Donald Trump said the tax package approved by Congress effectively "repealed Obamacare."

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"We see UnitedHealth's recent acquisition of DaVita Medical Group and the pending CVS/Aetna combo as ushering a new era of consumer driven health," said analysts at brokerage Morgan Stanley, in a research note. "While UnitedHealth will look to drive costs out via the physician, and CVS/Aetna likely via retail, we see an increased likelihood that over the near-to-midterm that dollar pools for traditional hospitals will shrink."

-Rob Curran, rob.curran@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 20, 2017 16:27 ET (21:27 GMT)