Our national health care problem has become one focus of the presidential campaign, and in the long run, it could benefit exchange traded funds (ETFs).

In this competitive global economy, lay-offs, restructurings, downsizing, and reengineering – whichever euphemism you like – have become part of manager’s job duties. This globalization and free trade is going to benefit our economy, says Chris Farrell for BusinessWeek. But it can also bring job insecurity.

The U.S. health care system rotates around the fact that if you lose your job, then your family loses health care benefits. And businesses have come to view health benefits as a growing expense, rather than a benefit of employment. What is more frightening is that total health care spending in the U.S. by both public and private sources is expected to expand from 16% GDP to 40% GDP in 2040. So, Medicare becomes part of the problem, instead of a solution as once intended.

At least when it comes to health care, both Obama and McCain largely seem to agree that Americans spend too much and that a change is needed, reports Reuters. Their proposals differ on how they’ll address the problem. McCain wants to slow down the double-digit growth in health care spending, and Obama wants to reduce health care spending by 8% and save each taxpayer $2,500.

ETFs focused on one of the sickest industries in America:

  • HealthShares NeuroScience (HHN), up 4.8% year-to-date
  • iShares S&P Global Health Care Sector Index Fund (IXJ), down 5.5% year-to-date
  • iShares Dow Jones US Health Care (IYH), down 4.5% year-to-date
  • SPDR S&P Biotech (XBI), up 12.7% year-to-date

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.