There are many questions regarding the future of health care and its exchange traded funds (ETFs), and we are left with an opaque view lost in politics as our leaders fail to bring clarity to the situation.

Big pharma is given a clean bill of health for 2009 with some companies posting high yields and cornucopia of new profitable drugs coming out when the broad market is down 40% or more with biotech holding less than 14% losses, reports Gary Gordon for ETF Expert.

But the problem with health care comes later when President-elect Barack Obama takes office. He may hold off on wholescale health-care reform as he deals with more urgent matters of economy, energy and war.

There is an ongoing national debate over U.S. health care policy and what the ramifications entail, writes Dr. Jeffrey A. Miller for A Dash of Insight.

Dr. Miller poses three questions for the stocks of health care provers:

  1. What is the likely impact of the Obama plan?
  2. When will the plan be given serious consideration?
  3. What are the chances of passage?

As Congress eventually gets involved, more details will be needed and the rhetorics of campaigning will be put to the test, which basically means that the sector may not be ready for long-term investments. As always, though, mind the trend lines and use the 50-day or 200-day moving averages as an entry point.

The Dow Jones Healthcare Provider Index Fund (IHF), currently down 45.6% year-to-date, had many investors assuming the under-performance was because of fears of possible inefficient government intervention that may diminish profitability. The fund consists entirely of health care providers, with 45% concentration in five companies and about 65% in the top ten.

ETF IHF performance

It is noted that investing in the broader health care ETF Vanguard Healthcare (VHT), currently down 27.4% year-to-date, would be the prudent choice compared to gambling over the smaller sub-segment.

ETF VHT performance

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.