There are a few realities when it comes to the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. First, it is controversial and, at least on Capitol Hill, there is not much middle ground. Politicians either love Obamacare or hate it. Second, the intent of the law is to make health care more affordable and accessible for those Americans that are struggling to receive adequate coverage. Third, Obamacare may actually make health care MORE expensive.
That point is clearly bad news for those that are relying on Obamacare to provide coverage at a fair, manageable price. The point is, however, potentially good news for a few ETFs.
A cornerstone of Obamacare is exchanges where consumers can comparison shop for the best health plan. A novel idea in the eyes of some. “What’s more likely, though, is that the exchanges will fit into a long pattern of U.S. health-care policy: They will serve a constituency (a policy triumph) while driving up the cost of care (which will be blamed on external factors),” writes David Goldhill for Bloomberg.
Higher rates under almost any circumstances would likely benefit the iShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF (NYSEArca: IHF). IHF is home to stocks such as Dow component UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH) and Express Scripts (NasdaqGS: ESRX) as well as WellPoint (NYSE: WLP), Aetna (NYSE: AET) and Humana (NYSE: HUM). The latter three were recently highlighted as potential winners on the back of the Obamacare exchange system. [This Obamacare ETF Looks Like a Winner]
The Stock Trader’s Almanac recently identified IHF and the iShares US Pharmaceuticals ETF (NYSEArca: IHE) as its “two top choices to trade typical seasonal strength in the Healthcare Providers and Pharmaceutical sectors.”