If lawmakers want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, their main challenge is piquing the interests of health insurers who seem to have mastered the healthcare reform law.
Stocks in health insurance companies hit all-time highs this week amid news that the firms added millions of customers thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
The earnings reports from insurers and hospitals for the second quarter of this year have conflicting messages--hospitals are seeing a growth in volume while insurers are seeing a slower cost trend. Aetna, WellPoint and UnitedHealth all said costs are under control and the trends are moderate. And Cigna even lowered its cost outlook, believing the increase this year will be between 4.5 percent and 5.5 percent, reported Kaiser Health News.
Humana's first-quarter profit of $368 million beat analyst expectations but still dropped 22 percent from last year's first quarter of $473 million, partly due to marketing expenses and investments related to new products.
After stock price gains earlier this month, health insurers saw shares dip, partly due to disappointing earnings reports, Barron's reported.
Despite public support for the chairman and CEO last month from the board, WellPoint's chief exec Angela Braly is coming under fire for management of the second largest insurer.