Bob Laszewski and I have been continuing a dialog over whether Wall Street is smarter than us (obviously it’s richer than us) in ignoring the risk to health plans from the potential cuts in Medicare Advantage proposed by virtually every Democrat who matters. This continued into last week as despite a savaging of Medicare Advantage plans in a Congressional committee, Humana stock went up 5%. Humana is the biggest player in the Medicare private FFS market, which is most in the headlights of the Congressional Democrats since they noticed that it pays more than 12% more per enrollee than the regular FFS program.
But perhaps today the worm on Wall Street turneth. Most health plan stocks are down a few percent as one analyst at least was brave enough to downgrade the biggest of them (although his target price of UNH is still above where it is now!). We shall see.