I am not overly thrilled with the current health care reform bill. However, I don’t think that the world is ending with its passage, and there are some positives to come out of it. There are some definite benefits to the health care reform bill, some of which will be immediately clear, and some of which will take longer to see. And it is the long term effects we should be looking at.
Many folks are focusing only on the short term. The Congressional Budget Office says that this bill will actually lower the deficit over the next 10 years, and the cost of enacting the bill will actually be spread out over a period of 10 years as well. There should also be some long term benefits in terms of health.
The health care reform bill includes funding for community clinics and for free preventative health care. This should be helpful, since it has the potential to lower costs in the long run, since people will be able to take care of some problems while they are still relatively small. Some of the biggest health care expenses come when people don’t feel like they can afford preventative care, and they wait until they absolutely have to visit the emergency room. By then, there is a serious — and expensive — problem. While I’m not entirely sure that this bill will lead to better preventative behaviors, it is encouraging that we are thinking about the implications of better preventative care in this country.
And, of course, for investors, this bill provides an opportunity. With hospitals and pharmaceuticals likely to see more customers that can afford their services and products due to higher rates of insurance, health industry stocks are going up. Indeed, between the increasing needs of the baby boomers and the passage of this bill, the health sector may just be the way to go.
Disclaimer: I am not an investment professional. Nothing in this piece or on this Web site should be construed as investment advice. Before making investment decisions, do your own research and/or consult with an investment professional. All investment comes with the risk of loss. You are responsible for your own investment decisions and any loss that may result from your decisions.