Thanks to Dems' Pussyfooting, Health Industry Stocks Shoot Skyward

The bump does not appear to be indicative of broader economic improvement.

Americans should now officially view the health care industry (and Democrats pandering to it) the same way someone who was just robbed looks at his neighbor’s brand new fur coat and sports car. The evidence has been there since day one, but rarely has it seemed so ostentatious, so nakedly boastful. Via HuffPo:

• Coventry Health Care, Inc. is up 31.6 percent;

• CIGNA Corp. is up 29.1 percent;

• Aetna Inc. is up 27.1 percent;

• WellPoint, Inc. is up 26.6 percent;

• UnitedHealth Group Inc. is up 20.5 percent;

• And Humana Inc. is up 13.6 percent.

These numbers represent the period between Oct. 27 (the day Joe Lieberman initially said he would filibuster any Senate health care measure that included a public option) and last Friday. Notice any trends?

During this same period, the Dow has only gone up 2.3 percent; and the NASDAQ has only crept up a measly 1.4 percent. This seems to rule out even the tiniest possibility that the health industry bump is microcosmic of broader economic robustness. Rather, it’s more like vulture capitalism at its most despicable.

Matt Taibbi had a good take on the larger political implications of Senate health care failures earlier in the week:

…This individual mandate that's going to force people to become customers of private health insurance companies, the Democrats are going to end up owning that policy and it's going to be extremely unpopular and it's going to be theirs for a generation. It's going to be an albatross around the neck of this party.

The Democrats are in exactly the same position that the Republicans were in once the Iraq War turned bad. All the Republicans have to do now is sit back and watch the Democrats make a disaster out of this health care effort. And they're going to gain political capital whether they're in the right or not. And I think it's a very- it's a terrible thing for the party.

And on how Obama got it wrong:

I mean, that's what George Bush did when he wanted to get something unpopular passed or something that was iffy. I mean, he just took, you know, if there were any recalcitrant members, he just took him in the back room and beat him with a rubber hose until they changed their minds. I mean, he could've taken Joe Lieberman back there and said, look, if Connecticut ever wants a dime of highway money again, you're going to have to play ball on this thing. That's what the president does. I mean, the president has an enormous amount of power. The leaders, the majority leaders have an enormous amount of power. And if they want to pass something, they can do it. And especially when there's a tremendous public mandate to get something like this passed. I just- the idea that they couldn't do this was- is a fallacy.

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