Last week was a big week for health care in America.
In addition to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passing the House of Representatives, many of the companies that make medicines, biotech and provide healthcare and insurance reported their quarterly earnings.
Health Care earnings highlights
Bristol Myers Squibb: The big pharma powerhouse reporting positive earnings, touting the continued positive outlook of its cancer drug Opdivo. BMS also makes a popular blood thinner called Eliquis that’s looking to take on industry best-seller Xarelto. This company has many cancer treatment drugs in its development pipeline and the company is hoping they’ll make it phase 3.
Johnson & Johnson: The big news is quarterly dividends. Shareholders were excited to learn that J&J chose to increase its dividend payout by 5%, or $0.04 per share.
Pfizer reported mixed earnings this quarter.The good news? High hopes for Ibrance, its advanced breast cancer drug. The less than rosy? Dips sales on its other drugs, like its immunosuppresant Enbrel and its pneumonia vaccine Prevnar 13.
Merck: The drug company gave its investors the thumbs up based on performances on its human papillomavirus drug Gardasil and hepatitis C drug Zepatier. The market also has hopes for its cancer drug Keytruda, seen as a rival to BMS’s, Opdivo.
Health Care and the AHCA
Last week, the House of Representatives passed the AHCA. Its aim? To replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The proposed plan will nix certain aspects of the ACA, including the requirement to have health insurance and the tax penalty. In its present state, the AHCA aims to lower premiums by decreasing Medicaid coverage and separating patients into risk pools.
Will it become eventually become law? It still has to go through the Senate—and members on both sides of the aisle have stated that the bill needs to undergo changes for it to pass muster.
What’s next for health care?
If the AHCA passes, there’s speculation that Trump’s upcoming plans for corporate tax cuts and infrastructure spending will likely gain momentum. If the bill is defeated, some say there may be trouble ahead for his other plans around taxes and infrastructure.
So what does that mean for you? Stash firmly believes in taking a long view and adding to your investments on a regular basis with Auto-Stash. Your investments are meant to last through moments of political turbulence and times of volatility.
Stay strong, dollar cost average and keep diversified. A mix of ETFs to balance out your risk when the market starts to wobble is your best investment ally.
It’s healthy to worry, especially in times like these. Markets go up and down in the short term but you need to take the long term view.