08/29/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Health Insurance Stocks Soar On Baucus Deal

One of the things that gets obscured by the huge sums of money being spent by lobbyists to degrade, deride, and defuse legislation is that in reality, the big industries get what they want very cheaply.

Lawmakers already make use of so many systemic advantages when it comes time to defend their seats that a little bit of industry largess goes a long way. So they can afford to be generous, and they never ask for an additional cut. This is something that Ian Welsh at Open Left observes today:

...the [return on investment] on lobbying is astronomical. For example, the American Jobs Creation act earned corporations 82 billion. The cost in lobbying? 283 million. Return on investment? 22,000%

Over at Campaign Silo, Teddy Partridge looks at the kinds of returns involved in the health care reform arena:

News that Senator Max Baucus' Finance Committee deal on health care financing excluded a public option sent health insurance stocks soaring Tuesday.

Shares of U.S. health insurers rose broadly on Tuesday on hopes a health reform bill would not include a government-run option, which has drawn strong opposition from insurers who fear it would destroy the private marketplace.

The S&P Managed Health Care index of large U.S. health insurers closed 6.5 percent higher.

Aetna rose 12.6 percent, Coventry was up 12.7 percent and Cigna was 7.7 percent higher, all on the New York Stock Exchange. Centene rose 7.9 percent.

This is funny, because I am reliably informed that Max Baucus has concerns that government intervention in private markets could be a disaster for the country!

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