Wall Street is already betting that a Republican win in Massachusetts will complicate efforts to get a strong health care reform package through Congress.
Six major health insurance company stocks went up Tuesday as pundits and reporters began writing off the candidacy of the state Attorney General Martha Coakley. Republican State Senator Scott Brown appears to have won before the votes have even been counted.
Investors are counting on it.
Health insurance companies would presumably benefit financially if the current legislation is further watered down or even killed. Without a 60-vote super-majority, so goes the thinking, Democrats would have to start negotiating away hard-won concessions or face defeat.
As of Tuesday's market close:
* Coventry Health Care, Inc. was up 6.0 percent;
* CIGNA Corp. was up 2.9 percent;
* Aetna Inc. was up 4.2 percent;
* WellPoint, Inc. was up 2.1 percent;
* UnitedHealth Group Inc. was up 4.1 percent;
* And Humana Inc. was up 7.1 percent.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, by comparison, was up just 1.1 percent.