U.S. hospital stocks fall on reports of health-bill progress


By Lewis KrauskopfNEW YORK, April 20 (Reuters) - Shares of U.S. hospital
operators fell on Thursday after news reports that Republicans
were making fresh progress with plans to dismantle the
Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
    Republican moderates and conservatives were nearing a deal
on healthcare that could get an alternative to the law through
the U.S. House of Representatives, according to the Huffington
Post. Politico published a document it said represented the
Republicans' new proposal.
    CNBC and CNN also reported that the changes could push more
Republicans to favor the health bill, which was dropped late
last month after it failed to get enough support to pass.
    The Huffington Post said that the changes in the works might
still leave the bill without enough support, while Politico
questioned the likelihood of the bill's passage next week.
    The U.S. Senate, which has been on a two-week break, returns
to Washington D.C. on Monday, while the House returns on
Tuesday. They are expected to work on a funding bill needed to
avoid a government shutdown on April 28.
    Hospital stocks have been pressured by Republican efforts to
roll back Obamacare, which benefited the companies by expanding
insurance coverage.
    Shares of HCA Holdings <HCA.N>, the most valuable
publicly-traded hospital company, fell 1.8 percent, while Tenet
Healthcare <THC.N> dropped 4.1 percent and Community Health
Systems <CYH.N> fell 3.9 percent.
    The stocks had surged after Republicans pulled their initial
bill late last month, dealing a setback to President Donald
Trump's vow to repeal Obamacare. [nL2N1H40N7]

 (Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf, additional reporting by Susan
Heavey and Richard Cowan in Washington D.C.; Editing by Nick
 ((lewis.krauskopf@thomsonreuters.com; 646-223-6082; Reuters
Messaging: lewis.krauskopf.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net,
Twitter: @LKrauskopf))


This article appears in: Stocks , Politics
Referenced Symbols: CYH , HCA , THC

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