Insurance Investors Have Big Day on the Hill (AP)
Investors in insurance companies may want to pay close attention to Capitol Hill today as Medicare Chief Marilyn Tavenner answers questions from the House Ways and Means Committee. Ms. Tavenner has been tabbed as one of the “fall guys or gals” in the administration’s botched launch of the HealthCare.gov website for Obamacare. The committee seeks to find out what went wrong, as well as whether or not its members can believe President Obama’s promise to have the site fixed by the end of November. Should the Website remain incomplete, the president may have no alternative but to postpone the tax penalties to be imposed on remaining uninsured Americans. The insurance industry fears postponement would only saddle the system with too many higher-cost patients, thus ruining their profitability. So, depending upon Ms. Tavenner’s perceived credibility, investors may see their life insurance shares slide in value, or they may cheer the fact that the HealthCare.gov site will be fixed by the end of November.