U.S. Markets closed

Healthcare ETFs Enjoy Rosy Outlook with Divided Congress

This article was originally published on ETFTrends.com.

Healthcare stocks and sector-related ETFs strengthened Wednesday as a divided midterm election result would obstruct any progress in repealing the Affordable Care Act, or so-called Obamacare.

Among the top performing ETFs of Wednesday, the iShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF (IHF) increased 3.8% and First Trust Health Care AlphaDEX Fund (FXH) advanced 3.6%.

With the Democrats taking over the House of Representatives and Republicans widening their majority lead in the Senate, Congress won't be able to take another stab at overturning the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which extended health insurance cover to millions of previously uninsured Americans.

Furthermore, Voters in Idaho, Utah and Nebraska voted to expand Medicaid while several of the winning gubernatorial candidates also favor expanding Medicaid benefits, ABC News reports.

Looking ahead, U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that healthcare would be among the top agendas for 2019, Reuters reports.

McConnell said senators would likely tackle Obamacare fixes and prescription drug prices, but changes to Medicare and Social Security won't take place. Republicans have been working on a bill to repeal Obamacare, but after Democrats regained control of the House, any attempt will likely be stalled.

“I think it’s pretty obvious the Democratic House is not going to be interested in that,” McConnell said at a news conference. While there are “serious problems” with Obamacare, “We’re going to have to obviously now address those on a bipartisan basis.”

Given the votes are counted and the people put Democrats into the House, the Democratic party may have a more solid mandate to protect the current healthcare law.

"Democrats got control of the House. They have one mandate that I think voters sent them," NBC political director Chuck Todd said on CNBC. "They better figure out how to protect pre-existing conditions."

For more information on the healthcare segment, visit our healthcare category.