TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Bill Radke: After months of Democrat-Republican negotiation, the chair of the Senate Finance Committee this morning released the Senate version of a health care makeover. Except so far, it only has the support of Democrats.
Joining us live is Les Funtleder, health care strategist at the trading firm Miller Tayback and author of the book “Health Care Investing.” Good morning.
Les Funtleder: Good morning.
Radke: There’s a lot in this bill — what are a few key points?
Funtleder: Well, a lot of it’s already been telegraphed. The key points to keep in mind: no public option, some increased taxes on industry, and as you pointed out, no Republican support yet.
Radke: Yeah, why is that?
Funtleder: It’s an interesting question because I think many of the Rebpulcians seem to have intigated their litmus test was the public option, and there’s no public option in this plan. So I don’t think they’ve spoken on what their objections are just yet.
Radke: And what are the odds — well, maybe then it’s too early to say what the odds are — that this is gonna get GOP support?
Funtleder: Well, if you take at the word that the public option is the major sticking point then there are just some minor details to be worked out, and they can probably get a few Republicans to come on board. I think it really depends.
Radke: What are the markets saying, what are the markets verdict so far this morning?
Funtleder: Well this morning, it basically, it’s a non-event, because it was expected. But I’d say slowly over the past few months, the stock markets’ view of this has been moving from a worst case to a less worst case. And so the health care stocks in general have gone up, managed care specifically. I would say, though, we do worry that in the middle of the night, somebody’s going to put something onerous into a bill that we won’t know about. But structurally, it’s moving in the right direction as far as we’re concerned.
Radke: All right. Les Funtleder, health care strategist at Miller Tayback. Thank you.
Funtleder: Thank you.
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