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S&P Equity Research; Health Care Reform After The Buzzsaw - Where Are We Now?
Date:2/8/2010

market, despite calls for a period of between 5-7 years from several Congressional leaders and the White House.  The 12-year exclusivity was viewed as a winning scenario for the biotech industry.  Given that President Obama had called for the shorter period when legislators were trying to reconcile the two bills, we expected a new round of lobbying over the issue as reform legislation is revamped, and we see potential for the exclusivity period to be shortened once again, which we would view as a negative for the industry.

S&P Equity Research believes any cutbacks in proposed reforms would be generally negative for the heath care facilities providers, most notably the acute-care hospitals.  While any scaling back of reform is expected to eliminate the $155 billion in reimbursement concessions already agreed to by the industry to help finance reform, it could also mean that the great majority of the uninsured do not get health insurance benefits, thus leaving the industry with no near-term solution for its most pervasive problem: uncompensated care or care for which it is not reimbursed, (uncompensated care currently comprise about 20% of total revenue).  Moreover, in S&P Equity Research's view, with dramatic growth in health care expenditures and ensuing budgetary pressures, Medicare will likely be forced to seek future rate reductions from hospitals that would be even more severe than the $155 billion that had been agreed to.

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