NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 04/02/12 -- The Healthcare Industry had an impressive day Thursday after reassuring words from the U.S. Supreme Court on "Obamacare". UnitedHealth Group, Aetna, Cigna, Coventry, and HealthNet all gained more than 3 percent last Thursday as the Supreme Court justices' rhetoric implied that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would either be upheld or rejected as a whole. The Paragon Report examines the outlook for companies in the Healthcare Industry and provides equity research on Express Scripts, Inc. (NASDAQ: ESRX) and Medco Health Solutions Inc. (NYSE: MHS)
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The critical topic of debate has been the issue of the individual mandate and severability. If the individual mandate is struck down but the rest is upheld, it would still require health insurance companies to provide health care to individuals regardless of pre-existing conditions. "Relatively healthy people would just wait until they became sick, and then, you know, purchase a policy in the ambulance, so to speak," said Matthew Coffina, senior health care analyst at Morningstar.
The Obama administration argued that if the mandate is found unconstitutional, many insurance regulations must be tossed out as well. The rest of the law can stand, it argued. But Justice Antonin Scalia asked the government's lawyer, "Can you give us a prior case... that resembles this one in which we are asked to strike down... the heart of the Act, and yet leave in... the rest of it? When have we ever really struck down what was the main purpose of the Act, and left the rest?"
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Pharmacy benefits managers Express Scripts Inc. said on Wednesday it expects its plan to buy rival Medco Health Solutions Inc. for $29 billion to close as early as the week of April 2, subject to the satisfaction of closing conditions.
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