Healthcare ETFs: What’s the Prognosis?

Includes: IYH, VHT, XLV
by: Tom Lydon

No matter which health care reform option ultimately gets passed, the overall sector and related ETFs seem to be on a positive uptrend lately.

Health care reform has been centered around the passage of a “public health care option” which ultimately means that Americans would have the right to choose whether they want public health insurance.

Khronostock on Daily Markets reports that having the public health insurance option means that Americans would have a choice of keeping the health insurance they currently have, buying health insurance from one of the many private health insurance companies, or choosing a public health insurance plan.

The so-called August offensive is launched by the Democrats against the insurance industry, as Republicans remain opposed to the proposed health care overhaul. The main message of the campaign is that by making over the health care system, consumers will be protected against unscrupulous health care practices, such as refusing patients with pre-existing conditions, reports Sheryl Gay Stolberg and David M. Herzenhorn for The New York Times.

President Barack Obama’s plan involves a government-run health insurance plan that will compete with the private sector, but in the meantime, should not hurt those who are already insured.

Wherever health care goes, be sure to watch the trend lines for signs of any potential long-term uptrend (or vice versa).

  • iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare Sector (NYSEARCA:IYH): up 7.8% year-to-date

  • Vanguard Health Care (NYSEARCA:VHT): up 7.8% year-to-date

  • Health Care Select Sector (NYSEARCA:XLV): up 7% year-to-date