Fox's Charles Payne laments "unmitigated carnage" in health insurance stocks from popularity of Bernie Sanders' "Medicare for all" proposal
Payne: "Bernie is the person I think right now that Wall Street is most afraid of, and they should be"
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From the April 17 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:
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SANDRA SMITH (CO-ANCHOR): Charles, this is -- this is really sort of unprecedented for the head of a publicly traded company to come out like this and take on what is being touted as "Medicare for all," free health care for all.
CHARLES PAYNE (FOX BUSINESS HOST): And what's interesting is he did it yesterday after the company reported their earnings. Earnings were phenomenal, the guidance was phenomenal, the stock was up $8. But he dropped this bombshell and he essentially said if Bernie Sanders is allowed to put this plan through, we're going to be devastated. Not just his company. Let me give you an example. Bernie unveiled this new Medicare for all plan on April 10. At the time United Health shares were trading at $249 a share. Right now they're $215 a share in just a little over a week.
SMITH: Got to tell you, they've gone even lower than that now. Today they hit $209.
PAYNE: Wow. Yeah. I mean, so, unmitigated carnage. Unmitigated carnage for a company. Yesterday the biggest loser was Healthcare HCA, which is the biggest hospital operator. We are talking about destroying an entire industry. And it's worrying -- and here's the thing, Wall Street is taking it seriously. Wall Street's certainly acting as if Bernie Sanders without a doubt is certainly the front-runner, and at this time, giving it a chance that he could actually be elected. His -- for all the rhetoric that we're hearing from everyone else, from Green New Deal and everything else, he's the only Democrat who is actually moving markets, and he's moving them down substantially. Knocking billions of dollars of market value out of these companies.
PAYNE: Essentially he is taking a program right now where 190 million Americans, their employers are paying for it. He's saying I don't want these employers to pay for it. I want taxpayers to pay for it. Here's a guy who just tweeted last night about companies not paying taxes. This is an ideal setup. How we operate our medical system probably needs to be addressed more, but we spend so much money, it's mismanagement of what we spend and those sort of things. But I got to tell you something, it's pretty clear that a lot of people are worried. Wall Street is certainly worried, they're dumping these stocks like crazy despite the fact that they're doing pretty well right now.
BILL HEMMER (CO-ANCHOR): Is that a suggestion that they think Bernie can win?
PAYNE: Absolutely. Without a doubt, 100%. Again, no other candidate has moved the needle like this. No other presidential candidate, no other Democrat who's in the news all the time. For all of the far-flung ideas that are being tossed out there that would cost trillions of dollars, this is the one that's gotten Wall Street's attention, this is the one that's creating carnage in the market.
HEMMER: But you do understand, he would have to win. Democrats would have to hold the House, and they'd probably have to take the Senate, too, to even have a shot at this.
PAYNE: There's no doubt about that.
HEMMER: This is like 2009 all over again.
PAYNE: Listen, I've got a medical stock, MOH. I'm getting hammered in it. I'm no going to sell it for those reasons that you just mentioned, the Molina Healthcare. But you have to acknowledge what's happening right now is really pretty remarkable.
SMITH: When it comes to Democrats and those running that have officially announced they're running, is there a favorite on Wall Street right now?
PAYNE: Ironically, it could be Biden. For everyone who's running, everyone who's saying yeah, I'm OK with Medicare for all, I'm OK with the Green New Deal, I think ironically Wall Street would probably prefer Joe Biden to all these other candidates. Maybe Amy Klobuchar hasn't been as outrageous with some of her comments with respect to the economy. But Bernie is the person I think right now that Wall Street is most afraid of, and they should be.