As the centrist wing of the Democratic Party appeared to be consolidating around former Vice President Joe Biden's bid for president on Monday, the day before 14 states vote in the Super Tuesday primary election contests, health insurance stocks spiked.
Observers suggested the surge may be from an expectation that a Biden victory could stop Sen. Bernie Sanders and his progressive movement, which has made universal, Medicare for All healthcare a centerpiece of the race.
"People are gleefully gambling that the health insurance CEOs will be able to continue to profit off of killing our friends and family," tweeted progressive activist Christopher Jackson.
According to Bloomberg News, the spike came after reporting that Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) was dropping out of the race and endorsing Biden:
Humana Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc., Anthem Inc. and Molina Healthcare Inc. advanced at least 1.7% each, spurring the seven-member index of S&P managed care companies toward its best day in almost three weeks. The intraday rally comes as investors leaned into bets that Klobuchar’s backers will side with Biden, and not Senator Bernie Sanders.
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As Common Dreams reported, Klobuchar and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who dropped out of the presidential race Sunday night—reportedly out of concern Sanders could win if moderates split the vote—are expected to officially back Biden on Monday night at a rally in Dallas.
The stock spike coming at the same time reporting on Klobuchar's endorsement was in the works provided voters with "everything you need to know" about the Democratic primary, economist Marshall Steinbaum said on Twitter.
Cartoonist Eli Valley, an outspoken supporter of Sanders, echoed those remarks, saying that the stock surge was a "reminder of what's at stake, and which candidate brings euphoria to the U.S. Health Care Murder Cartel."
The contrast between Sanders and Biden—and the broader progressive and establishment wings of the party—could not be clearer, said progressive activist Jordan Uhl. In a tweet, Uhl juxtaposed the stock spike following Klobuchar's dropping out and scheduled endorsement of Biden with a January post by Sanders surrogate Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) calling for Medicare for All and noting the fact that 45,000 Americans die each year from not having health insurance.
"Which side are you on?" asked Uhl.