Health insurer Anthem surged to its biggest gain in over 11 years after former Vice President Joe Biden scored big wins in Super Tuesday presidential primaries versus rival Sen. Bernie Sanders. Wall Street views Biden as the more business friendly candidate and even more so for health insurance companies. Sanders’ platform includes a form of universal health care, which investors fear could threaten the health insurance industry’s profits.
Other health insurers also posted big gains, including UnitedHealth Group and Cigna. Democratic presidential candidates agree on expanding coverage to the 28 million people who remain uninsured, even as they sharply debate how to do that. Biden and other moderates would build on the Affordable Care Act, while Sanders wants to institute a new government health plan to cover all U.S. residents, including those who now have private insurance.