Molina Healthcare Inc. shares plunged Thursday morning, the day after the Long Beach-based insurer said losses related to its participation in the Affordable Care Act marketplace led to "clearly unacceptable" earnings for 2016. Molina Healthcare stock was down 18% to $49.09 around 9:15 a.m. The insurer reported after the close of regular trading Wednesday that its adjusted earnings per diluted share fell to 50 cents last year, down from $2.57 the year before. The results were disappointing: Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected earnings of $2.78 a share. Income before income taxes fell to $137 million last year from $322 million the year before.
Hundreds of nurses, other healthcare workers and patients are expected to turn out at a noon rally to protest the national effort by Republican lawmakers to rescind the Affordable Care Act. Sen. Kamala Harris, a California Democrat who opposes the repeal, is scheduled to appear with healthcare activists outside Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center in Boyle Heights. Organizers of the rally, which includes Service Employees International Union and other labor groups, warn that a repeal of the law without a replacement will strip coverage from 5 million Californians and throw the healthcare system into chaos. The protest is one of several across the nation planned by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) in an effort to save the national healthcare system. President-elect Donald Trump has said that he expects Congress to act swiftly to dismantle the healthcare law, predicting last week that a "repeal and replace" will occur "simultaneously."
In this Sunday, March 5, 2017, photo, Leslie Kurtz, right, poses for a picture with her husband, Bart Bartram, daughter Rainey, and son Rio as she holds a print of an X-ray of her ankle, in Knoxville, Tenn. Leslie Kurtz needed three plates, eight screws and a big assist from her insurer after breaking every bone in her ankle during a whitewater rafting accident in 2015. Coverage she purchased through a public insurance exchange established by the federal health care law helped with her medical expenses, but that protection may not exist next year because insurers have abandoned her exchange.
UnitedHealth Group, the largest health insurer in the United States, will expand its planned withdrawal from exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act, CEO Stephen Hemsley said in an earnings call with investors Tuesday. The company reported that its first-quarter revenue rose to 44.5 billion, up 25 percent over the same period last year. Its adjusted earnings of 1.81 per share was up 17 percent from 2015 and beat analysts' expectations by 9 cents. Those revenues were driven in large part by Optum, United's health services business, which raked in 19.7 billion in revenue in the first quarter, up from 12.8 billion over the same period last year. But UnitedHealth Group continues to post losses on Obamacare exchanges, which it characterized as posing greater risks due to sicker patients with higher medical costs.
Madelyn Gilbreath can understand why Republican lawmakers say Obamacare isn't working. She had to switch this month to a cheaper plan with a higher deductible after the monthly premium for her former plan doubled. But she also knows that the Republicans won't be doing her any favors if they repeal major provisions of Obamacare without a viable -- and better -- replacement for the law. Westwood resident Gilbreath relies on her and her husband's Social Security checks to get by. She couldn't afford health insurance without the more than $700 in monthly subsidies provided by the Affordable Care Act.