Published Mar 21, 2010

There’s this thing you sometimes see in business, where something big happens to a company and the stock… just doesn’t move at all. Like, for instance, somebody releases big quarterly sales numbers at noon and the stock price is just the same at 5pm as it was at 8am. This happens when investors already have a good guess about the news that’s coming out and have already bought or sold their stock in anticipation of that news — the market has already reacted to the news, because of the anticipation of that news.

Well, that’s what’s happened with healthcare reform: the electoral results in November will look the same whether or not healthcare is now already passed. The very aggressive anti-healthcare reform bill media and PR blitz that’s taken place in the last few months has probably already convinced anyone who might be against the healthcare bill to vote Republican in November. If the bill doesn’t pass, well, all those people will probably vote Republican just on the principle of the healthcare reform bill having been such a bad idea.

So if some event is already priced into your stock, well, what’s the downside of preventing that event? Same for elections. Paradoxically, the anti-bill outreach has been so effective that there’s no longer a downside to voting for it for Democrats. And there’s enough of those to pass it.