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Fading Obamacare Gains Put Drag on 16% Hospital Muni-Bond Rally

  • HCA, largest U.S. hospital system, reported jump in uninsured
  • Benefits of law already reaped as unpaid medical bills decline
Updated on

For municipal-bond buyers, the boost from Obamacare is waning.

Quarterly results from U.S. hospital chains such as HCA Holdings Inc. -- which make more frequent disclosures than non-profit competitors -- suggest financial gains from the federal law are growing more limited, according to Barclays Plc. That provides an early look at a trend that may also affect non-profit hospitals, whose municipal bonds have rallied, delivering 16 percent returns in the past two years as the providers were stuck with fewer unpaid bills.