Hospital stocks were decidedly down Tuesday as the Senate began debate on repealing the Affordable Care Act, and bellwether HCA delivered disappointing second-quarter earnings.
The Nashville-based hospital chain saw its shares drop $3.91, or 4.5%, to $82.18.
Community Health Systems, which has many rural facilities among its 150 hospitals, saw its shares plunge 10% Tuesday, or 96 cents to $8.71.
Shares of Tenet Healthcare Corp., the nation's third-largest investor-owned chain, lost $1.59, or 7.5%, to $19.52.
The day started poorly with HCA missing analyst earnings estimates for the second quarter and slightly lowering earnings guidance for 2017.
The 170-hospital chain posted flat net income compared to the year-ago period. And it experienced a 1% drop in outpatient surgeries nationwide and just a 1% increase in admissions and emergency-room visits.
The rest of the hospital sector swooned with HCA on the prospect of their own weak second-quarter admissions. Then the Senate, by the narrowest of margins, voted 51-50 to debate the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.