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Health Shares Rise on Public Option Deal

Shares of U.S. health insurers rose on Wednesday after Congressional leaders agreed to move away from creating a government-run insurance plan long viewed as damaging to the insurance industry.

Gains were likely muted by new measures in the deal that would expand Medicare eligibility to younger adults and new requirments for insurers to spend a certain amount of premiums on medical costs.

One provision would require the insurance companies to spend 90 percent of premium revenue on medical services and costs. Such measures, known as medical loss ratios, are closely watched by Wall Street to gauge company profitability.