Yes it is hard to believe. After all the whin­ing, kvetch­ing and com­plain­ing about what the Afford­able Care Act would do to the insur­ance indus­try (ignor­ing what it would do for con­sumers), car­ri­ers actu­al­ly, some­how, strug­gled hard and made mon­ey. A report from the Coun­cil of Eco­nom­ic Advi­sors said the fol­low­ing (a direct quote is worth a thou­sand words)

After an ini­tial adjust­ment peri­od, insur­ers’ finan­cial health, as mea­sured by their stock prices, sur­passed ear­li­er lev­els. Pri­or to ACA imple­men­ta­tion, health insur­ers’ stock val­ues moved with the S&P index, but after imple­men­ta­tion, they diverged sig­nif­i­cant­ly. As gov­ern­ment pol­i­cy ampli­fied eli­gi­bil­i­ty and per enrollee spend­ing, the stock prices of health insur­ance com­pa­nies rose by 272% from Jan­u­ary 2016 to 2018 result­ing in improved prof­itabil­i­ty and out­per­form­ing the S&P 500 by 106%.

Maybe they were hop­ing for 300%…tough break guys.