Health-care stocks took their own victory lap on Joe Biden's Super Tuesday comeback in the Democratic presidential primary. Shares of health insurers, providers, and drugmakers all outperformed the broader market on Wednesday.

It's not an entirely unreasonable move. The former vice president’s health policies would be substantially less disruptive to the industry than Bernie Sanders's "Medicare for All" single-payer proposal, which calls for doing away with private health insurance among other things. No surprise, then, that insurers including UnitedHealthGroup Inc. saw the most significant gains.

That doesn’t mean  Biden’s plan is necessarily benign. On issues such as drug pricing, the candidates aren't quite as far apart as investors might think. Even if Sanders can't mount a comeback of his own, the industry isn't entirely out of the woods.

Biden wants to introduce a new Medicare-like public coverage option and boost Obamacare's health-insurance subsidies — far from the worst-case scenario for the industry of private insurance being eliminated altogether. Even on the spectrum of public options proposed in this campaign, Biden's isn’t the most threatening. It only proposes to auto-enroll 4.9 million Americans and wouldn't fold in Medicaid or Medicare, limiting its initial reach.

Still, any new government entry into health coverage is a long-term threat for private insurers. If Biden's public option is appealing and affordable, it will attract people who currently have private plans. Competition is preferable to extinction, but insurers will still lobby like hell to defang or kill the proposal. In the meantime, they face an unpleasant policy environment through at least November.

Health-care providers are in a similar boat should Biden become the nominee. Instead of Medicare for All's massive universal price cuts, Biden's plan would have hospitals negotiate with a public option of unknown but not initially enormous size. It represents a shift to the profitable status-quo, but not its annihilation. But the threat to both sectors could increase should Biden move left in an attempt to win back Sanders voters. It’s possible a more detailed proposal down the line unveils a more expansive public option or provider price caps. There's also the seemingly ignored fact that something like Biden's platform has a much better chance of actually becoming law.

When it comes to drugmakers, once again, Sanders has a more ambitious plan. He would allow Medicare to negotiate pharmaceutical prices for the whole country and peg all drug reimbursement to the lower prices available other nations. But Biden doesn't need to move to be plenty scary to the industry; his drug-pricing plan hits directly at the heart of what makes the drug industry so lucrative in the U.S.: a globally unique lack of pricing restraint. While Biden would allow Medicare to negotiate prices as well — not for everyone, but for people insured by the program. But even that is a nightmare for the pharmaceutical industry. He would also reach into the broader market in a big way by limiting both the launch prices of expensive new drugs and abusive price hikes.

It would be strange if health stocks didn’t bounce on bad news for Bernie Sanders. Just don’t count on the good feeling lasting forever.

This article provided by Bloomberg News.