Biden takes aim at Trump’s health care policy

Friday already?! Here’s what we’re looking at as we prepare for lawmakers to return to Washington next week.

Biden moves to limit ‘junk insurance’

President Joe Biden on Friday proposed a series of initiatives intended to reduce health care costs, including new restrictions on short-term insurance plans that critics are calling “junk” because they can leave patients with limited coverage and heavy medical costs not pay.

Access to short-term insurance plans, which typically cost less than plans available through the Affordable Care Act but also fail to provide comprehensive coverage—many don’t cover, for example, pre-existing conditions—has been expanded by the administration Trump, who presented them as a cheaper alternative to Obamacare. Democratic politicians say the plans are risky for consumers and siphon off healthier customers that are needed for federal health care exchanges to function properly.

Under the new regulations, short-term plans would be limited to three months, with a potential extension for an additional month. Under Trump, short-term plans were available for up to three years.

The proposed new rules would fill loopholes exploited by the previous administration that allow companies to offer deceptive insurance products that can discriminate based on pre-existing terms and trick consumers into buying products that provide little or no coverage when they need it most. the White House said in a declaration. If finalized, the rule would limit so-called short-term plans to really short periods of time, close loopholes aggravated by the previous administration, and establish clear disclosure to consumers of the limitations of these plans.

Speaking at a White House event, Biden said the new policies were part of his Bidenomics program designed to help ordinary citizens. “It’s not necessarily about health care, it’s about being played for an idiot,” she said. “It’s a scam and it needs to stop.”

Other initiatives announced today include new restrictions on unannounced medical billing and tighter regulation of credit cards issued to pay off medical debt. The White House also noted that a new analysis by the Department of Health and Human Services shows that 18.7 million people enrolled in Medicare Part D will save about $400 a year in drug costs once the provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act will go into effect in 2025, for cumulative savings totaling $7.4 billion.

Quote of the day

It was bad business. One caveat is that you can’t give governors too much power to get on the phone with selfish billionaires.

Talk to New York State Senator Sean Ryan The Wall Street Journal about a $1 billion facility built by his state for Tesla in Buffalo to house what was to be the largest solar panel factory in the Western Hemisphere. The 1.2 million-square-foot site, leased to Tesla for $1 a year, employs far fewer people than originally planned. An analysis by the New York comptroller found 54 cents of economic benefit for every dollar spent to build the structure, and state officials have already written off about 90 percent of the original investment.

The project highlights the risks politicians face when deploying publicly funded investment capital to benefit private companies. EJ McMahon of the Empire Center for Public Policy, a conservative think tank, told the Journal that the investment in the Buffalo plant is one of the worst on record. In terms of sheer direct cost to taxpayers, this could be considered the greatest economic development waste in American history, McMahon said.

Employment growth slows in June, but only slightly

The job market expanded again in June as employers hired 209,000 people, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday.

The numbers were something of a disappointment, below expectations and well short of the revised 309,000 jobs added in May. But the results still point to a surprisingly robust economy, even as hiring is easing. Average hourly wages increased 4.4% year-on-year, while the unemployment rate fell by a tenth of a point a year. 3.6%close to the 50-year low.

It’s a good solid straight in the middle, this little engine still huffing down the payrolls report, She said University of Michigan economist Justin Wolfers.

Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su said the report marks the longest period of unemployment below 4% since the 1960s. Su also noted that labor force participation for early-age women (ages 25 to 54) hit a new high of 77.8 percent in June. And the overall employment-to-population ratio for early-age Americans rose to 80.9%, its highest since April 2001 and not far from the record high of 81.9% recorded in April 2000.

As Neil Irwin of Axios wrote, this expansion is making Americans work at a pace never seen before in this century.

Most analysts concluded that the report likely increases the chances that the Federal Reserve will resume its anti-inflationary campaign of interest rate hikes later this month. The latest jobs and wages data add to evidence that economic activity hasn’t slowed as much as Fed officials expected, and let them likely hike interest rates to a 22-year high at their 25- July 26, The Wall Street Journals Sarah Chaney Cambon he wrote. Inflation has declined from its recent peak a year ago, but remains about double the Fed’s 2% target.

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Day number: 8%

Just 8 percent of respondents to a Gallup poll released this week said they trust Congress, one of the lowest readings ever recorded in the annual poll that tracks attitudes toward major US institutions.

Overall, trust in American institutions has hit an all-time low, with only 26% of respondents saying they have much or very much trust in the nine institutions (church/organized religion, military, Supreme Court, banks, schools, newspapers, congress , labor organizations and large companies) Gallup has consistently asked for information since 1979.

Most institutions rated this year are within three points of an all-time low confidence score, including four that are at or near an all-time low, Gallup She said. The only institutions that have a positive assessment from the majority of respondents are small businesses (65%) and the armed forces (60%).

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