Premiums for Affordable Care Act policies are set to rocket higher in many places in 2018. Many of the rates for next year won't be made public until November, but The New York Times found that Georgia has already approved increases of up to 57.5 percent, while the average rate in Florida will jump by about 45 percent and the average in New Mexico will climb by 30 percent. Minnesota, on the other hand, announced this week that a new state reinsurance program has helped stabilize rates and price changes for individual plans in the state will range from a decrease of 38 percent to an increase of 3 percent.
Confusion stemming from the White House and Congress, including uncertainty about whether the Trump administration will continue to make cost-sharing payments to insurers, is largely driving the increases. Keep in mind, though, that about 85 percent of people who buy insurance through Obamacare exchanges won’t feel the price hikes because their plans are subsidized — but the federal government will have to shell out more for those subsidies.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is preparing to announce a plan for the federal government to guarantee a job paying $15 an hour and providing health-care benefits to every American “who wants one or needs one.” The jobs would be on government projects in areas such as infrastructure, care giving, the environment and education. The proposal is still being crafted, and Sanders’ representative said his office had not yet come up with a cost estimate or funding plan. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) last week tweeted support for a federal jobs guarantee, but Republicans have long opposed such proposals, saying they would cost too much. (Washington Post)
Childhood poverty cost $1.03 trillion in 2015, including the loss of economic productivity, increased spending on health care and increased crime rates, according to a recent study in the journal Social Work Research. That annual cost represents about 5.4 percent of U.S. GDP. “It is estimated that for every dollar spent on reducing childhood poverty, the country would save at least $7 with respect to the economic costs of poverty,” says Mark R. Rank, a co-author of the study and professor of social welfare at Washington University in St. Louis. (Futurity)
A new survey by the Spectrem Group, a market research firm, finds that almost 80 percent of investors with net worth between $100,000 and $25 million (not including their home) say that the U.S. political environment is their biggest concern, followed by government gridlock (76 percent) and the national debt (75 percent).
At least two key Republican senators are unlikely to support an effort to roll back parts of the $1.3. trillion spending bill passed by Congress last month, The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis reported Monday evening. While aides to President Trump are working with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on a package of spending cuts, Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) expressed opposition to the idea, meaning a rescission bill might not be able to get a simple majority vote in the Senate. And Roll Call reports that other Republican senators have expressed significant skepticism, too. “It’s going nowhere,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said.