Connect with us

Economy

Analysis: Bidencare or Trumpcare? Health plans will affect the U.S. economy differently – The Journal Pioneer

Published

 on


By Ann Saphir

(Reuters) – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wants to expand the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare legislation, and then name it after himself.

Republican President Donald Trump wants to end it altogether, and replace it with something that has yet to be defined.

An ongoing debate over which approach is better for the economy is partly about price tags. Bidencare is forecast to increase federal healthcare spending by $2 trillion or more over 10 years. Trump’s approach is to hold federal spending stable or reduce it.

Bidencare supporters emphasize the stimulative effects of government spending, especially in a period of economic distress, and the benefits of insuring more people in the middle of a pandemic. Those who prefer Trump’s approach say it would avoid debt or tax increases they say would drag on future economic growth.

The United States has about 30 million people without health insurance https://tmsnrt.rs/3mzqQxC now, down from about 46.5 million in 2010, when the ACA was passed.

Graphic – Under ACA, a drop in the number of uninsured: https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-ELECTION/ECONOMY-HEALTHCARE/rlgpdxbompo/chart.png

Bidencare would cut that figure by a further 15 million to 20 million, an analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates. Trump isn’t expected to try to reduce that.

Healthcare spending is equal to 17% of the U.S. economy, far more than any other industrialized country, so the Trumpcare vs. Bidencare debate is no small economic matter. It’s further complicated by the fact that extra spending doesn’t translate to a healthier populace than other counties.

“Improving healthcare performance is a critical part of strengthening America’s health, economy and fiscal future, and should be top a priority for the next president and Congress,” says Peterson Foundation CEO Michael Peterson.

BIDENCARE FOCUSES ON LOWER-INCOME AMERICANS

Bidencare would cover more Americans by increasing subsidized health insurance purchases through tax credits.

It would also offer a “public option,” allowing anyone who wants it to buy in, even if their job offers private insurance. Lower-income families shut out of ACA’s expanded Medicaid eligibility because of where they live could get it premium-free.

Any boost to health and financial stability is likely to be biggest for millions of low-income households, particularly Latino and Black families who have been particularly hard-hit during the pandemic.

For these groups especially, says the University of Michigan School of Public Health’s Helen Levy, being able to accumulate assets “is really important if you think about supporting economic mobility.”

Minorities get and die from COVID-19 at higher rates than whites, data shows. Some of that is probably because Blacks and Latinos are more likely to work in jobs that put them at higher risk of transmission.

But even without COVID-19, minorities face higher rates of chronic disease and earlier death than whites. They also have lower rates of health insurance despite substantial gains since the advent of the ACA, a study by Kaiser Family Foundation shows.

Biden said he would pay for his plan through higher taxes on the wealthy, and use the clout of expanded public insurance to keep down medical costs.

Increasing the number of insured Americans could have positive economic consequences.

There’s evidence that the uninsured who do get sick get care in expensive settings like the emergency room, says UCLA public health policy professor Gerald Kominski. That takes a toll on their financial health and, when they can’t pay, strains the finances of hospitals that provide their care, with taxpayers footing part of that bill as well.

People in states where uninsured rates fell under Obamacare had fewer past-due debts, were less likely to use payday loans or file for bankruptcy, had better credit and were less likely to be evicted than those in states that did not expand Medicaid eligibility under the ACA.

“The whole reason people should get insurance, from an economist’s perspective, is to protect them against catastrophic losses,” says University of Minnesota professor Sayeh Nikpay.

TRUMPCARE LESS CLEAR, BUT CHEAPER

Trump tried and failed to get Congress to repeal the ACA in his first four-year term, and is likely to continue to it in some form during a second term.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a challenge to the law a week after Tuesday’s presidential election. A ruling to dismantle the ACA would put coverage of 21 million Americans in jeopardy, according to the Urban Institute, though most legal scholars don’t expect the court to do so.

If it does, Trump hasn’t specified a plan to replace it. One blueprint may be the Health Care Choices Proposal, put together by conservative health policy experts at the Galen Institute and the Heritage Foundation.

The plan would turn money now used for the ACA over to states to help people buy private health insurance and to provide coverage for low-income households.

An analysis by the right-leaning nonprofit think tank American Action Forum found the proposal would lower premiums by 18% to 24%. The number of uninsured would remain steady.

“The macroeconomic effects would be better than either current law or proposals to devote more public resources to the ACA,” says author Doug Badger. Reducing premiums, he said, would be the “best form of economic stimulus” because it would put money in the pockets of regular Americans.

That analysis is disputed.

Bidencare’s high price tag does worry Bipartisan Policy Center Senior Vice President William Hoagland, a former staffer to Republican lawmakers. But, he said, it’s worth paying for broader health insurance access, which he said would lead to a stronger economy.

“I’m going to come down on the side that a healthy country, and a reduction in chronic conditions, improves productivity, and improving productivity increases economic growth,” he said.

(Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Heather Timmons and Jonathan Oatis)

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Economy

Canadian dollar moves to extend weekly win streak as oil rebounds

Published

 on

Canadian dollar

The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart on Friday and was on track for its seventh straight weekly gain as oil prices rose and domestic data added to evidence of robust economic growth in the first quarter.

Canadian factory sales rose 3.5% in March from February, led by the motor vehicle, petroleum and coal, and food product industries, while wholesale trade was up 2.8%, Statistics Canada said.

The price of oil, one of Canada‘s major exports, reversed some of the previous day’s sharp losses as stock markets strengthened, though gains were capped by the coronavirus situation in major oil consumer India and the restart of a fuel pipeline in the United States.

U.S. crude prices rose 1.2% to $64.61 a barrel, while the Canadian dollar was trading 0.6% higher at 1.2093 to the greenback, or 82.69 U.S. cents, moving back in reach of Wednesday’s 6-year peak at 1.2042.

For the week, the loonie was on track to gain 0.3%. It has climbed more than 5% since the start of the year, the biggest gain among G10 currencies, supported by surging commodity prices and a shift last month to a more hawkish stance by the Bank of Canada.

Still, BoC Governor Tiff Macklem said on Thursday if the currency continues to rise, it could create headwinds for exports and business investment as well as affecting monetary policy.

The U.S. dollar fell against a basket of major currencies, pressured by a recovery in risk appetite across markets after Federal Reserve officials helped calm concerns about a quick policy tightening in response to accelerating U.S. inflation.

Canadian government bond yields were lower across much of a flatter curve, with the 10-year down 2 basis points at 1.549%. On Thursday, it touched its highest intraday in eight weeks at 1.624%.

 

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

Continue Reading

Economy

Toronto Stock Exchange rises 1.21% to 19,366.69

Published

 on

Toronto Stock Exchange

* The Toronto Stock Exchange‘s TSX rises 1.21 percent to 19,366.69

* Leading the index were SNC-Lavalin Group Inc <SNC.TO​>, up 16.0%, Village Farms International Inc​, up 9.8%, and Denison Mines Corp​, higher by 9.4%.

* Lagging shares were Aurora Cannabis Inc​​, down 7.2%, Centerra Gold Inc​, down 3.8%, and Canadian National Railway Co​, lower by 3.7%.

* On the TSX 194 issues rose and 35 fell as a 5.5-to-1 ratio favored advancers. There were 25 new highs and no new lows, with total volume of 225.7 million shares.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Enbridge Inc, Manulife Financial Corp and Cenovus Energy Inc.

* The TSX’s energy group rose 3.32 points, or 2.7%, while the financials sector climbed 4.80 points, or 1.3%.

* West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 2.65%, or $1.69, to $65.51 a barrel. Brent crude  rose 2.68%, or $1.8, to $68.85 [O/R]

* The TSX is up 11.1% for the year.

This summary was machine generated May 14 at 21:03 GMT.

Continue Reading

Economy

U.S., Mexico, Canada to hold ‘robust’ talks on trade deal

Published

 on

The United States, Mexico and Canada will next week hold their first formal talks on their continental trade deal, with particular focus on labor and environmental obligations, the U.S. government said on Friday.

Trade ministers from the three nations are set to meet virtually on Monday and Tuesday to discuss the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) deal, which took effect in July 2020.

“The ministers will receive updates about work already underway to advance cooperation … and will hold robust discussions about USMCA’s landmark labor and environmental obligations,” the office of U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a statement.

The United States is also reviewing tariffs which may be leading to inflation in the country, economic adviser Cecilia Rouse told reporters at the White House on Friday, a move that could affect hundreds of billions of dollars in trade.

The United States, testing provisions in the new deal aimed at strengthening Mexican unions, this week asked Mexico to investigate alleged abuses at a General Motors Co factory.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Jonathan Oatis)

Continue Reading

Trending