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Walt Bernard Podgurski,  Editor,  440-773-1108, 
Walt@DailyInsuranceReport.com

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Editorial Mission Statement: The goal of this publication is to provide readers a broad selection of what is being written about the insurance industry and related issues. Some articles may have a “tilt” towards a particular perspective one way or another. Inclusion in this newsletter is not an endorsement of any views or content; but report the various and differing views appearing in media.
  Monday, 07/08/19 - https://DailyInsuranceReport.com 

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Kamala Harris Says ‘Medicare for All’ Wouldn’t End Private Insurance. It Would
Sahil Kapur / Bloomberg / Yahoo Finance

Kamala Harris says she supports “Medicare for All,” and she has cosponsored legislation with Bernie Sanders. But unlike her Democratic presidential rival, she says the plan wouldn’t end private insurance.

That’s misleading. The measure would outlaw all private insurance for medically necessary services but allow a sliver to remain for supplemental coverage. It would force the roughly 150 million Americans who are insured through their employer to switch to a government-run program.

Harris is trying to find a narrow path between two competing constituencies in the Democratic Party. On one side are progressives who passionately support so-called single payer insurance and are pushing the party to the left. On the other is the party establishment, which believes that calling for an end to private insurance for millions would be political suicide against President Donald Trump in 2020.

Her attempts to please both camps could become a vulnerability for a campaign that is surging after a strong performance in last week’s debates, though allies say her rhetoric about a role for private insurance would be more politically viable in a general election.



States, US House file supplemental briefs ahead of ‘Obamacare’ arguments
By Alex Thomas / MetroNews, THE VOICE OF WET VIRGINIA

Parties arguing on the constitutionality of former President Barack Obama’s health care law filed additional briefs Friday as they prepare to appear in a federal courtroom next week.

Judges with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans will hear arguments on Tuesday regarding the constitutionality of “Obamacare.” A federal judge in December ruled the law unconstitutional because of Congress’ elimination of the individual mandate provision in 2017.

A group of 18 states, including West Virginia, are arguing the individual mandate is essential to “Obamacare,” referencing Supreme Court Justice John Roberts’ 2012 decision upholding the law. The U.S. Department of Justice also supports Judge Reed O’Connor’s decision from December.

A health care analyst told MetroNews in March if “Obamacare” is nullified, up to 18 million people nationwide would be unable to get insured again.



Biden’s Healthcare Idea For Undocumented Immigrants Already Exists
Bruce Japsen, Senior Contributor Healthcare

Former vice president Joe Biden’s support of emergency healthcare services for undocumented immigrants is an idea already woven into U.S. health policy and offered voluntarily by nonprofit hospitals.

“In an emergency, they should have healthcare. Everybody should,” former vice president Joe Biden told CNN’s Chris Cuomo Friday, clarifying his position on just how much healthcare undocumented immigrants should be allowed under U.S. law. "How do you say 'you're undocumented, I'm gonna let you die, man?'"

But emergency care and treatment at hospitals as well as federally-subsidized community health centers is already available and provided to undocumented immigrants.

“Whatever their situation under the law, the 11.3 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States still need, and sometimes get, health care,” Dr. Alan Taylor Kelley, of the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation wrote in a recent column discussing undocumented care for immigrants.

“Even if they don’t have health insurance, federal law requires hospitals to care for them in emergencies,” Kelley said. “They can turn to safety-net clinics for basic needs.”



Letters: Status quo in healthcare is no longer an option
Modern Healthcare

The article “Report: Patients’ out-of pocket costs increased up to 14%” is a stark reminder: With many American workers living paycheck to paycheck, even expensively insured families can face financial ruin from routine illness and injury. That dilemma is echoed on a national scale: with healthcare consuming nearly 18% of gross domestic product and rising, the question is not whether we can afford to change the system radically but whether we can afford not to.

Soaring healthcare costs are driving America’s wage stagnation problem. Employer-sponsored health coverage is compensation, and the cost has risen so fast that there’s little room for wage increases. When we ask how we can pay for universal health coverage we should remember that the amount employers and employees now spend on health coverage could become taxable income under a single-payer system.



California legislators could save gig workers — or ruin the part-time economy
By THE TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD / Los Angeles Times

California legislators could save gig workers — or ruin the part-time economy
Uber and Lyft drivers demonstrate outside of Uber headquarters in San Francisco on May 8. (Eric Risberg / Associated Press)
California’s Silicon Valley created the “gig economy,” in which on-demand services are powered by on-demand workers, typically working part-time. Now, the California Legislature is considering proposals that could fundamentally change how the companies behind these services treat their workers — for better or for worse.

The central question is whether on-demand workers — like, say, Uber and Lyft drivers who determine their own schedules — will continue to be treated as independent contractors, who aren’t protected by state laws on wages, hours and benefits, or as employees, who are. Union lobbyists and some lawmakers contend that tech companies are gaming the system to exploit workers; they are backing a bill by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) that would force on-demand services to treat all their workers as employees.

The companies reply that such a move would rob the system of the flexibility that makes it so attractive to the vast majority of on-demand workers.



Congress’ new SECURE Act bill is the most significant retirement plan legislation in years
by Erin Arvedlund / The Philadephia Enquirer

In May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the most significant retirement-savings bill in more than a decade.

It’s called the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement, or the SECURE Act of 2019.

Here are some key provisions:

More time in IRAs and 401(k)s. The bill would push back the age for required minimum distributions (RMDs) from 70½ to 72 years old.

Grant part-time workers benefits. Long-term part-time employees would be able to participate in their company’s 401(k) plans.

Boost small-business 401(k)s. Small businesses could band together in group plans.

Annuity adoptions. Would allow employer-sponsored 401(k) plans to add annuities as investment options on the menu.

529 plans. 529 plans would be expanded to pay for expenses related to an apprenticeship or to pay back as much as $10,000 in student loans.



Saddled with big student loans? These companies help employees pay off school debt

By Erin Arvedlund / Philly.com

Would millennials want to work for a company that paid off their student loans?

For plenty of college grads with heavy debt loads, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

PwC, formerly known as PricewaterhouseCoopers, has a popular loan-offset program for employees: PwC pays part of their student loans as a benefit, offering $100 a month in loan payments for up to six years. That can cut loan principal and interest by as much as $10,000 and shorten employees’ debt-payoff period by up to three years. About 8,700 PwC staffers are currently signed up for the benefit and 8,069 are receiving payments. Since launching the program in 2016, PwC — among the first large companies to tackle the student debt issue via loan repayment — has paid off $25.9 million worth of workers’ debt.



  Archives

Monday, 07/01/19 - Elizabeth Warren’s shift puts health insurers in the 2020 Democratic crossfire

Tuesday, 07/02/19 - Biden vows to oppose any Democrat or Republican who wants to dismantle ObamaCare

Wednesday, 06/26/19 - Trump signs executive order to make health costs more transparent

Thursday, 06/27/19 - A Trio of Trump Rules Will Remake U.S. Health Insurance Markets

Friday, 06-28-09 - Democrats clash over ‘Medicare for all’ in first debate


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Walt Bernard Podgurski - - Editor
440-773-1108
Walt@DailyInsuranceReport.com