Republicans are unified against Biden’s plans for health care, environmental protection and civil rights. But they might not be able to stop progress on those issues — not to mention tax increases and stronger financial regulation — should Democrats Rafael Warnock and Jon Ossoff emerge victorious today.
The disinvestment during the pandemic, especially in developing regions, will compound over the decade, slowing down the economic spurt expected as the pandemic subsides, according to the World Bank Global Economic Prospects report.
Georgia voters are set to decide the balance of power in Congress in a pair of high-stakes Senate runoff elections that will help determine President-elect Joe Biden’s capacity to enact what may be the most progressive governing agenda in generations. Democrats must win both races to gain Senate control.
A new survey places COVID-19 regulatory hurdle atop the top 10 regulatory issues that employers should be monitoring in 2021. President Trump signed the latest COVID-19 relief bill into law last month, which includes a new round Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding for small businesses.
Transit riders from Seoul to Hong Kong often wear them if they’re coming down with something, a public-health measure borne in part from the SARS outbreak in 2003. Routine mask-wearing might be asking too much of Americans, a land of rugged individuals. But doctors see ample room for targeted use, especially during flu season.
Genworth and Oceanwide have not extended the current Dec. 31, 2020, “end date” under the merger agreement, Genworth said in a news release on its website. The deadline to complete the merger already has been extended 16 times. Such a merger was expected to infuse Genworth with $1.5 billion in capital.
Three of the nation’s biggest names in business – Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan – banded together with the goal of reinventing health care. Three years later, Haven is closing.
The U.S. ramped up COVID-19 vaccinations in the past few days, bringing the number of shots dispensed to about 4 million. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, also said on ABC’s “This Week” that President-elect Joe Biden’s pledge to administer 100 million shots of the vaccine within his first 100 days in office is achievable.
The IRS determined that Prince’s estate is worth $163.2 million, well above the $82.3 million valuation submitted by Comerica Bank & Trust, the estate’s administrator. In the IRS’s view, Prince’s estate owes another $32.4 million in federal taxes, roughly doubling the tax bill based on Comerica’s valuation.
InsuranceNewsNet’s most-read Washington Wire stories from 2020 reflect the turbulent economic reality. Tax issues, Social Security and legislation to improve retirement savings dominated our news coverage. Here are the top five news stories from our nation’s capital.
President Trump was set to jet back to the White House on New Year’s Eve Thursday after the Republican Senate rejected his demands for $2,000 COVID stimulus checks. The House quickly passed a bill for $2,000 direct payments and pushed for its enactment in the Senate.
It was a tough year to be a life insurance agent as COVID-19 swept across the country and led to business restrictions and stay-home advisories. On the other hand, the pandemic reminded Americans of the value of planning and life insurance. These five most-read stories reflect the year in life insurance.
The SECURE Act opens new opportunities for advisors to discuss long-term care planning, life insurance and guaranteed income with clients.
Paper checks are starting to go out on Wednesday— even as Democrats and President Donald Trump are embroiled in a contentious haggling session with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Kentucky Republican on Tuesday blocked quick passage of a House-approved bipartisan measure to increase the checks to $2,000.
The year in annuities included good news, bad news, regulation and legislation. Annuities sold great, sold poorly and, for a brief period, didn’t sell at all as insurers pulled products from the shelves during the raging COVID-19 pandemic. Check out these five most-read annuity stories from InsuranceNewsNet.
A look at INN’s most-read health-related articles for the year showed that long-term care insurance attracted the most reader interest, with two of the five most popular health-related articles devoted to the topic.
President Donald Trump last Tuesday called the bill a “disgrace,” but he ultimately signed it Sunday evening after claimants saw their benefits expire Saturday. The federal legislation would extend unemployment programs until March 14. All claimants would also get a $300 supplemental benefit that would last through that same time period.
According to EY analysis, with an overall value of $1.4 trillion, US M&A in 2020 is tracking below 2019′ s value of $1.8 trillion, but still ranks sixth for deal values in the post-global financial crisis of 2007–2008 period. During 2020, the technology sector recorded 3,171 deals valued at $447 billion, accounting for 32% of the total deal value.
In his statement, Trump repeated his frustrations with the COVID-19 relief bill for providing only $600 checks to most Americans instead of the $2,000 that his fellow Republicans already rejected. He also complained about what he considered unnecessary spending by the government at large.
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell by 89,000 last week to a still-elevated 803,000, evidence that the job market remains under stress nine months after the coronavirus outbreak sent the U.S. economy into recession and caused millions of layoffs.
By March 23, Apple had lost $435 billion in market value in about five weeks and many of its retail outlets were shut as the virus pandemic walloped the global economy and stock markets. On Dec. 21, Apple’s stock market value totaled over $2.18 trillion, up 121% since March 23.
—The U.S. government is negotiating with Pfizer to acquire tens of millions of additional vaccine doses in exchange for helping the pharmaceutical giant gain better access to manufacturing supplies. Pfizer’s vaccine was the first to gain approval from the Food and Drug Administration and initial shipments went to states last week.
Health insurance agents saw a flood of people wanting to sign up for coverage in the 2021 open enrollment period for the Obamacare marketplaces – so many people needing coverage, in fact, that some agents reported they simply ran out of time to help everyone.
Congress passed a bipartisan $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill after intense negotiations over its final details. $600 direct payment checks for every adult and child earning up to $75,000. Individuals earning between $75,000 and $99,000 would get smaller checks, and the benefit cuts out entirely for individuals earning over $99,000.
The Senate cleared the massive package by a 92-6 vote after the House approved the COVID-19 package by another lopsided vote, 359-53. The six Republican senators voting against the bill were Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Rick Scott of Florida, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee of Utah and Ted Cruz of Texas.
A new federal relief package is said to feature direct “stimulus” payments of $600 to qualified adults and $600 per child. It would fund another $20 billion for small business grants and $15 billion to live event venues, according to early reports. The $600 direct payments are to be paid to individuals making up to $75,000 per year and couples making $150,000.
The legislation will protect patients from being billed in situations such as going to the emergency room and getting care from a physician who is out of network or not covered by the patient’s insurance plan. Consumers have received bills for thousands of dollars when they receive emergency care in an out-of-network facility.
Bitcoin broke price records a couple of times last week. So, is it time for advisors to add cryptocurrency to the investing toolbox? Although clients might be asking about bitcoin and its cousins, advisors are just peeking over the fence at this point.
Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., had been pressing a provision to close down Fed lending facilities that Democrats and the White House said was too broadly worded and would have tied the hands of the incoming Biden administration. The bill, lawmakers and aides say, would establish a temporary $300 per week supplemental jobless benefits and $600 direct stimulus payments.
Democrats were mounting a last-ditch effort to provide emergency aid to states, which they argued was critical to helping governments weather the pandemic and avoid huge layoffs and cuts in services that could reverberate through the economy. Republicans were working to limit the power of the Federal Reserve to provide credit to businesses.
The urgent need for a fresh round of federal aid for small businesses was reinforced Thursday by another troublesome government report on the economy, as Congress neared agreement on a new relief package.
The central elements of a hard-fought compromise appeared in place: more than $300 billion in aid to businesses; a $300-per-week bonus federal jobless benefit and renewal of soon-to-expire state benefits; $600 direct payments to individuals; vaccine distribution funds and money for renters, schools, the Postal Service and people needing food aid.
Vice President Mike Pence will publicly take the COVID-19 vaccine Friday at the White House. He and second lady Karen Pence, along with Surgeon General Jerome Adams, will publicly get the shot to “promote the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and build confidence among the American people,” the White House said.
Registered index-linked annuities (RILAs) are poised to exhibit robust growth as additional large, reputable insurers enter the space with innovative concepts, the research firm Cerulli Associates found. RILAs are one of the few annuity products showing steady growth in sales.
Several sources familiar with the negotiations confirm that the talks are converging on an agreement that would remove two contentious items from the final package: a liability shield for businesses against lawsuits, which Republicans want, and badly needed financial aid to state and local governments, which Democrats want.
The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that it will keep buying government bonds until the economy makes “substantial” progress— a step intended to reassure financial markets and keep long-term borrowing rates low indefinitely. The Fed also reiterated after its latest policy meeting that expects keep its short-term benchmark interest rate near zero.
Transamerica announced this week that it will no longer sell variable annuities with benefit riders or fixed index annuities. The company is also exiting the standalone long-term care market, Aegon executives said in a planning session Thursday.
Both parties in Washington seem intent on passing another COVID relief bill this month, but it matters what’s in it and especially how it’s paid for. Republicans above all need to repurpose the unused funds from the Treasury backstop for the Federal Reserve’s 13(3) pandemic lending facilities.
The Trump administration replacement rule has two main parts: a new prohibited transaction exemption allowing advisors to provide conflicted advice for commissions; and a reinstatement of the “five-part test” from 1975 to determine what constitutes investment advice.
Top Washington negotiators continued to reach for a long-delayed agreement on COVID-19 relief, but rank-and-file Democrats appeared increasingly resigned to having to drop, for now, a scaled-back demand for fiscal relief for states and local governments whose budgets have been thrown out of balance by the pandemic.
No details are available on any changes to the Department of Labor investment advice rule. The next step is for the DOL to publish the rule. However, any rules published in the final 60 days of an administration, known as “midnight regulations,” can be rescinded by the incoming administration.
President Trump campaigned four years ago on repealing the Affordable Care Act and, with GOP support in the Congress, he did succeed in ending the mandate for Americans to buy health insurance. But as Trump prepares to leave the White House next month, the so-called Obamacare program not only remains largely in place; it is gaining enrollment this fall.
As the U.S. prepares to administer the coronavirus vaccine following Federal Drug Administration emergency approval last week, national research finds 49 percent of working Americans believe employers should require COVID-19 vaccines in the workplace.
The 2021 outlook for the U.S. health insurance industry is stable because the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic are anticipated to remain manageable, Moody’s Investors Service said in its annual outlook.
Lawmakers working on a bipartisan $908 billion relief package plan to release their bill Monday, but it’s not expected to include stimulus checks because of opposition from some Senate Republicans. A $916 billion proposal from the Trump administration included a round of $600 direct payments.
No “blue state bailout” is a rallying cry for many congressional Republicans as attempts to provide more federal aid to a nation stricken by an ever-worsening coronavirus pandemic remain stuck in neutral. Yet it’s not just Democratic states asking for help amid plunging tax revenue, rising joblessness and a stuttering economy.