President to Cut Obamacare Outreach Funding, Manufacturing Index and Factory Employment Increase
September 01, 2017
The Department of Health and Human Services announced cuts to Obamacare outreach programs. US manufacturing beating analyst estimates by a wide margin, signaling higher consumer and business demand.
- President to cut Obamacare outreach funding. The Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that they would be cutting funding for Obamacare outreach from $100 million to $10 million, arguing that they were seeing diminishing returns from that marketing budget, and that the healthcare law is in and of itself flawed. They also cut funding for “navigators,” third parties, typically nonprofits, that help enroll people in the program. Democratic lawmakers accused the President of attempting to undermine Obamacare. Slashing the marketing budget for the program will slow enrollment and could potentially leave it less stable than it otherwise might be. Others criticized that cutting enrollment outreach would increase premiums. Because those who have not already signed up tend to healthier, cutting outreach leaves behind a sicker risk pool leading to higher premiums. [The Hill]
Economic Indicators & News
- Manufacturing index, factory employment increase. US factories are humming along, with the index at 58.8, beating analyst estimates of 56.5 by a huge margin. Manufacturing unemployment also increased by the most it has in 5 years. Strong factory performance is an indicator of higher consumer and business demand, and these figures likely bode well for Q3 economic growth. However, export orders fell for the third time in 4 months, to an index measurement of 55.5. [Bloomberg]
- US payrolls rise 156,000, missing estimates. Payrolls rose 156,000 this August, missing analysts’ expectations. June-July revisions also subtracted over 40,000 jobs. Hourly earnings rose 0.1%, up 2.5% year over year, but missed estimates of 0.2% and 2.6% respectively. While the labor market is still tight, this past month’s job report was not as strong as others this year, with the service industry in particular, often the source of much of American job growth, at a 5-month low for adding jobs. Economists noted this softer report doesn’t detract from the general health of labor market, particularly as August brings with it many seasonal adjustments that are hard to effectively capture. However, Hurricane Harvey will start to impact data in the coming months, so it will likely be some time before economists have more accurate data. [Bloomberg]