Democrats May Have Enough Votes to Repeal Net Neutrality Ruling
January 16, 2018
Kentucky becomes first ever state to institute Medicaid work requirements; Democrats say they have 50 votes in the Senate to strike down Net Neutrality repeal; Higher pay may be the turning point in inflation.
- Kentucky becomes first ever state to institute Medicaid work requirements. Kentucky became the first state in the US to authorize work requirements for the low-income health insurance program Medicaid, requiring recipients to spend 80 hours each week working or performing other “employment related” activities. Exempted from the new rules are minors and those over 64, the medically frail, mothers and pregnant women, full time students, the disabled, and primary caregivers. Kentucky has the highest Medicaid usage rate of any state, and the work requirements are perceived by critics as efforts to cut costs and deprive vulnerable people of health care. Kentucky’s Governor Bevin has cited that the program’s rising costs and financial instability, despite the federal government covering most of those costs, is a reason for his decision. [Reuters]
- Democrats say they have 50 votes in the Senate to repeal Net Neutrality. Democrats have announced they are just one vote shy of the 51 votes required to strike down the recent FCC decision to repeal net neutrality, a measure that, even if it passed the Senate, would have to pass the GOP-controlled House and be signed by the President, both unlikely outcomes. Congress has a 14-day window after FCC decisions during which they can repeal those decisions, leaving Democrats little time to scramble for repeal votes. In addition to Congressional efforts, states are also exercising their authority. The Attorney General of New York, for example, is suing the administration over the decision. [The Hill]
Economic Indicators & News
- Higher pay may be the turning point in inflation. US inflation, persistently low since the financial meltdown, seems to be making its first real comeback. A number of factors have coalesced to strengthen inflation, including easy monetary policy, low unemployment, oil’s bounce back, and most importantly, the increases in pay packages and pay minimums as a number of large US companies, including Walmart and Fifth Third Bancorp. Additionally, 20 states began the legislative year with efforts to raise the minimum wage, further boosting incomes and increasing inflation. Several high-profile economists are predicting inflation will weigh in above the Federal Reserve’s key benchmark of two percent this year. Prices have consistently missed targets the past five years, but persistently low unemployment may be the turning point in the long wait for two percent. [Bloomberg]