GOP Considers ObamaCare Amendment
February 01, 2018
House GOP warming to change that will help stabilize ObamaCare; U.S. jobless claims drop as job market strengthens; U.S. construction spending rises as private outlays reaches record high.
- House GOP warming to change that will help stabilize ObamaCare. Key House Republicans are warming to a proposal that aims to bring down ObamaCare premiums and help stabilize the health-care law. House GOP aides and lobbyists say that the top House Republicans are interested in funding reinsurance. The money to fund reinsurance could be included in an upcoming bipartisan government funding deal or in another legislative vehicle. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) noted that action was possible on an ObamaCare stability measure, particularly funding for reinsurance, at an event in Wisconsin in January. The push on reinsurance in the House matches up with one of the ObamaCare bills that Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has been pushing in the Senate. [The Hill]
Economic Indicators & News
- U.S. jobless claims drop as job market strengthens. First-time jobless claims for state unemployment benefits were slightly lower than anticipated in the most recent week, indicating a tightening labor market and strengthening economy. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits decreased 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 230,000 for the week ended Jan. 27, according to the Labor Department on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had expected claims to rise to 238,000 in the latest week. Last week was the 152nd straight week that claims were below the 300,000 threshold, which is associated with a strong labor market. This is the longest stretch since 1970, when the labor market was much smaller. [CNBC]
- U.S. construction spending rises as private outlays reaches record high. U.S. construction spending increased 0.7 percent in December to reach an all-time high of $1.25 trillion, according to the Commerce Department on Thursday. Investment in private construction projects rose 0.8 percent in December to a record high of $963.2 billion and federal government outlays also recovered strongly. November’s construction outlays were revised down to a 0.6 percent increase instead of the previously reported 0.8 percent increase. Outlays on public construction projects rose 0.3 percent in December after increasing 0.1 percent in November. Spending on federal government construction projects surged 10.9 percent, the largest increase since October 2014. Outlays on private residential projects gained 0.5 percent to the highest level since March 2007 after growing 1.1 percent in November. [CNBC]