Domestic, Global Economic Outlook Positive
February 25, 2018
Bipartisan group of governors reveals new health reform proposal; Global trade flows rise at the quickest pace since 2011; Americas’ economic expectations reach second-highest level since 2002.
- Bipartisan group of governors reveals new health reform proposal. A bipartisan group of governors revealed an ambitious proposal on Friday to reform the nation’s health care system as costs continue to increase for patients and the government .The plan, drafted by Govs. John Kasich (R-Ohio), Brian Sandoval (R-Nev.), Tom Wolf (D-Pa.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) and Bill Walker (I-Alaska), is aimed at lowering the costs of health care, stabilizing insurance markets and providing states with more flexibility to make changes. The plan is based on the idea of shifting the health care system from one that pays providers for the quantity of services they provide in a “fee for service” environment to one that rewards based on quality. The plan also recommends expanding state Medicaid innovations, including value-based care and payment models and modernizing the state and federal relationship by reducing restrictions on states to innovate their health programs. [The Hill]
Economic Indicators & News
- Global trade flows rise at the quickest pace since 2011. International trade flows rebounded in 2017 to grow at the fastest rate since 2011, yet economists still see little chance of a sustained return to the rapid rates of increase seen before the global financial crisis. According to the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis on Friday, the volume of exports and imports of goods was 4.5% higher in 2017 compared to 2016. This translates into an increase from the 1.5% rate of expansion in the preceding year, which was the lowest since the global financial crisis. [WSJ]
- Americas’ economic expectations reach second-highest level since 2002. Americans’ outlook for the U.S. economy improved in February to the second-highest level since March 2002, showing that lower taxes are making a difference, the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index indicated on Wednesday. 38% of respondents to the survey said that the national economy is getting better, the largest proportion since March 2002. The improvement comes as Americans are now seeing the effects of the tax cuts in their paychecks. A robust labor market and wage gains are keeping weekly consumer comfort levels near 17-year highs. Consumer sentiment among Democrats rose to a 12-month high, while a gauge of comfort among Republicans was unchanged. While 64 percent of Republicans said the economy was getting better, compared with 18 percent of Democrats. [Bloomberg]