Wisconsin Governor Signs ACA Stabilization Bill
February 28, 2018
Governor Scott Walker signs Obamacare stabilization bill; House passes controversial anti-online sex trafficking bill; US economic growth revised down.
- Governor Scott Walker signs Obamacare stabilization bill. Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker signed a bill Tuesday to shore up state insurance markets, authorizing the state to apply for a federal waiver to purchase reinsurance for expensive medical claims. The program would cost $200 million, $150 million of which will be paid by the federal government. The bill is set to lower premiums by 13% in 2019 and 12% in 2020. The bill is called the “Our Health Care Stability Plan.” Governor Walker has been critical of Obamacare in the past, and state Democrats called the governor’s position hypocritical. The governor indicated that he believes the bill is “[Wisconsin’s] solution to Washington’s failure.” [The Hill]
- House passes controversial anti-online sex trafficking bill. The House of Representatives passed a controversial bill Tuesday that would give prosecutors, state attorneys general and trafficking victims more ability to act against websites that host advertisements for prostitution. The move is controversial, because such websites, like Backpage, are traditionally protected by the Communications Decency Act, which protects such sites from liability for content posted by third parties. The bill called, Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017, will now go to Senate. It is unclear if the President would support the bill, should it pass. [Washington Post]
Economic Indicators & News
- US economic growth revised down. Largely revised down due to high consumer spending, US economic growth slowed more than expected in the 4th quarter, clocking in at 2.5% rather than 2.6%. This was due to higher than expected imports driven by consumption, meaning economic growth slowed from 3.2% in the third quarter (annualized) to 2.5%. The economy has lost some momentum in other areas at the start of 2018, in home sales, retail sales, and industrial production all declining in the month of January. While first quarter growth is traditionally weak, growth is expected to accelerate in 2018 due to positive impact from the $1.5 trillion tax cut passed in 2018. [Reuters]