New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania have recently done New Jersey a favor. The state’s neighbors have flashed a warning sign that the Garden State would do well to notice. In the past month, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania health insurers taking part in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace have filed their premium rates for 2018. The increases are staggering. They are part of a national trend that New Jersey will soon fall victim to if the debate over health care is not resolved quickly in our nation’s capital.
The state’s health insurance companies are seeking premium rate increases averaging 16.6% in the individual market and 11.5% in the small group market next year.
The Cuomo administration is reviewing the requests published last week on the website of the Department of Financial Services, which ultimately sets each insurer’s rate.
Insurers have complained that the state in recent years has kept rates artificially low.
“Total US state aggregate adjusted net pension liabilities (ANPL) totaled $1.25 trillion, or 119% of revenue in fiscal 2015 … The results, based on compliance with new GASB 68 accounting rules, set a new ANPL baseline and are poised to rise for the next two fiscal years as market returns fall below annual targets.”
Most state pension plans are underwater and sinking at an accelerating rate, said Moody’s Senior Credit Officer Marcia Van Wagner in a news release.
Its unpaid bills backlog stands at $14.7 billion, expected to reach $16 billion by month’s end; it was $6 billion when this governor entered office in 2015. State vendors are waiting, on average, seven months to be paid, with interest. By June 2018, if nothing is done, Illinois’ IOUs are projected to reach nearly $23 billion, almost three quarters what Illinois collects in revenue for an entire year, notwithstanding all its other obligations to schools, pensions, public safety, infrastructure, etc.
Just 17 days.
The U.S. budget deficit rose to $88.4 billion in May from $53 billion a year earlier, as government spending in areas, such as Medicaid and defense, rose at a faster pace than revenue.
Credit card debt in the United States is $8,038 per household or $940.2 billion total, according to the latest report from the Federal Reserve. That number is up from $885.4 billion at the same time in 2016.
Leasing or loans now finance nearly 90 percent of retail car sales in the U.S., according to global asset manager Standard Life Investments. Altogether, more than 33 percent of American households are making car payments, according to a separate Pew Charitable Trusts study, with over $1 trillion in auto loans now outstanding.
Most observers however, including Chinese policymakers and academics, believe a new approach is needed to keep GDP growing. In 2016, a 25 trillion yuan ($3.68 trillion) increase in new credit in the economy resulted in a mere 6 trillion yuan increase in GDP.
Half a trillion dollars of government debt is a new record and according to last month’s budget papers, government debt is set to hit $725 billion in the mid-2020s. Government debt was ‘just’ $273 billion at the time of the September 2013 election when the Coalition promised to return the budget to surplus and ‘pay off’ debt. It has failed in this policy.
The value of negative-yielding government bonds globally increased by nearly $1 trillion to $9.5 trillion at the end of May from the beginning of March on worries about the French presidential election and a weaker dollar, Fitch Ratings said on Tuesday.
Gold & Silver
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