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Senate GOP open to bipartisan ACA overhaul; '16 global insured losses spike

In the news

After House Republican leaders pulled a proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Senate Republican leaders are pushing for a bipartisan overhaul effort, Bloomberg News reported. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Democrats are open to discuss improvements to the law if Republicans take ACA repeal plans off the table.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal speculates that House Republicans could resume their ACA subsidies lawsuit following the House plan defeat or President Donald Trump could simply decide to stop the payments regardless of the lawsuit.

Elsewhere, a report in the Hartford Courant notes, citing industry experts, that the failure of the American Health Care Act may not be a major setback for some Hartford-area insurers like Cigna Corp. and Aetna Inc. since they are not major players on the ACA health exchanges and have limited exposure in these marketplaces.


Global insured losses from disasters were $54 billion in 2016, up 42% from the $38 billion seen in 2015, according to Swiss Re Ltd.'s latest sigma report. North America accounted for more than half the global insured losses in 2016, largely because of a record number of severe convective storm events in the U.S. A hailstorm that struck Texas in April was the costliest event that led to $3.5 billion in economic losses of which $3 billion were insured, the report said.


The Kansas Senate voted 25-13 to give an initial approval to a bill to expand KanCare, the state's privatized Medicaid program, despite Gov. Sam Brownback's threat to veto the legislation if it came to his desk, The Wichita Eagle reported. A final vote from the Senate is expected to come today. The House has already approved the measure, according to the report.


Athene Holding Ltd. has announced the launch of an offering of 25 million class A common shares to be sold by certain shareholders.


Trusted Health Plan (District of Columbia) Inc. acquired Harbor Health Plan Inc. from Tenet Healthcare Corp.

Willis Towers Watson Plc completed its previously announced acquisition of Russell Investments' Australian actuarial practice.


Illinois Casualty Co. (A Mutual Insurance Co.) on March 24 converted from a mutual to a stock insurance company and become a wholly owned subsidiary of ICC Holdings Inc.


A federal judge has dismissed a pair of counterclaims Express Scripts Inc. made in Anthem Inc.'s $15 billion suit claiming that the pharmacy benefit-management organization charged too much for drugs. Express Scripts is a wholly owned subsidiary of Express Scripts Holding Co. Inc.


Kansas City Life Insurance Co. Senior Vice President of Finance, CFO and Director Tracy Knapp notified the company of his intention to leave his positions and resign from the board.

Featured news

Gilead's hepatitis C patent challenge; Perrigo divests MS drug rights for $2.85B: Médecins Sans Frontières joined a legal challenge on Gilead's patent for Sovaldi; while Perrigo divested its rights to the royalty stream of its multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri.

Financial news in other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: 3 firms shortlisted for ICICI Lombard stake; Singapore, France ink fintech deal

Europe: BoE outlines stress-test scenarios; OneSavings Bank stake sold; NN Group sued

Middle East & Africa: Gordhan ordered home; Ghana rate cut; Gulf's 1st green bond

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a mixed opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 0.63% to 24,345.87, while the Nikkei 225 gained 1.14% to 19,202.87.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 climbed 0.07% to 7,298.59, and the Euronext 100 lifted 0.14% to 969.77.

On the macro front

The international trade in goods report, the Redbook, S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller HPI report, the consumer confidence report, the Richmond Fed manufacturing index and the State Street Investor Confidence Index are due out today.