The Congress should introduce a public healthinsurance option in areas that have limited competition and increasefederal financial assistance for marketplace enrollees to improve theAffordable Care Act, President Barack Obama wrote in an article published inthe Journal of the American MedicalAssociation.
Obama also urged policymakers to take actions to cutprescription drug costs, just as HealthAffairs published a study which found that spending on specialty drugs bycommercial insurance plans climbedto 43% in 2014 from 11% in 2003, the InsuranceJournal reported.
In his article, Obama touted the accomplishments ofthe ACA, highlighting the decline in the uninsured rate and improvements inaccess of care.
Obama's article was posted on the same date thathealth insurance companies hit hard by the Affordable Care Act's riskadjustment program were scheduledto meet, partly to encourage more insurers to sue the federalgovernment.
Powerful earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador, storms inEurope and the U.S., and forest fires in Canada helped lossesfrom natural catastrophes climb to $70 billion in the first half of 2016,compared with $59 billion in the same year-ago period, according to . Insured losses were$27 billion.
The New York Department of Financial Servicesconditionallyapproved AetnaInc.'s proposed acquisition of Humana Inc., Bloomberg News reported. The New Yorkregulator imposed several conditions to ensure Aetna and Humana continue tooffer private Medicare options in the state and not cut benefits. The statefound that a combination of the companies will not hurt competition in thestate's health insurance market.
In other deal news, HM Insurance Group, a company, agreed tosell its workers' compensation block of business to , the Insurance Journal .
LibertyMutual Holding Co. Inc. has completed a consolidationof its liability book, combining its outwards casualty reinsurance into asingle global treaty, The InsuranceInsider reported.
ValidusHoldings Ltd. expectsto record a $60.0 million net loss attributable to the company fromnotable and non-notable loss events in the second quarter, according to aninitial estimate.
Separately, Validus took over Nephila as the largest reinsurance providerfor Citizens Property InsuranceCorp. in 2016, The InsuranceInsider reported.
EnstarGroup Ltd.'s U.S. operations CFO, Tom Nichols, the company, The Insurance Insider reported.
Also, Twelve Capital has completedits $11.5 million Dodeka V-2016 private catastrophe bond, Artemis reported.
Inother parts of the world
Asia-Pacific: BTMU, Mizuho to join international payment system; ClearView eyesAsian buyer
Middle East & Africa:
Europe: Mayto become UK PM; Credit Suisse closes Russia private bank; DNB, Tryg report Q2results
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higheropening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 1.65% to 21,224.74, whilethe Nikkei 225 was up 2.46% to 16,095.65.
In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.05%to 6,679.45, and the Euronext 100 rose 1.31% to 862.09.
Onthe macro front
NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, Redbook and thewholesale trade report are due out today.