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20 US states sue govt to end ACA; Lockton dissociates from NRA-backed programs

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20 US states sue govt to end ACA; Lockton dissociates from NRA-backed programs

Led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, 20 U.S. states sued the federal government, challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. The parties argue that when Congress enacted President Donald Trump's tax overhaul, it rendered all of ACA unconstitutional by doing away with the tax penalty in the individual mandate.

The Trump administration's efforts to ease curbs on short-term insurance policies would result in 2.5 million people losing minimum essential coverage and higher premiums in 2019, according to the Urban Institute. It said the elimination of the individual mandate and the expansion of short-term policies would increase 2019 ACA nongroup premiums by 18.2% on average in the 43 states that do not prohibit short-term plans.

Insurance broker Lockton Inc.'s Lockton Affinity will no longer provide brokerage services for insurance programs endorsed by the National Rifle Association, the company announced in a tweet. The broker joins other companies that have terminated deals with the NRA following the Florida high school shooting that left 17 people dead.

MGIC Investment Corp. reached an agreement on all issues in its legal dispute with the Internal Revenue Service, according to a Form 10-K filing. The case, which the U.S. Tax Court consolidated with similar ones involving Radian Group Inc. in February 2016, revolved around MGIC's tax treatment of its investment in a portfolio of the residual interests of a group of real estate mortgage investment conduits.

Aflac Inc. is facing a putative class-action complaint over its public disclosures relating to recruiting practices, misclassification of independent contractors, manipulation of a sales metric and failure to adhere to its code of business conduct and ethics and corporate social responsibility standards.

A joint venture between Amazon.com Inc., Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. will likely have a top executive by the end of 2018, Berkshire board Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett said Feb. 26. Speaking on CNBC, Buffett indicated an interest in reversing the rise of healthcare costs in the U.S. As a percentage of GDP, healthcare costs have gone from about 5% in 1960 to almost 18% in 2018.

Newly created entity iA Financial Corp. Inc. will become a holding company and the parent corporation of Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc. under an arrangement agreement that the companies entered into. The move follows the announcement that iA Financial Group will create a holding company. IA Financial Group is a business name and trademark of Industrial Alliance.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Co. announced rate adjustments for Blue Care Network and Blue Cross small-group customers.

Click here to read a summary of earnings reported Feb. 26 by select insurance companies covered by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Featured news

US states sue federal govt. to repeal ACA; Apple eyes healthcare space: Twenty U.S. states filed a lawsuit against the federal government calling the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional; Apple is launching a primary care group to provide for healthcare service to its employees.

Financial news in other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Allianz closes takeover of Sri Lanka insurer; CBA to dispute rate-rigging claims

Europe: StanChart swings to FY'17 profit from year-ago loss; Swiss Life profit rises YOY

Middle East & Africa: Attijariwafa Bank FY'17 profit up 13.3%; Nene back as South Africa finance chief

Latin America: Fosun inks deal for Guide Investimentos; Grupo Sura Q4 profit doubles YOY

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 0.73% to 31,268.66. The Nikkei 225 rose 1.07% to 22,389.86.

In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 dropped 0.15% to 7,278.76, and the Euronext 100 slid 0.23% to 1,030.59.

On the macro front

Retail inventories index, wholesale inventories, Redbook, Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index, State Street Investor Confidence index and FHFA House Price index are due out today.