Democrats Worry About Spike in Obamacare Premiums Ahead of Midterms

Obamacare

As Democrats head into the November midterms with historically low approval ratings, another major factor could arise that will further contribute to the shrinking of their already-slim majorities.

As reported by The Hill, the Affordable Care Act – known colloquially as “Obamacare” – could face a significant increase in premiums due to a lapse in special funding provided by the coronavirus aid bill passed last year. That bill, known as the American Rescue Plan, temporarily increased financial assistance for Americans seeking healthcare through Obamacare; the increase was set to expire just one year after the bill’s passage.

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Commentary: Biden Needs to Take the Blame for Inflation

Last week, President Biden gave a speech listing everyone and everything allegedly responsible for record high inflation. His list included corporate greed and price gouging, Vladimir Putin, and “ultra-MAGA” Republicans. The president said that his policies, and the nearly $7 trillion in spending he authorized, have nothing to do with inflation.

None of this holds up under scrutiny. While President Biden claims that corporations are ripping off Americans, the costs of their supplies have been increasing at a record rate. In reality, many companies that Biden claims are stiffing consumers have actually lost money because they don’t want to alienate their customers by raising prices too quickly.

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American Schools Have Spent Just Seven Percent of Latest COVID Relief Funds

Over one year after the United States Congress passed the “American Rescue Plan,” the vast majority of school districts that were awarded relief funds have spent less than ten percent of that money.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, approximately $122 billion of the overall $1.9 trillion bill was designated for school districts that were determined to be in distress and in need of relief funds. But of that $122 billion, only about 7 percent has been spent in total across all the school districts nationwide that received some handouts.

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IRS Handed Out Over $64 Million in Stimulus Checks to Dead People

An inspector general’s report reveals that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) handed out as much as $64 million in stimulus funding to dead people after Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law.

Just The News reports that the massive oversight was due to a computer error that the IRS was aware of but did not fix at the time. Ultimately, nearly 45,000 total payments were sent to Americans with deceased dependents who died before January 1st, 2021.

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Biden Administration to Distribute Millions of COVID-19 Tests to K-12 Schools Each Month

President Joe Biden’s administration plans to provide millions of COVID-19 tests to K-12 schools each month, the White House said in a Wednesday statement.

This month, the Biden administration will start shipping five million rapid COVID-19 tests each month to K-12 schools across the country in an effort to keep schools open amid a spike in COVID-19 cases and the rise of the Omicron coronavirus variant, according to White House officials. The new tests will allow schools to double the “volume of testing” from November 2021.

The administration also plans to expand lab capacity to provide an additional five million tests per month so schools can “perform individual and pooled testing in classrooms nationwide.”

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Iowa Attorney General Sues Sioux City, Seeking Permanent Injunction, Civil Penalties Regarding Wastewater

The state of Iowa on Friday sued the city of Sioux City regarding discharge of wastewater.

In the lawsuit, the state asks the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County to make the city pay up to $5,000 per day of violations of state wastewater treatment regulations (Iowa Code section 455B.186(1), 567 Iowa Admin. Code 64.3(1)) and the city’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. It seeks a permanent injunction preventing Sioux City from further violations of these state laws and the treatment permit requirements.

The state said that for periods between March 15, 2012, and June 8, 2015, Sioux City’s treatment facility would only properly disinfect water discharges on days it collected and submitted samples for E. coli contamination to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the lawsuit said.

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Michigan Group Pitches Plan to Spend $6 Billion of State’s Federal Aid Money

Michigan State Capitol

A statewide coalition is backing a spending schedule of $6 billion of federal government money from the American Rescue Plan (ARP).

The Coalition for a Strong and Prosperous Michigan represents businesses, government organizations, local elected leaders, and statewide associations. They aim to detail strategic ways to invest Michigan’s ARP funding for future growth and prosperity.

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Michigan’s $70B 2022 Budget Stuffed with $146 Million in ‘Pork’

Michigan’s $70 billion budget for fiscal year 2022 increases government spending by 11.5% from last year’s $62.8 billion budget. The increased spending includes one-time funds from federal stimulus packages, raising concerns Michigan can’t sustain current spending without hiking taxes or slashing services.

Once government federal stimulus money runs dry, the government must either raise taxes or reduce services to continue paying for programs that were once considered not essential.

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Tenants Nationwide Behind on Rent Despite Billions of Unspent Federal Aid

Low-income tenants across the country are behind on rent payments because of the pandemic, even as billions of dollars appropriated by Congress to assist renters remain untouched.

About $5.2 billion of the $46.6 billion — roughly 11% — set aside for the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program has been distributed to low-income tenants, according to the most recent data released by the Department of the Treasury on Wednesday. House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Patrick McHenry characterized the Biden administration’s handling of the ERA program as “gross mismanagement.”

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Jobless Claims Climb with Pandemic Unemployment Benefits Set to Expire

Photo “Unemployment Insurance Claims Office” by Bytemarks. CC BY 2.0.

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 353,000 last week as the economy continues its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics figure released Thursday presents a slight increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending Aug. 14, when 349,000 new jobless claims were reported. The Aug. 7 to Aug. 14 figure was revised from the 348,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

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Biden Keeps Making the Same Dubious Jobs Claim

President Joe Biden repeatedly mischaracterized the job growth that has occurred since he took office, saying it is a product of his administration’s economic agenda, multiple media fact checkers have reported.

While the Biden administration has overseen the economic recovery during a period of large gains in the labor market, the White House hasn’t acknowledged that states reopening and ending pandemic-related business restrictions is likely the main catalyst for such growth. The president has also credited without evidence the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which he signed into law in March, for driving job growth.

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Atlanta, Dallas, Tampa, and St. Louis Among the Cities Experiencing the Highest Consumer Price Spikes

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve Bank and Congress have taken unprecedented steps to stabilize the economy after entire industries and sectors ground to a halt last year amidst the public health crisis. The Fed has kept interest rates near zero, created lending programs to pump trillions of dollars into the economy, and bought securities to support financial markets. Congress passed three major COVID-19 stimulus packages in response to the crisis: the $2.2 trillion CARES Act in March 2020, the $900 billion Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act in December 2020, and the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan in March 2021.

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Biden Administration Unveils ‘Historic’ Investment for Communities That Could Create 300,000 Jobs in the ‘Near Term’

President Joe Biden’s administration announced that it would give $3 billion in coronavirus stimulus funds to approved local communities across the country.

The program dubbed “Investing in America’s Communities” amounts to the largest initiative of its kind in decades, according to the Department of Commerce. Local governments and organizations nationwide impacted by the coronavirus pandemic are able to apply to receive the federal funds.

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13 States Sue Biden Administration, Demand Ability to Cut Taxes

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

Thirteen states sued President Joe Biden’s administration over an American Rescue Plan provision prohibiting states from cutting taxes after accepting coronavirus relief funds.

The 13-state coalition argued that the provision included in the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package preventing states from cutting taxes if they accept relief from the federal government is unconstitutional. The coalition, led by Republican West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday evening in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

“Never before has the federal government attempted such a complete takeover of state finances,” Morrisey said in a Wednesday statement. “We cannot stand for such overreach.”

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