A deteriorating economic outlook | tax time

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President Biden at the Portsmouth Port Authority in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. (Reuters)

Biden pushes infrastructure law, ahead of Election Day

President Joe Biden is traveling coast to coast this week to tout the bipartisan infrastructure bill he signed into law last November. Biden hit Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on Tuesday, where the state’s only deepwater port received $1.7 million from the US Army Corps of Engineers for maintenance dredging. The corps also spent $18.2 million to widen the river’s turning basin, making it easier for larger ships to navigate the harbor.

“Instead of turning down business, we’re sending a message: This port is open for business and will be for a long time,” Biden said. “And we’re sending the same message through our investments in roads and bridges here in New Hampshire.”

Biden’s speech aims to highlight steps the administration has taken to address supply chain bottlenecks that have helped push inflation to its highest level in four decades. The president is scheduled to visit Portland, Oregon, Thursday and Seattle, Washington, Friday for other infrastructure and fundraising events.

“The last guy who held this position has been talking about infrastructure week for four years. We have a decade of infrastructure. It continues,” Biden said Tuesday, touting the $1.2 billion total price tag of the infrastructure bill he signed into law. “Through the Infrastructure Act, we are making the largest investment in modernizing our roads and bridges since building the Interstate Highway System with Eisenhower.”

Biden says Americans should decide on masks for themselves: When asked by reporters on Tuesday whether Americans should wear masks, he said it was “up to them.” A federal judge appointed by former President Donald Trump on Monday overturned a nationwide mask mandate for airplanes and other public transportation. Biden told reporters he has yet to speak to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the court’s decision. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the Justice Department would assess whether to appeal the decision. “The CDC continues to advise and recommend masks on airplanes,” she said. “We respect the recommendations of the CDC, it is the president. And we would advise all Americans to do so.

PSAKI added that the administration’s “biggest concern” over Covid-19 “continues to be the fact that we don’t have funding from Congress to make sure we can get back to a point where we have programs for the uninsured, we are able to purchase treatments for the immunocompromised, ensuring that we continue to be the world’s arsenal of vaccines.

A bipartisan deal in the Senate to provide $10 billion in additional Covid funding remains on hold due to a
dispute
on the Biden administration’s decision to end the pandemic-related use of the Title 42 authority to deny asylum claims at the southern border.

The bottom line: Biden’s local infrastructure push is a key part of the Democrats’ campaign message as the party tries to convince voters it has racked up significant accomplishments. “Voters, sympathetic as they are to Ukraine, are getting a little tired,” said Celinda Lake, a veteran Democratic pollster.

Policy
. “And they wonder: we spend all this money abroad, but what are we spending here at home?

Number of the day: 3.6%

The global economic outlook has “significantly deteriorated” since the start of the year, largely due to Russia’s war in Ukraine and sanctions imposed by the United States and other countries, the
International Monetary Fund
said Tuesday.

The IMF forecast global economic growth to slow from around 6.1% last year to 3.6% this year, down 0.8 percentage points from January’s forecast for 2022. The IMF said also downgraded its outlook for the U.S. economy, reducing projected growth from 4% to 3.7% for this year and from 2.6% to 2.3% for 2023. She said that factors other than war had contributed to its downward projections, including for the United States: “The forecast for the United States was already revised downwards in January, largely reflecting the non-adoption of the “Building Back Better” fiscal package and continued supply chain disruptions. The projected further decline of 0.3 percentage points for 2022 in the current cycle reflects a faster withdrawal of monetary support than in the previous projection – as policy tightens to contain inflation – and the impact of a lower growth among trading partners due to disruptions resulting from the war. ”

Elizabeth Warren lays out her plan for Democrats to avoid election disaster

Democrats face a potentially brutal midterm election, with some forecasts predicting they
lose
the House and the Senate. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) says she has a plan to avert this disaster for her party. In a
editorial
at the New York Times on Monday, Warren warned that time is running out for Democrats to deliver more on their promises.

“To put it bluntly: If we fail to use the remaining months before the election to further implement our agenda, Democrats are heading for big midterm losses,” Warren wrote, adding, “We need to finalize a budget reconciliation agreement. , forcing giant corporations to pay their share to fund vital investments in fighting climate change and cutting costs for families, who can make progress with just 50 votes in the Senate.

Among his other recommendations:

• Repress corruption by prohibiting members of Congress and their spouses from owning or trading individual stocks.

• Fight against inflation. “Strengthening the authority of regulators to end price gouging, break up monopolies and enact a windfall tax is a good start,” Warren wrote.

• Closing tax loopholes for the wealthy and enacting a global minimum corporate tax, while directing some of that revenue toward clean energy, affordable child care, and universal preschool.

• President Biden should take executive action to forgive some student debt, reduce prescription drug prices and ensure “more workers are eligible for overtime pay.”

Many cancer patients on Medicare avoid filling expensive prescriptions: study

High drug prices often cause Americans on Medicare to delay filling their prescriptions, even for life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, a
study
in the journal Health Affairs suggests.

The analysis found that a large percentage of Medicare prescription drug program beneficiaries do not fill their prescriptions for high-priced drugs, but low-income beneficiaries who receive government subsidies were almost twice as likely as those who don’t receive financial assistance get their prescribed medications within 90 days.

Looking at Medicare beneficiaries who do not receive subsidies, the study found that about 30% of people who had a new prescription for a cancer drug did not fill that prescription within 90 days. Cancer drugs could cost $3,000 for a first fill and then $600 to $1,000 for each refill, which is much higher than the direct cost to patients on subsidies.

“The financial situation of someone being prescribed a new cancer treatment is quite shocking and absolutely unattainable for many people,” said Stacie Dusetzina, health policy researcher at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and lead author of the report. ‘study.
Podcast
.

The study also found that 22% of prescriptions for hepatitis C treatments were not filled, as were more than 50% of prescriptions to treat high cholesterol and immune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.

The study looked at 17,076 new prescriptions issued between 2012 and 2018 for Part D recipients across 11 different healthcare systems.

Nearly three out of four Medicare beneficiaries are not eligible for subsidies because their income is too high, STAT’s Ed Silverman

reports
.

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