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Sally Pipes: Dems use coronavirus to push ‘Medicare-for-all,’ but their ploy is based on bad information

More than 5 million Americans have lost their employer-sponsored health insurance due to coronavirus-related unemployment, according to a new study from FamiliesUSA. In response, Democrats are renewing their push for “Medicare-for-all”.

Just this week, 360 Democratic delegates promised to vote against any party platform that doesn’t endorse single-payer health care. In their formal petition, they cite insurance losses from the pandemic as a chief reason why they consider “Medicare-for-all” non-negotiable.

But this political ploy is based on bad information. While the pandemic has cost millions of workers their jobs, many of them still have access to affordable coverage. Citing the coronavirus-fueled economic crisis as a reason to scrap private insurance is deeply irresponsible — and would leave the vast majority of Americans worse off.

OBAMA, IN DISCUSSION WITH BIDEN, SAYS HE ‘COULDN’T BE PROUDER’ OF OBAMACARE

For starters, it’s far from clear that the turmoil in the labor market has

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John Lewis to become more affordable in big online push

Dame Sharon White, chairman of the mutual, said: “We’ve seen five years of change in the past five months … our plan means the partnership will thrive for the next century, as it has the last.” 

John Lewis declined to say if there will be more job losses or store closures as it plans to save £300m a year by 2022 by simplifying the business and reviewing agreements with suppliers. 

Dame Sharon, who has hired a clutch of senior executives to deliver the plan since she joined, said: “Part of the plan is we want to become a much more efficient and leaner business, and that is going to take a number of forms. But we’re not talking today about job cuts.”

The directors said that as it expands beyond retail there will be scope to hire more staff. 

“Making these savings is crucial to free up money to invest

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Disney speeds up streaming push

Disney has intensified efforts to expand its streaming service following pressure from an activist investor to step up its challenge to Netflix. 

The world’s biggest entertainment company plans to overhaul its media and entertainment operations to make Disney+ a focal point of the business. 

The move comes after Daniel Loeb urged Disney to divert $3bn (£2.3bn) of dividend payments towards making original shows for the streaming service. 

The move inflicts another blow to the cinema industry, which has been left reeling from delays to blockbuster releases and Cineworld’s decision to mothball almost 700 cinemas across the UK and America.

Disney, which owns Marvel and Star Wars maker LucasFilm, had already come under fire from cinema operators on Monday after opting to debut the new Pixar animation Soul on Disney+ rather than the big screen. 

The company is not expected to charge a premium for the title, unlike the $30 it

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State leaders renew push to provide low-income families supplies needed for atypical school year

State leaders have renewed their push to give low-income families the supplies they need for what is a very atypical school year amid the coronavirus pandemic.Authorities told KOCO 5 that they have about 3,000 grants left, and families would get $1,500 to buy supplies they need for online learning such as an iPad or laptop. This is all part of the Bridge the Gap Digital Wallet program.“We want to make sure all those families that could use that are able to get that money,” said Ryan Walters, with Bridge the Gap Digital Wallet program.Walters said the program was created to ensure no students fall behind this year with schools shifting online.“We know here when COVID hit in March, and we moved to digital and distance learning,” he said. “If you’re a low-income student and you don’t have a device or you have very limited supplies when it comes to technology, … Read More

Cities after COVID & GM’s Electric Vehicle Push

Welcome to the Capital Note, a newsletter about finance and economics. On the menu today: work from home, GM’s investment in Nikola, and a look at the Vegas-Wall Street pipeline.

Cities in the Post-COVID Era

With Labor Day now past, it will be interesting to see whether there will be a mass return to the office (at least here in New York City, wandering around Midtown late last week, things didn’t — whatever the Daily Mail might claim — look post-apocalyptic, but it was still more than a little forlorn).

Writing for the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal, Mark Mills takes a look at the debate over working from home — a concept he broadens out to working from anywhere (WFA), and, I think, gives some comfort to those of us still living in the city.

Mills starts by examining some of the survey data used as evidence that

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Alaska man joins push to aid restaurant workers

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — It was a busy Taco Tuesday at Midnight Sun Brewing Co. in Anchorage, Alaska — a blessing these days at any restaurant — when a guy at a table with three buddies wanted to chat with their waitress.

“I wasn’t totally paying attention, to be honest,” lead server Angelina Backus recalled. “And then all of a sudden he pulled out his wallet and he’s pulling out five $100 bills.”

The conversation that customer Jack Little was trying to have with Backus was about the Venmo Challenge, a social media trend in which people around the country use the online payment app to send money to a friend, who builds up a bankroll for big tips.

“It was all starting to come together,” Backus recalled about Little fanning out the $100 bills to give to her. “I’m like, oh my gosh, they’re giving money to random people,

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Amazon’s new offerings make India centre of fintech push

By Sankalp Phartiyal and Nupur Anand

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI, Sept 2 (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc has added insurance and even gold to its menu of financial services in India, to expand its customer base and attract more subscribers to its Prime loyalty programme in a battleground growth market.

The push ramps up competition as financial technology (fin-tech) rivals and their deep-pocketed foreign backers struggle for profitability in a predominantly cash-based economy where about 190 million adults do not have bank accounts.

To boost online payments, Amazon launched its Amazon Pay digital wallet in 2016. It has since introduced a credit card, signed up to a state-backed payments network, and processes payments for movie and flight tickets as well as telephone and utility bills.

It began offering auto insurance in July and gold investment products in August – both a first for Amazon.

Its U.S. fin-tech efforts have been modest by comparison,

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Treasury officials push for bombshell tax hikes to pay for virus

Fuel duty could be increased for the first time in a decade
Fuel duty could be increased for the first time in a decade

Treasury officials are pushing for the largest tax rises in a generation to plug the gaping holes in the public finances, in a move being resisted by Downing Street, The Telegraph can disclose.

The proposed quintuple whammy of tax increases would enable the Exchequer to raise at least £20 billion a year, and some could be introduced as early as in the Budget.

While no decisions have been made, multiple sources have told this newspaper that proposals under active consideration include aligning capital gains tax (CGT) with income tax, slashing pension tax relief, raising fuel and other duties, the introduction of an online sales tax and a simplification of the inheritance tax system.

How the Inheritance Tax take has soared
How the Inheritance Tax take has soared

Some or all could be introduced to pay for the Covid crisis, to finance general government spending pledges

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Wedding industry predicts a ‘summer of love’ as couples push celebrations to 2021

Heather Stone and her fiancé had originally planned an October wedding in wine country full of friends and family from New York. When the pandemic descended, little about that idea sounded feasible. Some of Stone’s New York family members worked on the front lines of the coronavirus response. Some didn’t feel safe boarding an airplane. And California banned large gatherings, anyway.

So Stone and her fiancé decided to elope.

“We just knew we wanted to become husband and wife this year,” Stone said.

They will get married in Yosemite this fall with just an officiant to bear witness. Stone bought “an eloping dress,” as she calls it, but she still plans to walk down the aisle in a fancier white gown in the future. The couple hopes to hold a party with all of their friends and family at their original venue next year.

As many couples delay weddings originally

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How the Fed could push mortgage rates even lower this week

Both homebuyers and homeowners are loving today’s record-breaking mortgage rates, which have been averaging less than 3% for the very first time. As rates have made history this month, mortgage applications have been rising.

Borrowers owe the Federal Reserve a big thank you for the plunging rates on new and refinance home loans, and Fed policymakers who meet this week could help push them even lower.

America’s central bank is expected to stick with and even sharpen its coronavirus-fighting policies that have driven interest rates down. Fed officials also are likely to spread more gloom about the economy — and when Fed chief Jerome Powell and his colleagues get grim, mortgage rates tend to drop.

What the Fed is likely to do

Paul Brady Photography / Shutterstock

Let’s get this out of the way first thing: No one’s expecting the Fed’s policy panel to make any changes in interest

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