One month before Election Day, Jared Kushner's real estate company finalized a $285 million loan as part of a refinancing package for its property near Times Square in Manhattan. The loan came at a critical moment. Kushner was playing a key role in the presidential campaign of his father-in-law, Donald Trump. The lender, Deutsche Bank, was negotiating to settle a federal mortgage fraud case and charges from New York state regulators that it aided a possible Russian money-laundering scheme. The cases were settled in December and January. The October deal illustrates the extent to which Kushner was balancing roles as a top adviser to Trump and a real estate company executive. After the election, Kushner juggled duties for the Trump transition team and his corporation as he prepared to move to the White House. read more
There's a ticking time bomb built right into the Senate Republican health care bill. The legislation unveiled Thursday, which Republicans dubbed the Better Care Reconciliation Act, aims to preserve the Affordable Care Act's popular rule forbidding health insurance companies from rejecting people with pre-existing conditions. But the bill also would repeal that law's unpopular individual mandate that most Americans obtain health coverage or face tax penalties and would significantly scale back financial assistance that helps make health insurance premiums affordable. The problem is, those things work hand in hand, and are often referred to as the "three-legged stool" that keeps the health insurance system steady. Take out one or two of those legs, and the whole thing probably will fall down.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has hired a lawyer known for defending government officials in high-profile investigations to help him through probes into whether there were ties between the election campaign of U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia, his office said on Thursday. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Moscow interfered in last year's presidential campaign to try to tilt the vote in Trump's favor. read more
A recent National Security Agency memo documents a phone call in which U.S. President Donald Trump pressures agency chief Admiral Mike Rogers to state publicly that there is no evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russia, say reports. The memo was written by Rick Ledgett, the former deputy director of the NSA, sources familiar with the memo told The Wall Street Journal. Ledgett stepped down from his job this spring. The memo said Trump questioned the American intelligence community findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. American intelligence agencies issued a report early this year that found Russian intelligence agencies hacked the country's political parties and worked to sway the election to Trump. read more
Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University and The Commonwealth Fund - The American Health Care Act (AHCA), passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The Congressional Budget Office indicates that the AHCA could increase the number of uninsured by 23 million by 2026. The AHCA would raise employment and economic activity at first, but lower them in the long run. It initially raises the federal deficit when taxes are repealed, leading to 864,000 more jobs in 2018. In later years, reductions in support for health insurance cause negative economic effects. By 2026, 924,000 jobs would be lost, gross state products would be $93 billion lower, and business output would be $148 billion less. About three-quarters of jobs lost (725,000) would be in the health care sector. States which expanded Medicaid would experience faster and deeper economic losses. read more