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German economic recovery to lose steam as pandemic continues to dominate

German economic recovery to lose steam as pandemic continues to dominate

Germany’s leading economic institutes on Wednesday published their autumn report, which paints a more pessimistic forecast for the recovery of Europe’s largest economy than experts had predicted in their previous spring report.



a group of people sitting at a picnic table: 13 October 2020, Berlin: Unoccupied chairs of various open-air cafes and restaurants in Tauentzienstraße. Missing guests due to corona-related restrictions are causing the restaurateurs some trouble. Photo: Jens Kalaene/dpa-Zentralbild/ZB (Photo by Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images)


13 October 2020, Berlin: Unoccupied chairs of various open-air cafes and restaurants in Tauentzienstraße. Missing guests due to corona-related restrictions are causing the restaurateurs some trouble. Photo: Jens Kalaene/dpa-Zentralbild/ZB (Photo by Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images)

The research institutes have revised their GDP forecasts downwards by a percentage point for both 2020 and 2021.

They now expect gross domestic product (GDP) to decline by 5.4% this year from the -4.2% they had forecast in Spring. For 2021, they expect growth of 4.7%, revised down from 5.8%. In 2022, economic output should increase by 2.7 %, they said.

“A good part of the slump from the spring has already been made up, but the remaining catching-up process represents the more arduous journey back to normal,” said Stefan Kooths, economic director of IfW Kiel, in a statement.

READ MORE:German government defends curfews and travel bans amid outcry from businesses

Germany, like most other European countries, is suffering from a second wave of infections, with daily tallies rising to numbers not seen since April.

Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with the leaders of Germany’s 16 states in Berlin on Wednesday in an attempt to reach some kind of clarity on the confusion over different curfews and domestic travel bans between states.

Video: ‘This is turning into the unemployment crisis we feared’ (Sky News)

‘This is turning into the unemployment crisis we feared’

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The report, which comes out twice a year, is developed jointly by the German Institute for Economic Research, the Ifo Institute in Munich, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, the Halle

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Pandemic-related job cuts have led 14.6M in U.S. to lose insurance

Pandemic-related job cuts have led 14.6M in U.S. to lose insurance

Up to 7.7 million U.S. workers lost jobs with employer-sponsored health insurance during the coronavirus pandemic, and 6.9 million of their dependents also lost coverage, a new study finds.

Workers in manufacturing, retail, accommodation and food services were especially hard-hit by job losses, but unequally impacted by losses in insurance coverage.

Manufacturing accounted for 12% of unemployed workers in June. But because the sector has one of the highest rates of employer-sponsored coverage at 66%, it accounted for a bigger loss of jobs with insurance — 18% — and 19% of potential coverage loss when dependents are included.

Nearly 3.3 million workers in accommodation and food services had lost their jobs as of June — 30% of the industry’s workforce. But only 25% of workers in the sector had employer-sponsored insurance before the pandemic. Seven percent lost jobs with employer-provided coverage.

The situation was similar in the retail sector. Retail workers represented 10% of pre-pandemic employment and 14% of unemployed workers in June. But only 4 in 10 retail workers had employer-sponsored insurance before the pandemic. They accounted for 12% of lost jobs with employer-sponsored insurance and 11% of potential loss including dependents.

The study was a joint project of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research and the Commonwealth Fund.

“Demographics also play an important role. Workers ages 35 to 44 and 45 to 54 bore the brunt of [employer insurance]-covered job losses, in large part because workers in these age groups were the most likely to be covering spouses and other dependents,” said Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI’s Health Research and Education Program.

“The adverse effects of the pandemic recession also fell disproportionately on women,” Fronstin added in an EBRI news release. “Although women made up 47% of pre-pandemic employment, they accounted for

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Underground insulin exchanges emerge as workers lose jobs amid pandemic, insurance co-pays fall short

Underground insulin exchanges emerge as workers lose jobs amid pandemic, insurance co-pays fall short

DENVER — D.j. Mattern had her Type 1 diabetes under control until COVID-19’s economic upheaval cost her husband his hotel maintenance job and their health coverage. The 42-year-old Denver woman suddenly faced insulin’s exorbitant list price — anywhere from $125 to $450 per vial — just as their household income shrank.

She scrounged extra insulin from friends, and her doctor gave her a couple of samples. But, as she rationed her supplies, her blood sugar rose so high that her glucose monitor couldn’t even register a number. In June, she was hospitalized.

“My blood was too acidic. My system was shutting down. My digestive tract was paralyzed,” Mattern said, after three weeks in the hospital. “I was almost near death.”

So she turned to a growing underground network of people with diabetes who share extra insulin when they have it, free of charge. It wasn’t supposed to be this way, many thought, after Colorado last year became the first of 12 states — including Illinois — to put a cap on the co-payments that some insurers can charge consumers for insulin.

But, as the coronavirus pandemic has caused people to lose their jobs and health insurance, demand for insulin sharing has skyrocketed. Many who once had good insurance are now realizing the $100 cap for a 30-day supply is just a partial solution, applying only to state-regulated health plans.

It does nothing for the majority of people with employer-sponsored plans or those without insurance coverage. According to the Colorado chapter of Type 1 International, an insulin access advocacy group, only 3% of patients with Type 1 diabetes under 65 could benefit from the cap.

Such laws, often backed by pharmaceutical companies, give the impression things are improving, said Colorado chapter leader Martha Bierut. “But the reality is we have a

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Can Netanyahu lose to Bennett?

Can Netanyahu lose to Bennett?

“Bibi go home,” protesters chanted across Israel on Saturday night.Their angry voices will be followed Monday by the latest Knesset no-confidence motion filed by Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid.The weekly protests and the Knesset votes are fueled by the public fury with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s perceived failure to handle the COVID-19 pandemic. Together with a pending December budget vote, with its potential to bring down the government, the overall atmosphere appears to herald new elections.Although the election debate has been dominated by the Yesh Atid and Blue and White parties, Netanyahu’s most likely rival, according to the polls, would be Yamina Party head Naftali Bennett.He came within spitting distance of Netanyahu last week, when a Channel 12 poll showed that the difference between the two men stood at only three mandates.Netanyahu’s Likud party had dropped from 36 in the March 2020 election to 26; Bennett’s had risen from five to an astounding 23.Bennett and Netanyahu have long battled for leadership of the Israeli Right, but it had rarely seemed like a true contest.Netanyahu has excelled at casting himself as a broad-based leader. Bennett has looked like a pale shadow in comparison, with at best a solely partisan audience limited to issues relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.But Bennett’s perceived brief success in the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring while he was the defense minister catapulted him into the limelight suddenly as a politician with potentially wide appeal.Netanyahu’s refusal to make him health minister – and Bennett’s subsequent decision not to enter the government – has given him a pulpit by which to continually criticize Netanyahu on COVID-19 matters, while bearing no responsibility for the chaos in Netanyahu’s treatment of the pandemic.It has cast him for the first time as
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300,000 patients in Cook County could lose insurance if Obamacare repealed, analysis warns

300,000 patients in Cook County could lose insurance if Obamacare repealed, analysis warns

Cook County’s public health system would take a $1.4 billion hit and more than 300,000 residents who depend on the system would lose their insurance if Obamacare is repealed, according to an analysis announced Wednesday.

The estimates reflect the number of patients who are enrolled in Medicaid expansion plans made possible by the 2010 law and who receive treatment at Cook County’s public health system, officials said.

Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, joined by six Democrats from Illinois’ congressional delegation, said she believes the law, known as the Affordable Care Act, is in danger because President Donald Trump’s administration has taken aim at repealing it and his Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, has been critical of it.

“A repeal of the ACA would not only financially cripple Cook County Health by dramatically increasing the amount of uncompensated health care we already provide, it would be catastrophic to the patients we serve,” Preckwinkle said at a news conference.

Health system officials say they already provide half of the charitable health care in Cook County.

Debra Carey, interim chief executive of Cook County Health, said the $1.4 billion estimated loss represents revenue the health system brings in through Affordable Care Act plans and a projection that half of more than 300,000 patients depending on the health system would become uninsured and would require charity care.

Cook County Health, which includes John H. Stroger Hospital on the West Side and Provident Hospital on the South Side, treats patients enrolled in multiple Affordable Care Act health plans, Carey said.

“This is a real threat to our organization, the progress we have made under the Affordable Care Act and the people who have been served by it,” Carey said.

Carey may not be at the top job of the county health system much longer

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