Business Briefs – May 25, 2017

Insurers Continue To Hike Prices, Abandon ACA Markets

WASHINGTON (AP) – People shopping for insurance through the Affordable Care Act in yet more regions will be facing higher prices and fewer choices next year as insurance companies lay out their early plans for 2018. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina said Thursday it wants a 23 percent price hike next year because it doesn’t expect crucial payments from the federal government to continue. A day earlier, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City said it will leave the individual market next year.

Poll: Older Americans Want Medicare-Covered Long-Term Care

WASHINGTON (AP) – An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll says 56 percent of Americans age 40 and over think Medicare should have a major role in paying for ongoing living assistance. That’s up from 39 percent who said so in 2013. Majorities of both Democrats and Republicans now think Medicare should bear a large part of the burden. The poll also has other signs of growing support for government involvement in providing long-term care.

Ford Shuffles Management Team As New CEO Takes Helm

DETROIT (AP) – Ford’s new CEO is shaking up the company’s senior management.

The Dearborn, Michigan, automaker named a new head of global product development Thursday, as well as new heads of its operations in North America, Europe and Asia.

Among the biggest changes is the rehiring of Sherif Marakby, a longtime Ford executive who was head of Uber’s global vehicle programs for a year until he quit that job last month. Marakby is returning to Ford to lead its efforts in self-driving and electric vehicles.

“The leadership changes we are announcing today across our global business are important as we foster even greater teamwork, accountability and nimble decision-making,” Ford CEO Jim Hackett said in a company release.

Trump Plan to Sell Off Half of Oil Stockpile Sparks Debate

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump’s proposal to sell nearly half the U.S. emergency oil stockpile is renewing debate over the need for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. An ongoing oil production boom that has seen imports drop sharply in the past decade has people questioning the reserve’s future. Trump’s budget calls for selling an additional 270 million barrels of oil over the next decade, raising an estimated $16.6 billion.

Retailers Cheer GOP Retreat on Ending Debit Card Fees Limit

WASHINGTON (AP) – Restaurants, grocers and other businesses celebrated as House Republicans backed off efforts to eliminate the cap on fees that banks can charge retailers when customers use a debit card. Big banks have lobbied strenuously against the cap, and the head of the Financial Services Committee had pushed to scrap it as part of legislation to gut the Dodd-Frank law that was enacted after the financial crisis.