Health law feature stalls
House Republicans have put off a vote on legislation to rescue a main feature of President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul — affordable coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions — after it ran into strong opposition from conservatives and Democrats.
The legislation is a departure from past GOP efforts to kill the Affordable Health Care Act outright, and faced a White House veto threat.
Democrats are against it because it would bail out the struggling program to help those with pre-existing conditions get insurance by raiding a disease prevention provision the administration says is essential. Conservative groups also urged Republicans to vote against it, saying it perpetuated the federal role in health care.
Ford Motor profit rises
Ford Motor Co.’s first-quarter profit rose 15 percent to a $1.6 billion thanks to record earnings in North America and strong sales in China. The automaker lost money again in Europe, although it sees some hints of improvement there.
Ford earned 40 cents per share, up from 35 cents in the same quarter a year ago. Without one-time charges, including restructuring costs in Europe, Ford would have earned 41 cents. That beat Wall Street’s forecast of 37 cents, according to analysts polled by FactSet.
Ford earned $2.4 billion in North America, the highest quarterly total since the company began reporting results regionally in 2000.
Britain may see recession
Recession may just be a word. But in Britain it may become a habit — and a dangerous one at that.
It’s possible that official figures on first quarter economic growth, to be released today, could show the country is back in recession, and tension is building.
Although economists on average expect growth of 0.1 percent on the quarter, they warn it would take the smallest statistical variation to put the figure in negative territory. That would place the country in recession, typically defined as two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.
Another recession — the third since the 2008 financial crisis — is already being referred to with foreboding in the media as a “Triple Dip.” Experts warn that its confirmation would create a wave of negative media attention that would scare consumers away from spending, feeding into a vicious cycle that has the economy flat-lining.