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Column: Amid pandemic and peak unemployment, Trump still pushing Medicaid work requirement

Business / Business News /

Credit is due once again to the Trump administration for its steadfastness in the face of real-world crises that could derail its long-term project of relentlessly doing exactly the wrong thing at exactly the wrong time.

Case in point: The administration just doubled down on its intention to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients.

...Read more

US Bancorp sets aside another $1.7 billion for expected coronavirus-related defaults

Business / Business News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- U.S. Bancorp has put aside another $1.7 billion to cover potential loan defaults, another sign that the nation's biggest banks expect to see significant economic shocks in the months ahead due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The nation's fifth-largest bank's increase to its provision for credit losses in the second quarter comes on ...Read more

UnitedHealth Group profit doubles to $6.6 billion with COVID-19 slowdown

Business / Business News /

UnitedHealth Group's second-quarter profit jumped to $6.6 billion -- double the earnings from the same period last year, and far beyond expectations -- as the nation's largest health insurer paid out far fewer claims with the temporary shutdown of elective procedures due to COVID-19.

The Minnetonka, Minn.-based health care giant said Wednesday ...Read more

Tesla has more than 130 employees who tested positive for coronavirus: report

Business / Business News /

Tesla, which earlier re-opened its Fremont electric car factory in defiance of a coronavirus health order, has had more than 130 employees test positive for the deadly virus, according to a blog claiming to have received company information.

"An internal data leak shows that Tesla is seeing a spike in COVID-19 'exposure,' primarily at its ...Read more

GoHealth raises $914 million through IPO and plans to expand its Medicare offerings

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- GoHealth, an online health insurance marketplace, raised $914 million through an initial public offering Tuesday, but shares of the Chicago-based company fell 7.3% on Wednesday's first day of trading.

The company will use the funds raised through the IPO to expand, said Brandon Cruz, co-founder and chief strategy officer.

The ...Read more

Fiat Chrysler to change name to Stellantis after merger with PSA in 2021

Business / Business News /

DETROIT -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will change its name to "Stellantis" after the merger with Peugeot S.A. is complete next year, the companies announced Wednesday.

This is a "major step" as the automakers move toward completing their 50:50 marriage outlined in a December 18, 2019 agreement, according to a news release from FCA. Everything is...Read more

Consumer Confidential: Car insurers gave everyone a pandemic discount. Now some are raising rates

Business / Business News /

In most cases, those discounts are now in the rear-view mirror, meaning our rates are back to pre-pandemic levels.

And now comes the prospect of some insurance companies recouping their losses by raising rates for the second half of the year.

David Martin, 69, suspects this happened to him when he received a bill from Allstate the other day ...Read more

NAACP teams with CBS to bring more Black stories to the screen

Business / Business News /

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will develop and produce TV shows with CBS Television Studios, home of "CSI" and "S.W.A.T.," under a new partnership meant to bring more Black stories to television in the U.S.

The two organizations will create a team to collaborate on scripted, unscripted and documentary work, the ...Read more

NBCUniversal wades into streaming wars with Peacock

Business / Business News /

NBCUniversal's Peacock streaming service debuted nationwide Wednesday, betting that weary consumers will tolerate a few commercials in exchange for a low-priced offering that includes news, sports and thousands of hours of TV shows.

The gambit sets the NBCUniversal's service apart from streaming giants Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+. ...Read more

Amazon job openings have fallen 19% companywide in five months — but the tally is still more than 30,000

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE -- In the last five months, Amazon job listings decreased about 19% globally, but still number more than 30,000. In the company's headquarters city of Seattle, listings are off 36%.

Amazon has more openings in Seattle -- about 7,300 -- than any other single location, down from about 11,500 in early February.

That was before the ...Read more

Food inflation arrives, adding to the woes of ailing restaurants

Business / Business News /

Food inflation has arrived, according to newly released data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And that means slimmer profits for many already-ailing restaurants even as diners pay more for meals.

Full-service restaurant prices rose a record 0.9% in June from a month earlier. At the same time, home cooking grew costlier: Grocery prices rose ...Read more

222 LA tech companies pledged to improve on diversity. Have they made any progress?

Business / Business News /

Two years ago, a number of L.A.'s leading tech investors gathered for a swanky party to launch a program called PledgeLA. Its purpose: to change the mostly white, mostly male face of the tech industry in Southern California.

With support from the mayor's office and the deep pockets and local connections of the Annenberg Foundation, PledgeLA has...Read more

Microsoft jettisons dozens of full-time MSN jobs in favor of artificial intelligence

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Microsoft this week cut dozens of full-time staffers from its MSN news service, many of them in senior positions, in a move further away from human editors and toward using artificial intelligence to curate stories.

The move comes six weeks after the Redmond, Wash.-based technology giant told about 50 news production contractors they would not ...Read more

Confluence of crises leaves Boeing 'a very stricken company,' says major airline's president

Business / Business News /

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens some major airlines across the globe with bankruptcy, and both Boeing and its archrival Airbus will have to adapt and shrink until some degree of normality returns, according to one of the world's top airline executives.

For Boeing, the worldwide downturn couldn't come at a worse time, said Tim Clark, president ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Reducing smartphone photo quality to save space

Business / Business News /

Q: The photos taken with smartphones take up a lot of memory space. I'd like to reduce the size of my photos from several megabytes to a little less than one megabyte, a size I've found adequate for viewing on a computer, attaching to e-mails or printing 4-by-6-inch photos. But the camera settings on phones don't begin to make images that small....Read more

Natasha Frost: How to avoid paying $135 for a $12 prescription

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After I recently experienced a mild allergic reaction to a bee sting, my doctor prescribed prednisone, a gentle steroid to help bring down the inflammation. At the RiteAid near my home, I paid $9.99 for six pills, to be taken over three days. It seemed like a reasonable price -- until I got home, searched Google and realized the Walgreens nearby...Read more

Jeff D. Opdyke: Call it gig, freelance, whatever — a guide to finding project work

Business / Business News /

As the unemployment rate approaches 14%, older workers are suffering disproportionately in the pandemic. For some, though, there might be a reprieve: freelancing.

Though not traditionally an arena where Gen X and boomer workers seek employment, the growth in work from home, online jobs and the elevated rates of joblessness are drawing 55+ ...Read more

As millions lose health insurance, Trump administration offers little help

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- As millions of people lose jobs in the coronavirus outbreak, jeopardizing their health benefits, the Trump administration and many states are doing little if anything to connect Americans with other insurance coverage.

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department hasn't launched any special effort to publicize the availability of...Read more

Netflix changed media forever. Can this streamer bring the revolution to Latino audiences?

Business / Business News /

The Edward James Olmos movie "Windows on the World," about a Mexican family's ordeal during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was scheduled to open on 100 theater screens nationwide this summer. Then, the novel coronavirus struck and shut down cinemas worldwide.

So the film's producers scrambled to find another way to release the movie. They ...Read more

Public resistance and high costs are canceling pipelines across the country

Business / Business News /

Not long ago, builders of fossil fuel pipelines in the U.S. followed a standard pattern: The operator made a business case for the project, lining up committed shippers, customers, and investors. Regulators obliged by granting a certificate of public need, which includes the power to acquire easements from property owners even if they object.

...Read more