Overseas Headlines: October 2, 2019

October 2, 2019

United States:

Trump to Unveil Medicare Plan in Bid to Contrast Democrat Rivals

“President Donald Trump will outline his vision for the future of Medicare this week, contrasting plans with Democrats in a speech promising to strengthen the program for the elderly and disabled. Trump is scheduled to travel to Florida on Thursday where he’ll deliver a wide-ranging speech on his administration’s health policy, and announce an executive order regarding the Medicare system, titled “Protecting Medicare from Socialist Destruction.” Trump’s remarks will focus on Medicare Advantage, a program in which private insurers including UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Humana Inc. provide benefits in place of the government, according to two people familiar with the matter. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss Trump’s announcement before it is made public. White House spokesman Judd Deere declined to share details of the announcement but said Trump would defend his record on health care. “From day one, President Trump and his administration have worked to provide seniors with high-quality, affordable care in the Medicare program and improved options through Medicare Advantage,” Deere said in a statement. The president intends to draw a clear contrast with Democrats: He aims to to protect and improve Medicare while providing choice, even as some Democrats push for vastly expanded or universal Medicare that Trump argues will increase costs and kill existing plans, the people said. He’ll also touch broadly on the administration’s record on health care, including prices, a move to expand kidney dialysis services and the importance of strengthening value-based care, the people said.”



Johnson Demands EU Back Down as U.K. Is Ready for No-Deal Brexit

“Boris Johnson outlined his plan for a new Brexit agreement and warned the European Union to compromise or watch the U.K. walk away from talks and leave the bloc without a deal. The U.K. prime minister declared that Britain is “ready” to break away from the EU without an agreement in four weeks’ time, if officials in Brussels do not back down. In his first keynote speech as prime minister at his Conservative Party’s conference, Johnson said his team is putting forward details of his “constructive and reasonable” blueprint in Brussels on Wednesday. “I hope very much that our friends understand that and compromise in their turn,” Johnson told his audience in Manchester, England, on Wednesday. “Because if we fail to get an agreement because of what is essentially a technical discussion of the exact nature of future customs checks, when that technology is improving the whole time, then let us be in no doubt that the alternative is no deal. “That is not an outcome we want. It is not an outcome we seek at all. But let me tell you this conference: it is an outcome for which we are ready.” The U.K. is due to exit the EU on Oct. 31 and Johnson says he will never agree to delaying Brexit beyond that date, even if it means leaving without an agreement, risking disruption at ports, to business supply chains, and to the security of food, fuel and water supplies. In a Sun newspaper interview, Johnson set the bloc’s negotiators an Oct. 11 deadline for agreeing a headline deal with Britain.”



As China Retreats From Global Property Deals, Korea Fills Void

“As China’s once-voracious companies retreat from the global property market, smaller neighbor South Korea is filling the void. Korean investors splurged almost $6.8 billion on international commercial real estate in the year through August, according to CBRE Group Inc., more than four times the amount spent by Chinese firms. And that’s before Seoul-based Mirae Asset Management Co. last month clinched an agreement to buy $5.8 billion of U.S. luxury hotels from China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co. in a deal emblematic of the shifting flow of capital emanating from the world’s most-populous continent. Behind Korea’s rise as a global real-estate force is a pile of wealth that’s outgrown its home market. The nation’s asset-management industry has more than doubled over the past five years as the government encourages people to save more for their own retirement. A need to diversify beyond stocks and bonds, meanwhile, has encouraged the boom in outbound property deals stretching from San Francisco to Sydney. “With the population aging and low interest rates persisting, demand for assets such as real estate is growing because people want to avoid the volatility in conventional assets like stocks and bonds,” said Jang Dong-hun, chief investment officer at Seoul-based Public Officials Benefit Association, which oversees about $11 billion. “But there aren’t lots of options at home, pushing investors to look abroad.”



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