This month commemorates an important economic milestone for the nation — the 40th anniversary of the Staggers Act, the railroad deregulation legislation signed into law by then-President Jimmy CarterJimmy CarterBiden, Democrats see late opportunity in Texas Jimmy Carter celebrating 96th birthday at home in Georgia The Hill’s Morning Report – Pelosi, Mnuchin make last-ditch effort for COVID-19 relief deal MORE.

The law might not be widely known outside a small circle of transportation experts, but it is safe to say that all Americans continue to benefit from it daily. The remarkable success of the law enabled the market to accomplish what regulators could not. It spared the U.S. railroads from bankruptcy, increased competition, dramatically dropped shipping costs and saved consumers billions of dollars annually in lower priced goods.

To get a fuller appreciation of the success of these regulatory reforms, it is necessary to step back a half century to understand the stark conditions of the rail sector.

In the decades leading up to deregulation, the rail sector was largely controlled by the now defunct Interstate Commerce Commission. Back then, prices were established by regulators in ways that discriminated between who the rail operator was, the type of commerce being transported, the routes and final destination, and the length of the haul — all baking in subsidies for routes that would not be financially viable in a competitive marketplace.

After construction of the interstate highway system during the 1950s and 60s, the heavily regulated railroad industry found itself competing with a trucking industry. The trucking industry wisely cherry-picked the rails’ most profitable lines, which were set by regulators at higher prices in order to subsidize unprofitable lines. Because railroads were unable to change their calcified and government-mandated prices or abandon unprofitable rail lines, they were unable to complete

TORONTO, Oct. 1, 2020 /CNW/ – Ontario’s auto insurers reported consumers have been eligible to receive almost $1 Billion in relief in response to COVID-19. This represents an increase of over $300M or 45% since insurers last reported in May 2020. Information reported by the 13 largest insurers is also being shared publicly to provide greater transparency to inform consumers. 

FSRA Logo (CNW Group/Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario)

“Our government took immediate action to make the required regulatory changes so that consumers could benefit from the change in driving behaviour during the pandemic,” said Minister Phillips. “We made it very clear to insurers that drivers deserved more, which resulted in auto insurers making available almost $1B in relief for Ontario drivers. I have asked FSRA to continue monitoring how insurance companies are providing relief to ensure consumers’ needs are being met as the pandemic continues to evolve.”

The $1B reported consumer relief is equivalent to 7.1% of total annual auto insurance premiums and made available to over 90% of the 6.6 million auto insurance consumers in Ontario, an increase of more than 1.5 million consumers since April. 

“Our focus is on the fair treatment of consumers and helping them make choices by sharing information and resources,” said Tim Bzowey, Executive Vice President, Auto/Insurance Products. “We will continue to monitor whether the promised relief is provided and evaluate whether insurers’ rates remain just and reasonable.”

Consumer relief is available through rebates, rate reductions, risk re-ratings, premium deferrals and other means, and varies by insurer.

Building on the need for greater transparency, FSRA is also launching an enhanced consumer information hub on its website.  Consumers will be better informed, have access to average premiums and be able to search rate filings easily, which help them make informed decisions about their policy and the insurer they choose.

CARMEL, Ind., Oct. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — CNO Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: CNO) launched today a new online health insurance marketplace, myHealthPolicy.com, initially focused on helping Medicare beneficiaries learn about and enroll in Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug plans.

With the goal of providing consumers with a convenient way to compare, buy or switch plans, myHealthPolicy.com offers the ease of online enrollment with the personal assistance and one-on-one consultation of a local insurance agent.

“An important feature of myHealthPolicy.com is that consumers can be helped by a licensed agent in their community who is familiar with local provider networks and can bring that knowledge into the decision process, in addition to being able to quickly connect with a tele-sales agent who can answer immediate questions,” says CNO Consumer Division President Scott Goldberg. “We have over 2,000 agents exclusively connected to this platform who are certified to sell Medicare Advantage products. Our agents can help customers select the right plan over the phone, by video, or in-person. Few companies bring that type of scale and choice to consumers.”

Meredith Vieira named new spokesperson in national, multi-channel campaign

In addition to the launch of myHealthPolicy.com, the company announced that award-winning journalist and former ‘TODAY’ host Meredith Vieira will serve as the brand’s official spokesperson. She will appear in a national, multi-channel campaign across TV, radio, out-of-home media, print, social, and digital advertising beginning this month.

“I’m so pleased to be working with myHealthPolicy,” said Vieira. “It allows consumers to explore their Medicare options. As we enter the annual enrollment period, we all want to make these decisions with confidence. myHealthPolicy.com makes it easy.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Meredith as a member of the CNO family,” said Goldberg. “She is a longtime healthcare advocate and her authenticity and relatability

OLHI CEO, GLENN O’FARRELL TALKS LIFE, HEALTH, DISABILITY AND TRAVEL INSURANCE TRENDS

VANCOUVER, BC, Sept. 30, 2020 /CNW/ – In the midst of a pandemic, only one national, impartial and independent service offers Canadians across the country free help with life and health insurance complaints. The OmbudService for Life & Health Insurance (OLHI) is here to help.

OLHI is Canada’s insurance complaint resolution service. The OLHI complaint resolution process provides an impartial review of your dispute, determines the merit of your complaint, and works with your insurance company to reach a fair and equitable resolution. (CNW Group/OmbudService for Life & Health Insurance)

Reports from across the insurance industry indicate there has been an increased demand for life insurance since the pandemic hit. With the near decimation of the travel industry, OLHI has seen double the typical number of travel insurance complaints across Canada. Disability claims remain consistently high at OLHI as the pressures of modern life can lead to disability claims due to mental health issues.

Glenn O’Farrell, former President of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters and former Senior Vice President of CanWest Global, will provide an overview of the vital public service OLHI provides to Canadians. O’Farrell will share case studies from consumers across Canada that will demonstrate how OLHI’s relationship with member insurance companies leads to the fair, equitable resolution of insurance complaints for Canadians.  

Our unique role helps build confidence in the life and health insurance sector for Canadian consumers.

O’Farrell is scheduling phone interviews with talk radio stations across Canada in October and November.

ABOUT OLHI:

OLHI is Canada’s insurance complaint resolution service. The OLHI complaint resolution process provides an impartial review of your dispute, determines the merit of your complaint, and works with your insurance company to reach a fair and equitable resolution.

SOURCE OmbudService for Life & Health Insurance

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Chamath Palihapitiya

Olivia Michael | CNBC

If the government approves further stimulus funds, they should go to individual consumers and small businesses, venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya said Wednesday.

In a searing diatribe against the troubled sector, the CEO of Social Capital expanded on comments he made earlier in the year to CNBC in which he said airlines should not be bailed out because they are so poorly managed.

Palihapitiya said that before the coronavirus pandemic, the companies already were doing “the most absolutely horrid and idiotic form of capital allocation you could imagine.”

“Not a single extra dollar should go to these companies,” he added.

Among the poor decisions he cited were not investing in research and development, saving or putting more resources into their workforces. Instead, they focused cash on share repurchases and inflating stock prices.

“This has been happening for the last 15 or 20 years,” Palihapitiya said in remarks at the Delivering Alpha conference, presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor. “If you were going to give these folks money, you should have created some much tighter guardrails for what you were going to do in the future.”

Rather than direct rescue funding to large companies, as was done under pandemic-related programs approved by Congress and the Federal Reserve, future resources should go to small business owners and individuals, he added.

“If you really believe in trickle-down economics, then let’s actually see how trickle-down economics would work. Give money into the hands of ordinary Americans,” Palihapitiya said in remarks similar to those he had made before opposing bailouts for hedge funds and poorly run companies. “What I guarantee you they will do is they will spend.”

He spoke amid a tense atmosphere in Washington as Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., continue to try