Up to 7.7 million U.S. workers lost jobs with employer-sponsored health insurance during the coronavirus pandemic, and 6.9 million of their dependents also lost coverage, a new study finds.

Workers in manufacturing, retail, accommodation and food services were especially hard-hit by job losses, but unequally impacted by losses in insurance coverage.

Manufacturing accounted for 12% of unemployed workers in June. But because the sector has one of the highest rates of employer-sponsored coverage at 66%, it accounted for a bigger loss of jobs with insurance — 18% — and 19% of potential coverage loss when dependents are included.

Nearly 3.3 million workers in accommodation and food services had lost their jobs as of June — 30% of the industry’s workforce. But only 25% of workers in the sector had employer-sponsored insurance before the pandemic. Seven percent lost jobs with employer-provided coverage.

The situation was similar in the retail sector. Retail workers represented 10% of pre-pandemic employment and 14% of unemployed workers in June. But only 4 in 10 retail workers had employer-sponsored insurance before the pandemic. They accounted for 12% of lost jobs with employer-sponsored insurance and 11% of potential loss including dependents.

The study was a joint project of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research and the Commonwealth Fund.

“Demographics also play an important role. Workers ages 35 to 44 and 45 to 54 bore the brunt of [employer insurance]-covered job losses, in large part because workers in these age groups were the most likely to be covering spouses and other dependents,” said Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI’s Health Research and Education Program.

“The adverse effects of the pandemic recession also fell disproportionately on women,” Fronstin added in an EBRI news release. “Although women made up 47% of pre-pandemic employment, they accounted for

DENVER — D.j. Mattern had her Type 1 diabetes under control until COVID-19’s economic upheaval cost her husband his hotel maintenance job and their health coverage. The 42-year-old Denver woman suddenly faced insulin’s exorbitant list price — anywhere from $125 to $450 per vial — just as their household income shrank.

She scrounged extra insulin from friends, and her doctor gave her a couple of samples. But, as she rationed her supplies, her blood sugar rose so high that her glucose monitor couldn’t even register a number. In June, she was hospitalized.

“My blood was too acidic. My system was shutting down. My digestive tract was paralyzed,” Mattern said, after three weeks in the hospital. “I was almost near death.”

So she turned to a growing underground network of people with diabetes who share extra insulin when they have it, free of charge. It wasn’t supposed to be this way, many thought, after Colorado last year became the first of 12 states — including Illinois — to put a cap on the co-payments that some insurers can charge consumers for insulin.

But, as the coronavirus pandemic has caused people to lose their jobs and health insurance, demand for insulin sharing has skyrocketed. Many who once had good insurance are now realizing the $100 cap for a 30-day supply is just a partial solution, applying only to state-regulated health plans.

It does nothing for the majority of people with employer-sponsored plans or those without insurance coverage. According to the Colorado chapter of Type 1 International, an insulin access advocacy group, only 3% of patients with Type 1 diabetes under 65 could benefit from the cap.

Such laws, often backed by pharmaceutical companies, give the impression things are improving, said Colorado chapter leader Martha Bierut. “But the reality is we have a

By Tom Westbrook and Alun John

SINGAPORE/HONG KONG, Oct 12 (Reuters)Short selling has declined this year as hedge funds ditch bets against a relentless, stimulus-driven stock market rally, prompting a drop in income for asset managers and brokers involved in such trades.

Figures from research firm DataLend showed stock lenders’ revenue tumbled almost 15% in the year to Sept. 30 from 2019 while revenue for the September quarter alone was $1.8 billion, the lowest in the four years of comparable records.

That drop, led by declines in Asia and the United States, shows how an apparently unstoppable equities rally has caused many hedge funds to reduce shorting, typically a crucial way of earning market-beating returns.

“It’s ‘whatever it takes,’ globally, and it is by far the most frustrating rally for all our client base,” said George Boubouras, head of research, at K2 Asset Management, a Melbourne based fund which invests worldwide.

“With so much liquidity from central banks it is a difficult macro environment to run sustained short positions.”

In one sign short interest has declined, the volume of units of the index-tracking SPDR S&P 500 ETF SPY.P on loan hit a six-month low in mid September, data from research firm FIS Astec shows.

Analysts and brokers say this trend means less liquidity for traders and pressure on those who use stock lending revenue to keep trading fees low.

Blackrock BLK.N, for example, the world’s largest asset manager, earned roughly 6% of its $3.6 billion in quarterly revenue from stock lending in the June quarter, while State Street STT.N earned about 4% of its Q2 revenue.

“For Blackrock and others, a hit to securities lending revenues is likely to be a pain point,” said Stephen Biggar, director of financial services research at Argus Research in New

The Boca Raton Country Club hasn’t been making money, and now its owners are handing it over to the city.

Will it become a municipal money pit? No one knows.

Optimistic city officials say they might break even or perhaps lose a bit of money, but it’s a gamble they’re willing to take.

“It’s a matter of preserving green space,” said Boca City Councilman Andy Thomson. “The city of Boca Raton takes an enormous amount of pride in its beaches, parks — none of those things generate money. It’s an amenity, and that’s how we view it.”

The owners of the exclusive club announced the unusual donation this week, and the city plans to open the 130-acre property to the public in about a year.

The club, at 17751 Boca Club Blvd., features an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, a clubhouse and pool. The course and clubhouse are surrounded by 12 subdivisions in a giant gated community featuring townhomes, single-family homes and condos.

The country club’s owners, MSD Partners and Northview Hotel Group, acquired the property in June 2019 when they also bought the Boca Raton Resort and Club, a luxurious destination situated off Camino Real that is frequented by the wealthy, famous and business leaders.

The owners said they were giving up the country club to focus on the Boca Raton Resort and Club. They would not reveal the country’s club’s finances on Friday.

The city’s cost to operate the Boca County Club course will be built into next year’s budget, but a city spokeswoman said no records are available to show what the cost will be or how much the city expects to lose, if anything. Those projections are still being studied, said spokeswoman Chrissy Gibson.

Thomson said he was told the course could cost “something like $1

Cook County’s public health system would take a $1.4 billion hit and more than 300,000 residents who depend on the system would lose their insurance if Obamacare is repealed, according to an analysis announced Wednesday.

The estimates reflect the number of patients who are enrolled in Medicaid expansion plans made possible by the 2010 law and who receive treatment at Cook County’s public health system, officials said.

Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, joined by six Democrats from Illinois’ congressional delegation, said she believes the law, known as the Affordable Care Act, is in danger because President Donald Trump’s administration has taken aim at repealing it and his Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, has been critical of it.

“A repeal of the ACA would not only financially cripple Cook County Health by dramatically increasing the amount of uncompensated health care we already provide, it would be catastrophic to the patients we serve,” Preckwinkle said at a news conference.

Health system officials say they already provide half of the charitable health care in Cook County.

Debra Carey, interim chief executive of Cook County Health, said the $1.4 billion estimated loss represents revenue the health system brings in through Affordable Care Act plans and a projection that half of more than 300,000 patients depending on the health system would become uninsured and would require charity care.

Cook County Health, which includes John H. Stroger Hospital on the West Side and Provident Hospital on the South Side, treats patients enrolled in multiple Affordable Care Act health plans, Carey said.

“This is a real threat to our organization, the progress we have made under the Affordable Care Act and the people who have been served by it,” Carey said.

Carey may not be at the top job of the county health system much longer