(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) President Trump said Wednesday that he may force Democrats to negotiate with him on healthcare by withholding payments that help insurers reduce out-of-pocket medical expenses for patients. Experts agree that halting the payments, called cost-sharing subsidies, would result in millions of people being dropped from plans that they purchased through the exchanges. “I don’t want people to get hurt,” Trump said in a Wall Street Journal interview . “What I think should happen, and will happen, is the Democrats will start calling me and negotiating.” The funds are being distributed and are expected to total $9 billion in 2017, but their future is uncertain because of a lawsuit that was appealed under the Obama administration. A federal judge sided with House Republicans in the lawsuit, which accuses the administration of illegally distributing cost-sharing reduction payments because they had not been appropriated by Congress. Following that argument, Trump told the Wall Street Journal that the executive branch may lack legal authority to make the payments. “He wasn’t allowed to do that,” Mr. Trump said about former President Barack Obama. “It’s actually a big story that a lot of people don’t know about. They’ll find out about it, perhaps.” The administration has said that it has not decided how it will handle the payments.
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( MUSA ), a leading marketer of retail motor fuel products and convenience merchandise, today announced preliminary first quarter results and subsequent changes to its guidance outlook for 2017. In conjunction with the company`s Form 8-K filed on February 1, 2017 detailing fourth quarter and full-year 2016 results, the company provided guidance on several metrics for 2017. While the company does not typically discuss full-year guidance on a quarterly basis, weaker-than-expected first quarter results will reduce the likelihood of achieving some of the company`s full-year guidance metrics. Preliminary first quarter results and key metric full-year guidance revisions are detailed below: Full-Year 2017 Original Guidance Range Full-Year 2017 Revised Guidance Range Total fuel contribution (cpg) $400 to $450 $340 to $410 First quarter retail fuel volumes and margins were both soft. In addition, results from the company`s Product Supply and Wholesale activities performed below expectations due to unfavorable market conditions beyond elements of normal seasonality. These market factors include, but are not limited to, record-high gasoline inventories, subdued retail demand, and discounted pipeline space values. Taken together, these market factors have resulted in lower clearing prices for product at wholesale racks, reducing Product Supply`s spot-to-rack margin. When coupled with lower Renewable Identification Number (“RIN”) prices, which were negatively impacted due to heightened regulatory and political uncertainty, first quarter total fuel margins are expected to average 10.1 cpg, consisting of retail fuel margins of 10.1 cpg and Product Supply and Wholesale margin including RINs of 0.0 cpg. However, in recent weeks, the market`s self-correcting mechanisms have caused conditions to improve as excess winter-grade inventory levels have fallen ahead of the transition to summer-grade gasoline along with higher net product exports. Additionally, the market has re-priced RINs higher – and more in line with historical spot-to-rack relationships – as the risk of sudden regulatory change has moderated after the Environmental Protection Agency comment period ended following its decision to deny petitions to change the Renewable Fuel Standard Point of Obligation in addition to the elimination of any speculation about a delay or reopening of the 2017 mandates. As a result, the net contribution from Product Supply and Wholesale inclusive of RINs is returning to more normal levels. Although market fundamentals appear to be returning to a more normalized state, lower-than-expected first quarter results are likely to impact the potential to deliver performance within the ranges previously provided for the company`s full-year guidance. As a result, revised 2017 guidance is shown adjusted for weaker-than-expected Q1 2017 results, and continues to assume more normalized market conditions for the remainder of the year. In the past, prior periods of first quarter weakness, such as 2012 ($12.7mm net loss, $(0.2)mm Adjusted EBITDA) and 2014 ($9.6mm net income, $43.2mm Adjusted EBITDA), were later offset by sharp declines in crude oil prices ultimately resulting in total fuel margins of 14.5 cpg and 18.6 cpg, respectively. The revised guidance ranges for 2017 do not incorporate a similar asymmetric recovery in total fuel margins. Current and forecasted crude oil prices would not expect to see sharp declines that will offset Q1 2017 results as they did in certain prior years. Guidance also includes the impact of early second quarter results while the market recovered. “The first quarter is typically a period of lower earnings for the company, but a variety of market conditions along with regulatory and political events have converged that will result in short-term underperformance versus historical Q1 results,” said President and CEO Andrew Clyde. “In our 20 year history, we have weathered a wide variety of challenging market conditions, which eventually experience mean reversion and we expect that this year will be no different. While we don`t expect discussions around guidance on a quarterly basis going forward, we are prudently level-setting expectations to maintain transparency with investors and affirm our commitment to long-term value creation for shareholders,” Clyde concluded. Read More The above statements reflect the company`s preliminary estimates and views on market trends observed in the first quarter of 2017 and are based on information available as of the date hereof. Actual results may differ materially from the estimates and trends described above due to developments or other information that may arise between now and the time the financial results for the first quarter or fiscal year 2017 are finalized. The remainder of our originally issued guidance remains unchanged at this date, including our estimate of full-year selling, general and administrative expenses, despite the fact that it will be higher on a full-year run-rate basis in Q1 2017 due to previously announced charges and other personnel related costs.
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