Number of uninsured drops to a record low

The number of people living in America without health insurance coverage hit an all-time low of 8% this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday.

"Every American has the right to the peace of mind that comes with access to affordable, quality health care," President Joe Biden said in a statement Tuesday about the record-low rate of uninsured Americans.

The findings come days after Democrats hammered out a 725-page climate, health care and tax deal that would extend generous federal subsidies for people who buy private health insurance that are credited with driving down the uninsured rates. Democrats have proposed spending $64 billion to extend those price breaks for three more years.

The drop in uninsured Americans began last year, when Congress and Biden signed off on a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill that lowered premiums and out-of-pocket costs for new or returning customers purchasing plans through the Affordable Care Act's private health insurance markets.

The uninsured rate fell to just under 9% last year with the improved subsidies. The Biden administration also began to step up advertising and increased the number of counselors who helped sign up people for plans during the open enrollment season last year.

Prior to last year, the uninsured rate had consistently remained in the double digits for decades. The number of uninsured Americans began dropping after the ACA, which expanded Medicaid and offers health insurance to people who lack job-based coverage through a mix of subsidized private plans, was enacted in 2010.

Roughly 26 million people remain without health insurance in the U.S. Just under 2 percent of children are now uninsured.


Job openings drop to 10.7 million in June

American employers posted fewer job openings in June as the economy contends with raging inflation and rising interest rates.

The Labor Department said Tuesday job openings fell to a still-high 10.7 million in June from 11.3 million in May. In its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, the Labor Department said the number of Americans quitting their jobs fell slightly in June while layoffs fell.

The job market has been resilient so far this year: Employers have added an average of 457,000 a jobs a month in 2022; and unemployment is near a 50-year low.


Elon Musk's tech allies miffed over subpoenas

Elon Musk's wealthy high tech allies don't seem too happy about receiving subpoenas from Twitter as part of the company's legal battle with the Tesla CEO.

San Francisco-based Twitter is suing Musk in Delaware in an attempt to get him to complete his $44 billion acquisition of the social media company, a deal Musk is trying to get out of. According to a report from the Washington Post, Twitter's legal team has asked for information about a host of tech investors and entrepreneurs connected to Musk in a wide-ranging subpoena.

Twitter declined to comment. One of those receiving the subpoena posted in response a picture of a Mad Magazine cover of a hand raising a middle finger.


Starbucks boosts sales, prices and store count

Starbucks reported record revenue in the April-June period, benefiting from hundreds of new stores and higher prices.

The Seattle-based coffee giant said its revenue rose 9% to $8.2 billion, a quarterly record. That surpassed Wall Street's forecast.

Global same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, rose 3%, which was just shy of Wall Street's expectations. Starbucks said traffic was slower, mostly due to continuing closures in China.

But customers spent more when they visited. Starbucks said its net income fell 21% as the company spent more on labor, worker training and supply chain costs.


Airbnb bookings rise to a record high

Airbnb reported a profit of $379 million for the second quarter, and it says bookings were a record. The company also said Tuesday it will spend up to $2 billion to buy its own stock, something that usually drives up the price of shares.

The results were a reversal from losses in the second quarter of both last year and 2019.

Airbnb is benefiting from the increase in travel and the exodus of workers from offices, which frees them to work from just about anywhere they can get internet access. Airbnb said bookings in the second quarter were about one-fourth higher than last year and the second quarter of 2019.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner