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Lanhee Chen: Healthcare and the 2018 Agenda

Tax Reform

As the Republican-led Congress plans the 2018 legislative agenda, healthcare needs to continue to be a top priority.

 

Health premiums are soaring, and millions of people have little or no choice of health insurance. Millions of people who once could afford coverage no longer can, and many find that their health insurance premiums cost more than their mortgage or rent payments.

 

In a new Associated Press-NORC poll, nearly half of Americans said health care is their primary concern for 2018, topping taxes, immigration, education, and the environment by more than 15 percent.

 

Obamacare has failed miserably in fulfilling the last administration’s promise to cut health costs. The typical American worker now must devote roughly twice as many work hours to cover health costs as to pay for food.

 

Individuals need to be empowered with greater flexibility and choice. And states are better equipped than Washington to oversee their health insurance markets. This requires legislative action from Congress for these new and better choices.

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David Davenport: Previewing Trump’s First State of the Union Speech

Compromise

A president’s first state of the union message is an important occasion. But in our era of political theater, there is some danger that this year the sideshow will overshadow the main attraction.

Several Democratic members of Congress say they will boycott the event.  One Congresswoman is encouraging females who do attend to dress in black.

Despite the political challenges, “it’s the economy, stupid.”  If Trump makes this primarily an economic address, he can succeed.  Think about it:  unemployment is down, jobs are up and the stock market is on fire. His big piece of legislation, the tax bill, is projected to lead to even more economic growth. The president has problems elsewhere, but so far so good on the economy and that should be his message.

The Constitution does not actually require this kind of televised state of the union address, though tradition does.  It’s always possible that a nontraditional president like Trump might surprise us and do something completely different.

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Are Republicans Really in Danger in the 2018 Elections?

Opioids Tariffs

Townhall Review — January 20, 2018

Hugh Hewitt invites Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte to explain the contentious issues on the DACA impasse in Washington, DC. Larry Elder and John Lott, the president of the Crime Prevention Center, dig into the data concerning the true record of illegal immigrants in his state, Arizona. Hugh Hewitt allows two journalists to give their opposite prognostications of Republican performance in the upcoming midterm elections. Mike Allen tells Hewitt why a Democratic takeover the house “now looks likely.” Robert Costa contends that the Republicans still have an upper hand due to a promising economy. Dennis Prager follows with the latest news on his battle with Google and their unfair practices against PragerU and other conservative publishers on YouTube. Michael Medved honors the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by correcting the liberal media’s rewriting of King’s ideological history. Finally, Medved inserts himself into the controversy of Trump’s recently reported statements against Haiti, by rejecting the media’s extreme reaction while advising the administration to avoid language that contradicts their own merit-based immigration proposal.

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Michael Medved: The Oprah Infatuation: Dems Place Personality Over Policy

Opioid

The unbounded enthusiasm for Oprah Winfrey’s prospective presidential run illustrates the Democrats’ tendency to prioritize personality above policy. Nobody knows where Oprah stands on issues of the day, or what style of governance she’d favor, but Democrats know she is a popular personality and that’s enough for them. Barack Obama enjoyed similar popularity among Democrats: his brief pre-White House career displayed few practical achievements or even a coherent philosophy, but inspiring speeches about hope and change gave him an almost magical appeal.

In approaching President Trump, of course, Democrats also prefer to ignore substance and to concentrate on style: they emphasize the president’s volatile personality and dismiss his undeniable record of first year accomplishment. Liberals would rather scold the latest presidential tweet than consider the booming economy or the lowest black unemployment rate ever measured. The GOP shouldn’t help them in this effort, but must focus relentlessly on the nation’s pressing issues rather than the president’s personality.

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Lanhee Chen: After Tax Reform: Return to Health Care

Tax Reform

Tax reform legislation signed into law by President Trump in December, which will lower taxes for most Americans this year, unfortunately did nothing to stop billions of dollars in new taxes under Obamacare from hitting millions of Americans in the wallet.

One example is the Obamacare health insurance tax, which is being paid for directly by consumers, in the form of higher premiums. So millions of us will take a direct hit, even though most people who will be paying for the tax increase don’t even realize it.

Over the next 10 years, individual market beneficiaries will pay over $2,000 more in premiums; families getting their coverage through small employers will pay over $6,000 more; and Medicare Advantage members will pay over $3,000 more.

Although Republicans did not create ObamaCare, they are in a golden position to end this tax and help bring down premiums. A failure to do so may hurt congressional Republicans when they come before the voters in this November’s midterm elections.

And that’s a risk they shouldn’t take.

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Hugh Hewitt – A DACA Compromise: Do it and Move On

U.S. Senate

Just under 800,000 people received permits to stay and work under the DACA program. President Trump has announced the program’s end. It now falls to Congress to decide the fate of the “dreamers.”

 

A legislative deal between these competing interests is obvious: regularization of the 700,000 who can show they have not been involved in violence or criminal enterprise; a significant investment in border security, including the 700-plus miles of wall; an explicit rejection of “chain migration” entitlement or preference for the dreamers; and an end to the absurd “diversity visa lottery.”

 

This compromise is not amnesty. A long, strong fence and additional security measures aren’t the Berlin Wall, nor are their proponents totalitarians. After all the posturing and the rhetoric is done and said, my take is that a large majority of Americans can agree on this plan. Can Congress get its act together and, in a bipartisan fashion do an obviously good thing? Just do it, and then move on. What a concept.

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