Tag Archives: Medicare

Winning: Trump executive order to protect and improve Medicare; lowest unemployment rate in 50 years

Yesterday, Oct. 3, 2019, while President Trump was in The Villages, Florida, he fired his first shot to counter Bernie Sanders and other Democrats’ socialist scheme of “Medicare for all”.

See “$16.2 trillion tax hikes to fund millionaire-socialist Bernie Sanders’ Medicare For All plan

Trump warned: “Medicare is under threat like never before. Almost every major Democrat in Washington has backed a massive government healthcare takeover that would obliterate Medicare.”

Trump announced a new executive order to protect and improve Medicare by:

  • Empowering senior citizens by giving them more plan choices, more access to telehealth and new therapies, and more time with providers.
  • Streamlining the approval of therapies, while reducing obstacles to improved patient care.
  • Improving quality by implementing reforms that better link payments to value.
  • Protecting beneficiaries by eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse.
  • Maximizing freedom for Medicare patients and providers by reducing regulatory burdens and eliminating unnecessary barriers.

President Trump had already undertaken the following improvements to Medicare and other health plans:

  • Lowered Medicare Advantage premiums next year to their lowest level since 2007, a 28% decrease since 2017.
  • Lowered Medicare Part D premiums next year to their lowest in the last 7 years.
  • Decreased prescription drug prices in 2018 for the first year in nearly five decades.
  • Led to the FDA approving a record number of generic drugs in 2017 and 2018 that will improve competition and drive down prices, saving $26 billion through the first year and a half of President Trump’s Administration.
  • Laid the foundation to start importing certain prescription drugs that are cheaper in other countries.
  • Increased the number of Medicare Advantage plans available to  seniors by nearly 1,200 over the last two years.
  • Expanded Association Health Plans, making it easier for employers to join together and offer more affordable health coverage to their employees.
  • Expanded the availability of short-term, limited duration health plans, which offer flexible coverage options and can be up to 60% cheaper than Obamacare plans.
  • Worked to ensure hospitals cannot hide prices for their services, requiring them to publicize more data and put quality and price information into patients’ hands.
  • Signed legislation ending “gag” clauses that prevented pharmacists from providing patients with information about lower cost options.
  • Signed legislation ending Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty, which forced many Americans to buy health plans they did not want.
  • Worked to provide electronic health records to patients by requiring providers to give patients their data.

Meanwhile, this morning’s jobless figures are impressive.

Alexandra Steigrad reports for the New York Post that U.S. unemployment rate fell to a 50-year low last month, dropping to 3.5% and matching a level last seen in December 1969. The jobless rate for Hispanics also hit a new record low, while the jobless rate for African Americans is at its lowest level ever.

The rate of discouraged workers and the underemployed also fell, declining 0.3 percent points to 6.9%, the lowest level in nearly 19 years.

No wonder the Demonrats and the never-Trump RINOs are more crazed and rabid than they’ve ever been, determined to remove this President by impeachment or by outright violence. Former RINO governor of Massachusetts William Weld actually called for Trump to be executed.

Please pray for President Trump.

~Éowyn

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This is rich: WA state Gov. Inslee calls for oversight of private psychiatric hospitals while state hospital is decertified and defunded

Gov. Jay Inslee with his buddy Obama

It is interesting how demorats always deflect from their own incompetencies.

Failed demorat presidential candidate Washington State Governor Jay Inslee is calling on his state Department of Health to strengthen enforcement of private psychiatric hospitals. This is in response to a Seattle Times investigation.

From the Seattle Times story:

“The directive marks a shift in tone for Inslee, who has supported the expansion of private psychiatric hospitals in a state that has long been short of treatment options. In his letter, the governor suggested revisiting the role of for-profit psychiatric companies.

“I am deeply troubled at the prospect of corporations exploiting gaps in our oversight systems to profit from vulnerable Washingtonians and hard-working hospital staff,” he wrote.

As private psychiatric hospitals have expanded in Washington state, with more than 850 new beds approved since 2012, some have repeatedly failed to meet regulatory requirements and put patients and their own staff at risk, The Times found. Hospitals are only required to disclose specific types of serious harm to the Department of Health and face no penalty for failing to do so in Washington, unlike other states.

Private psychiatric hospitals reported 15 “adverse events” over three years to the department. Over the same period, The Times found 350 incidents in which patients or staff were assaulted, suffered an injury, attempted suicide, escaped or died suddenly.”

Read the whole story here.

As governor, Inslee is responsible for the oversight of Western State Hospital, an inpatient psychiatric hospital with more than 800 beds and 2,200 employees in Lakewood.

Did you know that in June 2018 Western lost their certification and $53 million in federal funding? From King 5:

“Despite “significant strides” at Western State Hospital, Washington state’s largest psychiatric hospital lost its federal certification and $53 million in federal funds Monday after failing to achieve basic health and safety standards.

Western State failed to pass a May survey by federal inspectors with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Surveyors judged the hospital based on 26 conditions, which included inspecting wards and treatment plans and interviewing staff.

“CMS has determined that Western’s progress did not constitute substantial compliance with the Medicare conditions of participations,” the letter from CMS read.

The requirements were laid out in a Systems Improvements Agreement between the federal government and the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) that began in June 2016.

The 800-plus bed facility has been plagued by problems for years that ranged from assaults on health-care workers to escapes by dangerous patients.”

Read the whole King 5 story here.

Issues at Western include the following: Inappropriate use of restraints, faulty sprinklers, lack of fire drills, development of patient treatment plans and physical therapy plans.

Of course, DSHS had no comment on those issues at the time because they had not been able to perform any reviews of the complaints.

Under Gov. Inslee’s watch, Western has been plagued with assaults – and even a murder allegation. Some of the problems at Western:

In February this year, a woman claimed her father was a victim of murder from a patient that was released from Western. Her father was attacked at an adult family home and perhaps hit in the face with a coffee mug by a man who had been at the hospital and known for violent behavior.

A nurse lost part of her ear when she was assaulted by a patient and is now suing for $5 million.

In December 2018, KOMO reported that assaults had surged at Western. Faculty blamed the hospital administration saying they are moving dangerous patients into less-secure wards and leaving them there after they attack others.

In March this year, Western was fined $4,900 for failing to protect workers from assaults by patients. The L&I investigation found that DSHS— which runs the hospital — “did not do everything reasonably necessary to protect employees” from workplace violence.

Wait, there’s more detail about the deplorable conditions at Western that occurred under the “leadership” of Gov. Jay Inslee. Excerpts from NWNewsNetwork.org:

“A “root cause” report in 2016 identified ineffective management, staff reductions and turnover leading to patients who felt “neglected” and a “culture of helplessness” among staff. A review by the Department of Corrections also found numerous security gaps including 25,000 unaccounted for master keys.

Over the last couple of years, the state has accrued more than $55 million in fines for not meeting court-ordered timelines to evaluate and treat criminal defendants who are not competent to stand trial. That has led to mentally ill defendants languishing in jail cells while they await those services from the state hospitals.”

Read all the details here.

Gov. Jay Inslee peddling some BS…

While the good governor goes on about demanding oversight for private psychiatric hospitals in his state, maybe he and DSHS should lead by example and get the affairs of their mental hospital in order.

DCG

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Kamala Harris vows to take executive action on gun control if elected

Fortunately this womyn has a slim chance of taking the lead of the demorat presidential candidates.

From NY Post: Sen. Kamala Harris pledged Sunday that she will pursue executive action on gun control measures if Congress fails to act in the first 100 days of her presidential administration.

“I’m proposing, one, that if by my 100th day in office when elected president of the United States, if the United States Congress fails to put a bill on my desk … then I’m prepared to take executive action because that’s what’s needed: action,” Harris, a California Democrat and 2020 hopeful, said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Harris had first articulated the plan at a CNN town hall in late April, but bought it up again Sunday on the heels of yet another school shooting, in which 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo was killed after rushing the gunman to save his classmates.

“We are not waiting on tragedies and we are not waiting on good ideas,” Harris said, pointing to the “heroism of a child who we now mourn his loss, his parents’ only child.”

When asked how she liked Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-N.J.) proposal for a federal gun registry she answered, “I like the idea. But, Jake, I’m going to tell you, on the issue of the need for gun safety laws, we’re not at any loss for good ideas. People have been having good ideas for decades on this issue.”

Booker is also vying for the White House.

Harris said that the country was waiting for Congress to act. If she was forced to take executive action, Harris said she would require those who sell more than five guns a year to do background checks. She would also have the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives take away licenses from gun dealers that don’t follow the law.

Harris also expressed support for government intervention in dealing with Facebook. Co-founder Chris Hughes said Thursday that the social network should be broken up.

Asked by Tapper if she agreed with Hughes, Harris answered, “yes, I think we have to seriously take a look at that, yes.”

“I mean, when you look at the issue, they’re essentially a utility. Like, there are very few people that can actually get by and be involved in their communities or society or in whatever their profession without somehow, somewhere using Facebook,” Harris said. “It’s very difficult for people to be engaged in any level of commerce without – so, we have to recognize it for what it is. It is essentially a utility that has gone unregulated. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s got to stop.”

Over the course of the interview, Harris also tried to clean up comments she made to Tapper in January when she said she wanted to do away with private health insurance. Harris explained that while she supported Medicare-for-all “it doesn’t get rid of all insurance.” “It was in the context of saying, let’s get rid of all the bureaucracy. Let’s get rid of all the waste,” she said of her previous remark.

Harris said the Medicare-for-all bill she supports “doesn’t get rid of supplemental insurance.”

The legislation also entitles all residents of the United States to health care services.

Tapper asked if this meant Harris supported giving health care to illegal immigrants. “Let me just be very clear about this. I’m opposed to any policy that would deny in our country any human being from access to public safety, public education or public health, period,” Harris answered.

DCG

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Washington state governor proposes state-run healthcare system

Seems the proggies received the same memo (see my previous two posts).

Residents in Washington state already have “access to affordable health care” via free and low cost clinics. In my search of seven counties throughout Washington (out of 39 total counties) I came across 159 clinics. That fact won’t stop the TDS-infected governor from implementing another bureaucratic/big government program.

As reported by MyNorthwest.com: Governor Jay Inslee introduced Cascade Care Tuesday morning, a plan to provide a state-run healthcare system akin to “Medicare for all.”

“We believe it is a just thing to do for all of our citizens to have access to affordable health care,” Inslee said at a press conference Tuesday. “…Today I am pleased to announce that we will be proposing a public option in the State of Washington, to take yet another significant step in the goal of universal coverage in the State of Washington.”

Inslee announced his proposal flanked by a variety of lawmakers at the King County Downtown Seattle Public Health Clinic Tuesday morning. He was joined by King County Executive Dow Constantine, State Rep. Eileen Cody, State Sen. David Frockt, State Senator Karen Keiser, and the state’s Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler.

According to Inslee, the proposed Cascade Care bill will direct the state’s healthcare authority to provide coverage across Washington by contracting with one or more healthcare carriers. That coverage will begin in 2021.

That coverage will be available to anyone in the individual market. It will also set reimbursement rates consistent with Medicare. Using the service will be voluntary and patients will spend no more than 10 percent of their income on premiums.

Officials said Tuesday that it will cost the state $500,000 to set up the new system and accept bids from carriers. Costs beyond that weren’t specified.

Sen. Keiser noted that Washington once had an “incredibly popular” basic healthcare program between the late 1980s until the Great Recession. Implementing the Affordable Care Act eventually became a priority instead of restarting that program. “We have done this before, and we can do it again,” she said. “….Now it’s time to come back to the public option and include it in our array of healthcare services.”

Inslee, and other lawmakers present, pointed a finger of blame at the Trump administration, saying that it has worked to remove healthcare protections provided by the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Inslee said that there are 14 counties in the state that are on the verge of losing healthcare coverage altogether.

“We are on the knife’s edge,” Inslee said. “And we need to give a solid foundation of support to every county and every citizen in the State of Washington because that is a moral imperative.”

The governor also noted the work that has already been done to provide healthcare in Washington over the past few years, primarily through the state’s exchange: More than 800,000 Washingtonians have gained access to healthcare; Provided coverage to 30,000 cancer survivors in the state; and Provided 90,000 people with substance abuse treatment.

“But we need to take the next step,” Inslee said. “That’s why I’m glad we have put the dollars in my proposed budget that will allow us to set up this public option in the State of Washington.”

DCG

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How will Ocasio-Cortez pay for her socialist agenda?

Don’t hold your breath waiting for an answer…

h/t Twitchy

DCG

 

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Liberal logic: Cynthia Nixon wants single-payer health care for NY but you have to “pass it to figure out how to fund it”

Imagine going to your boss with a great idea for the company and then saying you don’t know how to fund it.

From Fox News: In her quest to become New York’s next governor, Cynthia Nixon has advocated for a single-payer health care system in the state – something studies have shown would be a costly endeavor.

The proposed New York Health Act (NYHA), which would establish universal health care for everyone in the state, including undocumented immigrants illegal aliens, would require the state’s tax revenue to increase by about 156 percent by 2022, according to a study by the RAND Corp. But it also found state spending on total health care under NYHA would be slightly lower – about 3 percent – by 2031 than under the current system.

Nixon recently told the New York Daily News editorial board she did not yet have a plan to pay for single-payer.

“Pass it and then figure out how to fund it,” Nixon said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who Nixon is challenging in the Democratic primary next week, has said it should be up to the federal government to pass a universal health care system. During a debate between the two candidates last month, Cuomo said the NYHA was good “in theory,” but would cost more than New York’s annual budget to implement it “in the long-term,” according to the Albany Times Union.

Nixon, on the other hand, has said a single-payer system will save the state and New Yorkers money overall.

There is widespread disagreement over how much it would cost to implement a single-payer health care system. Supporters say it would cut excessive administrative costs compared to those incurred by private insurers. But critics, including most Republicans, warn the savings would be less dramatic than expected – and the system would cost too much.

Joe White, president of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage, has estimated that with single-payer “costs and taxes will rise, or patient access will be severely diminished – turning America’s medical system into a third-world product.”

The Medicare-for-all bill proposed earlier this year by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., was estimated to cost $32.6 trillion over 10 years by a Mercatus Center at George Mason University study.

The term “single-payer health care” denotes only one entity bears the financial responsibility of health care – the government. Under this system, the government would be solely responsible for covering health care costs.

“The basic idea of single-payer is to cover everybody with a single government program, and that program would basically cover all the doctors and hospitals,” Dr. Adam Gaffney, an instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, told Fox News.

As the Times Union reported, the NYHA has continuously been introduced by Democrats in the state Assembly every year since 1992 but has been unsuccessful in the Senate.

DCG

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California bill would create health care price controls

government solve all problems
But, but…I thought Obamacare was suppose to reduce the cost of health care?
From Sacramento Bee: California’s government would set prices for hospital stays, doctor visits and other health care services under legislation introduced Monday, vastly remaking the industry in a bid to lower health care costs.
The proposal, which drew swift opposition from the health care industry, comes amid a fierce debate in California as activists on the left push aggressively for a system that would provide government-funded insurance for everyone in the state.
Across the country, rising health care costs have put the industry, lawmaker and employers and consumers at odds.
The proposal in California would affect private health plans, including those offered by employers and purchased by individuals. A nine-member commission appointed by the governor and legislative leaders would set prices for everything from a physical exam to an allergy test to heart bypass surgery. No other state has such a requirement.
“If we do not act now, I’m concerned that health care prices will become unsustainable,” Assemblyman Ash Kalra, a freshman Democrat from San Jose who wrote the legislation, said in a news conference in Sacramento.
The measure faces an uphill battle in the Legislature, where lawmakers are generally cautious about making drastic changes to the health care system and are already juggling a wide range of ambitious proposals.
The proposal is backed by influential unions including the Service Employees International Union, Unite Here and the Teamsters. The unions are frustrated that health care costs are gobbling an increasing share of employee compensation.
“Every dollar that we spend on rising health care prices is a dollar that comes out of a worker’s pocket,” said Sara Flocks, policy coordinator for the California Labor Federation, a union coalition. “This is something that is eating up our wages and it is increasing income inequality. This is a fundamental question of fairness.
Health care providers say price controls would encourage doctors to move out of state or retire, making it harder for people to see a physician when they’re sick, and force hospitals to lay off staff or, in some cases, close their doors.
The California Medical Association, which represents physicians, called the proposal “radical” and warned that it would reduce choices for consumers.
“No state in America has ever attempted such an unproven policy of inflexible, government-managed price caps across every health care service,” Dr. Theodore Mazer, the CMA president, said in a statement.
Under Kalra’s bill, prices would be tied to Medicare’s rate for a particular service or procedure, with that price as a floor. There would be a process for doctors or hospitals to argue that their unique circumstances warrant payments higher than the state’s standard rate.
Paying hospitals 125 percent of Medicare’s rate would cut $18 billion in revenue and force them to trim nurses and other support staff, said Dietmar Grellman, senior vice president of the California Hospital Association. Private insurers make up for the low payments from government-funded health care, which doesn’t cover the full cost of care, he said.
“That’s why their bill is such an empty promise,” Grellman said. “They take money out of the system with rate regulation, but then they don’t address the huge gaping hole that’s created by Medicare and Medicaid.”
In recent decades health care spending has risen faster than inflation and wages while employers and health plans have shifted more of the costs onto consumers through higher premiums, deductibles and copays. Americans spend more per capita on health care than other developed countries.
Meanwhile, a wave of consolidation by hospitals, physician groups and insurance companies has given industry players more power to demand higher rates.
DCG

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Thousands mistakenly enrolled in California's Medicaid expansion

you don't say
Shocker, not.
From CNN Money: California signed up an estimated 450,000 people under Medicaid expansion who may not have been eligible for coverage, according to a report by the U.S. Health and Human Services’ chief watchdog.
In a Feb. 21 report, the HHS’ inspector general estimated that California spent $738.2 million on 366,078 expansion beneficiaries who were ineligible. It spent an additional $416.5 million for 79,055 expansion enrollees who were “potentially” ineligible, auditors found.
Auditors said nearly 90% of the $1.15 billion in questionable payments involved federal money, while the rest came from the state’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal. They examined a six-month period from Oct. 1, 2014, to March 31, 2015, when Medicaid payments of $6.2 billion were made related to 1.9 million newly eligible enrollees.
There were limitations to the California review, however. The audit extrapolated from a sample of 150 beneficiaries. The authors reported a 90% confidence level in their results — whereas 95% would be more common. That meant that the number of those ineligible could have been as low as 260,000 or as high as 630,000.
“If HHS has a strong reason to believe that California is systematically making enrollment errors, it would be helpful to show that in a more robust analysis,” said Ben Ippolito, a health care economist at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. “The federal government should ensure that states are being good stewards of federal money.”
Nonetheless, the audit highlighted weaknesses in California’s Medicaid program, the largest in the nation with 13.4 million enrollees and an annual budget topping $100 billion, counting federal and state money. Medicaid covers one in three Californians.
The inspector general found deficiencies in the state’s computer system for verifying eligibility and discovered errors by caseworkers. The Medicaid payments cited in the report covered people in the state’s fee-for-service system, managed-care plans, drug treatment programs and those receiving mental health services.
California’s Department of Health Care Services, which runs Medi-Cal, said in a statement that it agreed with nearly all of the auditors’ recommendations and that the agency “has taken steps to address all of the findings.”
In a written response to the inspector general, California officials said several computer upgrades were made after the audit period and before publication of the report that should improve the accuracy of eligibility decisions.
Among the 150 expansion enrollees analyzed in detail, 75%, or 112, were deemed eligible for the Medicaid program in California. Auditors discovered a variety of problems with the other 38 enrollees.
During the audit period, 12 enrollees in the sample group had incomes above 138% of the federal poverty line, making them ineligible financially for public assistance, according to the report.
In other instances, beneficiaries were already enrolled in Medicare, the federal health insurance for people 65 and older or who have severe disabilities, and did not qualify for Medi-Cal. Onewoman indicated she didn’t want Medi-Cal but was enrolled anyway.
In 2014, the state struggled to clear a massive backlog of Medi-Cal applications, which reached about 900,000 at one point. Many people complained about being mistakenly rejected for coverage, or their applications were lost in the state or county computer systems.
California was one of 31 states to expand Medicaid under the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The health law established a higher federal reimbursement for these newly eligible patients, primarily low-income adults without children. After expansion started in 2014, the HHS inspector general’s office began reviewing whether states were determining eligibility correctly and spending taxpayer dollars appropriately.
Read the rest of the story here.
DCG

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Perpetual blame game: Clinton suggests Bernie Sanders resorted to "innuendo and impugning my character" to gain ground in the primary

hillary-clinton-screams-why-arent-i-50-points-ahead

Hillary the loser.


Must suck to be so bitter.
From Daily Mail: Hillary Clinton‘s frustrations with Bernie Sanders spill out onto the pages of her forthcoming book, What Happened, as she gripes about his campaign tactics and the fact that he was never truly a Democrat. 
‘Because we agreed on so much, Bernie couldn’t make an argument against me in this area on policy, so he had to resort to innuendo and impugning my character,’ Clinton writes, according to a page tweeted out by journalist and CauseWired founder Tom Watson.
The Vermont senator, Clinton charged, laid the foundation for Donald Trump‘s ‘Crooked Hillary’ charge against her, and didn’t have the future of the Democratic Party in mind during his run.
‘Some of his supporters, the so-called Bernie Bros, took to harassing my supporters online. It got ugly and more than a little sexist,’ Clinton recalled.
During the primary, Sanders would often hint that Clinton was corrupt because of financial donations she took from Wall Street and other large companies. ‘When I finally challenged Bernie during a debate to name a single time I changed a position or a vote because of a financial contribution he couldn’t come up with anything,’ Clinton noted.
‘Nonetheless, his attacks caused lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Trump’s “Crooked Hillary” campaign,’ she said.
Clinton wondered aloud if Sanders even cared, as he considered himself a Democratic Socialist, and not a Democrat, and thought about running for president as an independent.  
‘I don’t know if that bothered Bernie or not,’ she said. ‘He certainly shared my horror at the thought of Donald Trump becoming president, and I appreciated that he campaigned for me in the general election.’
‘But he isn’t a Democrat – that’s not a smear, that’s what he says,’ Clinton continued.’
‘He didn’t get into the race to make sure a Democrat won the White House, he got in to disrupt the Democratic Party,’ she noted.
Clinton said Sanders was right that the Democratic Party needed to pay more attention to working families.  And she also pointed out that there’s a ‘danger’ in spending too much time fundraising, though blamed it on the country’s ‘insane campaign finance system.’
Clinton also gave credit to Sanders for bringing a lot of young people into the political process.
‘But I think he was fundamentally wrong about the Democratic Party – the party that brought us Social Security under Roosevelt; Medicare and Medicaid under Johnson; peace between Israel and Egypt under Carter; broad-based prosperity and a balanced budget under Clinton; and rescued the auto industry, passed health care reform and imposed tough new rules on Wall Street under Obama,’ Clinton noted.
‘I am proud to be a Democrat and I wish Bernie were, too,’ Clinton said. 
Read the rest of the story here.
DCG

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Demorats launch "A Better Deal" platform. Their top agenda item: corporate mergers

a better deal
Because corporate mergers are what Americans are truly worried about. Good luck with that platform demorats!
From MSN: Democrats rolled out a new economic platform Monday in hopes of winning over President Donald Trump‘s populist base with promises to take on big businesses, lower the cost of prescription drugs and create jobs.
The campaign — “A Better Deal” — is intended as a counterpunch to the president’s frequent criticism of the lackluster recovery and stagnant wages under President Barack Obama and Trump’s vow to restore the economy to 3 percent annual growth. Democrats are also searching for ways to reconnect with working-class voters whose deep frustration with their own economic prospects helped drive their support for Trump.
“It is an ambitious economic agenda that represents a renewed Democratic commitment to the hard-working men and women across the United States who have been left out and left behind for too long,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote in a Washington Post op-ed.
Among Democrats’ top agenda items is greater scrutiny of corporate mergers, including tougher standards that incorporate consumer privacy, product quality and the impact on wages and jobs. Democrats are also seeking post-merger reviews and greater enforcement authority.
Those responsibilities would be carried out by a new competition advocate that Democrats have nicknamed the “Trust Buster.” One of the deals that could be targeted is AT&T (T)’s $85 billion bid for Time Warner (TWX), which is awaiting regulatory approval. Other sectors that could wind up in the crosshairs include the beer industry, airlines and eyeglasses.
“We will revisit our antitrust laws to ensure that the economic freedom of all Americans — consumers, workers and small businesses — come before big corporations that are getting even bigger,” the document read.
Prescription Drug Prices: The plan would revamp Medicare by allowing the program known as “Part D” to negotiate prices directly with drugmakers.
“It is ridiculous that Big Pharma has controlled Washington for so long and has refused to even budge on the notion that we ought to negotiate for lower prices,” Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri said in a YouTube video outlining the platform.
The campaign would also expand apprenticeship and vocational programs, as well as establish a tax credit for companies that provide on-the-job training. Additional pieces of the broader proposal will be unveiled in the coming months, such as addressing the cost of higher education, infrastructure investment and creating a national family leave program.
In addition to Pelosi, top Democrats Sens. Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren are slated to outline the campaign later Monday, laying the groundwork for the party’s message in the 2018 midterm elections and beyond. The rollout takes place in Clarke County, Virginia, part of a congressional district that Democrats have long fought to turn blue. It is represented in the House by Republican Barbara Comstock and won by Trump in November.
However, Democrats do not directly mention Trump in their strategy documents, though the campaign’s title clearly references the president’s signature book, “The Art of the Deal.” Resistance to the Trump administration has energized the party’s base, but Democrats are hoping to complement that with a more optimistic vision of the nation’s economic potential.
“In the last two elections, Democrats, including in the Senate, failed to articulate a strong, bold economic program for the middle class and those working hard to get there,” Schumer wrote in an op-ed in The New York Times. “We also failed to communicate our values to show that we were on the side of working people, not the special interests. We will not repeat the same mistake.”
DCG

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