As House Republicans revive a revamped Affordable Care Act replacement bill with more support from the libertarian wing of the Republican party, Republicans and Democrats have gone back-and-forth over the impact of the bill on people with pre-existing conditions. As The New York Times noted in a recent review of each party’s claims, both have played fast and loose with their evaluations of the policy. Republicans have overstated the degree to which the bill protects those with pre-existing conditions, and Democrats have overstated the negative effect it might have on the same group.
Health insurance policy is notoriously complicated, and both liberal and conservative policy experts disagree on how to unravel a 50-year-old mess created by bureaucracy and bad bills.
Continue reading in TownHall
On Friday, news broke that Donald Trump’s 2018 budget would reportedly cut the budget of the Office of National Drug Control Policy by almost 95 percent. According to CNN, who got the draft themselves, this means the ONDCP would fall “from a $380 million budget to $24 million.”
Libertarians and other anti-prohibitionists should be careful not to celebrate too early. The drug war, like life, tends to find a way. The draft memo justifies these cuts mostly in terms of redundancy. And we will still have a DEA, Chris Christie’s shiny new anti-opioid task force, and myriad federal, state, and local drug laws. Drug warriors may be having a bad day, but they shouldn’t panic too much.
Continue reading at Rare Politics
There’s a lot of hubbub about the American Health Care Act’s recent passage through the House. Many elements of it have come under fire, as of recent, but there’s one aspect that’s not getting enough coverage –– the media’s failure to properly explain it.
Succumbing to hysteria is never a good strategy for the press. For a free society to flourish, the press should remain arbiters of fact and fiction. Unfortunately, that idealistic vision is far from how these issues actually play out, especially lately. Headlines surrounding the AHCA have ranged from “Under The New Healthcare Bill, Rape Could Be A Pre-Existing Condition” (Huffington Post) to “In Trump’s America, Being Sexually Assaulted Could Make Your Health Insurance More Expensive” (New York Magazine) to “How the Horrific New Republican Health Care Bill Punishes Women” (Gizmodo). These headlines center around an important point, the pre-existing conditions aspect, but ultimately prize attention-grabbing over truth.
Continue reading in the Washington Examiner
After more than 100 days in office, President Trump’s approval rating is at 42 percent, the lowest for any president in the post-WWII era.
Lacking any significant legislative accomplishments, and governing almost exclusively by executive order, Trump places the blame for his lackluster performance not on himself or his staff—or even his opposition in Congress.
Instead, he singles out the “archaic” rules of the House and Senate, calling it a “rough system” that jeopardizes the public good.
Government Gridlock is Good
If the president is having a hard time because of the peculiarities of our system of government, that means the system is doing exactly what it is supposed to do.
Specifically, Trump criticizes the filibuster, claiming that it forces the government to make bad decisions. Trump’s views on the filibuster are not surprising, having never shown an ounce of principle on anything, he seems to have no problem with archaic rules and institutions when they benefit him.
Continue reading at FEE
Recently, I was invited to sit down with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai to discuss tech policy under the Trump administration. The FCC has been all over the news recently, especially in regards to net neutrality, as I’ve covered in Rare. Our conversation covered a wide range of topics in addition to the Open Internet Order, including digital privacy, broadband deployment, and the role of Congress in designing tech policy.
GIVEN: Since your appointment, there’s been two big policy changes that have caused some furious backlash from the press. First, the reversal of Obama-era privacy rules and net neutrality. Did you expect such a reaction coming into the job?
PAI: Well, I know it’s a politically polarizing time, and I realize that some of the decisions that were made by the past administration on a party-line basis, changing those decisions would engender an equal and opposite reaction if you will from those who are vested in the original decision. And so, it’s not a surprise to me at all. This has traditionally been one of the tougher jobs in Washington, DC because you’re always going to have to displease somebody. But, moving forward, what I’ve tried to bring to the job is a spirit of bipartisanship…..
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