January 30, 2017
I’ve heard a lot of discussions about the President’s executive orders, but not a lot of accurate information. Here is a short summary of orders as of this morning:
- An order instructing agencies that whenever they introduce a regulation, they must first abolish two others.
- An order to restructure the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council.
- An order to lengthen the ban on administration officials working as lobbyists. There is now a 5 year-ban on officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government, and a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.
- An executive order imposing a 120-day suspension of the refugee program and a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. from citizens of seven terror hot spots: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan.
- Multi-pronged orders on border security and immigration enforcement including: the authorization of a U.S.-Mexico border wall; the stripping of federal grant money to sanctuary cities; hiring 5,000 more Border Patrol agents; ending “catch-and-release” policies for illegal immigrants; and reinstating local and state immigration enforcement partnerships.
- Two orders reviving the Keystone XL pipeline and Dakota Access piplines. He also signed three other related orders that would: expedite the environmental permitting process for infrastructure projects related to the pipelines; direct the Commerce Department to streamline the manufacturing permitting process; and give the Commerce Department 180 days to maximize the use of U.S. steel in the pipeline.
- An order to reinstate the so-called “Mexico City Policy” – a ban on federal funds to international groups that perform abortions or lobby to legalize or promote abortion. The policy was instituted in 1984 by President Reagan, but has gone into and out of effect depending on the party in power in the White House.
- A notice that the U.S. will begin withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Trump called the order “a great thing for the American worker.”
- An order imposing a hiring freeze for some federal government workers as a way to shrink the size of government. This excludes the military, as Trump noted at the signing.
- An order that directs federal agencies to ease the “regulatory burdens” of ObamaCare. It orders agencies to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement” of ObamaCare that imposes a “fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications.”
Of course, you can find the official documentation for Presidential Executive Orders, Memoranda and Proclamations at the White House web site: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/executive-orders
October 24, 2016
Under Obamacare, the majority of healthcare consumers will see premium rates increase, on average, by 25% for 2017. Rates are set to increase in 41 states. In some states, premiums will increase 50-75% in cost.
September 15, 2016
Lawrence S. Mayer, Ph.D. (scholar in residence in the Department of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a professor of statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State University) and Paul R. McHugh, M.D (professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and formerly psychiatrist-in-chief at the Johns Hopkins Hospital) have released a comprehensive review of research on the nature of sexual orientation and gender identity. Their primary findings include:
● The understanding of sexual orientation as an innate, biologically fixed property of human beings—the idea that people are “born that way”—is not supported by scientific evidence.
● The hypothesis that gender identity is an innate, fixed property of human beings that is independent of biological sex—that a person might be “a man trapped in a woman’s body” or “a woman trapped in a man’s body”—is not supported by scientific evidence.
● Compared to the general population, non-heterosexual subpopulations are at an elevated risk for a variety of adverse health and mental health outcomes.
from Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological and Social Sciences, The New Atlantis Journal, 2016
You can read the complete report here.
August 25, 2016
Hillary Clinton doesn’t have a plan. Donald Trump doesn’t have a plan. Neither Johnson nor Stein have a plan. You know who does? Speaker Paul Ryan. Read more here.
August 6, 2016
Nationwide insurer Aetna is facing over $300 Million losses from Affordable Care Act plans this year. It had already announced that it would not be expanding ACA coverage to any additional markets. Now it has announced that it may leave states using the ACA marketplace unless it receives additional government funding (i.e., tax payer funded subsidies). Read more details here.
Other insurers, such as UnitedHealth Group and Humana, have already left the ACA marketplace. More and more it is clear that Obamacare is built on a business model that does not work.