The Obama Administration continues to insist that the Affordable Care Act will be good for Americans. With insurance subsidies and Medicaid expansion, they say that Americans will healthier. But is that true? According to a study out of Oregon, which expanded Medicaid in 2008, greater access to healthcare doesn’t mean that people will be healthier:
In 2008, the state of Oregon initiated an ambitious health care policy that allowed researchers to shed light on the effects of guaranteeing Medicaid coverage for low-income adults. The results have been closely followed in large part because insurance for the poor is a major component of the Affordable Care Act—aka Obamacare—that will soon be rolled out across the country.
One of the most interesting debates in American politics is taking place right now inside the conservative movement. There has been a lot of focus on the shellacking Republicans took at the ballot box in 2012. Some are saying that the losses happened because conservatives have grown in influence, while others point out that Mitt Romney, the GOP’s presidential nominee in the last cycle, didn’t present a strong agenda.
Among those in the conservative movement who has been part of this debate is Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who is in the middle of his first term in the upper chamber. Along with Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), Lee has been among those who are not only working to restore fiscal sanity in Washington, but also a strong voice for the rights and liberties that are guaranteed in the Constitution.
Too often, conservatives are known for their opposition to various policies proposed by the Obama Administration. This has helped the Democrats and the media define them as being the “party of ‘no.’” Instead of focusing on opposition, Lee, who was elected as part of the “Tea Party class” in the 2010 mid-term, presented what he called the “positive case for conservatism” by talking about “what conservatives are for.”
Lee began his speech by noting that both Republicans and Democrats “succumb to easy negativity” and that the gridlock in Washington makes for fodder in the media. Lee explained that this “helps explain why the federal government is increasingly held in such low regard by the American people.”
This was probably my favorite panel from the main room at CPAC. The heads of the three of the most well-known think tanks in Washington, DC sat down for a talk today about their organizations, working together from time to time, and some of the issues facing the country.
- John Allison, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cato Institute
- Arthur Brooks, President, American Enterprise Institute
- Dr. Edwin Feulner, President, Heritage Foundation
- Moderator: Lawson Bader, President, Competitive Enterprise Institute
On Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul gave his long awaited foreign policy speech at the Heritage Foundation. In it, he tried to outline a foreign policy vision that is a departure from the foreign policy that has been offered for more than a decade by the GOP. Also in the speech, he tried to distance himself from his father, Ron Paul’s, more radical non-interventionist views. Predictably, both neoconservatives and libertarian non-interventionists were not pleased with the speech. However, Senator Paul’s speech may open up a path for Republicans and conservatives to regain lost credibility on foreign policy and national security issues and tie it into the larger issues of debt and spending.
Senator Paul began the speech with this.
I see the world as it is. I am a realist, not a neoconservative, nor an isolationist.
That sentence largely defines what Paul’s policy is. Traditional conservative realism as oppose to the alternatives of neoconservative hyper-interventionism and quasi-isolationist noninterventionism. A third way that is skeptical of intervention while at the same time engaged and active in the world.
Senator Paul also did something very few American politicians have done since 9/11, have a frank discussion with the American people about radical Islam.
The West is in for a long, irregular confrontation not with terrorism, which is simply a tactic, but with Radical Islam.
On Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) gave a speech on foreign policy at the Heritage Foundation, which is likely the most well known conservative think tank in the movement.
This was a significant event. The Heritage Foundation has been known for its aggressive foreign policy views. Dare I say that it would have been unthinkable five or six years ago to have someone like Sen. Paul — the son of former Rep. Ron Paul, who is know for his anti-war views — speaking at such a prominent institution.
As he explained in the speech, Sen. Paul was trying to present a “middle path” on the issue, one that stressed a reasoned, fiscally responsible approach. Unfortunately, the reaction to the speech has been met with negative and, in some cases, outright contempt.
While most of the comments border on the absurd, John Glazer at Antiwar.com has one of the more straightforward critiques of Sen. Paul’s speech:
Paul suggested the United States reapply its Cold War strategies of engagement, aggression, and containment to the 21st century’s version of a Soviet threat: “Radical Islam.”
In 2012, three major changes happened in the policy world inside the Beltway: three presidents of three conservative and libertarian think tanks stepped aside, and now we have three new presidents in their place.
At Cato, long time president Ed Crane left as part of a settlement ending a long and bitter battle between him and Charles and David Koch. The battle was over who controlled the Cato Institute, after former chairman William Niskanen died. In the end, the shareholders’ agreement that was in place was dissolved, Ed Crane left, the Koch brothers agreed to be hands off, and in came John Allison, former CEO of BB&T bank. While I wrote a fond tribute for Mr. Crane when he left, I look forward to Allison’s tenure and I hope for the best.
At the other libertarian think tank in DC, the founder and president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute is also preparing to step down. Fred Smith will leave on New Year’s (though he’ll stick around to keep fighting the good fight), to be replaced by Mercatus VP Lawson Bader. Bader has experience on Capitol Hill and in think tanks, and as being the “kilts guy.” (His Twitter handle is @LibertyNKilts, for crying out loud.) He’s a great choice for such an esteemed institution as CEI.
After days of speculation, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will introduce Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) as her appointment to fill the United States Senate seat left vacant by Jim DeMint, who resigned earlier this month to run the Heritage Foundation.
Scott, who was elected to Congress in 2010 on a Tea Party platform, will bring a unique perspective to the Senate. Politico noted Scott’s personal story earlier this month, explaining how he “worked his way out of poverty to become a successful small-business man, local politician and eventual congressman.”
In in nearly two years in the House, Scott has proven his conservative bonafides, receiving solid scores from influential groups — including a 96% from the American Conservative Union; 92% from the Club for Growth; 93% from FreedomWorks; and 84% from the National Taxpayers Union. More importantly, grassroots activists are keen on him.
Since Jim DeMint resigned his Senate seat on Thursday to run the Heritage Foundation, there has been a lot of discussion about the the future of the conservative movement. Many conservatives are excited, a sentiment perhaps best summed up by Erick Erickson. They believe that DeMint will be free to say what he wants, no longer being pressured or restrained by leadership. Indeed, DeMint did just that on Thursday during an interview on CNN, telling Wolf Blitzer that he’s “not with Boehner,” who called for increased tax revenues in his counter-proposal to the White House. “This government doesn’t need any more money, this country needs less government,” said DeMint.
Other conservatives have used the news to take some shots at DeMint. For example, Jennifer Rubin slammed DeMint, writing, “He’s a pol whose entire style of conservatism – all or nothing, no compromise, no accounting for changes in public habits and opinions — is not true to the tradition of Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk and others.”
Jim DeMint’s abrupt depature from the United States Senate yesterday is opening a door for Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC), a member of the 2010 Tea Party class.
While there are other names being floated as a potential replacement, it’s thought that DeMint, who resigned from the Senate to head the Heritage Foundation, wants South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to appoint Scott to succeed him:
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has made it known in South Carolina that he wants Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) to replace him in the Senate, two state Republican sources tell The Hill.
The sources, requesting anonymity to speak candidly, say Scott is DeMint’s preference for the seat, though the final decision will be Gov. Nikki Haley’s (R). She will appoint someone to serve in DeMint’s place after he officially resigns from the Senate to take over the conservative Heritage Foundation in January. An election for the seat will then be held in 2014 for the remaining two years of the term.
Haley and Scott have a good relationship, according to sources, though it’s unclear how willing she would be to listen to DeMint, who officially stayed neutral during her gubernatorial primary but quietly supported then-Rep. Gresham Barrett (R-S.C.) in the race.
A spokesman for DeMint denied that the senator has pushed Scott.