Healthcare In The U.S. Vs The Rest Of The World

Paul Ryan’s cruel vision for American health care will haunt Congress after his retirement

Amanda Michelle Gomez

Amanda Michelle Gomez Health Reporter, Think Progress

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) is on his way out the door.

But while he’s largely failed to implement his vision before retirement — that is, to repeal Obamacare and privatize every safety-net program there is — Republicans aren’t going to stop trying to do so anytime soon. In fact, they’ll likely take cues from his record.

Throughout his time in Washington, Ryan built a career on portraying himself as a deficit hawk, somehow convincing people he’s some great wonk. In 2012, The New York Times’s James Stewart praised Ryan, calling his approach to tax reform “eminently sensible.”  Former Clinton administration budget chief, Alice Rivlin, called Ryan “smart and knowledgeable” and decided to partner with him on his quest to privatize Medicare, which failed.

But in reality, there’s nothing genius about a career spent trying to cut “entitlement reforms” — code for popular health programs like Medicare and Medicaid — to validate the notion that you’re a deficit hawk. Ryan has worked to scrap nearly every safety net program in existence, while ignoring the deficit.

His most ambitious proposal — to privatize Social Security — demonstrated he was too radical for even the Bush administration.

But that didn’t stop him. While you can’t call Ryan a moderate, you can call him ambitious, even tenacious.

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How the Republican Party went from Lincoln to Trump

On Capitol Hill, a Discussion of Unfair Chinese Trade

Matthew McMullan

Matthew McMullan Communications Manager, Alliance for American Manufacturing

EPI president: U.S. must "develop and articulate its own long-term economic development strategy."

A Senate Finance subcommittee convened a hearing today to talk about barriers to market entry in China for foreign firms. Its guest list was ideologically diverse – some question President Trump’s tariff policies – but were still remarkably consistent about the need to respond to China's state-directed mercantilism.

“You cannot be a global company and ignore one fifth of the world’s population,” said Dean Garfield, president of the Information Technology Industry Council.

Linda Dempsey of the National Association of Manufacturers called for a bilateral trade agreement between Washington and Beijing.  

Thea Lee, president of the Economic Policy Institute, pointed out that China makes no secrets about pursuing an aggressive long-term industrial policy to boost its economy, often at the expense of its trading partners.

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What Teacher Strikes Can Teach Democrats About Education Politics

Jeff Bryant

Jeff Bryant Associate Fellow, Our Future

The momentum of this spring’s teacher uprising is growing, as Oklahoma teachers extend their walkout into a second week and teachers in Kentucky and Arizona are increasingly eager for some kind of disruptive action. It’s too early to gage the full impact of this movement, but that hasn’t stopped pundits and reporters from commenting on what the strikes mean for education politics and policy.

Because the rebellions are occurring in “red states,” Democrats are already capitalizing on any perceived advantage the strikes could give their party.

“Democrats nationwide are hoping to turn momentum from recent teacher protests into political gains this fall,” reports Education Week. “Democrats have framed themselves in political ads and candidate talking points as the party that will rescue financially struggling public schools from the grip of fiscally conservative Republicans.”

Teacher Strikes Aim to Change Politics

“We’ll remember in November” is what angry teachers are chanting in West Virginia. Their statewide strike has sparked sister uprisings across the nation, and made the their rebellion all about defeating Republican majorities.

Talk of possible “blue wave” elections in  Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Arizona are filling Democrats with hope the strikes will mobilize support for their candidates in midterm elections.

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