News Article | December 7, 2016
The signs are pointing in the right direction for telecommunications companies during a Donald Trump presidency. Trump's transition team is full of critics of the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules, which imposed old-style telephone regulation on the internet. There are indications a Trump administration may be much friendlier to big mergers and acquisitions than was President Barack Obama's team. The quick warming up of the telecommunications companies to Trump -- a contrast from the wariness that many in Silicon Valley feel about the president-elect -- reflects eight years of an Obama administration that seemed to favor big internet companies. Phone companies say a friendlier relationship with government could lead to more investment in broadband and other services, and thus better access to high-speed internet services and more innovative products for consumers. But critics say deregulation and more industry consolidation will only help cable and wireless giants shut out competition, which ultimately means fewer choices and higher prices. Conversely, tech companies still don't know what to make of Trump. What he's said on the campaign trail or in Twitter rants suggests some of his ideas -- such as restrictions on skilled immigrant workers, backdoor encryption access on consumer products and high tariffs on products made overseas to encourage more manufacturing jobs in the US -- will directly conflict with the interests of tech companies like Apple, Facebook and Google. Trump reportedly plans to meet with a group of tech-industry leaders next week. Telecommunications executives, meanwhile, are already lining up to get in his good graces. Masayoshi Son, the CEO of Japan's Softbank, which controls Sprint, announced Tuesday from the lobby of Trump Tower that he would invest $50 billion in the US and create 50,000 new jobs, according to The Wall Street Journal. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, whose planned $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner will be decided by regulators under Trump, has already signaled he sees the incoming administration as a positive. He said Tuesday at an investor conference in New York that he was encouraged by Trump's comments about decreasing corporate taxes and easing regulations. "Economists are underestimating the impact of pulling back regulation and tax reform," Stephenson said. "There's an impact to this, and it's more than people are anticipating." T-Mobile Chief Financial Officer Braxton Carter likewise pointed to tax reform and lighter regulations as a potential boon. Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said it's still too early to adjust the company's strategy because of Trump. It's almost certain a Trump-led FCC will dismantle net neutrality. The three people leading Trump's transition effort for the agency -- Roslyn Layton, Jeffrey Eisenach and Mark Jamison -- are all affiliated with the conservative American Enterprise Institute, and they've each argued against the existing rules, especially those that reclassified broadband as a public utility, which applies to broadband many of the same strict regulations designed for the old-school telephone network. Layton has been particularly outspoken in favor of the practice of zero rating, which selectively offers some service to customers without driving up data charges. Critics say that in the long run such practices stifle competition, leading to higher prices for consumers and fewer innovative services. Ultimately, how aggressive the FCC is on this issue and other aspects of deregulation will come down to who Trump picks as FCC chairman. A former ally of Vice President-elect Mike Pence, Brandt Hershman, a longtime Indiana state senator, seems to be the frontrunner for the job. Little is known about Hershman's specific stances, but he did author an Indiana law a decade ago to deregulate telecommunications. That bill ended government regulation of phone rates, freed cable companies from needing to get dozens of local licenses to offer service and stopped cities and towns from setting up their own municipal broadband services. While the dismantling of net neutrality rules would be good news for broadband and wireless companies, internet companies, which fought for the regulation, will likely see this as a setback. Trump has repeatedly talked about lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, which could benefit tech companies and telecommunications providers alike. Exactly how much benefit they'd get from these cuts is to be debated. Clearly AT&T and T-Mobile see upside for their businesses. "We welcome corporate tax reform," said Mike Cavanaugh, CFO of Comcast, at the UBS investor conference in New York on Wednesday. "We feel very hopeful about the new administration and what it could mean." But at the same time, Trump also wants to bring back manufacturing jobs to the US. In a tweet over the weekend, he threatened to impose a 35 percent tariff on products made overseas by US companies and imported here for sale. This is bad news for companies like Apple, which manufactures its computers and mobile devices in China. Nearly a year ago on the campaign trail, Trump called out Apple for building its products outside the US. Neither Apple nor representatives from Trump's team responded for comment. One of the biggest benefits to the telecommunications industry could be a more merger-friendly attitude. While candidate Trump was not a fan of AT&T's $85 billion bid to buy media giant Time Warner, there's reason to believe that President-elect Trump may have softened his stance. When the deal was first announced, Trump said from the campaign trail that he saw the tie-up as "too much concentration of power in the hands of too few." But now analysts say the Trump administration is likely to support the deal. Trump's transition team also includes Joshua Wright, a former Federal Trade Commissioner who in a recent New York Times opinion article criticized the Obama administration for its "anti-merger fervor." "Given the changes that are coming, I really do think you're going to see a lot of evolution and a lot of excitement," Carter said. This comes after the Obama administration nixed a deal between AT&T and T-Mobile and sent signals against a tie-up between Sprint and T-Mobile. Regulators also put the kibosh on Comcast gobbling up Time Warner Cable. Still, industry experts and policy wonks in Washington are largely left reading the tea leaves based on the people with whom he's surrounding himself. "Based on his unpredictable personality, it's hard to say what he'll do," said Matt Wood, policy director for the advocacy group Free Press. "He's a wild card." First published December 7 at 9:35 a.m. PT. Updated at 10:27 a.m. PT: Added comment from Comcast.
News Article | February 21, 2017
PLYMOUTH, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ave Maria Mutual Funds is saddened by the passing of Michael Novak, a long-time member of the funds’ Catholic Advisory Board. Michael Novak was a Templeton award winner and director of Social and Political Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. He also served as U.S. Delegate to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe; U.S. Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva; Adviser to the White House Office of Ethnic Affairs; and was on the faculty at Harvard University, the University of Notre Dame, Ave Maria University, and Catholic University of America. In addition to being a world-renowned theologian and author of numerous books, Michael Novak was a personal friend of Saint Pope John Paul II. George P. Schwartz, CFA, Chairman and CEO of Schwartz Investment Counsel, Inc., said, “Professor Novak was a giant among Catholic intellectuals and his contributions to the Catholic Advisory Board were tremendous. He will be greatly missed.” Paul Roney, Chairman of the Catholic Advisory Board stated, “Michael had a brilliant mind and was a highly-respected voice in the Catholic world. He was committed to pro-life causes and spreading the Gospel.” Ave Maria Mutual Funds is the largest family of Catholic mutual funds in the U.S. The five no-load funds invest in companies that do not violate the pro-life, pro-family values of the Catholic Church. Ave Maria Mutual Funds launched its first fund, the Ave Maria Catholic Values Fund (Ticker: AVEMX), on May 1, 2001. Since then it has added three additional stock funds and one bond fund. The largest of the funds is the $888 million Ave Maria Rising Dividend Fund (Ticker: AVEDX). For more information about Ave Maria Mutual Funds, please call 1-866-AVE-MARIA (866-283-6274) or visit www.avemariafunds.com Schwartz Investment Counsel, Inc. is a Registered Investment Adviser founded in 1980. Headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan, the firm manages more than $1.9 billion of investor assets and has a branch office in Ave Maria, Florida. The firm aims to provide superior investment counsel to investors who seek a disciplined approach to investing. For more information about Schwartz Investment Counsel, Inc., please visit www.schwartzinvest.com. Schwartz Investment Counsel, Inc. serves as investment adviser for Ave Maria Mutual Funds, which invests in securities only if they meet the Funds’ investment and religious requirements. As such, the returns may be lower or higher than if decisions were based solely on investment considerations. The Funds’ method of security selection may or may not be successful and the Funds may underperform or outperform the stock market as a whole. All mutual funds are subject to market risk, including possible loss of principal. Request a prospectus, which includes investment objectives, risks, fees, expenses and other information that you should read and consider carefully before investing. The prospectus can be obtained by calling 1-866-283-6274 or it can be viewed at www.avemariafunds.com. Distributed by Ultimus Fund Distributors LLC.
News Article | February 15, 2017
It may not be the most romantic way to spend Valentine’s Day, but Dr. Georges Benjamin had been looking forward to a trip to Atlanta. On Feb. 14, he said, he was scheduled to speak along with former Vice President Al Gore at the opening session of a conference hosted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The topic: the health effects of climate change. But in the weeks after Donald Trump won the presidential election, Benjamin received word that the conference would not be happening as scheduled. “It is very unusual,” said Benjamin, the executive director of the American Public Health Assn. However, considering Trump’s skepticism toward the idea that industrial activity is warming the planet — a position held by 97% of climate scientists — it wasn’t entirely surprising, he said. “I’m sure that was on their minds,” Benjamin said. “I know that was on their minds.” The conference hasn’t been officially canceled. The CDC is “exploring options to reschedule the meeting while considering budget priorities for fiscal year 2017,” according to a statement from the agency. Some would-be attendees said they aren’t holding their breath. In their view, it’s just one in a series of unsettling actions that have come to light in the first days of the Trump administration. Just hours after the inauguration, the official White House website was scrubbed of any mention of climate change. Following that, scientists and other employees at several federal agencies were told not to speak directly to the public about their work. “I fear we’re going to see a war on scientists inside the government,” Norman Ornstein, a government scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said Thursday in a meeting sponsored by the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science. Among other things, Ornstein cited efforts to block the publication of research findings until they’ve been vetted by political appointees as “a troubling sign of where we might be headed.” The communication restrictions extended to social media, including messages sent via Twitter, Trump’s preferred mode of communication. “It looks like we are going on hiatus,” announced a tweet sent Wednesday from the account of the United States Arctic Research Commission. “To keep up on arctic science, sign up for the Arctic Daily Update at arctic.gov.” At the U.S. Department of Agriculture, employees in the Agricultural Research Service were asked to keep their lips sealed. “Starting immediately and until further notice, ARS will not release any public-facing documents,” Sharon Drumm, the chief of staff, wrote in an email. “This includes, but is not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds and social media content.” The message did not go over well. A second email, this time from ARS Administrator Chavonda Jacobs-Young, was sent Tuesday to clarify matters. “The departmental guidance does not, and was never intended, to cover all public-facing documents,” she wrote. “For example, scientific publications released through peer reviewed professional journals are not covered.” Employees at the Environmental Protection Agency received a similar admonition against communicating directly with the public. In addition, transition team spokesman Doug Ericksen told NPR that scientists will need to have their work vetted before they can share it. Officials emphasized that this was standard procedure after a change in power. “The EPA fully intends to continue to provide information to the public,” the agency said in a statement. “A fresh look at public affairs and communications processes is common practice for any new administration, and a short pause in activities allows for this assessment.” Routine or not, the moves are making some scientists uncomfortable. Rush Holt, a physicist and former congressman who now leads the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science, issued a statement expressing concern that these moves “may silence the voices” of scientists who work in the federal government. He noted that “many federal agencies have existing scientific integrity policies that prohibit political interference in the public dissemination of scientific findings.” The CDC’s decision not to proceed as scheduled with its February conference on climate change and health was “motivated by political concerns,” said Dr. Howard Frumkin, a professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at the University of Washington. Frumkin said he was told this by “reliable sources within the CDC,” where he previously worked as a special assistant to the director for climate change and health.
News Article | February 15, 2017
One thing common to all types of cancer is that it’s a tremendously expensive disease not only to treat, but to test for, as well. The money spent screening for and treating cancer in the United States is estimated to be $88.7 billion every year.(1) Doctors in the U.S. screen patients for cancer more than in any other country that has an advanced healthcare system, sometimes spending as much on screening as is spent on actual treatment.(2) With cancer rates expected to surge 57% worldwide over the next two decades,(3) the economic impact cannot be overlooked. A substantial portion of rising costs comes from the overuse of imprecise, unnecessary cancer screening tests, particularly for prostate and breast cancer. Paul Crowe, chairman and CEO of NuView Life Sciences, says, “Traditional screening tools can’t get down to a patient-specific level of diagnosis and are often limited in diagnostic ability.” Crowe explains that there has been a huge push to screen people for cancer—regardless of their medical history—but that this may not be the best practice. What’s being seen now is misuse and waste of resources, both of which are driving up healthcare costs for those involved. By 2017, screening for prostate cancer is expected to cost $17.4 billion annually.(4) However, conventional screening methods, such as prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests, are often unreliable. False-positive PSA tests lead to expensive, needless biopsies, surgeries and other forms of treatment, all of which can have profoundly negative, lasting impacts on the patient. On the other hand, false-negative tests can lull patients into a false sense of security, putting off treatment until years later, when the disease is far more invasive and expensive to treat, and lessening the patient’s chances of survival. For prostate cancer, NuView is developing a new precision screening tool based on its NV VPAC1 technology. The cancer-specific urine screening tool can be used to screen for both prostate and bladder cancer by accurately detecting cancer cells in voided urine specimens.(5) This type of screening is more conclusive and less expensive than traditional screening tools like the PSA test, allowing physicians to quickly and correctly diagnose cancer in laboratory-type settings.(5) NuView is also developing new screening tools for breast cancer, which is notoriously difficult to diagnose at its earliest stages. Mammography is currently the only screening method available, but it cannot reliably detect precancerous lesions.(6) Over 80% of women who receive abnormal mammogram results are subjected to invasive, painful biopsies and other treatments, only to have further tests prove the masses to be benign.(5) There are 1.6 million breast biopsies performed in the U.S. annually, and approximately 1.3 million of these result in a benign diagnosis.(5) A more highly precise screening tool can drastically reduce the number of unnecessary, invasive breast biopsies performed each year by pinpointing specific breast cancer mutations within a patient. This will also save the country’s healthcare system billions of dollars every year. Crowe stated, “It’s time to replace current diagnostic tools with precision-based, cancer-specific screening methods. The benefits are two-fold: patients are saved from unnecessary tests and treatment, which increases their quality of life and preserves their health status; and secondly, our healthcare system is saved millions—perhaps billions—of dollars every year that are wasted on pointless tests and therapeutic interventions.” NVLS is committed to lowering healthcare costs across the board while still providing healthcare providers and patients with a new and more accurate method of obtaining conclusive cancer results. About NuView Life Sciences: Founded in 2005, NuView Life Sciences is a biotechnology company located in Park City, Utah, working to reform the way cancer is diagnosed and treated in our modern healthcare system. NuView is focused on creating precision cancer diagnostics and therapeutics to improve patient outcomes while reducing healthcare costs through the development and clinical application of its exclusive peptide analog technology, NV-VPAC1. Led by a team of industry experts with decades of combined experience in healthcare and medical imaging technologies, NuView is poised to change how we look for and respond to cancer. To learn more about NuView Life Sciences, please visit http://nuviewinfo.com/site/3/. Sources: 1. Economic Impact of Cancer. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancerbasics/economic-impact-of-cancer 2. Stop overscreening for cancer. American Enterprise Institute. https://www.aei.org/publication/stop-overscreening-for-cancer/ 3. WHO: Imminent global cancer ‘disaster’ reflects aging, lifestyle factors. CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/04/health/who-world-cancer-report/ 4. Global Prostate Cancer Market to Reach $50.3 Billion in 2017. Bcc Research. http://www.bccresearch.com/pressroom/phm/global-prostate-cancer-market-reach-$50.3-billion-2017 5. Molecular Imaging Lights the Way for the Future of Medicine. NuView Life Sciences. http://nuviewinfo.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/NuView-eBook-1.10.2013-.pdf 6. Recent Controversies in Mammography Screening for Breast Cancer. Medscape. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/430076
News Article | November 22, 2016
Legislation that assures equal access to high-performance internet – one of the signature achievements of Obama’s administration – could be reversed under President-elect Trump after he appointed two opponents of “net neutrality” to the US communications regulator team. Jeffrey Eisenach and Mark Jamison have been vocal in their opposition to the policy of net neutrality, which prevents large internet companies from creating fast lanes for high-paying customers. They are both associated with the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative thinktank based in Washington DC which has previously campaigned against net neutrality. While Trump himself hasn’t said a lot about net neutrality, Eisenach testified before the judiciary committee of the US Senate in 2014, saying the policy used government regulation to unnecessarily advantage small companies and had little to do with protecting consumers. “Net neutrality regulation cannot be justified on grounds of enhancing consumer welfare or protecting the public interest,” he said. “The potential costs of net neutrality regulation are both sweeping and severe, and extend far beyond a simple transfer of wealth from one group to another. Legitimate policy concerns about the potential use of market power to disadvantage rivals or harm consumers can best be addressed through existing antitrust and consumer protection laws and regulations.” Mark Jamison took the argument one step further. In an October 2016 opinion piece for Tech Policy Daily, he asked provocatively whether or not the FCC is needed any more. “Most of the original motivations for having an FCC have gone away. Telecommunications network providers and ISPs are rarely, if ever, monopolies,” he wrote. “If there are instances where there are monopolies, it would seem overkill to have an entire federal agency dedicated to ex ante regulation of their services. A well-functioning Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in conjunction with state authorities, can handle consumer protection and anticompetitive conduct issues.” Milton Mueller, professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Public Policy, and a principal of the Internet Governance Project, suggests that the kinds of sweeping changes that Trumps advisers seem to be encouraging could not happen quickly or without public comment. “If the new FCC makes significant changes in regulations there will be an opportunity for public comment, as there always is as per the Administrative Procedures Act,” he said. “In principle, the public has the same type of input it had before, it’s just that the current commissioners will be less likely to lend a sympathetic ear to net neutrality advocates than before.” Mueller also suggests that even if the current net neutrality rules are scrapped or overhauled, its impact might not be that dramatic. “I don’t see the curbing or elimination of current net neutrality rules as affecting broad access to reliable high-speed internet that much,” he said. “It’s pricing and competition that matter the most. I don’t think the major ISPs are all that keen to engage in major acts of discrimination against specific content, applications and services.” But Anne Jellema, CEO of the World Wide Web Foundation, whose founding director is web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, is not so sure. She warns that her organization will be keeping a close eye on the new administration’s actions around net neutrality. “Today’s appointments certainly don’t look like good news for net neutrality,” she said. “But President-elect Trump has promised to be a ‘president for all Americans’. If he’s serious about this promise, we trust the transition team will pay heed to the over three million comments submitted just last year by Americans of all political stripes calling for strong net neutrality, and will respect the recent decision by a federal appeals court to uphold the FCC’s Open Internet order. Jellema said that strong net neutrality rules help to secure budding entrepreneurs the same opportunities as Amazon or Facebook, as well as making sure internet providers had the same incentive to serve people in rural areas, and not just more lucrative audiences in cities. “The open internet has played an important role in driving economic progress in the US, and can continue to do so in the years ahead – but only if fairness is hardwired into the rules of the game,” she added. “The new administration has a key role in setting an equitable internet policy for all Americans and signaling that they will continue the US’s role as a global guardian of an open and free web.” Campaigns for and against net neutrality regulations have been waged since 2005. Regulationwas finally adopted last year after the FCC ruled that broadband internet access (both at home and wirelessly) would be classified as a “common carrier” under specific sections of the 1934 Communications Act and the 1996 Telecommunications Act. Obama wrote of the 2015 FCC decision: “Today’s FCC decision will protect innovation and create a level playing field for the next generation of entrepreneurs,” he said, thanking the four million people who wrote to the FCC in support of net neutrality.
News Article | February 28, 2017
When it comes to intellectual property (IP) theft, there’s the rest of the world, and then there’s China, a new report says. In 2015, mainland China and Hong Kong accounted for 87% of counterfeit goods seized by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. China’s share of trade secrets theft, though harder to track, is not far behind, claims the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property in Washington, D.C., a bipartisan nongovernmental group co-chaired by former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr., who served as U.S. ambassador to China from 2009 to 2011. Stolen trade secrets, pirated software, and counterfeiting cost the United States between $225 billion and $600 billion per year, the commission estimates. The report singled out as suspect China’s targeting of biotechnology and quantum communications technology. “The massive theft of American IP … threatens our nation’s security as well as vitality,” said former Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis Blair, co-chair of the commission, in a press release. Scholars often take issue with efforts to put a price tag on IP theft. In court, for example, companies frequently cite as losses the amount spent researching a product or idea. But by the time a product comes to market, that figure may be a poor reflection of its true value. “The industry standard for competitive edge in IP is in some cases just a couple of years,” says Greg Austin, a cybersecurity expert at the EastWest Institute in Sydney, Australia, and author of . He adds that the report does not adequately distinguish between illegal IP transgressions and lawful acquisition of knowledge, citing the quantum communications example. “Scientists in many countries, including the United States, cooperate actively with the Chinese in quantum research, and it is all perfectly legal.” Also up for debate is how best to address IP theft. The Obama administration pursued a strategy heavy on prosecutions of Chinese-born U.S. scientists (see here, here, and here), along with symbolic moves against overseas offenders, such as the 2014 indictment of five members of a People’s Liberation Army hacking unit. Policy tools improved under Obama went “largely unused,” the report said. For instance, a 2015 law enabling the president to sanction foreign countries, companies, and individuals for IP theft has not yet been invoked. The commission urges the Trump administration to “make IP theft a core issue.” Among the policy prescriptions outlined are expanding the number of green cards available to science students—to discourage U.S.-educated scientists from returning to their home countries and contributing to their development—and ensuring that “top U.S. officials from all agencies” push China “toward becoming a self-innovating country.” Derek Scissors, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., who commented on a draft of the report but was not involved with writing it, says those recommendations could have been more targeted: “First, start sanctioning companies that receive stolen IP. Change their risk calculations. When that’s in place, what else is truly required will become clearer.”
Antos J.R.,American Enterprise Institute
Journal of Ambulatory Care Management | Year: 2016
Qualitymeasurement and performance-based payment systems are intended to promote high-value health care. Medicare is beginning to shift from process to population-based outcome measures, but the service (rather than the outcome) remains the focus under fee-for-service payment. An emerging challenge: how to mesh the differing perspectives of payers, providers, and consumers on what constitutes value in health care.
Antos J.,American Enterprise Institute
Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law | Year: 2013
In the wake of the Supreme Court decision, states should not rush to expand eligibility for Medicaid. They cannot be certain that the federal support promised in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will remain available, and a better deal might be possible after the election. Adding millions more to Medicaid rolls will exacerbate existing problems of access to providers. A more humane policy would give everyone - even the poor - a choice of health plans. © 2013 by Duke University Press.
News Article | February 23, 2017
Without the United States, will the EU and Asia Pacific trade toward trading with each other? The United States, after President Donald Trump took office, nixed a big trade pact with Asia, and let another big trade accord with Europe die on the vine. Now both those jilted partners are getting together — threatening to leave the United States out in the cold as the world’s biggest economic blocs reshape their trading relationships. “We have seen that many of the TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership] countries are now approaching us and saying ‘we still want to do deals,’” said Cecilia Malmström, EU trade commissioner, in an interview published Tuesday in Handelsblatt Global. “We are engaged with basically all of them, either negotiating or have a deal or preparing negotiations.” While some European countries have come to question free-trade dogma, and are rocked by the pushback against globalization, the European Union as a whole is still carrying the torch for ambitious, multilateral deals. “The big advantage of the EU” is that as far as trade deals are concerned, it works as a bloc, not as individual states, said Judy Dempsey of Carnegie Europe. “The EU and the member states realize, ‘we’ve got to press ahead with doing deals with like-minded countries,’” Dempsey said, adding, “It’s very exciting, actually.” The EU already has free trade deals with three TPP states: Canada, Mexico, and Chile. Warmer trade ties between Europe and the orphaned countries of the TPP could also serve as a check on China’s ambitions; Beijing is widely seen as the main beneficiary of Trump’s withdrawal from the pact. Malmström is likely “looking to avoid a situation whereby Asian countries in the Pacific individually bow to China in bilateral deals,” said Sijbren de Jong, a strategic analyst at the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. “A China that shapes trade ties in the Pacific according to its standards on a bilateral basis is also not in our interest.” It isn’t in Asia’s interest, either, says Dempsey. “They’re desperate to do big partnerships with the EU because they would get into the camp — a western camp that sets the trading rules, and standards, essentially. They want to be part of that club,” she said. Malmström’s comments don’t necessarily suggest that the EU is looking to replace the United States inside the TPP; the EU could either sign some sort of treaty with the TPP as a bloc, or individual deals with some or all of the remaining 11 members of the pact. And securing sprawling, multilateral deals requires firm and constant leadership, said Dalibor Rohac of the American Enterprise Institute. The TPP took five years of often contentious negotiations to conclude; the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership promised to be even more complicated. And unwavering defense of globalization and the reigning economic order is getting harder to find as Europe suffers its own populist economic backlash, and especially in a busy election year. That makes it uncertain whether Europe can still summon that brand of leadership.
News Article | March 1, 2017
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump backed the use of tax credits to help people purchase health insurance in a speech to Congress on Tuesday, the first time he signaled support for a key component of House Republican proposals to replace Obamacare. Republicans, who control the White House and Congress, are united in their opposition to former Democratic President Barack Obama's signature 2010 healthcare law, but have so far failed to agree on the details of how to replace it. "We should help Americans purchase their own coverage, through the use of tax credits and expanded Health Savings Accounts," Trump said. "But it must be the plan they want, not the plan forced on them by our government." Democrats are ardently opposed to tampering with Obamacare, which provided coverage to millions of previously uninsured people. A draft Republican replacement for Obamacare would include an age-based monthly tax credit that Americans who do not get health insurance through their employer could use to buy coverage and take from job to job. Some Republicans have voiced resistance to that plan. The president's comments were also a nod to health insurers - whom Trump met with on Monday - who say tax credits are necessary to keep people in the market. "The fact that he used the word tax credits is a signal to congressional Republican ranks" that he supports their proposals, said Tom Miller, a resident fellow in health policy at the American Enterprise Institute think tank. Trump also said Americans should be able to buy insurance across state lines, a proposal favored by health insurers because it would enable them to offer plans in states with fewer regulatory hurdles. Trump said state governors should be given resources and flexibility on Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor, and ensure that "no one is left out." That appeared to be an attempt to ease concerns from the more than 30 governors who expanded Medicaid coverage under Obamacare. But Trump offered few details on how he would reconcile House Republican plans to unwind the expansion of Medicaid with promises to maintain coverage for those who gained health insurance under Obamacare. He also reaffirmed that those with pre-existing conditions should have access to coverage but did not say how that would be accomplished.