As Donald Trump departed the White House to attend the G7 after
a day in which he attacked Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell as a “worse
enemy” than China’s Chairman Xi and ordered US companies to leave China, a day
in which the Dow plummeted 600 points, a day after he referred to himself as the
“Chosen One” as he looked to the heavens and demanded that Russia be invited
back into the G8, Vice President Joe Biden, candidate for the Democratic
nomination for president, issued this statement:
“This week, in the lead-up to the G7 in
France, President Trump has continued his irrational and self-defeating
campaign to make America less secure and less respected in the world. He
has insulted our closest partners and denigrated one of our most capable
allies, Denmark—a country that has repeatedly fought and sacrificed alongside
our troops. He issued yet another attack on NATO, reiterating his belief that
NATO is an American-run protection racket where our allies better pay up, or
else. And he advocated for Russia’s return to the G7, despite Vladimir Putin’s
long and growing record of aggressive behavior and provocations against the
United States and our allies in Europe.
“Trump’s actions and words are not just embarrassing—they are making the
American people less safe. Every incident further isolates us on the global
stage, reinforcing that his version of “America First” means America alone. For
the first time in its history, the G7 will not even issue a joint communique,
because President Trump refuses to cooperate with our partners on the pressing
issues of our time, including climate change, China’s predatory trade
practices, Russian attacks on western democracies, and nuclear proliferation.
No country, even one as powerful as ours, can go it alone against 21st century
challenges that respect no borders and cannot be contained by walls.
“NATO, the most powerful alliance in history, is the bulwark of America’s
national security and the free world’s first line of defense. It’s how we
amplify our own strength, maintain our presence around the globe, and magnify
our impact – while sharing the burden among willing partners. NATO is an
alliance built first and foremost on shared democratic values, which makes it
more durable and more reliable than partnerships built on coercion or cash. But
it is not indestructible, and Trump has taken a battering ram to our most
important strategic alliance.
“More than two-and-a-half years into his presidency, the pattern of
Trump’s conduct and character is clear. He never misses a chance to lavish
praise on dictators like Putin and Kim Jong Un, and takes every opportunity to
bash our closest democratic allies. Instead of leading alongside fellow
democracies, he seems to be on the other team. His incompetence threatens to
permanently reduce America’s standing and, consequently, our capacity to bring
together nations to address shared challenges. This will change when I am
president. We will restore the soul of this nation. And we will once again lead
the international community in a way that is consistent with our most cherished
values, standing with—not against—the rest of the free world.”
The vigorous contest
of Democrats seeking the 2020 presidential nomination has produced excellent
policy proposals to address major issues. Senator Bernie Sanders, in the town
of Paradise, California, which was obliterated in last season’s wildfires, unveiled
his Green New Deal, “the only plan bold
enough to confront the climate crisis and create an economy that works for all.”
Under Sanders’ plan, the United States will reach 100 percent renewable energy
for electricity and transportation by no later than 2030 and complete decarbonization
by 2050. This is from the Sanders campaign:
is a pivotal moment in the history of America — and really, in the history of
humanity. The climate crisis is not only the single greatest challenge facing
our country; it is also our single greatest opportunity to build a more just
and equitable future, but we must act immediately,” said Sen. Sanders. “When we
are in the White House, we will launch the decade of the Green New Deal, a
10-year mobilization to avert climate catastrophe during which climate change,
justice and equity will be factored into virtually every area of policy, from
immigration to trade to foreign policy and beyond.”
Green New Deal boldly embraces the moral imperative of addressing the climate
crisis and builds on an unprecedented grassroots movement powerful enough to
take on the fossil fuel industry and win. As president, Sanders will mobilize
the political will necessary for a wholesale transformation of our society,
with support for frontline communities and massive investments in sustainable
energy, energy efficiency, and a transformation of our transportation system.
Green New Deal will avert climate catastrophe, transform our energy system,
build an economy for all and end the greed of the fossil fuel industry
Ending unemployment by creating 20 million jobs needed to solve the climate crisis.
Ensuring a just transition for communities and workers, including fossil fuel workers.
Ensuring justice for frontline communities, especially under-resourced groups, communities of color, Native Americans, people with disabilities, children and the elderly.
Saving American families money with investments in weatherization, public transportation, modern infrastructure and high-speed broadband.
Committing to reducing emissions throughout the world.
Green New Deal will pay for itself over 15 years by holding the fossil fuel
industry accountable for the damage it has caused. Sanders’ plan will:
Make the fossil fuel industry pay for their pollution, through litigation, fees, and taxes, and by eliminating federal fossil fuel subsidies.
Generate revenue from the wholesale of energy produced by the regional Power Marketing Authorities. Revenues will be collected from 2023-2035, and after 2035 electricity will be virtually free, aside from operations and maintenance costs.
Scale back military spending on maintaining global oil dependence.
Collect new income tax revenue from the 20 million new jobs created by the plan.
Reduce the need for federal and state safety net spending due to the creation of millions of good-paying, unionized jobs.
Make the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share.
President Joe Biden, in the race for the Democratic nomination for President,
has staked out a position on improving on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
as his solution to providing universal healthcare – essentially, enabling people keep their
private insurance but creating a new public option. That is more moderate than
the Democrats like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who want a more extreme
Medicare for All that replaces private insurance (though it is unlikely that
there will not still be a market for supplemental private insurance, just as
there is now for Medicare). Here, is the Biden campaign’s description and
rationale for Biden’s plan to protect and build upon the Affordable Care Act: – Karen Rubin, News&
On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the
Affordable Care Act into law, with Vice President Biden standing by his side,
and made history. It was a victory 100 years in the making. It was the
conclusion of a tough fight that required taking on Republicans, special
interests, and the status quo to do what’s right. But the Obama-Biden
Administration got it done.
But, every day over the past nine years, the Affordable Care Act has been under
Immediately after its passage, Congressional Republicans began trying again and
again to repeal it. Following the lead of President
Trump, Republicans in Congress have only doubled down on this
approach since January 2017. And, since repeal through Congress has not been
working, President Trump has been unilaterally doing everything he can to
sabotage the Affordable Care Act. Now, the Trump Administration is trying to
get the entire law – including protections for people with pre-existing
conditions – struck down in court.
As president, Biden will protect the Affordable Care Act from
these continued attacks. He opposes every effort to get rid of this historic
law – including efforts by Republicans, and efforts by Democrats. Instead of
starting from scratch and getting rid of private insurance, he has a plan
to build on the Affordable Care Act by giving Americans more choice, reducing
health care costs, and making our health care system less complex
For Biden, this is personal. He believes that every American has a right to the
peace of mind that comes with knowing they have access to affordable, quality
health care. He knows that no one in this country should have to lay in bed at
night staring at the ceiling wondering, “what will I do if she gets breast cancer?”
or “if he has a heart attack?” “Will I go bankrupt?” He knows there is no peace
of mind if you cannot afford to care for a sick child or a family member
because of a pre-existing condition, because you’ve reached a point where your
health insurer says “no more,” or because you have to make a decision between
putting food on the table and going to the doctor or filling a prescription.
In the coming months, Joe Biden will build on today’s plan by rolling out his
proposals to tackle some of our greatest public health challenges – from
reducing gun violence to curing devastating diseases as we know them like
cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and addiction.
I. GIVE EVERY AMERICAN ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE HEALTH INSURANCE
From the time right before the Affordable Care Act’s key coverage-related
policies went into effect to the last full year of the Obama-Biden
Administration, 2016, the number of Americans lacking health insurance fell
from 44 million to 27 million –
an almost 40% drop. But President Trump’s persistent efforts to sabotage
Obamacare through executive action, after failing in his efforts to repeal it
through Congress, have started to reverse this progress. Since 2016, the number
of uninsured Americans has increased by
roughly 1.4 million.
As president, Biden will stop this reversal of the progress made by Obamacare.
And he won’t stop there. He’ll also build on the Affordable Care Act with a
plan to insure more than an estimated 97% of Americans. Here’s how:
Giving Americans a new choice, a public
health insurance option like Medicare. If your insurance
company isn’t doing right by you, you should have another, better choice.
Whether you’re covered through your employer, buying your insurance on your
own, or going without coverage altogether, the Biden Plan will give you the
choice to purchase a public health insurance option like Medicare. As in
Medicare, the Biden public option will reduce costs for patients by negotiating
lower prices from hospitals and other health care providers. It also will better coordinate among
all of a patient’s doctors to improve the efficacy and quality of their care,
and cover primary care without any co-payments. And it will bring relief to
small businesses struggling to afford coverage for their employees.
Increasing the value of tax credits to
lower premiums and extend coverage to more working Americans. Today,
families that make between 100% and 400% of the
federal poverty level may receive a tax credit to reduce how
much they have to pay for health insurance on the individual marketplace. The
dollar amount of the financial assistance is calculated to ensure each family
does not have to pay more than a certain percentage of their
income on a silver (medium generosity) plan. But, these shares of
income are too high and silver plans’ deductibles are too high. Additionally,
many families making more than 400% of the federal poverty level (about $50,000 for a single person
and $100,000 for a family of four), and thus not qualifying for
financial assistance, still struggle to afford health insurance. The Biden Plan
will help middle class families by eliminating the 400% income cap on tax
credit eligibility and lowering the limit on the cost of coverage from 9.86% of
income to 8.5%. This means that no family buying insurance on the individual
marketplace, regardless of income, will have to spend more than 8.5% of their
income on health insurance. Additionally, the Biden Plan will increase the size
of tax credits by calculating them based on the
cost of a more generous gold plan, rather than a silver plan. This
will give more families the ability to afford more generous coverage, with
lower deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.
Expanding coverage to low-income
Americans. Access to affordable health insurance
shouldn’t depend on your state’s politics. But today, state politics is getting
in the way of coverage for millions of low-income Americans. Governors and
state legislatures in 14 states have
refused to take up the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility,
denying access to Medicaid for an estimated 4.9 million adults.
Biden’s plan will ensure these individuals get covered by offering premium-free
access to the public option for those 4.9 million individuals who would be
eligible for Medicaid but for their state’s inaction, and making sure their
public option covers the full scope of Medicaid benefits. States that have
already expanded Medicaid will have the choice of moving the expansion
population to the premium-free public option as long as the states continue to
pay their current share of the cost of covering those individuals.
Additionally, Biden will ensure people making below 138% of the federal poverty
level get covered. He’ll do this by automatically enrolling these individuals
when they interact with certain institutions (such as public schools) or other
programs for low-income populations (such as SNAP).
II. PROVIDE THE PEACE OF MIND OF
AFFORDABLE, QUALITY HEALTH CARE AND A LESS COMPLEX HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
Today, even for people with health insurance, our health care system is too
expensive and too hard to navigate. The Biden Plan will not only provide
coverage for uninsured Americans, it will also make health care more affordable
and less complex for all.
The plan’s elements described above will help reduce the cost of health
insurance and health care for those already insured in the following ways:
All Americans will have a new, more
affordable option. The public option, like Medicare,
will negotiate prices with providers, providing a more affordable option for
many Americans who today find their health insurance too expensive.
Middle class families will get a premium
tax credit to help them pay for coverage. For
example, take a family of four with an income of $110,000 per year. If they
currently get insurance on the individual marketplace, because their premium
will now be capped at 8.5% of their income, under the Biden Plan they will
save an estimated $750 per month on
insurance alone. That’s cutting their premiums almost in half. If a family is
covered by their employer but can get a better deal with the 8.5% premium cap,
they can switch to a plan on the individual marketplace, too.
Premium tax credits will be calculated
to help more families afford better coverage with lower deductibles. Because
the premium tax credits will now be calculated based on the price of a more
generous gold plan, families will be able to purchase a plan with a lower
deductible and lower out-of-pocket spending. That means many families will see
their overall annual health care spending go down.
The Biden Plan has several additional proposals
aimed directly at cutting the cost of health care and making the health care
system less complex to navigate. The Biden Plan will:
Stop “surprise billing.” Consumers
trying to lower their health care spending often try to choose an in-network
provider. But sometimes patients are unaware they are receiving care from an
out-of-network provider and a big, surprise bill. “Surprise medical billing”
could occur, for example, if you go to an in-network hospital but don’t realize
a specialist at that hospital is not part of your health plan. The Biden Plan
will bar health care providers from charging patients out-of-network rates when
the patient doesn’t have control over which provider the patient sees (for
example, during a hospitalization).
Tackle market concentration across our
health care system. The concentration of market power
in the hands of a few corporations is occurring throughout our health care system,
and this lack of competition is driving up prices for consumers.
The Biden Administration will aggressively use its existing antitrust authority
to address this problem.
Lower costs and improve health outcomes
by partnering with the health care workforce. The Biden
Administration will partner with health care workers and accelerate the testing
and deployment of innovative solutions that improve quality of care and
increase wages for low-wage health care workers, like home care workers.
III. STAND UP TO ABUSE OF POWER BY
PRESCRIPTION DRUG CORPORATIONS
Too many Americans cannot afford their prescription drugs, and prescription
drug corporations are profiteering off of the pocketbooks of sick individuals.
The Biden Plan will put a stop to runaway drug prices and the profiteering of
the drug industry by:
Repealing the outrageous exception
allowing drug corporations to avoid negotiating with Medicare over drug prices. Because
Medicare covers so many Americans, it has significant leverage to negotiate
lower prices for its beneficiaries. And it does so for hospitals and other
providers participating in the program, but not drug manufacturers. Drug
manufacturers not facing any competition, therefore, can charge whatever price
they choose to set. There’s no justification for this except the power of
prescription drug lobbying. The Biden Plan will repeal the existing law
explicitly barring Medicare from negotiating lower prices with drug
Limiting launch prices for drugs that
face no competition and are being abusively priced by manufacturers. Through
his work on the Cancer Moonshot, Biden understands that the future of
pharmacological interventions is not traditional chemical drugs but specialized
biotech drugs that will have little to no competition to keep prices in check.
Without competition, we need a new approach for keeping the prices of these
drugs down. For these cases where new specialty drugs without competition are
being launched, under the Biden Plan the Secretary of Health and Human Services
will establish an independent review board to assess their value. The board
will recommend a reasonable price, based on the average price in other countries
(a process called external reference pricing)
or, if the drug is entering the U.S. market first, based on an evaluation by
the independent board members. This reasonable price will be the rate Medicare
and the public option will pay. In addition, the Biden Plan will allow private
plans participating in the individual marketplace to access a similar rate.
Limiting price increases for all brand,
biotech, and abusively priced generic drugs to inflation. As
a condition of participation in the Medicare program and public option, all
brand, biotech, and abusively priced generic drugs will be prohibited from
increasing their prices more than the general inflation rate. The Biden Plan
will also impose a tax penalty on drug manufacturers that increase the costs of
their brand, biotech, or abusively priced generic over the general inflation
Allowing consumers to buy prescription
drugs from other countries. To create more competition
for U.S. drug corporations, the Biden Plan will allow consumers to import
prescription drugs from other countries, as long as the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services has certified that those drugs are safe.
Improving the supply of quality
generics. Generics help reduce health care spending, but
brand drug corporations have succeeded in preserving a number of strategies to
help them delay the entrance of a generic into the market even after the patent
has expired. The Biden Plan supports numerous proposals to accelerate the
development of safe generics, such as Senator Patrick Leahy’s proposal to
make sure generic manufacturers have access to a sample.
IV. ENSURE HEALTH CARE IS A RIGHT FOR
ALL, NOT A PRIVILEGE FOR JUST A FEW
Joe Biden believes that every American – regardless of gender, race, income,
sexual orientation, or zip code – should have access to affordable and quality
health care. Yet racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of
discrimination permeate our health care system just as in every other part of
society. As president, Biden will be a champion for improving access to health
care and the health of all by:
Expanding access to contraception and
protect the constitutional right to an abortion. The
Affordable Care Act made historic progress by ensuring access to free preventive care, including
contraception. The Biden Plan will build on that progress. Vice
President Biden supports repealing the Hyde Amendment because health care is a
right that should not be dependent on one’s zip code or income. And, the public
option will cover contraception and a woman’s constitutional right to choose.
In addition, the Biden Plan will:
1) Reverse the Trump Administration and states’
all-out assault on women’s right to choose. As president, Biden will work to
codify Roe v. Wade, and
his Justice Department will do everything in its power to stop the rash of
state laws that so blatantly violate the constitutional right to an abortion,
such as so-called TRAP laws, parental
notification requirements, mandatory waiting periods, and ultrasound
2) Restore federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
The Obama-Biden administration fought Republican attacks on funding for Planned
Parenthood again and again. As president, Biden will reissue guidance specifying
that states cannot refuse Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood and other
providers that refer for abortions or provide related information and reverse
the Trump Administration’s rule preventing
Planned Parenthood and certain other family planning programs from obtaining
Title X funds.
3) Just as the Obama-Biden Administration did, President Biden
will rescind the Mexico City Policy (also referred to as the global gag rule) that
President Trump reinstated and
expanded. This rule currently bars the U.S. federal government from supporting
important global health efforts – including for malaria and HIV/AIDS – in
developing countries simply because the organizations providing that aid also
offer information on abortion services.
Reducing our unacceptably high maternal
mortality rate, which especially impacts people of color. Compared
to other developed nations, the U.S. has the highest rate of
deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth, and we are the only country
experiencing an increase in this death rate. This problem is especially
prevalent among black women, who experience a death rate from complications
related to pregnancy that is more than three times higher than
the rate for non-Hispanic white women. California came up with a strategy
that halved the state’s
maternal death rate. As president, Biden will take this strategy nationwide.
Defending health care protections for
all, regardless of gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Before
the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies could increase premiums merely due
to someone’s gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Further, insurance
companies could increase premiums or deny coverage altogether due to someone’s HIV status. Yet,
President Trump is trying to walk back this progress. For example, he has proposed to once
again allow health care providers and insurance companies to discriminate based
on a patient’s gender identity or abortion history. President Biden will defend
the rights of all people – regardless of gender, sexual orientation, gender
identity – to have access to quality, affordable health care free from
Doubling America’s investment in
community health centers. Community health centers
provide primary, prenatal, and other important care to underserved populations.
The Biden Plan will double the federal investment in these centers, expanding
access to high quality health care for the populations that need it most.
In the months ahead, Biden will put forward
additional plans to tackle health challenges affecting specific communities,
including access to health care in rural communities, gun violence, and opioid
SUPPORTING HEALTH, NOT REWARDING
Joe Biden believes in rewarding work, not just wealth – and investing in
hard-working Americans’ health, not protecting the most privileged Americans’
wealth. Warren Buffett said it best when he stated that he should not pay a
lower tax rate than his secretary.
The Biden Plan will make health care a right by getting rid of capital gains
tax loopholes for the super wealthy. Today, the very wealthy pay a tax rate of
just 20% on long-term capital gains. According to the Joint Committee on
Taxation, the capital gains and dividends exclusion is the second largest tax
expenditure in the entire tax code: $127 billion in fiscal year 2019
alone. As President, Biden will roll back the Trump rate cut for the
very wealthy and restore the 39.6% top rate he helped restore when he negotiated an end to the Bush
tax cuts for the wealthy in 2012.
Biden’s capital gains reform will close the loopholes that allow the super
wealthy to avoid taxes on capital gains altogether. The Biden plan will assure
those making over $1 million will pay the top rate on capital gains, doubling
the capital gains tax rate on the super wealthy.
WATCH: Joe Biden
talks more about the need to build on and protect ACA in THIS new video.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Senator Klobuchar’s mom taught second grade until she was 70 years and she was also a proud teachers’ union member who walked the picket line in the 1951 teachers’ strike. As the daughter of a teacher and union member, Senator Klobuchar understands that a good education is a basic right of every child and that all Americans should have the educational opportunities they need to succeed in today’s economy.
During the presidential campaign, Senator Klobuchar has announced plans to fully fund education and our schools, make a historic investment in increasing teacher pay, close the opportunity gap, fully fund the IDEA, boost STEM education and apprenticeship opportunities, and rebuild our crumbling school infrastructure.
In addition to her already announced plans, Senator Klobuchar is announcing at the 2019 National Education Association Presidential Forum an additional proposal — new federal-state school “Progress Partnerships” that will allow states to take aggressive action to support our students. These partnerships are designed to elevate the voices of our educators and they will provide additional resources to help states take bold action to fund our public schools, support our teachers, and prioritize learning.
Increase teacher pay: States will agree to a
state-federal partnership with a generous federal match to increase salaries
for all teachers, as well as recommendations that address unique state needs
when it comes to the teacher pipeline, such as recruitment, retention,
diversity of the workforce, and quality of teacher preparation. State educators
should be included in the development of these plans.
Adapt high school curricula to improve workforce
readiness and post-secondary success: State education departments, working
with educators, will evaluate student career and college readiness, including
coursework, curriculum and other policies that prepare students for today’s
workforce and post-secondary success.
Establish an equitable school infrastructure funding
mechanism: In addition to receiving generous direct federal funding for school infrastructure
improvements, states will create a mechanism for distributing
federal school infrastructure funding that addresses disparities in conditions
and resources and ensures equity in funding for construction and repairs of
school buildings across the state.
Submit recommendations to align school services and
schedules with the needs of working families: States will work with
educators to develop and submit recommendations on how schools can meet the
needs of working families, which could include low-cost after-school programs,
alternative programs for students on days when schools are closed, and a
community school model that wraps other community services in the school
building to make schools into community hubs.
Convene a commission to review the state’s existing
funding formula to improve equity: States will review the existing funding
formula to ensure that all students, particularly those with the greatest need,
have access to adequate educational resources. The commission must include
professional educators and develop recommendations for improving state
education funding equity, which will be published biennially along with an
assessment of state progress.
As part of her plan for her first 100 days as President,
Senator Klobuchar will also:
Reduce racial disparities in disciplining students.
Senator Klobuchar will re-issue guidance directing schools to reduce racial
disparities in how they discipline students, which prompted more than 50 of
America’s largest school districts to institute discipline reform.
Fully fund the IDEA and reinstate the guidance protecting
the rights of students with disabilities. Senator Klobuchar’s budget will
fully fund IDEA to support students with disabilities. In addition, Senator
Klobuchar will reinstate documents protecting the rights of students with
disabilities after Secretary DeVos rescinded 72 guidance documents outlining
Prevent the expansion of private school vouchers.
Senator Klobuchar will stand firmly with our public schools and end discussions
of Secretary Betsy DeVos’s $50 billion proposal to fund private school
Restore protections for the LGBTQ community. Senator
Klobuchar will reverse the harmful anti-LGBTQ administrative actions taken by
the Trump Administration when it comes to education, health care and civil
rights, and she will work to pass the Equality Act in year one of her