Independent Women's Forum RSS feedhttp://www.iwf.orgThe RSS feed for the IWF. News, Commentary and Blog posts from the Independent Women's Foundation.(...)IWF RSS ObamaCare still unpopular, underachieving<p> While acknowledging that enrollment is down from a 2016 peak of 12.7 million, the Washington Post editorial board&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">says</a>11.8 million people did sign up for coverage in 2018. Those signups came despite slashed funding for advertising and an open-enrollment period that was shorted by half.</p> <p> &quot;HHS played up a rise in premiums relative to last year&#39;s, but most people on the ObamaCare exchanges receive federal subsidies, keeping their costs steady,&quot; the op-ed continues. &quot;The average subsidized premium is only $89 per month.&quot;</p> <p> Despite those positive implications, <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Hadley Heath Manning of the&nbsp;</span></span><a href="" target="_blank"><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Independent Women&#39;s Forum</span></span></a><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&nbsp;doesn&#39;t think Americans are sticking by ObamaCare.</span></span></strong></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&quot;Some people have left the so-called Affordable Care Act exchanges and they&#39;ve gone to find healthcare-sharing ministries, or they&#39;ve gone to find direct primary care practices where they can pay directly for the healthcare they consume,&quot; the IWF director of policy explains. &quot;And really, the enrollment figures under the Affordable Care Act have never lived up to the initial expectations &ndash; so I don&#39;t think it&#39;s a fair assertion to say that Americans are excited about it.&quot;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> As for the $89 a month plans, Manning says the chances of finding a doctor who will accept them are slim.</p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&quot;We know the ACA plans don&#39;t come with as robust network coverage; [that is], they aren&#39;t as accepted by as many providers,&quot; she says. &quot;And I would say the majority of people who have new insurance coverage because of the Affordable Care Act were actually enrolled through Medicaid rather than through one of the private plans at $89 a month.&quot;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Regardless, Manning points out that people were told to enroll or face a tax penalty for going without health coverage of some sort</span></strong></span></span>.</p> <p> The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law by President Trump did zero out the tax penalty. Meanwhile, Health and Human Services is open to allowing cheaper, skimpy plans that do not include all of the things required in the Affordable Care Act. The objective, says HHS, is to (1) bring down costs for people making too much money to receive subsidies, and (2) aid those who don&#39;t want to buy something they won&#39;t need.</p> HeathWed, 18 Apr 2018 14:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumTammy Bruce: Pelosi and Democrats trying to scare women into voting for them<p> For a long time, the Democrats have been successful by scaring people into voting for them. It&rsquo;s a tactic used when you can&rsquo;t persuade people on policy. Americans were recently reminded of the Democrats&rsquo; usual refrain when House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi declared President&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Trump</a>&rsquo;s tax cuts as &ldquo;Armageddon.&rdquo; Mrs. Pelosi went there, relying on contrived drama, comparing a tax cut to a fight between biblical armies during the end times.</p> <p> When the Senate GOP was discussing&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Mr. Trump</a>&rsquo;s health care bill, the Democrats&rsquo; response? &ldquo;Hundreds of thousands of people will die,&rdquo; delivered again by Nancy &lsquo;We&rsquo;re all gonna die&rsquo; Pelosi.</p> <p> Neither of those warnings are serious or true, but the Democrats have no policy answers, so they&rsquo;ve decided to rely on existential threats.</p> <p> Keith Ellison, the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, was handed the Grim Reaper baton when he said this to the Progressive National Candidate Training gathering last week: &ldquo;Women are dying because we are losing elections,&rdquo; Mr. Ellison said, Fox News Insider reported. &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t have the right to lose a damn election. We have to win.&rdquo;</p> <p> Mr. Ellison was referring to a reported rise in maternal mortality rates in Missouri and Texas. The good news is, for Texas, that report has already been disproven, and explained by a computer reporting error.</p> <p> That is their argument really based on? The infantilizing of women. Underscoring Mr. Ellison&rsquo;s remarks is an argument that women are so fragile, so vulnerable, that if Democrats don&rsquo;t win and government doesn&rsquo;t control more of your life, you&rsquo;ll die. That is an inherently sexist argument, promoting the fraud that women can&rsquo;t control their own lives and need a Big Brother to help them along.</p> <div style="margin-left:-88px;clear:left;"> <div style="margin-left: 80px;"> &nbsp; And Imagine what we could accomplish if we rejected the political class&rsquo; attempt to divide women and pit us against each other? Instead of using women&rsquo;s lives as fodder for a stump speech, what if we actually committed to working together to&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;determine what policies improve women&rsquo;s lives, their health and their longevity?</div> </div> <p> Facts are an inconvenient thing for Democrats. They prefer people ignorant on the truth of any matter, because when it comes to the destruction of women&rsquo;s lives, that&rsquo;s a Democrat&rsquo;s specialty.</p> <p> The &ldquo;Women&rsquo;s March&rdquo; group, arguably the main and absolutely the most visible organizing group for the Democrats, recently bemoaned the shuttering of the sex trafficking website&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"></a>&nbsp;and arrest of its leadership.</p> <p> Just days later, Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general, announced the company pleaded guilty to human trafficking and money laundering. The &ldquo;Women&rsquo;s March&rdquo; complaint? The removal of&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Backpage</a>&nbsp;makes it more difficult for prostitutes to communicate with their customers.</p> <p> Mr. Paxton&rsquo;s office noted, &ldquo;As the largest online sex trafficking marketplace in the world,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Backpage</a>&nbsp;facilitated the sex trafficking of innocent women and children through sites it ran for 943 locations in 97 countries and 17 languages. It was involved in 73 percent of all child trafficking cases reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.&rdquo;</p> <p> Perhaps Mr. Ellison wants to distract women from the fact that liberal policies don&rsquo;t have a good track record when it comes to improving their lives.</p> <p> During Barack Obama&rsquo;s two terms as president, &ldquo;women suffered steeper declines in take home pay than men. Women also experienced sharper declines in employment and a faster rise in poverty. &hellip; On Mr. Obama&rsquo;s watch, 2 million more women slipped into poverty. The poverty rate among women reached 16.1 percent &mdash; the highest level in the 20 years prior to his disastrous presidency,&rdquo; economist Stephen Moore reported in this newspaper.</p> <p> As our veterans have learned when government takes over your health care, bad things happen. If we really want to improve women&rsquo;s health care, it would be worth examining the expansion of Medicaid through Obamacare.</p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Hadley Heath Manning, the director of policy at Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum, noted, &ldquo;It&rsquo;s very interesting that the maternal mortality rate has increased as the number of women giving birth on Medicaid has also increased. We should take a very serious look at the low quality of care some American women receive when they are shuffled into government programs rather than empowered to buy their own affordable, private health insurance.&rdquo;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Ms. Manning added that Medicaid has poorer outcomes in almost every metric, in part due to the low quality of care available, and also of course due to the confounding variables related to poverty.</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> In fact, it&rsquo;s poverty and women not being financially independent that keep us from being able to make the choices that best suit us. Like him personally or not, it&rsquo;s undeniable that&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Mr. Trump</a>&rsquo;s policies have already improved the quality of women&rsquo;s lives across the spectrum. Women&rsquo;s unemployment is the lowest it&rsquo;s been in 20 years. Unemployment of African-Americans is the lowest in history.</p> <p> Tax reform for individuals and business owners helps women two-fold. Consider these facts:</p> <p> &bull; 9.4 million businesses in America are owned by women.</p> <p> &bull; Nearly 3 million women-owned businesses are owned by women of color employing 1.4 million people.</p> <p> &bull; Women are graduating from college at a faster rate than men.</p> <p> &bull; More than 70 percent of moms have a job outside of family life.</p> <p> &bull; Women make up 47 percent of the workforce and 40 percent of the family breadwinners.</p> <p> It&rsquo;s economic policy that makes the difference for women and their families. We all deserve serious policy proposals and action that results in meaningful, direct change. We&rsquo;re getting that with&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Mr. Trump</a>&rsquo;s policy and legislation. With the Democrats, we get warnings of death and destruction. Perhaps they&rsquo;re finally being honest about what their agenda has to offer.</p> <p> <a href="" target="_blank">This column originally appeared in The Washington Times.</a></p> <div style="clear:both;"> <p> <em>Tammy Bruce, president of Independent Women&rsquo;s Voice, is a radio talk-show host, New York Times best-selling author and Fox News political contributor.</em></p> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> HeathWed, 18 Apr 2018 13:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumHappy Tax Day 2017!<p> Usually this isn&rsquo;t a very happy day for Americans &ndash; except in the sense that the filing of our annual tax return is behind us. No one loves the paperwork or the burden of forking over our hard-earned dollars to Uncle Sam.</p> <p> Yet, we realize that taxation is necessary to fund the government, and at the very least we expect our government to protect our safety and our rights and provide certain services to us and to others in society.</p> <p> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p> The good news is that, due to reforms passed in late 2017, this year (2018) our government will be collecting tax revenue in a way that is much more beneficial to hardworking Americans and to our economy. We&rsquo;ve done a deep dive into these changes in our <a href="">April Policy Focus on the tax reform law</a>, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.</p> <p> We know there&rsquo;s more than just an economic policy debate at stake here: Like everyone else, we at Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum were curious how these reforms would impact everyday people, especially women.</p> <p> So, we invented a series of women &ndash; Julia, Cathy, Ashley and Eileen &ndash; and asked some analyst friends of ours at the Tax Foundation to run the numbers. What would happen to these women under the new tax law?</p> <p> You can read that blog series by <a href="">clicking here</a>.</p> <p> But now that we are well into 2018, we don&rsquo;t have to imagine or project how the tax law will affect real women and their families. <a href="">We know that the law is helping</a>.</p> <p> Because of the new law, we can truly say &ldquo;Happy Tax Day!&rdquo; in 2017 as we put the old tax laws behind us and look forward to the positive changes for 2018.&nbsp; It always feels good to have the tax paperwork behind us, but this year we can be especially glad that next year, our burden will be lighter in many ways, including that in the mean time our paychecks will be bigger and our economy will be stronger.</p> HeathTue, 17 Apr 2018 07:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWomen Talk About How Tax Cuts Are Already Improving Their Lives<p> Although the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) doesn&rsquo;t affect tax returns filed for 2017 (due this week), Americans already have a lot to celebrate about the new tax law. Independent Women&rsquo;s Voice asked women to share on social media how tax reform had affected them, and many women did. Their stories ought to be told.</p> <p> First, there were the increased paychecks for people like Rebecca, Brianna, Laura, and Debra.&nbsp;<a href="">Rebecca</a>&nbsp;told us she had reservations about President Trump, but was nevertheless excited that tax reform will benefit her family &ldquo;significantly.&rdquo;&nbsp;<a href="">Brianna</a>&nbsp;said she&rsquo;s getting $234 more in each paycheck, for a total of $2,808 per year.&nbsp;<a href="">Debra</a>&nbsp;told us she&rsquo;s keeping $300 more of her money each paycheck, for a total of $3,600 per year.&nbsp;<a href="">Laura</a>&nbsp;estimates her annual savings to be $4,500!</p> <p> Several parents tweeted how they planned to spend these new resources on their children: new&nbsp;<a href="">basketball shoes</a>, ballet lessons,&nbsp;<a href="">healthier food</a>, new&nbsp;<a href="">appliances</a>, and defraying the cost of&nbsp;<a href="">medical bills</a>,&nbsp;<a href="">car payments</a>, gasoline, and&nbsp;<a href="">daycare</a>. One mom even tweeted she could now afford&nbsp;<a href="">airfare to visit her 20-year-old son</a>, who is stationed in a faraway state with the U.S. Army.</p> <p> Why did so many American workers see a boost to their paychecks? The Tax Cuts and Job Act&nbsp;<a href="">cut tax rates for every income bracket</a>. Before the TCJA, Americans filed in one of seven tax rates of 10, 15, 25, 28, 33, 35, and 39.6 percent. Now the seven income tax rates have been lowered to 10, 12, 22, 24, 32, 35 and 37 percent, respectively. The law also adjusts the income thresholds for each bracket, resulting in lower income tax liabilities for people at nearly every income level.</p> <p> Secondly, we heard a lot about bonuses, a result of the corporate tax cut. Just ask Ann, SA, or Audrey:&nbsp;<a href="">Ann</a>&nbsp;is a single mom.&nbsp;<a href="">SA</a>&nbsp;is also a mom, who plans to use her $1,000 bonus as a re-enrollment deposit for her daughter&rsquo;s school, where she can continue to overcome dyscalculia and dyslexia.&nbsp;<a href="">Audrey</a>&nbsp;says her bonus comes in addition to a raise, increased 401K matching, and a lower tax rate paycheck to paycheck.</p> <p> These aren&rsquo;t cherry-picked stories, and they reflect a huge trend: More than&nbsp;<a href="">500 employers have offered bonuses</a>&nbsp;to 4 million American workers as a direct result of tax reform. The federal corporate rate has been slashed from 35 percent (the highest in the world) to 21 percent, allowing corporations to share massive new resources with their workforce and reinvest in their strength and growth.</p> <p> Even on top of all this good news, there are some benefits of tax reform that women and their families may not fully enjoy until about a year from now, when 2018 tax returns are due. For one: Although the TCJA eliminates personal exemptions, it doubles the standard deduction.</p> <p> This change will have two effects: This will make filing taxes simpler for filers who will change from itemized deductions to the standard deduction. And it will shield more income from taxation by reducing taxable income for many filers.</p> <p> The Child Tax Credit will also double from $1,000 to $2,000 per child, $1,400 of which is refundable. There&rsquo;s a new $500 credit available as well for non-child dependents, which is likely to help the parents of many college-aged children. Many families who own and operate small businesses (as &ldquo;pass-through&rdquo; entities, where income passes through to them as individuals) will be able to deduct 20 percent of their qualified business income.</p> <p> Putting all this money back into the hands of American families won&rsquo;t just improve lives in the short run. Sure, it&rsquo;s great to be able to go on vacation or purchase a new refrigerator. But many of the downstream effects of the new tax law will have long-term effects:&nbsp;<a href="">Analysts estimate</a>&nbsp;it will lead to the creation of 339,000 more jobs, and 1.5 percent higher wages.</p> <p> <twitterwidget data-tweet-id="969230039924396032" id="twitter-widget-0"></twitterwidget></p> <p> This means more Americans&mdash;both men and women&mdash;will have more opportunities to save, invest, and improve their financial security. That&rsquo;s something to celebrate as we file our taxes this year.</p> HeathMon, 16 Apr 2018 16:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumNo Evidence that Trump will Say "You're Fired!" to Mueller • Your World with Neil Cavuto HeathThu, 12 Apr 2018 14:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumRepublicans Will Ask "Are you Better Off?" During Midterms • Making Money with Charles Payne HeathThu, 12 Apr 2018 14:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumEvery day is Equal Pay Day<p> This week feminists are celebrating (or more accurately, bemoaning) a fake holiday they&rsquo;ve dubbed &ldquo;Equal Pay Day.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s a fake holiday because it&rsquo;s based on a bad interpretation of the wage gap statistic, the statistic that shows men earn more money than women on average.</p> <p> Of course it&rsquo;s true that men earn more money: The wage gap shows the current wage disparity to be&nbsp;<a href=""><u>82 cents on the dollar</u></a>, based on average weekly earnings. But importantly, the raw wage gap is not a measure of discrimination against women because it&rsquo;s not a measure of &ldquo;equal pay for equal work;&rdquo; it fails to account for many factors that affect pay, including profession, experience, hours and work conditions.</p> <p> When economists do attempt to correct for these variables, the wage gap shrinks significantly. In some analyses, it disappears or even&nbsp;<a href=",8599,2015274,00.html"><u>reverses</u></a>, showing that women earn more than men. This doesn&rsquo;t excuse cases where discrimination sadly still exists, but women should be encouraged that, by and large, the wage gap is driven by individual factors that reflect the different preferences of women and men.</p> <p> Women and men &mdash; especially as mothers and fathers &mdash; play different roles in their families. Of course this is a broad-brush statement, but the wage gap itself paints with a broad brush, reflecting only averages and not the wide diversity of American families and workers.</p> <p> Women, on the whole, are&nbsp;<a href=""><u>simply more likely</u></a>&nbsp;to work in lower-paying professions, to value workplace flexibility, to clock fewer hours, and to avoid dangerous or uncomfortable workplace conditions. For all of these reasons, men, on the whole, earn more.</p> <p> We shouldn&rsquo;t pretend that working mothers are slaves to a sexist society where they are brainwashed into taking on the lion&rsquo;s share of childcare or housekeeping tasks (thereby limiting their ability to &ldquo;lean in&rdquo; at work). To make this assumption would be an insult to women and their agency. Rather, women, just like men, make conscious trade-offs based on&nbsp;<a href=""><u>their own preferences</u></a>&nbsp;and what they believe is best for their families.</p> <p> There&rsquo;s nothing wrong with these choices. It is wrong, however, to mislead women and girls into believing that wage discrimination is commonplace and there&rsquo;s nothing they can do about it. This victim mentality is disempowering and ultimately does more harm than good.</p> <p> &ldquo;Equal Pay Day&rdquo; is the perfect example of this. The fake holiday suggests that sex-based wage discrimination runs rampant. If women and girls believe that, we may be more likely to accept mistreatment in the rare occasions where it does take place.</p> <p> Remember, no one believed the boy who cried wolf when it really mattered. Feminists, and anyone who claims to speak up for women, should take care to be specific and concrete in fighting sexism or discrimination, rather than misrepresenting it as ubiquitous.</p> <p> Instead of suggesting to women and girls that there&rsquo;s nothing they can do to earn a fair wage, wouldn&rsquo;t it be much more productive to have a frank discussion about the choices that women and girls have when it comes to education, training, work, and family? Our earnings are in our hands, and it&rsquo;s OK to choose our own priorities in life. Not only is such an attitude a better reflection of reality, but it has got to be associated with a higher level of happiness. No one wants to be a helpless victim.</p> <p> And in the instance that women are victimized, the law is firmly on our side: Sex-based wage discrimination has been illegal since 1963. Of course, sexism is still a problem, and there will always be employers who wrongfully take advantage of workers of all types. But, for the most part, American women are treated fairly and enjoy legal protection from discrimination.</p> <p> Because of all this, every day in the United States is truly &ldquo;Equal Pay Day.&rdquo; We don&rsquo;t need to pause in April to acknowledge a government wage statistic that is devoid of any real meaning. American women can simply continue working hard alongside men, providing for ourselves and our families, and standing up for what we deserve &hellip; just like we do everyday.</p> HeathTue, 10 Apr 2018 08:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumSometimes Differences in Pay Are Valid • Kennedy HeathTue, 10 Apr 2018 07:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumRegulation Could Prevent Competition in Tech Companies • Making Money with Charles Payne HeathThu, 5 Apr 2018 15:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumPolicy Focus: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act<p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"> In December 2017, Congress passed and President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), a package of sweeping reforms to the U.S. tax code, both for individual filers and for corporations.</p> <p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"> The TCJA cuts income tax rates for workers at every level and nearly doubles the standard deduction, shielding more income from taxation. It expands the Child Tax Credit and preserves other popular tax benefits like the deductions for mortgage interest and charitable deductions, among others.</p> <p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"> Prior to the TCJA, American corporations faced the world&rsquo;s highest statutory corporate income tax rate at 35 percent. The tax reform law lowers this rate to 21 percent, putting the U.S. rate much closer to the global average. Many small businesses known as &ldquo;pass-through entities&rdquo; (because income &ldquo;passes through&rdquo; to the owner and is taxed as personal income) will benefit from tax reform as well, as the law provides them with a 20-percent deduction on business profits. While the TCJA does not apply retroactively to 2017, the impact of the law has immediately become clear.&nbsp;</p> <p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"> How exactly is the tax reform law helping American families, expanding work opportunities, and fostering strong economic growth? Read more to find out!</p> <p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"> <a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 350px; height: 58px;" /></a></p> <p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"> <a href="" style="text-decoration: underline;" title="View Policy Focus: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Scribd">Policy Focus: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act</a> by <a href="" style="text-decoration: underline;" title="View Independent Women's Forum's profile on Scribd">Independent Women&#39;s Forum</a></p> <p> <iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="0.7729220222793488" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="600" id="doc_52194" scrolling="no" src=";view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-2L3Inf7hXZHmMXZty7dL&amp;show_recommendations=true" title="Policy Focus: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act " width="100%"></iframe></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> HeathTue, 3 Apr 2018 13:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumVoters Are Smarter Than Nancy Pelosi Bashing Tax Reform • Coast to Coast HeathThu, 29 Mar 2018 16:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumNew Faces in Congress Could Do Both Sides Some Good • Coast to Coast HeathMon, 19 Mar 2018 18:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumAmericans support Medicare negotiations with drug-makers… until they consider the consequences<p> Too many public opinion polls ask a simple question, like &ldquo;Would you like to have lower taxes?&rdquo; or &ldquo;Would you like for government to provide better services?&rdquo; The answers to those things are going to be overwhelmingly positive. We all want the highest value at the lowest price, both in our economic decisions and in our government.</p> <p> Polls about healthcare policy often suffer from the same shortcoming. Would you like the government to take action to lower drug prices? Sure! But the devil is always in the details. What action? And more importantly, what are the tradeoffs (pros and cons) of various actions the government might take?</p> <p> Well, thank goodness for meaningful public opinion research. A new <a href="">Politico-Harvard poll</a>&nbsp;shows that support for government action on drug prices falls dramatically when the public has to weigh the potential negatives. From Politico:</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"> For instance, 90 percent of respondents supported Medicare negotiations with drug-makers &mdash; but that fell to just 42 percent when respondents weighed the risk that some pharmaceutical companies might respond by halting the sale of certain drugs to seniors.</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"> &quot;This only suggests that this is a tempting issue for political people in both parties because it&#39;s so popular,&quot; said Harvard&#39;s Robert Blendon, who designed the poll. &quot;They&#39;re going to find it much more controversial if they can&#39;t answer the question of how you protect consumers from the potential downside.&quot;</p> <p> As I explain in IWF&rsquo;s <a href="">policy focus on pharmaceutical drug prices</a>, government action to lower drug costs is a risky business. The best approach is to foster greater consumer choice in drugs (and other healthcare goods and services) in order to use market competition to hold down prices.</p> HeathThu, 15 Mar 2018 08:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumLarry Kudlow to be Trump's new economic adviser<p> Larry Kudlow, a well-known conservative media pundit, would be the new chief economic advisor to US President Donald Trump, the White House said today, days after Gary Cohen resigned after losing his fight against stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Kudlow, 70, would replace Cohen, a former Goldman Sachs executive who quit the post after his differences with Trump on imposing a 25 per cent tariff on import of steel and 10 per cent on aluminum.&nbsp;</p> <div> Kudlow, who served as Trump&#39;s informal economic adviser during the 2016 campaign, is a well-known conservative voice.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &quot;Larry Kudlow was offered, and accepted, the position of Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council,&quot; White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> The National Economic Council director advises the US president on economic issues and works to implement policy goals.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &quot;We will work to have an orderly transition and will keep everyone posted on the timing of him officially assuming the role,&quot; Sanders said.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <div> But television news personality has been outspoken in opposition to the tariff plan and wrote an op-ed for CNBC earlier this month that detailed his disagreements.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Trump acknowledged his disagreement on tariffs with Kudlow in a conversation with reporters on Tuesday, but said he welcomed the difference of opinion.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</div> </div> <div> &quot;I&#39;m looking at Larry Kudlow very strongly. I&#39;ve known him a long time. We don&#39;t agree on everything but in this case I think that&#39;s good. I want to have a divergent opinion -- we agree on most,&quot; Trump said.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> He added that Kudlow has &quot;come around to believing in tariffs as a negotiating point.&quot;&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div> Top American lawmakers welcomed Kudlow&#39;s appointment to the crucial administration position.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Senator Lindsay Graham called the appointment &quot;a home run choice&quot; and praised Kudlow for his advocacy of &quot;pro-growth&quot; economic policies.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <div> &quot;He will be a steady hand in helping implement President Trump&#39;s pro-growth agenda and will provide insightful advice backed by a deep understanding of how the American economy works,&quot; Graham said.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Senator David Perdue said Kudlow would help Trump in making the US more competitive with the rest of the world.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <div> &quot;We need more smart, business-minded people who understand that this president is trying to make the US more competitive with the rest of the world and provide much needed economic relief after many years of failed fiscal policies,&quot; he said.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Democratic Congresswoman Ted W Lieu was less enthused by Kudlow&#39;s appointment, saying she was &quot;appalled&quot; that the person who will now drive the US&#39; economic policy has argued that war is good for business.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <div> &quot;Our service members are brave patriots, not equity on a shareholder report. In an administration that has already been fraught with disastrous policy decisions, I worry about someone who thinks this way having the president&#39;s ear,&quot; said Lieu.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &quot;Entering into conflict has to be a last resort -- and should never be evaluated primarily on its economic merits. Mr. Kudlows fringe ideas don&#39;t deserve a place in the White House,&quot; she said.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <div> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Independent Women&#39;s Forum&#39;s Director of Policy, Hadley Heath Manning said Kudlow&#39;s economic expertise will again be an asset to the nation, just as it was when he served under Ronald Reagan.&nbsp;</span></strong></span></span></div> <br /> <div> &nbsp;</div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> HeathThu, 15 Mar 2018 07:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumTrump picks IWF Friend and Board Member Larry Kudlow as NEC Director<p> Today President Trump selected Larry Kudlow to replace Gary Cohn as National Economic Council Director. The selection of this esteemed economist (and IWF friend and board member) is an excellent choice that will benefit the Trump Administration and the nation.</p> <p> Kudlow served in various economic advisory roles in the Reagan Administration; before that he worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. After the Reagan years he worked as chief economist for Bear Stearns, and most recently, Americans recognize him as a CNBC Senior Contributor and as former host of CNBC show <em>The Kudlow Report</em>. Over the years, various IWF spokeswomen have joined Kudlow on his airwaves to discuss economic and political issues.</p> <p> IWF released a <a href="'s-Economic-Expertise-Will-Again-Be-An-Asset-to-the-Nation">statement</a> today, acknowledging Kudlow&rsquo;s selection as NEC director, saying, &ldquo;We expect that as National Economic Council director, Kudlow will build upon President Trump&#39;s success on tax reform and deregulation, encouraging the Administration to right-size the budget, reduce the debt, and roll back government&#39;s control on health care. We wish Larry Kudlow the very best and congratulate the Trump Administration on his selection.&quot;</p> <p> Kudlow has the right approach to economic policy, sharing our view at IWF that free markets allow women, men, and families greater choice over their lives and ultimately, greater prosperity.&nbsp;</p> HeathWed, 14 Mar 2018 21:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum