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 Healthcare Plan Clears Key Hurdle• Coast to Coast HeathFri, 17 Mar 2017 06:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumNew Survey: CEO Optimism Surging on Hopes for Tax Reform • Your World HeathTue, 14 Mar 2017 16:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumGOP's health plan isn't perfect, but tackles ObamaCare's biggest flaws<p> Republicans have answered the call: Monday night they released the text of legislation that could repeal and replace ObamaCare. The bill would repeal most of ObamaCare&rsquo;s taxes, subsidies, and mandates, and offer a refundable age-based tax credit instead. It devolves most insurance regulation back to the states, freezes the Medicaid expansion, and converts the program&rsquo;s funding to a per-capita allotment.</p> <p> There are no surprises in this bill, which represents compromise on the Republican side. Not all conservatives will support the concept of a refundable tax credit, and others will quibble the bill doesn&rsquo;t go far enough. But this latest Republican legislation is a good starting point for discussion, and it includes some helpful policy changes.</p> <p> The purpose of the tax credit in the Republican ObamaCare replacement is not to emulate ObamaCare&rsquo;s redistributive system of subsidies and tax credits, but to address the unequal tax treatment of employer-provided health plans versus individually purchased plans.</p> <p> Employer plans are excluded from taxes, meaning, unlike wages, employees don&rsquo;t pay tax on the value of their benefits. This tax exclusion is unfair; it only benefits those with employer-sponsored plans. It effectively works&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">to make employer insurance plans cheaper</a>&nbsp;than plans people have to buy on their own. And it is regressive; it is of greatest value to those with high incomes. Worst of all, it creates a huge market distortion in health insurance that favors large group plans.</p> <p> By offering a tax credit to individuals, the Republican plan attempts to level the playing field for the many Americans who, because they work in the &ldquo;gig economy&rdquo; or for a variety of other reasons, don&rsquo;t have on-the-job benefits.</p> <p> Republicans have struggled with how to structure the tax relief for individual plans.</p> <p> ObamaCare&rsquo;s tax credits are means-tested, meaning they decrease as income increases. The latest Republican plan includes only one income threshold, $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for couples. Above this threshold the credit phases out, but under it, the credit is flat and based on age, starting at $2,000 per person under age 30. Older Americans get a higher tax credit, up to $4,000 per person, because they generally face higher healthcare costs.</p> <p> As important as it is for Republicans to get this tax credit right, it&rsquo;s only one piece of the puzzle. Importantly, Republicans want to see a major shift in the regulation of insurance plans away from ObamaCare&rsquo;s federally mandated, one-size-fits-all approach. The idea is to return this authority to states, where insurance regulators know their markets and populations better, and are therefore better equipped to make decisions about how rates and plans are negotiated and regulated.</p> <p> But even in Republican replacement plan, several major federal regulations would remain on the books, like the requirement that plans cover adult dependent children up to age 26 and the ban on lifetime limits in insurance plans.</p> <p> The plan addresses the issue of pre-existing health conditions differently than the ACA, which requires all plans accept all enrollees (and offer them the same premium rates) no matter their health status. The flipside of this requirement in the ACA is the individual mandate, intended to incentivize healthy people to buy in.</p> <p> The Republican plan also includes an incentive to insure while healthy: It allows insurance companies a 12-month &ldquo;look-back&rdquo; period to determine if enrollees went more than 63 days without coverage in the prior year. If they did, insurers can add a 30 percent surcharge to premiums for one year. This is very similar to a mandate, except that the penalty is paid to insurers during the first year of enrollment rather than as a tax penalty year after year.</p> <p> Finally, the Republican replacement would include major reforms to the Medicaid program. It treats the Medicaid expansion like a careful negotiation between expansion and non-expansion states. The plan freezes funding for the Medicaid expansion in 2020, after which point states will simply receive regular federal matching dollars for new enrollees, not the generous expansion match rate.</p> <p> And the plan would convert Medicaid funding to a per-capita allotment for states, which represents a middle ground between the status quo and full-freedom block grants. This cost-control measure would put a per-enrollee limit on federal payments to states for Medicaid expenses.</p> <p> When scored, the Republican plan likely won&rsquo;t cover as many Americans as the ACA. It&rsquo;s hard to compete with a piece of legislation that forced Americans to buy insurance or pay a penalty. But this shouldn&rsquo;t trouble Republicans, or Americans who may support the effort. After all, as we&rsquo;ve found out with the ACA, &ldquo;coverage&rdquo; doesn&rsquo;t always mean access to care. Care should always be the focus of health policy.</p> <p> The Republican legislation under discussion this week represents an acknowledgement of the tough political realities facing the repeal and replacement of ObamaCare.</p> <p> It&rsquo;s certainly not the most conservative or ambitious plan Republicans could propose, but that won&rsquo;t stop Democrats from attacking it. Nevertheless, it&rsquo;s a reasonable, thoughtful plan that includes many good ideas, and it&rsquo;s worth strong consideration.</p> <p> <em>Hadley Heath Manning is the director of health policy for the</em>&nbsp;<em><a href="" target="_blank">Independent Women&#39;s Forum</a>. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, POLITICO, Roll Call, Real Clear Policy, National Review Online, and Huffington Post, among others. Manning is also the Tony Blankley Fellow at the</em>&nbsp;<em><a href="" target="_blank">Steamboat Institute</a>.</em></p> HeathTue, 7 Mar 2017 14:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumRepeal Obamacare Now or Brace for Single-Payer Healthcare<p style="text-align: center;"> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="no" height="332" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" mozallowfullscreen="" noresize="noresize" scrolling="no" src=";widgetId=1&amp;trackingGroup=69016&amp;playlistId=19132&amp;siteSection=91212_pp&amp;videoId=32080996" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="590"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p> A recent NBC/WSJ poll shows just&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">4 percent</a>&nbsp;of Americans believe Obamacare is working well the way it is. As evident in the 2016 presidential election, there are few politicians left in this camp: President Trump and Republicans want the law repealed. Sen. Bernie Sanders supports single-payer healthcare. Even Hillary Clinton believed the law needed to be changed significantly.</p> <p> <cnt>American voters chose wisely, overwhelmingly electing proponents of repeal. Today, Republicans have control of both houses of Congress and the White House. They&#39;ve never had a better opportunity to repeal Obamacare, which is what many Americans want them to do.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>But it&#39;s important that lawmakers understand the stakes: if they fail to repeal Obamacare now, the law&#39;s continued &quot;<a href="" target="_blank">death spiral</a>&quot; (to use the words of Aetna&#39;s CEO) and the public&#39;s dissatisfaction with the law will keep us on a path toward a single-payer system that would offer all Americans only one form of insurance, one completely controlled and financed by the government.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Obamacare was a big step, but not the first one, toward government-run healthcare. &quot;The Great Society&quot; was the camel&#39;s nose under the tent. These programs were introduced as safety-net programs, but once the federal government began providing health insurance for all senior citizens (Medicare) and low-income people (Medicaid), it became much easier for big-government supporters to expand the eligibility and benefits provided. While expanding benefits to the public may sound like a good thing, there are costs, in terms of taxpayer dollars, public debt, and perhaps most importantly, reduced options for patients.</cnt></p> <p> Today,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">55.3 million seniors</a>&nbsp;are on Medicare, and&nbsp;<a href=";selectedRows=%7B%22wrapups%22:%7B%22united-states%22:%7B%7D%7D%7D" target="_blank">74.4 million people</a>&nbsp;are on Medicaid. There are some dual-eligible people (<a href="" target="_blank">nearly 10 million</a>), but when you include Tricare enrollment and other veteran&#39;s health programs, today about 40 percent of all Americans have a government health insurance plan.</p> <p> <cnt>Supporters of single-payer use the expression &quot;Medicare for all&quot; to advocate for single-payer, and more tepid Democrats might support &quot;Medicare for more&quot; or lowering the eligibility age as another step in expanding government-provided health care. The messaging focuses on Medicare, not Medicaid, because most Medicare beneficiaries&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">are happy</a>with their coverage and access to care, while sadly Medicaid&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">falls short</a>on reimbursement, access, and outcomes.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>But the reality is that single-payer in the United States is more likely to be &quot;Medicaid for all,&quot; than Medicare for all. Consider that, even before Obamacare, Medicaid covered&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">nearly half of U.S. births</a>. Obamacare&#39;s Medicaid expansion was a giant leap forward for those who favor &quot;universal coverage.&quot; The latest figures show&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">11.7 million</a>&nbsp;more have enrolled in Medicaid since Obamacare took effect.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Importantly, many (half, according to an estimate from the Foundation for Government Accountability) of those who have recently enrolled in the Medicaid expansion were previously insured in a private health plan, on their own or through an employer.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>This &quot;crowd-out&quot; effect is an excellent political strategy for single-payer advocates: Once the benefits are extended, it&#39;s much harder for the government to rein them in (but taxpayers should wonder about the why their money is going to move people from private plans to Medicaid, where health&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">access and outcomes are worse</a>).</cnt></p> <p> While Obamacare&#39;s original intent was for all 50 states to expand Medicaid,&nbsp;<a href=";sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Current%20Status%20of%20Medicaid%20Expansion%20Decision%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D" target="_blank">19 have refused</a>. But this means 31 states, and the District of Columbia, have taken the bait. Generous federal money proved too much for even some Republican governors to resist. This is now causing trouble for&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Republican senators</a>, who would like to repeal Obamacare (and perhaps replace it) but are concerned about how states will fair if the Medicaid expansion is repealed.</p> <p> <cnt>But mark my words: if Republicans don&#39;t undo Obamacare now, we will remain on a path to single-payer. Future Democratic governments (or perhaps big-government Republicans) will take the easy, popular (but misguided) road to expanding Medicaid eligibility even more. Today the threshold is 138 percent of the federal poverty line. If Obamacare stays on the books, what will it be 10 years from now? How many millions more will be added?</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Democrats, like candidate Clinton, are transparent about the next major change they want: a &quot;<a href="" target="_blank">public option</a>.&quot; They&#39;d add this option now, as private options have been&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">dwindling</a>. Disguised as a government plan that would simply &quot;<a href="" target="_blank">create greater insurance competition</a>&quot; for private plans, a public option would surely push out the few (in many places, the only) insurance companies left. Government competition isn&#39;t fair; it&#39;d be like referees playing against the team. The result would be only one option: ultimately, single-payer.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Philip Klein, managing editor of the&nbsp;<em>Washington Examiner</em>, called one Republican replacement plan (Cassidy/Collins) the &quot;<a href="" target="_blank">Obamacare Forever</a>&quot; plan, because it let some states keep Obamacare as is. But the reality is that Obamacare cannot last forever. If Republicans leave Obamacare as it is, we can be sure that Democrats ultimately will not. Either it will be repealed or it will stay in place and only become a vehicle for the Left to continue their march toward single-payer. We must repeal it now, or brace for the consequence.</cnt></p> <p> <em><cnt>Hadley Heath Manning (<a href="" target="_blank">@HadleyHeath</a>) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner&#39;s Beltway Confidential blog. She is a senior policy analyst and director of health policy at the Independent Women&#39;s Forum, and a Tony Blankley Fellow at the Steamboat Institute.</cnt></em></p> HeathTue, 7 Mar 2017 10:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumDemocrats Response to President Trump's Speech to Congress • After the Bell HeathWed, 1 Mar 2017 17:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWhy the 'A Day Without a Woman' protest is laughable<p> The upcoming &quot;A Day Without a Woman&quot; strike, which falls on March 8, International Women&#39;s Day, is a misguided protest against a straw man. No one (in the mainstream) discounts the contributions of women in the American society or economy, and the calls to action are unlikely to be successful.</p> <p> <cnt>Here&#39;s what they are encouraging strikers to do:</cnt></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> 1.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <cnt>Women take the day off, from paid and unpaid labor.</cnt></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> 2.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Avoid shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses).</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> 3.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Wear red in solidarity with A Day Without A Woman.</p> <p> <cnt>The first point is laughable. Many women can&#39;t take the day off to make a political statement. How would I explain to my 7-month-old daughter that I&#39;m not going to change her diapers or make her bottles on March 8? She&#39;s a demanding customer, and the work I do for her is emblematic of the unpaid work that millions of women do every day as homemakers, mothers, and caregivers to their elderly relatives. It&#39;s not optional. And we don&#39;t do it entirely out of obligation: Our work is also our joy.</cnt></p> <p> But I don&#39;t feel that I need to take a day off to demonstrate to my family or my community how important my work is. No one is arguing that women are not important to our society and our economy. No one would assert that if all women (or half of our population) stopped participating, the nation would just keep humming along. Imagine if all men went on strike: The result would be similarly devastating. Most of our nation&#39;s engineers, technicians, police officers, and military would go missing.</p> <p> <cnt>This protest follows a similar strike, &quot;A Day without Immigrants.&quot; Regardless your perspective on the&nbsp;<a data-action="auto_keyword" data-label="immigration" href="" target="_blank">immigration</a>&nbsp;debate, you have to admit this immigrant strike makes more sense. There are those who believe that, rather than contributing to our society and our economy, immigrants are posing threats to public safety or draining the American economy (or both). There are those who advocate for lower levels of immigration. This is not the case for women.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Of course, in contrast to my view, the organizers of the Women&#39;s March and others encouraging women to &quot;strike&quot; on March 8 would say that our society and our economy abuse and shortchange women. According to the Women&#39;s March Website, women are &quot;receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities&quot; than men.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>It&#39;s true: women are receiving lower wages than men, but this does not mean women aren&#39;t getting equal pay for equal work. Women and men work in different professions, on different shifts, for different numbers of hours. In other words, according to a report for the Department of Labor, &quot;The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers.&quot;</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>That explanation will never be good enough for those who seek a perfectly equal distribution of resources between the two sexes. This fixation on perfect economic parity brings us to the second call to action for strikers: Stop shopping (for just one day! &ndash; as if this is difficult?)&nbsp;<em>or</em>&nbsp;shop at only those small businesses owned by women and minorities. While protesters focus myopically on how the resources in our economy are divided, they miss the more important point that a growing, free-market economy benefits all people of all races and genders.</cnt></p> <p> In fact, free-market capitalism is one of the most equalizing forces in the world: If two parties see mutual benefit in a business transaction, it shouldn&#39;t matter to either party what the race, religion or background of the other party is. It usually doesn&#39;t.</p> <p> <cnt>This isn&#39;t a bad thing: There&#39;s an incentive for business owners, no matter their demographic characteristics, to seek to serve as many customers as possible. Businesses owned by men or white people aren&#39;t some evil to be avoided. To the contrary, they create valuable goods, services, and jobs that can benefit all people.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Of course, people are free to &quot;vote with their dollars,&quot; as they do when they support (or boycott) companies with a high political profile (like Hobby Lobby or Chick-fil-A on the Right, or Starbucks and Nordstrom on the Left). But economic value usually supersedes politics when people are deciding where to shop.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>If we want to take a day to appreciate how much we value women, that&#39;s fine. But we already have such celebrations: October is dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness, a disease that primarily affects women. March is Women&#39;s History Month, and the second Sunday in May is set aside as Mother&#39;s Day, to acknowledge this role that many women play. Our society isn&#39;t one that dismisses women&#39;s contributions out of hand. Quite the opposite: in some ways, women have an honored place in American society, and that&#39;s a reason to celebrate, not strike.</cnt></p> <p> <em><cnt>Hadley Heath Manning (<a href="" target="_blank">@HadleyHeath</a>) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner&#39;s Beltway Confidential blog. She is a senior policy analyst and director of health policy at the Independent Women&#39;s Forum, and a Tony Blankley Fellow at the Steamboat Institute.</cnt></em></p> HeathTue, 28 Feb 2017 10:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumCivility & Politics • Making Money HeathThu, 23 Feb 2017 16:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumPolicy Focus: Repealing and Replacing ObamaCare<p> Proponents of ObamaCare argue that it has expanded health insurance coverage, and made coverage more robust and affordable to millions who are now eligible for Medicaid or taxpayer-funded financial assistance in the law&rsquo;s insurance &ldquo;exchanges.&rdquo;</p> <p> But not all of the law&rsquo;s effects have been beneficial. Indeed, in response to the law&rsquo;s mandates, the unsubsidized cost of health insurance has skyrocketed and many basic health insurance plans were cancelled. Insurance companies have sought other ways to control costs, such as narrowing provider networks, meaning some patients no longer have access to the doctors they prefer.</p> <p> A 2016 Gallup survey indicated that while 18 percent of people reported being helped by the ACA, nearly <strong><a href=""><span style="color:#ff0000;">30 percent said they were hurt</span></a></strong>. Twenty-four percent said the long-term effect of the law would be a better situation for their family; 73 percent said the effect would make no difference or leave their family worse off.</p> <p> Therefore, it&rsquo;s no surprise that in 2016 Americans elected a president (Donald Trump) and majorities in the House and Senate who oppose ObamaCare. Republicans say they will repeal the law and replace it with a more market-friendly, patient-centered approach. This change, although difficult, is needed to address the failures of ObamaCare.</p> <p> Read on to better understand the reasons why ObamaCare needs to be repealed, and how a more free-market approach to health reform will better address problems in our system.</p> <p> <strong><a href=""><span style="color:#ff0000;">Click here to continue reading the 6-page policy focus &gt;&gt;&gt;</span></a></strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> HeathWed, 22 Feb 2017 11:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumCan Trump bring millennials into the GOP?<p> No polling was more wrong last November than those predicting how millennials would vote.&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl=";q=;source=gmail&amp;ust=1487097831585000&amp;usg=AFQjCNHhUOwIYLrbKBoTf4NiVBwD4_3B9Q" href="" target="_blank">More than 2 million more millennials voted</a>&nbsp;for&nbsp;<a data-action="auto_keyword" data-label="president trump" href="" target="_blank">President Trump</a>&nbsp;than was forecast by millennial polling averages. He polled at 25 percent among people under 30, but won 37 percent of this demographic. That&#39;s a higher percentage than the Republican nominees in 2012 or 2008.</p> <p> <cnt>Despite this, however, 37 percent is still only 37 percent. With protests flaring up across the country and more young people taking to social media, Trump and the Republican Party have to wonder about their future. In 2016, millennials overtook all other generations as the biggest voting bloc in the nation.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Will young citizens get more conservative as they age? Can Trump help bring more young voters into the GOP? Or will young people be scared away from the party by Trump&#39;s controversial style?</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Thought leaders and the most successful activists and organizers on the Right aren&#39;t sure what to expect in the next four years.</cnt></p> <p> <strong>Bright future, or challenges ahead?</strong></p> <p> <cnt>Elected in 2015 at age 19 in the swing state of New Hampshire, state Rep. Yvonne Dean-Bailey is among the country&#39;s youngest elected leaders, and she&#39;s optimistic about Trump&#39;s chances to grow the movement.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>&quot;The future is bright for young conservatives and libertarians under&nbsp;<a data-action="auto_keyword" data-label="president trump" href="" target="_blank">President Trump</a>&#39;s administration. Through his populist and common sense message, President Trump has grown and mobilized the young conservative movement,&quot; Dean-Bailey said.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>&quot;I believe we will see these new young conservatives become involved as activists, conservative bloggers and, hopefully, even candidates for office.&quot;</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Will Estrada, a Latino millennial and chairman of the Loudoun County Republican Committee, also sees opportunity. &quot;Millennial conservatives now have the chance to shape policy in Congress, the White House and the federal agencies, something that wouldn&#39;t have been possible had&nbsp;<a data-action="auto_keyword" data-label="hillary clinton" href="" target="_blank">Hillary Clinton</a>&nbsp;won the presidency.&quot;</cnt></p> <p> Charlie Kirk, founder and executive director of the nation&#39;s fastest growing conservative youth group, Turning Point USA, agrees that &quot;the future is very bright.&quot; Under Trump&#39;s candidacy and presidency, Turning Point increased its numbers and visibility.</p> <p> <cnt>But even Kirk, who often personally campaigned with&nbsp;<a data-action="auto_keyword" data-label="donald trump" href="" target="_blank">Donald Trump</a>Jr., said, &quot;The movement made incredible strides in 2016, but we have a lot of work to do.&quot;</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>What some call &quot;work,&quot; others call &quot;challenges.&quot; With a president rightly or wrongly demonized by the media and other critics for frequent politically incorrect and fact-stretching comments and tweets, it becomes difficult to defend Trump to other millennials.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>&quot;The future of the young conservative movement under&nbsp;<a data-action="auto_keyword" data-label="president trump" href="" target="_blank">President Trump</a>&nbsp;will be one that faces many challenges,&quot; said Nadia Elgendy, who was recently elected chairwoman of the College Republicans in Virginia.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>&quot;I think Trump will be good for the movement in the sense that he will really test the strength of the GOP.&quot;</cnt></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Hadley Heath Manning, a millennial mother who appears frequently on Fox News for the Independent Women&#39;s Forum (IWF) and is a contributor to the&nbsp;</span><em><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Washington Examiner</span></em><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&#39;s Beltway Confidential blog, said, &quot;Trump, who is not an ideological conservative, presents both a challenge and an opportunity for our movement.</span></strong></span></p> <p> <cnt>&quot;Our peers will look to us to explain what Congress and the president are doing, and as always, we&#39;ll have to be prepared to defend what is good and denounce what is bad.&quot;</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Twenty-year-old Zuri Davis, a leading libertarian activist and writer, took it a step further. She believes millennials will avoid joining political parties altogether, as is the case already.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>&quot;The future of the young conservative/libertarian movement, for at least the next four years, is looking more and more nonpartisan. Millennials in general are becoming increasingly worried that neither major party fully has their best interest in mind,&quot; Davis said.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Many polls support Davis&#39; claim, showing a widening decline in party identification among millennials.&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl=";q=;source=gmail&amp;ust=1487097831585000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFZfPQ2SR1gH7gDRCQF_Niocb539w" href="" target="_blank">CIRCLE&#39;s 2016 polling report</a>&nbsp;shows that from 2008 to 2016, the percentage of young voters who identify as &quot;independent&quot; grew from 29 percent to 36 percent, while the portion that identify as &quot;Democrat&quot; shrank from 45 percent to 37 percent. Republicans marginally increased from 26 percent in 2008 to 27 percent in 2016.</cnt></p> <p> <strong>Do millennials know what they believe?</strong></p> <p> <cnt>If millennials are abandoning parties, are they loyal to certain policy issues?</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Millennials are easily stereotyped as hipsters who support LGBTQ rights, drug legalization, environmental justice, criminal justice reform and no national borders. Opinion polls support elements of this stereotype, but debunk others.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>According to Pew data, even millennial Republicans fit some of these stereotypes: Fifty-eight percent of young Republicans favor same-sex marriage, and 63 percent support legalizing marijuana.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>A PPP&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl=";q=;source=gmail&amp;ust=1487097831585000&amp;usg=AFQjCNGdlyr_FXKuv-nZkwmf6WyBjkImVQ" href="" target="_blank">poll</a>&nbsp;showed 61 percent of young citizens oppose building a border wall with Mexico, a YouGov&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl=";q=;source=gmail&amp;ust=1487097831585000&amp;usg=AFQjCNEErNVlK8R-s6gHQDtOAWvnachk-Q" href="" target="_blank">survey</a>&nbsp;showed 72 percent believe&nbsp;<a data-action="auto_keyword" data-label="climate change" href="" target="_blank">climate change</a>&nbsp;is caused by humans and another YouGov&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl=";q=;source=gmail&amp;ust=1487097831585000&amp;usg=AFQjCNHMNFOJ4FQOANMCmpb3OxSlQw_-pQ" href="" target="_blank">survey</a>&nbsp;showed 86 percent support police wearing body cameras.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Before Trump&#39;s election, these numbers were one reason the Right&#39;s youth movement appeared to be heading in a more libertarian direction. Free from the perceived stigma associated with social issues such as marraige and abortion, it was thought that candidates such as Sen. Rand Paul could gain traction with millennials in 2016. That didn&#39;t pan out, but libertarian organizations have continued to thrive on campus.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Cliff Maloney Jr., president of Young Americans for Liberty, said Trump can win millennials if he &quot;signs a balanced budget, audits the Federal Reserve, enacts a sober foreign policy of non-intervention, protects the privacy of all Americans and respects the Bill of Rights.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>&quot;We want leaders who will question the status quo, not succumb to it,&quot; he said.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Trump ran on a non-interventionist foreign policy, pledged to audit the Federal Reserve and even backed protections for the LGBT community &mdash; all policies that most libertarians and millennials support.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>This could explain why Trump outperformed other Republicans with millennials. But there may be other reasons. One of them identified by some pundits is that millennials are repelled by what has been happening on college campuses in the last few years.</cnt></p> <p> <strong><cnt>Will crazy campuses push college students to Trump?</cnt></strong></p> <p> <cnt>For a period of months, &quot;this is why Trump won&quot; was one of the most frequently commented phrases on social media on stories about safe spaces, trigger warnings, protests and fake hate crimes. The phrase has become cliche and does not seem to be teaching those on the Left to tone it down. Their outbursts nevertheless continued to escalate both in intensity and in absurdity.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Conservative speakers have been banned or protested before, but never like they have since Trump&#39;s inauguration. The University of California, Berkeley made national headlines when left-wing protests turned to riots, assaults and arson. Ironically or not, the speaker they were protesting was Milo Yiannopoulos, a Jewish immigrant who is in an interracial gay relationship.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Hours after the UC Berkeley riot, protests erupted at a Gavin McInnes speech at New York University, but the event went ahead. Still, after the event, campus liberals called for NYU to ban College Republicans for having invited a conservative speaker.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Lauren McCue of Young America&#39;s Foundation, which hosts dozens of speakers on campus each year, said, &quot;First Amendment rights need to be defended now more than ever.&quot;</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Left-wing marches, protests and riots may be energizing young conservatives as much or more than they are attracting young progressives.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>&quot;Protests on campus have backfired. They expose the hostility and intolerance of the Left and embolden conservative students to be fearless advocates for free speech. We saw this first-hand at CSULA when our YAF chapter was faced with violent protests and administrative roadblocks when hosting Ben Shapiro. Now our YAF chapter there is one of the largest in the country,&quot; McCue said.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Amanda Owens, founder of Future Female Leaders, also sees potential. &quot;In a time where it seems like much of the Left protests, boycotts and silences anyone and anything that they don&#39;t agree with, we have an opportunity to be the movement of solutions, results and positivity, rather than the movement of &#39;no.&#39;&quot;</cnt></p> <p> <strong><cnt>How else can the party grow?</cnt></strong></p> <p> <cnt>Trump and Republican leaders will likely need more than radical protests to gain popularity for their agenda.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Owens suggests &quot;presenting opportunity to a path to prosperity and job creation that get millennials out of their parents&#39; basements, addressing student loans and rising tuition costs, and a repeal and replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act.&quot;</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Most young leaders agreed. Since&nbsp;<a data-action="auto_keyword" data-label="president obama" href="" target="_blank">President Obama</a>&nbsp;nationalized student loans,&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl=";q=;source=gmail&amp;ust=1487097831585000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFrYSdN6cg5qdi9FIMOqbdAmR1WdQ" href="" target="_blank">total student loan debt</a>&nbsp;increased 45 percent from $961 billion in 2011 to $1.396 trillion in 2016.&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl=";q=;source=gmail&amp;ust=1487097831585000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFrYSdN6cg5qdi9FIMOqbdAmR1WdQ" href="" target="_blank">Average graduating student loan debt</a>climbed from $25,250 in 2010 to $30,100 in 2015, a 19 percent increase. From 2010 to 2014,&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl=";q=;source=gmail&amp;ust=1487097831585000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFrYSdN6cg5qdi9FIMOqbdAmR1WdQ" href="" target="_blank">average tuition</a>&nbsp;went up 10 percentage points more than inflation, and since 2014, early analysis shows this is only getting worse.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>&quot;<a data-action="auto_keyword" data-label="president trump" href="" target="_blank">President Trump</a>&nbsp;must bring forth a fiscally conservative solution to high college tuition costs if he wants to continue to attract millennials to the conservative movement,&quot; State Rep. Dean-Bailey said. &quot;We need a complete overhaul of higher education.&quot;</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Healthcare costs for millennials have similarly skyrocketed. A 2016 Department of Health and Human Services&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl=";q=;source=gmail&amp;ust=1487097831585000&amp;usg=AFQjCNE_Mvr16lzT2pdXNCNf5_oK7bqOnA" href="" target="_blank">report</a>&nbsp;showed millennial premiums rising by as much as 116 percent. A Harris poll showed one in five young Americans cannot afford &quot;routine healthcare expenses.&quot; A 2016 Urban Institute&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl=";q=;source=gmail&amp;ust=1487097831585000&amp;usg=AFQjCNHBcfSm5Lp2pFjTG0U1aHpOm6ck4g" href="" target="_blank">study</a>&nbsp;showed more than 12 million millennials still do not have insurance.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>&quot;Repealing and replacing Obamacare could significantly improve pocketbooks and job opportunities for most millennials,&quot; Manning from IWF said. &quot;The president seems opposed to broader entitlement reform, but if he wanted to do right by millennials, he&#39;d address Medicare and Social Security, too.&quot;</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>These policy changes, conservatives say, will raise millennials&#39; standard of living and help them get over the dislike of Trump&#39;s personality and/or rhetoric.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>&quot;There is also deep political division and fears on the part of some of our classmates, friends and even family members about what the next four years hold,&quot; said Patrice Lee Onwuka, spokeswoman for Generation Opportunity.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>&quot;We must turn momentum and excitement into tangible improvements in their day-to-day lives,&quot; she said.</cnt></p> <p> <strong><cnt>It&#39;s up to Trump</cnt></strong></p> <p> <cnt>Millennials who serve in elected office, work in Washington think tanks, talk on television and lead activist groups can try to tell the president what his millennial agenda should be for the next four years. Ultimately, it is up to his administration to listen.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>So far, there is little indication that Trump will work on any of the prime millennial issues in the first 100 days, with the exceptions of acting on Obamacare and announcing the administration would keep federal LGBTQ workplace protections signed by&nbsp;<a data-action="auto_keyword" data-label="president obama" href="" target="_blank">President Obama</a>.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>During the campaign, Trump&#39;s children &mdash; his daugther Ivanka and sons Donald Jr. and Eric &mdash; led the campaign&#39;s efforts to win millennials. They rolled out a college affordability plan that capped federal student loan payments based on percentage of income and allowed for long-term forgiveness.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Before the general election, campaign adviser Sam Clovis released a widely praised plan to reform higher education by putting direct financial incentives in place for colleges to lower tuition, including having colleges assume some of the risk for students&#39; loans.</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>For young Republicans, they are ready to fight for new policies. 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