National Politics Category

U.S. Territories strongly supported in Republican platform

Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump and other GOP nominees up and down the ballot will campaign on a platform that includes all five U.S. territories.

“The GOP platform is clear in calling for increased economic opportunities and renewed prosperity in the Virgin Islands and the other U.S. territories,” said territorial Republican Party chairman John Canegata. “While Democrats believe in guaranteed outcomes, we Republicans believe in creating equal opportunities for all Americans.”

April Newland, of St. Thomas, represented the Virgin Islands on the Republican National Convention Platform Committee.

The platform’s position on American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands reads as follows:

Throughout the history of our nation, the patriotism exhibited by our brothers and sisters in the territories of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico has often gone unacknowledged.

Year after year, the citizens quietly, without fanfare, send their sons and daughters into the U.S. armed services. We honor the extraordinary sacrifices of the men and women of the territories who protect our freedom through their service in the U.S. armed forces. Geographically, the territories and commonwealths, especially those in the Pacific, are of vital importance to our national security as the outermost line of defense and gateway to America against potential encroachment by foreign powers. We welcome their greater participation in all aspects of the political process and affirm their right to seek the full extension of the Constitution with all the rights and responsibilities that entails.

We recognize the challenges facing all the U.S. territories in an era of dramatic global economic change. They need venture capital to retain existing industries and develop new ones. A stronger private sector can reduce dependence on public employment and lead toward self-sufficiency. Their development of local energy options will be crucial to reduce dependence on costly imported fuel.

The territories’ economic stability and potential for growth must be considered in any trade agreements between the United States and other Pacific nations. They should be given flexibility or exemption from laws that increase costs for their populations, such as the minimum wage and the Jones Act concerning shipping. All unreasonable impediments to their prosperity should be removed, including unreasonable U.S. customs practices.

We call for the appointment of a commonwealth and territories advisory committee consisting of representatives from all five U.S. territories. The committee will be integrated into the president’s transition team and be tasked with performing a holistic review of all federal regulations affecting the territories and commonwealths. We further call for the appointment of a special assistant to the president responsible for day-to-day interaction with the territories and commonwealths. This position will be the direct connection for the Office of Insular Affairs, the citizens of the territories and commonwealths, and the White House.

Posted on 22 Jul 2016, 08:30 - Category: National Politics

American Health Care Act Passes the House

Republicans in the House took a major step this week toward fulfilling the promise they have been making to the American people for the past 7 years: repealing and replacing the disaster of Obamacare with a more patient-centered, affordable, and flexible system. The American Health Care Act removes Obamacare’s burden and puts in place a responsible replacement.

The AHCA protects the most vulnerable Americans, including the unborn and those with pre-existing conditions.

  • Nobody can be denied coverage on the basis of a preexisting condition and $8 billion is being provided to states that waive requirements to make those plans affordable.
  • Insurance companies are banned from turning away patients from renewing their plans simply because they are sick.
  • $79 billion is being restored to hospitals who provide a high proportion of care to the most vulnerable, including those on Medicaid and Medicare.
  • $100 billion is being provided to states to help low-income Americans access affordable health care.
  • $15 billion is provided for the are of maternity, newborn, mental health, and substance abuse.
  • $8 billion is provided to Americans who see changes in premiums due to their state’s decision to seek a waiver for some community ratings.
  • Medicaid financing is reformed to send money to states based on its population, prioritizing funding for the most vulnerable and economic downturns.
  • States will have the option of both a block grant and work requirements for certain populations.

The AHCA reduces costs of health care to Americans while providing greater choice and flexibility.

  • Middle and low-income Americans will receive monthly, advanceable, and refundable tax credits to help pay for healthcare premiums.
  • Tax credits will range from $2,000 to $14,000 a year and would adjust to make sure older Americans receive proper support.
  • Americans will have expanded access to health savings accounts (HSAs) by nearly doubling the maximum allowed contribution to be deductible.
  • In 2017 an individual American would be able to deduct $6,550 in contributions to an HAS.
  • One-size-fits-all mandates will be eliminated to free States to create marketplaces that promote innovation and competition.
  • Job-based health insurance is preserved and relief is provided to the current law’s “Cadillac tax”.

The AHCA will reduce Federal spending while lowering taxes for Americans.

  • The Federal deficit will be reduced as major entitlement reform capping Medicaid spending will save taxpayers nearly $840 billion.
  • Americans, including middle-income and small business owners, will see nearly $1 trillion in tax relief.

Across the country, Obamacare is failing the American people, delivering high costs, few options, and broken promises. Despite false promises of lowering healthcare costs for all Americans, Obamacare has seen premiums and deductibles spiral out of control, making real healthcare unaffordable.

  • Under Obamacare, premiums have risen by over 40 on average, and over 100 percent in some places.
  • 41 states saw average deductibles increase last year, with 17 of them facing double-digit increases.

Americans across the country are seeing their health insurance choices collapse under Obamacare, leaving an increasing number with only one option.

  • In 2017, five states have only one insurer on the Obamacare marketplace and nearly a third of all counties have only a single insurer.
  • According to the McKinsey Center, the number of eligible Americans with only one insurer to choose from rose from 2 percent in 2016 to 18 percent in 2017.
  • The number of insurers on the Obamacare marketplace in 2017 fell by 28 percent compared to 2016.
  • Already this year, some of the largest insurance companies have With high costs and few options, it is no surprise that Americans are fleeing Obamacare.

With high costs and few options, it is no surprise that Americans are fleeing Obamacare.

  • Enrollment fell by 500,000 people in 2017 compared to 2016 and has missed initial estimates by millions.
  • In 2016, nearly 20 million people opted out of Obamacare all together, with 6.5 million forced to pay the mandate penalty.


A full copy of H.R.1628 - American Health Care Act of 2017 can be found here.



Posted on 7 May 2017, 18:35 - Category: National Politics

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