Under The Radar

Here are some highlights from remarks by President Trump at the 2019 National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week Conference. This is the link to the entire speech.

HBCU graduates have improved and uplifted every feature of American society. From your halls came great Americans like Booker T. Washington, Rosa Parks, Ida B. Wells, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, acclaimed inventor Lonnie Johnson, Air Force General Daniel James Jr., NFL Hall-of-Famer Jerry Rice, and legendary Coach Eddie Robinson. Eddie Robinson was a good coach. (Applause.) I think Eddie Robinson won more games than anybody, didn’t he? (Laughter.) Is that true? Is that true? I think so.

And we are — by the way, have Scott Turner, speaking about good football players. Where is Scott? He’s leading such a great charge with the Opportunity Zones. (Applause.) Thank you, Scott. He’s a great, great gentleman. He works so hard. He goes — he’s all over the place. I say, “Where’s Scott today?” He’s in about six cities at one time. (Laughter.) And the Opportunity Zones have really caught on. Been incredible. Thank you, Scott.

During World War II, Tuskegee University trained the young Americans who would become the legendary Tuskegee Airmen. That was great group of people.

Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. graduated from Morehouse College. (Applause.) That’s great.

And African American students helped plan the Montgomery Bus Boycott in the basement of another HBCU, Alabama State University. (Applause.)

Our Historically Black Colleges and Universities have always challenged our nation to be better and braver, to do what is right, to dream bigger, aim higher, and always be bolder in pursuit of what is just, decent, and true.

HBCUs represent only 3 percent of America’s higher education institutions. You get graduates — 80 percent — think of that: 80 percent of African American judges, 40 percent African American engineers, and more than 50 percent of African American doctors. That’s an incredible statement. From 3 percent overall to 50 percent and more for doctors. (Applause.) That’s an incredible statistic. It’s an incredible achievement.

My administration is deeply devoted to advancing this amazing legacy of success, commitment, and contribution to our nation. You have never stopped working to improve this country, and you deserve a government — you have to just keep going. You really do deserve a government that never stops working for you. And you never stop working for it. You’re amazing people in this room. Incredible people. And I congratulate you for it. (Applause.)

That is why, in my first weeks in office, I took action to make HBCUs a top priority once again. I signed an executive order to move the federal HBCU initiative to the White House, right where it belongs. (Applause.)

…And thanks to Secretary DeVos leadership and her work with many of you, we’ve also made unprecedented progress to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens so that your institutions are free to innovate and offer more flexible ops — you know, options for the students. And you’re doing that. You’re doing a lot of great options. I looked at some before. They’ve got a lot of really great options, and that’s what you need.

Today, I’m thrilled to announce another major action we’re taking to protect HBCUs. Previously, federal law restricted more than 40 faith-based HBCUs and seminaries from fully accessing federal support for capital improvement projects. This meant that your faith-based institutions, which have made such extraordinary contributions to America, were unfairly punished for their religious beliefs. Did we know that? Did everybody know that? Because it was — it was hap- — that was not good.

This week, our Department of Justice has published an opinion declaring such discriminatory restrictions as unconstitutional. (Applause.) It was a big step. And from now on, faith-based HBCUs will enjoy equal access to federal support. (Applause.)

When I came into office, I directed the entire federal government to develop a strategy to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Today, 32 federal departments and agencies have released statements of priority that are helping your institutions receive resources and support that you deserve.

To read the entire speech, follow the link above. Those who are accusing the President of being a racist need to look at his actions toward minority communities. His economic policies have done more to lift minority communities out of poverty than any previous president. I think actions speak louder than words, and I think this president should be evaluated on his actions, rather than words the media has twisted and taken out of context.

Good News On Healthcare

The Daily Signal posted an article today about President Trump’s plan to reform healthcare (which obviously starts with the removal of ObamaCare).

The article reports:

A look at his fiscal year 2020 budget shows that the president has a plan to reduce costs and increase health care choices. His plan would achieve this by redirecting federal premium subsidies and Medicaid expansion money into grants to states. States would be required to use the money to establish consumer-centered programs that make health insurance affordable regardless of income or medical condition.

The president’s proposal is buttressed by a growing body of evidence that relaxing federal regulations and freeing the states to innovate makes health care more affordable for families and small businesses.

Ed Haislmaier and I last year published an analysis of waivers that have so far enabled seven states to significantly reduce individual health insurance premiums. These states fund “invisible high risk pools” and reinsurance arrangements largely by repurposing federal money that would otherwise have been spent on Obamacare premium subsidies, directing them instead to those in greatest medical need.

By financing care for those with the biggest medical bills, these states have substantially reduced premiums for individual policies. Before Maryland obtained its waiver, insurers in the state filed requests for 2019 premium hikes averaging 30 percent. After the federal government approved the waiver, final 2019 premiums averaged 13 percent lower than in 2018—a 43 percent swing.

The article explains that the President’s plan is similar to another proposed plan:

It closely parallels the Health Care Choices Proposal, the product of ongoing work by national and state think tanks, grassroots organizations, policy analysts, and others in the conservative community. A study by the Center for Health and the Economy, commissioned by The Heritage Foundation, found that the proposal would reduce premiums for individual health insurance by up to 32 percent and cover virtually the same number of people as under Obamacare.

It also would give consumers more freedom to choose the coverage they think best for themselves and their families. Unlike current law, states could include direct primary care; health-sharing ministries; short-term, limited-duration plans; and other arrangements among the options available through their programs.

Those expanded choices would extend to low-income people. The proposal would require states to let those receiving assistance through the block grants, Medicaid, and other public assistance programs apply the value of their subsidy to the plan of their choice, instead of being herded into government-contracted health maintenance organizations.

We can do better at healthcare. Either one of these proposals would be a great start.

Saving Money Anywhere He Can

The Dennis Michael Lynch website is announcing today that the new WhiteHouse.gov website which was launched yesterday will save taxpayers as much as $3 million a year. Wow. The savings are the result of changes to the security and maintenance of the site.

The article reports:

The reconstructed website will feature enhanced search tools, provide “in-depth policy updates” and appear “much cleaner,” the official revealed, adding, “It adapts the U.S. web design standards and uses a style that is clean, simple and presidential.”

After years of hearing about the previous administration’s pricey battles with internet technology, taxpayers can expect a better deal with Trump. A White House spokesperson told the Washington Examiner the old website cost “more than $6 million a year.”

This is another reason to have a businessman in the White House.