11 million Americans are about to get more freedom in their healthcare
There are two big ways Washington can affect healthcare for Americans. The first is by working to expand the range of affordable, high-quality options available in every community. The second is by purposefully eliminating these options in order to drive more people toward centralized, government-run healthcare schemes.
Here’s an example: Health Reimbursement Arrangements, or HRAs, allow workers to shop for a health insurance plan that’s right for them and their families. The previous administration imposed crushing fines and penalties on HRAs to prevent employees from selecting the plan of their choice. “It was impossible,” President Trump said.
On Friday, President Trump announced that HRAs will now receive the same tax treatment as other employer-provided health plans. The move is crucial for America’s small businesses: It’s estimated that 90 percent of the businesses that will take advantage of HRAs have fewer than 20 employees.
“The Obama administration had made it illegal for our business to help employees with their health insurance costs,” Maryland small business owner Tom Kunkel said at the White House on Friday. “After the Obama ruling we had to stop all reimbursements . . . which caused a great bit of hardship for our employees.”
Now, his business and others can help defray healthcare costs for employees again.
The Trump Administration expects that 800,000 employers will offer these new HRAs to more than 11 million employees and family members once employers fully adjust to the rule. As a result, some 800,000 Americans who would otherwise be uninsured are projected to gain coverage.
In photos: Vice President Pence visits Yellowstone
Last week, Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Yellowstone National Park in Montana, where he addressed the aging infrastructure of America’s parks.
“I wanted to make sure that all of you who make Yellowstone National Park work every day know that, in this administration, in this White House, you have a President who is committed to conservation,” the Vice President said with Old Faithful in the background.
In 1872, Yellowstone was established as America’s first national park. In doing so, President Ulysses Grant said that the land should be set apart “for the benefit and [the] enjoyment of the people.” Today, more than 4 million people visit Yellowstone each year.
To protect this legacy for future generations, President Trump has marked nearly $3 billion of his 2020 budget for our National Park Service. The Administration is also introducing an innovative approach to conservation called the Public Lands Infrastructure Fund, under which half of all revenues from leases on public lands will go directly to improving the infrastructure needs of our parks.
“To every American that might be looking on from afar, we simply say: America has the best national parks in the world,” the Vice President said.