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West Wing Reads for 11/13/17

Summary: 
Each day we round up the best stories the West Wing is reading and share them with you.

West Wing Reads

USA Today Profiles President’s HHS Nominee

Maureen Groppe of USA Today writes on Alex Azar, President Trump’s recent nomination for Health and Human Services Secretary, who is “widely praised for his intellect, has strong conservative credentials, is a critic of the Affordable Care Act,” and has prior experience at HHS and pharmaceutical giant, Eli Lilly. If confirmed, Azar will likely focus on the cost of health care and “how to get more value out of the system,” Groppe comments, as he has faith in “the competitive approach” to reducing cost and improving care. When last working at HHS, Azar identified the main issues with today’s healthcare system are that “it’s price blind, quality silent, [and] puts incentives in the wrong place,” stating, “We need to transform our system,” to make sure people know what they are paying for health care and help them to understand whether or not they are getting good quality care, Groppe concludes.
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Charlie Savage of The New York Times writes President Trump is transforming the judiciary by “fill[ing] the federal appeals courts with young and deeply conservative judges,” and as a result, the President is “poised to bring the conservative legal movement…to a new peak of influence over American law and society.”

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In news on the opioid crisis, Jessica Suriano reports for the Arizona Daily Star that prescription drug smuggling busts, “nearly doubled, from 59 seizures to 110,” within the last fiscal year at Arizona points of entry on the U.S.-Mexico border.

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In economic news, the New York Post editorial board comments on how Donald Trump’s presidency has defied the “doomsday predictions” of a ruined American economy, as foreign tourism to New York City is set to rise 3.6 percent this year and the GDP has seen a growth of 3 percent or more in the past two quarters.

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On support for President Trump, The Washington Post’s Tim Craig writes that across the United States, “locally elected sheriffs have emerged as some of the president’s biggest defenders,” and are “becoming vocal foot soldiers in the nation’s testy political and culture wars,” after feeling emboldened by President Trump and his agenda.

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Regarding Iran, Alex Titus in The Hill remarks, “President Trump was right to decertify the disastrous Iran deal and take a tougher stand against the Iranian regime,” following newly released documents from the 2011 Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin laden that contain evidence Iran “provided funds, staffers, and coordination to al Qaeda.”