The American Conservative Union is holding its highly anticipated annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) next week in National Harbor, Maryland. This four-day event will feature conservative and libertarian speakers, book signings, special receptions, and policy breakout sessions. More than 10,000 grassroots activists, media personalities, young folks, and elected officials will attend CPAC.
For many years, The Heartland Institute has been a staple CPAC contributor. This year, Heartland’s presence at CPAC will be bigger than ever before. We will hold two breakout sessions and a speaking engagement on the main stage. Our two breakout sessions are:
- “Reforming the FDA: Getting Government Out of the Way so We Can Save Our Lives”: Thursday, February 28, 1–3 p.m.
- “AOC’s Green New Deal: Debunking the Climate Alarmism Behind Bringing Full Socialism to America”: Friday, March 1, 1–3 p.m.
Dr. Tim Huelskamp, president and CEO of The Heartland Institute, will be on the main stage to reveal why Republicans in Congress failed to deliver on health care reform. Now is the time to reset the health care debate and focus on real solutions: state-level efforts to protect health care freedom for all Americans. Innovative free-market solutions are being explored and often implemented in many states, and Heartland has been leading the charge to make these a reality to fundamentally transform and enhance health care for all.
At “Reforming the FDA,” Heartland Research Director Ed Hudgins and others will discuss Right to Try (RTT) legislation, which allows patients with life-threatening diseases or conditions who have exhausted FDA-approved treatment options to access drugs still undergoing clinical trials. Heartland played a critical role in the passage of this law. In fact, Huelskamp was present when President Donald Trump signed RTT into law in 2018.
In “AOC’s Green New Deal,” Heartland Senior Fellow James Taylor, Heartland Executive Editor Justin Haskins, and Paul Blair from Americans for Tax Reform will discuss Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) radical climate change proposal: the “Green New Deal.” Controversy has surrounded Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal since its botched release. In case you missed it, Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal would eliminate fossil fuels within the next decade, calls for the “upgrade” of all existing buildings to be more energy efficient and for “comfort,” would implement single-payer health care, provide “free” college, and create a universal basic income program—even to those unwilling to work.
Haskins, who cofounded StoppingSocialism.com, appeared last month on the Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson Tonight to discuss the Green New Deal. “Anything that we do is going to make absolutely no difference in the long run. This is all about socialism, not saving polar bears,” Haskins warned viewers.
If you are attending CPAC, Heartland would love to see you! Come to our breakout sessions or stop by our booth to chat with staff.
What We’re Working On
Efforts to Repeal Education Tax Credit Program Punish Low-Income New Hampshire Children
In this Research & Commentary, Policy Analyst Tim Benson writes about an attempt in the New Hampshire General Court to repeal the state’s Education Tax Credit Program, a tax-credit scholarship program. The Education Tax Credit Program, enacted in 2012, is open to students from households whose income is under 300 percent of the federal poverty level, which is roughly 34 percent of all New Hampshire students. In the fall of 2018, there were 388 students in the program at 51 participating schools, with an average scholarship value of $2,301.
Energy & Environment
Renewables Portfolio Standard Expansion Would Disproportionally Harm Low-Income New Mexicans
In this Research & Commentary, Policy Analyst Tim Benson writes about companion legislation introduced in the New Mexico Legislature that would expand the state’s renewable energy mandate, forcing state utilities to produce 50 percent of their electricity generated by “renewable” sources by 2030 and 80 percent by 2045. These renewable energy mandates, Benson writes, force expensive, heavily subsidized, and politically favored electricity sources, such as wind and solar, on ratepayers and taxpayers while providing few, if any, net environmental benefits. Even worse, these mandates disproportionally impact low-income households by raising their electric bills, as well as the cost of all goods and services.
Budget & Tax
Keep the Income Tax out of Wyoming
In this Research & Commentary, Senior Policy Analyst Matthew Glans examines two proposals in Wyoming that would create new income taxes. “Wyoming legislators should reject any and all income taxes that increase the tax burden. Instead, Wyoming lawmakers should preserve the state’s economic competitiveness by allowing residents and businesses to spend, save, and invest their money as they see best,” wrote Glans.
How Direct Primary Care is Blazing a New Frontier in Affordable Health Care
In this episode of the Heartland Daily Podcast, AnneMarie Schieber, managing editor of Health Care News, speaks with Dr. Phil Eskew about direct primary care and how it is now thriving in many states as a consumer-driven, low cost option for unlimited primary care. Dr. Eskew, founder of DPC Frontier, shares what is ahead for direct primary care in 2018.
From Our Free Market Friends
Last month, the Pelican Institute for Public Policy released its tax reform plan that outlined eight solutions for Louisiana’s individual and corporate tax system. Currently, the structure and complexity of the tax code disincentive businesses from setting up shop in the state, which significantly depresses job growth and economic activity. Also, the state raises state taxes on Louisianans every time they receive a federal tax cut. Pelican recommends lawmakers flatten the tax system to 4 percent on individual income and repeal the corporate income tax or lower rates from 8 percent to about 3 percent, among other commonsense reforms.
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