First 100 Days

May 5, 2017 Issues: Agriculture, Health Care

The first 100 days of any presidential administration are carefully analyzed as a barometer for future success. If the first 100 days of the Trump administration are any indication, there is much more shaking up the status quo to come.

President Trump signed more bills into law in his first 100 days than any other since President Harry Truman. Many of these bills repealed overbearing regulations put in place by the Obama administration, including a rule forcing states to fund abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood as well as a rule which severely limited the ability of states to implement a bipartisan agreement allowing drug testing for unemployment insurance recipients.

He also kept his commitment to protect agriculture producers from the federal power grab known as the Waters of the U.S. rule, or WOTUS. This rule would have given the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the power to dictate local land use decisions and farming practices nationwide. I was pleased to join President Trump at the White House in February when he signed an executive order directing the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to go back to the drawing board on the rule.

Of course, perhaps the top achievement of President Trump’s first 100 days was the selection and confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. During his campaign, then-candidate Trump made clear his intention to nominate a judge who could follow in the footsteps of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. Justice Gorsuch’s prior record on the bench and his conduct in his confirmation hearings reflect these qualities.

Many days have also been dedicated to fulfilling the promise to relieve Americans from the burdens of Obamacare’s failures. The House took an important step during the first week of May by passing the American Health Care Act to repeal and replace Obamacare, but there is much more work to be done. The bill now goes to the Senate, where changes will likely be made, and then the House and Senate will come together in conference to further refine the legislation. This is all part of the process.

I have said from the beginning we will not get everything we want in one vote, but we also cannot stand by and do nothing while millions of Americans face deductibles in the tens of thousands of dollars as well as monthly premiums which used to be annual premiums. One-third of the country has only one insurance option while some Americans have no insurers remaining on the exchange. This is not sustainable or affordable health care.

The American Health Care Act maintains important patient protections while returning health insurance regulation to the states, where it belongs. It stops the federal government from forcing people to purchase health care plans they do not want and which do not meet their needs. It brings competition back to the market – and when consumers have more choices, quality goes up and costs go down. It also shifts government funding away from Planned Parenthood and toward community health centers, which outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities by about 20 to one.

There are many more issues to tackle, including comprehensive tax reform and additional health care innovations such as allowing the sale of insurance across state lines, but the new administration’s first 100 days and the days following have been a busy, productive start.