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An Evidence-Based Nonpartisan Pre-Election Decision Aid

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Good decision-making requires solid evidence before choosing, especially in a presidential election. Before casting my own vote and ignoring all the media hype and grandiose rhetoric, I sought hard evidence about the two candidates as well as the party platforms. Here are facts gleaned from my research from nearly 100 reliable sources.

CoViD-19 Handling of CoViD-19 is an important consideration for voters. Candidate Biden and the Democrat platform both address this matter. On the Republican side, we can see what the president has done. Both Trump as well as Biden statements about CoViD-19 are in concert with their radically different political philosophies. Trump seeks to limit the role of federal government, recognizing that legal authority for public health resides in the states, not Washington. Only when there is a disaster declaration, such as with Hurricane Katrina, can and should the federal government provide federal assistance to states. Biden believes that the federal government has all the answers from healthcare to social injustice. For CoViD-19, Biden would impose quasi-martial law: "I would call out the military" (March 3, 2020). Both Trump and Biden have changed their position on CoViD-19 in public statements and actions. Partly this is politically motivated but largely, it is due to medical officials changing their opinions. Biden first called Trump xenophobic" for banning travel from China and "fear-mongering" only later to accuse Trump of "dereliction of duty" for understating the crisis. Interestingly, Biden's plan for CoViD-19 response has many similarities to what Trump in fact did. On March 23, Biden called for Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) to ramp up manufacture of ventilators. The same day Trump said he was considering the DPA but wasn't sure it was necessary. On March 27, 2020, he activated it. As it turned out, the federal assistance was not necessary. On April 3, 2020, Biden said, "Trump is refusing to give care to the uninsured" because Trump did not re-open enrollment through ACA exchanges so the uninsured could get insurance. On the same day, Trump announced, "... hospitals and healthcare providers treating uninsured coronavirus patients will be reimbursed by the federal government using funds from the economic relief package." Biden admonished Trump saying Washington should provide PPE and free testing to all Americans. Trump demurred with, "We're a backup [to the states]. We're not an ordering clerk." Candidates

To assess the trust factor, following are lists of promises made by each candidate and which ones were kept. Trump is first.

· Tax cuts and job creation - delivered. See Tax Reform and Jobs Act of 2017.

· Opportunity zones, i.e., help for disadvantaged - delivered, with mixed results.

· Originalist legal appointments - delivered: 202 judges and 2 associate justices confirmed, with a third (Amy Coney Barrett) voted on shortly

· Criminal justice reform - delivered; see Criminal Justice Reform Act of 2016

· Withdraw from Paris Climate Accord and Iran Nuclear deal - delivered

· Destroy the terrorist Islamic State - delivered

· Move U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem - delivered

· Renegotiate international trade deals - delivered, viz., NAFTA and Trans-Pacific

· Build 500 miles of border wall - partially delivered: 360 miles have been built

· Mexico would pay for U.S. border wall - not delivered

· Deport 11.3 million illegal immigrants; changed to deport 2-3 million criminal illegals - not delivered, viz., 267,000 deportations in 2019 compared to 410,000 deportations in 2012 under Obama.

· Repeal and replace Affordable Care Act - partly delivered: Individual Mandate penalty tax set at zero; other parts were repealed; no replacement proposed or enacted

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Dr. Deane Waldman, MD MBA Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Deane Waldman, M.D. MBA, is Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics, Pathology, and Decision Science; former Director of Center for Healthcare Policy at Texas Public Policy Foundation; and author of multi-award-winning book, Curing the Cancer in U.S. Healthcare (more...)
 

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