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On Health Care, Energy, and Education, A To-Do List for the New Congress – Pacific Research Institute

On Health Care, Energy, and Education, A To-Do List for the New Congress

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Congress recently adjourned for the midterm elections with a big list of unfinished business.  While major policy breakthroughs – certainly, those that require bipartisan consensus – are unlikely in a lame duck, post-election session, the next Congress that convenes in January will have quite the to-do list.

Recent public opinion surveys highlight the policy priorities that voters have for the next Congress:

 

  • 90 percent of those surveyed in a July Kaiser Family Foundation health tracking poll said health care costs, including prescription drug costs, were very or somewhat important issue upon which they would decide their vote this year.
  • According to the most recent tracking survey of education issues conducted by Edchoice and Morning Consult, just 30 percent of voters said K-12 education policies were on the right track at the national level.
  • In the latest Monmouth University national issues survey, 57 percent of voters surveyed said energy and transportation infrastructure was an important issue area for the federal government to address, while 49 percent rated climate change as important.

 

To help the next Congress meet the moment, PRI has just released our “Congress To-Do List” – actionable market-based reform proposals that have the potential to achieve bipartisan consensus and address the issues the American people say are among their top priorities for their representatives.

 

Health Care:  As PRI’s recent health care satisfaction survey demonstrated, Americans are generally happy with their current health care coverage.  However, patients want Congress to act to give them more affordable health care choices and promote innovation.

 

Among PRI’s reforms to achieve these goals are expanding scope of practice laws so nurse practitioners and physician assistants can do more testing without having to have a doctor present, which is a reform supported by 82 percent of patients in a July Morning Consult poll.  Another PRI-proposed reform, enacting reforms to make less costly and more convenient telehealth services available to patients permanently, is supported by 78 percent of voters in a December Moore Information Group survey.

 

Energy:  With gas prices at an all-time high, electricity reliability in question, and voters increasingly concerned that they might meet the energy fate of Europe, Americans want Congress to act to increase domestic energy production.

 

Among PRI’s reforms are eliminating bureaucratic roadblocks hindering the increased production of cleaner domestic natural gas.  A July 2022 Impact Research survey found that 64 percent of voters – including a majority of Democrats – want to see the increased use of natural gas as a source of energy, and also believe natural gas can help reduce emissions.   PRI also urges Congress to streamline regulators on nuclear energy development.  The latest survey research from ecoAmerica finds that 61 percent of Americans – including 58 percent of Democrats – support greater investment in “next generation nuclear energy.”

 

Education:  A June 2022 Real Clear Opinion Research survey found that 72 percent of voters – including 68 percent of Democrats – supported school choice.  To give parents and students more school choice options, PRI’s to-do list recommends that Congress increase the size of the federal Charter School Program, which provides funding to charters, and ensure that charter schools aren’t hindered by policy roadblocks enacted by the Biden administration when competing for $440 million in newly allocated federal education grant money.

 

If newly-elected or re-elected Members of Congress want to start the next congressional session in January showing their voters that “they get it” on the messages voters were sending them in the election, a good place to start would be reading PRI’s “Congress To-Do List” and embracing market-based reforms that are overwhelming supported by the American people.

 

Tim Anaya is the Pacific Research Institute’s senior director of communications and the Sacramento office.

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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