Here are Three Things That I Believe Should be the Urgent Focus of the Policy-Making Conversation in Washington, DC:

 

1. Setting Aside the Fight Over Healthcare Reform for Now.

Our doctors, nurses, administrators, and researchers don’t need the distraction over talk of single-payer “Medicare for All” government upheaval in our healthcare system. We can have that fight another day. But in the meantime, you fight the war with the Army you have, so to speak, and now is absolutely not the time to blow up the entire healthcare system and build a new one in its place. The left needs to back away from their assault on our healthcare system.

2. Bringing Home Medical Device and Supply Production.

I’m sure it comes as a shock to most Americans that virtually all of the medical supplies and devices we count on are produced far away from America’s shores, in countries that are highly adversarial, no less. That needs to end as rapidly as possible, and Washington has a role to play. As a free-market conservative, I’m not one for central planning, but we have a profound national security interest in building and maintaining the capacity to produce here at home the devices and supplies we need to keep Americans healthy and alive. This is urgently needed to get us through this crisis, but it needs to be a permanent change as well.

3. Responsible Support for Our Employers.

Congress should take immediate steps to help businesses of all sizes with loans and tax credits to fight through this crisis and emerge on the other side. But that doesn’t mean a replay of 2008, with unlimited taxpayer-funded bailouts. Yes, let’s keep companies — large and small — alive, but if those companies have squandered billions in capital on share buybacks and other financial engineering to benefit shareholders and insiders, any help the federal government offers should come at a steep price. We cannot ignore one of the lessons of the financial crisis: it is deeply wrong to privatize profits and socialize losses, and we should not force taxpayers to shoulder massive bailouts for companies who have been reckless with their cash flow.