Trump should form bipartisan coalition to get true reforms – BY JESSE JACKSON



This article was written by Rev. JESSE JACKSON on March 28, 2017

The decision of House Republicans to torpedo the American Health Care Act, their own leadership’s plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, is a stunning defeat for President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

It also rescues the 24 million Americans that were projected by the Congressional Budget Office to lose health care under the bill — particularly older, low-wage families and residents in rural areas. The defeat of the AHCA is as much a triumph of small-d democratic resistance as a failure of Trump and Ryan.

The real test of leadership is how Trump reacts to the setback. His first reaction was understandably bitter. He said he’d move on to other issues and sit back and let what he calls Obamacare collapse, with insurance companies hiking costs or pulling out of the exchanges altogether.

That distorts reality: According to the CBO and other experts, the ACA exchanges have stabilized, and cost increases are slower on average than they were before passage of the law. Expanded Medicaid is providing some 10 million with basic coverage. The major problem is the cruelty of Republican governors who have chosen to deprive their constituents of expanded Medicaid.

The Trumpcare debacle established that there is no majority, even in a Republican-controlled Congress, for depriving millions of health care coverage. The majority of Americans have joined the rest of the industrialized world in conceiving that health care as a right, not a privilege.

Obama’s health care reforms provided millions with access to health insurance or to Medicaid, yet more than 20 million Americans still go without. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports these are mostly families with one low-wage worker who simply cannot afford coverage. Many more are priced out of decent coverage, particularly with the prescription drug market rigged by the drug companies so that Americans pay the highest prices in the world. Reform is still needed.

Trump is president of all of America, not merely the Republican right. In running for president, he promised repeatedly that he would produce health care reform that would “cover everybody,” with insurance that cost less and offered better coverage. He signed onto a Ryan plan that scorned his promise. It featured tax cuts for the very wealthy paid for by depriving millions of health care. Now is time for Trump to lead, to build a coalition that can pass a reform that meets his promise.

Trump should recalibrate, reach out to Democrats and forge a new coalition for reform. If he were truly the bold, populist leader he claims to be, he would join with Bernie Sanders, whom he has often praised, and develop a path to Medicare for all. He might start with empowering Medicare and the exchanges to negotiate bulk discounts for drugs. Add a public option into the exchanges to keep insurance companies honest. Lower the eligible age for Medicare to 55, relieving companies of covering older workers who have the highest health care bills. That would provide companies with massive savings and older workers with immense relief. It could be easily paid for by progressive taxes on the wealthiest Americans or a financial speculation tax to limit destabilizing computer-based nanosecond stock trading.

Democrats have celebrated Trump’s embarrassment. But they too have a stake in reform. They need to do more than simply defend the current system. They need to reach out to Trump and explore if smart reforms are possible with a new bipartisan coalition.

Trump could and should break with the right-wing Freedom Caucus Republicans who led the assault against him. They want to repeal the ACA without replacing it. They are out of step with the vast majority of Americans. Instead, Trump could forge a bipartisan coalition to drive real reforms that would move us much closer to fulfilling his campaign promise.

Tasting defeat is not the test of leadership. All leaders experience defeat sometime. The question is how they react. True leaders pick themselves up, learn from the experience and move forward. Trump could turn the lemons that the Republican caucus delivered him into lemonade. But only if he seeks to fulfill his campaign pledge by reaching out to Democrats and forging a new majority to make health care a right in this country.

Certificate of Honor - Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson-The Most Influential Contemporary African Diaspora Leaders
Certificate of Honor – Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson-The Most Influential Contemporary African Diaspora Leaders


The Legacy of President Barack Obama



A lot has been said and will be said about the legacy of President Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States of  America. As he was preparing to leave office on January 20th, 2017, I would like to share with you some links related to his achievements:

 

Economic Rescue, Recovery, and Rebuilding on a New Foundation – Legacy of President Barack Obama 

 

A Historic Commitment to Protecting the Environment and Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change – President Barack Obama’s legacy 

 

American Leadership in the World – President Barack Obama’s legacy 

 

Improving Health for All Americans – President Barack Obama’s legacy 

 

Obama’s exit memo to America 

 

President Obama’s economic legacy has just been cemented 

 

Working With Africans To Focus, Partner, Achieve an AIDS Free Generation 

 

AGOA 2015: Moving to Sustainable U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment Partnership 

 

Transitions and Democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa 

 

Empowering Africa’s Youth 

 

Advancing Social Progress and Equality – Legacy of President Barack Obama

 

A Big Year for the U.S.-Africa Partnership 

 

As Obama departs, we owe him our thanks 

 

The Obama Presidential Library

 

Can Trump (King Cyrus?) Save Africa and the African Diaspora After the Mixed Legacy of Obama?



Can Trump (King Cyrus?) Save Africa and the African Diaspora After the Mixed Legacy of Obama?



It is hard to address the perspectives on Africa at the beginning of 2017 without mentioning the Chinese influence in Africa and the impact of the election of President Donald Trump on the legacy of President Barack Obama, the first African American to be elected as President of the USA. When President Obama was elected in 2008, several people thought he would be the savior of Africa and its Diaspora. However, the feelings towards his legacy are diverse.

 

President Obama might have done what he could to strengthen democracy and boost economic growth in Africa for instance by extending the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) while investing in the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). By organizing the very first U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, he helped the US to revisit its strategy for Africa. Soon after Obama leaves office, some of his legacies in the USA (e.g. Obamacare, “immigration reform”, Medicaid expansion, minimum wage increase, overtime benefits, paid pregnancy and sick leave, civil rights enforcement, criminal justice reforms, progressive tax reforms, tax credits for low-income people, climate change initiatives, etc.), may be brought down or replaced by something else.

 

Although several people of African descent including some top civil rights movement leaders are disappointed by the legacy of Mr. Obama, it is worth noticing that he was sandwiched not only between some spiritual and racial strongholds, but also between the strategic forces that brought him to power and the tactical opposition he had to deal with once he managed to enter the White House, which was built by enslaved Africans whose descendants are still struggling in the Americas. The Africans and their stakeholders must reflect on Mr. Obama’s “inability” to do the things that they once thought he could. Unfortunately, many people cannot or do not want to understand that, to some extent, the power of an American President like Mr. Obama is not as strong as that of some Presidents who can even choose to stay in power even if the result of the presidential vote says otherwise. The timing of the presidency of Obama might have also affected his performance as he inherited the worst economic crisis in the USA since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Yet, as he was preparing to leave office, the statistics showed that the US economy is stronger than when he took office. We need to acknowledge Obama for his efforts regardless of his weaknesses, and also thank God for having allowed an African descent to lead the “world’s #1 nation” for 8 years.

 

Many Africans would have loved that Mrs. Hillary Clinton was elected as the President of the USA in 2016. However, although she won the popular vote by nearly 3 million ballots, the Electoral College favored Mr. Trump. Several people of African descent did not come out to vote for Hillary as they did for Obama, therefore playing a role in the election of Trump who, during his “thank you tour”, acknowledged the African Americans for staying home during the election! The appointment of Mr. Trump could also be a divine setup that fits the end time as prophesied by the renowned Malawian Prophet Shepherd Bushiri (Major1), one of the most successful businessmen and ministers in the world. Do I need to inform you that on January 16, 2017, Major1 publicly said that President Donald Trump is the King Cyrus spoken about in Isaiah 45? Something is going to happen very soon! Surely we are at a defining moment in history!

 

Unlike Mr. Obama whose election brought hope to Africa and its Diaspora before they realized 8 years later that, one man at the White House cannot save them, the election of Mr. Trump seems to bring fear on some people as if Trump can sink Africa while trying to “Make America Great Again” as emphasized during his controversial and revolutionary campaign. Analyzing Mr. Trump’s campaign and the people he is choosing to fill his cabinet positions, it may sound at first glimpse that his policies may not favor the people of African descent. For instance, some people think that Mr. Trump may reduce or redesign the US aids toward Africa. However, this should not scare anyone. For example, although not a descendant of Africa, President George W. Bush has done a lot of great things for Africa and some well-known African leaders still believe that he has helped Africa more than Mr. Obama whose father is from Kenya. Moreover, although foreign aids benefit some Africans, Africa is not supposed to be living on certain foreign “aids” which usually are strategic loans with high interest that are typically undetectable by the profane. Instead of counting on these “aids”, Africa should be seeking better opportunities that can allow it to put its own people to work and better manage its priceless human and natural resources that some people are still poaching for free. Therefore, let’s hope that, as a businessman who can negotiate deals, Mr. Trump ends up crafting some great agreements that can contribute to the ongoing efforts to advance Africa and its Diaspora.

 

 

African Diaspora Engagement Must be like a Love Story. Why? check out www.DiasporasNews.com.

Remember to Love God and His People!

Despite these controversial realities, there is hope for Africa and the African Diaspora if they can understand that their “salvation” will not come from any government in the East or West, but from themselves with the help of God Almighty, who did not predestinate Africa to be the headquarter of poverty despite its rich lands and smart intellectuals. That is why I still believe that the Africans must better partner with each other without forgetting the huge untapped potential of the African Diaspora that some leaders unfortunately refuse to realistically incorporate into their strategic agendas. Instead of putting their hope on people who usually disillusion them, the Africans need to keep up all good fights while counting on the God of Major1 to develop them and the motherland. As for the unspoken racial discrimination and the other forms of injustice, let’s not forget that, there is a God who will judge very soon!

Dr. Roland Holou is a scientist, a businessman, an international consultant and expert in agribusiness, agriculture, agronomy, biotechnology, Diaspora engagement, Africa’s development, international trade and development. To learn more about his work or contact him, please visit www.DiasporaEngager.com, www.AfricanDiasporaLeaders.com and www.RolandHolou.com.