Saturday, March 4, 2017

President Trump’s First Joint Address

By U. S. Representative Phil Roe, M.D., 1St District of Tennessee 

“Each American generation passes the torch of truth, liberty and justice in an unbroken chain all the way down to the present.  That torch is now in our hands.  And we will use it to light up the world.  I am here tonight to deliver a message of unity and strength, and it is a message deeply delivered from my heart.  A new chapter of American Greatness is now beginning.  A new national pride is sweeping across our nation.  And a new surge of optimism is placing impossible dreams firmly within our grasp.” –President Donald Trump
Phil Roe
This week, President Trump gave his first joint address to Congress and to the American people. During this speech, President Trump laid out a bold, positive and encouraging agenda, and I personally thought it was one of the most powerful speeches we’ve heard from President Trump to date. For the last eight years, I’ve repeatedly said that our country needed strong leadership to put forward a clear vision and direction for the future, and the president’s address did just that. Our nation is still the best country in the world, but we’ve lost our way. We’ve got some work to do to leave a better, stronger America for our children and grandchildren, but President Trump was right to say we can’t do this alone. Republicans and Democrats must come together and finally put party politics aside to deliver the results the American people deserve.
I was glad to hear the president speak at length about so many of our shared priorities. So many Tennesseans are struggling under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and those families deserve real health coverage options that will allow them to access the first class care they deserve. President Trump was spot on when he said that action to repeal and replace Obamacare is not a choice, it is a necessity.

The president laid out five principles to guide health care reform, and I’m glad to report each of these are things the House and Senate are already using to guide our policy proposals. First, President Trump called for continued protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions. As I mentioned in my February 15 column, this is one of the main principles driving the discussions around what will replace Obamacare. Second, the president expressed support for expanding Health Savings Accounts and using tax credits to help hardworking families purchase health coverage. President Trump also called for funding flexibility for states, medical malpractice reform and requested Congress give Americans the freedom to purchase health insurance across state lines. These are all principles included in House Republicans’ Better Way agenda, and further underscores that Republicans throughout the federal government are united in our principles that guide the shared goal of repealing and replacing Obamacare.
The president also laid out his vision on a number of other important issues. I’ve repeatedly called for border security, and I strongly believe that we cannot move forward with comprehensive reform of our immigration system without a secure border. This is a top priority for me, and I’m glad our president shares this sense of urgency. President Trump also talked about expanding school choice; cutting needless regulations that prevent us from curing rare and often fatal diseases; providing for our veterans and military; and building our country back up to become the leader on the world stage again.

The work ahead of us will not be easy, but as President Trump so eloquently said, “The time for small thinking is over.” It’s time to come together, to think outside the box about ways we can work together to address the issues facing our country, to make America the best country it can be. President Trump is ready to get to work and so am I. I hope our friends across the aisle will join us. 
Feel free to contact my office if I can be of assistance to you or your family.

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