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Florida U.S. Senate Candidate Spending Analysis – Marco Rubio
October 18, 2010
Total Net Spending Agenda: -$153.292 billion (savings)
Economy, Transportation, and Infrastructure: Unknown
A. Foreclosure Forbearance:
“Stop [f]oreclosures [f]or [t]hose [a]ffected. People adversely affected by the oil spill should not have to worry about losing their homes. Congressmen [Jeff] Miller and Adam Putnam (R-FL) have put forth a bill that would allow for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide forbearance for those sustaining economic losses due to the oil spill and to evaluate what resources and programs available within the agency could provide further assistance.”
B. Free Trade Agreements:
“Promote economic growth and job creation through trade. We must continue to reduce barriers to trade by adopting the free trade agreements that have already been negotiated with Colombia, Panama, South Korea and other nations around the world. We should also insist that other countries reduce their own trade barriers so that American goods can find new markets.”
Depending on the terms of the agreement, there may be some outlay effects as well. For example, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that H.R. 3688, the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act (110th Congress), “would reduce revenues by $20 million in 2008, increase revenues by $292 million over the 2008-2012 period, and reduce revenues by $423 million over the 2008-2017 period. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3688 also would increase direct spending by $4 million in 2008 and by $27 million over the 2008-2012 period, and reduce direct spending by $443 million over the 2008-2017 period. Further, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would result in new discretionary spending of less than $500,000 per year, assuming the availability of appropriated funds.”
C. Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP):
“Reallocate [t]he [b]ank [b]ailout [p]rogram [f]unding [t]o [c]ut [t]he [d]ebt. While the TARP program needs to be ended, using it to help offset the Financial Regulation Reform, which is beyond its purpose, is wrong. The funds should be returned to the Treasury and other spending cuts should be made to offset the financial regulation reform costs.”
Note: NTUF assumes that the “financial regulation reform costs” to which Rubio refers are in regard to H.R. 4173. CBO reported that the conference agreement on the bill will increase direct spending by $14.9 billion over the next five years. CBO did not complete an estimate of discretionary spending in the bill. NTUF is unable to determine what cuts Rubio would make to offset these outlays.
Education, Science, and Research: $3 million
A. D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program:
“Reinstate The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship has been a great success for low-income families in the nation’s capital. The program has given many students real opportunities that otherwise do not exist in the chronically ineffective and violence-plagued D.C. public school system. It is tragic that the President is phasing out the scholarship. We must overturn that action, then reauthorize and expand this important program.”
Cost: $3 million
($15 million over five years).
B. National Virtual Learning Platform:
“Promote [a] [n]ational [v]irtual [l]earning [p]latform. We should launch a private sector grant competition similar to ‘Race to the Top’ in order to develop a state of the art national virtual learning platform accessible to all U.S. students interested in supplementing their education. But unlike ‘Race [t]o [t]he Top,’ which is paid for with borrowed stimulus, this competition would be funded through a public-private partnership or with matching funds provided by education-minded philanthropy organizations.”
C. Teachers – State Incentives for Malpractice Reform:
“Similar to our federal malpractice reform approach, the federal government should incentivize states to provide teachers the protection they deserve.”
Energy, Agriculture, and the Environment: $19 million
A. Agricultural Research:
“Matching [g]rants [f]or [a]griculture [r]esearch. Research to protect against foreign pests and diseases has always been a primary pursuit of agriculture across the country. … As private industry continues to research these and other diseases, the federal government should assist in matching a portion of the research. This will ensure agriculture has the revenue needed to defeat the threats and protect America’s crops.”
Cost: $19 million
($94 million over five years).
Note: This estimate does not include other research Rubio may support.
B. Pest and Disease Interdiction:
“Reform America’s [f]oreign [p]est [a]nd [d]isease [i]nterdiction [p]rocess. … We need to ensure that inspectors have the capabilities to identify threats offshore, target inspections effectively, and are given the necessary tools, such as canine teams on the front lines, to find them.”
Federal Government: -$154.22 billion (savings)
A. Budget – Congress and the White House:
“We must cut the budgets of Congress and the White House by 10%.”
Cost: -$506 million
B. Budget – Earmarks:
“We should ban earmarks as Sen. Jim DeMint proposed in Congress this year. This could save $15-20 billion annually and stop Congress from using pork barrel projects to buy votes for things like the health care bill.”
C. Budget – Non-Defense, Non-Veterans Spending Freeze:
“We should freeze non-defense and non-veterans discretionary spending at pre-Obama levels. In addition, we should actually enforce our goals to cut spending and reduce the deficit by making automatic cuts if politicians won’t.”
billion (first-year savings).
D. Federal Workforce Reduction:
“In addition, we should reduce [the federal civilian workforce’s] size to 2008 levels. To accomplish this without disrupting critical government services, we should implement a policy of only hiring just one civilian employee for every two that leave government.”
billion ($17.5 billion savings over five years).
E. Federal Workforce Salaries:
“… [W]e should freeze federal civilian workforce pay for one year and bring the pay scale back in line with market rates. “
Cost: -$2 billion
“Stimulus money that has not been spent should be used for something that will actually help the economy and create jobs, or to pay down the debt. Canceling unspent stimulus funds could save nearly $300 billion.”
billion ($199 billion savings over five years).
Health Care: $62 million
A. Association Health Plans:
“Encourage [s]mall [b]usinesses [a]nd [t]rade [a]ssociations [t]o [b]and [t]ogether [a]nd [f]orm [a]ssociation [h]ealth [p]lans (AHPs): AHPs are health plans created for individuals and groups who belong to one of the approximately 15,000 associations related to their jobs, careers, hobbies or interests. A significant hindrance to the widespread use of AHPs is the required compliance of all the different state regulations where members might live. By federally regulating these plans, individuals and small groups with similar interests across the country could form AHPs that would lower health care costs for their members.”
Cost: $6 million ($31 million over five years).
B. Community Health Centers:
“Increase [t]he [n]umber [o]f [c]ommunity [h]ealth [c]enters … . By providing more access to preventative and primary care providers, people can avoid visits to costly emergency rooms for nonemergency or routine care. … We should focus on expanding their presence to more medically underserved areas in the country.”
C. Health Care Pricing Transparency:
“Give [p]eople [t]he [t]ools [t]o [m]ake [c]ost-[c]onscious [d]ecisions [a]bout [t]heir [h]ealth [c]are: Using technology to promote pricing transparency would engage more individuals in making informed health care choices. We should ensure price and quality transparency from providers and insurance companies to clearly lay out what is and is not covered. This will assist health-care consumers to better understand their coverage needs, quality of care and costs at their nearby local clinics and hospitals. For doctors and hospitals, they will be able to find the best price point to sell their products and improve quality for the patients. Ultimately, the best way to drive health care costs down is to let the forces of supply and demand set prices.”
D. Purchase Insurance Across State Lines:
“Allow Individuals To Purchase Health Insurance Across State Lines: Currently individuals purchasing health insurance are limited to those policies sold in the state in which they live. Allowing companies to compete in all 50 states would give individuals more choice, more options, and lower prices. Further, if people are purchasing insurance from companies across the country, states will be forced to loosen mandates to compete. If Americans can buy their auto and life insurance across state lines, they should be able to do so with their health insurance as well.”
Cost: $56 million ($280 million over five years).
E. Repeal and Replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:
“As a U.S. Senator, Marco will focus on three goals: first, repeal and replace Obamacare; second, empower individuals to control their own health care choices; and third, restore control of health policy to the states.”
However, NTUF does not know what specific programs Rubio would implement in the place of PPACA. Below are some of the elements that Rubio has said he would like to see in a health care reform proposal:
1. Electronic Medical Records:
“Incentivize [t]he [u]se [o]f [e]lectronic [m]edical [r]ecords (EMRs): EMRs have many potential advantages including cost reductions, elimination of cumbersome paper records maintenance, portability, safety and quality care improvements. Unlike the Obama administration’s approach of imposing standards and regulations, the federal government should work with private and not-for-profit firms to develop an EMR platform where applications can be attempted and, if successful, implemented. This innovation-driven approach can be done while simultaneously respecting patient privacy and doctors’ professional integrity.”
2. State Insurance Reform Incentives:
“Incentivize [s]tate [i]nsurance [r]eform: States throughout America have different regulatory regimes that drive up the cost of health insurance, particularly in the individual and small-group markets. Some of these regulations are justified, others only complicate the market. While allowing individuals to buy across state lines will prompt states to reform, we should also further encourage states to increase market flexibility. Incentives can be created using federal funds in state-federal programs to help unleash the market potential in the private insurance market.”
3. Pre-existing Conditions:
“Adopt A Sensible Program To Cover Those With Pre-Existing Conditions: Even before Obamacare, federal law prohibited insurance companies from denying coverage to patients with pre-existing conditions. In addition, many states have programs to cover those who didn’t have employer-provided insurance and couldn’t get it from the individual insurance market because of pre-existing conditions. Instead of an expensive and unworkable new federal program, the federal government should pass legislation to allow patients to switch insurance coverage (regardless of whether they are in the employer-provided or individual insurance market) without risking pre-existing condition exclusion. For those who are temporarily unemployed and cannot be covered under Medicaid, state high-risk-pool programs can help, and the federal government should help the states with block grants.”
F. State Medical Malpractice Reform:
“Incentivize [s]tate [m]edical [m]alpractice [r]eform: Recent lottery-size awards and frivolous lawsuits have put a heavy burden on doctors, hospitals, and, through defensive medicine, on the health care system. According to the Heritage Foundation, it is estimated that in 2007 alone, the tort system cost $252 billion. It is also estimated that ordering unnecessary tests and treatments, otherwise known as defensive medicine, may cost us anywhere from $191 billion to $239 billion a year. Not surprisingly, states have been leading the way since the mid-1970s in enacting tort reform policies. However, overcoming those special interests dedicated to maintaining ease of lawsuits can be difficult. This is why the federal government should incentivize medical tort reforms at the state level.”
G. Unapproved Drug Initiative:
“The FDA must ramp up its Unapproved Drug Initiative and protect patients from the potential harms of unproven products, especially when approved versions are readily available. Furthermore, the FDA should streamline and more-effectively regulate the drug approval process without sacrificing quality control. These actions will ensure that unapproved drugs are pulled from the market, and that pharmaceutical companies voluntarily put their products into an efficient and cost effective approval process.”
Homeland Security and Law Enforcement: $30 million
A. Financial Crime Prosecutions:
“Increase [p]rosecutions [o]n [t]hose [w]ho [p]rey [o]n [s]eniors [t]hrough [f]raud [a]nd [f]inancial [c]rimes. Seniors often have accumulated resources such as property, insurance and pension plans, savings, stocks and bonds, and other assets that are not always closely monitored. … We must increase prosecutions for those who commit fraud against seniors and help raise awareness of this important issue.”
Cost: $30 million
($150 million over five years).
B. Identity Theft:
“We must continue raising awareness and ensure the Department of Justice establishes a coordinated plan and makes combating identity theft a priority.”
National Defense and International Relations: Unknown
A. National Defense:
“… [W]e must make it crystal clear that we will defend our nation, our interests and our allies against any group, nation or power. … To do so will require modernizing our Cold War weapons systems, building a robust missile defense system and investing in our intelligence services.”
B. U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem:
“The U.S. should work toward the goal of moving our Embassy there [to Jerusalem].”
C. West Bank:
“We should actively support pragmatic efforts to build Palestinian institutions in the West Bank, so that Palestinian self-rule becomes possible – without imposing unacceptable risks for Israel’s security.”
“The transition from Department of Defense to the VA has been marred by lost records, incompatible systems and lengthy delays. We need to develop and implement a process to ensure a seamless transition that includes secure, efficient electronic transfers of medical and service records. In addition, we should make it a priority to inform new veterans of their benefits to ensure they are aware of all the benefits they have earned.”
B. Education Benefits:
“The original and post-9/11 G.I. Bills gave many veterans the opportunity to study and pursue their education. However, we must continue seeking ways to simplify, standardize and the [sic] streamline aspects of the program to improve its effectiveness so that no eligible veteran seeking additional education is denied.”
C. Mobile Health Care Clinics:
“Increase [v]eterans [m]obile [h]ealthcare [c]linics. In 2008, the VA announced four mobile health clinics to bring care to veterans in predominately rural counties. In 2009, Haley Veterans Medical Center in Tampa received their first clinic and began conducting primary care, general evaluations, community outreach and support for homeless veterans. We need to consider adding to the fleet and continue to provide support to those veterans far away from the medical center.”
D. Traumatic Brain Injuries:
E. Veterans Administration (VA) Claims Backlog:
“Unresolved veterans compensation, pension and other matters are quickly approaching a backlog of 1 million claims. We must ensure the VA has adequate leadership and the resources needed to reduce this backlog in a timely manner.”
Cost: $796 million
($3.98 billion over five years).
F. Veterans Benefits Outreach and Enrollment:
“We need to continue developing our support programs for these critically wounded warriors and increase enrollment and outreach efforts to them and to veterans of previous wars. … [W]e must continue to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid in meeting the needs of severely injured servicemen and women as they transition from active duty to civilian life.”
Cost: $18 million ($73
million over four years).