Issues - Jeanne for Congress

Guiding Principles

The following are the principles against which Jeanne Ives measures any policy position:

  • Uphold the Constitution
  • Respect for personal property rights and physical safety
  • Is harmonious with our free enterprise economy
  • Empower government where it is most effective: at the local level
  • Protect against government overreach
  • Encourages personal responsibility
  • Applies the rule of law equally to all citizens

My Priorities

My highest priority is to preserve our nation, our Constitution and our shared American values for future generations.  That should be the goal of every generation of political leaders. We are the greatest nation on earth because our Constitution is focused on preserving individual rights and liberty, backed up by the rule of law whereby everybody gets treated equally and fairly.

Securing our nation’s future will require us to support and train the best fighting force in the world, secure our border, encourage a thriving economy that all can participate in, and reform government to balance the interests of those funding government with the interests of those served by government – this means limiting the special interests that are pulling the levers of government.

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Jeanne Ives endorses the following plan. When elected she will advance legislation to these ends:

On October 22, 2019, the Republican Study Committee released the best health care proposal I have ever read. You can read it here. Below are the reasons why these common sense reforms will dramatically reduce health insurance premiums, increase consumer choice and protect our most vulnerable and those with preexisting conditions.

1.) Health insurance carriers would not be able to rescind, increase rates, or refuse to renew one’s health insurance simply because a person developed a new medical condition after enrollment.
2.) Individuals with high risk medical conditions would have affordable access to state-run Guaranteed Coverage Pools under which their health care costs would be subsidized with federal grants and further contained by any state-enacted premium-setting restrictions. This is the way these risks were mitigated in 45 states before Obamacare.
3.) You can elect COBRA and then move to an individual plan with guarantee issue rights without having to exhaust COBRA first. The ACA currently prohibits those who have elected COBRA from moving to a lower priced Individual plan until the annual ACA open enrollment period begins in which case their coverage cannot begin until January 1st.
4.) Everyone seeking coverage in the individual marketplace would have guaranteed issue protections and could not be refused a plan based on the enrollee’s health status, medical condition, claims experience, receipt of health care, medical history, genetic information, evidence of insurability, or disability.
However, proof of prior coverage consistent coverage would once again be required which will prohibit gaming the system by remaining uninsured for long periods of time and then simply purchasing health insurance when you are then sick. This simple restoration of a common sense provision enacted under 1996 HIPPA law will reduce premiums for everyone. If a person does not have twelve months of continuous coverage, the person could be subject to an exclusion period of up to twelve months for an existing condition. Prior periods of continuous coverage would reduce any exclusion period month-for-month. Additionally, as was the case under HIPAA, states would be able to satisfy the RSC plan’s portability protections through the implementation of a Guaranteed Coverage Pool providing these same portability protections. Again, 45 states had either a High Risk health insurance pool or a Guaranteed Issue Individual mandate provision enacted for many years before Obamacare.
5.) States can satisfy the RSC plan’s individual marketplace portability protections through the implementation of a Guaranteed Coverage Pool that provides such protections. Accordingly, the coverage pool would have to:

1) Provide immediate access to a plan and prohibit condition exclusions for individuals who have maintained twelve months of continuous coverage.
2) Cap any condition exclusion period at twelve months.
3) Reduce any exclusions month-for-month for individuals with less than twelve months continuous coverage. Consequently, everyone with an existing condition who is seeking coverage in the individual market would be provided a pathway to obtaining complete coverage of all their conditions within just twelve months.

States would also be free under the RSC plan to enact shorter exclusion periods. Prior to the ACA, the vast majority of states with high-risk pools capped their exclusion period at six months or shorter.

6.) To ensure that ample options exist for Americans to possess continuous coverage, short-term health plans would also count toward periods of continuous coverage under the RSC plan. Additionally, the RSC plan would codify the Department of Health and Human Services’ new rule allowing short-term, limited-duration plans to last for a term of one year (and renewable for up to 36 months).
7.) 1332 waivers – seven states, including Alaska, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon and Wisconsin, were awarded waivers under Section 1332 of the ACA to deviate from certain ACA mandates and redirect ACA subsidies toward uniquely designed reinsurance programs. Alaska applied for and was (finally) granted a 1332 waiver from CMS on July 11, 2017 thanks to President Trump. That waiver allowed Alaska to separate the most expensive consumers from the rest of that state’s risk pool and as a result health insurance premiums dropped from an expected increase of 40% to an actual increase of only 7%. The same risk mitigation strategies are now being adopted by other states like HawaiiMaineMarylandMinnesota, and Oregon.

Wisconsin applied for and received an ACA waiver allowing them to create a state based reinsurance program sponsored in part by the Federal government. The “Wisconsin Health Care Stability Plan” will pay 50% of insurers’ claims between $50,000 and $250,000. The state projects it will spend $34 million of its own funds for these claims next year, with the rest coming from the federal government. The feds, however, aren’t expected to shell out any new money because reinsurance also helps the federal government. The lower rates mean it will spend less on premium subsidies for those who qualify. Those savings will be redirected to the stability plan.

An additional five states (Colorado, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, Rhode Island) project premium reductions of up to 16 percent in 2020 due to 1332 waivers.”
8.) The cost to implement these state based risk mitigation systems is $17 billion annually. That may not seem ideal but it sets up a sustainable path for the individual marketplace and deters our nation from heading toward a government-run, one-size-fits-all health care system that would cost taxpayers more than $30 trillion over the next decade.
9.) Use can FINALLY use your H.S.A. dollars to pay for health insurance premiums which will equalize the tax favored status between individual and employer sponsored plans. By allowing individuals to use health savings accounts funds to pay for their health care premiums, the RSC plan allows individuals to take advantage of the triple-tax advantaged status of health savings accounts. First, funds that are deposited in a health savings account are not subject to income tax or payroll taxes (including individual and employer payroll taxes) when they are earned. Once in the account, funds are not subject to taxation for any interest accrued. Nor are funds taxed when they are removed from the health savings account and spent on qualifying medical costs. An individual who utilized their health savings account in this way would no longer be penalized for choosing to shop for a plan on the individual market. Under current law, for 2019, $3,500 may be contributed to health savings accounts for an individual, and $7,000 for families.146 In 2018, the House of Representatives passed legislation to increase the contribution caps to $6,650 for an individual and $13,300 for a family.

This limits are currently way too low. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average annual family premium per enrolled employee for employer-based health insurance in 2017 was $18,687.148 Because of this, under the RSC plan, contribution limits would be increased even more to $9,000 per individual and $18,000 for families. The RSC plan would also allow working seniors, or anyone on Medicare, to have a health savings accounts and continue to contribute to it. Individuals enrolled in other public health insurance programs, such as those with Tricare, Indian Health Service, or Veterans benefits, would also be able to contribute to a health savings accounts. Furthermore, FSA and HRA balances could be converted into a health savings account,

10.) The FMAP rate for the expansion population would eventually match normal FMAP rates. There is no reason why an able-bodied adult without any dependents should be more heavily subsidized than a poor pregnant woman, elderly person, child, disabled individual, or parent.
11.) Association Health Plans. The RSC plan urges codification of the reforms promulgated by the Department of Labor that ensure Americans have greater access to Association Health Plans (AHP). Association Health Plans currently work by allowing small businesses to band together by geography or industry to obtain health care coverage as if they were a single large employer. Importantly, AHPs offer benefits comparable to employer-sponsored plans and cannot discriminate against patients with pre-existing conditions. They also “strengthen negotiating power with providers from larger risk pools and [provide] greater economies of scale,” according to the Department of Labor.
12.) Unfortunately, many states have passed laws impeding the provision of telemedicine by banning or heavily restricting its progress. Notably, the position of the American Medical Association still calls for doctors to be physically present when rendering medical services. This will end and you’ll be able to log on and consult with your doctor without driving all the way to the doctor’s office and waiting for God knows how long in a waiting room.

Major Kudos to the Republican Study Committee. I could not have written a better plan!

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Our immigration system is broken. We must act swiftly to ensure we keep the American people safe and enforce the rule of law. Border security must come first. Enough is enough, let’s enforce our laws. I will approach border security holistically, with solutions that make sense for each stretch of the border – if a border wall doesn’t make sense for particular expanses of land, then let’s look at the technical solutions available including monitoring those who overstay their VISAs.

Implementing border security and VISA controls, first, will lead to a legal immigration system that all Americans can have confidence in, and then we can then talk about next steps for immigration reform. America is the shining city on the hill and the American Dream is alive and well. Migrants should enter legally and we should welcome them and their contributions to society.

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Social Security and Medicaid

While pro-growth policies have stimulated this economy, we cannot ignore the necessary reforms to our entitlement programs, which account for nearly two-thirds of our annual budget outlays. We must reform programs like Medicare and Social Security to save them – they are insolvent. Our seniors deserve and earned these benefits, we will ensure they will receive the benefits promised. As our runaway debt continues to grow exponentially, however, we must make our retirement systems sustainable in our modern economy for future generations.

In Illinois, the state universities retirement system has a defined contribution plan that provides a secure retirement in lieu of social security. That plan should be considered to replace social security for new workers and optional for those currently in social security. When a thriving stock market is generating double digit returns, it is criminal to have employer and employee money going to social security which returns only 1 percent after 44 years.

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National Security

The best deterrent to war is a strong and ready military. America must always be the most militarily prepared power in the world. Our deterrence capability works best, however, with a strong system of alliances. Collectively, through military, economic and political means we must fight the international terrorists that seek to do harm around the world. Especially, we need to isolate Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East.

We will continue to have a military presence around the world – we are still in Germany after 70 years. Our role is not to enforce international law, but to partner with and train our regional allies when it serves our national security interests.

We need to find – and I believe we are finding – a sustainable balance between nation-building on one extreme (which has failed) and pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan entirely on the other. We saw what happened in 2011 in Iraq. We left a power vacuum that turned out to be disastrous. As quickly as possible, we need to bring our troops home, keeping only a residual force that prevents of the resurgence of ISIS and more terrorist attacks on the homeland.

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The Economy

Our economy thrives when government and bureaucracy get out of the way of innovation and entrepreneurship. Lower taxes, deregulation and pro-growth policies are the best way to boost our economy, which in turn creates more jobs and higher wages for the middle class. We, in Illinois, all know that taxes and regulation impede growth, as we have watched our residents and businesses bleed across state lines for better opportunities.

The policies of the last few years have demonstrated just how effective a pro-growth agenda is for the American economy. The unemployment rate is lower than it’s been in 50 years, more Americans are joining the workforce and average wages are increasing. The stock market is at an all-time high, helping to secure retirement income for a broad swath of Americans. A strong economy is crucial to lifting Americans out of poverty. We must continue to embrace policies that provide more jobs and create a brighter future for all.

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The Environment

I do not dispute that the climate is changing. But we need smart solutions that deal in reality. Not crazy “deals” premised on the irrational idea that the world is ending.

There are multiple relevant questions related to this issue: (1) Has the earth generally warmed since 1800? (An overwhelming majority of scientists assent to this) (2) Has that warming been caused primarily by human activity? And, if the earth is warming and human activity has caused that warming, to what extent is anthropogenic global warming a problem so significant that we ought to take action?

The climate has been changing for all of Earth’s history. Geologic evidence shows that we have had many periods of warmer and colder temperatures in the past, when human emissions were negligible. In fact, geologic evidence shows that global temperatures were naturally warmer than today, 1,000, 2,000, 4,000, and 7,000 years ago, long before we had SUVs and power plants.

My opponent states that the sea levels are rising. This is true. However, Representative Casten arrogantly thinks he knows how to stop the oceans from rising. No scientist or politician can tell you when natural sea level rise ended and man-made sea-level rise began. According to tide gauge data, oceans are rising on average about 7-8 inches per century. There is no evidence that any amount of taxes, regulations, or renewable energy will have the slightest effect on sea levels.

My opponent’s climate alarmism, like his colleague Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ 14-page Green New Deal, are symbolic of the problems with leftist, politicized environmentalism. The reason so many American’s don’t heed their warning is because when the policies attached to those warnings are rolled out it becomes clear that progressivism is the priority – not the environment.

To be clear, I believe that the climate is changing. Sober-minded cost-benefit analyses of proposed environmental policies are often lost in the avalanche of alarmist rhetoric like Casten’s. Like many of my friends and neighbors, having a clean environment above all else should be our focus. America has made great strides since the 1970’s Clean Air and Clean Water Acts to clean-up our environment. I support those efforts wholeheartedly.

I find alarmist rhetoric disingenuous, arrogant and decidedly political. Nobody has to be a progressive to be concerned about the environment. There’s a need for a serious discussion about our climate. But Sean Casten’s alarmism – like the Green New Deal – is not it.

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The 2nd Amendment

As a mom, I think safe homes, schools and streets are critically important. I am also adamant about protecting our constitutional right to bear arms. This right must not be infringed upon.

First, we have an obligation to try to prevent gun violence. This means we have to do a better job of enforcing current laws so that guns stay out of the wrong hands. Democrat Tim Kaine introduced a plan to strictly enforce gun laws in Richmond, VA when he was mayor. Their plan called Project Exile reduced gun homicides by 41 percent in 10 months.

In Chicago, however, States Attorney Kim Foxx, last year released a repeat gun offender on bail. While on bail he was arrested and charged with murdering a teen in a drive-by shooting. The contrast could not be more clear.
Second, we need fail-safe reporting systems that are already in law. In the cases of the mass school shooting in Florida, the mass shooting in Aurora, and many others, the reporting system broke down at some point. These systems should be reviewed and reformed.

The federal government also has a role to play by providing funding for mental health services, like NAMI DuPage, as identifying and treating mental illness is the logical place to start to prevent gun violence.

Additionally, my Democrat opponent would like to ban certain firearms. The challenge we have is that there is no evidence that bans have worked. Regardless, whatever his proposal is – it is never going to be enough. As soon as we ban one scary sounding gun, he will find another. That is because he is looking at the politics. I am looking at the evidence.

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Jeanne’s Record

Ives Stands Up for Taxpayers in Her District
Calls Out the Powerful Political Class
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