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Letter from Washington

Political Insider

Fed Chair Powell will testify at 10 AM EST before the House Financial Service Committee. Watch the hearing live here.  I will forward a transcript as soon as it becomes available.

Debt Limit: CBO estimated Treasury will run out of cash in September or October.  Yesterday’s 4-page Congressional Budget Office report described the present law debt limit, which will reset on March 2, after which Treasury will use “extraordinary measures,” basically reducing trust funds to fund the government for the next several months.  CBO estimated “Treasury will probably run out of cash near the end of this fiscal year or early in the next one.”  See this 73-page 2015 GAO report for details of the 2013 experience.

“More than 100 House Democrats to unveil ‘battle-ready’ Medicare-for-all plan as 2020 election looms.” Last night’s Washington Post article led with:

More than 100 House Democrats plan to unveil a new “Medicare-for-all” plan Wednesday to provide government health insurance to every American, according to a copy of the bill provided to The Washington Post, as a number of Democratic-leading presidential candidates for 2020 feud over the party’s health-care platform.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is expected to release legislation Wednesday that incorporates key policy demands of single-payer activists, aiming to overhaul the U.S. health-care system even faster and more dramatically than legislation proposed in 2017 by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Jayapal’s Medicare-for-all would move every American onto one government insurer in two years, while providing everyone with medical, vision, dental and long-term care at no cost. Similar proposals have been projected to increase federal expenditures by at least $30 trillion but virtually eradicate individuals’ health spending by eliminating payments such as premiums and deductibles. About 30 million Americans do not have insurance, while tens of millions more are “underinsured,” meaning they cannot afford or do not seek care, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

This is very unlikely to pass the Senate or to be enacted before 2021, but a sweep of Congress and the White House in the 2020 election would probably lead to enactment of a scaled-down version of this.

President Trump’s schedule (EST):

11:10 PM:  Meets with the Vietnamese Communist Party General Secretary and 

                  the President of Vietnam at the presidential palace in Hanoi, Vietnam;

11:45 PM:  Signs commercial trade agreements;

12:15 AM:  Meets with Vietnam’s Prime Minister;

  6:30 AM:  Greets North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un;

  6:40 AM:  Meets one-on-one with Kim Jong-un; and

  7:00 AM:  Has dinner with Kim Jong-un.

All times are Eastern Standard Time, 12 hours behind Vietnam time.

Political Insider

About Pete Davis

Pete Davis

Pete Davis advises Wall Street money managers on Washington, DC policy developments that affect the financial markets. Visit his website here daviscapitalinvestmentideas.yolasite.com.

Articles by Pete Davis

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