Maybe it’s just another lesson in the art of the deal.
Donald Trump had the Internet flipping out — again — on his visit to the Mexican border last week by covering his signature orange coif with an ill-fitting white cap emblazoned with his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again” — a slogan made famous by Ronald Reagan but recently trademarked by Trump.
While Trump’s campaign website doesn’t yet have a store, the hats quickly went on sale at Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, a destination for tourists and some Fifth Avenue shoppers. The hats are available for $20 in a choice of red, blue or the white version Trump wore.
Or make that were available. As of Monday, the initial order of the Republican presidential candidate’s caps were sold out. A salesperson said the store expected to have them back in stock by the end of the week. In the meantime, the store still had plenty of $15 “Make America Great Again” t-shirts for sale. And if you’re really desperate to get your hands on Trump’s new lid, there are plenty of knockoffs popping up online.
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Lawmakers are considering three separate bills that are intended to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. Here’s an overview of the proposals, from a series of charts produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation this week. An interesting detail highlighted in another chart: 88% of voters – including 92% of Democrats and 85% of Republicans – want to give the government the power to negotiate prices with drug companies.
From Gallup: “A record 25% of Americans say they or a family member put off treatment for a serious medical condition in the past year because of the cost, up from 19% a year ago and the highest in Gallup's trend. Another 8% said they or a family member put off treatment for a less serious condition, bringing the total percentage of households delaying care due to costs to 33%, tying the high from 2014.”
That’s how much the private debt collection program at the IRS collected in the 2019 fiscal year. In the black for the second year in a row, the program cleared nearly $148 million after commissions and administrative costs.
The controversial program, which empowers private firms to go after delinquent taxpayers, began in 2004 and ran for five years before the IRS ended it following a review. It was restarted in 2015 and ran at a loss for the next two years.
Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who played a central role in establishing the program, said Monday that the net proceeds are currently being used to hire 200 special compliance personnel at the IRS.
The federal budget deficit for October and November was $342 billion, up $36 billion or 12% from the same period last year, the Congressional Budget Office estimated on Monday. Revenues were up 3% while outlays rose by 6%, CBO said.
As expected, groups representing hospitals sued the Trump administration Wednesday to stop a new regulation would require them to make public the prices for services they negotiate with insurers. Claiming the rule “is unlawful, several times over,” the industry groups, which include the American Hospital Association, say the rule violates their First Amendment rights, among other issues.
"The burden of compliance with the rule is enormous, and way out of line with any projected benefits associated with the rule," the suit says. In response, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services said that hospitals “should be ashamed that they aren’t willing to provide American patients the cost of a service before they purchase it.”