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How to pay for the border wall

The issue of who will pay for the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico has taken some odd twists. Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzO'Rourke gives 'a definitive no' to possibility of running in 2020 Vicente Fox endorses Beto O'Rourke in Texas Senate race Beto O'Rourke on impeachment: 'There is enough there to proceed' MORE (R-Texas) proposed former drug lord El Chapo cough up the money while President Trump still maintains Mexico is going to “eventually” pay for it. 

Trump has said the price tag probably would be $8 to $12 billion.  Bloomberg News reports congressional leaders estimate the cost coming in around $15 billion, while the Department of Homeland Security pegs the cost at $21 billion.

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Because I spent nearly 30 years as a fundraiser for museums, universities and other nonprofit organizations, it is easier for me to imagine underwriting the cost of the wall more from the perspective of a capital campaign director than it is as a political operative.  With this thought in mind, here is how I would, in part, pay for the wall:

• First, tally up the number of House and Senate members who support building it.  For the sake of argument, I’m going to say it is 200 lawmakers; 

• Second, establish a fundraising goal everyone can agree on.  Again, for the sake of this discussion, l will assume it is $10 billion; and,

• Third, every one of those 200 members of Congress needs to contribute $5 million, either from their campaign war chest or their supporters.  

 While this total would underwrite only 10 percent of the overall goal, it would send a strong message to the American public that lawmakers truly are willing to put their money where their mouths are.

Having lived through some of the most divisive times in our nation’s history — such as the creation of Medicare, the rise of the civil rights movement, the horrors of Vietnam, the constitutional crisis of Watergate and more — I think it is safe to say the public today is evenly divided on the issues of immigration reform and building the wall.

Raising $10 billion to build the wall is possible.  It could even become the next big, national fundraising campaign — like the restoration of the Statue of Liberty in the 1980s. 

If so, then I hope President Trump and the billionaires in his Cabinet will be the first to pledge $250 million or more toward building the wall.  Without the combined fundraising efforts from the White House and Capitol Hill, I doubt the border wall ever will get built.

From Denny Freidenrich, Laguna Beach, Calif.


Senate must pass legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare

Most Americans believe that health insurance makes one ipso facto healthier, and during the sausage-making that became the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, that was certainly what Democrats wanted us to believe. 

That may be true if the insured can afford high deductibles and copays that decorate so many nonsubsidized policies purchased on the insurance exchanges and if, in fact, preventive care is all it’s cracked up to be.

And for many reasons, there may be little difference with respect to Medicaid recipients and the uninsured, not the least being that providers can choose not to serve this population because expenses of service exceed remuneration. 

This is an important consideration because the majority of newly insured people under -ObamaCare are the recipients of the Medicaid expansion fostered by the plan.

In scuttling ACA repeal and replacement, the Senate would be perpetuating an inferior delivery system for many Americans. 

From Paul Bloustein, M.D., Cincinnati