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JERRY KASSAR
JERRY KASSAR

I was saddened to read of the passing of legendary political journalist Gabe Pressman.  I first met Mr. Pressman when I was a young man working on Barry Farber’s mayoral race in 1977. Gabe Pressman was the most important political reporter working that year’s races from the perspective of a respected byline.

I remember being impressed by the serious nature of his interviews and the great insight he exhibited.  In my opinion, he was fair and nonpartisan. He was already a legend.

Over the years, our paths crossed many times on campaigns and in government. He in particular filed many a piece on local Assemblymember Florence Sullivan’s campaign for U.S. Senate in 1982.

Even in what should have been retirement, he remained active with a podcast. In fact, he interviewed Mike Long only a few months ago. When Mike mentioned it to me, I was surprised Pressman was still working. Mike and Mr. Pressman went back more than 40 years in terms of interviews. Mike commented to me that Mr. Pressman was as sharp as ever. It was great to talk and catch up.

May he Rest In Peace!

***

The Obamacare repeal that passed the House is now being actively discussed in the U.S. Senate.  As expected, some of the more controversial sections, especially those relating to Medicaid, are encountering opposition.

The Senate will at some point agree on the language. It will then vote on it and then send it back to the House to be worked on by a Joint Conference Committee that will hopefully produce an agreed-upon bill. It is all part of the legislative process.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind. Most Americans feel that Obamacare does not work. Regardless of whether the new final product is a hybrid of the original or something completely new, the need for Obamacare to be effectively addressed by Congress is longstanding.

The Congress is not taking its responsibility lightly. There have been many amendments, a number of debates and splits within each legislative conference. This is healthy as long as a new bill emerges.

The 2016 election was fought around four issues: healthcare reform, illegal immigration, taxes and the economy. The president, despite so many distractions, has attempted to keep a focus on all four. The Congress needs to keep on moving on healthcare.

***

The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has effectively taken the president’s pro-life position to the international body.  The United States has been withdrawing its support for pro-abortion policies.  President Reagan and both Presidents Bush took the same positions. President Obama reversed it and President Trump reversed it back again.

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