The Daily Northwestern

Steve Forbes talks health care, taxes at College Republicans event

Steve+Forbes%2C+editor+in+chief+and+chairman+of+Forbes+Media%2C+speaks+to+Northwestern+students+about+health+care+and+the+current+Republican+tax+bill.+College+Republicans+brought+Forbes+to+NU+as+one+of+their+fall+speakers.+%0A
Steve Forbes, editor in chief and chairman of Forbes Media, speaks to Northwestern students about health care and the current Republican tax bill. College Republicans brought Forbes to NU as one of their fall speakers.

Steve Forbes, editor in chief and chairman of Forbes Media, speaks to Northwestern students about health care and the current Republican tax bill. College Republicans brought Forbes to NU as one of their fall speakers.

David Lee/The Daily Northwestern

David Lee/The Daily Northwestern

Steve Forbes, editor in chief and chairman of Forbes Media, speaks to Northwestern students about health care and the current Republican tax bill. College Republicans brought Forbes to NU as one of their fall speakers.

Alison Albelda, Reporter

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Steve Forbes, editor in chief and chairman of Forbes Media, spoke about the recent Republican tax bill and issues with the American health care system at a Monday event sponsored by College Republicans.

About 70 people gathered in Fisk Hall to attend the event. College Republicans president David Donnelly said the club chose Forbes because of how he blends disciplines like journalism and economics.

“He is pragmatic, straightforward and says what he thinks,” the McCormick senior said. “He (is) just somewhere on a different point of the spectrum … and we try and cover that whole spectrum with our speakers.”

Forbes, who ran for the Republican nomination for president in 1996 and 2000, spoke about taxes, health care and monetary policy during his presentation. He also criticized the government’s current policies, which create “self-imposed straightjackets,” and its approach to lawmaking.

“Why would you lead with health care, which (Republicans) have discovered is a very complicated subject?” Forbes said. “Why didn’t they just go for a tax cut, get the economy moving? Then you have the political capital to deal with difficult things like health care, and you have the time to do it. “

Forbes identified solutions to the nation’s health care problems and proposed putting patients in charge. To have effective health care, Forbes said, the United States should eliminate the “disconnect” between providers and consumers. He spoke of the need to improve transparency between hospitals and their patients, and suggested hospitals post the cost of procedures prior to surgery.

Forbes also addressed the current GOP tax bill’s restrictions on endowments. The bill, introduced by Republican lawmakers Thursday, would place a 1.4 percent tax on the investment income of universities. Investment income for universities was previously exempt from taxes.

Forbes added that with the new bill, when people donate to universities or other organizations, not all of their money would be going toward their intended recipient.

“Put a tax on endowments … think of the precedent that sets,” he said. “That tells local and state politicians, ‘How about raiding the endowments of local colleges, raiding the endowment funds of charities, why not?’”

Forbes concluded by identifying areas of improvement for current legislators that would provide the greatest benefit to the American people.

“We just do a few basic things: more patient control of health care, simplifying taxes so you can focus your brain power on productive things (and) get the money right, at least semi-right,” Forbes said. “And by golly, we will have a very glamorous future.”

The event was the last of College Republican’s fall speaker series, which also featured controversial political scientist Charles Murray.

Weinberg junior Max Kolowrat, a member of College Republicans, said he appreciated hearing Forbes’ ideas.

“He has really great exposure to both business and politics as he ran for office and at the same time being head of the Forbes collection of companies,” Kolowrat said. “It is really interesting to have someone who can bring that perspective to a college campus.”

Email: alisonalbelda2021@u.northwestern.edu

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