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Critiquing Project 2025

Project 2025 proposes a deeply worrisome policy transformation. We will scrutinize these policies in coming weeks.

June 26, 2024

Project 2025’s “Mandate for Leadership: The Conservative Promise”, released in April, threatens to replace modern American values with a retrograde vision. This 900-page action plan proposes a rapid, broad, and enduring transformation. It lays out sweeping policy shifts that favor the wealthy and undermine support for the poor, middle class, and minorities. Its detailed specification of practical implementation steps is chilling.

The Project 2025 policy scope is wide. On the economic side, it would make permanent the 2017 tax cuts for rich individuals and corporations, promote anti-union “right to work” laws, and reduce the power of public sector unions. In health, it would undermine the effectiveness of both public and private insurance, which we’ll explore thoroughly in subsequent posts. It would compromise pandemic response and end protections for abortion and reproductive health, as well as for LGBTQ rights.

Project 2025 would also fundamentally change how government and voting work, gutting the checks and balances built into our system. Specifically, it attacks the mechanisms that assure balance and continuity in how elected officials are chosen and how they must govern. In the area of voting, it promotes requirements for photo IDs and tighter absentee voting rules, both of which disadvantage minorities, the poor, and students. This would further weaken the voting power of these groups.

Its most insidiously consequential change concerns how the government operates. Project 2025 proposes use of a bureaucratic maneuver – “Schedule F” – to reclassify tens of thousands federal senior civil service employees (with job protections) into political appointees (who serve at the pleasure of the President). This means that the most technically skilled senior managers, who know the law and how to follow it, would be replaced with inexperienced and politically pliant newcomers who would be guided by presidential whims regardless of existing law. This undermines nearly a century of accumulated law, regulations, and professional governance.

HJM sees Project 2025 as a fundamental threat to progressive health policy. Thus, we’ll be writing about it regularly in coming weeks. Our focus will be on health policy – insurance, reproductive health, equity. But we’ll also veer into other topics.

Please let me (Jim) know if you have specific questions for us to address.

About the Commentator, Jim Kahn

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Jim (James G.) Kahn, MD, MPH (editor) is an Emeritus Professor of Health Policy, Epidemiology, and Global Health at the University of California, San Francisco. His work focuses on the cost and effectiveness of prevention and treatment interventions in low and middle income countries, and on single payer economics in the U.S. He has studied, advocated, and educated on single payer since the 1994 campaign for Prop 186 in California, including two years as chair of Physicians for a National Health Program California.

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