Innovation is the core of America’s economic strength and future prosperity. New ideas and technological advances fundamentally shape our quality of life. They are the key to fostering sustained economic growth, creating jobs in new industries, and continuing America’s global leadership. Throughout the history of the United States, the federal government has played a central role in catalyzing and driving innovation and technology development in a variety of strategic areas—defense, health, agriculture, and information technology, to name a few—and it has often done so with strong results.

Policy Priority: Modernize All Types of Infrastructure

There is clearly a bipartisan opportunity to modernize the nation’s infrastructure. We need to make investments that will spur faster economic growth and job creation in the near term while building a stronger foundation for long-term prosperity. The price tag to upgrade, modernize, and expand our nation’s roads, railways, water systems, airports, and more will total trillions of dollars. The U.S. government simply does not have the resources to close this gap absent increased help from the private sector. To engage the private sector as a true partner we must re-examine long-standing policies that bar private participation in providing public goods.

  • Transform how we pay for infrastructure to leverage the expertise and value of the private sector as a true partner by promoting life-cycle accounting and public-private partnerships.
  • Require applicants for federal funding or financing to demonstrate that they have accounted for long-term costs and risks.
  • Evaluate all approaches to project delivery to allow more projects to creatively engage the private sector and make the most efficient use of limited federal resources.

Policy Priority: Lead On Energy Innovation

A combination of fundamental economic trends, technological innovation, and sound policy decisions have substantially strengthened our nation’s energy outlook. Domestic production of traditional and renewable energy has significantly increased while the rate of energy consumption and CO2 emissions have diminished. Our nation relies less on imported energy than it has since 1986, and the prospect of increased energy exports strengthens our geopolitical strength. Despite these favorable trends, energy politics remain deeply divisive. The Trump administration has proposed to expand fossil fuel and coal production through a reduction in regulation and other market interventions. In contrast, the “keep it in the ground” movement and opposition to energy distribution infrastructure gain momentum on the left.

  • Optimize Tax Payer Investments in Energy Production and Use by evaluating the myriad of energy-related investments as Congress undertakes tax reform. Congress should invite all corporate beneficiaries of current energy-related tax investments to present data that demonstrate the public benefit of these investments and propose how to sustain or increase these benefits at a lower cost to the public.
  • Develop new approaches to multi-state energy infrastructure siting and permitting to reduce duplication, delay and uncertainty. The president should convene a task force of state and local business and labor leaders to assess how to modernize permitting to build a 21st century infrastructure that can keep pace with the dramatic and positive transition that is underway in the energy sector.
  • Continue the Department of Energy’s Mission Innovation, which calls for doubling U.S. spending on energy research and development over five years. We still need to develop technologies necessary to address the risks of climate change while growing the U.S. economy and bringing opportunity to the developing world.

Policy Priority: Deliver Better Health Care at Lower Cost

As Congress grapples with repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, policymakers must look past the politics of the issue to the underlying desire of the American public—receiving better quality health care at lower costs. Health care providers, public and private payers, and states have been experimenting with new models of payment and care delivery that incentivize better value and improved outcomes, as opposed to traditional “fee-for-service” payment systems, which tend to drive volume of services provided without evidence that they improve health.

  • Enhance the flexibility of states under ACA State Innovation Waivers and Medicaid Waivers to explore innovative, localized, and effective systems of health care delivery and coverage while maintaining critical consumer protections.
  • Create a more patient-centered system for people with multiple chronic conditions. For the 10 million Americans who participate in both Medicare and Medicaid, we need incentives to better coordinate clinical health and long-term services and supports.
  • Increase the affordability and availability of long-term services and supports. Develop new, more affordable private long-term care insurance policies and improve and expand services at home and in the community by streamlining Medicaid and offering a more affordable “buy-in” program for working individuals with disabilities.