President Biden wants to change seemingly everything: the government’s role in the economy, the way we generate power and move around, the way parents take care of kids, the “caring economy.” Is there anything he’s leaving out?
SEANA SMITH: Let's turn to DC. President Biden has laid out very ambitious and extensive plans during his first 100 days in office. We have the American Rescue Plan, the Jobs Plan, the Families Plan. But there are a couple of things that are missing from these initiatives. We want to bring in Rick Newman to talk a little bit more about this.
And Rick, $1 trillion in spending from President Biden. But even with all this, you say that there are a couple of things that are missing from his plans. What are they?
RICK NEWMAN: Yeah, the most notable absence is some-- a major health reform plan. As a candidate, Biden's health reform plan, he called it a public option. Anybody who hasn't blocked out memories of the 2020 presidential campaign will remember this was a big deal on the Democratic side-- what kind of health care plan did you favor?
They all had one. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, of course, they wanted Medicare for all, which would be the big government program that would eliminate private insurance. And Biden said no, I want to keep private insurance in place, but instead of that, I want to have a public option so if you cannot get a good insurance plan, you will be able to buy into this government program similar to Medicare.
There's a glancing reference to the, quote, "public option" in the American Families Plan that came out last week, but there's no outline for how Biden wants to get there as there are with the other things that are clearly top priorities. And he did not mention it at all in his speech to Congress last Wednesday. So I think it's safe to conclude that a new government health care plan is not something Biden is going after this year.
ADAM SHAPIRO: Something that-- I think it's the delegation from New York, but California, New York, high tax states would like is a repeal of the cap on the state and local tax deductions, but he hasn't mentioned that, either. Does he face a showdown with the delegations from the high tax states?
RICK NEWMAN: I'm not sure-- I'm not sure Biden will be the one in the showdown, although that-- although that could be a showdown in Congress. Biden has never said he favors a repeal of the SALT cap, and I think the reason for that is political. It may be good for Democrats in those high income states like California, New York, but it would effectively be a tax break on the wealthy. So Biden's-- Biden's not pushing for that.
In a phone call with reporters recently, a couple of top White House officials said, look, that proposal-- that proposal would actually cost the government revenue, and we're looking for new sources of revenue to fund some of these other things mostly benefits and tax breaks for lower income people so we don't think we're going to go after that. I think if Congress were to pass that, Biden would probably sign it. It's not-- it's just not something he's going to fight for.
SEANA SMITH: All right. Rick Newman, thanks so much for bringing us that.