Only a few weeks after activism and lots of phone calls prevented another “repeal and replace” bill in Congress, President Trump is increasing his sabotage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The newest attack on your health care comes in the form of an executive order (EO), a form of presidential action that Trump repeatedly criticized during President Obama’s time in office. At its core, the order fragments the health insurance market, increasing costs for the majority of the insured population.
Vice President Mike Pence opened the signing event by saying the EO would increase “flexibility and freedom” and reduce the large “burdens” of the ACA. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The White House itself has admitted that the order will raise premiums, increase taxpayer costs, and discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions. Vice President for Health Policy at the Center for American Progress, Topher Spiro, said of the order: “Confusion will depress enrollment, some insurers may exit markets, and middle-income Americans with pre-existing conditions would face premium spikes.” To learn more about this new EO and how it affects you and your family—and how you can fight back—listen to our Periscope here.
This is not the first time Trump has sabotaged the ACA. His administration has been taking actions for months that undermine the effectiveness of the marketplace, such as decreasing community outreach and advertising for the new open enrollment season and creating uncertainty around subsidies. And Congress also hasn’t stopped trying to “repeal and replace,” as the Senate budget opens the door for ACA repeal. To see all the ways Trump is attacking your health care, check out our running list of sabotage.
ACTION OF THE DAY
Trump Tax Toolkit. Last week, the House passed a budget that will slash funding for programs crucial to working families, all to pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and large corporations. Trump has been on the road promoting his tax proposal – but it’s all just a scam to make him and his friends richer. As the tax fight moves to the Senate, visit TrumpTaxToolkit.org to tell your senators to vote no on this horrible tax plan, which will only increase wealth inequality in this country. And make sure your share your own story about how budget cuts would affect you at HandsOff.org.
#ProtectTheArctic. The Trump administration and Republican leadership in the Senate has included plans to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as part of their bill to reduce federal tax rates for corporations and wealthy individuals. In addition to the fact that the Arctic Refuge is no place for industrial oil fields, a new analysis finds that offering oil and gas leases in the Refuge is likely to yield no more than $37.5 million in revenue for the U.S. Treasury over the next 10 years— less than 4% of the $1 billion that drilling proponents claim could be raised.
UNESCO. Today, the Department of State issued a notice that the U.S. is withdrawing from the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), citing “mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO.” The director-general of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, called the U.S.’s withdrawal a “loss for multilateralism.” This is not the first time Trump has withdrawn from an international organization. From leaving the Paris Climate accord to the suspected withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the Trump administration is taking America off the field and leaving other nations to set the global agenda. Russia, China and others are filling the void, often at great cost to American interests. These actions do not make our country stronger; in fact, they weaken our leverage and influence on the world stage.
Pre-School = Hitler’s Youth? Alabama GOP Senate candidate, Roy Moore, is already well-known for his extreme ideas, including his belief that homosexuality should be illegal and 9/11 was God’s punishment for “perverseness.” We can add another idea to this list: Moore has come out strongly against public pre-kindergarten, even going so far as to compare it to Hitler’s Youth. He said that the expansion of preschool programs encourages “liberal social and political philosophy with the state as his or her master.” Not only is this so far from the truth, but it also is a direct attack on the public education system in the U.S. The Republican party has yet to condemn this reactionary vision for America and Moore’s hateful, dangerous rhetoric. When will they speak out?
No Rest for the Weary. This morning, the Commander-in-Chief once again took to Twitter to complain about the perceived difficulty in providing relief to storm-torn Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, the reported death toll has risen to 45, with an additional 113 people still missing. As of yesterday, nearly 90% of the island still has no electricity, while nearly 50% has no phone service. Now would probably be a good time to remind the president that the more than 3 million people in Puerto Rico who are struggling and suffering as a result of this devastating hurricane are tax-paying American citizens who deserve the full support of their government, without criticism or complaint.
UNDER THE RADAR
Russian Interference. Recent reports have found that Facebook “identified more than $100,000 worth of divisive ads on hot-button issues purchased by a shadowy Russian company linked to the Kremlin.” Some of the ads mentioned specific political candidates—but most “preyed on deeply-rooted cultural tensions between Americans.” The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has proposed rule making for increased transparency of online campaign ads—and these rules are now open for public comments. Let’s be sure that real change occurs to protect our democracy. Add your comment today!