Yesterday, in a shameless power grab, the Senate approved a motion to proceed, which opened up hours of debate on multiple versions of the Senate’s health care bills—many of which remain a mystery not only to the public but to Senate majority members themselves. To be clear, that means the Senate voted to move forward on a mystery bill that will affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans and significantly impact our economy.
Their first attempt to strip health care away from millions came with a vote on a recent version of Trumpcare including two amendments from Senators Cruz (R-TX) and Portman (R-OH). In a bigger-than-expected-blow, nine GOP Senators voted against the bill. That failure brings the Senate to their next plan, a so called “skinny” repeal, which would repeal only some parts of the Affordable Care Act. This skinny repeal bill would still do enormous harm to millions of people: it would lead to an estimated 15 million people losing their insurance and increase the average marketplace premium by $1,238 by next year. Senate leadership knows the skinny BCRA is terrible. That’s why they’re telling members it can be fixed in conference, and skinny BCRA would be the Trojan horse for more widespread cuts to coverage, including Medicaid, and consumer protections. Republicans are building the plane while flying while trying to tell the American people that they know how to land safely. They don’t.
If this entire health care process seems unnecessarily confusing that’s because that is exactly what Senate majority leaders want. What you need to know is this: the Senate majority has yet to put forward a health care plan that doesn’t strip health care away from tens of millions of people, cause premiums to skyrocket, and throw insurance markets into chaos.
ACTION OF THE DAY
Don’t back down. Every version of Trumpcare seems to get worse than the last. Yet Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and President Donald Trump are spearheading one of the most secretive and damaging processes in Senate history in an unprecedented power grab that will cost American lives. Now is the time to stand together to send a clear message to the Senate. Join us and our friends at Planned Parenthood on the hill today at 5pm to let Congress know they can’t take away our health care. Full details here.
Not in DC? Share TrumpcareToolkit.org as far and wide as you can. Live in a red state? Keep calling your senators: (202) 224-3121. Our calls have stopped Trumpcare before, they can do it again. Live in a blue state? Use this tool from Indivisible to call constituents in key states to make them aware of the devastating impacts of Trumpcare.
New lows. This morning, as the Senate prepares to continue its efforts to strip health care away from millions of Americans, Trump took to twitter to declare that the United States will not “accept or allow” transgender people in the U.S. military, saying the military could not afford “tremendous medical costs and disruption.” Thousands of transgender people already honorably serve our country – and Trump just took away their livelihoods in a Tweet. Transgender service members aren’t a “disruption.” They’re brave people who deserve the same access to health care as all other service members, and to be treated with honor and dignity by their Commander-in-Chief. Administration officials even admit they are targeting transgender troops specifically to score cheap political points.
Medicaid. In every version of the Senate’s health care bill, Medicaid is devastated—and people of color will bear the brunt of these cuts. New analysis from the Center for American Progress estimates that under the Better Care Reconciliation Act—the Senate’s version of Trumpcare—8.7 million people of color will lose Medicaid coverage by 2026. Find out how many people would be affected in your state here.
Red Team. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt established a so-called red team-blue team effort to “debate” the science behind human caused climate change. Now, the EPA has asked a climate-denying think tank—the Heartland Institute—to help identify scientists to join the red team. This is just the latest move in Pruitt’s effort to undermine established climate science. Meanwhile, 2017 is setting up to be the second-hottest year on record.
UNDER THE RADAR
#Rigged. The Trump Administration is continuing its efforts to sell-out our parks and public lands to the oil and gas industry behind closed doors. Recommendations for rules and policies that “burden” the oil and gas industry are due to the White House today, but chances that these will be made public is slim. A new paper out today finds that the Trump administration’s assault on public lands and public health safeguards meant to favor oil and gas companies could backfire in the long run by eroding public trust.
Be Prepared. Late night hosts take on Trump’s boy scout speech.