Yesterday afternoon, news broke that Senate Republicans decided to add the repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate into the Senate tax bill. The last-minute addition would result in 13 more million people uninsured and a sharp increase in premiums. The Senate GOP’s Sneaky Repeal would also result in $25 Billion in cuts to Medicare this year. The bill is a blatant attack on millions of Americans’ health care – all to pay for tax cuts for the super-rich.
Since the beginning of this tax fight, the congressional majority has made it clear they’re willing to do pretty much anything to ensure that the top 1 percent gets huge tax cuts. From cutting funding for crucial programs to eliminating deductions for teachers, parents, and those who have high medical costs, the tax bill’s authors are putting the cost of the tax cuts for the rich on the backs of middle-class and working Americans. On top of those harmful aspects of the bill, the House tax bill would raise taxes on 36 million families by 2027.
Now, they’re putting your health insurance on the line to keep the cost of their bill under the magical $1.5 trillion limit. Because they’ve decided to make the corporate tax cuts permanent (even though individual tax breaks will expire), they’ve been struggling to lower the bill’s cost—until now. Health insurance for millions of Americans is now being seen as a “source of revenue” that can keep Trump and his rich cabinet members happy, all while sticking to a key campaign promise of dismantling the ACA.
ACTION OF THE DAY
#ProtectOurCare. If you fought to save the Affordable Care Act (ACA) from repeal and replace, then the tax fight is now your fight too! Call your members of Congress TODAY at 202-224-3121, and urge them to reject premiums increases and 13 million more people uninsured.
#ProtectTheArctic. Today the Senate Natural Resources Committee advanced a bill that would open up one of America’s last great wilderness areas to oil and gas drilling. The bill to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would devastate the landscape and pay for just one hundredth of one percent of the Republican tax plan. A new analysis found that there are already 41 million acres of federally managed lands in Alaska open to drilling. The oil and gas industry doesn’t need access to another 1.5 million in a wildlife refuge. In fact, drilling in the Arctic Refuge would only hurt energy production in Western states like Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Montana.
Hands Off My Birth Control. Today, people across the country are protesting the Trump Administration’s decision to roll back the birth control benefit under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). That benefit currently helps 62 million women have access to no-cost birth control, which “assist[s] women with medical issues and family planning.” Watch this video with Sophia Bush to learn about all the ways birth control is used by women. Attend a local event today! And then, submit comments to the Department of Health and Human Services about how this decision would affect your life.
Jeff “I Don’t Recall” Sessions. Yesterday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee on his contacts with Russians. It was full of “memory lapses” by Sessions, which he blamed on the chaos of the campaign. But surely discussing a potential meeting between the candidate, Trump, and Russian President Vladimir Putin is not something a person would easily forget. It took a few hours, but finally Sessions admitted he did remember the meeting with George Papadapoulos, after the constant barrage of questions from representatives. And Sessions attempted to clarify his denial of meeting with Russians in his first testimony, saying, “I certainly didn’t mean I’d never met a Russian in the history of my life.” Bottom line: We didn’t learn much new from the testimony, except that Sessions is intent on staying vague and will continue to refuse to give straight answers.
UNDER THE RADAR
A Bad Bunch. The lineup of bad nominees continue to gain positions in the highest levels of the government. Yesterday, the Senate narrowly confirmed Steven Bradbury to serve as the Department of Transportation’s General Counsel. Bradbury formerly served under President George W. Bush, and “helped draft controversial memos that provided legal grounds for the use of brutal interrogation techniques against detainees suspected of terrorism. One of Bradbury’s biggest opponents was Senator John McCain, who made a fiery speech on the Senate floor before the vote. Today, the Senate held a hearing for James Ho, a judicial nominee out of Texas who also worked on torture issues at the Bush Department of Justice. The Senate also heard from Don Willett, another Texas nominee. Willet is an extreme right-wing justice on the Texas Supreme Court who has bragged, “There is no ideological daylight to the right of me.” His anti-worker values will harm Americans – and, unfortunately, if confirmed, he would long outlast the Trump administration.