Trumpcare is back from the dead, and it’s scarier than ever. The new version of Trumpcare, called Graham-Cassidy, would strip health coverage from 32 million people, end Medicaid as we know it, defend Planned Parenthood, and target those with pre-existing conditions. The bill relies on block grants, which aren’t responsive to needs in the market. It would impact veterans, so many of whom are already living paycheck to paycheck. And for fifteen million Americans with disabilities, they could see crucial care disappear.
What are the specific impacts of the bill? We don’t really know exactly, because it hasn’t even been scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the score that’s apparently forthcoming won’t say how many people will lose coverage or how much it will increase our debt. This means that senators might be voting blindly on a bill that could fundamentally restructure one-fifth of the economy and affect the health coverage of millions of Americans. Despite cries from Senate Republicans in 2009 over the importance of a CBO score, they seem to be singing a different tune. This last-minute effort—with no CBO score and only two minutes for debate on the floor—is a rebuke of the normal order of the Senate.
Congressional Republicans have launched over 70 attacks on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and this is one of their last, best chances to make it happen. That’s why we need to be louder than ever. Read our “Action of the Day” below to find out how to get involved!
ACTION OF THE DAY
#ProtectOurCare. This new Trumpcare bill is not a drill. We must take action immediately, and make our voices loud to let Congress know that this is unacceptable. Use our toolkit today to reach out to key members of Congress! Share the graphic below. Then, go to ResistanceNearMe.org to learn about #ProtectOurCare local rallies happening in your city.
Trump at the U.N. Trump took to the podium at the U.N. General Assembly in New York City today to lay out his vision for U.N. reform and to promote his “America First” agenda. Alarmingly, he said that if North Korea continued to threaten the U.S. or its allies, then he would have no choice but to “totally destroy” North Korea, calling its leader “Rocket Man.” This type of bombastic rhetoric demonstrates a lack of foreign policy strategy and precisely the type of reckless incompetence that could lead the United States into an unnecessary conflict. Trump should instead get serious about sanctions, engage in diplomatic talks, and strengthen key alliances. To read more ideas for how to approach North Korea, check out the Center for American Progress’s eight components for building a long-term strategy. Trump also spoke on the Iran deal, calling it “an embarrassment.” But the Iran deal is an important step in the right direction. Brian Katulis, a senior fellow at CAP, said of the deal: “[This is the] most effective chance we have to prevent Iran’s march toward a nuclear weapon.” If Trump decides to tank the nuclear deal with Iran in mid-October, he would also unnecessarily isolate the United States, make the Iran problem in the region much worse, and undermine diplomatic and sanctions efforts on North Korea at the worst possible time.
EEOC. Today, the Senate HELP Committee is holding confirmation hearings on President Trump’s new nominees to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – Janet Dhillon, as Chair and Daniel Gade, as Commissioner. You can watch here. Given the EEOC’s key role in enforcing and shaping workplace antidiscrimination laws, these hearings are vital to the nation’s workforce. Many issues are at stake, including EEO-1 pay data collection on the basis of gender, race and national origin, and whether LGBTQ people are still covered under existing protections from discrimination on the basis of sex. OMB’s stay of EEOC’s efforts to collect pay data is nothing short of an attack on equal pay for women and persons of color. Separate the myth from reality and read what policymakers can do to promote equal pay and ensure fair treatment for all workers. Still not sure how this hearing, or equal pay policies impact you? Check out this quick explainer.
More Severe Weather. Just weeks after the devastation of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, another massive hurricane is tearing through the Caribbean. Hurricane Maria has already hit Dominica and caused severe damage and it is now on its way to Puerto Rico. Scientists are saying that climate change is making these huge storms even worse—but Trump and his administration still refuse to acknowledge climate change. But you can voice your support for climate science and reject the lies of the administration. Head to IAmStillIn.org and say you support #ScienceNotSilence.
Refugees. While the Trump administration is likely to soon announce a reduction in the number of refugees it will resettle in the U.S. for the upcoming year, the White House is scrambling to justify this unwarranted decision. Unfortunately for them, a recent draft report by the Department of Health and Human Services found that refugees generated $63 billion more in government revenues than they cost over the past decade. Of course, the Trump administration has rejected this report, as it soundly refutes one of the central arguments of reducing the number of refugees in the U.S. – that it costs too much money to take them in. Trump reiterated his debunked view of the cost of resettling refugees this morning during his speech to the UN General Assembly, adding fuel to his likely forthcoming decision to reduce refugee numbers. The potential decision regarding refugee quotas has sparked a debate within the White House, and these new findings will force Trump to either soften his tone on refugees or own the xenophobic arguments for his policy decisions.
UNDER THE RADAR
CHIME Act. While some congressional Republicans scheme to strip healthcare away from millions of Americans by the September 30th deadline, a separate bill to extend funding for community centers that serve 26 million low-income people has stalled in Congress. The bipartisan CHIME Act, which also faces a September 30th deadline, would extend existing funding to over 1,400 community health centers for the next 5 years. The lack of action on the bill is likely because Congress has, “so many other important things on their platter,” – presumably including taking healthcare away from one-fifth of Americans. Though advocates are reportedly confident that the CHIME Act will pass if given the time, there are only four more House session days between now and the deadline.