Trump prides himself on being a “straight talker.” What he and his aides call straight talk is often “alternative facts.” Trump’s “straight talk” also means he is wont to oversimplify, hyperbolize, and fear monger. In announcing the failure of Trumpcare, for example, Trump said, “The best thing we can do politically speaking is let Obamacare explode.” This kind of unrestrained speech turned out to be a winning strategy as a candidate, but as president, this careless speech has serious consequences.
One of those serious consequences, according to new Center for American Progress analysis, is increasing the cost of health coverage. With his intemperate rhetoric, Trump is creating market uncertainty, which is pushing insurers to raise premiums and discouraging them from participating in the ACA marketplace. And this effect isn’t abstract. By creating uncertainty, Trump could cause average 2018 premiums to increase an extra $1,000.
This Trump rate hike is coming regardless of whether Trump follows through on his threats to sabotage the health insurance market. And the uncertainty is only exacerbated by his continued efforts to pass Trumpcare, the GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The most recent version of Trumpcare would cause costs to skyrocket for people with pre-existing conditions. Congressional Republicans seem to know how bad a deal Trumpcare is. They are trying to exempt themselves from the worst parts of the bill.
ACTION OF THE DAY
#ResistTrumpcare. Even Congress knows how harmful Trumpcare is. We can’t afford to let this bill pass. We need your voice to help protect the ACA. There are lots of ways to plug in today:
- Write a message in a pill bottle to your representative urging them to save the ACA at: MessageInABottle.org We’re delivering the bottles tomorrow!.
- Tweet at and call your representative demanding they resist Trumpcare.
Taxes. Two things are certain in life: death and that Donald Trump’s tax plan will benefit the wealthy and himself at the expense of everyday Americans. Trump is planning on revealing a blueprint for his tax plan today, but early reports indicate it will dramatically slash taxes for corporations and his own companies, using the tired, disproven talking point that tax cuts pay for themselves (they don’t). Trump is also likely going to claim that his tax plan helps the middle class, but it will actually put programs at risk that help everyday Americans, such as Social Security and Medicare.
#KeepItPublic. Trump is scheduled to sign an executive order today that will “order a review” of national monuments under the Antiquities Act, the law that allows presidents to designate parks and public lands and waters for protection. That means this order will make protected lands and monuments—which belong to the American people— at risk to being open for sale. Who’s looking to buy them? The oil and gas industry. National parks and monuments—from the Statue of Liberty to the Grand Canyon—help define who we are as a nation. This executive order is a clear attempt to sell off America’s parks, public lands, and oceans to the highest bidder.
“See you in the Supreme Court!” That was, of course, Trump’s response to the news that a federal judge blocked his executive order aimed at cutting off funding for Sanctuary cities—localities that limit local law enforcement’s involvement in federal immigration enforcement efforts. This decision marks yet another setback for Trump’s assault on immigrants and refugees and is another sign that, for all his bluster, Trump’s threats are hollow. The attack on sanctuary cities are on hold for now, but here are three examples of how Trump’s order could devastate millions.
The Problem That Won’t Go Away. Russia. Specifically, ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn’s cozy relationship with the Kremlin. It drove him out of office in February, and now it’s causing him a run-in with the law. Lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee say Flynn might have broken federal law by not disclosing his business dealings with Russia while assuming office. And now that Congress wants to review documents related to Flynn’s tenure in office, the White House is stone-walling their requests. It’s almost as if they have something to hide.
UNDER THE RADAR
$887 Billion. That’s how much the outdoor recreation industry contributes to the economy according to a new report from the Outdoor Industry Association. The 7.6 million jobs outdoor recreation supports is more than 15 times the number jobs in coal, oil, and gas combined.
Formation. One year after releasing her critically acclaimed project Lemonade, Beyonce is taking on another realm of inequality—higher education. This week she announced the creation of the Formation Scholars program to award four women of color currently enrolled in various degree programs with scholarships. According to an official statement, the scholarship is meant to “encourage and support young women who are unafraid to think outside the box and are bold, conscious and confident.”