That’s what anyone who cares about health coverage in America is saying about Trump’s pick for Secretary of Health and Human Services. Trump has nominated Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)—who has long led the charge to repeal the Affordable Care Act—to head the Department of Health and Human Services. Rep. Price really hates the ACA. He supported shutting down the government over the ACA; referred to it as tyranny before it even became a law; and said it undermined “freedom and liberty” and would turn doctors into slaves. No confirmation yet on whether or not anyone has told him that repealing the law would cause more than 22 million people to lose health coverage.
What sets Price apart from many of his fellow anti-ACA House Republicans is he has actually put forward a replacement plan. But his replacement plan wouldn’t come close to providing comparable coverage. First, Rep. Price has said guaranteeing access to coverage for people with pre-existing conditions is “a terrible idea.” He also supports privatizing Medicare with vouchers that are capped, regardless of price of the plan. That would transfer costs to seniors and come as a shock to Trump supporters who listened when he promised he wouldn’t cut their Medicare benefits. Rep. Price also wants to slash Medicaid funding, which would shift costs to states and lead to millions of beneficiaries losing coverage.
Tl;dr: Price’s ACA “replacement” would increase costs for older, sicker, and low-income Americans. And the wealthy would get a tax shelter. Read six reasons Price is unfit to be Secretary of HHS here.
ACTION OF THE DAY
Fight for 15. Workers across the country are striking today to demand higher wages as a part of the Fight for 15 movement. Want to support them? You can visit the Fight for 15 website, tweet your support for @fightfor15, or text “FOLLOW” to 64336 to get updates all day on your phone.
Football. Not the American kind. A plane with 81 passengers, including members of a Brazilian soccer club, crashed in Colombia today. According to authorities, only six passengers survived. The team was on its way to the finals of a regional tournament. More on the story here.
Burning the first amendment. In an apparent attempt to distract people from his flurry of nominations, Trump attacked the Constitution again this morning when he tweeted, “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!”
Big spending. Because Trump and his family probably won’t live in DC full-time, Secret Service is looking into renting a floor in Trump Tower, which could cost about $1.5 million a year. This means the Secret Service will be using tax payer dollars to rent from Trump’s own company—after paying Trump $1.6 million during the election to fly on his plane. These expenses are on top of the additional $1 million a day that New York City spends to protect Trump and his family.
Misinformation. Facebook isn’t the only group that’s spread it. More than a year ago, news broke that Exxon Mobil had information about the impact of human-caused climate change as early as the 1970s, but deliberately misled the public to protect its own profits. Tomorrow at 12 pm EST, CAP Action is hosting a panel of experts to discuss the legal foundation for seeking accountability from fossil fuel companies, as well as the importance of state attorney general investigations in the face of federal opposition or inaction.
Tip of the iceberg. Trump’s growing network of conflicts of interest seems large already, but it turns out there are likely countless conflicts we don’t know about. Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns or his list of lenders hides his ethical grey areas. Not knowing what Trump owns, who he works with, or who is paying him is a big deal since, as President, he will oversee agencies and other bodies of government that will likely be overseeing his business dealings. For example, President Trump will control the General Services Administration, which currently oversees a Trump Organization lease, making Trump both landlord and tenant of his lease. Read more here.
Getting in the holiday spirit. Nas is selling Christmas sweaters to support criminal justice reform efforts. Get yours here.