This morning, President Trump took another hit at Obama’s legacy—and the health care and well-being of millions of Americans—by ending cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to insurers under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). CSRs reductions lower deductibles and out-of-pocket costs for low-income consumers purchasing insurance in the ACA marketplace. This comes just one day after Trump signed an executive order that fragments the health insurance market. And these actions follow months of less prominent, yet still terrible actions, that undermine the effectiveness of the ACA. To see the full list of Trump’s sabotage efforts, check out our report here.
Trump’s continued sabotage of the ACA is just a political game for him—but it has real, possibly deadly, consequences for Americans across the country, especially for the middle class. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), ending funding for CSR payments will raise premiums by 20 percent in 2018; result in insurance companies fleeing the marketplace; and, increase the federal deficit by about $194 billion over the next decade. With insurers leaving the market, CBO expects 1 in 20 people will have no issuers offering plans in their area.
To learn more about CSRs, watch our video. Then, check out the “Action of the Day” below to find out how you can fight back and call on Congress to take immediate action to prevent this disaster from moving forward any more before it’s too late!
ACTION OF THE DAY
Protect Our Care. It’s time to light up Twitter, members of Congress’s inboxes, and their phones – again. Your efforts are the reason Congress failed to repeal the ACA and now we must stand up to Trump’s executive actions to purposefully sabotage your health care. Share the graphic below to let your friends and family know what the end of cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) means for everyone. And watch our Periscope explainer on CSRs. Then, call your representatives at 202-224-3121 to let them know that Congress must take immediate legislative action to fix the situation!
Iran Deal. This morning, the Trump administration released a “new strategy on Iran” and effectively de-certified the Iran Deal. While this is not the complete withdrawal from the deal that Trump promised on the campaign trail, it forces Congress to take action to save the deal from falling apart—and they only have 60 days. According to the Center for American Progress, the Iran Deal is technically strong and is critical to preventing Iran from building a nuclear weapon. Trump’s approach does not make Americans safer; in fact, it could weaken the U.S.’s influence and leverage on the international stage, just as we’ve seen as he’s pulled out of other international agreements, like the Paris Climate Accord. Listen to the latest episode of Thinking CAP to hear Senator Chris Murphy discuss the Iran Deal.
NRA. Yesterday, the National Rifle Association (NRA) announced its opposition to two bills that have been introduced to ban bump stocks, a gun accessory that transforms a semi-automatic weapon to allow it to function like a machine gun, including a bill in the House that has 12 Republican cosponsors. Attention has turned to bump stocks after the Las Vegas shooter used them in his massacre of hundreds of people a couple weeks ago. Although Congress should ban bump stock, this action is not a sufficient response to addressing gun violence in the U.S.; in fact, it’s barely scratching the surface. Share our new video encouraging Congress to reject the NRA’s agenda and take action on bump stocks—and then keep going. Congress should take action to expand background checks, ban all weapons of war, end “guns everywhere” laws, and prevent abusers who have a history of domestic violence from buying guns. And then join us tomorrow in Fairfax, Virginia at the NRA’s headquarters to protest and hold a vigil for the Las Vegas shooting victims.
Raging Hypocrite. As the President continues to attack NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem and supposedly disrespecting our country and military, he neglects to practice what he preaches. On Wednesday, he disrespected a time-honored military tradition in an airplane hangar used by the Pennsylvania Air National Guard by claiming that the bugle call used during the lowering of the flag was actually a song honoring Sean Hannity – who was interviewing him at the time – and his ratings. If this were not bad enough, Trump disrespects our military and veterans by abandoning his promises to them and actively hurting them with his agenda. During the campaign, he promised to increase healthcare for veterans, but his party’s numerous failed healthcare bills would have ripped coverage away from thousands of veterans. He has also signed orders that freeze pay for countless vets and shut thousands more out of their jobs. Who’s really disrespecting veterans in this situation: the NFL players using their First Amendment rights to protest racial injustice, or the man who has used his power to actively make the lives of these American heroes worse?
UNDER THE RADAR
#DirtyDeputies. In the past 48 hours, Trump has nominated two new members to his anti-science administration. Kathleen Hartnett-White, his pick for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, is a close friend to the fossil fuel industry and prolific climate denier. In recent years, through her role at a Koch-funded foundation, she’s been a proponent of alternative facts lies like carbon dioxide is “not a pollutant.” Her denial goes beyond sticking her head in the sand on climate change; she actively argues a moral case for developing fossil fuels. Potentially joining her to help undermine science is Barry Myers, Trump’s nominee for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. As CEO of AccuWeather, he’s long lobbied for privatization of the National Weather Service (which NOAA runs), so companies like his would profit. He’d be the first administrator in decades without an advanced degree in science. Despite coming off the worst hurricane season in decades and amid devastating wildfires in California, Trump’s pick of these two nominees show he’s determined to abandon science-based policies and deny the existence of climate change.