Progressive Breakfast for September 2

Morning Message

The “Cadillac” Tax is Coming, And Could Hit Your Midsize Health Plan

According to new projections from the Kaiser Family Foundation, one in four employers will be hit with the Affordable Care Act’s insurance excise tax when it takes effect in 2018. The tax, sometimes called the “Cadillac” or “Cadillac plan” tax, could affect as many as 42 percent of all employers within 10 years. Larger employers, who typically offer better benefits, are more likely to face the tax ... With 48 percent of the country currently covered by employer health insurance, and larger employers more likely to be taxed, as many as 70 to 80 million people could be affected. There must be a better way to run a health care system...

What Trump Doesn’t Know About Immigration

Trump doesn’t understand that immigration levels are down. NYT’s Eduardo Porter: “Since the housing bubble burst and construction jobs dried up, more unauthorized immigrants have left the United States than have come in … 15- to 24-year-olds, those most likely to consider going north, shrank to 18 percent of the Mexican population in 2015 from 22 percent in 1990. They are expected to drop to 16 percent of the population in 2025.”

The Republican electorate is “fertile ground for [Trump’s] brand of demagoguery” says NYT’s Thomas Edsall: “a half-century of Republican policies on race and immigration have made the party the home of an often angry and resentful white constituency.”

Iowa Republicans split on immigration. Bloomberg: “Nearly half of Iowans likely to attend the state’s Republican presidential caucuses agree with Donald Trump’s call to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants … Of non-Trump supporters, 40 percent say it’s a good idea; a plurality, 45 percent, say it’s a bad one.”

Presidential Candidates Talk Policy

Bernie Sanders takes on drug prices. The Hill: “Sanders’s bill would allow the Medicare prescription drug program to negotiate prices with drug companies, which is currently banned under a 2003 law. The measure would also allow the importation of drugs from Canada.”

Martin O’Malley tries to out-Americorps Hillary Clinton. W. Post: “The former Maryland governor will propose doubling the size of both the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps as part of a plan to make national service ‘a cornerstone of American citizenship.’ … The position paper also calls for making national service part of the college experience and for trying to steer those turned away from military service because of health issues or other disqualifications into national service.”

Marco Rubio to unveil energy plan today. Bloomberg: “Senator Marco Rubio says as president he would immediately lift ban on crude-oil exports, stop EPA’s Clean Power Plan, and ’empower states to regulate energy production within their own borders.'”

John Kasich backs minimum wage hike. The Hill: “He declined to get into the specifics of a proposed increase, noting Ohio’s ‘gradual’ minimum wage that moves with the consumer price index … Kasich joins retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) as GOP presidential candidates who are open to a minimum wage hike.”

SEIU considers early endorsement, sparking division. Politico: “Driven by fears that the powerful SEIU labor union is close to announcing an endorsement of Hillary Clinton, a contingent of Bernie Sanders supporters within the union is petitioning the organization’s international executive board to hold off on endorsing a candidate.”

McConnell Dumps Cold Water On Shutdown Tack

Sen. McConnell rules out Planned Parenthood attack. W. Post quotes: ” The president’s made it very clear he’s not going to sign any bill that includes defunding of Planned Parenthood so that’s another issue that awaits a new president hopefully with a different point of view.”

“Government shutdown wouldn’t affect Planned Parenthood funding” notes Politico.

Obama Offers Climate Help To Alaska

Obama to offer help to Alaskans for grappling with climate change. NYT: “President Obama on Wednesday will pledge to step up government aid for Arctic communities whose shorelines and infrastructure are crumbling as warming seas melt their foundations … the first sitting president to visit Arctic Alaska, Mr. Obama will announce federal grant programs to help villages there cope with coastal erosion and high energy costs, and, in some extreme cases, relocate altogether…”

“Obama proposes $1.5 billion for national parks” reports USA Today: “The Obama administration sent to Congress a $1.5 billion proposal to upgrade national parks Tuesday, using a combination of tax money, fee increases, donations and commercial partnerships for a three-year improvement plan marking the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service … [Republicans] didn’t have an immediate reaction.”

Breakfast Sides

Labor to push for long-term transportation bill. The Hill: “Federal funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and road and transit programs is set to expire on Oct. 29. The Teamsters union is planning to greet Congress upon its return to Washington next week with a simple message: Get serious…”

Uber lawsuit proceeds. NYT: “A federal judge granted class-action status on Tuesday to a lawsuit that questions the employment classification of Uber drivers, paving the way for a legal challenge that could strike at the heart of the ride-hailing company’s business model.”