fresh voices from the front lines of change







Taking Stock of Health Care

GOP Promises lower health premiums but ignores all that’s driving them. Politico: “Republicans are betting it’s smart politics to zoom in on the pocketbook issues affecting individual consumers and families. But by ignoring the mounting expenses of prescription drugs, doctor visits and hospital stays, they allow the health care system to continue on its dangerous upward trajectory. That means that even if they fulfill their seven-year vow to repeal Obamacare and rein in premiums for some people, the nation’s mounting costs are almost sure to pop out in other places — including fresh efforts by insurers and employers to push more expenses onto consumers through bigger out-of-pocket costs and narrower benefits.”

Kids in pro-Trump rural areas have a lot to lose if GOP rolls back Medicaid. LA Times: “Much of the debate over Republican efforts to roll back the Affordable Care Act has focused on the impact cuts would have on working-age adults, millions of whom gained coverage under the healthcare law that President Obama signed in 2010. But in Fayette County and 779 other mostly rural counties across the country — the vast majority of which went for Trump — more than half the children rely for coverage on Medicaid and the related Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, according to a Times analysis of county voting data, census data and Medicaid enrollment data.”

Trump’s HHS forced to admit Obamacare is doing pretty well. DailyKOS: “This is inconvenient for the Trump administration. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, part of Tom Price’s Department of Health and Human Services, mis out with its report on the health of the insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act for 2016, and it’s pretty good. Those are the top-level findings, all boiling down to the fact that the market is ‘working as intended’ under the law… the population in the Obamacare exchanges is a good mix of healthy and sick, and is sustainable. Meaning it’s not in a death spiral.”

Conservatives push deeper cuts in ACA repeal. Politico: “Conservative groups are aggressively backing Sens. Mike Lee and Ted Cruz in their bid to move the Senate Republicans’ Obamacare repeal bill further to the right, setting up a major confrontation between the party’s warring factions next week. On Wednesday afternoon both FreedomWorks and the Club for Growth urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to adopt an amendment fromCruz of Texas and Lee of Utah that would largely gut Obamacare’s regulatory regime. The move is significant: Without at least a neutral stance from conservative groups, it could be impossible for McConnell to find the 50 votes needed to pass a repeal this month. But what the right is asking for may not be able to pass the Senate either.”

GOP Mines Voting Data

How the failed Trump Effort to Create a ‘National Voter Database’ could help the GOP dominate future elections. AlterNet: “Kobach and a handful of other Republican statewide election managers and lawyers — the same crew that were running federal election oversight under George W. Bush — have found weaknesses or ambiguities in federal election laws and are trying to exploit them to restrict who can vote. Their motive is simple. They know the Republican’s white and aging base are a shrinking minority in a diversifying nation.”

Sabres Rattle

Trump says US mulling ‘very severe’ response to North Korea missile test. The Guardian: “Donald Trump has said he is considering some “very severe things” in response to North Korea’s successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) this week, as he called on other nations to exert pressure on Pyongyang over its ‘very bad behavior’. The president’s comments, made in Poland, came after the US ambassador to the UN made a push for new sanctions at a security council meeting and said America’s “considerable military forces” could be used against North Korea.”

Trump says election meddling ‘could be Russia’ but ‘no one really knows for sure.” CNN: “President Donald Trump said Thursday that he thinks Russia was behind 2016 election meddling, but added that he feels ‘it could have been other people in other countries’ and that ‘no one really knows for sure.”I think it very well could be Russia but I think it could very well have been other countries,’ Trump said during a news conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda in which he also slammed the news media, including CNN and NBC. ‘I think a lot of people interfere.'”

Trump asks whether West has ‘will to survive.’ NYT: ” Mr. Trump delivered a message on Thursday of determination in the face of terrorism to the Polish people in a speech in Krasinski Square, where a monument commemorates the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis, calling on the West to defend itself in a good-versus-evil fight against extremism. ‘The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive,’ he said, employing the same life-or-death language as his inauguration speech, which promised a war against the ‘American carnage’ of urban crime. ‘Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?'”

Hamburg shuts down ahead of G20 summit protests. BBC: “The prime ministers and presidents have yet to arrive, but protests have already turned to violence.
Earlier this week, police used water cannon to disperse demonstrators and there have been scuffles as officers tried to clear small tented camps set up by protestors.
Last night, a Porsche garage was torched. On Thursday night a huge demonstration is planned. On Friday, protesters aim to stop world leaders getting into the summit.
At Hamburg’s police headquarters, there is an atmosphere of nervous tension. Teams of officers in minibuses drive in and out past lines of water cannon and police vans, parked up and ready for action. About 20,000 officers are on duty over the course of G20.”

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