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Tell Your Senators to VOTE NO! Today to Save Health Care

The Senate has voted to move forward on health care repeal, so our fight is far from over. More votes to come. Call your senators: Tell them to VOTE NO! Protect Medicaid and health care for everyone in the country.

Trump Tweets Transgender Ban

Trump says transgender people will not be allowed in the military. NYT: "President Trump abruptly announced a ban on transgender people serving in the military on Wednesday, blindsiding his defense secretary and Republican congressional leaders with a snap decision that reversed a year-old policy reviled by social conservatives. Mr. Trump made the declaration on Twitter, saying that American forces could not afford the 'tremendous medical costs and disruption' of transgender service members. He said he had consulted generals and military experts, but Jim Mattis, the defense secretary, was given only a day’s notice about the decision."

Inside Trump’s snap decision to ban transgender troops. Politico: "House Republicans were planning to pass a spending bill stacked with his campaign promises, including money to build his border wall with Mexico. But an internal House Republican fight over transgender troops was threatening to blow up the bill. And House GOP insiders feared they might not have the votes to pass the legislation because defense hawks wanted a ban on Pentagon-funded sex reassignment operations — something GOP leaders wouldn’t give them. They turned to Trump, who didn’t hesitate. In the flash of a tweet, he announced that transgender troops would be banned altogether. Trump’s sudden decision was, in part, a last-ditch attempt to save a House proposal full of his campaign promises that was on the verge of defeat."

'Skinny" Health Repeal Moves Ahead

Running out of options, Senate Republicans ponder a 'skinny' repeal of health care. LA Times: "Unable to agree on a path forward to repealing the Affordable Care Act, Senate Republicans are reluctantly coalescing around what may be the last idea standing: a dramatically scaled-down bill that would leave most of the 2010 law in place... the face-saving strategy, which could come to a vote as soon as Thursday, would at least allow senators to say they acted on something.
It could also trigger a conference committee with House lawmakers to reconcile the Senate bill with the more sweeping House repeal legislation, giving lawmakers another shot at reaching agreement."

CBO says ‘Skinny' repeal could boost uninsured by 16 million. Politico: "Republicans’ rumored slimmed-down Obamacare repeal bill could lead to 16 million more uninsured Americans next year, according to a CBO estimate requested by Senate Democrats and shared Wednesday. Democrats asked the CBO to score a mock-up of the bill based on provisions that the GOP is reportedly considering, two Democratic aides said. The mock-up included repealing Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates, medical device tax, community health center funding and prevention fund, in addition to defunding Planned Parenthood. Based on those provisions, the CBO projected that the so-called skinny repeal bill would result in premiums about 20 percent higher compared to current law."

Bipartisan governors warn Senate not to pass ‘skinny’ Obamacare Repeal. HuffPost: "A bipartisan group of 10 governors wrote a letter Wednesday urging the Senate to reject a proposed “skinny” health care bill that Republican leaders are now trying feverishly to pass. And if the collective voice of so many governors doesn’t get the attention of GOP leaders, the letter’s endorsement by one particular Republican governor might. It’s Brian Sandoval, from Nevada. He has emerged as a key player in the health care debate because GOP leaders in Washington desperately need the vote of Nevada’s Republican senator, Dean Heller. Heller’s opposition alone could very well sink legislation, given that two out of the Senate’s 52 Republicans have already said they would oppose any Obamacare repeal option now under official discussion. And Heller has said he will listen closely to what Sandoval advises."

The ‘Skinny Bill’ is a farce. Here’s the real reason Republicans are doing it. New York Magazine: "The alternative to this endless farce is to admit the process of developing a Republican-only repeal and replace of Obamacare is a failure. It would be easy, almost trivially easy, to patch up the law and bring down premium costs — simply halting deliberate sabotage by the Trump administration would be enough. But this would admit that the party has spent eight years making promises that it could not fulfill. And a liar who is caught usually prefers to delay exposure as long as possible."

Health Care Vote-a-Rama

GOP senator seeks to force vote on single-payer care. The Hill: "Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) wants Democrats to show their cards on single-payer. The GOP senator has filed an amendment to implement a government-funded healthcare system in a political maneuver aimed at forcing Democrats to say whether or not they support the concept that is picking up steam on the left. A vote on the amendment has been scheduled for Thursday. To be clear, it’s almost certain Daines doesn’t support a single-payer system. The vote would be part of the ObamaCare repeal bill vote-a-rama — a rapid succession of amendments that can last hours, oftentimes stretching through the night and into the next early morning. Vote-a-ramas are often a time when senators force their colleagues across the aisle to take tough votes, which can be turned into political attack ads later."

Dems to GOP: No amendments until you show us your bill. Politico: "Senate Democrats are taking their ball and going home in the looming health care vote-a-rama — until Republicans finally cough up their actual Obamacare repeal plan. Fed up with the GOP’s constant vacillations over how to dismantle Obamacare, Democrats say they will hold back on offering any more amendments in the health care floor fight until Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) shows what plan the GOP will ultimately coalesce around. 'Democrats are not going to participate in this one-sided and broken process,' announced Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) Wednesday evening."

More from

U.S. Leads World in Inequality, and It Is Getting Worse. Sam Pizzigati: "The laggard among the world’s rich nations? No contest there: the United States. The “wealthiest country in the history of the world” — the Oxfam and DFI label — has the highest level of inequality among the world’s major industrial nations. And the U.S. government is letting that inequality get worse — on every major front."

Repeal and Replace John McCain’s Government-Sponsored Health Care. Miles Mogulescu: "In an act of startling hypocrisy, Sen. John McCain returned from his sickbed to cast the deciding vote to proceed with debate to repeal health care, even as he receives the high-quality, government-financed care members of Congress take for granted."

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