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Trump Cuts $7 Billion from Health Care for Poor

Trump ends ACA subsidies for poor, to undermine health marketplaces. WaPo: "President Trump is throwing a bomb into the insurance marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act, choosing to end critical payments to health insurers that help millions of lower-income Americans afford coverage. The decision coincides with an executive order on Thursday to allow alternative health plans that skirt the law’s requirements. The White House confirmed late Thursday that it would halt federal payments for cost-sharing reductions, although a statement did not specify when. Another statement a short time later by top officials at the Health and Human Services Department said the cutoff would be immediate. The subsidies total about $7 billion this year."

Trump Threatens to End Puerto Rico Aid

Trump hints at ending aid as Puerto Ricans forced to drink polluted water. The Guardian: "Donald Trump has seemingly threatened to pull federal emergency support from Puerto Rico a day after his administration reported that desperate people in the US territory have been drinking from contaminated wells due to a lack of water. In a series of tweets sent on Thursday morning, Trump said: 'We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. Forever!'... Sufficient aid has yet to reach many people in Puerto Rico, three weeks after much of the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria. More than 80% of the island is without electricity and nearly half of all people are still cut off from communication."

Millions Go Hungry in Puerto Rico

FEMA Officials Admit They're Short Millions of Daily Meals in Puerto Rico. Splinter: "Days after conspicuously removing, then restoring, dire statistics tracking Puerto Rico’s crisis from its website, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials have reportedly acknowledged a substantial food shortage on the island.While FEMA needs to feed more than two million Puerto Ricans daily, officials told the Guardian on Wednesday that the agency and its partners have only been able to provide 200,000 meals per day. So that’s a few million meals short, an official admitted: 'We are 1.8 million meals short,' said one senior Fema official. 'That is why we need the urgency. And it’s not going away. We’re doing this much today, but it has to be sustained over several months.' One of FEMA’s partners, chef José Andrés, has delivered the brunt of daily cooked meals on the island through a network of local chefs. Through his nonprofit, World Central Kitchen, Andrés has helped deliver roughly 90,000 meals a day. World Central Kitchen’s contract with FEMA ended on Tuesday, however, and the agency said it would be several weeks before another was federally approved. 'There is no urgency in the government response to this humanitarian crisis.'"

The New "F Word"

Why are we still afraid to call Trump a fascist? Salon: "Donald Trump is a fascist and a racial authoritarian... Trump has revealed his core values to the world at almost every opportunity. Yet somehow, too many Americans appear stuck on a treadmill of daily shock at his behavior. It is sad to watch. Why is any of this a surprise? Trump is a crude man. He has never been subtle in terms of sharing his values and beliefs... The logic is simple: If Trump is indeed a fascist then what are our obligations to stop him? The answer requires a type of engaged citizenship and courageous leadership that is uncommon in the United States."

More from

Tax Cuts for the Rich, Paid for with Your Health Care. LeeAnn Hall: "When Republican leaders tried to repeal health care in the spring and summer, many Americans raised the alarm and made a ruckus. We asked hard questions, looked at the independent analyses, held town halls, told our health care stories, and took to the streets. Now the plan to raid our health care is mostly buried in the GOP tax scheme and budget process. Here’s how they’re putting it into place."

NAFTA Negotiators Send Corporate Whiners Back to Swamp. Leo Gerard: "The Trump Administration has defied the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in renegotiation of NAFTA. The Chamber whined about it, and a spokesperson for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative basically told them to shut up."

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