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GOP Pushes Children Out Of Health Coverage

Number of U.S. Children Without Health Insurance Grew in 2017 for the 1st Time in Almost a Decade. Fortune: "The economy is strong, unemployment is down, and yet the number of uninsured children in the U.S. is up. According to a new report from Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families, the percentage of children without health insurance grew in 2017 after years of decline. The report said 276,000 more children did not have health insurance last year, increasing to 3.9 million in 2017 from 3.6 million in 2016. The latest measure represents 5% of children in the U.S. While not a huge increase from 4.7% the year before, it’s still viewed with concern. The report’s authors note this is the first time in nearly a decade that the number of uninsured children increased, which is uncommon in periods of economic growth. 'With an improving economy and a very low unemployment rate, the fact that our nation is going backwards on children’s health coverage is very troubling,' said Joan Alker, the center’s executive director. 'Without serious efforts to get back on track, the decline in coverage is likely to continue in 2018 and may in fact get worse for America’s children.' Alker and the other authors suggest the rise can be attributed to several reasons, with most, if not all, tied to the Trump administration and a Republican-controlled Congress."

Suicides, Opioids Push U.S. Life Span Down

American life expectancy has dropped again. Here’s why. PBS: 'If life expectancy gives us 'a snapshot of the nation’s overall health,' then new federal numbers released Thursday 'are a wakeup call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable,' says Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the government’s annual mortality report, life expectancy in the U.S. overall fell in 2017 for the second time in three years. The average American could expect to live 78.6 years, down from 78.7 years in 2016, according to the report from the National Center for Health Statistics. Anderson said the latest data suggest this mortality trend is heavily influenced by the ongoing drug epidemic and a rising rate of suicides nationwide. And many people dying as a result of those two causes tend to be younger than in recent decades, he said. 'When young people die, it tends to be much more poignant,' Anderson said, noting the loss of so much unrealized human potential."

Paul Ryan Cries Crocodile Tears

Paul Ryan really wishes the House speaker would fix immigration and the debt. Vox: "Paul Ryan has regrets. The retiring Republican House speaker who spent the last two years ignoring almost everything President Donald Trump has said and done to get a massive corporate tax cut passed, says leaving immigration and the national debt unaddressed are his 'two regrets I wish we could have gotten done.' Immigration and the debt. Oh boy. Let’s explain some of Ryan’s regrets. First, the debt. Republicans have spent decades sounding the alarm about the growing deficit and national debt, which they say will eventually lead to the nation’s economic demise. It’s Ryan’s biggest and most consistent rallying cry. But under his leadership, the deficit, which is the difference between how much tax revenue the federal government brings in and how much it spends, is on track to hit $1 trillion in 2019. The laws enacted in the last year will add $2.4 trillion to the national debt by 2027. Second, immigration. The week before Donald Trump was inaugurated, Ryan looked a DREAMer and her child in the eyes and told them not to worry about being deported. 'I hope your future is here,' he said at CNN town hall. 'We have to find a way to make sure that you can get right with the law. ... If you’re worried about, you know, some deportation force knocking on your door this year, don’t worry about that.' Then the Trump administration got to work implementing a hardline immigration agenda that’s sowed terror in immigrant communities across the country. Officials implemented a travel ban, announced ending protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (a decision halted in the courts), drastically cut the number of refugees allowed into the United States, made it harder for migrants to claim asylum, and implemented a zero-tolerance policy at the border separating thousands of migrant children from their families, some of which will likely become permanently estranged. All along, Ryan pledged that Republicans were 'willing to work together in good faith on immigration' policy. In reality, he was actively avoiding the issue altogether."

U.S. Enters G20 Summit With Weak Hand

Mueller casts 'dark cloud' over Trump's trip to Argentina. NBC: "President Donald Trump landed in Buenos Aires Thursday night with special counsel Robert Mueller looming over his shoulder back home and President Xi Jinping of China on his horizon. The trick for him, as he celebrates the signing of a new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada Friday and negotiates over his trade war with China Saturday, is to prevent his domestic troubles from damaging American foreign policy interests as the G-20 meets here. The president’s reception in Buenos Aires seemed to hint at a diminished status. When Xi arrived earlier in the day, he was greeted with a red carpet and a military band. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had been given the red carpet but no band. Yet, as Trump was met by a small delegation of dignitaries, for whatever reason, he was afforded neither honor."

Trump Has No Grasp Of Basic Economics

Trump claims 'billions of dollars are pouring into the coffers of the USA' because of his tariffs, but deficits are growing faster. CNBC: "President Donald Trump on Thursday celebrated his administration's tariffs on Chinese goods, claiming that they're bringing in "billions of dollars" for the U.S. However, according to Treasury Department data, the tariff revenue is just a drop in the fiscal bucket. The U.S. government closed the 2018 fiscal year $779 billion in the red, its highest deficit in six years, according to the latest Treasury Department financial statements. The increased shortfall came as Republican tax cuts cut into revenues and expenses rose as higher interest rates raised the cost of carrying the growing national debt. Trump and congressional Republicans have touted the tax cuts as a boost to growth and jobs. Independent tax analysts expect the deficit to surge as corporate and individual tax cuts kick in and government spending increases."

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