Progressive Breakfast for June 22

Morning Message

Colorado Calls Out Sen. Gardner to Defend Health Care

Colorado Senator Cory Gardner says the GOP "should be more open" about their plan to repeal health care. We agree. But Gardner's dismay doesn't take away his own responsibility to vote to defend health care in his state.

Health Care Repeal

Senate GOP set to release details of health care repeal. CNN: “Senate Republican leaders plan to release their health care plan Thursday, the first time the public – and their fellow GOP senators – will get to see what they have been working on behind closed doors. And the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is expected to release its analysis of the bill early next week, with a Senate vote possible before the July 4 recess.”

Senate health-care draft repeals Obamacare taxes, provides bigger subsidies for low-income Americans than House bill. WaPo: “A discussion draft circulating Wednesday afternoon among aides and lobbyists would roll back the Affordable Care Act’s taxes, phase down its Medicaid expansion, rejigger its subsidies, give states wider latitude in opting out of its regulations and eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The bill largely mirrors the House measure that narrowly passed last month but with some significant changes aimed at pleasing moderates.”

McConnell tries to split the difference on protections for sickest Americans. Politico: “Senate Leader Mitch McConnell can’t afford a conservative rebellion as he attempts to ram through an Obamacare repeal bill before the July 4th recess. So while the emerging Senate plan attempts to win over moderate Republicans by keeping the health law’s bar on discriminating against the sickest Americans, it would also give states flexibility to alter their health markets in ways that could weaken coverage for millions with pre-existing conditions.”

Republicans’ Proposed Medicaid Cuts Would Hit Rural Patients Hard. KBIA: “Since 2010, at least 79 rural hospitals have closed across the country, and nearly 700 more are at risk of closing. These hospitals serve a largely older, poorer and sicker population than most hospitals, and that makes them particularly vulnerable to changes made to Medicaid funding. ‘A lot of hospitals like [ours] could get hurt,’ says Kerry Noble, CEO of Pemiscot Memorial Health Systems, the public hospital in the poorest county in Missouri.”

No Protest, Please

Since Trump’s election, 20 states have moved to criminalize dissent. Common Dreams: “In what is being called the “biggest protest crackdown since the Civil Rights Era,” Republicans in at least 20 states have put forward or passed laws with the intention of making protest more difficult and the punishment for expressing dissent more draconian since President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January.”

Hacking Our Elections

U.S. Elections Systems Vulnerable, Lawmakers Told. NPR: “In the Senate hearing, Department of Homeland Security and FBI witnesses told lawmakers they expect the Russian cyber-threat against the U.S. to ‘evolve’ — and that governments across the country must try to keep up as well. ‘I believe the Russians absolutely will continue to try to conduct influence operations in the U.S., which will include cyber operations,’ said Bill Priestap, assistant director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division.”

More from OurFuture.org:

Big Pharma Gets $28 Billion Tax Break in GOP Health Plan. Will Rice: “There will be a lot of losers if the House GOP’s disastrous plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act ever becomes law One of the few winners would be the nation’s pharmaceutical industry: $28 billion richer thanks to a big tax cut.
Do America’s drug makers deserve this windfall, when the profits of the top 10 companies topped $83 billion last year alone, with the top 5 pocketing nearly $58 billion? Hardly. In fact, they need to start paying their fair share.”

Veto the Cold-Hearted Health Bill. Leo Gerard: “Even if the GOP thinks it was fun to rebuff Democrats’ pleas for a public process, they really should pay attention to the president who called the House health insurance bill ‘a son of a bitch.’ After all, the president has veto power.”