‘Freedom’ to lose coverage, House vs. Senate VRA, hate rising…

Tuesday, March 14, 2017




► In today’s Washington Post — Trumpcare would reduce insured numbers by 24 million, CBO projects — House Republicans’ proposal to rewrite federal health-care law would more than reverse the gains the Affordable Care Act has made in the number of Americans with health insurance, while curbing the federal deficit, according to a widely anticipated forecast by congressional analysts. The analysis, released late Monday afternoon by the Congressional Budget Office, predicts that 24 million fewer people would have coverage a decade from now than if the Affordable Care Act remains intact, nearly doubling the share of Americans who are uninsured from 10 percent to 19 percent. The office projects the number of uninsured people would jump 14 million after the first year.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Join Saturday vigils to reject GOP health plan — Vigils are planned this Saturday at 7 p.m. in Issaquah, Spokane, Vancouver, Wenatchee, and Yakima.

► From The Hill — GOP does damage control over healthcare score — Paul Ryan went on Fox News soon after the report was released and said he was “encouraged” by the findings. He pointed to items like the deficit reduction and decrease in premiums that the report found, while seeking to downplay the coverage losses.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Our own Professor/Representative Matt Manweller took yesterday’s bad news out for a spin… and fails.

► In today’s NY Times — Trading health care for the poor for tax cuts for the rich (editorial) — So much for President Trump’s pledge of “insurance for everybody.” According to the CBO the loss of health care coverage under the Republican plan stems largely from gutting Medicaid for low-income Americans, even though Trump has said he would not cut Medicaid. Meanwhile, the plan provides a $600 billion tax cut over 10 years for wealthy Americans. The picture is clear: Trumpcare would throw millions of Americans off their health coverage. And no amount of spin or scorn for the CBO can alter that reality.

► In today’s Washington Post — GOP’s Obamacare replacement is a disaster for some of its most loyal voters — In Grant County, Nebraska, Trump won more than 93 percent of the vote. But Grant County is also a place that has benefited hugely from the Affordable Care Act. In 2016, the law provided more than a quarter of its residents with tax credits to help them purchase health insurance. Now, under the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, many Grant County residents would suffer steep cuts to the tax credits they’ve come to rely on. It’s a nationwide pattern: Some of the harshest consequences of the GOP’s health bill would fall on rural Republican strongholds — precisely the voters who helped elect Trump.

► From The Onion — GOP recommends Americans set aside income from one of their jobs to pay for healthcare under new bill — House Speaker Paul Ryan: “The important thing here is that this legislation will allow Americans — not the federal government — to decide for themselves what kind of healthcare they want and how many jobs they choose to have in order to pay for it.”




► From The Stranger — Reichert’s misleading statements about the threats posed by his constituents — Rep. Dave Reichert (R-8th) has defended his decision not to host a large public town hall meeting for his constituents by claiming they could endanger his staff — a staff that is being bombarded with threats. Reichert said: “We’ve had to call the police. We’ve had people arrested. We’ve had people placed into a mental institution.” There’s just one problem: it’s not true. Records from the Issaquah Police Department show that it has never faced widespread threats of violence from constituents who are angry about Reichert’s political positions. And, as of the date of his recent Facebook Live interview, the office had reported zero trouble to police since Jan. 20, when Trump took office and the resistance to Trump’s brand of Republican politics exploded.

► In today’s P.S. Business Journal — Uber enlists anti-union podcasts, texts and drivers for Seattle fight — Uber is pushing anti-union podcasts to Seattle drivers as the ride-hailing app fends off a bid from labor organizers. Text messages, phone surveys, meeting invites and unusually high pay rates are among the latest tactics by Uber to convince drivers to oppose unionization. One driver said Uber offered a $35 hourly rate (about double the usual pay) to keep him on the road at the time that a union organizing meeting was scheduled in the city.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Some Seattle Lyft, Uber drivers sue over city’s unionization law — About a dozen drivers have filed a lawsuit in federal court, seeking a temporary restraining order barring the city from enforcing the first-of-its-kind law allowing Lyft, Uber and taxi drivers to unionize. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are being represented by attorneys from the National Right to Work Foundation and the Freedom Foundation.




► From Reuters — Washington state looks to defeat Trump over travel ban a second timeWashington state on Monday moved to block President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban, filing a new complaint in federal court and asking a judge to stop the executive order from going into effect on Thursday.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Time to fix a broken election system (by Rep. Mia Gregerson and Sen. Sam Hunt) — A primary goal of the House version of the Washington Voting Rights Act is to give tools to disenfranchised communities to solve the problem before going to court. The House VRA requires parties come together first, outside of the courtroom, to find fair solutions that work for everyone. Local governments would be empowered to enact their own local solutions, such as electing members by district, without ever going to court. Lawsuits would only be used as a last resort if other remedies were not successful. Unfortunately, the Senate one-size-fits-all VRA falls short of providing meaningful solutions and would likely result in more litigation.

► From KNKX — Carbon tax floated as possible replacement to Inslee’s ‘Clean Air Rule’ — Polluting industries in Washington state don’t like Gov. Jay Inslee’s cap on carbon emissions — and they don’t think it’s legal. But an AWB attorney testifying against the rule says, “A carbon tax is certainly one plausible alternative to what’s in the Clean Air Rule, it’s another swipe at the problem.”

ALSO at The Stand — Join WSLC at March 14 hearing for Clean Energy Transition Act

► In the Spokesman-Review — Teachers, parents and legislators gather for school funding forum — Two hundred educators and their allies turned out for a public school funding forum and rally at Roosevelt Elementary School in Vancouver. They told a panel of local legislators that they are worried about every aspect of their students’ educational needs after years of insufficient funding. But if and when that problem finally gets solved, they stressed, wraparound services, both in and out of school – qualified special-needs professionals, homeless and mental health services, sufficient food and affordable shelter – must not suffer in order for the state Legislature to get in compliance with the law.

► In today’s (Everett) herald — Temporary levy solution creates new problems for schools — A much-celebrated bill preserving local taxing authority for school districts is expected to become law this week in spite of provisions that are unclear and may prove unworkable unless fixed.

► In today’s News Tribune — Chopp hit with campaign finance complaint in growing tug-of-war — The Attorney General’s Office says Speaker of the House Frank Chopp failed to report some donations and expenditures on time. The complaint is part of a campaign by a conservative activist who says he wants to reform the rules of campaign finance disclosure.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing, aerospace industry back Republican tax plan with stiff new charge on imports — A group representing the nation’s largest aerospace and defense companies, with Boeing CEO Muilenburg at its helm, threw its full weight behind the ‘border adjustment tax,’ a sweeping Republican plan to transform the U.S. tax system.

► From Politico — Democrats paralyzed as Gorsuch skates — President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee has breezed through more than 70 meetings with senators. Opponents who’ve scoured his record have found little to latch onto. And some Democrats are privately beginning to believe that Gorsuch — barring a blunder at his Senate confirmation hearings next week — will clinch the 60 votes he needs to be approved without a filibuster.

ALSO at The Stand — Gorsuch’s record on worker rights deeply troubling

► From The Hill — Work begins on $1T infrastructure plan — President Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure package is slowly beginning to take shape. Trump has held several meetings on the topic, where he suggested a 90-day deadline for projects to get off the ground. States have submitted hundreds of transportation proposals for the administration to start vetting, and Congress held a hearing to explore potential funding options. Yet a timeline for considering the plan remains up in the air, and it is unclear how the infrastructure projects would be paid for.

► In today’s NY Times — Worker safety rules are among those under fire in Trump era — In a sharp break with the past, the department has stopped publicizing fines against companies. As of Monday, seven weeks after the inauguration of President Trump, the department had yet to post a single news release about an enforcement fine.




► In the Milwaukee J-S — Gov. Scott Walker’s promise to create 250,000 jobs in Wisconsin remains elusive — More than six years ago as a candidate for governor, Republican Scott Walker promised that if he was elected, the state would add 250,000 private-sector jobs in four years. That goal continues to be elusive. For all of 2016, state reports show that employers added 17,200 jobs, by far the lowest annual tally since Walker took office in January 2011.

► In today’s Washington Post — As NCAA money trickles down, even tennis coaches are outearning professors — In a phenomenon playing out across the country, salaries are soaring for coaches of lower-profile college sports largely subsidized by lucrative football and men’s basketball.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Hate-crime suspicions cloud death of Muslim teen — Police believe the death of a Muslim teen found hanging from tree in Lake Stevens was a suicide. But growing speculation, fueled by social media amid a surge in reported hate crimes against Muslims, has many fearing Ben Keita may have been lynched.

► In today’s Olympian — West Olympia apartment residents awake to damaged vehicles, racial slurs and insults — Residents of a west Olympia apartment building awoke Sunday morning to eight vandalized vehicles and spray-painted insults, including a racial epithet directed at African Americans. Also spray painted on a vehicle was the word, “Trump,” and “Got youre (stuff).”

► From AP — Oregon man arrested after attack at Middle Eastern restaurant — Police arrested an Oregon man accused of attacking a restaurant employee with a pipe while calling the worker a terrorist and telling him to go back to his country. Court documents say Jason Kendall told an arresting officer he entered the Middle Eastern restaurant in Salem last week after seeing a woman who he thought was being held as a slave because of the style of blouse she was wearing. Kendall yelled, “Get out of America!” He’s accused of throwing a plastic object at the employee and hitting him with a pipe.

► From Reuters — Report: U.S. hate crimes up 205 in 2016 fueled by election campaign — Bias crimes appeared to increase in some cities following the Nov. 8 election of President Donald Trump, a trend that has extended into this year with a wave of bomb threats and desecrations at synagogues and Jewish cemeteries, a leading hate crimes researcher said on Monday.


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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