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Health care liars, minimum wage liars, deficit liars

Wednesday, September 20, 2017




► In today’s NY Times — Republican leaders defy bipartisan opposition to health law repeal — Eleven governors, including five Republicans and a pivotal Alaskan independent, urged the Senate on Tuesday to reject a last-ditch push to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. But Republican leaders pressed toward a showdown vote. And they choked off separate bipartisan efforts to shore up health insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act, hoping to give Republican senators no alternative but to vote for repeal.

EDITOR’S NOTE — After the GOP suspended bipartisan efforts to shore up the health insurance market, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) released a statement saying, “I am disappointed that Republican leaders have decided to freeze this bipartisan approach and are trying to jam through a partisan Trumpcare bill, but I am confident that we can reach a deal if we keep working together — and I am committed to getting that done.”

ALSO at The Stand — Call Congress to stop latest health care attackCALL 202-224-3121 TODAY and leave messages for both Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, and also for your Representative, particularly if it’s one of the four Republicans from Washington state: Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Dave Reichert, Jaime Herrera Beutler, and Dan Newhouse. Tell them to OPPOSE the Graham-Cassidy “health care” bill.

► From The Hill — Study: New ObamaCare repeal would cost states $215B — The newest legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would slash federal funding to states by $215 billion through 2026 and cut more than $4 trillion over a 20-year period, according to a new analysis by a nonpartisan consulting firm.

► In today’s Washington Post — Under latest health-care bill, red states would benefit disproportionately — Fourteen of the 15 states that would stand to gain from block grants are run by Republicans; Democratic megastates including California, New York and Massachusetts would lose billions of dollars, a feature both Graham and Cassidy have talked up to conservatives.

EDITOR’S NOTE — That’s right. In their attempt to sell this POS to their colleagues, Republicans are bragging that more people will lose health care in Democratic-leaning states (like Washington) than Republican-leaning states. Welcome to their United States.

► From The Hill — Republicans predict Senate ObamaCare repeal would pass House

EDITOR’S NOTE — Really, Cathy? Really?

► MUST-READ from Vox — I’ve covered the GOP repeal plans since day one. Graham-Cassidy is the most radical. (by Sarah Kliff) — The bill takes money from states that did a good job getting residents covered under Obamacare and gives it to states that did not. It eliminates an expansion of the Medicaid program that covers millions of Americans in favor of block grants. States aren’t required to use the money to get people covered or to help subsidize low- and middle-income earners, as Obamacare does now. Taken together, these components add up to a sweeping proposal sure to upend the American health care system. Because the Senate hasn’t seen an independent analysis yet from the Congressional Budget Office, I can’t even say for sure how sweeping, and neither can any of the Republicans who have come out in support of it.

► In today’s Washington Post — Jimmy Kimmel gets heated about health-care bill, says Sen. Bill Cassidy ‘lied right to my face’ — “They’re counting on you to be so overwhelmed with all the information you just trust them to take care of you, but they’re not taking care of you. They’re taking care of the people who give them money, like insurance companies. And we’re all just looking at our Instagram accounts and liking things while they’re voting on whether people can afford to keep their children alive or not.”





► In today’s Seattle Times — First delivery of Boeing’s KC-46 Air Force tanker slides into next year — Following new development problems, Boeing won’t be able to deliver its first KC-46 air refueling tanker to the Air Force this year as previously expected.

► In today’s Peninsula Daily News — Sequim teachers set deadline for strike; work stoppage Sept. 27 if deal isn’t done — With a disagreement regarding their contracts unsettled, Sequim School District teachers are preparing for a strike. Members of the Sequim Education Association voted Sept. 13 in favor of authorizing its elected officers to call for a strike Sept. 27 or a later date if an agreement is not met with the Sequim School District before then.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Punching the Nazi was actually the least dramatic free-speech showdown this week (by Danny Westneat) — C’mon, folks, if by chance you run into a wayward Nazi downtown, or an outspoken professor saying something you don’t like, or even of all things, a college Republican, don’t punch, threaten violence or censor. All this gets you is the thing you’re supposedly against — more intolerance.




► In today’s Yakima H-R — Yakima County continues streak of record-low unemployment — The number of Yakima County residents without jobs continues to drop at significant rates, contributing to a trend of record-low unemployment rates.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Two years ago, the Washington Policy Center (a corporate-funded think tank) was warning us that raising Yakima’s then-$9.47/hour minimum wage “will not encourage employers and entrepreneurs to create more jobs. It will, of course, do the opposite.” Today Yakima’s minimum wage is $11/hour and the local unemployment rate has, of course, dropped from 7% to 5.8% in the past year.

► In today’s Olympian — Uh-oh: Dueling carbon initiatives (editorial) — There is a case to make that all parties working on a climate initiative should work together on a single proposal for 2018. Differences between climate-action groups helped sink I-732.

ALSO at The Stand — Momentum builds for Alliance’s climate change campaign




► From The Hill — A radical Republican proposal to roll back worker protections — Republicans in Congress, urged on by wealthy corporate lobbyists, have introduced H.R. 3441. They say it is intended to overturn Browning Ferris (a decision that found a waste-management company was a joint employer along with a staffing agency used to provide 80% of its workforce). The bill would certainly do that, but it would do much, much more. In fact, as a practical matter the legislation would eliminate joint employment under the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act. This would make it easier for employers to cheat workers out of their wages and limit workers’ freedom to organize and negotiate for better pay and working conditions. It is radical, far-reaching legislation that would roll back worker protections. The bill establishes a whole new definition of “joint employer” that is far narrower than agencies, courts and the common law have ever used.

► In today’s NY Times — Senate Republicans embrace plan for $1.5 trillion tax cut — Senate Republicans, abandoning a key fiscal doctrine, agreed on Tuesday to move forward on a budget that would add to the federal deficit in order to pave the way for a $1.5 trillion tax cut over the next 10 years… A deficit-financed tax cut is at odds with longstanding Republican calls for fiscal discipline, including that tax cuts not add to the ballooning federal deficit.

► In today’s NY Times — With combative style and epithets, Trump takes America First to the U.N. — President Trump brought the same confrontational style of leadership he has used at home to the world’s most prominent stage on Tuesday as he vowed to “totally destroy North Korea” if it threatened the United States and denounced the nuclear agreement with Iran as “an embarrassment” that he may abandon.

► From Politico — Price’s private-jet travel breaks precedent — In a sharp departure from his predecessors, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price last week took private jets on five separate flights for official business, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars more than commercial travel. Price, a frequent critic of federal spending who has been developing a plan for department-wide cost savings, declined to comment.

► In today’s Washington Post — Induction of union-busting Reagan into Labor’s Hall of Honor shocks union — Isn’t it weird that someone who could contend for the title of America’s Greatest Union Buster will be inducted into the Labor Department’s Hall of Honor? More than strange, the union representing Labor Department employees says honoring former president Ronald Reagan is shocking. But Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta thinks inducting Reagan is a fine idea.


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