Thursday, September 21, 2017
► From The Hill — Senate GOP aims to vote next week on Trumpcare
► From the AFL-CIO — The Senate is in a hurry to cut our health care — Republican leaders are in such a rush that they plan to vote on the bill before they even know fully what the bill will do. Congress’ independent budget experts say they will not be ready with an analysis of what the bill does to the federal budget or health care coverage until sometime in October. Congressional Republicans are prepared to do this despite warnings from other experts that this bill could take health care away from as many as 32 million people. If you’ve had enough, call your senators at 888-865-8089 and tell them not to take health care away from millions of Americans.
► From The Hill — GOP takes heavy fire over pre-existing conditions — The Republicans’ new Graham-Cassidy bill would let states repeal protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
► From The Hill — AARP: Older Americans to pay $16K more under new GOP repeal
► From CNBC — American Medical Association opposes Obamacare repeal bill, citing coverage losses by millions of Americans — The nation’s largest group of doctors opposes the Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal and replace much of Obamacare. Other groups of patients, providers and senior Americans also are against the bill.
► In today’s NY Times — Insurers come out swinging against new Republican health care bill — The health insurance industry, after cautiously watching Republican health care efforts for months, came out forcefully on Wednesday against the Senate’s latest bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, suggesting that its state-by-state block grants could create health care chaos in the short term and a Balkanized, uncertain insurance market.
EDITOR’S NOTE — So, wait. This is opposed by the doctors, hospitals, senior citizens, every patient advocacy group there is, and even the insurance companies?! So who exactly wants this horrible, cruel bill?
► From The Guardian — Koch network ‘piggy banks’ closed until Republicans pass health and tax reform — One Texas-based Koch network donor warned Republican lawmakers that his “Dallas piggy bank” was now closed, until he saw legislative progress. “Get Obamacare repealed and replaced, get tax reform passed,” said Doug Deason. “Get it done and we’ll open it back up.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — Oh. Fun Fact: Deason made his fortune by pioneering the offshoring of office jobs to places outside of the United States. #MAGA!
► From Vox — GOP senators are rushing to pass Graham-Cassidy. We asked 9 to explain what it does. — Republican senators are struggling to articulate why they are rushing to pass their health care bill before the Sept. 30 deadline. “If we do nothing, it has a tremendous impact on the 2018 elections,” said Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS). “And whether or not Republicans still maintain control and we have the gavel…
► From HuffPost — Livid Kimmel turns up the heat on Sen. Cassidy for a 2nd night — After Kimmel criticized his bill two nights ago, Cassidy countered that the talk-show host didn’t grasp the nuances of his legislation. “I am sorry he does not understand.” Last night, Kimmel responded, “Could it be, Sen. Cassidy, that the problem is that I do understand and you got caught with your G-O-Penis out. Is that possible?”
► From Politico — Kimmel, not Cassidy, is right on health care, analysts say — In the war of words between Jimmy Kimmel and Sen. Bill Cassidy, the late-night host has the better grasp of health policy, health care analysts say.
► From The Onion — GOP leaders confident they’ll have cruelty necessary to pass healthcare bill — “I’m not saying that lining up the wanton disregard for human suffering will be easy, but I’m more and more persuaded that it will be there when this bill ultimately comes to the floor,” said bill coauthor Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
► From CBS News — The potential economic hit of sending “Dreamers” back — Arguments for allowing recipients of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrival, or DACA, program to remain in the U.S. often turn on a sense of generosity and goodwill. These young men and women are going to college, getting good jobs, buying cars and homes, and it would be cruel to send them back to countries they may barely know. A new study suggests an economic argument that’s just as potent for giving so-called Dreamers a path to citizenship or at least permanent residency. Deporting the roughly 800,000 DACA recipients would dent the U.S. economy in a big way — to the tune of $100 billion in lost economic output over five years, and 720,000 lost jobs, Oxford Economics estimates in a study based on government immigration data.
ALSO at The Stand — DREAM nurse speaks out to save DACA
► From Bloomberg — Unions are training hotel workers to face down immigration raids — Hotel workers in cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York have been gathering for training sessions organized by the UNITE HERE union on how to handle visits from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
► From The Hill — Liberal unrest threatens Dem immigration strategy — Democratic leaders fighting to enact the DREAM Act this year are taking fire from a surprising group: liberal immigrant-rights activists… The episodes suggest the coming debate over immigration reform — a perennial headache for Republican leaders — will also be no small challenge for the Democrats.
► In today’s News Tribune — State sues Tacoma’s Northwest Detention Center for paying immigrant detainees $1 a day — Washington state’s attorney general is suing the operator of the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, accusing the for-profit company of violating the state’s minimum wage laws by paying immigrant detainees to work for $1 day or less. “Essentially, they unjustly, illegally made millions of dollars,” Ferguson said of GEO Group. “They profited from their illegal actions exploiting workers.”
► From AP — Revenue forecast for Washington state up $288 million — Numbers released Wednesday by the Office of Financial Management show the state’s revenue collection will be up, partly because the state’s economy performed better than expected in June.
► In today’s Seattle Times — With projected state tax collections up, one GOP senator suggests easing property-tax hike (that he demanded) — Sen. John Braun (R-Centralia) said lawmakers could use surplus money to ease the burden of next year’s property-tax increase. But Democrats say the extra tax money is likely needed to fill holes in the current budget left after lawmakers struck a last-minute agreement to avoid a state government shutdown.
EDITOR’S NOTE –You’ll recall that Braun and his fellow Senate Republicans brought the state to the brink of a government shutdown as they demanded — and succeeded in getting — higher property taxes in King County and other populous areas of the state, so that rural (read: Republican) parts of the state would get more money for schools without having to pay for it. So now he’s a hero for swooping in and trying to mitigate the tax increases he demanded?!
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Sultan Mayor Carolyn Eslick appointed to state House seat — She will fill the 39th District vacancy created by the August resignation of Republican John Koster.
► In the News Tribune — Hospital lawsuit points to larger problems (letter) — Re: “State sues Tacoma’s St. Joseph Medical Center, saying it illegally withheld charity care,” (TNT, 9/5). If the allegations are correct, this is a violation of Washington’s Consumer Protection Act, which requires hospitals to provide notice of charity care availability and to screen patients for eligibility. If we cannot trust a Catholic nonprofit health organization to care for those who are unable to afford health care, who can we trust?
► In today’s Columbian — Washougal teachers ratify new contract — The Washougal teachers union ratified a new contract for the 2017-2018 school year after taking a vote Wednesday night.
► In today’s NY Times — Tax cuts for the rich by another name (editorial) — Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee violated their supposedly sacrosanct principles of fiscal hawkishness this week, by saying that it would be just fine with them to add $1.5 trillion to the deficit over 10 years in order to cut taxes. They justify this hypocrisy by asserting what has been disproved time and again — that tax cuts spur the economy and compensate for any lost revenue. In fact, these cuts could hurt the very people they purport to help — small-business owners, middle-class professionals and working-class Americans.
► In today’s NY Times — Mueller seeks White House documents related to Trump’s actions as president — The special counsel has asked the White House for documents about some of Trump’s most scrutinized actions since taking office, including the firing of his national security adviser and F.B.I. director. Mueller is also interested in an Oval Office meeting Trump had with Russian officials in which he said the dismissal of the F.B.I. director had relieved “great pressure” on him.
► In today’s Washington Post — Manafort offered ‘private briefings’ on 2016 race to Putin ally — Less than two weeks before Donald Trump accepted the GOP nomination, Paul Manaford, his campaign chairman, made the offer in an email, according to people familiar with the discussions.
► In today’s NY Times — Let’s stop government giveaways to corporations (by former Delaware Gov. Jack Markell) — I was as guilty as any elected official at playing this game. But it’s a game that should stop. There’s a better way to compete for business… Competition for jobs should not be seen to hinge on which government can write the biggest check to an employer but on the kinds of things that officials in Delaware and other states spend so much time on to make their communities places worth living in: the quality of schools, work force development programs, the transportation grid and other infrastructure, and the overall quality of life.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.