Friday, September 22, 2017
► From the CBPP — Like other ACA repeal bills, Cassidy-Graham would cap and deeply cut Medicaid — Sens. Cassidy and Graham have tried to focus attention on their block grant and away from the per-capita cap on Medicaid funding in their bill. In addition to cutting funding for the ACA’s expansion, it would also cut Medicaid funding for seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, and pregnant women by an estimated $175 billion over 10 years and more than $1 trillion over 20 years… To compensate for these deep cuts, states would have to raise taxes, cut other budget priorities like education, or make increasingly severe cuts to eligibility, benefits, and provider payments. And these per-capita cap cuts would come on top of the cuts to Medicaid expansion funding and marketplace subsidies… In sum, the Cassidy-Graham per capita cap would radically restructure Medicaid and cause irreversible damage, threatening coverage and access to care for the tens of millions of low-income people who rely on Medicaid today.
EDITORS’ NOTE — It is not an exaggeration to say that if this bill becomes law, many Americans will die. It’s as simple as that. And why? Because Republicans vowed to kill “Obamacare” regardless of the consequences.
► From The Hill — Medicaid directors issue warning on new ObamaCare repeal bill — The National Association of Medicaid Directors warned Republicans that the Senate’s latest ObamaCare repeal bill would place a massive burden on states:
“Taken together, the per-capita caps and the envisioned block grant would constitute the largest intergovernmental transfer of financial risk from the federal government to the states in our country’s history.”
► In today’s NY Times — Cruelty, incompetence and lies (by Paul Krugman) — Graham-Cassidy, which the Senate may vote on next week, is stunningly cruel. It’s also incompetently drafted: The bill’s sponsors clearly had no idea what they were doing when they put it together. Furthermore, their efforts to sell the bill involve obvious, blatant lies. Nonetheless, the bill could pass. And that says a lot about today’s Republican Party, none of it good.
► From CNN — The one major reason Graham-Cassidy could pass — When it comes to the Graham-Cassidy bill, there is one thing Republicans agree on right now: It’s their last shot to “repeal and replace Obamacare.” That may be all the motivation they need to pass it.
► From Jimmy Kimmel Live — Round 3 of Jimmy Kimmel’s health care Battle — Kimmel accuses President Trump of trying to repeal the ACA simply “because it’s got Obama’s name on it… He likes his name on things. At this point he would sign anything that meant getting rid of Obamacare. He’d sign copies of the Quran at the Barnes and Noble in Fallujah if it meant he could get rid of Obamacare.”
► From the AFL-CIO — Tell your senator to oppose ANY bill that cuts health care
► In the Tri-City Herald — Citizenship Day in Pasco offers legal help with naturalization paperwork — Legal permanent residents who have yet to take that final step to citizenship can get help filling out the paperwork Saturday in Pasco. An immigration advocacy group is holding its semi-annual Citizenship Day at Columbia Basin College’s Center for Career & Technical Education, at West Argent Road and Saraceno Way. The free legal clinic is 10 a.m to 1 p.m., or until full capacity is reached.
ALSO from The Calendar at The Stand — Immigrant rights groups and community partners are hosting an Immigration Community Forum from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 24 at South Seattle College’s Georgetown Campus, 6737 Corson Ave. South. All are invited to attend, learn what resources are available, and get the latest information from immigration attorneys on DACA. Get details.
► In today’s Seattle Times — State Sen. Dino Rossi says he’s running for 8th District seat to replace Rep. Reichert — Rossi ran twice for governor, in 2004 and 2008, and once for the U.S. Senate in 2010 in an attempt to unseat Sen. Patty Murray. He was unsuccessful in those bids.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This year, Rossi sponsored bills to privatize jobs at state agencies and colleges, slash the state’s safety net for injured workers, exempt app-based drivers from unemployment insurance, and encourage lawsuits against unions. He voted to create a sub-minimum wage for teenagers, allow cities and counties to charge a union dues tax, cut voter-approved funding for Sound Transit, and he was one of only 12 senators to vote against the historic bipartisan paid family and medical leave act of 2017.
Rossi must think he’d fit right in with the Trump Republicans that Congressman Reichert can no longer stomach.
► In the (Longview) Daily News — Kalama methanol backers weigh options — Methanol proponents say they’re committed to seeing the $1.8 billion plant through in spite of a state board’s reversal on Friday of two major permits needed for the project. While the Port of Kalama and Northwest Innovation Works weigh their options, Gov. Jay Inslee maintained his support for the project, which would increase state greenhouse gas emissions by 1.28 percent annually.
► From Politico — Poll: GOP tax reform not priority for Americans — Just one in five voters thinks tax reform should be Congress’ main priority. More Americans would prefer lawmakers make items like lowering prescription drug costs, increasing the minimum wage and boosting infrastructure spending. Even among GOP voters, support for tax reform was rather muted. Trump has vowed that the tax plan written by Republicans won’t cut taxes for the rich, even as outside projections found that the framework his administration released in April would do just that.
► In today’s Washington Post — White House plan for massive tax cuts gains momentum — Senate Republicans reached a tentative deal this week to allow for as much as $1.5 trillion in tax reductions over 10 years, and there is a growing willingness within the GOP to embrace controversial estimates of the economic growth it could create.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Helpful hint: “Embracing controversial estimates” means lying.
► From Politico — Price traveled by private jet at least 24 times — HHS Secretary Tom Price has taken at least 24 flights on private charter planes at taxpayers’ expense since early May, costing at least $300,000, chartering flights even to cities with frequent, inexpensive commercial options.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Among other things, he’s been using the trips to defend his proposed 18 percent cut in the HHS budget, cutting funding for things like the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the National Institutes for Health, and of course, Medicaid health coverage for poor people.
► MUST-READ in today’s Seattle Times — Blacks, whites are way apart in views on income inequality… and we’re the worse for it (by Jerry Large) — Many Americans seem to have persuaded themselves that discrimination is a thing of the past, according to a Yale study out this week. For every $100 earned by white families, black families earn $57.30. And for every $100 in wealth held by white families, black families have $5.04. Yes, go ahead and read that again, because if you’re like most Americans, you probably think the gap is much smaller. It’s a case of fantasy superseding the real dream of equality. Just ask Colin Kaepernick.
► For your weekly distraction from the madness of our national state of affairs, the Entire Staff of The Stand today wishes each of you a very happy September Equinox! This morning the sun crossed the equator, rising there directly in the east and setting tonight due west. It marks the unofficial beginning of fall. After today, as Mick sings, “the days get shorter and the nights get long.” So enjoy what’s left of this amazing (though disturbing) weather. Soon enough, you’ll once again “lie awake when the rain comes” and be so c-c-c-c-cold.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.