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  1. Obamacare should be Medicare For All. — JMC

    June 23, 2017 by admin

    Topher Spiro, health policy expert at the Center for American Progress, has been keeping whip counts in both the House and Senate on Trumpcare. He hears that McConnell has written off Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) as no’s, and he’s ready to bring in Vice President Mike Pence for the tiebreaker. So call your own senators to urge a no vote on Trumpcare, and focus not only on firming up Collins’ and Murkowski’s opposition, but also work on vulnerable Sens. Jeff Flake (Arizona) and particularly Dean Heller (Nevada). And potential wild cards such as Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul could derail the bill because they think it’s still not harsh enough on the working poor.

    Call your senators at 202-224-3121 and tell them the only replacement for Obamacare should be Medicare For All. — JMC


  2. Social Security Works

    June 23, 2017 by admin

    Trumpcare does a lot of bad things, but at its core, it’s pretty simple: Raid close to a trillion dollars out of Medicare and Medicaid funding to give a tax break to the rich and health care corporations.

    After spending months crafting their bill in secret, the Senate revealed this week their plan for Trumpcare: They’re taking the House bill and making it crueler.

    It’s got the same tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations, but even deeper Medicaid cuts.

    Medicaid is a vital part of economic security that we all depend on, and Trumpcare absolutely devastates it. Trumpcare doesn’t just roll back the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, it ends Medicaid’s coverage guarantee by setting inflexible per-person caps on funding. As medical needs increase, those caps don’t–likely bankrupting families who depend on Medicaid for long term care or other chronic illnesses.

    Send a message to your Senators: Reject Trumpcare’s destruction of Medicaid.

    Trumpcare damages more than just people who depend on Medicaid, it also repeals the ACA’s defined essential benefits and ban on lifetime limits. This makes it easier for insurance companies to rip Americans off, withholding coverage for pregnancy, cancer treatments or other medical events that are the reason people buy insurance.

    This is what Republicans have wanted for decades: To destroy guarantees of economic security like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and give that money to Wall Street billionaires and giant corporations. This is what they threatened the debt ceiling for. Trumpcare is not the end of their assault on seniors–it’s the beginning.

    We need your voice now more than ever: Tell your Senators to do everything they can to stop Trumpcare.

    This bill was crafted in secret with insurance industry and drug corporations to make sure they can rip us off more than ever. It lets billionaires raid Medicare and Medicaid to pay even less in taxes. The House bill was horrible. The Senate bill is even worse.

    We need your voice now more than ever.

    Michael Phelan
    Social Security Works


  3. Frustrated Dems say Obama botched Russia response

    June 23, 2017 by admin

    The Obama administration is under fresh scrutiny for its response to Russian meddling in the election after new details emerged this week about how the White House weighed its actions against the 2016 political environment.

    Then-President Obama was too cautious in the months leading up to the election, frustrated Democratic lawmakers and strategists say.

    From The Hill


  4. Roy Cooper for North Carolina (call your Senators)

    June 23, 2017 by admin

    ,

    Senate Republicans kept their health care plan secret for weeks. Now we know why.

    The plan they unveiled yesterday takes us backward. Their plan especially hurts those who can least afford it — children, seniors, and the disabled.

    Health care should be affordable and accessible to all.

    Unfortunately, this new Senate plan (like the House bill before it) does the opposite.

    I’m calling on North Carolina’s senators — Senator Burr and Senator Tillis — to vote NO on the bill unveiled yesterday. Add your name here to join me.

    In government, it’s our job to work together to come up with lasting solutions to real problems.

    Right now, a serious problem facing communities in North Carolina and across the country is opioid addiction.

    As I said at last week’s White House Opioid Commission meeting, taking away health care from millions of people only hurts our battle against the opioid crisis.

    This bill is wrong for our state and wrong for the country. Urge our senators to vote NO.

    Thanks for all you do,


  5. Democracy for America (hel[p if you can)

    June 23, 2017 by admin

    The Senate version of Trumpcare has finally been made public — and it’s truly horrifying.

    The legislation under consideration by the Senate stays true to all the awful parts of the Trumpcare proposal passed by the House. It would cut coverage for critical things like emergency care and mental health services, defund birth control and strip all funding from Planned Parenthood for at least a year, and put people with pre-existing conditions at risk of losing their insurance.

    Plus, it would slash Medicaid even more dramatically over the long term than the House bill would — all in order to finance a huge tax cut for the rich.

    We need to make it crystal clear to Senate Republicans right now that any vote in favor of Obamacare would put their jobs at risk. Can you make a quick call to Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis’s office and tell them that you expect them to vote NO on Trumpcare?

    Yes — I’ll call Sens. Burr and Tillis right away.

    No, I can’t call now, but I will pitch in $3 or more immediately to boost Democracy for America’s campaign to kill Trumpcare.

    Late yesterday, President Obama publicly tore into the GOP’s Trumpcare proposal on Facebook:

    “The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else.
    Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm.”
    As President Obama said, this bill is a direct attack on the vast majority of Americans who are struggling to afford their health care. But we can still defeat it.

    Republican sources are telling the Washington Post that Mitch McConnell still has “more work to do” to get the votes he needs to pass Trumpcare. And just hours after the text was released, four Senate Republicans publicly stated that they couldn’t vote for the bill — at least not in its current form.

    We can kill Trumpcare. We only need two Republican Senators to defect to do it. But it is going to take significant pressure from voters to keep any Republican from voting the party line.

    Can you take one minute to call Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis now and tell them to vote NO on Trumpcare?

    Yes! I’ll call Sens. Burr and Tillis right now.

    No, I can’t call, but I will chip in $3 or more now to fuel the fight against Trumpcare.

    Thanks for fighting back against this GOP attack on our health care.

    – Karli

    Karli Wallace Thompson, Campaign Manager
    Democracy for America


  6. Friends of Bernie Sanders (help if you can)

    June 23, 2017 by admin

    This is literally insane.

    Senate Republicans are talking about passing a bill that impacts one-sixth of the American economy, that touches every single American family, and it is going through a process where perhaps a dozen Republicans are the only people in America who know what’s in this bill. They’ve kept it secret, kept it hidden, and now at the last possible second are going to rush it before the U.S. Senate to get a vote.

    It’s a disgrace.

    They call it a health care bill, but how can it be a health care bill when it throws 23 million people off of insurance, slashes Medicaid, and defunds Planned Parenthood? God knows what the implication of this legislation will be on our children, the elderly, and those with chronic illness.

    Sometimes you have a hard time understanding what kind of world these guys are living in.

    Time is running out. It is up to all of us to act in an unprecedented way. We have to think big and do everything humanly possible to make sure this horrendous piece of legislation does not become law.

    So this week, I am going back on the road to visit states where there are Republican Senators who can and should vote to stop this moral abomination. I will be in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia on Saturday and Sunday. I will be talking about how unspeakable it would be to throw millions of people off of health insurance and in the same bill give tax breaks to the rich and multinational corporations. We will share the stories of people who will be impacted by this bill.

    But I will also be asking why is it that the United States is the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care to all of its people as a right. I will be asking why we pay far more per capita than any other nation for health care with worse outcomes and the highest prices for prescription drugs.

    And I will be discussing the Medicare-for-all, single-payer legislation that I will soon be introducing in the United States Senate.

    But I cannot do it alone. I need your help.

    Please make a $100 donation to help fund my tour where we will bring people together to stop the Republican campaign to take away health care from 23 million people in order to give a tax cut to the richest among us.

    People who cannot afford health care do not deserve to die, but that is what will happen if this bill passes. If there are rallies in your area, please attend them. Please work with me to revitalize American democracy and advance our political revolution.

    Thank you for your continued support.

    In solidarity,

    Bernie Sanders


  7. Add higher deductibles to the ways Trumpcare will hurt you

    June 23, 2017 by admin

    By Laura Clawson
    Friday Jun 23, 2017 · 12:00 PM EDT
    CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 22: Demonstrators protest changes to the Affordable Care Act on June 22, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. Senate Republican’s unveiled their revised health-care bill in Washington today, after fine tuning it in behind closed doors. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
    The Senate Trumpcare bill, like the House bill before it, is death (literally, in many cases) by a thousand cuts. If it doesn’t just strip your Medicaid, it’ll price you out of being able to get coverage or leave you with insurance that doesn’t cover what you need covered or—as Jonathan Cohn wonkily explains—leave you with higher deductibles:

    Under the Affordable Care Act, the benchmark plan is a “silver” plan. Silver plans have an “actuarial value” (AV) of 70, which means they should cover roughly 70 percent of the typical person’s medical expenses. Under the Senate proposal, the benchmark plan would be a policy with an AV of 58 ― in other words, a plan that would cover just 58 percent of the typical person’s medical expenses. That’s pretty close to what, under the Affordable Care Act, qualifies as a “bronze” plan. […]

    In 2016, the median deductible in a silver plan on healthcare.gov was $3,500 a year, according to the Center on Medicare and Medicaid Services. This, roughly speaking, is the plan that Obamacare is designed to help consumers get. In 2016, the median deductible in a bronze plan on healthcare.gov was $6,300. This ― again, roughly speaking ― is the plan that Senate Republicans want to help consumers get.
    The effects could be even bigger for low-income people:

    Somebody making $20,000 a year could easily see deductibles increase dramatically, from $1,000 (the average deductible for lowest-income consumers in 2016, according to Aviva Aron-Dine of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) up to that $6,300 average. And for somebody at that income level ― think a home care worker or retail clerk barely covering costs like food and rent ― even modestly higher out-of-pocket medical costs would be crippling.
    Of course low-income people would be especially screwed. Of course. This is a Republican plan, after all. But there’s plenty of pain to go around, all to pay for a tax cut for the wealthy.

    Kos


  8. Washington’s Farewell Address makes interesting reading.

    June 23, 2017 by admin

    Washington’s Farewell Address makes interesting reading. His primary concern is the union and the role of government in preserving the union. Most extraordinary is his aversion to groups which try to direct, control, or counteract the work of governmental authority. One group he strongly opposes is the political party. He describes the negative effects of groups like political parties as he believes a passionate party spirit is natural to people and unless controlled or repressed can be our worst enemy. Party spirit 1) distracts public councils and 2) weakens public administration. It 3) agitates the community with jealousies and false alarms, 4) kindles the animosity of one part against another, and 5) occasionally foments riots and insurrections. It 6) opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which accesses the government itself through the channels of party passions. As the factions alternate domination, they 7) whet an urge for revenge and history teaches us such conditions have resulted in horrid enormities, leading to more formal and permanent despotism. He adds that when the people tire of the disorder and misery which has resulted, they will seek security in the absolute power of an individual ending with the ruin of public liberty. It appears we have seen the negative effects first hand. Food for thoughtWashington’s Farewell Address makes interesting reading.


  9. 06/22/17 DOCUMENTARY FILM IN ASHEVILLE

    June 22, 2017 by admin

    Free Screening: “Pieces of Tangier” with filmmaker, Jenny Roberts. June 22 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. A timely look at how climate is impacting a small island off the coast of Virginia. Jenny Roberts tells the story of Tangier Island and will be on hand to answer questions. Location is THE BLOCK off biltmore at 39 S. Market Street in Asheville. Phone: 828-254-9277

    Dancewater


  10. Dems point fingers after crushing loss

    June 22, 2017 by admin

    Dems point fingers after crushing loss
    © Keren Carrion
    The Democrats’ defeat in Georgia spurred a round of bloodletting on Wednesday as liberal activists bashed their party, frustrated lawmakers lashed out at the Democratic brass and disappointed leaders struggled to explain what went wrong.

    The outcome of Tuesday’s special election has only aggravated the internal divisions dogging the Democrats since President Trump’s election and intensified the charged debate about where the party should go — and who should lead it there.

    “Doing the post-mortem will take some time,” said Rep. Linda Sánchez (Calif.), vice chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus.

    “It’s a little bit early to stand here and give you a reason why that we were not successful there and … what needs to change.”

    Some Democrats were quick to blame party leaders for Jon Ossoff’s loss to Republican Karen Handel in the special runoff election, saying the party failed to learn the 2016 lesson that running against Trump without a positive message of your own is not enough to win elections.
    “We’d better take a good, long, strong look in the mirror and realize that the problem is us; it’s the party,” Rep. Tim Ryan (Ohio) said Wednesday morning as he left a closed-door meeting of the Democratic Caucus in the Capitol.

    He described Ossoff as a “great” candidate who simply “couldn’t carry the national baggage of the Democratic Party.”

    Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) echoed Ryan’s argument.

    “We need to have a plan; we need to have a vision; we need to tell Americans why Democrats will be better, not just why Trump is bad,” Moulton said. “And I don’t think we’re doing enough of that, and I think that’s evident in this [Georgia] race.”

    Republicans relied on a strategy of tying Ossoff to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who remains radioactive in many conservative districts. Ryan, Moulton and a number of younger-generation Democrats tried to topple Pelosi last year for that very reason, and they quickly revived the argument on Wednesday.

    “Those are still effective ads that hurt our candidate,” said Ryan, 43, who had challenged Pelosi for the Democratic leader spot after last November’s elections.

    “Everybody knows where I stand on this. … My position hasn’t changed.”

    Moulton, who beat a Democratic incumbent to win his seat, is skeptical the party can reverse its fortunes with the same leaders in place.

    “It’s not impossible, but it’s harder,” he said.

    Rep. Kathleen Rice, a second-term New York Democrat, told CNN that she’d like to wipe clean the Democrats’ entire leadership slate.

    “We need leadership change,” Rice told CNN. “It’s time for Nancy Pelosi to go, and the entire leadership team.”

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    The lawmakers were not alone in denouncing the top Democratic leaders.

    Michael Moore, the filmmaker and liberal activist, attacked the party as having “no message, no plan, no leaders.”

    And David Wasserman, an expert on House races at the Cook Political Report, wondered aloud if Pelosi’s celebrated ability to raise money is worth the baggage she brings in conservative districts.

    “It’s just extremely difficult for Ds to argue benefits of Nancy Pelosi’s fundraising skills still outweigh cost of her presence in GOP ads,” Wasserman tweeted.

    Pelosi’s office fired back, touting her track record not only as a prolific fundraiser, but also as a nimble strategist and potent whip.

    “Republican voters don’t get to select the leaders of the Democratic Party,” spokesman Drew Hammill said in an email, noting that Pelosi’s approval rating is similar to that of Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

    “Since Gingrich, the politics of personal destruction has been a GOP hallmark,” Hammill added, referring to former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). “They will do this to any and every Democratic leader, because the only thing sustaining their majority is desperation.”

    Many Democrats, including top leaders, quickly pushed back against the internal criticism, noting that Georgia’s 6th District, before this year, was safely Republican. While disappointed with Tuesday’s loss, they said they’re thrilled that victory was within their grasp and optimistic about the message that sends ahead of the 2018 midterms.

    “In a normal year, we wouldn’t even have any shot. We have closed the gap dramatically,” said Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

    “I mean, they’re the ones that better be worried.”

    Still, the frustration among rank-and-file Democrats was visible on Wednesday, with many lawmakers exasperated that Democrats have now lost four competitive special elections in the Trump era.

    “Close is only good in horseshoes,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.). “A loss is a loss is a loss, and there’s no excuses.”

    Other Democrats noted that Handel’s victory came in a district that has been held by the GOP for decades. Former Rep. Tom Price, who left Congress earlier this year to lead Trump’s Health and Human Services Department, won reelection there last year by 23 points.

    Still, Trump won the district by only a razor-thin margin. With the president’s approval rating well underwater, the Democrats felt they had a chance of scoring an upset, and outside donors flooded Ossoff’s war chest with almost $24 million, helping to make the race the most expensive in House history.

    Many Democrats cautioned that it’s still too early to glean any definitive lessons from the history-making contest. But some are also wondering how the party could spend so much money and come up empty-handed.

    “I think it probably does show that certainly momentum’s at our back, but there aren’t any moral victories in this. It’s 218 or nothing,” said Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), referring to the House majority.

    “If you’re going to put that kind of money in, you need to win ’em.”

    From The Hill