How the latest effort to repeal Obamacare would affect millions

The following article by Simon Haeder was posted on the Conversation website September 19, 2017:

From left, Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., hold a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

At the end of July, the nation held its collective breath as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) looked poised to achieve his most formidable parliamentary accomplishment: the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act.

But Republican hopes were dashed by one of their own, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who cast the deciding vote that appeared to decisively derail the multi-year effort.

McCain called to return to “regular order,” to work through committees, to bring in and listen to experts, to be open and transparent, and perhaps most importantly, to at least listen to both parties. Read More

Five things to know about the new ObamaCare repeal bill

The following article by Rachel Roubein and Nathaniel Weixel was posted on the Hill website September 20, 2017:

The new ObamaCare repeal bill under consideration in the Senate includes some controversial policies that have divided Republicans in the past.

Some senators haven’t taken a position on the bill from Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), saying that they have yet to fully digest the bill and how it would work.

In short: The bill ends federal funds for ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion and the subsidies that help people afford coverage. Instead, the money would be converted into block grants and given to the states.

Here are five things to know about the legislation. Read More

Jimmy Kimmel gets heated about health-care bill, says Sen. Bill Cassidy ‘lied right to my face’

The following article by Emily Yahr was posted on the Washington Post website September 20, 2017:

In May, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel delivered an emotional monologue as he revealed that his newborn son, Billy, was born with a heart defect that required immediate surgery. The operation was successful, but Kimmel was deeply shaken by the experience, which happened amid the debate over replacing the Affordable Care Act. Kimmel delivered a passionate plea about the astronomical costs of health care: “No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life.”

Later that week, while talking about whether insurance companies should be able to cap payouts, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) coined the phrase “the Jimmy Kimmel test,” as in: “Would a child born with congenital heart disease be able to get everything he or she would need in that first year of life?” Cassidy then appeared on Kimmel’s show, and the senator reiterated the importance of making sure middle-class families could afford health care. Read More

Bipartisan Health Care Talks Shut Down Amid Rush to Repeal

The following article by Jason Dick and Joe Williams was posted on the Roll Call website September 19, 2017:

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., has halted a bipartisan effort to stabilize the health insurance market as Senate Republicans aggressively seek to repeal the 2010 health care law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A bipartisan effort to stabilize the health insurance markets suffered a potentially fatal blow Tuesday as Senate Republicans kicked into high gear their attempt to repeal the 2010 health care law.

Facing a Sept. 30 deadline to utilize the 2017 budget reconciliation process that would allow passage of the health care legislation without having to worry about the filibuster, GOP leaders and Vice President Mike Pence lobbied their rank and file to pass legislation spearheaded by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. It would repeal the 2010 law’s mandates for coverage, curtail the Medicaid program and block-grant money to the states to construct their own health care programs.  Read More

The Economic Benefits of Passing the Dream Act

The following article by Francesc Ortega, Ryan Ewards and Philip Wolgin was posted on the Center for American Progress website September 18, 2017:

Credit:  AP/Carolyn Kaster
A woman holds up a sign during a rally supporting DACA outside the White House in Washington, September 4, 2017.

A September 5 announcement from the Trump administration effectively ended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)1—a program that, since 2012, has helped nearly 800,000 young people gain a temporary reprieve from deportation and a work permit.2The conversation has now shifted to the urgent need for Congress to pass legislation such as the Dream Act, which would provide permanent protection and a pathway to citizenship to unauthorized immigrants who came to the country as children.3

To better understand the potential economic impact of passing the Dream Act, this issue brief calculates the economic gains that would stem from legalizing potentially eligible individuals already in the workforce. This analysis builds on the groundbreaking work of the Center for American Progress’ earlier study, “The Economic Impacts of Removing Unauthorized Immigrant Workers,” which calculated the economic contributions of unauthorized workers to each individual industry, each state, and the nation as a whole, and updates and applies that economic model to the population of workers eligible for the Dream Act.4 Read More

Action Alerts

Concerned about the outcome of the last election?  Want to get involved and help defend progressive values? We will be making periodic postings of ways you can get involved in a range of projects with various non-DFL organizations.  (DFL events are listed on our DFL In the Know posts.)

 Here are some upcoming events:

  • September 21, 5:00 PM — Lake Minnetonka Drinking Liberally, hosted by Tim Duff, Rep. Paul Thissen will be joining the group, Hazellewood Grill & Tap Room, 5635 Manitou Rd, Excelsior, MN. More information and RSVP here.
  • September 21, 6:30 PM — League of Women Voters Screening of Buried Above Ground, New Hope CInema Grill, 2749 Winnetka Ave N, New Hope, MN.
  • September 23, 8:00 AM — Run to Win, free 1/2-day training for pro-choice women in Minneapolis, more information and RSVP here.
  • September 23, 9:00 AM — Indivisible MN03 at Plymouth on Parade, Plymouth Blvd from 34th to 37th Aves, Plymouth, MN.  More information and RSVP here.
  • September 25, 6:30 PM — Improving Minnesota Water Quality by 2026, Join Conservation Minnesota at the Maple Grove Library’s Main Meeting Room, 8001 Main St N, Maple Grove, MN for a town hall on this topic
  • September 26, 7:00 PM — League of Women Voters Minnetonka School Board Candidate Forum, Minnetonka Commmunity Center, 14600 Minnetonka Blvd, Minnetonka, MN. Doors open at 6:30 PM Live and cable online. See for more information.
  • September 26, 7:00 PM — Levies, Taxes and Bonds— Oh, My!, Eisenhower Community Center, 1001 MN7, Hopkins, MN
    Read More

Where’s Erik Paulsen?

Our Representative in Congress hasn’t held a public town hall since September 6, 2011. There’ve been last minute meetings announced on social media shortly before they happen, tele-town halls where questions can be vetted before being forwarded, appearances at local businesses and school, robocalls that come to you saying he’s sorry you weren’t there to take his invitation to the tele-townhalls — but no traditional town hall.

It’s been 2,208 days since Rep. Paulsen’s last public town hall.

Rep. Paulsen’s DACA Survey

Rep. Paulsen sent an email survey this afternoon asking those constituents who’ve been able to subscribe to his email newsletter to answer a poll on how he should handle the DACA/Dreamers situation.  We’ve heard that many people have had problems subscribing to his newsletter.  Just in case, we’re including a link to the poll below.  (You will be joining his newsletter list by completing this.)

Click here to take Rep. Erik Paulsen’s DACA/Dreamers September 19, 2017 Survey


Graham-Cassidy ACA Repeal Bill Would Cause Huge Premium Increases for People with Pre-Existing Conditions

The following article by Sam Berger and Emily Gee was posted on the Center for American Progress website September 18, 2017:

From left, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA). Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) hold a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, September 13, 2017, to unveil legislation to reform health care. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

With only two weeks left to move forward with a partisan health care repeal bill, some Senate Republicans are trying one last time to rip coverage from millions of Americans. Their latest effort, introduced by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), would make devastating cuts to Medicaid and cut and eventually eliminate funding that helps people in the individual insurance market afford coverage, leading to at least 32 million fewer people having coverage after 2026.

Those who did not lose coverage would see their premiums increase significantly. In the first year, premiums would increase by 20 percent. But the increases would be even greater for people with pre-existing conditions because the bill would let insurers in the individual market charge a premium markup based on health status and history, which could increase their premiums by tens of thousands of dollars.

Huge premium markups for pre-existing conditions

As with a previous Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal bill in the House, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), Graham-Cassidy would allow states to eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions. And just as with that previous proposal, this would increase premiums for people with certain health conditions by tens of thousands of dollars. Read More

New push to replace Obamacare reflects high stakes for Republicans

The following article by Sean Sullivan and Kelsey Snell was posted on the Washington Post website September 18, 2017:

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) spoke about his proposal for health-care reform at a news conference on Sept. 13. (Reuters)

A final GOP effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act burst into view this week in the Senate, where leaders began pressuring rank-and-file Republicans with the hope of voting on the package by the end of the month.

The renewed push comes nearly two months after the last attempt to overhaul the law known as Obamacare failed in a dramatic, early-morning vote, dealing a substantial defeat to President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and prompting many to assume that the effort was dead. Read More