Senators Reach Bipartisan Deal on Health Care

The following article by Mary Ellen McIntire was posted on the Roll Call website October 17, 2017:

Alexander, Murray have an agreement on stabilizing insurance marketplaces

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander and ranking member Patty Murray have a tentative deal on legislation to stabilize the insurance marketplaces. (Tom Williams/Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander said he has reached an agreement with Washington Sen. Patty Murray, the panel’s ranking Democrat, on a limited deal to stabilize the individual health insurance markets.

Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, briefed GOP senators on that deal during their weekly policy lunch Tuesday.

President Donald Trump said at an appearance at the White House on Tuesday that administration officials have been involved in the Alexander-Murray talks and signaled he supports what he described as a one- or two-year package.

He called it a “short-term deal” that is needed to “get us over this hump” until Republicans might find a way to send him a measure to partially or completely repeal the Obama-era law.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer spoke positively of the agreement, saying, “Two years of cost sharing provides real stability to the system and we want to make sure that happens.”  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:

  • Today through November 6 — Early No Excuse Voting in municipalities and school boards holding elections. Check those entities for locations and times.
  • October 18, 6:30 PM — DACA:  In Depth Discussion with Immigration Attorney Kara Lynum hosted by Indivisible MN03, Wayzata Public Library, 620 Rice St E, Wayzata, MN 55391. More information and RSVP here.
  • October 19, 7:00 PM — Indivisible Northwest Metro Meeting:  Twitter 102, Maple Grove Library, 8001 Main St, Maple Grove. More information and RSVP here.
  • October 21, 2:00 PM — League of Women Voters:  Bold Women of Medicine, Edina Senior Center, 5280 Grandview Sq, Edina, MN 55436
  • October 22, 12:30 PM — Sen. Elizabeth Warren:  The Democratic Party at a Crossroads — The Wellstone Way and Economic Populism, Ted Mann Concern Hall, 2128 4th St. S, Minneapolis, MN 55454. More information and RSVP
  • October 22, 1:00 PM — Swing Left Minnetonka Voter Canvassing and Get Out the Vote for City Council. More information and RSVP here.
  • October 22, 2:00 PM — Leader Melissa Hortman Tree Celebration FUndraiser, 8710 WIndsor Ter, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443. More information and tickets here.
  • October 23, 7:00 PM — Indivisible Plymouth Social Event with Adam Jennings, El Azteca Mexican Restaurant, 3500 Vicksburg Ln N, #500, Plymouth, MN 55447 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 2,236 days since Rep. Paulsen’s last public town hall.

McCain condemns ‘half-baked, spurious nationalism’ in clear shot at President Trump

The following article by Paul Kane was posted on the Washington Post website October 16, 2017:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) cautioned against the U.S. turning toward “half-baked, spurious nationalism” during a speech after receiving the National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal on Oct. 16. (Reuters)

PHILADELPHIA — An emotional Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) launched a thinly veiled critique of President Trump’s global stewardship Monday night, using a notable award ceremony to condemn “people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems.”

McCain said that “some half-baked, spurious nationalism” should be considered “as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.” Read More

For clean-energy jobs, sky’s the limit

The following article by Mike Hughlett was posted on the StarTribune website October 16, 2017:

NOTE:  The Trump Administration is focusing on old energy as countries around the world are fast out pacing the U.S.A. on clean energy.

As wind and solar energy have grown, they’ve created a tide of jobs nationwide in fields from construction to manufacturing. Renewable energy jobs, most of which are in wind and solar, grew by 16 percent to around 6,200 in Minnesota from 2015 to 2016, according to a recent study by Clean Energy Economy Minnesota, an industry-led nonprofit.

Gallery: Outside the nacelle of a Vestas wind turbine, 300 feet in the air, Will Osborn, left and Shane Keck serviced a wind sensor that was out of alignment while Chris Berg worked inside. Credit: GLEN STUBBE – STAR TRIBUNE

– Golden cornfields stretched out 24 stories below Will Osborn, the autumn landscape dotted with silos and farmhouses.

Of course, he didn’t have much time to gaze. Planted atop a wind turbine — one of a few dozen here — Osborn was diagnosing a weather sensor.

Osborn’s job, wind technician, is the fastest growing occupation in the nation. As utilities rapidly increase the amount of power they get from wind farms, workers willing and able to climb hundreds of feet to keep turbines running smoothly are in high demand. Students in wind power training programs in Minnesota are getting jobs as soon as they graduate or even before. Read More

Most Americans Know NFL Kneelers Aren’t Protesting Flag

The following article by Janice Williams of Newsweek was posted on the National Memo website October 15, 2017:

Colin Kaepernick’s movement is starting to catch on in America.

new poll released on Saturday by HuffPost/YouGov found 57 percent of Americans knew that players were protesting police violence when they kneeled during the national anthem–up from 48 percent of Americans who knew what kneelers were protesting in September.

Meanwhile, 66 percent of self-described football diehards said they knew NFL protests were in response to police brutality, which was 13 percent more than fans who knew why protesters were kneeling in September. Read More

Trump’s not going to be able to avoid blame for kneecapping Obamacare

The following article by Philip Bump was posted on the Washington Post website October 13, 2017:

President Trump on October 4, 2017. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

This article has been updated.

Let’s set aside for the moment President Trump’s decision to end Obamacare’s cost-sharing reduction payments (CSRs) to insurers, a system under which insurers are subsidized to help keep costs low for low-income insurance recipients.

Let’s also set aside the other ways in which the Trump administration has been deliberately undermining enrollment in the Obamacare marketplaces. We’ll set aside that the administration has slashed funding to outreach programs by as much as 92 percent, ended partnerships with state groups aimed at getting people enrolled, cut funding for advertising the enrollment period and even decided it would shut down the enrollment website for 12 hours a week for maintenance. Read More

Contraceptive Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act

The following article by Jamila Taylor and Nikita Mhatre was posted on the Center for American Progress website October 6, 2017:

Over the past several months, the Trump-Pence administration, as well as Congress, have attacked women’s health and rights numerous times. Greater access to affordable and effective contraception has been one of the hallmark achievements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But now, the current administration is threatening to limit these gains with the release of sweeping regulations that would allow any employer, insurance plan, school, or individual to use the guise of religious or moral objection to deny access to no-cost contraception.

By requiring coverage for contraceptives with no out-of-pocket costs, the ACA increased women’s access to a wide range of contraceptives. Read More

An Emboldened KKK is Utilizing a Deeply Disturbing Recruitment Tool

The following article by Linley Sanders of Newsweek was posted on the website October 11, 2017:

Credit: Martin / Flickr

The Ku Klux Klan hopes to recruit future white supremacists at high school football games.

The racist group distributed propaganda fliers at a Friday night football game at Gray’s Creek High School in North Carolina. The fliers showcased racist comments about Jews, Mexicans and Muslims written atop the Confederate flag, also attacking Black Lives Matter, recent NFL take-a-knee protests, and black culture.

The fliers were left on cars during the October 6 game and criticized any removal of Confederate flags and Confederate monuments as a sign that people do not “respect the white majority of America,” providing evidence that the historic Confederate symbols fuel white supremacy.  Read More