Category Archives: Activism

Now comes the attempt to prevent the Save Our Schools Arizona referendum from qualifying for the ballot

I mentioned in a comment that last week the right-wing Public Integrity Alliance was claiming that the Glendale Elementary School District personnel and Save Our Schools Arizona violated rules regarding the use of public resources to influence political campaigns in their referendum campaign against the “vouchers on steroids” bill passed by our Tea-Publican legislature, and signed into law by our Koch-bot Governor Ducey. Non-profit alleges campaign volunteers, school district violated election laws.

Now the big guns of the right-wing are rolling out their attacks to try to prevent the referendum from qualifying for the ballot. The Arizona Capitol Times reports, Voucher expansion on hold as effort to kill campaign begins:

School voucher expansion legislation is on hold after Save Our Schools Arizona delivered, by the group’s count, 111,540 signatures today to refer the law to the 2018 general election ballot.

A yellow school bus decked out in SOS Arizona banners carried the signatures to a loading deck below the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office. Volunteers in red SOS Arizona shirts loaded wagons full of petition boxes, and children dressed as professionals carted them to the building.

Beyond the spectacle, spokeswoman Dawn Penich-Thacker (above) was clear that the effort to quash the expansion of the state’s Empowerment Scholarship Account program was far from over.

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John McCain casts the decisive vote to kill GOP ‘Obamacare’ repeal; now comes more GOP sabotage

When a politician does the right thing, a rare occurrence these days, I will give them the credit and respect they deserve.

In a totally unexpected move early this morning, Senator John McCain in the end did the right thing, joining two GOP women stalwarts, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, to defeat evil GOP bastard Mitch McConnell’s ultimate act of legislative malpractice to repeal “Obamacare.”

Thank you Senator McCain. After all the calls and emails to the senator’s office that you all have made over the past several weeks, today I would urge you to do the same to offer a word of thanks to the senator. And do the same for Sens. Collins and Murkowski.

The New York Times reports, Senate Rejects Health Law Repeal, With McCain Casting the Decisive ‘No’ Vote:

The Senate in the early hours of Friday morning rejected a new, scaled-down Republican plan to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act, derailing the Republicans’ seven-year campaign to dismantle President Barack Obama’s signature health care law and dealing a huge political setback to President Trump.

Senator John McCain of Arizona, who just this week returned to the Senate after receiving a diagnosis of brain cancer, cast the decisive vote to defeat the proposal, joining two other Republicans, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, in opposing it.

The 49-to-51 vote was also a humiliating setback for the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who has nurtured his reputation as a master tactician and spent the last three months trying to devise a repeal bill that could win support from members of his caucus.

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Evil GOP bastard Mitch McConnell’s final desperate act to repeal ‘Obamacare’ (updated)

The straight repeal of “Obamacare,” the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act, a policy that Tea-Publicans had voted for over 60 times in the past seven years when they used it as a bludgeon against Democrats and campaign fundraising talking point to the GOP crazy base — secure in the knowledge that their ideological antics would never actually become law — failed spectacularly in the Senate on Wednesday on a vote of 45 to 55, with seven Republicans (including Sen. John McCain) and all Democrats voting to block it. The latest vote to repeal Obamacare fails in the Senate.

Evil GOP bastard Mitch McConnell is down to his final desperate act to repeal “Obamacare,” the so-called “skinny repeal” bill that has yet to be drafted in secret in the dark recesses of McConnell’s star chamber,  a bill strategically designed to attract 50 GOP senate votes so that Vice President Mike Pence can, once again, break the tie vote to pass anything in the Senate to get it to a House-Senate conference committee.

Andrew Prokop at Vox.com provides analysis, Republicans’ last-ditch plan to save their health bill, explained in 500 words:

Republican leaders now have one last-ditch plan to keep their effort to repeal Obamacare alive.

Senate leaders’ new plan is to try to pass a simple, stripped-down “skinny repeal” bill that gets rid of just a few Obamacare provisions — like the individual and employer mandates and the medical device tax — while leaving the bulk of the law in place.

We don’t yet know whether skinny repeal will pass the Senate, or whether enough Senate Republicans will unify around some alternative proposal that can squeak through. We don’t even yet know what, exactly, would be in a skinny repeal bill.

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Sen. John McCain forces delay of vote on Senate ‘Trumpcare’ bill

So Arizona’s angry old man, Senator John McCain, is an expected “yeah” vote then? McCain’s Surgery Will Delay Senate Votes on Health Care Bill. Even though McCain is Concerned Over Medicaid Cuts In Draft Of Senate Health Care Bill? (Read his Statement).

The CBO won’t have Monday score for Senate healthcare bill, and there will not be a vote this week.

Here’s what we already know: How the Republican health-care bill could raise premiums for 177 million Americans:

A leading business coalition has warned that employers could pick up the tab if millions of people lose their coverage under the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

David Lansky, president and chief executive of the Pacific Business Group on Health, a nonprofit organization whose members include Boeing, Chevron, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Intel, Walmart and the Walt Disney Company, told The Washington Post that the Senate proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act could push the costs of providing health care to uninsured people onto employers and their workers.

“There are a couple of specific reasons continuing to support an effective Medicaid program and an individual market is important, and one of those is its importance to business,” Lansky said.

Approximately 177 million Americans receive insurance through employers. Until now those plans have been largely left out of the debate over the future of the Senate health bill, which would make long-term cuts to Medicaid, the government health program for the poor, and reshape the individual market where people buy their own coverage.

But if the bill is passed and more people are uninsured, or public sector programs facing federal funding cuts decrease their reimbursements, Lansky said hospitals will simply shift those costs onto commercially insured patients — namely employers and employees.

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‘Trumpcare’ part the infinity, a return to the bad old days before ‘Obamacare’ – kill this bill

Evil GOP bastard Mitch McConnell unveiled “Trumpcare” part the infinity on Thursday, an evil concoction of truly bad ideas cooked up in the dark in secret without input from stakeholders, the public, or even most senators, and without any public hearings or vetting. This latest iteration of McConnell’s evil plan is just as bad, if not worse, than his earlier evil concoctions.

The new Senate health care bill — and the return of preexisting conditions — explained by Sarah Kliff:

Senate Republicans introduced a revised version of their bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, one that would allow insurers to once again deny coverage based on preexisting conditions, and to charge higher rates to sick people.

The bill would keep most of the Affordable Care Act’s tax increases but repeal one aimed specifically at medical device manufacturers. It would deeply cut the Medicaid program, making few changes to the bill’s first draft.

Even with these new changes, the general structure of the bill stays the same from its original draft, which was itself largely similar to the bill that passed the House in the spring.

Healthier and higher-income Americans would benefit from the changes in the new Republican plan, while low-income and sick Americans would be disadvantaged. It would create a two-track system for health coverage on the individual market. One would offer cheaper, deregulated health plans [“skinny” coverage or “junk insurance”], which healthy people would likely flock to. The other would include comprehensive plans governed by Obamacare’s regulations, which would cost more and mostly be used by less healthy people and those with preexisting conditions — a system experts expect would function like a poorly funded high-risk pool. [A “death spiral” for this plan.]

Deductibles would almost certainly rise under the Republican plan, as would overall costs for low- and middle-income Americans. Individual market participants would have more options to purchase catastrophic coverage, an option likely to appeal to those with few health care costs.

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‘Trumpcare’ part the infinity to be unveiled today – kill this bill

The Senate Tea-Publicans’ draft Obamacare repeal bill — “Trumpcare” part the infinity — is due to be released today at 11:30 a.m. , according to GOP senators and aides.

“Trumpcare” part the infinity will tentatively include a controversial amendment from Tea-Publicans Mike Lee and Ted Cruz (“the most hated man in the Senate”), according to sources familiar with the matter. POLITICO reports, Senate GOP’s new health care bill expected to include controversial Lee-Cruz amendment:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will unveil the bill on Thursday morning at a closed-door, members-only meeting. It is also expected to eliminate tax cuts for the wealthy, include new financial support for low-income people’s insurance, allow people to pay for insurance with pre-tax money, and include billions more to fight opioid addiction.

The amendment from Cruz and Lee will be tentatively included, those sources said, and could be altered or removed later. The amendment would allow the sale of cheap, deregulated insurance plans [“junk insurance”] as long as Obamacare-compliant plans are still sold.

Some Republicans worry that could result in split risk pools, one with sick people with pre-existing conditions and the other with healthy young people. Cruz and Lee argue it will likely lower premiums and allow people to opt out of Obamacare.

The Congressional Budget Office is analyzing two versions of the bill, one with the amendment and one without. That score is due Monday. The Lee-Cruz amendment will be in brackets on Thursday, indicating it is subject to change.

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