8 disturbing trends that reveal the South’s battered psyche
From Salon: Across red-state America, especially in the Deep South, the latest statistics show that the cycle of poverty, in its many manifestations, is unchanged and holding firm. Why is this? It’s easy to say this is how Republicans like to run states—cutting budgets, not raising the minimum wage, opposing labor unions. They let the poor and working class stew in their hardscrabble juices. Meanwhile, they distract voters by accusing liberals of waging war on the few sources of personal power in Southerners’ difficult lives: their religious beliefs and owning guns. But go back several decades when segregationist Democrats ruled; for the most part, they weren’t very different from today’s Republicans. So what is it that perpetuates decades of poverty in the Deep South? What follows are eight bundles of statistics tracking this latest cycle of poverty. Could it be that people who historically have been treated badly, who have little money in their pockets but look to the sky and pray, expect less from others—including the public and private sector? Does that explain why red-staters cling to God, gun ownership and a “leave-me-alone” ferocity? They expect politicians to defend their values and their pride and little more? What’s going on here isn’t entirely political, even if it is used by red-state Republicans in their personal drive for power and influence. Look at what the following statistics reveal about red-staters trapped in deep cycles of poverty. What is the thread that connects lousy governance, bad health, evangelical religion and firearms fervor?
1. Southern states have the most poor people.
2. Deep South states have no minimum wage.
3. Deep South has lowest economic mobility.
4. South has lowest per capita spending sy state government.
5. Forget about decent preventative healthcare.
6. One result: people self-medicate in response.
7. Forget the lottery, just pray to Jesus.
8. And hold onto that gun!
payback headlines - how you will be screwed!!
*TRUMP ADMINISTRATION MOVES CLOSER TO UNDOING OVERTIME PAY RULE(ARTICLE BELOW)
*AS YOU LOSE YOUR COVERAGE, INSURANCE COMPANIES WILL GET A $145 BILLION TAX CUT FROM TRUMPCARE(ARTICLE BELOW)
*MISSOURI REPUBLICANS LOWER ST. LOUIS MINIMUM WAGE FROM $10 TO $7.70(article below)
*TRUMPCARE'S NATIONAL NUMBERS ARE HORRIFYING. THE STATE NUMBERS BRING THE HORROR HOME. (article below)
*THE CONSEQUENCES OF VOTING AGAINST YOUR BEST INTERESTS(article below)
**‘TERRIFYING FOR ALL OF US’: FARMERS IN KANSAS TRUMP COUNTRY FEAR THEIR WORKFORCE BEING DEPORTED(article below)
**NEVADA GOVERNOR VETOES MEDICAID-FOR-ALL BILL - THERE WILL BE NO MEDICAID-FOR-ALL OPTION IN NEVADA. GOV. BRIAN SANDOVAL WAITED UNTIL THE LAST DAY HE COULD — FRIDAY — TO VETO A MEASURE THAT WOULD HAVE OFFERED A STATE-SPONSORED HEALTH INSURANCE OPTION TO ALL RESIDENTS REGARDLESS OF INCOME. IF HE HA ... (LA TIMES)
*THE HOUSE GOP HEALTH CARE BILL IS A JOB KILLER, SAYS A NEW REPORT(article below)
*CRAFTED BY WALL STREET TITANS, TRUMP TREASURY PLAN LATEST CONSUMER BETRAYAL (article below)
*THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION HAS STARTED ROLLING BACK THE BIRTH CONTROL MANDATE (article below)
*TRUMP’S HOUSING BUDGET IS A MASS EVICTION NOTICE FOR THE POOR MILLIONS OF TENANTS ALREADY CAN’T GET HELP WITH THEIR RENT. THIS MAKES IT WORSE. (excerpt below)
*Trump wants to end a program that helps people in nearly every community in America(excerpt below) *THE TRUMP REGIME'S BUDGET DOUBLES DOWN ON HIS DISDAIN FOR HIS OWN VOTERS (article below)
*DAYS AFTER ADMINISTRATION PROMISED NOT TO TOUCH FOOD STAMPS, TRUMP BUDGET REPORTEDLY WILL CUT THEM (article below)
*OBAMACARE RATE HIKES ARE COMING, AND INSURERS POINT FINGER SQUARELY AT TRUMP (article below)
The True Cost of Voodoo Economics
The Reagan-Bush Debt is how much of the national debt of the United States is attributable to the presidencies of Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, and the Republican fiscal policy of Borrow-And-Spend.
As of Tuesday, July 04, 2017 at 9:03:10AM CT,
The Current ReaganBush Debt is:
which means that in a total of 20 years,
these three presidents have led to the creation of
93.85% of the entire national debt in only 8.2988% of the 241 years of the existence of the United States of America.
Trump administration moves closer to undoing overtime pay rule Reuters 25 JUL 2017 AT 14:25 ET
From Raw Story: The Trump administration on Tuesday pushed forward with its bid to undo an Obama administration rule to extend mandatory overtime pay to 4.2 million workers and said it was considering treating workers differently based on location and industry.
The rule, which was supposed to take effect in December 2016 but was blocked by a federal judge, is a top target for business groups that say it would force employers to convert many salaried employees into hourly workers.
The U.S. Department of Labor on Tuesday called for public comments on the rule, which is the first step in revoking or revising it.
The rule would have doubled to $47,000 the maximum salary a worker can earn and still be eligible for mandatory overtime pay under federal wage law. A group of 21 states and business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce challenged the rule in a lawsuit filed last year.
The Labor Department appealed the judge’s decision temporarily blocking the rule to a New Orleans-based U.S. appeals court weeks before President Donald Trump took office in January.
Earlier this month, the department defended its power to base overtime eligibility on workers’ salaries in a brief submitted to the court. But the agency made clear that it did not agree with the threshold set by the Obama administration.
On Tuesday, the department said in light of the pending appeal, it decided to issue a request for comments rather than skip immediately to rescinding or revising the rule.
The agency asked for input on whether the current threshold of $23,660 set in 2004 should be updated for inflation, and whether there should be multiple levels based on region, employer size, industry or other factors.
Workers’ rights groups criticized the Trump administration for moving to change the rule, with some noting that the Obama administration reviewed 300,000 comments before setting the salary threshold at $47,000.
“Working people should not have to wait another day for government to be on their side,” Christine Owens, executive director of the union-backed National Employment Law Project, said in a statement on Tuesday.
The department also asked employers to explain how they prepared for the rule to take effect and whether it has had an outsize impact on small businesses and particular industries.
The department said it was considering eliminating the salary threshold, leaving overtime eligibility to be based on workers’ job duties.
As You Lose Your Coverage, Insurance Companies Will Get A $145 Billion Tax Cut From Trumpcare By Jason Easley on Fri, Jul 14th, 2017 at 2:43 pm
From Politicus USA: The Republican health care bill will cause at least 22 million people to lose their insurance, and others will have to pay more while getting less, but according to the Americans For Tax Fairness, the top 8 insurance corporations will get a $72 billion tax cut.
According to statement from the Americans For Tax Fairness provided to PoliticusUSA, “While millions of people will lose their health insurance and health coverage as a result of Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the nation’s 8 largest health insurance corporations will get a tax cut of about $72 billion over the next decade, according to new estimates from Americans for Tax Fairness. These companies will get nearly half of the $145 billion 10-year tax cut for the entire insurance industry estimated by the Joint Committee on Taxation.”
The financial priorities tell the real story of the Republican health care bill. The Senate bill is not about health care at all. The purpose of the legislation is to cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations while redistributing money spent on health insurance subsidies and coverage to the wealthy in the form of tax cuts.
“It’s appalling that Republicans in Congress would yank healthcare from 20 million people and give insurance companies a $72 billion tax cut,” said Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness. “Outrageous. President Trump promised not to cut Medicaid, and Republicans should keep that promise. We can’t afford any health care legislation that takes coverage away from Americans so that wealthy corporations can have a tax cut.”
The fact that Senate Republicans would try to pass such legislation indicates that the party is owned by billionaires and corporations. People last is the motto of Trump’s Republican Party, and any Senator who votes for this horrid bill deserves to immediately lose their seat.
reward for electing republicans: poverty!!!
Missouri Republicans Lower St. Louis Minimum Wage From $10 To $7.70 Take that, local decision-making.
By Dave Jamieson - 07/03/2017 01:52 pm ET
From Huff Post: If you thought the minimum wage only moved in one direction, then Missouri Republicans have a surprise for you.
After St. Louis leaders raised the wage floor for workers within city limits, the state GOP recently passed what’s known as a statewide “preemption” law, forbidding localities from taking such matters into their own hands. On Friday, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) said he would let the law go into effect, thereby barring cities and counties from setting a minimum wage higher than the state level.
For low-wage earners in St. Louis itself, the new law will have a startling consequence: It will actually push the minimum wage back down, from the city-approved $10 per hour to the state-approved $7.70. The downgrade is slated to take effect on Aug. 28.
For someone earning the bare minimum, that’s a potential cut of 23 percent.
It’s impossible to say how many St. Louis employers will take the GOP up on the offer to slash pay, given the effect such a move could have on competitiveness and morale. But if businesses agree with Republicans that the city wage hike is too aggressive, then at least some of them are likely to revert to the lower pay rates, particularly in low-wage industries like fast food. Greitens wasn’t eager to own the state-sponsored pay cut, opting not to sign the bill. But he doesn’t have to sign it for it to become law. Under the Missouri Constitution, a bill passed by state legislators eventually goes into effect so long as the governor doesn’t veto it.
The governor said the St. Louis minimum wage would “kill jobs.” “And despite what you hear from liberals, it will take money out of people’s pockets,” he added, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The Fight for $15 ― the union-backed campaign behind the St. Louis initiative and other wage-boosting efforts around the country ― called Greitens’ passive approval of the law “disgusting.”
If St. Louis’ existing measure were to stay in effect, the city’s minimum wage would be $10 this year and would then climb to $11 in 2018. The statewide rate of $7.70 typically goes up just a few cents a year, since it’s tied to an inflation index.
St. Louis originally passed a minimum wage hike two years ago, prompting business groups to sue to stop it in court. The Missouri Supreme Court recently ruled that the St. Louis measure was lawful, but the new state preemption law renders it irrelevant.
The concept of preemption laws has been around for years, but they’ve become increasingly popular in GOP-controlled states as more cities and counties have tried to raise the minimum wage. Business groups have struggled to blunt local wage legislation and referendums, but they’ve had better luck convincing Republican state legislators to block them from the state capitol.
St. Louis is one of the more glaring case studies, since the wage floor will now sink lower due to a state law. But at least 17 states have preemption laws that stand in the way of local minimum wage legislation, according to a recent study by the National League of Cities.
In Alabama, GOP state legislators passed a preemption law taking aim at the city of Birmingham’s $10.10 minimum wage. The Alabama chapter of the NAACP ended up filing a civil rights lawsuit against the state, claiming that the majority-white legislature was disenfranchising Birmingham residents, who are 73 percent African-American.
The suit was originally dismissed but is now on appeal.
they voted for trump and the gop, bendover!!!
Trumpcare's national numbers are horrifying. The state numbers bring the horror home.
By Laura Clawson Monday Jun 26, 2017 · 9:01 AM PDT
From Daily Kos: The numbers of people who would be harmed by Trumpcare at the national level are horrifying—so horrifying that it can be hard to wrap your mind around them. But the state numbers can be a little more manageable, and feel closer to home, literally, and that’s where local news can have a major impact. The New York Times has rounded up local reporting on Trumpcare, and while it’s powerful to hear the director of Delaware’s Division of Public health saying that “The bills under consideration by Congress are simply inhumane … people will die,” the by-the-numbers reporting may bring it home the most directly: This could affect you, too.
The loss of federal money would require the Alabama Legislature to raise taxes to replace the lost funds, or reduce services. The Republican-controlled bodies have never shown any willingness to increase taxes. That would likely mean cuts to the program, which could extend waiting times for patients, even those with private insurance, and lead to closures of hospitals and primary care practices, particularly in rural areas that count on Medicaid. — Montgomery Advertiser
Eliminating the Medicaid expansion would impact drug and alcohol treatment. About 124,000 people covered by the expansion have accessed such treatment. The cut would be especially damaging given the opioid addiction crisis, which is presently killing 13 Pennsylvania residents per day, according to Jennifer Smith, the acting secretary of drug and programs. — Penn Live
The Better Care Reconciliation Act would start cutting Medicaid by the year 2021 if passed. For Alaska, the effects could be enormous as 10.3% of the population is in poverty and 26.4% have no health insurance, according to “Talk poverty”. The Medicaid cut also includes disability services. Paid Medicare coverage would be cut to 100 days of skilled nursing care. The population of Alaskans 65+ is expected to reach 110,000 people by 2021. — YourAlaskaLink.com And, as one Trump voter in South Dakota said, “What are they going to do? Throw us in the gutter somewhere?”
The consequences of voting against your best interests
By Mark E Andersen Sunday Jun 25, 2017 · 10:01 AM PDT
From Daily Kos: When I was in high school, my hometown of Madison, Wisconsin, was much smaller. Less than a mile from East Towne Mall, on the other side of Interstate 90/94, were acres upon acres of cornfields. Between my junior and senior year I took a job working in one of those cornfields, detasseling corn.
Detasseling, which consisted of pulling the pollen-producing flowers from the tops of the plants and throwing them on the ground to cross-breed different varieties of corn, was a rite of passage for teenagers in Wisconsin. I was likely part of one of the last groups of teens in the area to work that job. It was one of the hardest jobs I have ever done. It is hot, dirty, and you are bitten by every bug imaginable.
Those cornfields on the outskirts of Madison are long gone, but corn still needs to be detasseled on other area farms. Today, you will not find any teenagers doing this job. It is all done by migrant laborers, and many of those workers are not in the United States legally.
Migrant workers wages are usually paid on a piece rates basis. During the 1980s in some areas of the U.S. detasseling work shifted from being primarily local teenagers to primarily migrant farm work
The current White House resident campaigned heavily on a promise to curb illegal immigration, and much of Donald Trump’s Republican support in this last election came from rural America. Those voters wanted an end to illegal immigration, in order to stop the so-called thieves and murderers from stealing American jobs. They got exactly what they voted for.
In the 100 days since President Trump signed an executive order to enhance immigration enforcement, the arrests of undocumented immigrants is up 38% from the same time period in 2016, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement data.
These alarming arrest statistics don’t change the fact that all across the country, farmers are reliant on immigrants for labor.
Estimates of the number of farmworkers employed in the United States vary. According to Robert Guenther, senior vice president for public policy for the United Fresh Produce Association, a produce industry trade group, it’s about 1.5 million to 2 million.
Of those, a large portion is illegal. Again, estimates vary, but Guenther puts it at 50 to 70 percent, a wide range. The Department of Labor, in its National Agricultural Workers Survey, puts it at 46 percent.
Even using the lower number from the Department of Labor, that means almost half of the farm workers in the United States are undocumented. That also means many of the rural Americans who voted for Trump voted against their best interests. He is arresting and deporting their workforce, which is causing many of those laborers to pack up and leave before ICE shows up.
Like many immigrant dairy employees in Wisconsin, the workers in the caravan have stories about walking through the desert to cross the border illegally, coming to work for farmers in the U.S. eager for the help.
They ended up here in America’s Dairyland, the nation’s top cheese state and No. 2 milk producer, attracted by a dairy industry dependent on undocumented immigrant labor to keep cows milked three times a day, year-round. They have raised their children in communities where American workers stopped answering "help wanted" ads for cow milkers long ago. Like farmers across the nation, Wisconsin farmers rely on immigrant labor. These are jobs that American workers will not take. Immigrants pick our produce, milk our cows, and detassel our corn.
It has often been said that elections have consequences—and it’s now glaringly clear that they do. Regardless of who they voted for, every American will pay the price with higher food costs. And the very people who elected Donald Trump will pay an even higher price when they see their crops rotting in the fields.
The House GOP health care bill is a job killer, says a new report
The House GOP bill could cost the country nearly 1 million jobs. New York could be hit the hardest.
Amanda Michelle Gomez
From Think Progress: In addition to potentially increasing the number of uninsured by 23 million and being unequivocally unpopular, House Republicans’ Obamacare replacement plan could leave nearly a million people unemployed. That’s according to a new study published Wednesday by the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University and The Commonwealth Fund projects, which finds that the U.S. economy could see a loss of 924,000 jobs by 2026 if the American Health Care Act (AHCA) becomes law.
The study concentrated on coverage-related and tax repeal policies included in the AHCA. Some of the key provisions it said could add to job losses would:
Phase out enhanced funding for Medicaid expansion by restricting eligibility in 2020, and imposing either a block grant or per capita caps.
Replace premium tax credits with age-based tax credits. The premiums can be five times higher for older individuals, compared to the current threefold maximum.
Allow states to waive key insurance rules, like community rating and essential health benefits. (The study does account for the Patient and State Stability Fund, a $8 billion grant meant to relieve states of high-cost patients.)
Eliminate the individual mandate tax penalty and premiums hikes for people who do not maintain continuous coverage.
Repeal numerous taxes and tax increases, like a tax on high-cost insurance (i.e. the “Cadillac tax”).
Short-term gain, long-term pain Federal health funding stimulates the economy and job creation. Health funds pay hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other providers, and these facilities pay for their own respective employees and other goods and services, like rent and equipment. Health care employees and private businesses then use their earnings to purchase consumer goods like housing and transportation, circulating this money through the larger economy.
The GWU study found government spending or subsidies stimulate the economy more than tax cuts. Tax cuts do help, but only in the short term. The way AHCA is set up is that the tax cuts take effect sooner than federal funding cuts, which is why some states see net job growth by 2018. Then, when federal dollars are eventually pulled, states begin to see job losses by 2026.
Who’s most effected:The employment rate among states that expanded Medicaid eligibility could disproportionately be affected, because those states received more federal dollars. New York, a state that expanded Medicaid, could be among the hardest hit with 86,000 job losses by 2026.
Between April 2016 and April 2017, New York added 76,800 jobs — and the educational & health services sector saw the largest job gains, at 46,600 jobs. “The Affordable Care Act [ACA] contributed to that [growth],” Ronnie Kauder, senior research director at the New York City Labor Market Information Service, told ThinkProgress.
Kauder emphasized that the ACA wasn’t solely responsible for New York’s job growth, even in the health care sector. Uncontrollable factors like the state’s growing aging population and increasing life expectancy contribute to job growth as well.
New York has reaped the employment benefits of comprehensive health care, said Kauder. That’s in part because ACA encouraged states to test new models of health care delivery and shifted from a reimbursement system based on volume of services to value of services.
For example, New York received ACA grant funding to test effective ways to incentivize Medicaid beneficiaries, who struggle with chronic diseases, to participate in prevention programs and change their health risks. With that grant, New York created new programs at existing managed care organizations, which required new hires. The grant created positions like care coordinators, who connect and follow-up up with patients and providers in the program, said Kauder. “They are heavy on the training, but not licensed professionals,” she said.
But while she attributed some of New York’s job gains to the ACA, Kauder was skeptical that the GOP replacement plan would kill as many of them as the GWU study projects. “We don’t know what the state response will be,” he said. “It could be worse in Kentucky.”
The largest health care provider in New York, Northwell Health, hires on average 150 people a week. Northwell chief public relations officer Terry Lynam told ThinkProgress he doesn’t think the ACA directly contributed to a spike in job growth; however, it did help expedite the provider’s move from hospitals to outpatient care centers, also called ambulatory care, in an effort to slow rising health costs. “What [ACA] has done was contribute to the ambulatory net growth [by cutting costs],” said Lynam. Northwell Health has 550 outpatient locations.
Northwell Health has qualms with the House GOP bill; specifically its cuts to Medicaid and change in coverage rules. “We are in a stronger financial position to survive that kind of reduction in revenue,” said Lynam. “But what about small providers serving low income areas, who need those Medicaid [dollars]?
Crafted by Wall Street Titans, Trump Treasury Plan Latest Consumer Betrayal
"We need stronger protections for consumers, but instead, this proposal is a toxic concoction of repackaged banker handouts," said Public Citizen's Lisa Gilbert
by Jake Johnson, staff writer Published on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 by Common Dreams
The Treasury Department on Monday released a report (pdf) that "grants Wall Street its wishes" by recommending the White House defang the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and severely roll back regulations established following the financial meltdown of 2008.
But as Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) noted, the industry couldn't have been surprised by the report's contents, given that banking groups were consulted heavily during its creation.
As Brown wrote in a statement, "Treasury consulted with banking industry groups at a ratio of 17-to-1 over consumer groups when formulating the report." Brown concluded by providing a list that starkly illustrates where Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker, looked for advice.
Government Entities: 18
Consumer Advocates: 14
Think Tanks: 15
Banking Industry Groups: 244
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who spearheaded efforts to create the CFPB, also denounced the Treasury's recommendations, arguing that they would "make it easier for big banks to cheat their customers and spark another financial meltdown."
The report comes on the heels of House Republicans' vote to pass the CHOICE Act, legislation that takes aim at Dodd-Frank and other post-crash regulations. But given that the bill is unlikely to get past the Senate, the White House is looking for ways to advance President Donald Trump's right-wing agenda unilaterally.
Though the Treasury report lays out many familiar GOP talking points on the need to relieve small banks and credit unions of burdensome regulations, most of the benefits would disproportionately go to the nation's largest financial institutions.
"Changes proposed by the Treasury Department include easing up on restrictions big banks now face in their trading operations, lightening the annual stress tests they must undergo, and reducing the powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which has been aggressively pursuing bad behavior by financial institutions," Reuters summarized. "The industry has long sought many of the proposed changes, which would mostly benefit banks like JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), Citigroup Inc (C.N), Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N), Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N)."
Following the publication of the report, consumer advocacy groups were quick to react to what they deemed a sop to Wall Street at the expense of the public.
"The financial crisis had devastating costs for families and communities," Lisa Donner of Americans for Financial Reform told the New York Times, "and everyday abuses in financial markets cost people tens of billions of dollars a year."
In a statement released on Tuesday, Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs for Public Citizen, called Treasury's proposals an invitation for "financial scam artists to prey on American victims."
"We need stronger protections for consumers, but instead, this proposal is a toxic concoction of repackaged banker handouts that industry lobbyists have pushed since the passage of Dodd-Frank." Gilbert concluded. "The report ignores the tremendous damage caused by Wall Street in the 2008 crash and the continued evidence—such as Wells Fargo's millions of fraudulently opened accounts—that we need tougher regulation and enforcement."
The Trump administration has started rolling back the birth control mandate Employers will soon be able to opt-out of providing coverage for birth control by citing religious objections.
From Think Progress: Federal officials, under orders by President Donald Trump, have drafted a rule to roll back the Obama-era mandate that birth control be included under all employer insurance plans.
The final shape of roll back is still uncertain: The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) website says that it is reviewing the “interim final rule” to relax the requirements on preventative services. The rule change is specifically aimed at accommodations for religious organizations, some of whom have strongly objected to requirements that they include birth control coverage under their insurance for employees.
Typically, when an agency considers changing a rule — which can have immediate and sweeping policy impacts — they publish a preliminary version, solicit comments from the public, and incorporate the feedback into revisions before handing down the final change. If the OMB is reviewing the interim final rule, however, that means the rule has already been drafted by the relevant agencies and is in the last step before being published, according to the National Women’s Law Center.
“We think whatever the rule is, it will allow an employer’s religious beliefs to keep birth control away from women. We are sure that some women will lose birth control coverage,” Gretchen Borchelt, the vice president of the National Women’s Law Center, told the New York Times.
Under the current rules, implemented under President Obama, birth control coverage is considered part of preventative medical care and must be covered by all insurers with no co-pay. The mandate has guaranteed an estimated 55 million women access to birth control and other preventative services at no additional cost to them, regardless of their employer.
In 2013, the mandate saved women $1.4 billion on birth control pills, and since the law went into effect, there has been a nearly 5 percent uptick in birth control subscriptions, according to the NWLC. The increased access to contraceptives has also correlated with a sharp drop in unintended pregnancy and abortion rates.
These public health outcomes make it easy to see why the requirement has been widely lauded by women’s health advocates and providers.
“Without question, contraception is an integral part of preventive care; women benefit from seamless, affordable access to contraception, and our health system benefits as well,” the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) said in a statement about the mandate. “ACOG strongly believes that contraception is an essential part of women’s preventive care, and that any accommodation to employers’ beliefs must not impose barriers to women’s ability to access contraception.”
The law has been hotly contested, however, by religious organizations who object to having to include birth control in their insurance plans. Trump seized on their complaints while campaigning for the presidency, and in early May, fulfilled his pledges to evangelical Christian supporters by handing down an executive order on “religious freedom” that aimed to do two things: To make it easier for faith leaders to preach politics, and to allow employers to claim a religious exemption against providing contraceptive coverage for their employees.
Trump made the proclamation alongside representatives of Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of nuns who have been some of the most vocal opponents of Obamacare’s mandate that insurance include birth control coverage — taking the fight up all the way up to the Supreme Court.
“Your long ordeal will soon be over,” Trump told them when he announced the order.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price immediately issued a statement saying that he’d be happy to take have the opportunity to reshape the requirements on birth control coverage.
“We welcome today’s executive order directing the Department of Health and Human Services to reexamine the previous administration’s interpretation of the Affordable Care Act’s preventive services mandate, and commend President Trump for taking a strong stand for religious liberty,” he said in a press relief.
Price has long been a vocal critic of the birth control mandate on grounds of religious freedom, and has also been dismissive of its benefit to women.
“Bring me one woman who has been left behind. Bring me one. There’s not one,” Price said about women having trouble paying for birth control in an interview with ThinkProgress in 2012. “The fact of the matter is this is a trampling on religious freedom and religious liberty in this country.”
According to a recent survey by polling form PerryUndem, 33 percent of American women said they couldn’t afford to pay any more than a $10 copay for their birth control. Fourteen percent said that if they had to pay for birth control at all, they couldn’t afford it.
dedicated to low income gop voters!!!
Trump’s housing budget is a mass eviction notice for the poor
Millions of tenants already can’t get help with their rent. This makes it worse.
From Think Progress: America’s systems for helping vulnerable families keep a roof overhead are already woefully underfunded, leaving about 15 million deserving households to fend for themselves when the rent is due.
President Donald Trump’s budget chooses to make that problem worse. If cuts proposed in his Housing and Urban Development budget become law, he will put hundreds of thousands of families currently receiving rent support on the road to eviction, experts told ThinkProgress.
“We don’t want our grandparents in their golden years figuring out which bridge to sleep under,” Center for Community Change Housing Trust Fund project director Michael Anderson said. “Think about this as the destruction of a compact created with the American people years ago, informed by the Great Depression but now seemingly forgotten.”
A conscious choice to do harm
While Carson’s team claims it can serve the exact same number of people even after shifting huge costs onto families who cannot afford to bear them, the budget justification admits that Trump’s plans “may ultimately prove to be unsustainable in a fiscally constrained environment.”
“There are places in the justifications where they basically admit that there’s a housing crisis and they’re making it worse,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities housing expert Barbara Sard said. “They’re saying, ‘This is all we can afford.’ Which is obviously crap. It’s what they’ve chosen to do.” Sard’s team is still crunching numbers, but she said early estimates indicate a quarter-million fewer housing vouchers will be available under the budget — and likely hundreds of thousands more families will end up losing their apartments thanks to other cuts and policy changes.
HUD claims none of this is true. The budget will “begin reforms now to address [rising] costs while still supporting currently assisted families,” staff wrote.
But that is a lie — and one supported by disingenuous math in the documents Carson’s team released when the budget dropped Tuesday. The agency claims it is only cutting Section 8 vouchers by about $300 million, for example.
The real cut is more like eight times what Carson claims, Sard said. HUD claims otherwise because it compares Trump’s budget to 2016 funding levels — ignoring both a $600 million increase Congress passed for the current fiscal year and the fundamental reality that rents keep rising at a blistering pace all around the country.
“What really matters in the real world is, what’s the amount needed to sustain assistance to the same number of families? Our estimate is this would in fact be $2.3 billion below what’s needed,” Sard said. On top of that $2.3 billion cut to voucher assistance for people who rent from privately-owned options, HUD would slash another $2 billion-plus from public housing.
Trump and Carson’s sleight of hand amounts to a proposal to evict a huge group of people from their homes.
Mass evictions and con-man math
Both HUD and the White House insist that nobody will lose housing due to the budget cuts because people will just go out and get jobs. But that claim is based on a dangerous misunderstanding of who is actually served by these programs — and flies in the face of all evidence about the economic prospects of this population.
“People are spending every penny they have,” Sard said. “They make it sound like everyone in assisted housing could just go get a job and earn enough to make it up. But the majority of householders are elderly or disabled, and most of the others are working. There’s no evidence they have any actual ability to increase their income.”
The population served by HUD’s various tenant support systems is so marginalized already, so poor and so far removed from any way of increasing their incomes, that they have nowhere to go if HUD gives up on them in the ways this budget proposes. This budget would increase homelessness and privation dramatically, policy experts said.
“You need to protect these folks. Where else are they supposed to go?” said Andrew Jakabovics of Enterprise Community Partners. “For these families, it’s all or nothing. In most cases the alternative is either totally unsuitable, unsafe housing, or no housing at all.”
Low-income tenants receiving rent vouchers or other forms of rental assistance would suddenly be asked to pay a much larger share of their rent than they already do. Voucher families currently pay 30 percent of their net income in rent.
Carson proposes to charge them 35 percent of their gross income — meaning that tenants with large medical expenses or many children would lose important deductions to how their income is calculated, then also be asked to pay a higher percentage of that income in rent. The budget effectively punishes people for having poor health or large families — not unlike the Trump budget’s proposal to revive so-called “family caps” for other safety net programs.
Carson also would end HUD’s reimbursements for tenants who pay their utilities separately from their rent and set a minimum monthly rent of $50 — even for people who make so little that $50 would be more than 35 percent of their gross income.
That is a very complicated and polite way of saying that people would get kicked out of their homes, Jakabovics said.
“You’re going to have folks who were stably housed with vouchers seeing evictions,” he said. “They say that’s potentially a big cost savings to the taxpayer, but it radically increases the likelihood that tenants are going to miss payments and get their utilities shut off.”
Indeed, the deeper premise throughout Trump’s budget is that it’s time America started worrying more about taxpayers than about the quality and extent of the safety net their dollars provide. Budget director Mick Mulvaney is fond of saying the plan redefines the meaning of compassion.
But it is a fiction to say these housing cuts would actually save national resources. They will put more people on the street — where they become much more expensive for society as a whole, as the destabilizing impact of losing a stable home shoots its tentacles through every aspect of their lives. “To cut people off at this foundational level will reverberate for decades to come: In terms of the cost to those individual people, and to the communities they live in, and then to the government institutions that will have to intervene,” Anderson said.
“You can have as simple and controllable a disorder as diabetes. If you’re homeless or you’re moving around and getting evicted and moving again, that disease all of a sudden becomes a life and death challenge,” he said. “Now expand that across the panoply of vulnerabilities that certain people experience, that are in part or in full addressed when they have access to a stable, safe place to call home.”
Trump’s HUD budget also destroys the Housing Trust Fund and eliminates two dollars out of every three ticketed for the construction of additional or improved low-income housing units.
The White House plan also lets Carson overrule local decisionmakers from afar. “This administration, which says the agencies closest to the community should be setting policies, is now saying Washington knows best,” Sard said.
For decades, even diehard partisans generally agreed that Washington shouldn’t actively, intentionally harm poor renters just to balance the budget.
“Historically, even when budgets have been tight, the guiding mantra was always to do no harm,” Jakabovics said. “That’s clearly not the case here.”
Trump wants to end a program that helps people in nearly every community in America
Trump’s budget eliminates the Community Development Block Grant, a massive and important source of funding for local needs.
From Think Progress: Just before delivering her first son, Pam Lozano started looking for childcare. She only had a certain amount that she could spend on it, though, given that she was a student in medical assisting school. While she looked at several daycares in her city of Arlington, Texas, there was just one that she could afford: the Arlington Child Development Center.
The center is the only in the area that she could find that offers childcare on a sliding payment scale; that was critical for Lozano, who likely wouldn’t have qualified for help from government subsidies or free programs like Early Head Start. “I wouldn’t have been able to leave [my child] in childcare because it’s so expensive,” she said. Without the help of the sliding scale, “it’s like an extra rent payment or house payment a month.”
Now she’s out of school, and both of her young children get care from the same center, allowing her to go to work. Without the subsidized rate, “it’s almost double,” she said. “It would be a hardship.”
Just a five-minute drive away from the childcare center, Deborah Caddy has been serving victims of sexual violence for 30 years, first as a therapist with the The Women’s Center and now as its director of rape crisis and victim services program. “Predominantly, the type of clients that we’re going to serve… are going to be victims of sexual violence: sexual assault that recently has occurred or it could be childhood sexual abuse,” she said.
The clients who call her number or come through her doors are offered as many sessions with a therapist as they may need, whether it’s six weeks or six months, free of charge. “Just a couple of weeks ago we had a waiting list for services in Arlington,” she said. “That demonstrates the kind of need that there is for this type of service.”
And the impact on the community is large. “It holds an offender accountable, it helps your citizens to get the help and intervention that they need, and hopefully [a] young child will possibly raise the next generation that won’t face that situation,” she said. “It has a ripple effect.”
About five minutes driving in the other direction from the the Child Development Center, the Arlington Public Library runs a number of literacy programs: classes to help students get their GEDs, ESL classes for every conversational level, and reading programs for students whose schools may not have their own libraries.
The services are in high demand in an area with low literacy rates: one 2013 report ranked Arlington’s literacy rate 63 out of 77 large metropolises. Yet since the middle of 2010, 120 graduates of the library’s GED classes have earned their credentials. “That’s huge,” said Ivonne Kieffer, program management and community engagement administrator at the library. “Now they’re able to go and find a job… Now they’re working and giving back to their community.”
ESL classes are no less critical for employment. “You have to know English just to kind of survive and live,” she noted.
These three programs — a daycare center, support services for victims of violence, and a public library — may not appear to have much in common. But they share one important thing: all count on federal funding from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to serve their communities.
They’re just the tip of the mammoth iceberg that encompasses all of the activities funded by the CDBG. In Tarrant County, Texas alone — where all three of these programs operate — CDBG funds go to nearly two dozen different programs, which also include Meals on Wheels, HIV testing, Big Brothers Big Sisters, homeless shelters, and substance abuse counseling.
Yet if President Trump were to get his way, these funds would dry up completely. He called for the CDBG’s funding to be zeroed out in his budget proposal for this fiscal year and included no funding for it in 2018 in his larger budget request this week. The services these programs provide would be severely threatened or potentially eliminated entirely. (read more)
The Trump regime's budget doubles down on his disdain for his own voters
By Joan McCarter Tuesday May 23, 2017 · 10:50 AM PDT
From Daily Kos: This story is getting kind of old, but is still astounding. Just like the people who will most be hurt by Trumpcare are the people living in Trump states, the massive cuts to food assistance in his budget will do the same. He's cutting more than $192 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or as most people think of it, food stamps. That's a quarter of the program's funding.
About 44 million people benefit from food stamps in the US, especially poorer states in the Southeast. For example, one out of every five people in Louisiana receives food stamps in a given month, according to a report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Trump's proposed cuts to food stamps will by and large hit his own voters the hardest. Louisiana voted overwhelmingly for Trump, as did its Southeast counterparts Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, and Georgia. Out of the ten states with the highest food stamp-use by population, seven voted Republican in last year's presidential election.
In addition to that massive cut, it would slash $272 billion over all from federal safety-net programs. It's so bad, even budget director Mick Mulvaney's former Freedom Caucus colleague Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) thinks it might be too much.
But in a signal that some proposed cuts to domestic programs are likely to face resistance even from conservatives, Mr. Meadows said he could not stomach the idea of doing away with food assistance for older Americans.
"Meals on Wheels, even for some of us who are considered to be fiscal hawks, may be a bridge too far," Mr. Meadows said.
It's hard to believe that there actually is a bar that's too low for the Freedom Caucus for causing pain. Figures the Trump regime would cross it.
Obamacare rate hikes are coming, and insurers point finger squarely at Trump
By Joan McCarter Saturday May 20, 2017 · 10:31 AM PDT
From Daily Kos: Obamacare, still not failed but definitely under siege, will be facing another obstacle should Republicans not manage to repeal and "replace" it. Insurers are projecting steep premium hikes for 2018 and are laying the blame squarely on the Trump regime's mismanagement and sabotage.
Health insurers across the country are making plans to dramatically raise Obamacare premiums or exit marketplaces amid growing exasperation with the Trump administration’s erratic management, inconsistent guidance and seeming lack of understanding of basic healthcare issues.
At the same time, state insurance regulators—both Democrat and Republican—have increasingly concluded they cannot count on the Trump administration to help them ensure that consumers will have access to a health plan next year.
The growing frustration with the Trump administration’s management—reflected in letters to state regulators and in interviews with more than two dozen senior industry and government officials nationwide—undercuts a key White House claim that Obamacare insurance marketplaces are collapsing on their own.
Instead, according to many officials, it is the Trump administration that is driving much of the current instability by refusing to commit to steps to keep markets running, such as funding aid for low-income consumers or enforcing penalties for people who go without insurance. “It’s hard to know who’s home,” one chief executive told the LA Times for this story. “We don’t know who is making decisions.” A second says "There seems to be no coordination or coherent planning.… It’s a mess." And a third: "There is a sense that there are no hands on the wheel and they are just letting the bus careen down the road." Which is a pretty good description of the Trump approach to the presidency overall.
So that's something lots of Republicans will want to go into the 2018 election with—either a new Trumpcare law that immediately kicks millions off of their health insurance, or sharp premium hikes that are blamed squarely on Trump and his fellow Republicans. Many Obamacare customers will be shielded from the steepest of hikes, which is good, because of the subsidies they qualify for under Obamacare. The bad news is that it means the federal government—taxpayers—is having to pay more precisely because Trump is fucking everything up.
don't complain, you elected him!!!
Medicaid recipients in Kentucky to lose coverage, gain weird ‘rewards’ accounts instead
Gov. Matt Bevin (R-KY) wants to end dental and vision coverage, set up “MyRewards” coupon program tied to behavior.
From Think Progress: Have you ever thought that health insurance paperwork was too straightforward? Do you really love keeping track of your credit card points and customer loyalty card accounts at retailers? Would you prefer that the government do more to tell you how to live a good life?
Then you’ll love Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s (R) plan to overhaul Medicaid by cutting benefits, charging low-income recipients for services, and making them jump through hoops to earn health coverage points in new “MyRewards Accounts.”
From a glance at Bevin’s proposal, it’s easy to mistake the “MyRewards” idea for an expansion of coverage. The changes are described as “benefit enhancements” in a new, detailed implementation proposal from the consulting firm Deloitte.
Bevin’s plan is in fact a benefit cut. Kentucky’s Medicaid program currently includes vision and dental. If you’re eligible for Medicaid in Kentucky, then you’re eligible for coverage of regular tooth checkups and eye exams under state law.
Bevincare would “enhance” Medicaid benefits by taking several of them away. You will lose the security of knowing your eye doctor and dentist will see you when you need them, and gain the exciting new opportunity to earn chits toward the cost of those same services.
But to accrue those chits, you must live by Bevin’s rules. MyRewards points accumulate based on the enrollee’s participation in job training, health screening, smoking cessation, volunteer, and educational programs, at the rates listed below:
CREDIT: Kentucky HEALTH Program Requirements Specification
Bevin’s behavioral incentives effectively convert his definition of good character into a state-enforced moral code which everyone who can’t afford health insurance must follow — and whose compliance the state must monitor.
“This requires building a massive database about people’s individual behaviors, and then keeping it up. Never mind that it’s massively expensive, it also feels very invasive,” former Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator Andy Slavitt said in an interview. “I’m not sure the government should be tracking if I put on five pounds, or if I’m advancing in my job, or what grade I got on my GED exam.”
Bevin first shopped the MyRewards idea last summer while drafting up a waiver request to the federal government, after realizing that his campaign promise to end the state’s Medicaid expansion under Obamacare would strip roughly one in six state residents of their health care. Given the political risks of taking health insurance away from hundreds of thousands of people, Bevin opted instead to ask Washington for permission to radically reshape the state’s Medicaid offerings — effectively a smaller stealth cut to insurance access for low-income families.
The biggest change is Bevin’s proposal to charge premiums for Medicaid and impose an annual $1,000 deductible before the program covers beneficiaries’ health care costs. Those are big price hikes for people who can’t afford them. Similar policies have driven down insurance rates and harmed public health outcomes in other states already. (read more)
"...It is impossible to know for sure how many in the agricultural community voted for the man devastating their industry with his words and deeds. However, in California’s Great Central Valley that provides well over half the fruits, vegetables, and nuts for Americans, farmers overwhelmingly supported the Trump. Now they are weeping and gnashing their teeth because they are having a tough time getting their crops planted or harvested. And, it is noteworthy to say that it is not only because ICE agents are rounding up undocumented field workers; it is because of sheer terror of the possibility they will be abducted, detained, and deported on their way to the fields. Trump’s anti-immigrant talk and policies may give farmers’ buyer’s remorse, make them nervous and threaten their bottom line, but for the immigrant labor force, it is more than just nerve-wracking; exactly as Trump and his supporters intended."
Farmers Say Trump’s Immigration Policy Threatens Their Bottom Line By Rmuse on Tue, May 2nd, 2017 at 11:01 am
what you see is what you get!!!
your share, idiot!!!!
The States That Do Nothing To Help Working Parents BY BRYCE COVERT AUG 4, 2016
From Think Progress: Being a working parent is never easy, what with the long hours many jobs demand, enormous cost of child care, and, sometimes, sheer exhaustion from sleepless nights or running around after toddlers. But many states do absolutely nothing to make life any easier for them, according to a new report from the National Partnership for Women & Families. The report flunks 12 states with an F grade because they haven’t passed a single law or instituted a single program to help working parents.
There are national policies that help some parents no matter what state they live in. The Family and Medical Leave Act, for one, ensures eligible workers 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the arrival of a new child or to care for a serious illness and guarantees they will have a job to come back to. But first workers have to be covered — and thanks to the fact that only those who work at companies with 50 or more employees or those who have been with their employers for at least a year qualify, 41 percent of the workforce misses out completely. Meanwhile, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act should in theory give pregnant workers protection from discrimination but many are still getting fired or discriminated against, while the provision in the Affordable Care Act giving women the right to pump breast milk at work excludes many workers. New parents in the 12 states that haven’t lifted a finger to go beyond these laws and close some of the loopholes — Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming — can therefore find themselves exposed when trying to balance their work with caring for their children. Women may find themselves let go from jobs because of their pregnancies, or new parents may find they can’t take any time off to be with their infants or sick kids.[...]