News you need to know — and what you can and must do about it.
Welcome to a new daily series at Shareblue Media, providing you with links to important news, interesting stories, useful information about actions of resistance — and a picture of President Barack Obama to remind you what real leadership looks like.
- The Graham-Cassidy bill is a callous disaster waiting to happen. Right now is the time to stand up, fight back, and #KilltheBill. Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon has a message for you:
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) September 20, 2017
- And remember, Resistance Near Me can always help you find opportunities to take a stand, whether it’s at a rally, a town hall, or just on the phone lines with your elected official.
- ICYMI, Donald Trump is still out here — meaning, of course, on Twitter — telling blatant lies about the repeal bill, claiming that it includes coverage for pre-existing conditions.
While Graham-Cassidy does not let insurers ban people with pre-existing conditions from signing up, and says that states must make sure coverage is affordable, it does not define the term “affordable” and contains no enforcement mechanism, meaning states could let insurers mark up premiums for anyone who gets sick.
A study from the Center of American Progress suggests people with diabetes would pay $5,600 more a year for insurance, women who have experienced a pregnancy would pay $17,320 more, and metastatic cancer survivors would pay $142,650 more.
- Remember that utterly ludicrous and also frighteningly rabid speech Trump gave to the U.N. General Assembly? Try as we might, how could anyone forget? Hillary Clinton had some thoughts on the speech, which she called “dark” and “dangerous,” and which she wished had focused more on diplomacy and less on insults:
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) September 19, 2017
- Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts was equally disturbed by Trump’s volatile bluster:
“Trying to bait a dictator who has nuclear weapons is not a way to advance diplomacy and not a way to make us any safer,” Warren said. “The idea that Donald Trump would see how agitated he could get Kim Jong Un just makes no sense.”
- In a push to protect the rights of the people from state governments that pretty much don’t give a damn about them, Warren is teaming up with Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman of California on a bill to eliminate so-called “right-to-work” laws. As Sherman notes, there are 28 states with such provisions in place, and despite the banal name, the laws are anything but friendly to workers. “Their stated goal is to take jobs from other states by weakening unions and, therefore, lowering wages,” he says.
Current ‘right-to-work’ laws require unions to represent non-dues-paying employees, thereby creating free riders – people who benefit from the union contract but don’t pay. Due to this free-rider problem, it is rare that a strong union can be organized in a ‘right-to-work’ state. In addition, ‘right-to-work’ laws create different standards for union membership in different states. This results not only in confusion over the regulation of union membership but also places a higher cost on worker representation in labor rights states.
Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, wholeheartedly supports the bill: “Congressman Sherman and Senator Warren have once again demonstrated their strong commitment to working families” with this legislation, he stated.
- As Hurricane Maria batters Puerto Rico, leaving the entire island and its nearly 3.5 million inhabitants without power, possibly for months, anyone who is able to help financially has a number of trustworthy options to do so.