Republicans Concede Their Latest Trumpcare Bill is Dead

By Addy Baird and Amanda Michelle Gomez

A hastily written health bill — with deep cuts to Medicaid and major hits to patient regulatory protections — ran into the same political problems as bills before it, and failed to garner enough support in the Senate.

Republicans announced Tuesday the party does not have the votes to pass their latest health care bill, known as the Graham-Cassidy bill, and will forgo a vote this week. Instead they will move on to tax reform, reaching for at least one legislative win before midterm elections. Efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are not dead, but a “matter of when,” Republicans promised.

“We are going to fulfill our promise,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) during a press conference Tuesday. “Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson will be the alternative to Obamacare.”

The news came after Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) announced Monday that she will vote against the latest ACA-repeal bill, making her the third Republican to definitively oppose the bill.

Republicans in Congress were attempting to pass the latest repeal-and-replace bill through the reconciliation process, meaning it needed only a simple majority to pass the Senate. In order to have at least 50 votes, Republicans could safely lose just two members. Prior to Collins’ announcement, Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and John McCain (R-AZ) had already said they would vote against the bill.

The Graham-Cassidy bill — the fifth GOP health bill seeking to replace Obamacare — would have repealed the ACA subsidies and Medicaid expansion, then replaced previous federal funding with block grants. States — with waiver authority — could roll back essential health benefits and allow insurers to raise premiums for sick patients or those with pre-existing conditions. Additionally, the bill would make cuts to Medicaid overall, which provides care to low-income adults, children, elderly, and people with disabilities.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated millions more people would be uninsured under the Graham-Cassidy bill than under current law. Additionally, the CBO projected that federal spending on Medicaid would be reduced by about $1 trillion between 2017-2026.

But Monday’s score did not provide a comprehensive analysis because the nonpartisan government did not have enough time to review the bill. The legislative text was released just two weeks ago, leaving little time for thorough analysis from agencies and lawmakers. There was just one hearing on the legislation Monday afternoon, which was largely overtaken by protests.

The reconciliation deadline is September 30. In order to pass this version of repeal and replace through the reconciliation process, it needed to pass the Senate before Saturday.

Republicans can still bring back ACA repeal next year. Already, lawmakers are contemplating combining health with tax reform, a move that’s not impossible from a procedural perspective. What is clear, Republican voters overwhelmingly want lawmakers to repeal current health law.

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Reposted from ThinkProgress

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work