10 million may lose health insurance coverage under GOP's Obamacare replacement plan, S&P says

by Dan Mangan

03.07.17   Between 6 million and 10 million people would lose health insurance coverage if a Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act becomes law, a new report estimates. The top end of those losses, or 10 million people, is equal to half of the 20 million or so people who have gained coverage in the past seven years under Obamacare. The sobering estimate came from S&P Global Ratings on Tuesday, less than a full day after House GOP leaders released their plan for gutting key elements of… Continue Reading

What's at Stake For Schools in the Debate Over the Affordable Care Act

by Alyson Klein

03.07.17   The Trump administration and congressional Republicans are in the midst of trying to figure out whether to tweak, or toss the Obama administration's biggest domestic achievement, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act-or "Obamacare" to the haters. (In fact, the House GOP released an ACA overhaul plan late Monday.) Believe it or not, the law has had big implications for school districts and kids-and getting rid of it or changing it significantly could end up being a big deal for educator… Continue Reading

Republicans poised to roll back worker safety regulations

by Kimberly Kindy

03.06.17   President Trump and congressional Republicans are poised to roll back a series of Obama-era worker safety regulations targeted by business groups, starting with a rule that would require federal contractors to disclose and correct serious safety violations. The Senate is set to vote Monday evening to eliminate the regulation, dubbed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule. Finalized in August and blocked by a court order in October, the rule would limit the ability of companies with recent safety… Continue Reading

DeVos and Tax Credit Vouchers: Arizona Shows What Can Go Wrong

by Kevin Carey

03.02.17   Steve Yarbrough is one of the most powerful men in Arizona. As president of the State Senate, he has promoted a range of conservative policies, including a tuition tax credit system that provides over $100 million per year to finance vouchers for private schools. In his speech to Congress this week, President Trump singled out a young woman who attended private school using a tax credit-financed voucher. The president urged Congress to pass legislation that would provide similar benefits to mil… Continue Reading

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is getting some very bad news about her favorite thing, school vouchers

by Michael Hiltzik

02.28.17   A raft of recent studies about school vouchers couldn't have come at a worse time for our new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. That's because the studies report devastatingly bad results for students in those voucher programs. And they've been flowing into public forums just as DeVos, a leading advocate of school vouchers, takes charge of federal education policy. DeVos's patron, President Trump, proposed during his campaign to shovel $20 billion to the states to support magnet and charter s… Continue Reading

Report: Public schools in the District remain highly segregated

by Mandy McLaren

02.27.17   Public schools in the nation's capital remain highly segregated, a new analysis shows, with many D.C. campuses enrolling almost exclusively students of color despite an influx of white families into the city in recent years. The Civil Rights Project at UCLA found in a report released this month that 71 percent of black students in the D.C. public school system and the city's charter sector attended schools in 2013 that had virtually no white peers. That was down from nearly 90 percent in 1992. … Continue Reading

The Adults a Medicaid Work Requirement Would Leave Behind

by Abby Goodnough

02.25.17   JACKSONVILLE, Ark. - On a frigid morning here, Nancy Godinez was piling bread and other staples into her car outside a food pantry. She had lost her job as a custodian, her unemployment checks had run out, and her job search had proved fruitless. One thing she still had was health insurance, acquired three years ago after Arkansas' Republican-controlled legislature agreed to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The coverage, she said, has allowed her to get regular checkups and treatm… Continue Reading

Why records matter to worker safety

by Jordan Barab

02.24.17   Another week and Congressional and White House attacks on worker rights and safety continue. Here's another proposed Congressional action guaranteed not to make headlines, but which will nevertheless have a damaging impact on worker safety. Last week, Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) introduced a "resolution of disapproval" under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the "Volks Rule," which allows the agency to continue prosecuting recordkeeping violations as it had done in the first 40 years… Continue Reading

She voted for Trump. Now she fears losing the Obamacare plan that saved her life

by Noam N. Levey

02.24.17   Kathy Watson was anxious about her health coverage even before she woke up gasping for breath last month and drove herself to the emergency room with a flare-up in her heart condition. After struggling for years without insurance, the 55-year-old former small-business owner - who has battled diabetes, high blood pressure and two cancers - credits Obamacare with saving her life. Watson also voted for Donald Trump, believing the businessman would bring change. She dismissed his campaign pledges… Continue Reading

Support for 2010 health care law reaches new high

by Hannah Fingerhut

02.23.17   With congressional Republicans discussing proposals to replace the Affordable Care Act, public support for the 2010 health care law has reached its highest level on record. Currently, 54% approve of the health care law passed seven years ago by Barack Obama and Congress, while 43% disapprove, according to a national Pew Research Center survey conducted Feb. 7-12 among 1,503 adults. Throughout the law's history, opinions about the Affordable Care Act have tended to be more negative than pos… Continue Reading

Rep Scott criticizes repeal of federal guidance to protect transgender students

by Dave Ress

02.23.17   Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Newport News, called on Congress to enact legislation making clear that gay and transgender individuals should not be subject to discrimination at school or at work. His statement came in reaction to the repeal of a formal Department of Education guidance that transgender students are protected under a 1972 federal law banning discrimination on the basis of sex. "The impact of the Trump Administration's repeal of the Title IX guidance leaves LGBTQ students in at least 31 st… Continue Reading

President Trump Breaks a Promise on Transgender Rights

by Editorial Board

02.23.17   On the campaign trail, Donald Trump broke with Republican Party orthodoxy by vowing to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans from violence and oppression. Soon after taking office, Mr. Trump announced that he intended to continue enforcing an executive order his predecessor issued to protect L.G.B.T. people from workplace discrimination. "President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the L.G.B.T.Q. community," the White House said i… Continue Reading

Dismal Voucher Results Surprise Researchers as DeVos Era Begins

by Kevin Carey

02.23.17   The confirmation of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education was a signal moment for the school choice movement. For the first time, the nation's highest education official is someone fully committed to making school vouchers and other market-oriented policies the centerpiece of education reform. But even as school choice is poised to go national, a wave of new research has emerged suggesting that private school vouchers may harm students who receive them. The results are startling - the worst in … Continue Reading

Who’d Want to Limit Retirement Plans? House Republicans

by Editorial Board

02.14.17   There is no overstating how unprepared Americans are to retire. Nearly half of private-sector employees - some 55 million people - do not have an employer-provided retirement plan. Most of them are low- to middle-income earners who will end up relying on Social Security for between half and all of their income in retirement. And yet, as early as Wednesday, House Republicans are expected to pass a measure to thwart efforts by California, Illinois and other states to establish basic retirement sa… Continue Reading

Repair and retain Obamacare

by Editorial Board

02.13.17   When President Obama was in office, Republicans made a mantra of their call to "repeal and replace" his signature health care program. But now that they are actually in position to do something, they're flummoxed. They have no plan for a replacement anywhere near as robust as Obamacare. They can't even agree on what a significant rollback would look like. So might we suggest an alternative approach? It starts by treating Obamacare the same way that a doctor would treat a patient: First, do no … Continue Reading

Threat Of Losing Obamacare Turns Some Apolitical Californians Into Protesters

by Ana Ibarra

02.09.17   ROSEVILLE, Calif. - Until recently, Paul Smith didn't consider himself much of an activist. But he woke up hours before sunrise on Saturday to attend his first town hall meeting. That meeting near Sacramento, organized by his district's Congressman Tom McClintock (R-Roseville), sparked a peaceful - if large and raucous - protest over Obamacare, the travel ban and other issues. And it drew national headlines. "I have noticed many of my friends who never speak [about] politics are getting politi… Continue Reading

Obama’s Drug Czar: The Opioid Crisis Must Continue To Be A Federal Priority

by Shefali Luthra

02.09.17   The GOP is working to repeal and replace the 2010 health law, known for insuring more than 20 million people. And the change could affect another health concern: the nation's opioid abuse problem. Just ask President Barack Obama's former "drug czar," Michael Botticelli. Botticelli just finished running the White House's Office of National Drug Policy, a post he assumed in early 2014 as the opioid epidemic began making national headlines. The drugs, which claimed more than 33,000 lives in 2015,… Continue Reading

Patient groups fear Obamacare repeal could undo protections for sickest Americans

by Lev Facher

02.09.17   Washington- As Republicans confront the thorny realities of repealing and replacingthe Affordable Care Act, groups representing patients with the most serious diseases fear those plans could return the US health care system to one in which sick people are not guaranteed health insurance. It comes down to the individual mandate, the law's most unpopular provision, which required every American to buy insurance or face a penalty. Republicans want it gone. But if they nix the mandate, it becomes … Continue Reading

Obamacare Brought Jobs To Indian Country That Could Vanish With Repeal

by Eric Whitney

02.09.17   Since its founding in the 1950s, the Indian Health Service has provided medical care for many Native Americans. But the service has been chronically underfunded, so often pays for care only if someone is in immediate danger of losing life or limb. In recent years, the Affordable Care Act created new health coverage opportunities for more than half a million Native Americans and Alaska Natives - and created jobs in Indian country, too. The Blackfeet Community Hospital in Browning, Mont., is one … Continue Reading

Obamacare repeal worries community health centers

by JoAnne Vivano

02.09.17   As Republican lawmakers work to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, officials at community health centers across Ohio say they are concerned that changes could halt progress they've made over the past several years in treating more people, expanding services and boosting economies in struggling areas. Such centers, set up to care for underserved populations, have benefited not only from an increase in funding authorized by the Affordable Care Act, but also from a provision of the law that allo… Continue Reading

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