Every other Thursday, Equal Voice News tracks the latest from the Trump administration, whether its policies are creating poverty or prosperity, and how families and grassroots organizations are working on those issues around the country. Here’s our latest:
It’s Back! Congress Considers a New Push to Repeal and Replace the Affordable Care Act.
This month, Republican senators are trying once again to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. They say it’s failing, and they’re pushing to give states greater control over health care, The Washington Post says in “New push to replace Obamacare reflects high stakes for Republicans.”
Their effort, though, appeared to be unraveling Sept. 22, when Republican Sen. John McCain announced he could not support the latest legislation.
If anything, this repeal-and-replace effort appears even more complicated than the last one:
- “New health-care plan stumbles under opposition from governors” (The Washington Post)
- “Latest GOP Effort to Replace Obamacare Could End Health Care For Millions” (NPR)
You can also check out FamiliesUSA’s take on the latest effort.
And remember, the issue is about access to health insurance for Americans.
If Americans lack insurance or have policies in which they have to pay high out-of-pocket expenses, the answer could be financial turmoil in addition to losing loved ones.
Taking a step back, The Atlantic looks at health care in America and reports, “Who Gets Health in Old Age? Rich, White People.”
DACA: It’s About People’s Lives
President Donald Trump’s plan to wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has been anything but simple. First, his Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the decision, saying the program, which President Barack Obama created by an executive action, is unconstitutional, and the country simply could not admit everyone who wants to enter the U.S.
Within days, though, Trump appeared to be cutting a deal with Democratic leaders in Congress to help the roughly 800,000 people, known as DREAMers, brought to the U.S. as undocumented immigrants when they were children by their parents.
If you want to hear first-hand what these changes could mean, check out Radio Bilingüe’s “Immigrant Dreamers’ Lives in the Balance” town hall, held on Sept. 20, in Fresno, California. DREAMers led discussions about the proposal with community members.
Here are a few other resources to help make sense of this whipsawing issue.
- “Pelosi and Schumer Say They Have Deal With Trump to Replace DACA” (The New York Times)
- “Trump Confirms Support for Law to Protect ‘Dreamers’” (The New York Times)
- “Potential outlines of a DACA deal in Congress” (Washington Post opinion)
California Takes a Statewide Stand on Immigration
Last week, California state legislators made one of the most dramatic moves in the escalating fight between the Trump administration and local governments over immigration policy when they voted for new protections for immigrant families.
They created what some call a “sanctuary state.” That means the legislation, officially The California Values Act, for example, would limit cooperation between state and local law enforcement and federal immigration agents and their work enforcing federal immigration laws.
U.S. Attorney General Sessions has argued that sanctuary cities do not respect the rule of law and those that work with federal immigration officials have more resources to fight crime, according to The New York Times.
Texas, SB 4 and “Sanctuary Cities”
While immigrant families and grassroots advocates oppose the yet-to-be implemented Texas law, state officials want to give it the green light. Advocates waged a “Summer of Resistance” against SB 4, saying trust with local authorities is at risk and that the state law violates the U.S. Constitution.
SB 4 would allow local law enforcement authorities in Texas to inquire about a person’s immigration status during routine stops. Immigration enforcement typically falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government.
Action for Working Families in Chicago and the New Economy.
As the latest dramas over health care and immigration consume the nation’s capitol, policies for working families are moving forward around the country.
In the new economy, AirBnB endorsed a living wage pledge for people who clean homes in its network, the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) reports. Essentially, AirBnB sent an email to hosts in its system, encouraging them to pay a good wage, $25 an hour for those who work on their own, and $15 for those with a company, NDWA says.
In Chicago, meanwhile, 8,000 baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, security guards, and aircraft maintenance workers secured a raise to $13.45 an hour starting in July 2018, according to Jobs With Justice. These workers are contract employees who often earn low wages, the organization says.
In California, they aren’t waiting for Congress to approve national paid family leave, at least for teachers: “Lawmakers sign off on bill to give California teachers paid pregnancy leave.”
Even back in Congress there are quiet signs of movement on family-friendly policies, “Dems try to outflank Ivanka with child care bill.”
What We’re Reading.
On DACA, The New Yorker offers a good read on why Tennessee’s attorney general “publicly pulled out of the anti-DACA effort” at the last minute.
Devastating hurricanes continue to emerge. But, what happens after these storms pass? At the Christian Science Monitor, they are asking: “Can Houston find path to recovery that doesn’t leave poor behind?”
“Can Black Lives Matter Win in the Age of Trump?” The Nation suggests it can win.