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Calif. Dem reintroduces public option for health insurance

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Even as Republicans gear up for a vote to repeal health care reform, one progressive House member is making a renewed push for the public option.

On Wednesday, the first day of the 112th Congress, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) introduced a measure to establish a robust public health insurance option as a supplement to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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The California congresswoman argued that the plan, which pays physicians 5 percent more than Medicare rates, would lower insurance costs and address deficit concerns, pointing to a Congressional Budget Office report saying it would cut the deficit by $68 billion.

“This is the perfect moment for the public option,” Woolsey said. “It builds on the health care reform legislation by lowering costs and it provides a great way to bring down the deficit.”

She added: “If Republicans really care about the deficit, they should sign on to this bill rather than try to dismantle the health care reform law, which would add billions to the budget deficit.”

A copy of the 17-page bill, called the “Public Option Deficit Reduction Act,” was provided to Raw Story [.pdf].

While the provision — controversial in Congress but popular among the public — is all but guaranteed not to pass the Republican-controlled House, it serves to illustrate flaws in GOP’s budget-related arguments regarding repeal of the health care law.

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Republicans have argued that the health reform law would explode the deficit, but the CBO has said it would do the opposite. The nonpartisan scorekeeper has also said repealing the measure would add $143 billion to the deficit.

After his party rode a wave of anti-health reform campaigns to retake the House, the new Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor dismissed CBO projections, suggesting that the budgeting office skewed its projections to serve the political interests of Democrats.

“I think most people understand that the CBO did the job it was asked to do by the then-Democrat majority, and it was really comparing apples to oranges,” Mr. Cantor said. “It talked about 10 years worth of tax hikes and six years worth of benefits. Everyone knows beyond the 10-year window, this bill has the potential to bankrupt this federal government as well as the states. So that speaks to the budget implications of that.”

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Woolsey has championed the public option — which would offer consumers a choice between private plans and a government-run plan — since it was under consideration in the sweeping health care law. After it was removed and the rest of the bill was enacted, she led efforts to reintroduce it as a standalone measure.


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2020 Election

Eva Longoria is famous for her acting, but she’s increasingly recognized as a political player in Texas and beyond

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A few weeks ago, Texas actor Eva Longoria and her pal, Republican-turned-Biden-supporter Ana Navarro-Cárdenas, unintentionally caused a ruckus while campaigning on behalf of former Vice President Joe Biden at a strip mall in Miami.

Situated at a socially distanced campaign event at a Colombian restaurant between a barber shop and day care, Longoria was a focal point of adoration and political aversion. Some young girls came out of the day care and immediately recognized the actor from the 2019 live-action Dora the Explorer movie.

“They wanted to take a picture with Dora’s mom,” Navarro-Cárdenas recently recalled to The Texas Tribune. “Then some ... Latino Trump supporters came out of a barber shop and starting screaming ‘Communist’ at her.

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2020 Election

Trump’s massive rallies amid COVID-19 pandemic are flopping in key battleground states

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It is no secret President Donald Trump loves to bask in MAGA glory at his rallies, but a new survey shows his campaign blitz may be backfiring as voters wonder if the president bears responsibility for hosting potential super-spreader events while COVID-19 batters the Midwestern United States.

A new survey, compiled of voters in six battleground states—Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin—found that a great number of voters view Trump "much less" or "somewhat less favorably" due to his continued behavior amid the coronavirus pandemic, reports US News. Despite alarming upticks in cases across the Midwest, Trump has continued to visit vulnerable states and hold massive rallies all while disregarding COVID-19 mitigation practices.

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Hong Kong pro-independence teen activist charged with secession

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A former leader of Hong Kong pro-independence group Studentlocalism was charged on Thursday with secession, money laundering and conspiracy to publish seditious material, the latest person to be targeted under a new national security law.

Tony Chung, 19, who was denied bail, was arrested on Tuesday under the contentious legislation that punishes what Beijing broadly defines as secession, sedition, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in jail.

Like other anti-government organizations, Studentlocalism disbanded before Beijing imposed the national security law on China’s most free city on June 30.

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