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CNN calls out Sean Spicer with brutal split-screen as he tries to explain cuts to maternity care

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White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Thursday struggled to explain why President Donald Trump was considering cutting regulations on essential health benefits like maternity care.

To lure conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus, President Donald Trump has reportedly said he is willing to cut the “essential health benefits” that each insurer is required to provide as part of the Affordable Care Act.

At Thursday’s press briefing, Spicer was asked about how cutting maternity benefits care fulfilled Trump’s campaign promise to provide better care for expecting and new mothers.

“I don’t want to get into a benefit-by-benefit discussion here,” Spicer told reporters. “But the reason that premiums have spiked out of control is because under Obamacare there were these mandated services that had to be included.”

While Spicer seemed keen to avoid discussing specific benefits, CNN quickly put up a split-screen graphic with an overview of the benefits people could expect to lose: mental health, prescriptions, emergency services, hospitalization, rehabilitation, labs, preventative care, pediatric services and ambulatory services.

According to Spicer, “older men, older women” who had “gotten passed maternity age” were being forced to pay for maternity care, driving up the overall cost of insurance.

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“People who were at the younger end of the age scale were buying end-of-life benefits,” he added. “This goes back to the nut of this discussion, which is we have now gone down to a system where in one-third of all counties, there is one choice. And it’s the potpourri of mandated benefits that everyone has to have. We’ve lost consumer choice.”

One reporter wondered if loosening regulations would create a situation where women are “de facto paying higher for health insurance.”

“No, you could have a family plan,” Spicer replied. “Again, you’re picking one benefit and trying to extrapolate it. It’s also saying, should young people have to pay for end-of-life care? The idea is to instill choice into the market.”

Watch the video below from CNN, broadcast March 23, 2017.

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2020 Election

Here are 5 reasons why 2020’s down-ballot races could reshape America’s future

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The political press always tends to focus mostly on the marquee race for the White House but that's especially true this cycle, as Donald Trump runs for a second term. He demands attention and his antics enrage his opponents and delight his supporters in equal measure.

But national reporters risk missing the big picture by centering so much of their reporting at the top when many of the most important political battles in 2020 will take place further down the ballot.

Trump is catnip for reporters and their editors, but the dearth of coverage of downballot races didn't begin with his election. As the news media in general faces structural changes—with print circulation declining and much of their work moving into digital spaces that are more difficult to monetize--publishers have cut back on reporters assigned to the state and local government beat. Nevertheless, Trump has arguably worsened the trend by getting so much airtime— one estimate suggested that over the past four years, Trump has taken up, on average, 15 percent of the entire daily news cycle on the three leading cable networks, nearly three times what Obama did.

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2020 Election

WATCH: Katie Porter explains to constituents why her conscience demands support for Trump impeachment inquiry

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Congresswoman Katie Porter, in a video posted on social media Monday night, shared with residents of her purple California district why she is joining dozens of other Democrats who support launching an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

"I didn't come to Congress to impeach the president," said the first-term representative. "But when faced with a crisis of this magnitude, I cannot with a clean conscience ignore my duty to defend the Constitution. I can't claim to be committed to rooting out corruption and putting people over politics and then not apply those same principles and standards in all of the work I do."

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2020 Election

Bernie Sanders calls fact that minimum wage worker cannot afford 2-bedroom apartment in any US state ‘a national disgrace’

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For a decade, U.S. lawmakers have kept the federal minimum wage at a level which increasingly leaves workers unable to afford housing.

That's according to a report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC). The group's 30th annual study of housing affordability found that a worker earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25—which is unchanged since 2009—cannot afford to rent a modest two-bedroom apartment in any state, metropolitan area, or county in the United States.

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