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‘Cruelty is the point’: Trump takes aim at Medicaid with plan that could harm millions

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“The president’s war on healthcare knows no bounds.”

The Trump administration is reportedly planning to intensify its assault on Medicaid by granting certain states permission to convert federal funding for the program into block grants, a move critics slammed as a cruel and likely illegal attack on vulnerable people.

Politico reported Thursday that the plan, which could be finalized as early as next week, would allow the 37 states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act to seek waivers to convert funding into fixed sums that could limit states’ flexibility to increase spending in response to public need.

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Block-granting Medicaid is a longtime Republican goal dating back at least to the Reagan administration. The Trump administration’s proposal has been in the works for over a year.

“In the same week President Trump said cuts to Medicare and Medicaid are on the table, we now learn that his administration is set to propose benefit-slashing block grants on Medicaid expansion.”
—Brad Woodhouse, Protect Our Care

Bruce Bartlett, an architect of former President Ronald Reagan’s right-wing economic agenda who left the GOP in 2006, tweeted Thursday that “block grants are just a Republican trick to slash spending without appearing to do so.”

“Money is fungible,” Bartlett said. “Medicaid funding will be used to pay for other programs or even to finance tax cuts.”

News of the plan, led by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma, comes just days after President Donald Trump threatened to slash Medicare and Social Security funding “at some point” should he win reelection in November.

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According to Politico, the specifics of the Medicaid proposal—which the Trump administration is looking to implement without congressional approval—are “in flux, as officials work to identify an alternative to the term ‘block grant,’ which has negative connotations in the advocacy community.”

Brad Woodhouse, executive director of advocacy group Protect Our Care, said in a statement that the administration’s latest attack on Medicaid shows “the president’s war on healthcare knows no bounds.”

“In the same week President Trump said cuts to Medicare and Medicaid are on the table,” said Woodhouse, “we now learn that his administration is set to propose benefit-slashing block grants on Medicaid expansion, targeting the benefits of millions of Americans who have gained coverage through one of the Affordable Care Act’s most important, successful, and popular provisions.”

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Kim Nelson, a public health advocate and South Carolina Democratic congressional candidate, tweeted Friday that Medicaid block grants “don’t work.”

“They can’t keep pace with the rising costs of healthcare (even the ones that ‘adjust for inflation’) and lead to would-be recipients going without care,” said Nelson. “Forty-three percent of Medicaid enrollees are children. The Trump admin knows that. The cruelty is the point.”

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Paul Krugman debunks Trump’s bogus claims about the ‘Obama economy’

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President Donald Trump has repeatedly insisted that his policies alone are responsible for the economic recovery in the United States, claiming that he inherited a broken economy from his Democratic predecessor, President Barack Obama. But Trump’s claims are wildly misleading, and economist/New York Times columnist Paul Krugman debunked some of them this week in a Twitter thread.

Krugman tweeted, “So, I see that Trump is bad-mouthing the Obama economy. Two points. First, there was absolutely no break in economic trends after the 2016 election.”

The 66-year-old Krugman posted a chart showing GDP (gross domestic product) from 2010 (when Obama was serving his first term) to 2020 (three years into Trump’s presidency). GDP, the chart shows, gradually improved during Obama’s eight-year presidency.

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Right-wing extremists using Facebook to recruit for ‘boogaloo’ attacks on liberals and cops: report

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A right-wing extremist movement is recruiting on social media to target liberals and law enforcement in a violent uprising called the "boogaloo."

The loosely organized movement is trolling for members on mainstream platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and Twitter, in addition to 4chan and other fringe sites, to promote a second Civil War, reported NBC News.

“When you have people talking about and planning sedition and violence against minorities, police, and public officials, we need to take their words seriously,” said Paul Goldenberg, of the Homeland Security Advisory Council.

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2020 Election

Bernie Sanders was so close to a primary against Obama in 2011 that Dems were ‘absolutely panicked’: report

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In an article for The Atlantic this Wednesday, Edward-Isaac Dovere recounts the time that Bernie Sanders tried to primary Barack Obama -- a move that Sanders was close to achieving that former Democratic Senator Harry Reid had to intervene to stop him.

The event, which hasn't been previously reported, took place in the summer of 2011 and reportedly had the Obama campaign "absolutely panicked"

While Sanders' Obama plan never went through, the relationship between the two has been strained ever since. "Now Obama, the beloved former leader of the Democratic Party, and Sanders, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, are facing a new and especially fraught period in their relationship," Dovere writes. "To Obama, Sanders is a lot of what’s wrong with Democrats: unrelenting, unrealistic, so deep in his own fight that he doesn’t see how many people disagree with him or that he’s turning off people who should be his allies. To Sanders, it’s Obama who represents a lot of what’s wrong with Democrats: overly compromising, and so obsessed with what isn’t possible that he’s lost all sense of what is."

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