The official government forms for the 2020 U.S. census haven’t been mailed yet, but the Republican National Committee (RNC) is being slammed by critics for mailing out a mock-Census questionnaire that bears some resemblance to a census form.
The RNC questionnaire, according to Los Angeles Times reporter Sarah D. Wire, is labeled “2020 Congressional District Census” and contains “a lengthy questionnaire on blue-tinted paper similar to the type used by the real Census.” And RNC critics, Wire reports, view the forms as a dirty trick “designed to confuse people and possibly lower the response rate when the count begins in mid-March.”
“Unlike the official Census form,” Wire explains, “the RNC survey is largely made up of political questions, such as whether the respondent supports using military force against Iran, thinks race relations in the country are getting worse and believes ‘political correctness’ has gotten out of hand.”
The RNC is chaired by Ronna McDaniel, niece of GOP Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah.
One critic of the RNC questionnaire is Daniel Wessel, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) who denounced it as “intentionally deceptive” and “reprehensible.” Wessel noted that the DNC also sends out surveys but stressed that it doesn’t try to fool people into thinking that they are official U.S. Census forms.
Wire reports, “With billions of dollars in federal funding on the line and a chance that California could lose a seat in Congress based on the Census results, critics worry some residents will fill out the mock Census document and ignore or throw away the real one.”
Rep. Katie Porter of California told the Los Angeles Times she feared that recipients of the RNC’s questionnaire would “toss their actual Census envelope because they’ve already filled this one out…. We want everyone to be responding to the actual 2020 Census. There is a real risk of harm here.”
This isn’t the first time Republicans have tried to deceive Americans with a mock-Census form: the RNC, Wire reports, sent out “similar mailers” in 2010 — which led to the Prevent Deceptive Census Lookalike Mailings Act. However, the RNC appears to have found a way around that legislation.
“The law bars non-government groups from sending solicitations with the word ‘census’ on the envelope through U.S. mail,” Wire notes. The most recent RNC mailer does not use the word ‘census’ on the envelope, though it is used repeatedly on the mailer itself.”
Democratic Rep. Jimmy Gomez of California told the Times, “Anything that confuses people, that makes them think they’ve actually filled out the Census, could cause them not to fill out the official Census when it comes. It’s something that could undermine the count.”
The United States Census Bureau has posted an actual copy of its 2020 Census online.
Health care insurers expected to jack up premiums as much as 40 percent to recoup coronavirus losses
Private health insurers are expected to raise premiums by as much as 40% to recoup the costs of coronavirus testing and treatment, according to a new analysis from Covered California, the state's health care marketplace.
This article first appeared in Salon.
Though it remains unclear how much the coronavirus crisis will ultimately cost in health care expenditures, insurers will be submitting their 2021 rates to state regulators next month. Analyzing a wide range of models, Covered California expects that this year's care associated with the virus will cost between $34 billion and $251 billion, or between 2% of premiums and 21% of premiums. The analysis estimates that insurers would price the costs at double the rate into their 2021 premiums, projecting increases that range from as little as 4% to more than 40% for the 170 million workers and individuals who have private plans.
‘That would be a false statement’: Dr. Fauci knocks down claim virus is ‘under control’
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government's top infectious disease expert, warned on Sunday that states without stay at home orders are putting themselves at risk for COVID-19 outbreaks.
"This is going to be a bad week," Fauci explained to CBS News host Margarett Brennan. "We're going to continue to see an escalation. We should also hope that within a week, maybe a little bit more, we should start to see a flattening out of the curve."
The doctor predicted that the death toll would be "shocking to some."
"I will not say we have it under control," he said. "That would be a false statement. We are struggling to get it under control."
‘What’s the plan?’: CNN’s Tapper goes off on Trump for leaving Americans wondering how many will die in the COVID-19 pandemic
"State of the Union" host Jake Tapper ended his Sunday CNN show with an impassioned direct address to Donald Trump bluntly asking if the president has any plan at all on how to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and stop the avalanche of infections and deaths.
Speaking directly to the camera and saying that he knew the president was watching, the CNN host got right down to it.
"If I can take a moment, I would like to speak directly to one person known to watch this show or at least clips of the show, President Trump," he began. "Mr. President, I know you, like millions of Americans, are eager to have the nation go back to some semblance of normal. One of the questions the American people need answered for that to happen responsibly is: what's the plan?"