Crisis in Puerto Rico Leaves Millions Lacking Adequate Resources

The U.S. Congress passed a significant expansion of the bloated military budget worth $80 billion in a 89-8 vote, but lately it hasn’t shown anywhere near as good of treatment to the struggling Puerto Rico residents who aren’t part of the military-industrial complex.

In Puerto Rico, Governor Ricardo Roselló has asked for more government aid in order to avert a total humanitarian catastrophe, six days after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. More than 3.4 million U.S. citizens in the territory remain without adequate food, water and fuel. The Category 4 storm brought record rainfall and catastrophic flooding, destroyed power lines and left the entire island in the dark. At least 13 people have died so far. San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz said, “What we’re now seeing is that the aftermath is almost more horrific than the actual passing of the hurricane itself.”

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Horrible Trumpcare Proposal Returns, Threatening Millions

The cruelty of the proposal to remove the health insurance coverage of millions — to receive a tax cut for the richest people in the country — is being seen again, unfortunately. Even business interests with some moral decency should support the vastly more efficient single-payer model instead.

The Trumpcare zombie has risen from the grave to terrorize the American public once more.

Progressive organizations, lawmakers, hospital groups, and healthcare specialists have issued a “red alert” as reporting over the weekend indicated that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is considering a vote by the end of this month on what Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called Sunday “yet another disastrous Republican proposal to throw millions of people off health insurance.”

In an email to supporters Sunday night, Ben Wikler, Washington director of MoveOn.org, warned that the Republican Party “is now a hair’s breadth away—closer than they’ve ever been—to passing a devastating healthcare repeal bill, shredding the Affordable Care Act  (ACA), and gutting Medicaid.”

“All we need is one more [vote],” Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) concluded.

The plan under consideration was authored by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.). Summaries of the bill indicate that, if passed, it would be every bit as harmful as the Trumpcare proposals that failed to escape the Senate in July.

The Graham-Cassidy plan—”Trumpcare by another name“—has yet to be analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), but McConnell has asked for the scoring process to be fast-tracked, the Washington Post reports.

But even without a CBO score, experts have said there is enough evidence to conclude the plan would impose devastating and deadly cuts to key safety net programs and disproportionately harm America’s most vulnerable communities.

In a recent analysis, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) found that the Graham-Cassidy plan would “gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions,” impose “damaging cuts” to Medicaid, and “cause many millions of people to lose coverage.”

By 2027, the Graham-Cassidy plan “would be virtually identical to a repeal-without-replace bill,” the CBPP concluded. “CBO estimated that the repeal-without-replace approach would ultimately leave 32 million more peopleuninsured. The Cassidy-Graham bill would presumably result in even deeper coverage losses than that in the second decade.”

Andy Slavitt, who ran the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services during the presidency of Barack Obama, posted a bullet-point summary of the proposal on Twitter last week. The post has since garnered over 42,000 retweets—just one indication of the groundswell of opposition the legislation will likely provoke.

Horrible Trumpcare

As the Post‘s Elise Viebeck and David Weigel observe, the GOP is working with an imposing deadline: September 30 marks the last day the Republicans can ram through budgetary legislation with merely a simple majority. Beyond that date, the GOP will need 60 votes.

The Senate may vote without an adequate CBO score too.

CBO-Scoring-Sept-2017