The Trump Administration just ended Medicaid as we know it.
January 12, 2018

 

RACIST IN CHIEF.
Yesterday, someone leaked that President Trump said the following during Thursday’s immigration meeting with a group of senators: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” According to the story, which The Washington Post broke, he made the comment in reference to Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries.
People quickly condemned the comments, and several news outlets took time to reflect on the Haitian people and the earthquake that hit Haiti eight years ago. (Don’t miss this clip from Anderson Cooper.) Senator Dianne Feinstein released a statement saying that Trump’s comments showed an “effort to set this country back generations by promoting a homogenous, white society.” Representative Mia Love, the only Haitian-American in Congress and a Republican from Utah, condemned Trump’s remarks, saying he must apologize. And Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake called Trump’s comments “abhorrent and repulsive.” Some members of the Congressional majority have not been so critical, with Arizona Representative Martha McSally saying that she uses crude language behind closed doors, and Arkansas Representative Steve Womack saying that he agrees with the sentiment behind the comments.
But should anyone really be surprised by this? There is a well-document history of Trump’s racist actions, dating all the way back to the 1970s when he discriminated against offering housing for African Americans. He launched his campaign by calling Mexicans “rapists,” and his first presidential pardon was of infamous, cruel Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He called Nazis and white supremacists “very fine people,” and he endorsed Roy Moore for senate in Alabama.
And it’s not just the stories that have made the front page that indicate his racist views; in fact, those ideologies influence every action he takes. The Center for American Progress has rounded up 52 ways the Trump administration has harmed people of color in Trump’s first 52 weeks in office. Can we finally all admit it and say it out loud? The President of the United States is a racist, and he has surrounded himself with racist people in his administration. If this is what Trump says when a Democratic senator is in the room, can you imagine what he says when it’s only Stephen Miller or, formerly, Steve Bannon by his side?
ACTION OF THE DAY
Dream Act. Yesterday, news outlets began reporting that a tentative deal had been reached on DACA. We are seeing real momentum, but now more than ever we need Congress to step up, repudiate the racist statements of President Trump, and stand on the side of Dreamers. As talks continue, we must continue to make calls and let members of Congress know that they must act to #ProtectDreamers. Call using our easy toolkit at DreamActToolkit.org. Then, share this thread to let family and friends know where Dreamers stand. And check out this new video from the Center for American Progress to hear from a Dreamer on why a Dream Act is so important. Finally, share our new graphic here! Remember: a vote to fund the government without a Dream Act is a vote to fund deportations.
WHAT’S TRENDING
Sam’s Club. Walmart is one of the many large corporations that lobbied for, and will receive, a massive tax cut from the Trump-GOP tax law. And yesterday morning, the company put out a press release attributing wage increases and other benefits for some workers to the tax bill – despite the fact that Walmart workers received similar pay increases in past years and that other factors – including state minimum wage increases – may have prompted this year’s boosts. But just hours later, news broke that the company had shut down over 60 of its Sam’s Club stores across the country. Affecting workers in 24 states and Puerto Rico, the decision will cost thousands of workers their jobs. These layoffs also demonstrate the harm that work requirements for Medicaid could cause, since once states implement work requirements through Medicaid waivers, workers covered by Medicaid who get laid off could also lose their health care, unless they could quickly find a new job. Though President Trump hyped Walmart’s earlier announcement via Twitter, the White House had nothing to say about the Sam’s Club closures. The episode shows that press releases from corporations that lobbied for massive tax cuts cannot be taken at face value – and the same goes for Republican politicians who gave them those tax cuts. In fact, it directly contradicts House Speaker Paul Ryan’s comments that the tax bill would “reinvest in their workers, reinvest in their factories, [and] pay people more money.” The Carrier plant that Trump promised to save on the campaign trail also announced hundreds of more layoffs.
Radioactive. This week, Trump renominated Kathleen Hartnett White for the top environmental post on the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), after her first nomination was rejected. Despite Trump’s empty promises to protect the environment, his renomination of Hartnett White shows that he has no intention of preserving our natural resources and keeping Americans healthy. Hartnett White has been accused of telling staff to underreport radiation in water in Texas (she denied this claim). If confirmed, Hartnett White would play a major role in ensuring Americans have safe drinking water. Given her history, do you really trust her to keep you safe and healthy? (To see if your drinking water is safe, the Environmental Working Group has put together a map showing radium contamination in public water system across the country.)
Conflict of Interest. The Department of Education announced contracts to Windham Professionals and Performant Financial Corp., two debt collection companies, to collect overdue student debt. These two companies “beat out nearly 40 other bidders for contracts valued at up to $400 million.” What made them so successful? It might be because Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos invested in Performant Financial Corp. before joining the Trump administration. The concern about DeVos’s ties to student debt collectors was raised in her hearing by several Democrats, but she was still confirmed. Now, we may be seeing just one of the consequences of that decision.
UNDER THE RADAR
#JusticeForJane. The Trump administration is denying an abortion for at least the fourth young immigrant woman. Although “she has access to private funds to cover the cost of the procedure and staff at the shelter where she is living have indicated a willingness to accompany her,” the government is refusing to allow her to leave the detention facility to get the abortion—a safe, legal medical procedure. The Supreme Court is likely to hear a case, Garza v. Hargan, that would challenge if the government can prevent detained peoples from accessing abortion care. But until then, the medical decisions of young immigrant women are being determined by the government—one that is incredibly hostile to women and reproductive rights.
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