American Bridge calls for investigation after leaked memo proves Trump deliberately raised healthcare costs on families for political purposes

American Bridge spokesperson Andrew Bates released the following statement after a leaked Trump Administration memo proved that Donald Trump intentionally abused his executive authority to undermine the American healthcare system and needlessly raised out-of-pocket healthcare costs in order to help persuade Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA):

“Donald Trump has been caught red-handed: he drove-up​ healthcare costs on American families in an attempt to end Obamacare,” said American Bridge spokesperson Andrew Bates. “Far from providing less expensive care to ‘everyone’ or fighting to reduce the economic burdens faced by the ‘forgotten men and women’ – as he promised – we now know that Donald Trump made the cost of healthcare soar for untold thousands on purpose. It is imperative that Congress and the HHS inspector general get to the bottom of this damning revelation immediately​.”

According to the Trump Administration’s own data, average premiums for benchmark silver plans on the health insurance marketplaces increased […]

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Sanders Questions: Women Are Watching Edition

Today, the White House doubled down on attacking three of the nineteen women who have accused President Trump of sexual misconduct as liars on a “publicity tour.” Fittingly, Trump also released a robocall in support of  child sexual predator Roy Moore on the eve of Election Day in Alabama. This administration continues to sink to new lows of disrespecting women and each and every person who enables President Trump to remain in the Oval Office should be ashamed.

American Bridge Rapid Response Director Emily Aden calls on White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to answer the following questions:

1. How can President Trump stump for a bill that will take money away from the bottom 95% of Americans by 2027?

2. Did President Trump keep Michael Flynn on as National Security Adviser for 18 days after being warned about Flynn by the Justice Department because he was the one who directed Flynn […]

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Editorial Roundup: Tax Cuts For The Rich Edition

This week editorial boards all across the country ripped into President Trump and the Republicans for their tax plan that will crush the middle class to pay for billions in tax breaks for the super rich and explode the deficit for generations to come. Additionally, Trump took his boldest step yet to undercut the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau, made a racist slur about a sitting US Senator, and was rebuked for re-tweeting hateful anti-Muslim propaganda videos.

Here’s what Americans read in their local newspapers this week:

 

11/25
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Estate Tax Repeal: ‘Donald Trump In A Stretch Limo, Not A Farmer On A Tractor’

Trump’s claim about “millions” of farms and family businesses is not even close to the truth. The Tax Policy Center at the Brookings Institution found only 80 of them among the 5,500 estates subject to the tax last year. Most fortunes are amassed, […]

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American Bridge Statement On Alex Azar Hearing

American Bridge Rapid Response Director Emily Aden released the following statement on Alex Azar’s confirmation hearing today before the Senate HELP Committee:

“This morning, Alex Azar failed miserably to convince the American people that he is anything other than a former drug company president looking out for his bottom line. Unsurprisingly, he doubled down on his hostility to the Affordable Care Act, women’s right to birth control coverage, and paid cheap lip service to the high costs of prescription drugs that made him his millions. In round after round of questioning he proved he simply has no good answer about his record raising the prices of life saving medication. If he is confirmed he will carry out the bidding of the industry that made him rich and his ultimate boss- Donald Trump.”

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Five Things To Know About Alex Azar

This morning the Senate HELP Committee will hold its first hearing on HHS Secretary nominee, and former Big Pharma CEO, Alex Azar. Azar is a candidate hand-picked for the drug and insurance companies and will do anything to keep industry profits high even when it means raising insurance premiums and costs for lifesaving medication for the American people. It’s no surprise Azar, like Donald Trump, wants to destroy the Affordable Care Act and turn Medicaid into a block grant program, both of which are on industry bucket lists, raise costs for consumers, and disproportionately hurt women and working families.

American Bridge Rapid Response Director Emily Aden stated, “Donald Trump picked Alex Azar to lead HHS because he knows he can trust Azar to carry out his dangerous and destructive health care agenda. From dismantling the Affordable Care Act, to raising prices for prescription drugs, to rolling back access to women’s health […]

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NEW REPORT: The Elephant In The Room

The Pope Addresses A GOP-Controlled Congress Opposed To His Progressive Values

This Thursday, all eyes will be on Pope Francis for his historic and much anticipated address to a joint meeting of Congress. But before the pope arrived in the United States, Republicans already started picking fights and attacking the pope’s teachings.

In advance of the pope’s address, Bridge Project is releasing a new report titled, “The Elephant In The Room: The Pope Address A GOP-Controlled Congress Opposed To His Progressive Values.

Since the start of his papacy, Pope Francis has signaled a shift in focus for the church towards protecting “the least of these,” whether it’s through the stewardship of our environment or addressing income inequality and providing a livable wage. Republicans’ policy views continue to move further and further to the right, and the pope is finally calling them on it.

On countless issues, the GOP’s policy positions go against the pope’s teaching. Bridge Project’s latest report examines how on the following issues, the GOP’s […]

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The Koch Conspiracy To Cut Off Millions Of Americans’ Access To Healthcare

It’s Medicaid’s 50th birthday, and the Koch brothers planned something special: a death panel.

In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Medicaid, Bridge Project today released a new report, “The Koch-Backed Effort to Kill Medicaid,” highlighting the Koch brothers ongoing assault on Medicaid, which they would give just about anything — hundreds of millions of dollars, anyway — to destroy.

And unlike some of their other, more subversive campaigns of destruction that prioritize their profit margins over the interests of the American public, the Kochs haven’t been too subtle on this one: the Kochs and Koch-funded groups have explicitly spoken out against Medicaid, advocated Medicaid-crippling budgets, and even attacked Republicans (!) for not supporting their Medicaid-destroying agenda.

This time, the Kochs are all-in. All-in to block state-level Medicaid expansions that would extend healthcare access to millions of Americans. All-in to strip healthcare from the millions who already benefit from the program […]

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Boehner and his merry band of well poisoners

Yesterday, President Obama announced his plan to take action to address immigration reform. Today, House Speaker John Boehner will use his 9 a.m. address to try to explain away the Republican Party’s obstructionist plan to fight the President’s effort.

Yesterday, American Bridge sent you a list of the many other times Republicans have claimed the President “poisoned the well” on an issue. Today, we’re showing you those Republican claims – in their own words.

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Rubio Left Thirsting For New Ideas On Poverty

Following a disastrous 2012 election cycle in which Mitt Romney infamously described 47 percent of voters as “dependent upon the government,” Republican leaders set out to make their party more appealing – or at least less insulting – to middle-class and working Americans.

Just weeks after the election, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) gave a speech on “middle-class opportunity” that was hailed as a sign of shifting conservative priorities and a more compassionate Republican Party. However, Rubio’s message did not translate into action, as he and his party spent the next year opposing middle-class tax cuts, pushing massive cuts to the safety net, and even shutting down the government in a futile attempt to undermine access to affordable health insurance.

Meanwhile, Rubio endorsed comprehensive immigration reform but failed to sell conservatives on a bipartisan bill and, after damaging his standing on the right, eventually dialed back his support. That failed leadership led one major Florida newspaper to dub Rubio the “political loser” of 2013, so it’s no surprise to see the senator delivering yet another highly publicized speech to give his image a boost.

It is almost unfathomable that Rubio is giving a speech on poverty just a day after voting against unemployment benefits. But his refusal to help the unemployed is actually emblematic of conservatives’ empty rhetoric on poverty. Until Rubio and the Republicans come up with any actual ideas beyond their endless calls for more tax cuts and repealing Obamacare, the real war on poverty in America remains their endless attacks on the middle and working class.

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Senate Finance Committee Republicans To Continue Cruz’s Crusade

On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee is holding a hearing on the October launch of the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges. While the committee’s Republicans are expected to keep up their extreme, Ted Cruz-led attacks calling for the wholesale repeal of Obamacare, it’s worth remembering that a number of them sang a different tune during the problematic implementation of Medicare Part D in 2006.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), for example, now the Finance Committee’s ranking member, said of Medicare Part D in 2006 that “any program of that size and magnitude will have problems initially!” Hatch also commended a CMS administrator for doing a good job with “this very, very difficult to implement bill that we saddled you with.” And fellow Finance Committee member Mike Crapo (R-ID) argued in 2006 that glitches shouldn’t outweigh the benefits of positive public policy, saying of Medicare Part D that “we should not let these problems overshadow the fact that every day there are folks who are paying far less for their medications than they were before.”

But the similarities between the rollout problems facing the Affordable Care Act and Medicare Part D are unlikely to buy Obamacare any leeway from a Republican Party that has been bent on destroying health care reform from the outset. Like their counterparts in the House, who have voted nearly 50 times to repeal or defund the health care reform law, Senate Republicans have introduced dozens of bills designed to chip away at the law and repeatedly tried to use political tactics to undermine its viability. Yet the GOP’s blind devotion to sabotaging the health care law at any opportunity ignores the millions of Americans who would suffer if the legislation were repealed, including those with pre-existing conditions and seniors who fall into the prescription drug “donut hole.”

Wednesday’s hearing follows several similarly themed events held in recent weeks by other Senate and House committees, at which Republicans berated witnesses from CMS and HHS and used the opportunity to attack Obamacare as a whole. With the Finance Committee’s Ted Cruz-led Senate Republicans likely to pile on, it’s clear that the GOP’s real interest is partisan grandstanding, not fixing the glitches in the law.

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