Governors Revolt Over Republican Healthcare Plan
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Governors Revolt Over Republican Healthcare Plan

Health Secretary Tom Price Says ‘Repeal and Replace’ Is No Big Deal—Insurers Can Just Go Back to Operating As They Did in the Old Days

Governors’ healthcare revolt. Governors confronted Trump’s top health officials over the cost of the Republican health care push to their states. Vice President Mike Pence, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma made a frantic bid at the National Governors Assn. Friday and Saturday to win over skeptical governors. The administration officials urged governors to ignore Congressional Budget Office estimates that 15 million fewer people would be covered by Medicaid by 2026 and that $772 billion would be cut from the program. Also over the weekend, Price acknowledged that the Republican “repeal and replace” Obamacare plan would essentially turn back the clock on health insurance to the days of sub-standard coverage. During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Price was asked to respond to a blistering criticism of the proposal by major groups representing the U.S. health insurance industry. “It’s really perplexing, especially from the insurance companies, because all they have to do is dust off how they did business before Obamacare,” Price said. A vote on the Senate version to Trumpcare 2.0 was delayed over the weekend after 80-year-old Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) underwent surgery that will keep him unavailable for a vote for at least a week.

Friends on the Street. Trump is helping Wall Street rip off small investors. Financial journalist Susan Antilla tells the whole, sordid and infuriating story of how Trump told voters he was running against Wall Street, but then switched once in office to aiding and abetting Wall Street in its never ending efforts to pick the pockets of rank-and-file Americans.

Almost an apology. Some Democratic members of Congress want to know if Trump campaign’s connection to Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya was tied to Trump’s Justice Department settling a case against a Russian firm accused of money laundering. The case against Prevezon Holdings would have been tried by then-U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, but Trump fired him and 45 other U.S. attorneys. Veselnitskaya said the deal to settle the case was “almost an apology from the (U.S.) government.”

Under water. The nation’s flood insurance program is drowning in debt. The National Flood Insurance Program is almost $25 billion in debt. Lawmakers must decide whether to raise rates. The Trump administration has proposed cutting $190 million annually from making maps of flood-prone areas.

Flash flooding. Nine people died and one person was missing Sunday after flash flooding Saturday in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest.  Six children and three adults, all from a Phoenix family, died. The group was at the Cold Springs swimming hole near Payson in central Arizona. Four others were rescued and treated for hypothermia. The National Weather Service had issued a flash-flood warning. No notices or warnings were reportedly at the trailhead leading to the swimming hole, and no officials were stationed in the area.

Land of the free. America officials interviewing refugees at an Australian detention center on the tiny Pacific island of Nauru left Friday, a day after the United States said it had reached its annual cap of 50,000 for admitting refugees. They had been scheduled to be at the island screening refugees until July 26. Australia officials said the U.S. still intends to admit refugees under an agreement reached when Barack Obama was president. Trump has criticized that deal.

July 17, 2017