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Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

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The Senate is set to vote next week on a healthcare plan, crafted by Republicans, that opponents warn would restrict women's access to necessary healthcare. (Photo: Mark Dixon/Flickr/cc)

Latest GOP Plan 'Is Even Worse for Women's Health Than Previous Repeal Bills'

Surprise! Bill written completely by male Republicans would strip basic reproductive care from millions of women

Jessica Corbett

As Senate Republicans scramble to pass legislation that experts say is their "most radical" and damaging healthcare repeal yet—gutting Medicaid and leaving millions uninsured—reproductive rights advocates warn the new bill would be especially damaging for women.

The bill, coauthored by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), would eliminate Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates requiring all Americans to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty, and all large employers to offer insurance plans. It would also end cost-sharing subsidies for insurers and tax credits that help Americans afford coverage.

Further, the plan would halt Medicaid expansion, and restructure the distribution of federal funding so that states receive block grants, or lump sums to allocate as they see fit. As Anna North at Vox notes, "its program of block grants would create new ways for the federal government to restrict abortion coverage."

As North explains:

Many states already have restrictions on insurance coverage for abortion. But Graham-Cassidy would require all states to ban abortion coverage in any program that gets federal block grant money. If it took money to offer subsidies for individual coverage or otherwise bolster the individual market, then it would have to restrict abortion coverage on that market. If it used federal funds to offer subsidies to employers, the ban on abortion coverage would affect the employer market too.

Essentially, the federal government would have the states over a barrel—if they wanted money to help keep their residents covered, they'd have to sacrifice abortion coverage to get it.

The bill would also limit access to Planned Parenthood and allow states to apply for waivers to scrap rules that mandate coverage for essential health benefits such as maternity care.

While an estimated 13 million women would lose access to maternal care under Graham-Cassidy, others would be forced to pay higher premiums. A Center for American Progress analysis estimated that insurance providers would charge upwards of $17,000 more in premiums for pregnancy.

Ending Medicaid expansion would significantly affect millions of women of color and those with low incomes. According to the Guttmacher Institute, Medicaid covers 20 percent of American women aged 15-44, and in 2015, provided coverage for 48 percent of women whose incomes were below the federal poverty line.

Andy Slavitt, who ran the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under former President Barack Obama, shared a bulleted list detailing the ways in which Graham-Cassidy would impact women.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) shared a similar list based on a Senate Budget Committee analysis, and also tweeted an image illustrating the bill's proposed restrictions on abortions.

Comparing the bill to previous proposals, Vox's Sarah Kliff writes: "While other Republican plans essentially create a poorly funded version of the Affordable Care Act, Graham-Cassidy blows it up."

A spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) confirmed Wednesday that Republicans intend to bring the bill to the floor for a vote next week, ahead of the September 30 deadline to pass the measure with a simple majority.

Several national progressive groups, lawmakers, and others have mobilized to defeat Graham-Cassidy through protests in Washington and online campaigns to raise awareness about the bill's consequences and urge voters to contact their senators:

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

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New Whistleblower Sparks Calls to 'Crack Down on Facebook and All Big Tech Companies'

Hours after another ex-employee filed a formal complaint, reporting broke on internal documents that show the tech giant's failure to address concerns about content related to the 2020 U.S. election.

Jessica Corbett ·

'Catastrophic and Irreparable Harm' to Wolves Averted as Wisconsin Judge Cancels Hunt

"We are heartened by this rare instance of reason and democracy prevailing in state wolf policy," said one conservation expert.

Brett Wilkins ·

West Virginia Constituents Decry 'Immorality' of Joe Manchin

"West Virginia has been locked into an economy that forces workers into low-wage jobs with no hope for advancement, and after decades of this our hope is dwindling," said one West Virginian. "The cuts that Sen. Manchin has negotiated into the agenda hurt our state."

Julia Conley ·

'Texans Deserved Better Than This': Supreme Court Leaves Abortion Ban in Place

The nation's high court set a date to hear a pair of legal challenges to the "horrific" restrictions.

Jessica Corbett ·

'Like It Never Happened': Federal Judge Tosses Trump Attack on Clean Water Rule

Denying a Biden administration request to temporarily retain the rule, the judge reestablished "the careful balance of state and federal power to protect clean water that Congress intended when it wrote the Clean Water Act."

Brett Wilkins ·

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