Stay on it
5/5/2017, 9:12 p.m.
What normally would seem like a simple stretch of time has been an exhausting eternity under the regime of President Donald Trump.
He reached, or rather, we survived the 100-day milestone last Saturday.
We are seeing in these first three months that many of the warnings sounded in this space and elsewhere about what would happen under a Trump presidency unfortunately are coming to ugly fruition.
We point first to President Trump’s assault on health care for Americans, which continues with his latest efforts to undo Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act.
The measure now pushed by the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress would allow states to get waivers from Obamacare mandates that insurance companies provide “essential health benefits.” That means states getting the waivers could ditch requirements that insurance plans cover annual checkups, emergency services, maternity and newborn care, and chronic disease management for such health issues as high blood pressure and diabetes.
States also could get waivers allowing insurance companies to charge higher premiums to people based on their “health status.” People with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or cancer, could be charged more for their health insurance than others.
Such changes would return us to the days before Obamacare became law seven years ago, when millions of people had to choose each month between paying to see the doctor and buying medicine or paying the rent and buying groceries.
Many of the 20 million seniors, millennials, families and chronic disease patients who finally have been able to get health insurance under Obamacare are expected to be forced back into the ranks of the uninsured if Trumpcare becomes law.
During these first 100 days, President Trump also has signed executive orders that would undo environmental protections, giving companies and their profits priority over environmental safeguards.
Just last week, he signed an order essentially opening the Atlantic Ocean, including the Virginia coastline, to oil and gas drilling. The Environmental Protection Agency has pulled a lot of climate change data from its website, saying it was updated to “reflect the approach of new leadership.”
Other executive orders he has issued would ban the entry of travelers and immigrants from six predominantly Muslim nations into the United States and lay the groundwork for dismantling the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that former President Obama signed in 2010 to protect consumers from another financial crisis and economic meltdown.
President Trump’s budget proposals would end the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program that helps families pay to heat their homes and get help with energy-related repairs and weatherization; cut the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s budget by $6 billion, reducing its ability to provide housing assistance to low-income families and the homeless; cut the Women, Infants and Children program that provides money to states for supplemental foods and nutrition to low-income women during pregnancy and after delivery and to their newborns and children up to age 5; reduce funds to programs that support students served by historically black colleges and universities, including Pell grants, federal work-study assistance and other student aid; reduce funding for after-school and teacher support programs; gut EPA grant programs that help states monitor public water systems; eliminate programs helping to limit children’s exposure to lead paint; freeze or eliminate funding for scientific research on such issues as climate change; cut the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ people-helping budget by 16 percent and slash the National Institutes of Health’s budget by 20 percent, reducing its effectiveness on groundbreaking medical research; and eliminate the Senior Community Service and Employment Program, a work-based job training program for older Americans.