Ben Wikler Profile picture
Oct 5, 2017 35 tweets 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Let's talk about where things stand in the health care fight—which is now a bunch of fights. Repeal is on hold. But danger's not passed. 1/x
Biggest thing: first the GOP came for health care to pay for tax cut for the rich. Now it's tax cuts for rich, paid for by health care cuts.
The House votes Thu on a 2018 budget resolution. Hidden inside: $473 billion in Medicare cuts and $1 TRILLION in Medicaid cuts.
The GOP isn't admitting this. But it's the inevitable logic of their budget plan to cut $5 trillion from domestic programs over a decade.
If you spread those cuts proportionately across the domestic budget, that's what you get. Read the analysis here:…
If the GOP has other specific cuts in mind, they should say so. But health care is where the money is. Can't cut $5T & protect health care.
This week is the House budget vote. Next week is Senate recess. Senate budget vote the following week. Then reconciliation season begins.
Once the GOP passes a budget resolution, the cuts don't become law. It's more like a New Year's resolution: a statement of intent. Except...
The budget resolution contains "reconciliation instructions," a set of rules that allow an un-filibuster-able tax cut bill. 50 Rs+Pence=win
Reconciliation's how the GOP tried to pass ACA repeal. Now it's how they're going for tax cuts 4 rich. We have to fight it every bit as hard
As night follows day, cuts to health care follow massive tax cuts for the rich. They create a fiscal crisis & insist cuts are only fix.
Make no mistake: these tax cuts are for the rich. The ultra-rich. In time, top 1% gets 80%. Half of that to top *0.1%.* Pure class warfare.
Many middle-class & poor families actually pay *more* taxes, from what we can tell so far—and certainly lose the most from health care cuts.
Beating back these tax cuts aren't only crucial to stopping an explosion in inequality and protecting care. Also *politically* vital.
Tax cuts for the rich are the central promise the GOP makes to its donor class. If we stop those cuts, their coalition collapses.
If you think Trump's power shouldn't be unchecked, if his admin should get oversight, if his agenda shouldn't become law—focus now on taxes.
There are other fronts on health care that I'll get to in a minute, but first, some ways to plug in to tax fight—again, the biggest one:
Call your Reps before they vote Thu. (Then your Sens.) Urge them to vote NO on budget resolution w/cruel cuts & tax giveaways. 202-224-3121
Plug in to #NotOnePenny coalition—as in, not one penny in tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires, big corporations.
Fight Trump's tax scam by reading analysis & using the great tools at @IndivisibleTeam's well-named hub site,
Remember TrumpcareToolkit? Now @CAPAction has a parallel site:
For day to day updates and concrete timely actions to fight back, make sure you're on @MoveOn email & SMS list:
...and if your organization wants to plug in, join the giant, mighty Americans for Tax Fairness coalition via
Okay: that's tax fight 101. Anything else you need to know to fight to defend health car? Sadly, yes. A lot. Hope your phone's charged.
1. Tax fight
3. Bipartisan ACA fix
4. HHS Secretary
5. Enrollment sabotage
6. Elections(!)
7. Long-term: care for all—or repeal

Children's Health Insurance Program. Nine million kids. Outrageously, GOP let $ expire this Sat in their rush to repeal the ACA.
States now running low on funds. In some cases, limiting new enrollment. Fortunately, CHIP reauth moving fwd now.…
Senate cmte voted CHIP fwd today. House hit snag b/c of partisan GOP tweaks. If those don't get ironed out, we'll need to fight. Keep watch.
3. Bipartisan talks

In a sane time, it'd be front page news that Trump sabotage around insurance payments is spiking up insurance premiums.
These are not normal times. Insurers are hugely raising their rates, saying explicitly that it's because of uncertainty re Trump. Crickets.
Congress could end this uncertainty and bring down rates. Easy fix. Bipartisan support. But talks have stalled.…
After years of saying they want to bring down premiums, GOP senators aren't doing the obvious, simple thing that would achieve that goal
Tax fight is a more urgent topic to call the Senate about. But if you make another call, ask Rs to come back to the table & negotiate a fix.
(Pausing thread: I'm in audience at CNN town hall w Nancy Pelosi, about to go live on TV. 3rd row, behind cowboy hat. Hi! More later.)
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More from @benwikler

Oct 9, 2018
Tomorrow, Chuck Grassley is holding hearings for two Ohioan extremist Circuit Court nominees, Chad Readler and Eric Murphy. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) objects. For years, home-state senators had a courtesy veto over nominees from their states. But McConnell/Grassley eliminated that. 1/
Chad Readler leads the Civil Division in Trump's Department of Justice. He led DoJ's work to kill the Affordable Care Act, personally signing a brief so dishonest that the career attorneys wouldn't touch it. Now he's up for a lifetime appointment.…
Chad Readler defended family separation. He helped block millions of workers from overtime pay. He fought for 3d-printed guns, against DACA, for the military trans ban, for the Muslim Ban, and—in private practice—for Big Tobacco. He shouldn't be a judge.…
Read 6 tweets
Oct 5, 2018
In the Kavanaugh fight, nobody knows for sure what's going to happen. The conventional wisdom in DC is that the GOP will have Kavanaugh confirmed by Saturday afternoon, and he'll be on the bench by Monday. But you know what? That was the conventional wisdom a week ago, too. 1/
Politics is unpredictable. The one thing you can control is whether you try to do something about it. And people *are* doing something—they're doing everything they can think of. Right now, for example: there's a #PeoplesFilibuster protest @ the Capitol that will go *all night.*
If you're in the DC area, can't sleep, and wondering what to do, head out to the Capitol right now and look near the Senate steps on the NE corner. Or if you can't make it over there, here's the live video feed:…
Read 7 tweets
Oct 3, 2018
Furious about Kavanaugh? Don’t just sit there. We need your power. The truth is, there’s a LOT you can do. We may only have four days until the final vote, and your voice is needed now. This is a thread about what’s coming, and how you can help. Please follow along and share. 1/
What's next with Kavanaugh? On Wednesday, McConnell sets wheels in motion by filing for cloture. Senate rules require an intervening day before cloture vote—so that vote will be Friday. Then 30 hours of debate & final confirmation vote as soon as Saturday night. Time is SHORT.
What about the FBI report? WSJ says it could end by Wed. Many potential corroborating witnesses won't be interviewed—nor Dr. Blasey Ford, nor Kavanaugh. Once background report is updated, only Senators will get to see it. Don't bet on it to end this fight.…
Read 31 tweets
Sep 28, 2018
Fri AM: committee vote. Sat: procedural vote. Mon: cloture. Tue: final vote. CALL: 202-224-3121. Gather @ Senate offices 12p Fri to tell say VOTE NO. Bring signs. Wear black. Tweet photos. Spread word. All hands on deck.
Near Phoenix, AZ? Tell Jeff Flake to vote NO on Kavanaugh: meet at noon Friday 9/28 at his office at 2200 E Camelback Rd, Suite 120. Bring signs and friends, wear black, share photos.…
Near Anchorage, Alaska? Tell Lisa Murkowski to announce her opposition to Kavanaugh! Meet at noon (Alaska time) at her office at 510 L St, Suite 600. Bring signs, friends, wear black, tweet your photos, tag your senator—spread the word on Facebook here:…
Read 10 tweets
Sep 21, 2018
"The Trump administration says global slavery and child labor are bad — for American businesses
They give an “unfair advantage” to US competitors, according to the US Labor Department."
>> I see this as an instance of something good-ish. Lemme explain. 1/…
What's happening with this report on global slavery & child labor is something that's happening throughout our government: mission-driven civil servants are figuring out how to keep pursuing their long-time goals by reframing them into language that resonates with Trump.
You'd think that Trump's government would simply stop working on stuff like forced labor. But the people actually doing the work? They care. So, like good bureaucrats everywhere, they figure out how to manage up.
Read 4 tweets
Sep 20, 2018
GOP seems to think that if Dr. Blasey Ford doesn't speak at their 2-witness hearing on Mon, she'll disappear. But per @JRubinBlogger, "Ford has another option: Hold a news conference with her own experts and make the case directly to the American people."…
It is Dr. Blasey-Ford's right to decide how, whether, when, and where to share her story. It's unclear to me why Senate Republicans keep saying, and apparently believing, that they have the power to dictate terms to her. She doesn't have to play their game.
Media seem confused about this too. Axios quoted @JeffreyToobin on CNN saying "If she refuses to testify on Monday, Kavanaugh is getting confirmed." Why? If she chooses to make her case publicly on her own terms, it could be *more* powerful than in a GOP-controlled hearing.
Read 4 tweets

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