100 Days of Trump: Week 8

A healthcare conundrum

ACA v. AHCA

Story by Collin Morris, Assistant Sports Editor

The Republican Party is facing opposition after a week emphasizing the American Health Care Act and a revised immigration ban.

In an analysis released by the nonpartisan group of economists and budget analysts, the Congressional Budget Office, on Monday, AHCA will result in a loss of coverage for approximately 14 million Americans by 2018 and 24 million by 2026.

In two other major findings, the CBO also reported that Medicaid coverage will shrink by five million people by 2018, and the federal deficit will fall $337 billion by 2026.

Despite promising not to cut Medicare or Medicaid on the campaign trail, Trump has come out in support of AHCA, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, in an official White House statement, said the CBO is wrong.

“The fact of the matter is they’re going to be able to buy the coverage policy they want for themselves and their family, they’re going to have the kind of choices that they want,” Price said.

Trump’s newest travel ban has been temporarily blocked by U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson from Hawaii. The hold operates on the grounds on the ban’s potential harm to it’s tourism industry and calling it “discriminatory.”

Six states (Hawaii, New York, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon and Washington) challenged Trump’s second immigration ban order before Watson had made his ruling, which is set to commence on March 16.

Trump announced the second executive order on March 6, with a number of changes, including the removal of Iraq from the list of banned countries and the clause prioritizing refugees of minority religions in those nations.

White House statements have conveyed confidence in the ability of the revisions to alleviate legality concerns, but Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union  Immigrants’ Rights Project, is not as confident.

“The Trump Administration has conceded that its original Muslim ban was indefensible,” Jadwat wrote in an official statement from the ACLU. “Unfortunately, it has replaced it with a scaled-back version that shares the same fatal flaws. The only way to actually fix the Muslim ban is not to have a Muslim ban. Instead, President Trump has recommitted himself to religious discrimination, and he can expect continued disapproval from both the courts and the people.”

Hawaii was the first to file a suit against the ban, but others are expected to follow. The first installment of Trump’s ban was blocked by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Feb. 3.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has also faced opposition. Just days after being asked to resign by Democratic Party leaders, Sessions requested the resignations of the 46 U.S. attorneys remaining from the administration of President Barack Obama.

It is not uncommon for new administrations to change personnel, but historically, it has been done gradually to ensure structure in the transition phase.

In response to Trump’s recent tweet claiming Obama wiretapped phones in Trump Tower toward the end of his presidency, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said he was referring to general surveillance.

“If you look at the president’s tweet, he clearly said quote wiretapping, in quotes,” Spicer said. “There has been reports of other aspects of surveillance that have occurred. The president was very clear in his tweet that it was ‘wiretapping,’ which spans a whole host of surveillance type of options.”

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, reiterated Spicer’s statements in an interview with the Huffington Post. When asked if she knew if Trump Tower had been wiretapped, Conway listed alternative methods that may have been used.

“What I can say is there is many ways to surveil each other,” Conway said. “There was an article this week that talked about how you can surveil someone through their phones, certainly through their television sets, any number of different things, microwaves that turn into cameras, etc.”

Vice President Mike Pence visited Kentucky last Saturday, March 11, for a rally centered around the repeal of “Obamacare,” but Trump himself will be in Louisville, Kentucky at 7:30 p.m. on March 20 for another rally. The doors will open at Louisville’s Freedom Hall at 4:30 p.m.