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The Jury’s Back Now: William Barr, Health Care, And The Rule Of Law

Small “d” democracy

By Mark Lurinsky


Earlier in the year I wrote a post on why we shouldn’t expect particularly good things from William Barr as attorney general -- while allowing that “the jury is still out.”

It looks like that jury is back now, and it’s not good. 

No, I’m not talking about Barr’s role as the gatekeeper to the Mueller report.  I’m referring to the attorney general’s complete public silence when in late March the Justice Department’s lawyers, following President Trump, sent a letter to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals stating that DOJ fully supports a recent district court ruling striking down the Affordable Care Act in all respects -- and intends to file a brief with that position in the pending appeal.

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BlueWaveNJ Condemns Trump Administration's Renewed Drive To Void the ACA; Applauds House Bill to Strengthen the Law

The Trump administration's recent shift to full support of a lawsuit filed by 20 Republican attorneys general and governors seeking to have the entire Affordable Care Act declared unconstitutional is a legal absurdity and a wantonly cruel and reckless policy decision. The plaintiffs argue, and the Trump administration now agrees, that the entire ACA became unconstitutional when Congress reduced the individual mandate penalty to zero in late 2017, because the Supreme Court in 2012 held that the mandate was Constitutional only as an exercise of Congress's taxing power. That is rank sophistry rejected by attorneys and legal scholars across the political spectrum -- suggesting in effect that the Republican Congress repealed the ACA by accident when it zeroed out the mandate penalty as part of the tax package passed in December 2017 after failing in multiple attempts to repeal the law's core programs earlier that year.

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Medicare For All (who want or need it)

Medicare for All (who want or need it): A path for presidential candidates?

By Andrew Sprung

Commitment to "Medicare for All" or something like has become something of a litmus test for Democratic candidates. There are real perils for a candidate, however, in committing to transitioning the U.S. to a single payer healthcare system in one leap. *

The tax hikes would be double-digit in a tax-averse country. Some 156 million Americans are insured through employers, and while out-of-pocket costs in employer coverage have been rising swiftly, tens of millions are wary of losing the plans they have. In Kaiser Family Foundation polling, support for "Medicare for All" collapses, from 56% in favor to 37%, when people are asked if they would support a program that raises taxes or eliminates private health insurance companies. In contrast, creating "a federal program similar to Medicare open to anyone" that would allow people to keep their current coverage is supported by 74%.

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A grassroots, progressive organization seeking solutions through community

BlueWaveNJ has become a respected grassroots organization recognized for the know-how and energy of its thousands of committed volunteers and supporters.

Our working groups, conferences, marches and special events have mobilized voters and coalitions to demand positive change from our legislators at the state and federal level in such critical areas as health care, the economy, marriage equality, the environment, education, electoral reform and sensible gun control. We have held major conferences on gun violence, stem cell research, Middle East peace, diversity and commercial sexual exploitation of children, and our nation’s growing health care crisis. We have distributed thousands of educational flyers, circulated petitions,  and written hundreds of letters and directly lobbied legislators and officials demanding that they save Social Security, protect net neutrality, restrict corporate media concentration, promote alternative energy production, provide universal health care, promote “clean elections,” install reliable voting machines, ensure quality education for all, and pass marriage equality legislation. We have also trained thousands of volunteers who help elect progressive leaders at local, state, and national levels. 

Join us as we continue our fight in areas like electoral reform, social justice, and economic justice.