Health Care in Peril, Even Obama is worried about the French Election

Your daily guide to what's working, what's not, and what you can do about it.

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May 5 2017, 1:00pm

A win at all costs: Yesterday, House Republicans voted to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, by a four-vote margin. In doing so, they have demonstrated a willingness to jeopardize the health care for millions of Americans who rely on the ACA for life-saving treatment, particularly those with pre-existing conditions. The GOP's health care overhaul also vowed to defund Planned Parenthood, which means blocking people from low-cost preventative care such as birth control, cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment. The bill still has a long way to go before it becomes law, and its path in the Senate is uncertain at best.

Injustice in Argentina: The Argentine Supreme court is primed to set a dangerous precedent that may free hundreds of convicted human rights abusers. Activists are rallying against judges appointed by center-right President Mauricio Macri, but the general consensus is that there is a little hope of overturning the court's Wednesday ruling that reduces the sentence of Luis Muina, who was found guilty of kidnap and torture during the 1976-1983 Videla dictatorship.

Van & Hov: Former Obama administration official, CNN on-air personality, and all-around influence, Van Jones has signed on to Jay-Z's Roc Nation. Seeing the management firm as a way to make headway on key environmental and criminal justice issues, the headliner pundit will be announcing plans soon for a tour of the U.S. And don't worry, you're not alone if you're eagerly awaiting Bey dropping in on the political scene.

We see you California! California has a clean-air agency called the California Air-Resource Board, and they're nailing it in the fight against climate change. The agency recently voted to enforce stricter regulations for car and truck greenhouse gas emissions. Imagine that, a government that holds manufacturers accountable to green standards. California's actions from the governor down to local mayors on green policies are a good offset to the federal government, which, as of late, indicates any tangible change in regards to climate change policy is going to be bottom up rather than Trumped-up trickle down.

Obama Backs Macron: Former U.S. President Barack Obama got himself back in the political fray coming out in support of centrist and establishment-backed Emmanuel Macron in the razor-thin French presidential election. Macron faces off against the far-right leader, EU hater, and all-around hateful Marine Le Pen on May 7. France, Europe, and the world are holding their breath as the outcome of this race could potentially eclipse Brexit and Trump in terms of outright disruption.

Split House: There's a tug of war happening in the White House over what to do about the Paris Climate Agreement, an international pact that 30 different countries signed to combat climate change. On the nationalistic, world-is-flat side, White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and EPA administrator Scott Pruitt want President Trump to pull the U.S. out. Trump's daughter and top advisor, Ivanka, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson want to stay. If Trump does decide to withdraw he could face the same legal backlash in the States as he did following the travel ban for Muslim-majority countries and the federal funding ban on sanctuary cities, both of which were struck down by three different federal judges.

Disguising freedom as an oppression: On May 4, Trump signed an executive order on religious freedom, which was supposed to expand provisions for the "freedom of religion" part of the first amendment. We're sure the irony of this EO is not lost for Muslim-Americans. Although the administration says this bill is supposed to protect civil liberties, it's basically a license to discriminate against women by legally allowing employers to refuse to cover contraceptive preventative care. An earlier draft leaked in February would have target LGBTQ individuals as well but was left out to the disappointment of Trump's Evangelical base.

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