On today's BradCast: Another roller-coaster as Trump's war on his own nation and its people takes several dark and/or ominous turns. [Audio link to show follows below.]
We continue to move closer to the coming Constitutional and political crisis we discussed yesterday, as shakeups in the Trump Administration and in his legal team rocked D.C. and the nation. Embattled Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned on Friday in protest of the hiring of Fox 'News' contributor, Wall Street financier and former Goldman-Sachs executive (yes, yet another one) Anthony Scaramucci as new White House Communications Director.
Late on Thursday, Marc Corallo, the spokesman for Trump's legal team, also quit in protest of infighting among attorneys and White House officials and, specifically, due to the Administration's plan to go to war against Special Counsel Robert Mueller who is leading the Justice Department's investigation of Team Trump. At the same time, Trump appears to be going to war with the rule of law itself as the likelihood of firing Mueller and others at the Justice Department seems to be increasing each day (hour?) while the probe focuses in on Trump family finances. That has reportedly led the President to inquire about his own power to pardon staffers, family members and even himself.
Meanwhile, amidst all the noise, Senate Republicans press ahead toward votes on repealing and replacing ObamaCare (or just repealing it) in the coming days, despite questions about whether they have enough support for passage. But while Trump has, at times, called for letting the Affordable Care Act "fail" if it can't be replaced by Republicans in Congress, more and more evidence is piling up to reveal that his Administration is not just letting it fail, but actively trying to make it fail.
ELIZABETH HAGAN, Associate Director of Coverage Initiatives at Families USA, a non-partisan health care advocacy group, joins us to detail the number of ways the Administration is now, aggressively and affirmatively (and possibly unlawfully) attempting to sabotage the ACA itself, and putting at risk millions of Americans who have gained access to health care coverage, thanks to the landmark law.
"Without repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, there are a lot of things that the Trump Administration can do to undermine the law," Hagan says, detailing the effect of the Administration's cancellation of contracts this week, for in-person sign-up assistance in 18 major cities. "Consumers that have in-person assistance are twice as likely to successfully enroll as those who didn't. And I would argue that that's probably even more likely now, given all the rhetoric and attempts to undermine the law going on."
"I think it is clear that this is part of a larger effort to sabotage and undermine the Affordable Care Act, absolutely," she tells me, as we detail a number of those efforts recently reported, including changes to the Health & Human Services (HHS) and HealthCare.gov exchange websites to make sign-ups more difficult, cutting days for the open enrollment period in half for 2018, cancelling advertisements for the enrollment period, and even spending tax-payer money on propaganda videos meant to convince Americans that the law is failing, when it isn't.
"The ACA is doing well," Hagan argues, citing a great deal of evidence to support the case. "A lot of the insurance companies are finally seeing a more stable market, and the only instability that they're seeing is due to the Trump Administration."
Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report amidst the newly record-breaking heat of 2017, California's ambitious if controversial extension to its landmark cap-and-trade emissions law, and the President announces 45,000 new mining jobs in just his first six months of office! (In fact, there are only 800, which is 500 fewer new coal jobs than in the final six months of Obama's Administration.)
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)