GOP Screws America: Welcome to the most regressive and repulsive tax bill to ever come out of the US Congress.

In the dead of night Saturday (at 1:36am, specifically), the Senate GOP passed the most regressive and repulsive tax bill to ever come out of the US Congress. Under the guise of “tax reform” the Republicans in the Senate (including Florida’s own Marco Rubio) approved a plan that increases our national debt by at least $1.5 trillion, raises the cost of college for middle-class Americans, and adds 13 million people to the ranks of the uninsured. All to cut taxes on corporations and allow the children of the wealthy to inherit billions tax-free.

Even though it was presented as tax reform, this bill is actually a grab-bag of everything conservatives have been trying to achieve for the last decade but have been unable to pass.  Repealing the individual mandate, the tax bill undercuts Obamacare, and will lead to an increase in the number of Americans without health insurance, up to 13 million by 2025. The Congressional Budget Office has reported that repealing the individual mandate will increase everyone’s premiums by at least 10% in the coming years. Other organizations have said the increase will be closer to 20%. Either way, these increases will more than outweigh the meager savings some working families might see.

And while they claim it will boost economic growth and federal tax revenue, this bill will actually starve the federal government of revenue so that cuts to Medicare and Social Security will be all but required. Senator Marco Rubio said as much at a conference sponsored by Politico magazine.

In addition to all of this, some of the more revolting provisions of this “tax reform” include the following:

Overall, taxes on the poorest Americans will increase by a total of $5.3 billion over the next 10 years, while taxes on corporations and the richest Americans will decrease by $5.8 billion. (Source 1 and source 2)

The most important thing to remember is that all the so-called “middle-class tax cuts” evaporate into thin air on January 1, 2027, while the tax cuts for corporations are permanent. This had to be done for legislative reasons, as a way to decrease the amount the bill adds to the national debt. They didn’t have to do it this way, they could have done the opposite, and made the corporate taxes temporary. But they didn’t, and that tells you a lot. Republicans claim their tax proposals are meant to help middle-class Americans, but their actions show their true colors. This is a tax bill is a transfer of wealth meant for corporations and the very wealthy, and them alone. The rest of us are left to pay the bill.

This so-called “tax reform” is not what Americans need. We need real tax relief for real Americans, and investment in the things that will build a better future for all Americans. We need infrastructure, we need college educations to get good jobs, and we need health care.  And we can have those things, because there’s always enough money to build the future we want. But the Republicans in Congress don’t care about that. They only care about delivering to their donors.  Well, we have a warning to the Republican Party: 2018 is coming. 2020 is coming.  You will be held accountable for this monstrosity of a tax giveaway. We, the people of America, will take control of our country back from the corporations, their lobbyists, and their enablers in Congress, and we will build an America that works for everyone.

This piece was was written as a collaborative effort by Bill Radunovich and other Indivisible Gainesville volunteers.

Photo Credit: Mario Tama—Getty Images | Header Image Design Credit: Erin McConnell

 

Indivisible Gainesville’s response to Ted Yoho’s Tax Reform Op-Ed, November 14th Gainesville Sun

Representative Yoho’s Op-Ed is full of omissions and outright lies. Below we will take apart his op-ed one paragraph at a time (his original text in bold, our response beneath), share with you how this latest Tax Bill (known as H.R. 1, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act) will actually affect you, and  demonstrate how your own elected leader is not only betraying you but also misleading you .

“The United States tax code has over 70,000 pages and roughly 3 to 4 million words. It is complicated, filled with special-interest loopholes, makes our companies less competitive and costs Americans countless hours in productivity just to file their returns. House Republicans want to change all of that.”

While this statement sounds good, those taking advantage of the loopholes are actually the 1% and large corporations.  The Tax Bill does not close these loopholes. In reality, it lowers the corporate tax rate by about half, in an attempt to encourage companies to actually pay taxes on their offshore funds and return those funds to the US using a special low tax rate. The entire business tax system would also change to one that only taxes the domestic income of companies, rather than their global income.

No one likes to pay taxes and Yoho attempts to pander to this dislike by discussing how complicated it is.  In reality, the simpler the tax code is, the more you end up paying. The reason your tax return takes hours to fill out is because you are allowed to make several deductions that result in lower income taxes. This Tax Bill simplifies your return by getting rid of most of those deductions which means you end up paying more in taxes.

“The goal of tax reform is straightforward: simplify a very complicated tax system, allow working families to keep more of their hard-earned money, stimulate the economy and create jobs. I believe these are goals that everyone can agree on and goals that will benefit all Americans across the board.”

Yoho states his Tax Bill accomplishes three goals, a) allow you to keep more money, b) stimulate the economy, c) create jobs.  While lower and middle class working families would save only a marginal amount of money in the first year (about $60 total for lowest-income households and $800 for middle-income ones), these tax cuts phase out quickly for lower income taxpayers.

Indeed, Americans earning $75,000 or less would face large tax increases in 2027, and those making under $30,000 would see their taxes increase by 2021. At the same time, wealthier families will continue to see tax cuts at the end of the decade, averaging $8,871 by 2027.  So, according to his Op-Ed, Yoho believes that “working families” are only those in the wealthiest 1%, and that they deserve to keep their “hard-earned” money. (Sources here and here.)

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(Image source link here)

He claims giving more money to the 1% will stimulate the economy and create jobs.  Also known as trickle-down economics, this strategy has been proven false over and over again throughout our country’s history. Repeated tax cuts imposed during the Bush administration did nothing to create jobs or help working families. Giving tax cuts to the wealthy just makes them wealthier. The real way to stimulate the economy is to give tax cuts to the middle class, who in turn actually spend the money, stimulating the economy, and creating more jobs. This tax bill does not achieve any of these goals and only hurts working families.

“House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) introduced a proposal to overhaul our outdated tax code on Nov. 2. Notice I said “proposal.” The proposed plan — the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) — is not a finished product. It is the first step in the arduous process of creating legislation that will become law.”

It’s no longer a proposal, it was voted on last week after only two short weeks of consideration and it has passed the House. There is a Senate version, which will be combined with this House version, that will do far more damage, including repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate (the Senate version is discussed more below). Complicated legislation affecting every American should take longer than two week’s consideration.

“As soon as the proposed bill came out, immediately there was a chorus of criticism. I will remind the critics that the bill has many hurdles to jump before it is a final product. The House Ways and Means Committee spent all last week debating and amending the bill, and the Senate just introduced their version on Nov. 9. H.R. 1 has to gain House approval, the Senate’s version of tax reform must be passed in their chamber, and then both approved bills will go to conference to iron out any differences between the two; then, and only then, will a final vote be taken.”

Here, Yoho uses discussion of congressional procedure to give the impression that the bill has been thoughtfully considered. However, something can be thoughtfully considered and still be detrimental—especially if your only consideration is to satisfy your donors and not your constituents. In June, the Associated Press reported that big Republican donors were insistent that tax reform be enacted. One large donor had stopped hosting fundraisers, saying: “You control the Senate. You control the House. You have the presidency. There’s no reason you can’t get this done. Get it done and we’ll open [fundraising] back up.”  “My donors are basically saying get it done or don’t ever call me again,” Republican Rep. Chris Collins of New York told reporters. This same sentiment has been repeated by COO of Americans for Prosperity, a political group associated with the Koch brothers, and Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO).   

Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley lectured Republicans as the Ways and Means Committee when considering the Tax Bill saying, “We know who you’re all catering to today. We also know that it’s been rumored that if you don’t get this done you might as well give up the majority… And that’s kind of sad that that’s how we’re going to be putting together a tax bill that affects so many people.” The final version of the Tax Bill after the Senate has added their changes will make things even worse (see below).

“As a taxpayer, father of three and former small business owner, there are a lot of things to like about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. For families and individuals, the bill will simplify the tax code by lowering rates and consolidating the eight current tax brackets down to three. The standard deduction would be nearly doubled from $6,350 to $12,000 for individuals to $12,000 to $24,000 for families. This means lower- and middle-income earners will be able to keep more of their hard-earned money. For the third district of Florida, this is an estimated median tax saving of $1,400.”

Consolidation of the tax brackets raises taxes in the lowest bracket (from 10% to 12%) and decreases taxes in the highest tax bracket (from 32.4% to 20.9%).  And the rates will increase over the years. By 2027, most Americans earning less than $75,000 will end up paying more in taxes. This is because Republicans opted to make the tax cuts for individuals to expire.

The Tax Bill increases the standard deduction, which sounds good, but it would cause most people not to itemize their deductions.  Collateral damage caused by this will negatively affect charitable giving.  The loss of itemized deductions could have a huge impact. Itemized deductions provide an incentive to donate to charities. The standard deduction would reduce charitable giving by $13 billion annually. The long term impact on job training programs, food banks, homeless shelters, and disaster relief could be catastrophic.  

Yoho omits a lot in his Op-Ed. He does not mention that both Senate and House bills eliminate personal exemptions, which would negate any tax relief that you get from the increased standard deduction. You also will not be able to deduct your  property taxes, which would be capped, and you can only claim as an itemized deduction of $10,000.  Personal exemptions, this year worth $4,050 each for taxpayers, spouses and children, would be eliminated.   

There are many other deductions that are being eliminated:

Most tax benefits for college disappear, as well. At the moment, low- and middle- income Americans can deduct up to $2,500 a year in student loan interest. That benefit would go away in 2018. In addition, grad students who receive tuition waivers because they teach or do research would now have to pay income tax on the waiver. Grad students would be paying a tax rate calculated as if their income were double. This change would cause an increase of at least an additional $10,000 a year. Most graduate students at UF earn less than $27,000 per year. This dramatically hurts a population in this very district. This is also a way to disincentivize higher education, which would only be accessible to the wealthy, and would lead to less scientific research and innovation. 

Meanwhile, big corporations will get to keep all of their deductions as well as getting new additional deductions, allowing them to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. Companies could continue to deduct business-related state and local taxes. 

Yoho also fails to mention that the Senate version will remove the ACA individual mandate, which would lead to higher health insurance premiums for you. You may save $1,400 in taxes as Yoho claims, but you will be giving much more money to health insurance companies.  Because people will no longer have to purchase health insurance, they may no longer receive tax credit subsidies for insurance that they do not purchase, and without those credits, they see an overall uptick in their tax liability.   The net result being that you are poorer, Corporations are richer, and the national debt increases (sources here and here). 

The list of things that Yoho doesn’t mention, in addition to the repeal of the ACA individual mandate, is extensive.

“The corporate tax rate will be dropped from 35 percent to 20 percent to help stimulate our economy and make U.S. companies more competitive globally. This is a big help in getting U.S. companies to repatriate profits parked overseas to reinvest and expand their businesses here at home.”

As discussed above, changing the corporate tax rate doesn’t stimulate the economy, trickle-down economics do not work. The Tax Bill does nothing to stop corporate tax havens, it only attempts to encourage companies to bring assets back to the US, and will only result in lower tax rates on large Corporations and higher tax rates on working families.

“For small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy, there is expanded capital expensing. This is important for Main Street businesses so they can write off the cost of new buildings, equipment and machinery. As a former small business owner, I know this change helps tremendously. By lowering the tax burden on American businesses large and small, they will be more competitive, invest in our communities and create jobs.”

Does the bill have added deductions for small businesses as Yoho claims?  Yes, but those deductions aren’t only for small businesses. They are for all businesses large or small. One deduction would allow large corporations to deduct huge expenses immediately upon purchases instead of slowly depreciating over time. You will be subsidizing large corporation’s capital investments with your higher taxes.

“Tax reform is no easy task. It hasn’t been achieved since President Ronald Reagan did it in 1986. The House, Senate and White House are on the verge of accomplishing meaningful tax reform that will benefit all Americans. When the final vote is called, I will cast my vote for a modern tax code that puts more money in the pockets of hard-working Americans and unshackles the economic engines of our country.”

The deregulation policies of Ronald Reagan’s administration directly caused the 2008 Great Recession, the largest financial crisis since the Great Depression. Not only that, Reagan increased the National Debt by 186%. In fact, Reagan was the first president since FDR to increase the debt by more than 50%, and FDR had the Great Depression and World War 2 to contend with.

Yoho’s pet project has been railing against the deficit, which is the driving force behind many of his votes to cut social welfare programs. But he voted for this Tax Bill that in total, would add more than $1.4 trillion to the national debt.   

This is just his first move to cut social safety net programs, which you have likely paid into, like such as Social Security. They will use the increase in the deficit, which they created with this Tax Bill, to justify slashing away at these programs, devastating working-class individuals who rely on them. In the end, Ted Yoho is not representing your interests; he’s trying pull the wool over your eyes while he sells you down the river. Let him know you will not be deceived:  (352) 505-0838.  

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(Image source here)

This piece was was written as a collaborative effort by the Indivisible Gainesville research team.

 

Yoho’s Endorsement of Roy Moore Was Indefensible Even Before the Allegations Surfaced.

Back in September, US Representative Ted Yoho endorsed Roy Moore: “Judge Roy Moore is a proven conservative leader. He refused to bow to political pressure in Montgomery, and he will refuse to bow to political pressure in Washington. We need men like Judge Moore in the Senate to advance the conservative policies America sent us here to enact…I am proud to endorse Judge Moore and look forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with him to fight for America, and against the failed status quo of Washington.”

I know what you’re thinking: But that was September. This was before the child molestation accusations. True. But if we factor in what Yoho surely knew about Roy Moore, his endorsement is still alarming.  

When Yoho wrote that  “[Roy] refused to bow to political pressure in Montgomery” he was referencing Moore’s removal from the Alabama Supreme Court in 2003 and his suspension from it in 2015.  The 2003 offence was for refusing a federal judge’s orders to remove a Ten Commandments mural that he had commissioned, in defiance of the establishment clause he swore an oath to uphold. The suspension was for blocking gay marriages in Alabama even after the Supreme Court outlawed gay marriage bans, something we will return to later.

In 2008, Roy Moore wrote an article saying that newly elected Congressman (and current Deputy Chair of the DNC) Keith Ellison should not be allowed to serve: “Enough evidence exists for Congress to question Ellison’s qualifications to be a member of Congress as well as his commitment to the Constitution in view of his apparent determination to embrace the Quran and an Islamic philosophy directly contrary to the principles of the Constitution.”

The same Constitution that says “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

In a concurrence regarding a custody case involving a lesbian mother and an abusive father, Moore wrote: “[H]omosexual conduct of a parent creates a strong presumption of unfitness that alone is sufficient justification for denying that parent custody of his or her own children or prohibiting the adoption of the children of others. Homosexual conduct is, and has been, considered abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature, and a violation of the laws of nature and of nature’s God upon which this Nation and our laws are predicated. Such conduct violates both the criminal and civil laws of this State and is destructive to a basic building block of society—the family.”

More recently, in response to the Supreme Court case overturning gay marriage bans, Moore conjures a cataclysmic apocalypse worthy of the Book of Revelation: “[Obergefell] plunges the human soul into a wasteland of meaninglessness where every man defines his own anarchic reality. In that godless world nothing has meaning or consequence except as the human being desires. Man then becomes the creator of his own reality rather than a subject of the Creator of the Declaration.”

We could go on, but here is what Yoho has endorsed: a repugnant man who has a long history of placing his particular faith (the punitive parts, anyway) above the Constitution and the civil liberties it enshrines.

Oh, and that Obergefell statement? It included this line: “The great sufferers [of gay marriage] will be the children.”

As of this writing, Ted Yoho has not retracted his support. He hasn’t even issued a statement on the allegation, unlike many Republicans. His campaign office handles endorsements. Their number is (352)585-9646. Maybe you should ask him about it.

 

This piece was was written as a collaborative effort by Sandy Parker and other volunteers at Indivisible Gainesville.

Header Image Photographer: Scott Olson/Getty Images

 

Repealing the Estate Tax Is Anti-American

Most Americans are untouched by the estate tax. In fact, only one in 5,000 people are affected by this 40 percent tax on inheritances over $5.49 million. But to hear U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho tell it, it is ruining America.

In 2015, after voting to repeal the estate tax — which he labels the “death tax” — Yoho issued the following statement: “We are blessed to be living in a Constitutional Republic, where through hard work, the entrepreneurial spirit is rewarded. It is this system that has made America great. If you have worked hard to build a business or a personal estate, you should not be penalized by the federal government when you die.”

take-your-loot-with-you-cartoon-estate-tax

This argument flies in the face of what the Founding Fathers were fighting against. They and other Enlightenment thinkers were very suspicious of landed aristocracy. They knew the transmission of wealth over the course of multiple generations led to power concentrated in the hands of the few.

In “The Wealth of Nations,” Adam Smith dismissed birth-based multi-generational inheritance as “manifestly absurd.” He wrote: “The earth and the fullness of it belongs to every generation, and the preceding one can have no right to bind it up from posterity. Such extension of property is quite unnatural.

Thomas Jefferson passed laws in Virginia ending the practices of entail (the idea that only heirs could inherit a property owner’s land) and primogeniture (which required that the owner’s eldest son inherit his father’s land in the absence of a will). Other states followed suit.

The estate tax gets to the heart of many people’s conception of what a “constitutional republic” should and should not do about economic inequality and the distribution of power. But this discussion has been twisted by conservatives like Yoho, who invoke the family farm or small businesses every time they bring the subject up, and never mention that the main items taxed are unrealized capital gains like investments in stocks and bonds.

If the welfare of the family farm is such a concern for these politicians, why not simply expand the protections that are already in place? The government currently allows family farms 15 years to pay off the taxes. If that isn’t enough time, then extend it. Family farms are also allowed an extra $1 million exemption — on top of the $5.49 million given to non-farm estates. If that isn’t enough, expand it.

In fact, if family farms are the issue, why not simply make them exempt? The estate tax affects less than 100 nationwide anyway. But no, conservatives claim the only fix is to repeal the tax altogether, which is what the 2018 budget in its current state calls for.

As Americans, we believe that a meritocracy is superior to being ruled by a landed aristocracy. For most of our history, we have passed laws and taxes to encourage the former and discourage the latter.

But now we find ourselves in a time when an entire generation of politicians believes that government is the solution to nothing and the problem with everything. The less government does, to these people, the better. No longer are taxes “a badge of liberty,” as Adam Smith once wrote. Nowadays too many people equate taxation with theft.

The top marginal tax rate was slashed to 50 percent in 1980 and hasn’t crept past 40 percent in 30 years. And in that same period, income for the top quintile has doubled while the bottom 60 percent of Americans has seen its income stagnate. Inequality is as high as it has been since the Great Depression.

That the rich have an outsized role in our government is obvious. But what is the solution that conservatives offer? More tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of programs that help everyone else.

Both sides of the aisle can debate to what extent the government should intervene. But to pretend that handing more money to the rich will do anything but worsen inequality (not to mention the debt) is to ignore the reality of the past four decades in America.

There is a (probably apocryphal) story of a lady who approached Benjamin Franklin as the Constitutional Convention was wrapping up. She asked him, “Well, doctor, what have we got — a republic or a monarchy?” To which he famously replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.

Can we? If so, we are going to have to be honest about the effects of the taxes we pass — as well as the ones we repeal.

Here is Yoho’s contact information if you would like to let him know what you think.

D.C. Office
Phone: 202-225-5744

Gainesville Office
Phone: 352-505-0838

This piece was was written as a collaborative effort between Sandy Parker, Dan Neal and other volunteers at Indivisible Gainesville.

Myth vs Fact: Trump’s Tax Proposal

Fond of giving himself high marks for nearly everything, President Trump receives low marks for his recent tax plan. When he introduced the Unified Framework for Fixing our Broken Tax Code in a speech on September 27, 2017, he made several statements about it that are easily refuted. Why would he lie so blatantly while coming out of the gate on such an important part of his agenda?

MYTH: Trump claimed the plan’s benefits are focused on “not the wealthy and well-connected…and it’s not good for me; believe me.

FACT: This preposterous claim is undercut in black and white by the very document on which Trump’s tax plan is based. The United Framework proposes to:

  • “Lower the tax rate for the top income bracket from 39.5% to 35%.” According to the Tax Policy Center, such a reduction would reduce federal revenues by $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years.
  • “Repeal the estate tax.” This move would be a boon to families with over $20 million in assets.

Trump touts repealing the “horrible and devastating” estate tax as a huge deal for farmers, but it is wealthy urban families who will reap most of the rewards (and U.S. tax revenues that will be decreased, and the deficit will be increased). Estimates suggest an estate tax repeal will benefit only about 80 farmers. If the goal is to protect farmers, the estate tax can be tweaked rather than repealed altogether. This is a typically Republican move: back policies that overwhelmingly benefit the rich while they claim to be helping the little guy.

As far as how much Trump himself will or will not benefit, he of course has yet to release his tax returns, so we can’t know exactly. But we can safely say that when he says the tax plan “is not good for me,” he is lying.

MYTH: These tax cuts will pay for themselves in increased growth of the American economy and higher wages for all workers. “What is good…is if everything takes off like a rocket ship.” – President Trump

FACT: The best non-partisan (or at least most objective) opinion on the topic is from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) who in a 2005 study analyzing a 10% cut in taxes concluded that, at best, only 22% of the revenue lost by the cut in taxes would be recouped in the first five years and 32% during the second five years. At best.

What’s Next?

Given Trump’s failures, so far, in the first year of his Presidency: failed Healthcare Repeal efforts, failed Travel Ban, failed Swamp draining, failed Border Wall, failed infrastructure plan, let’s hand Trump another failure – contact your members of Congress and urge them not to pass this egregious tax cut for the wealthy.

Contact your Republican Member of Congress and tell them enough is enough: no more lies and no more tax cuts for the wealthy. They do not pay for themselves. All they do is make the rich richer, while the rest of us pay.

Senator Marco Rubio: DC Office Phone (202)224-3041. Email (and more office numbers) can be found on his website: Rubio’s Website

Congressman Ted Yoho: DC Office Phone (202)225-5744. Email (and more office numbers) can be found on his website: Yoho’s Website

References:

Unified Framework for Fixing our Broken Tax Code, United States Treasury, (https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Documents/Tax-Framework.pdf), September 27, 2017

Analyzing the Economic and Budgetary Effects of a 10 Percent Cut in Income Tax Rates , Congressional Budget Office, (https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/109th-congress-2005-2006/reports/12-01-10percenttaxcut.pdf), December 1, 2005

Thank you to one of our new writers, Marshall Bloom, for writing this post.

What Trump Did Last Week to Obamacare

Democrats have been negotiating with Republicans on a bipartisan “stabilization bill” that would include a guarantee that CSR payments continue. But merely guaranteeing those payments is not enough. Ask your MoCs to ensure that the bipartisan bill continues protections for people enrolled in association health plans, that short-term plans stay truly short-term, and that CSR payments continue.

What Trump Did Last Week to Obamacare

Last week, Trump signed two Executive Orders (EO)—remember how much Republicans used to complain about Obama’s EOs?—aimed at nothing less than crippling the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The following has been taken from an email sent by Vox.com’s health care expert, Sarah Kliff:

The White House announced late Thursday morning it would cut off a key Obamacare subsidy that makes copayments and deductibles more affordable for low-income Americans. These subsidies were never appropriated in Obamacare and thus are being illegally distributed.

There is no question that this new policy is lose-lose-lose for key stakeholders with no upside:

  • It will raise Obamacare premiums by an estimated 20 percent in 2018, as health plans have to charge more to make up the lost funds. By 2020, premiums would increase 25 percent due to this change.
  • Pulling the plug actually increases the national deficit. As those insurance plans make double-digit rate increases, the government will have to spend billions more on the other subsidies that 10 million Americans receive to purchase that coverage.
  • The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this move will ultimately cost the government $194 billion over the next decade.
  • The number of uninsured Americans would rise by 1 million people in 2018, in the CBO’s estimate.
  • Insurance companies lose out, too, particularly those that assumed Trump would pay these subsidies and set their premiums accordingly. They now stand to face significant financial loses on the Obamacare marketplaces.

To recap: Trump is enacting a policy where the government spends billions more to insure fewer people.

The other Executive Order, according to the national Indivisible website, is:

…directed the Departments of Treasury, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Labor to implement new regulations that will expand the availability of association health plans (AHPs) and short-term insurance plans. While this won’t have an immediate effect because the departments still need to write the regulations and hold a rulemaking process, this will drastically reduce the number of Americans enrolled in plans that are covered by the Affordable Care Act’s consumer protections. If small businesses and others take full advantage of the new rules, they could offer their employees plans that don’t cover essential health benefits and have more leeway to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions.

The result will be:

…that more young, healthy consumers enroll in these skimpy plans, driving up the cost of more comprehensive ACA-compliant plans. This will result in ACA plans becoming more expensive, which will drive people with less serious health needs out of these plans, which will result in higher premiums—a cycle known as a “death spiral.” The end result will be two insurance markets: one for relatively healthy people that offers cheap but inadequate coverage, and one for sick people that offers prohibitively expensive coverage.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Again, according to Indivisible:

Democrats have been negotiating with Republicans on a bipartisan “stabilization bill” that would include a guarantee that CSR payments continue. But merely guaranteeing those payments is not enough. Ask your MoCs to ensure that the bipartisan bill continues protections for people enrolled in association health plans, that short-term plans stay truly short-term, and that CSR payments continue.

Senator Marco Rubio: DC Office Phone (202)224-3041. Email (and more office numbers) can be found on his website: Rubio’s Website

Senator Bill Nelson: DC Office Phone (202)224-5274. Email (and more office numbers) can be found on his website: Nelson’s Website

Congressman Ted Yoho: DC Office Phone (202)225-5744. Email (and more office numbers) can be found on his website: Yoho’s Website

 

YESTERDAY WE MOURNED, TODAY WE GET TO WORK TO END GUN VIOLENCE

IMMEDIATE CALL TO ACTION:

Please contact TED YOHO and demand that he vote AGAINST The SHARE Act (HR 3668) by calling his DC office at (202) 225-5744; his Gainesville office at (352) 505-0838; or emailing him through his website: https://yoho.house.gov/contact.

You can also join Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense’s efforts to defeat the SHARE act by texting SILENCER to 64433.

Indivisible Gainesville extends our deepest sympathies to the latest victims of the epidemic of gun violence in our country. This heinous act in Las Vegas, which took the lives of over 50 innocent Americans and left hundreds injured, is the 273rd mass shooting in the 275 days of this year.

We stand defiantly against those who wish to obstruct progress by saying that now is not the time to politicize the debate over gun control. There will never be a convenient time and the sooner we act, the more lives we can save. It is with this in mind that we ask you to join us in turning our grief into action and call your Congressional representatives. Tell them that we will no longer allow them to protect gun industry profits at the expense of American lives. We must come together as a nation to reject false narratives by the NRA and the politicians who serve them.

Here is one way we can start to resist the toxic gun culture that leads to violence every day in our country:

Congress is set to vote on H.R. 3668, the SHARE (Sportsmen Heritage and Recreational Enhancement) Act. The vote will likely be delayed because of the Las Vegas shooting. Ironically, it was delayed back in June due to the mass shooting at the Congressional softball practice. But it will be voted on at some point.

Contained within the SHARE Act is a provision called the Hearing Protection Act, which aims to overturn regulations that have been in place since 1934 requiring people who wish to purchase noise suppression devices (gun silencers) to undergo an application process that includes submission of fingerprints and a strict background check.

Removing these restrictions would make the devices easier to buy and make weapons quieter when being fired.  The loud report of a weapon being discharged is a public safety feature; it is possible that many more injuries and fatalities could have occurred had concert-goers in Las Vegas not heard the gunshots.

The Hearing Protection provision was at one time a standalone bill co-sponsored  by our very own Congressman Ted Yoho. Please contact him and demand that he vote AGAINST The SHARE Act (HR 3668) by calling his DC office at (202)225-5744; his Gainesville office at (352) 505-0838; or emailing him through his website. https://yoho.house.gov/contact  You can also join Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense’s efforts to defeat the SHARE act by texting SILENCER to 64433.

We ask that in the coming weeks and months you join us in dedicating our efforts to demand that our elected officials do their job. Protect us by passing common sense gun safety laws to help prevent horrific tragedies like Las Vegas, Pulse Nightclub, and Sandy Hook and save the over 10,000 American lives per year that are lost to gun violence. We must not be silent, we must not allow our outrage to fade. Together, we will demand change until they truly hear us.

Visit the national Indivisible Blog for more information about the SHARE Act: http://www.indivisible.org/resource/preventing-gun-violence-tell-members-congress-prayers-not-enough/

In Solidarity,
~The Indivisible Gainesville Team

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