IN THE LOOP
The news you need to know this week
Welcome to the latest edition of our update on the news you need to know and how it affects you and the communities we serve. Every couple of weeks we send out an e-mail featuring important updates, and you can sign up below! As always, thank you for your support of APLA Health, and please share this with others who may be interested.
THIS IS NOT A DRILL. Act Now to Save Healthcare.
Senate Republicans are getting closer to repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and ripping health insurance away from millions of Americans. We need you to pick up the phone NOW and call key Republican senators who could be the deciding votes. See below for their names and phone numbers.
On Tuesday, Senate Republicans narrowly voted to open debate on a plan to repeal the ACA. Fifty Republicans voted in favor of the debate, with only two (Sen. Murkowski of Alaska and Sen. Collins of Maine) voting against it. Vice President Pence provided the deciding vote. In a remarkable display of legislative malpractice, Republicans voted to open debate without any idea what the final bill would look like. The Senate will now vote on a plan to repeal the ACA after 20 hours of debate.
Although we don’t know exactly what will be in the final bill, we know that all of the Republican plans so far would have the same devastating effects: millions of people would lose coverage, billions of dollars would be cut from the Medicaid program, premiums and deductibles would go up, and the richest Americans would receive a huge tax cut. These changes would wreak havoc on people living with HIV, LGBT people, and other vulnerable communities across the country.
Five key Republican Senators have made promises to protect healthcare. We must urge them to keep their promises and vote NO. Please call them TODAY and every day until the final vote happens. Help make sure that they vote NO on ALL the bills being considered.
Shelley Moore Capito (WV)
Rob Portman (OH)
Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Dean Heller (NV)
Susan Collins (ME)
It’s National Housing Week of Action! Call Your Reps and Tell Them NO Cuts to Housing!
This week is National Housing Week of Action, and local housing advocates in 27 states and nearly 40 cities and towns are hosting rallies, letter-writing campaigns, teach-ins, and more to let Congress know that we need more, not less, investment in affordable homes. At a time when the housing crisis has reached historic heights, especially in Los Angeles, and when only one in four low income households—seniors, people with disabilities (including people living with HIV/AIDS), families with children—receives needed housing assistance, the president has proposed cruel spending cuts that would inflict devastating hardship on people throughout the country. This month, Congress is drafting and debating its own spending bills for fiscal year 2018, under tight spending caps put in place years ago. This is a critical moment for our advocacy. We must raise our voices to protect and expand access to decent, accessible, and affordable homes.
Through “Our Homes, Our Voices” events this week, urge Congress to reject proposed budget cuts to essential housing programs that support extremely low-income people and instead increase investments in proven solutions to end homelessness and housing poverty. These investments are critical for strengthening families, communities, our country’s economy and our future. Together we can defeat harmful cuts to critical affordable housing and community development programs and convince Congress to invest in solutions to end homelessness and housing poverty, once and for all. Visit ourhomes-ourvoices.org/resources for sample tweets, Facebook posts, talking points, and letters to your members of Congress.
Draft Dodger Trump Bans Transgender People From Serving in the Military
Donald Trump took to Twitter this week to reinstate an outdated ban on transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military. The ban was lifted in 2016 by the Obama Administration and was under a year-long review.
Trump’s tweets stigmatize all transgender and gender non-conforming individuals and tell the estimated 15,000 transgender soldiers currently on active duty that their honorable service to our country is not welcomed. All this from a guy who dodged the Vietnam draft because of a bone spur on his heel.
Trump said transgender soldiers would impose “tremendous medical costs and disruption” on the military. But a 2016 RAND Institute research study reached the opposite conclusion. The study found that allowing transgender people to serve openly in the military would have “little or no impact on unit cohesion” and “minimal impact on readiness and healthcare costs.”
Trump’s language echoes the rationale that was long used to ban gays and lesbians from serving in the military, as well as to hold off racial integration in the Armed Forces. Trump’s tweets came on the anniversary of the day President Truman finally desegregated the military in 1948.
Tell Trump to honor the service of all Americans, including transgender people on active duty. Text “Our Troops” to 30644 and the Human Rights Campaign will connect you directly to the White House.
Stay in the loop!
We will send you regular updates on issues and policies affecting the LGBT and/or HIV communities and urge you to call or e-mail your representatives about key political activity at the local, state, and federal levels.