The Morning Roundup: Obamacare on the Ropes, But Not Dead Yet | News
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Friday, May 5, 2017

The Morning Roundup: Obamacare on the Ropes, But Not Dead Yet

Posted by on Fri, May 5, 2017 at 9:53 AM

There's no sugarcoating what happened Thursday, but at least the weekend is upon us.

1) House narrowly passes American Health Care Act.

So, should this thing pass the Senate, here's what you need to know. But, as The New York Times notes, a whole lot of people hope it doesn't:
It is a rare unifying moment. Hospitals, doctors, health insurers and some consumer groups, with few exceptions, are speaking with one voice and urging significant changes to the Republican health care legislation that passed the House on Thursday.

The bill’s impact is wide-ranging, potentially affecting not only the millions who could lose coverage through deep cuts in Medicaid or no longer be able to afford to buy coverage in the state marketplaces. With states allowed to seek waivers from providing certain benefits, employers big and small could scale back what they pay for each year or reimpose lifetime limits on coverage. In particular, small businesses, some of which were strongly opposed to the Affordable Care Act, could be free to drop coverage with no penalty.

The prospect of millions of people unable to afford coverage led to an outcry from the health care industry as well as consumer groups. They found an uncommon ally in some insurers, who rely heavily on Medicaid and Medicare as mainstays of their business and hope the Senate will be more receptive to their concerns.
Beyond those critics, others weighed in on social media. From Joe "BFD" Biden:
And HRC:
2) A Durham woman faces deportation today.

From the INDY's Sarah Willets:
Since getting engaged a year ago, Wendy Miranda-Fernandez, twenty-three, had been planning a wedding with her boyfriend of more than four years. But instead of getting married, she is in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and could be deported tomorrow.

Miranda-Fernandez came to the United States from Barrio el Calvario, El Salvador, in 2008 when she was fourteen years old. She was fleeing gang violence when she was stopped at the border by immigration officials.

Guirguis Law and immigrant advocacy group Alerta Migratoria NC are hoping that drawing attention to the case will halt her deportation.

"Wendy Miranda ... came to the United States after she witnessed a murder right outside her home in El Salvador due to her brother’s refusal to join the Mara Salvatrucha," Alerta Migratoria wrote in a press release today. "Her brother and entire family fear the bloodiest of retributions resulting from his insubordination and unwillingness to take arms with the Mara Salvatrucha. The United Nation’s Homicide Reports show El Salvador has become the world’s most violent country outside a war zone. Under these circumstances, Wendy faces certain death if deported tomorrow."
Congressman G.K. Butterfield is now involved.
Butterfield wrote to the field director of ICE's Atlanta office asking that an emergency stay be considered.

"I believe her removal prior to the considered of these filings would constitute a great injustice and urge you to allow her to exhaust all legal options," he wrote.
3) Bike+Walk Plan unveiled in Durham.

Also from Willets:
The Durham Bike+Walk Implementation Plan, presented Thursday to the city council, calls for eight bicycle corridor projects, seventeen pedestrian-focused projects, twenty-five sidewalk gap projects, and twenty-two intersection improvements.

The city has been working for a year to update its old pedestrian and bicycle plans, crafted in 2006. That process has identified 420 miles of sidewalk needs, 453 miles of bicycle infrastructure needs, and 480 intersections needing improvement. The seventy-five projects outlined in the Bike+Walk Implementation Plan were selected based on feasibility, need, and equity.
4) The U.S. economy posts a strong April jobs report.

Big numbers: 211,000 jobs, 4.4 percent unemployment.
Hiring in the United States rebounded in April as employers added a brisk 211,000 jobs, a reassuring sign that the economy's slump in the first three months of the year will likely prove temporary.

The unemployment rate dipped to 4.4 percent — its lowest point in a decade — from 4.5 percent in March, the Labor Department said Friday .

The figures suggest that businesses expect consumer demand to rebound after a lackluster first quarter, when Americans increased spending at the slowest pace in seven years, and will need more employees.
5) The N.C. Pork Council formally backs re-establishing a voluntary conservation program to protect rivers.

From The News & Observer:
Keeping pollution out of North Carolina’s rivers by paying farmers to shut down their hog farms in flood plains is something the pork industry has said it would support.

On Thursday, the N.C. Pork Council announced its board of directors has voted unanimously to support re-establishing a voluntary easement conservation program run by the state.

North Carolina has purchased easements for 42 hog farms and closed 103 lagoons since 2000, according to the council. Those easements cannot be used as feed lots, for animal waste-management systems or to spray liquid fertilizer. Some agricultural uses, such as growing row crops or planting trees, can be used in the easements.

The council says it has been in discussions since last fall with state agriculture officials about ways to pay for the program. Between 15 and 20 hog farms have been identified for potential easements.
That’s it for now. Have a great weekend.

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