The latest Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act would inflict "real human suffering" on millions of Americans, former President Barack Obama said Wednesday, speaking out in public defense of his signature healthcare reform effort.
The law has led to major increases in the number of Americans with healthcare coverage, Obama said, speaking in New York at an event on global development sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
"When I see people trying to undo that hard-won progress for the 50th or 60th time," he said, "it is aggravating."
Late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel skewered the new Republican healthcare plan, a potentially devastating development as Senate GOP leaders struggle for support ahead of a possible vote next week.
Kimmel waded into the healthcare debate earlier this year when he choked up on TV recounting his newborn son's heart condition — and the high costs of healthcare that he can pay, but he knows other Americans cannot.
The "Jimmy Kimmel Live" host has become one of the most prominent celebrities to publicly advocate preserving Obamacare's insurance protections — so much so that Republicans themselves have aspired to meet "the Jimmy Kimmel test."
Sitting in the middle of Fifth Avenue got three congressmen hauled away by New York City police on Tuesday afternoon during a demonstration in front of Trump Tower to protest the president’s immigration policy.
Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), along with New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, were among a group of about 10 protesters taken into custody, according to postings on social media.
“We’re making it clear to Trump, GOP & Dems: we will continue peaceful fight for #Dreamers & immigrants as long as it takes,’’ Guiterrez posted on Twitter in explanation of the protests.
Amid criticism that it hasn’t lived up to its commitment to historically black colleges, the Trump administration has named Johnathan M. Holifield, a former NFL player, author and entrepreneur, to lead a White House initiative on the issue.
Advocates applauded the appointment and said they look forward to working with Holifield, who played for one season with the Cincinnati Bengals, in 1989. But some are still skeptical and called for more substantive changes, particularly a reversal of proposed budget cuts and a greater commitment to Title III of the Higher Education Act, which helps institutions of higher education support low-income students.
Holifield’s appointment was announced Monday at the annual White House conference for presidents and stakeholders at historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs. Some attendees said they hoped the event would be a first step to more cooperation with the administration.
President Trump is making a big push to revive the Republican healthcare overhaul days before a Senate deadline, dispatching Vice President Mike Pence from New York back to Washington on Tuesday to tell GOP senators: "This is the moment."
Senate Republicans have until Sept. 30 to pass their latest legislation, from Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, with 50 votes plus Pence as the tie-breaker. On Oct. 1, the start of a new fiscal year, the threshold reverts to 60 votes — an impossible hurdle since there are 52 Republicans and the Democratic caucus is solidly opposed.
They face building pressure from angry conservative activists pushing Republicans to keep their promise to "repeal and replace Obamacare." But opponents of the bill, including major medical and patient associations, have mobilized against it.
The latest Republican-led effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act has some resistance outside Washington: a bipartisan group of governors.
On Tuesday, nearly a dozen governors, including Bill Walker of Alaska, signed a letter opposing the new repeal legislation sponsored by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) that in recent days has gained momentum in Congress.
The move by Walker could influence his state's senior senator, Lisa Murkowski, a key vote who has been silent on whether she supports the new legislation. In July, Murkowski, a Republican, voted with Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), in opposition to the last Obamacare repeal effort.
Two senior Navy officers were fired Monday due to a “loss of confidence in their ability to command” after two collisions with civilian ships in the western Pacific killed 17 sailors at sea, the Pentagon said.
Rear Adm. Charles Williams, commander of the warships on patrol in the Asia-Pacific region, and Capt. Jeffrey Bennett, commander of guided missile destroyers in the region, were the latest leaders removed since the Navy launched an investigation last month into the deadly accidents.
Defense Secretary James N. Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon he was confident in how the Navy was examining the mistakes that have shaken the military and political leadership. In all, four U.S. warships had collisions or ran aground in the Pacific this year.
Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said Monday that the U.S. military has not attempted to shoot down ballistic missiles test-launched by North Korea because they have not been on a trajectory to hit U.S. or allies’ territory.
The comments come after the underground test of a nuclear bomb earlier this month and days after North Korea launched its second missile in less than a month that flew over northern Japan.
The intermediate-range missile was launched Friday near the isolated nation’s capital, Pyongyang, soaring for about 2,300 miles before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. The test demonstrated that the U.S. territory of Guam is now in attack range.
A motorcade arrives at Trump Tower in New York ahead of the United Nations General Assembly. (Barbara Demick / Los Angeles Times)
New Yorkers generally hate the week of the U.N. General Assembly, when heads of state from around the world gather in the city, snarling traffic and inconveniencing those who actually live here.
This year it means the return of New York's not-so-favorite local son, President Trump, who received just 18% of the vote in his hometown. Police have started barricading a vast swath of Midtown, stretching from the United Nations headquarters to Trump Tower, which is about 15 blocks away on Fifth Avenue.
The building, where Trump maintains a triplex penthouse, was surrounded Sunday by police cars -- and strangely, an effective if low-tech barricade of New York City garbage trucks. Helicopters whirred overhead as a motorcade arrived.