Medicare for All might raise taxes but still save individuals money

(CNN)The cost of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” national health insurance plan prompted a heated argument between the senator and former Vice President Joe Biden, who supports building on the Affordable Care Act, at Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate. Currently, health insurance isn’t cheap. The average family spent about $4,700 on premiums and $3,000 on cost-sharing in 2018, according to the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker. This is 18% more than five years earlier. Sanders has acknowledged that the middle class would see their taxes go up to help pay for the plan — one of his options for financing it would levy a 4% tax on employees, exempting the first $29,000 in income for a family of four — but …

Bernie Sanders’ new climate plan asks Democrats: Do you want a revolution or not?

(CNN)The massive scope and cost of Bernie Sanders’ new “Green New Deal” plan to confront climate change encapsulates both the potential appeal and limits of the Vermont senator’s uncompromising presidential campaign. But even some who agree with Sanders’ goals believe that many will find the notion of such seismic change intimidating and unrealistic. Rather than catalyzing Americans to action, these critics worry that proposals like Sanders’ will paralyze them by making the climate challenge look too big to confront without unacceptable disruption to daily life. Paul Starr, a Princeton University sociologist and co-founder of The American Prospect, a leading liberal magazine, is one of those who think Sanders’ proposal may set back the cause of climate action. “This is not …

Biden vs. Warren — two candidates who could define the race to meet in next debate

(CNN)Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren have been circling for months — like battleships just out of range. In the previous two rounds of double-header debates on consecutive nights, Biden and Warren were drawn apart, leaving the most intriguing emerging dynamic in the race unaddressed. Former Vice President Biden, 76, is the epitome of the Democratic establishment, a moderate, portraying his pragmatism and appeals to America’s “better angels” as the key to wooing President Donald Trump’s voters and beating a vulnerable incumbent in 2020. Warren, 70, a crusading reformer of the financial system, is in the same generation as Biden, who first ran for president in the 1980s, but campaigns with the relentless energy of a fresher figure on the national …

The robots are coming for your job, too

(CNN)The robots. They’re coming for your jobs. All of you. After 52 years, Lordstown must face life after GM More robots means more inequality Almost everyone who has thought seriously about this has said that more automation is likely to lead to more inequality. It is indisputable that businesses have gotten more and more productive but workers’ wages have not kept pace. “Our analysis shows that most job growth in the United States and other advanced economies will be in occupations currently at the high end of the wage distribution,” according to McKinsey. “Some occupations that are currently low wage, such as nursing assistants and teaching assistants, will also increase, while a wide range of middle-income occupations will have the …

Democratic candidates unite in rage at Trump following latest mass shootings

(CNN)The mass shootings in Texas and Ohio have turned the 2020 presidential campaign into an increasingly visceral referendum on the nature of Donald Trump’s presidency and the message that delivered him to the White House. Former Vice President Joe Biden and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker laced their calls for unity on Wednesday with lacerating attacks on Trump in specially scheduled speeches, Biden’s in Iowa and Booker from the Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, where nine black parishioners were killed by a white supremacist gunman in 2015. From the beginning of his campaign, Biden has cast the 2020 election as a “battle for the soul of this nation.” But in the video announcing his candidacy, and in …

Democrats toughen stance ahead of gun talks, but could cut deals down the road

(CNN)Senate Democrats are hardening their position over new gun legislation, dismissing attempts to pass narrower measures until Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell schedules a vote on a sweeping background checks bill already approved by the House. Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, has been dispatched to determine which programs could be strengthened to help treat those who have mental health problems, according to multiple sources. That could include identifying areas where more funding is needed, such as for community health centers and school counselors. Asked about her preference, aides to Sen. Patty Murray, the top Democrat on the committee, signaled that her interest instead is on keeping the focus on the House-passed background …

Mass shootings test Mitch McConnell’s iron grip

(CNN)President Donald Trump didn’t cite new gun legislation in his public remarks Monday, following the pair of deadly mass shootings over the weekend, and he won’t have to worry about any such bills so long as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the proud obstructionist of Capitol Hill, keeps them off the Senate floor. “That’s why I call myself the Grim Reaper,” he said of Democrats during an appearance at a Kentucky political event over the weekend. “I’m killing their socialist agenda.” His campaign tweeted a photo of homemade yard sign headstones, a questionable move coming hours after the shootings in Texas unfolded. The problem with McConnell’s boast of protecting the country from socialist takeover is that the bipartisan bills passed through …

Equinox owner’s plans to host Trump fundraiser bring outrage and calls for boycott

(CNN)The billionaire owner of Equinox is planning a high-dollar Hamptons fundraiser for President Donald Trump, leading to calls for a boycott of the luxury gym and its associated businesses SoulCycle and Blink Fitness. “Sorry @soulcycle … you can’t peddle ‘inspiration’ in your classes and have an owner funding hate and racism in the back room,” actor Conrad Ricamora wrote. “Byyyeeeeeeeeeee.” The Trump campaign and Related have not responded to CNN’s request for comment or further details. Samantha Bonizzi, a spokesperson for Equinox and SoulCycle, told CNN, “Neither Equinox nor SoulCycle have anything to do with the event later this week and do not support it. As is consistent with our policies, no company profits are used to fund politicians.” She …

These 4 questions may determine how Democrats go from 2 dozen candidates to 1

(CNN)This week’s Democratic presidential debates on CNN are likely to mark the next milestone in the winnowing process already shrinking the historically large field of candidates. Question 1: Can anyone else crack the top tier? To a striking extent in a field this large, Democratic voters have established a clear top tier in the race. The same candidates hold the top four positions in virtually all recent state and national polls: former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California and Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Though South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has shown immense fundraising capacity, he has fallen well behind the other four in every recent survey. No one else in the …

DNC chairman not worried about ‘bold’ ideas from progressives amid concerns party is moving too far leftward in 2020 debates

Washington (CNN)Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez on Tuesday brushed off concerns that the party is veering too far leftward during the 2020 presidential debates, saying he wasn’t worried about “bold” ideas from the candidates that may turn off voters. “And that’s what we’re about. Is making sure — I want to be a part of the accomplishments wing of the Democratic Party. I want to move the ball forward with the American people,” he added. Perez noted that there are “differences of opinions” within the field of candidates, saying that a discussion about the candidates’ various approaches to health care policy will be a necessary part of the debates. “Sen. Sanders, Sen. Warren, you know, they have one approach …

A prime minister in campaigning mode: hi-vis Johnson heads north

Plans for an early vote are strongly denied but yesterdays visit to Manchester was eerily reminiscent of Mays 2017 election launch There was a sense of deja vu in Manchesters Science and Industry Museum on Saturday. At a podium stood Boris Johnson, a campaigning Conservative prime minister, promising to deliver Brexit, support Britains towns, provide better housing and improve local schools. It was a little over two years ago that Theresa May, his ousted predecessor, included almost identical commitments as she deny there is any plan to call an election before Brexit has been delivered, with aides told during a meeting with strategy chief Dominic Cummings last week that all efforts were strictly focused on leaving the EU by the …

14 Iranian American families separated by the travel ban are suing the Trump administration

(CNN)Fourteen families are suing the Trump administration for the hardships and “unbearable burdens” they’ve experienced stemming from the US travel ban. According to the proclamation signed by President Donald Trump, waivers are intended for those who can demonstrate that their entry would not pose a threat to national security and would be in the national interest and for whom denial of entry would cause “undue hardship.” But the group suing — all of whom are US citizens or permanent residents and their Iranian relatives who are visa applicants — have waited “unreasonable amounts of time” — an average of 447 days at the time the lawsuit was filed — for travel ban waivers, the complaint says. “Those days have been …

House of Representatives orders Pentagon to investigate whether ticks were once used as biological weapons

(CNN)The US House of Representatives has ordered an investigation into whether the Department of Defense experimented with ticks and other insects as biological weapons. The most common disease spread by ticks is Lyme disease, which can cause multiple symptoms including fever, muscle aches, joint pain, rash and facial paralysis. If left untreated, it could lead to arthritis, nervous system problems and heart problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each year, nearly 30,000 cases of Lyme Disease are reported to the CDC, which also says that more than 300,000 people are diagnosed with the disease each year. In 2017, a total of 42,743 confirmed and probablecases of Lyme Disease were reported to the CDC, 17% more than …

Trump drops another drug pricing proposal after court blocks TV ad plan

(CNN)The Trump administration is backing down from a controversial effort to lower drug prices, only days after its first major industry reform was overturned by a federal judge. The increase in premiums is what ultimately doomed the proposal, according to a person familiar with the matter. “Based on careful analysis and thorough consideration, the President has decided to withdraw the rebate rule,” said Judd Deere, a White House spokesman. “The Trump administration is encouraged by continuing bipartisan conversations about legislation to reduce outrageous drug costs imposed on the American people.” Axios first reported on the pulling of the rule. Trump made controlling health care costs a centerpiece of his 2016 campaign, but has yet to succeed in reshaping the American …

House expected to vote Friday to extend 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund

Washington (CNN)House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced Tuesday that the House will vote Friday on legislation to extend the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. 9/11 first responder John Feal told reporters at the end of last month that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell committed to holding a vote to extend the fund, after sitting down with Feal and other 9/11 first responders on Capitol Hill. “Mitch McConnell made a commitment to the 9/11 community and my team leaders that he is going to help us get a piece of legislation that is going to be passed in the House in July, for an August vote in the Senate,” Feal said at the time. The Kentucky Republican has also publicly vowed …

9th Circuit rules in DOJ’s favor in sanctuary cities case

(CNN)The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ruled in favor of the Trump administration, saying the Department of Justice could give preference in awarding grants to cities that would use the money to focus on illegal immigration, as the federal government prepares to seek out undocumented immigrants in raids this weekend. The court’s decision comes ahead of Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids scheduled for Sunday in nine major cities, including Los Angeles. City officials have come out against the impending raids — the Los Angeles Police Department said Thursday that it “does not and will not participate in the enforcement of civil administrative law,” and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted suggestions Friday for how to deal with …