1/ House Republicans unveiled their plan to replace Obamacare. The plan scraps the mandate for most Americans to have health insurance in favor of a new system of tax credits to induce people to buy insurance on the open market. The bill would roll back the expansion of Medicaid that has provided coverage to more than 10 million people in 31 states, reducing federal payments for many new beneficiaries. The requirement for larger employers to offer coverage to their full-time employees would also be eliminated. (New York Times)
- The American Health Care Act: the Republicans’ bill to replace Obamacare, explained. Two big questions — how many people it will cover and how much it will cost — are still unresolved: It will likely cover fewer people than the Affordable Care Act currently does. And the Congressional Budget Office has not yet scored the legislation, so its price tag is unknown. (Vox)
2/ Chaffetz: Low-income Americans will have to choose health care over iPhones. “Americans have choices, and they’ve got to make a choice. So rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care. They’ve got to make those decisions themselves,” Chaffetz said. (CNN)
3/ With income-based tax credits, the GOP is considering an approach to health care it has long been against. The GOP had intended to veer away from the ACA subsidies that help poor and middle-class people obtain insurance, insisting that the size of the tax credits should be based entirely on people’s ages and not their incomes. The latest draft proposed refundable tax credits that would hinge on earnings as well as age — providing bigger credits for older and poorer Americans. (Washington Post)
4/ The GOP Obamacare replacement will defund Planned Parenthood and restrict abortion coverage. The plan would keep poor women on Medicaid from getting health care at Planned Parenthood, and cut off affordable abortion coverage for many privately insured women. (Vox)
5/ WikiLeaks released the “entire hacking capacity of the CIA.” The documents describe the agency’s tools used to hack into smartphones and TVs, as well as to bypass encryption on programs like Signal and WhatsApp. The initial release, which WikiLeaks said was only the first part of the document collection, included 7,818 web pages with 943 attachments. (New York Times)
- Vault 7: CIA Hacking Tools Revealed. (WikiLeaks)
- WikiLeaks says it has obtained trove of CIA hacking tools. WikiLeaks indicated that it planned to post nearly 9,000 files describing code developed in secret by the CIA to steal data from targets overseas and turn ordinary devices including cellphones, computers and even television sets into surveillance tools. (Washington Post)
6/ The UN says Trump’s revised travel ban will worsen plight of refugees. Some of the Muslim-majority countries affected by the ban expressed their disappointment, insisting they had fully cooperated with US anti-terrorist efforts, saying refugees are not criminals. (The Guardian)
7/ China warns of an arms race after the U.S. deployed a missile defense system in South Korea. Beijing denounced the United States’ decision to use the THAAD technology and vowed to “take the necessary steps to safeguard our own security interests.” The U.S. deployed the defense system after North Korea launched four simultaneous missiles into the waters off the Japanese coast, which Pyongyang said was a drill for striking American bases in Japan. (New York Times)
8/ Carson: “There were other immigrants who came in the bottom of slave ships, who worked even longer, even harder, for less.” Ben Carson appeared to liken slaves to immigrants who choose to come to the United States while addressing employees at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. (CNN)
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