Assault Continues on Affordable Care Act

By Beverly George, ACE Leader


In late September, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) survived yet another repeal attempt by the U.S. Senate. However, every time this happens, there is a tendency for supporters of the ACA to take a deep breath, celebrate the moment of victory, and then place that win on the back burner of our collective memory and attention. We do this primarily because there is a continuing assault of Category 5 storms to weaken or destroy federal agencies, the social order, the world order, and the democratic system of government that we have come to know and cherish over the past 240 years.

So let me be crystal clear—the assault on the ACA continues daily in D.C., and each health care battle is only a handful of confetti in the ticker tape parade that Trump imagines in his reality TV show, “The President.”

Here are the most recent items, as reported in the Washington Post .

  1. Conservative Iowa sought permission from Health and Human Services (HHS) to revitalize their health insurance market. Insiders reported that Trump instructed the director of HHS to tell Iowa No in an effort to undermine the ACA, even if it means hampering state efforts to keep premiums low.
  2. HHS is trying hard to suppress the number to enroll in the upcoming open enrollment period, November 1–December 15, 2017. It has cut the enrollment time in half and reduced the advertising budget from $100M spent last year to $10M. Scratching my head as I type, I can say I have seen absolutely no TV ads on the open enrollment this year. HHS also has told regional administrators not to even meet with on-the-ground, grassroots organizations about enrollment.
  3. On October 6, Trump directed a long-awaited revision to the ACA requirement that most employers cover birth control as preventive care for women. Under Obama, this applied to all FDA-approved methods, and most women no longer had to pay for contraception. However, Trump repealed this requirement, effective immediately, to allow employers to opt out of the mandate to their health plans, by claiming “religious or moral objections.”
  4. On October 12, the Trump administration announced it will end subsidies to health insurance companies designed to help low-income people with premium costs and out-of-pocket medical costs.
  5. Also on October 12, HHS approved sales of cheaper plans that provide fewer benefits and weaker protections, aimed at younger, healthier consumers. This will explode the cost of stronger plans necessary for those who need better, ongoing coverage.

Trump, Pence, and administration officials continue to beat their drum loudly that the ACA is failing, while not even sub rosa, they continue to do an “Et tu, Brute?” attack on it. In addition, the proposed tax plan/tax cuts to the wealthy will precipitate further cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and even Social Security with the argument that they need to “cut these expenses” in the federal budget. Eventually more than the ACA will be shredded.

Americans’ health care and their health will disintegrate from these tactics, and the members of Congress who stand silent are complicit in the fallout from the actions of Trump & Co.

At the same time, the voices for single payer, Medicare-for-all grow stronger, louder.

It seems the chasm between the Right and Left of our country continues to widen.

Stay tuned.


“An ACA enrollment nears, administration keeps cutting federal support of the law.”

“AP Fact Check: Trump’s empty boasts on legislation, economy.”

“Birth control: Trump expands opt-out for workplace insurance.” 

“Trump to Scrap Critical Health Care Subsidies, Hitting Obamacare Again.” 

ACE Leader Beverly George also is a member of Indivisible, the Naperville League of Women Voters, and the Citizens Climate Lobby. She also volunteers with her parish PADS group. A former chemist, George worked in clinical chemistry and hematology research at the Centers for Disease Control for six years and taught chemistry and freshman science at Naperville North High School for 20 years.



Trump Shows His True Colors and It Isn’t Pretty


By Karen Berner, ACE Communications Team Leader

The horrible events in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday have ripped open the scab that once rested atop the wound of racism in our country. And who poured rubbing alcohol into that wound to make it sting even more?

The president, the very person who is supposed to bring our nation together to heal.

A leader does not come out for a contentious press conference and put more blame on human rights protesters than on white supremacists and neo-Nazis, one of whom plowed into a crowd of people with his car, killing one and injuring dozens.

A leader does not equate Robert E. Lee with George Washington. One is the father of our country. The other? The military leader of the Confederacy who sought to destroy the Union that Washington, Jefferson, and the other founders created. Some parts of history should be left in books and museums where future generations can study them so they’re not repeated, not on pedestals to be venerated.

A leader does not yell, “Fake news,” to shout down members of the press who are competently doing their jobs, jobs that are protected by the Constitution. Journalists work hard to maintain a high position of responsibility in our democracy, namely to illuminate those in power to keep our government transparent and honest.


‘We must keep resisting, my friends. Trump’s America is not our America.’


We must keep resisting, my friends. Trump’s America is not our America. Our country and its allies already defeated Nazism in World War II. Slavery and the Jim Crow system of civil laws have been abolished. The job of a president is to take the country forward, not backward.

There are only two sides to this — either you believe everyone deserves to be treated equally or you don’t.

It’s that simple.

Those who don’t believe everyone deserves basic human rights should be called what they are — racist bigots.

And that includes the president.



ACE Communications Team Leader Karen Berner has been a professional writer/editor for more than 30 years. An award-winning journalist, her work has appeared in several magazines, newspapers, and blogs, including the Chicago Tribune, Writer Unboxed, Women’s Fiction Writers, Naperville Magazine, and Fresh Fiction. She also is the author of three contemporary women’s fiction novels and is a member of the Chicago Writers’ Association.