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As Congress and presidential candidates trade accusations over immigration reform, advocates and experts urge caution in spreading misinformation; Alabama takes new action IVF policy following controversial court decision; and central states urge caution with wildfires brewing.

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Congress reaches a deal to avoid a partial government shutdown again. Arizona Republicans want to ensure Trump remains on their state ballot and Senate Democrats reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Health care advocates push back on Trump’s threats against ACA

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Wednesday, November 29, 2023   

Advocates for affordable health care are speaking out to remind people what is at stake if the Affordable Care Act is repealed in the wake of recent statements by former President Donald Trump.

Mr. Trump, who leads the polls for the 2024 Republican nomination, has recently said he is looking at alternatives to the Affordable Care Act, and criticized the GOP lawmakers who voted against his attempts to end the program in 2017.

Laura Packard, a Stage 4 cancer survivor, noted before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies were allowed to deny coverage to people like her with pre-existing conditions.

"While I was on the couch, trying to survive, that's when Republicans in the U.S. House voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act that was keeping me alive," Packard recounted. "Then, they held a party to celebrate. We can't go back to that."

The Affordable Care Act created health exchanges -- like Covered California -- offering subsidized health insurance to millions of people. And it funded an expansion of MediCal, benefiting 5 million low-income Californians in the first six years after the law's passage.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who helped write the health care law, said the Affordable Care Act forces health insurance companies to cover basic services like maternity care, mental health services, cancer screenings and contraception. The idea of getting rid of the law has been largely unpopular, and Wyden knows why.

"It would mean higher premiums for families and health insurance," Wyden pointed out. "And it would also threaten Medicaid nursing home benefits, because Medicaid is paying much of the nursing home bill for this country."

The law also allows adult children to stay on their parents' health plans until age 26 and bans lifetime caps on coverage.


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House Bill passed with an overwhelming vote of 94-6, with three abstentions. Its companion, Senate Bill 159, passed unanimously with a vote of 34-0. (Chad Robertson/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

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Environment

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A new report finds some Missouri laws and prospective laws are perceived as discriminatory regardless of their actual intent - and it outlines some bi…


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Environment

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As members of Congress and presidential candidates battle it out over immigration, a group of Nevada leaders and experts dedicated to advancing …

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