June 27, 2017 Meeting Recap

Executive VP Phillips chaired the meeting in President Chau’s absence.

Resolution to Restore Trust in Democracy

The Resolution to Restore Trust in Democracy Within the CDP by Validating Votes for State Party Officers and Regional Directors was submitted by Immediate Past President Crosby. Since the resolution did not meet the 10-day consideration requirement, it was moved and seconded that the 10-day notice requirement be suspended in this instance. The membership, after discussion, adopted the resolution unanimously with no abstentions. It was directed that the resolution be sent to CDP officers, Executive Board members, and the Party Compliance Review Committee. Full text of the resolution is here.

Young Dems Panel Discussion

Participants in our discussion were Devin Murphy (Chair, Young Dems Black Caucus), Becca Barrett (VP, Contra Costa Young Dems), Jonathan Bash (President, Contra Costa Young Dems), Dyana Delfin-Polk (Latino Young Dems) and Igor Tregub (National Committeeman, CA Young Dems) appeared as members of a panel. Each described how they became involved in Democratic party work, emphasized the importance of mentors, and suggested strategies for creating durable partnerships with Democratic clubs.

Devin grew up in San Francisco, attended UCLA, and lives in Pinole. He cautioned that Young Dems should not be called kids since we are all doing the work, fighting together; older Dems help Young Dems to be at the political table, spreading the Young Dem message to others, building the bench; and giving at Young Dem fund-raising events, which supports paying for Young Dem services.

Becca got involved as a high school junior in Contra Costa Dem politics as a volunteer and intern, and benefited from mentoring. She made the point that a “Young” Democrat may not be new to politics and that some clubs, recognizing this, appoint a Youth Outreach Coordinator who will assist with communications strategies to reach those under age 36. Young people are increasingly not joining traditional civic and political groups and often do not have time to attend meetings after work. Thus, communication that depends on physical gathering is being replaced by online congregation such as Facebook, Twitter, online fund raising. Becca added that she got a $500 scholarship grant from the Lamorinda Dem club that helped her with college expenses.

Jonathan noted that there are about 100,000 young people in Contra Costa County between age 18-35 without a sense of community. Many commute more than an hour to school or work , so Young Dems try to supply that community. If your club knows a young person who doesn’t know how to get involved, refer them to the Young Dems. Each of us has worked for an elected official as staff or consultants and we have experience in campaigning and press releases that we can share. During the 2016 election campaign, we used a NextGen grant to reach out to the 100,000 young people in the county and helped get 6,000 registered to vote!

Dyana described being mentored by her grandmother (who was the first Hispanic woman to serve on a school board in California). She pointed out that Latino millennials are the fastest growing population–and Dyana is actively working with that community in Alameda County, but hopes to expand to Contra Costa. She urged club members to help pay for Young Dems to go to CA Dem Party conventions as an important learning experience. She added that Young Dems could help any club develop strategies for working with high schools to establish Dem clubs (only 10 student members are needed to start a high school club).

Igor said that Young Dems are the political present, being affected by Trump policies daily. He indicated that plenty of Young Dems are good at policy writing (eg. letters, bills, help with ordinances) and asked older Dems to bring Young Dems along by seeing them as partners and mentees. This, he felt, would fulfill the ECDC legacy of activism by carrying it to the next generations. He urged clubs to invite Young Dems to any caucuses that involve presentations (eg. environmental).

Contact the Contra Costa Young Dems through http://www.cocoyoungdems.org/, https://www.facebook.com/ContraCostaYoungDems , or #CoCoYD.

TRUMPCARE: A CONGRESSMAN SPEAKS OUT

Rep. Justin Amash is a Republican congressman from Michigan and a self-described libertarian. I clipboarded this straight from his Facebook page, so these words are either his or his minion’s:

The bill does not change the ACA’s federal requirements on guaranteed issue (prohibition on policy denial), essential health benefits (minimum coverage), or community rating (prohibition on pricing based on health status). In short, Obamacare’s pre-existing conditions provisions are retained.

The latest version of the AHCA does allow any state to seek a waiver from certain insurance mandates, but such waivers are limited in scope. Guaranteed issue cannot be waived. Nobody can be treated differently based on gender. And any person who has continuous coverage—no lapse for more than 62 days—cannot be charged more regardless of health status.

Consider what this means: Even in a state that waives as much as possible, a person with a pre-existing condition cannot be prevented from purchasing insurance at the same rate as a healthy person.

Bear in mind two things, please. First, these are aspects of Trumpcare that the Congressman doesn’t like. Second, he’s confused; one look at the Trumpcare website will prove that Obamacare’s pre-existing conditions provisions are not retained.

REPUBLICAN MISDIRECTION ON TRUMPCARE

The Right is engaging in fascinating and skilled misdirection to imply that, look, under Trumpcare the coverage for pre-existing conditions won’t be that different from what it already is [under Obamacare] or was under private insurers. This is Avik Roy in Forbes, via Redstate:

[P]rior to Obamacare, the vast majority of Americans with health insurance were already in plans that were required to offer them coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions. Employer-based plans were required to offer coverage to everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions. So were Medicare, Medicaid, and other government programs like the VA. Employer- and government-based plans, prior to Obamacare, represented 90 percent of Americans with health insurance.

Amazingly, that’s an entire paragraph without (so far as I can tell) a single lie in it. But would you like to drive through the hole it nonetheless contains? The pre-existing condition coverage provided by the VA is probably safe, because of the stink that would follow any attempt to delete it. I’ve got my fingers crossed that the same is true for Medicare. But if Trumpcare says that employer-based plans are no longer obligated to cover pre-existing conditions, a lot of them no longer will. And as for Medicaid… Any number of Republicans have been looking for an excuse to get rid of Medicaid for decades. The facts are cut in stone: a majority of poor people do not vote Republican, and Republican legislators do not want to provide medical care to those people. Roy’s implication is that, when Obamacare is replaced by the AHCA, the insurance environment will go back to what it was before Obamacare. Other statements by Republican legislators make it clear that that is ridiculous.

I still can’t find a verified deniable conditions list. Stay tuned.