The GOP Agenda: More Expensive Health Care, Higher Taxes & Layoffs

The State of the Union? Americans are facing more expensive health care costs, layoffs and higher taxes — while the ultra-wealthy “reward” Republicans for pushing their interests at the expense of hardworking Americans.

A slew of new stories highlight the agenda Republican Senate candidates will need to defend this year:

Axios: Seniors’ out-of-pocket medical costs are rising. “Health care is eating up more and more of everyone’s income — but that’s an especially difficult burden for seniors, who often live on fixed incomes.”

See also: New York Times: Individual Mandate Now Gone, G.O.P. Targets the One for Employers; Axios: Stat du jour: Uninsured rose in 2017; Associated Press: Study says Trump moves trigger health premium jumps for 2018; Kaiser Family Foundation: Cassidy-Graham-Heller Would Allow Insurers To Charge Older Americans Up To 5 Times More; The Nevada Independent: Cassidy-Graham-Heller Would “Increase Out Of Pocket Costs…Weaken Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions.;” Kaiser Family Foundation: ACA Silver Plan Premium Increases from 7% to 38% Attributed to End of Cost-Sharing Payments.

Market Watch: Wal-Mart has announced thousands of layoffs since publicizing bonuses and benefits expansion. “Wal-Mart WMT, -1.81%   confirmed about 1,000 layoffs in California on Monday, including 650 associates in Sam’s Club locations in Los Angeles, Sacramento and Orange County, and 359 at a Wal-Mart location in Sacramento…Last week, the company cut as many as 500 workers in the corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Ark…Wal-Mart would cut about 10,000 jobs as a result of 63 Sam’s Club store closures. About a dozen of the locations will be converted to fulfillment centers, with the first to open in Memphis.”

CNBC: Most of the tax cut windfall will boost buybacks and dividends, not workers’ pockets, survey predicts. “Asked to parse out how companies will use the windfall from the tax gains, most respondents didn’t see much going to workers.”

USA Today: Harley-Davidson closing Kansas City plant. “The earnings drop came in part because of a charge associated with President Trump’s tax cut.”

See also: Indianapolis Star: AT&T, touting bonuses and investment fueled by tax reform, quietly lays off thousands; New York Times: Tax Law May Send Factories and Jobs Abroad, Critics Say; CNBC: Few large US companies say they’ll use tax savings to boost wages, CNBC survey finds; New York Times: Banks Are Big Winners From Tax Cut; Philadelphia Inquirer: Comcast quietly fired hundreds in direct sales before Christmas; Indianapolis Star: Carrier plant to lay off 215 workers on Thursday; Business Insider: Walmart is abruptly closing 63 Sam’s Club stores and laying off thousands of workers; USA Today: Kleenex, Huggies maker to cut up to 5,500 jobs, close 10 plants; Washington Post: Senate tax bill would cut taxes of wealthy and increase taxes on families earning less than $75,000 by 2027; National Journal: GOP Tax Cuts Are Driven by Politics, Not Economics; New York Times: Senators Scramble to Advance Tax Bill That Increasingly Rewards Wealthy

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