NOT A SINGLE REPUBLICAN SENATE CANDIDATE STANDS UP FOR AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE. This week, the GOP took yet another step toward cutting affordable and accessible health care. In addition to their proposals to implement an age tax, they’re now expanding short-term insurance plans that would threaten coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Their expansion of “junk insurance plans” is aimed at sabotaging the health care system by luring “healthy people away from the broader insurance market, raising premiums for sicker people and putting purchasers at risk.” From the New York Times:

  • The prices may be lower because the benefits will be fewer, and insurers do not have to cover pre-existing conditions or the people who have them.

  • Democrats derided the new policies as “junk insurance” that will lure healthy people away from the broader insurance market, raising premiums for sicker people and putting purchasers at risk.
  • Randy Pate, a senior official at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said the Trump administration expects 600,000 people to buy the new insurance policies next year, with enrollment increasing to 1.6 million by 2022.

  • Consumer advocates, doctors, hospitals and some insurance companies expressed deep concern about the new plans, saying they would not adequately protect people who develop serious illnesses and could further destabilize insurance markets by drawing away healthy people.

  • People who buy the new policies and develop cancer could “face astronomical costs” and “may be forced to forgo treatment entirely because of costs,” said Chris Hansen, the president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

Despite the fact that a majority of voters want to see affordable health care protected and expanded, not a single Republican Senate candidate has chosen to do the right thing and defend health care. This is a major miscalculation given health care is the defining issue of 2018.

ICYMI: DEMOCRATS HAVE AN EDGE ON HEALTHCARE.” The latest poll by Axios and Survey Monkey shows that democrats’ messaging and fight to protect affordable health care is resonating with voters.

SENATE DEMOCRATS FIGHT BACK AGAINST SHODDY SHORT-TERM PLANS. Senate Democrats are fighting for hard working Americans’ health care by forcing a vote on the GOP’s “skimpier” short-term health plans. The short term plans are a disaster for the health care system and “could confront purchasers with huge costs if they become seriously ill.”

HEADLINE: NEVADA SENATOR’S HEALTH CARE VIEWS HEAT UP RE-ELECTION FIGHT. As the AP reported this week, Senator Dean Heller’s role in the ongoing GOP effort to undermine our health care system is catching up to him.

HEITKAMP “CHARTS HER OWN PATH.” Senator Heidi Heitkamp has spent her career fighting for North Dakotans. Yahoo reports from the campaign trail as she “charts her own path.”

SELF-SERVING RICK SCOTT ENSNARED IN MORE MONEY SCANDALS, REVEALING HIS LOYALTY TO BIG MONEY. Rick Scott was forced to disclose his incriminating finances totaling over a quarter-billion dollars this week. His records show he’s canoodled with foreign adversaries ranging from the dangerous Chinese company, ZTE, to Russian shipping companies linked to Putin.

His disclosures also reveal he’s consistently prioritized big money and special interests over Floridians.

Meanwhile, Sen. Bill Nelson is taking tangible steps to help hard-working Floridians, like demanding a federal investigation into SunPass operations and filing legislation help small businesses respond to the algae crisis. It’s no wonder San Juan’s mayor endorsed him this week.

MIAMI HERALD: FLORIDA BEACHES HAVE A PROBLEM, AND ITS NAME IS RICK SCOTT. The algae infestation hurting Florida’s beaches – the state’s “top tourism asset” – didn’t just develop overnight. As the Miami Herald explains, Self-Serving Scott put himself and his cronies first to undermine safeguards that kept Florida safe. Now, the state is reeling:

  • Republicans value business interests (rotten as they may be) over environmental protection (that’s for wimpy liberals) — and in Scott, they found their man. They voted twice for Scott, who became the state’s top executive by slim margins, thanks to the apathy of Democrats who don’t turn out to vote in large enough numbers.
  • During his eight years in office, Scott has rolled back crucial safeguards like septic-tank inspections that ensure waste isn’t seeping into water systems. He has cut almost $700 million in funding for water management districts largely responsible for the protection of waterways. He appointed water management board members more concerned with the rights of polluters than clean water.
  • When it comes to the environment and Florida’s water quality, we’ve been on our own, folks — except, wait a minute, now he’s running for the U.S. Senate in a neck-and-neck race with pro-environment champion Senator Bill Nelson, and he has finally declared the algae bloom a state of emergency.

BREDESEN SWEEPS TENNESSEE PRIMARY.  Former Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen was “the last Democrat to win statewide in Tennessee,” and he’s running to do it again, this time for the Senate. Last night, Bredesen handily swept the primary with 91.5% of the vote and Volunteers proved they were fired up for the Democrat’s Senate race, which turned out more votes than the gubernatorial primary.

Here’s a flashback to what some of Bredesen’s Republican colleagues have said about him:

  • “He was a very good mayor, a very good governor, a very good business person”
    • Tennessean: Sen. Bob Corker: Democrat Phil Bredesen has ‘real appeal’ for some Republican voters.
    • USA Today: GOP Sen. Bob Corker heaps praise on Phil Bredesen, the Democrat hoping to succeed him
    • Washington Post: Retiring GOP Sen. Bob Corker calls Democrat seeking to replace him a ‘very good governor’
  • Corker, who calls Bredesen a friend and recently praised him as a good governor, said in an interview he’s supporting Blackburn because “a lot of people in Tennessee will be looking at the balance of the Senate, and I know that’ll be a driving force for a lot of people.”
  • “He would be a formidable candidate…He was a popular governor.”
    • Tennessean: Sen. Alexander: Phil Bredesen would make ‘formidable candidate’ in U.S. Senate race

BADGER BRAWL TURNS TRUMP TRYOUT. Following last Friday’s debate, in which Kevin Nicholson and Leah Vukmir refused to disagree with Donald Trump on anything, the nasty Wisconsin GOP Senate primary this week turned “brutal,” as Vukmir and Nicholson viciously attacked each other for not supporting Trump enough.

Kevin Nicholson backs reducing Social Security benefits, raising retirement age — After a month in which he received more than $2 million in TV support from Dick Uihlein-funded Club for Growth — which has been trying to privatize Social Security for more than a decade — Kevin Nicholson this week endorsed means-testing Social Security and raising the retirement age. Shocking!

For her part, Leah Vukmir has for months expressed an openness to Paul Ryan-style deep cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Leah Vukmir fought turning over documents related to ALEC work, let taxpayers foot the legal bill — But for all of Vukmir’s professed concern for cutting government spending, Vukmir had no problem letting taxpayers foot the $15,000 legal bill as she fought to avoid turning over documents related to her work as a national leader for the Koch brothers-funded American Legislative Exchange Council.

ED BOARDS POUNCE ON REPUBLICAN SENATE CANDIDATES. Unfortunately for Senate Republican candidates, editorial boards were on fire this week and not in their favor. Here are the top 5 editorials to read before Monday:

  • #WVSEN: the Charleston Gazette-Mail highlighted the impacts of the Patrick Morrisey’s lawsuit to make pre-existing conditions coverage unconstitutional:  1 in 3 West Virginians that could lose their care.
  • #MTSEN The Missoulian highlighted Matt Rosendale’s shady campaign finances and backed Senator Tester’s work to increase transparency in elections
  • #MOSEN St. Louis Post Dispatch Editorial Board called on Josh Hawley to take a stand against Russian interference in Senator Claire McCaskill’s campaign. 
  • MORE #MOSEN: Hawley was hit again by the Kansas City Star for ads targeting Senator Claire McCaskill that were characterized as “so disgusting that it rises to another level.”
  • #FLSEN: Self-Serving Rick Scott was called out by the Daytona Beach News Journal for his controversial law that jeopardizes beach access.


FL – In “Gouge,” Senator Bill Nelson hits Rick Scott for price gouging during post-Irma hurricane recovery.

MN – Senator Smith highlights her work to fight for affordable health care in her new ad,Prescriptions.”

NV – Congresswoman Jacky Rosen released a new spanish language ad, “Compas,” which highlights Sen. Heller’s rubber-stamping of trump policies.


FL – WLRN: Nelson Calls For Federal Investigation into SunPass Operator

IN – WBIW: Donnelly’s Bipartisan Suicide Hotline Bill Heads To President Trump’s Desk

MI – Fox6: Stabenow announces restoration of Great Lakes funding

MN – Valley News Live: U.S. Sen. Tina Smith’s staff visits Moorhead for “Health Care Cost Listening Tour”

MO – Kansas City Star: Claire McCaskill files bill to boost duck boat safety while lawsuits keep rolling in

MT – Daily Energy Insider: Sen. Tester introduces bill to build out electric infrastructure in rural areas

NV – Las Vegas Sun: Rosen meets patients with pre-existing conditions as GOP seeks to gut Obamacare

WI – Wisconsin Ag Connection: Sen. Baldwin Authors Amendment to Fund for Daily Innovation


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