If you really care about people who are transgender, or just people in general, please stay focused on health care for the next 24 hours

As much as it pains me to look the other way, and not go off on a long, angry rant about the counterproductive, offensive, and very likely illegal ban against transgender individuals serving in the U.S. military which Trump proposed by way of Twitter this morning, I really think that it might be in our best interest to stay focused on health care for the time being. And I’m not saying this because I don’t care about trans rights. I truly do. I just think that this was a political stunt on the part of Bannon and Trump to distract us from the fact that, at this very minute, the GOP is conspiring to take health care away from approximately 20 million Americans, a disproportionate percentage of whom, by the way, are transgender, and I’m hesitant to give them what they want.

I’m not suggesting that Trump won’t follow through with this newly announced policy of his. In fact, as I think it likely polls well with the evangelical set that he’s been trying to cozy up to since news broke about the secret June 9, 2016 meeting between senior members of his campaign staff and a delegation from the Kremlin apparently sent to broker a deal concerning the launch of a collaborative kompromat campaign against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, I suspect he’ll likely keep pushing it forward aggressively. I just think, as the big vote on Trumpcare will likely happen tomorrow, we can’t allow ourselves to be distracted, no matter what offensive thing Trump might say or tweet in hopes of breaking our concentration.

Yes, I know that many of us can multitask, but, judging from my Twitter feed, I’m getting the sense that people are starting to get pulled away from the health care fight, and I’d like to ask that, before donning rainbow fatigues and launching a protest at your local recruiting station, you first see this health care battle all the way through to at lease the end of the round we’re currently fighting.

So, please, if you haven’t already, pull up a call script, dial the offices of your Senators, and let them know that you not only consider health care a human right, but that you’ll vote against them the next time they’re up for reelection if they prioritize the desires of the billionaire class over the very real, life and death needs of constituents like you. And, then, tell everyone you know to do the same, especially if you know people who live in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Arizona, where there are GOP Senators that might be wavering in their support of Trumpcare. And, if you still have time, take to the streets with a sign. This, as we’ve discussed before, really is a life and death fight, and we need to demonstrate to those in power that we’re focused, and we’re not going to be divided by ridiculous games.

update: The CBO has weighed in on McConnell’s so-called “skinny repeal” bill. If it were to become law, they say, insurance premiums would rise by 20% next year, and 16 million Americans would lose their health care by 2026. And, as we’ve discussed, this would likely get even worse with the House bill and Senate bill are reconciled to produce a final piece of legislation for Trump to sign… All the more reason to reach out to your Senators right this minute.

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  1. Huffington Post
    Posted July 26, 2017 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Huffington Post Reporter Jennifer Bendery‏:

    “CBO just scored the ‘skinny repeal’ bill. 16M Americans would lose insurance + 20% spike in premiums, per senior Dem aide.”

  2. Posted July 26, 2017 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    For what it’s worth, my intention in posting this wasn’t to convince you that you shouldn’t be outraged about Trump’s new transgender ban. You should. And, if you feel like taking to the streets over it, that’s your prerogative. I just thought that, perhaps, some of you might want to at least the consider the possibility that it wasn’t a coincidence that the announcement was made this morning, just as Republicans went into home stretch of the Obamacare repeal. My guess, and I’m pretty confident that I’m right, is this was an attempt by Trump and Bannon to absorb some of the anger that would otherwise by directed at GOP Senators, many of whom appear to be almost at the breaking point.

  3. Iron Lung
    Posted July 26, 2017 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    This will be Trump’s signature achievement.

  4. Joe M.
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Yup. Healthcare over all.

    Healthcare over Russia. That’s not happening until 2019+.

    Healthcare over trans rights. As cold as it sounds, that’s less than a half percent of the population, maybe a few thousand (as in 2-4k, definitely not the bogus 15,000 people were spouting on social media) in the military. There’s that many older soldiers being pushed out of their jobs early every year.

    We’re talking tens of millions of people losing coverage, getting hit with pre-existing condition premiums or lifetime caps. Healthcare is far more important. The courts can deal with the legality of the anti-trans soldier policy. Healthcare needs to be stopped in the legislature.

  5. EOS
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    If you really cared about Trans people, you would discourage them from having surgery to mutilate their existing external genitalia. Most persons who do so regret their decision and are more likely to commit suicide as a result.

  6. Sen. Dick Durbin
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    .@SenateGOP, let’s be clear: voting yes on a “skinny repeal” is giving the Freedom Caucus full rein to destroy our health care system.

  7. M
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    There is absolutely no reason for Trump to have made this announcement yesterday concerning the ability of transgender Americans to serve in the military. None whatsoever. As we heard from multiple source yesterday, it completely caught the military off guard. This was nothing but a political ploy. Please do not fall for it. People will die if we allow them to move forward with Trumpcare.

  8. Paul Hickman
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Everything is such a chaotic shit show, it is impossible to follow or address most of them… And I am sure that is the goal. Almost all of it is flat out wrong by any humanistic measure, from this anti transgender announcement, to his abuse of the Boy Scouts to his propaganda rallys, to all of the Russia hearings, to the assault on our public education, to the Sessions punching bag, to the assault on our environment, to the assault on many long standing trade partners… To the assault on ACA and the healthcare of tens of millions of Americans. The more chaos he can generate, the more this republican held congress and supreme court can shove through. This is mass devastation to Americans and the world with consequences to be paid for over generations and generations. And yes I do not believe this is hyperbole, unlike most of what this republican president and his republican administration spews.

  9. Paul Hickman
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Sorry Mark, I left out some other areas under duress and I am sure even after adding these there are countless others.

    Add these to the mix…

    All of the bans, deportations, and walls being applied to our immigrants and refugees, to all of the racism, to all of the attacks on women’s rights, to all of the religious persecution and that would be Islam, to all of the bold face lies, alternative facts, misrepresentations and simply misleading statements.

    Just try and keep up…

  10. Meta
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Washington Journal: “A White House Official Just Admitted The Real Reason For Trump’s Transgender Military Ban”

    Axios reporter Jonathan Swan asked a Trump administration official what the real reason for the ban was, and the aide confessed that the president’s motives were purely political.

    “This forces Democrats in rust belt states like Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin to take complete ownership of the issue,” the official said. “How will the blue collar voters in these states respond when senators up for reelection in 2018, like Debbie Stabenow, are forced to make this a key plank in their campaigns.”

    This importance of this startling admission cannot be overstated. First, it reveals that the President of the United States is exploiting not only the LGBT community but the armed services to score political points.

    Second, and even more telling, it exposes Trump’s true strategy for working families: use social wedge issues to distract from his inaction on the promises he campaigned on.

    Read more:

  11. breaking news
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    JUST IN: Joint Chiefs chairman: We won’t ban transgender troops until Trump orders Mattis directly http://hill.cm/w6wqj4u

  12. Anomymous
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    More importantly, though, it didn’t work.

    “Growing GOP backlash to transgender troop ban underscores Trump’s political miscalculation”

    That’s from the Washington Post.

    Trump lobbed a hand grenade and it bounced right back into his fox hole.


  13. BrianB
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s more about rallying the freedom caucus around the healthcare vote than distracting liberals. A transgender military ban is important to the most conservative senators so he made them a deal by tweeting this decree if they agreed to get on board with the healthcare vote. There was even 30min between his tweets while they hashed out the deal.

  14. kjc
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    “As much as it pains me to look the other way, and not go off on a long, angry rant about the counterproductive, offensive, and very likely illegal ban against transgender individuals serving in the U.S. military which Trump proposed by way of Twitter this morning, I really think that it might be in our best interest to stay focused on health care for the time being.”

    honestly, i think it’s weird to think this personal choice of yours is particularly important or something you should recommend to others. Just do you. Even those of us on the same side politically have varying personal values, life experiences and current situations. We are different and differently impacted. I certainly understand your rationale, and even share it to some degree, but it’s just not necessary to go the extra patronizing step.

  15. Posted July 27, 2017 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    I think any time someone comes out and says, “Hey, I think we should be focusing here, and not here,” they open themselves up to criticism, and I was expecting it when I posted this, even though I tried to make it clear that I thought the transgender ban was important and should be attacked (just not right as we’re trying to rally support against Trumpcare). Maybe it’s that I know people who may die if Trumpcare is enacted. Maybe it’s that two friends of mine, both younger than me, have died over the past year or so, and I’ve begun to appreciate a little more intensely how important quality health care is, and how terrible it is to be without it. But, yes, the idea of banning transexuals from serving in the military is terrible. If the ACA goes away, though, a lot of people – gay, straight, male, female, young, old, transgender – will be hurt. So, yeah, I thought it was important enough to say something. And I’m OK with people saying that it’s patronizing.

  16. Posted July 27, 2017 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Also, if you didn’t see my earlier comment, which was left shortly after posting this, here’s a link. I think it may help explain where I was coming from.


  17. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    We should all rally behind KJC’s slogan of “DO YOU” whenever we have an
    impulse to express our political opinions or whenever we have an urge to propose a political strategy on a blog heavily dedicated to politics.

    Putting aside answers to the question ‘What is politics?’, the idea kjc presents here is a real game changer.

    I am filled with hope.

  18. Posted July 27, 2017 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

  19. M
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    They thought they had the best wedge issue ever. The White House even said as much to the press. They said that this would force Democratic members of Congress in the midwest, like Stabenow, to come out in favor of transgender rights and “own this issue,” the implication being that it would kill them in 2018. But then something magical happened. Conservatives like McCain, Hatch, Shelby, joined by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, started coming out saying that the ban was bullshit, completely undermining the White House strategy. #EpicFail

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