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Rohit is a guest contributor to Left Voice. He is a freelance writer and a CUNY Law student.
Attacks to Healthcare
Last week, Trump signed an executive order that put in motion the rollback of Obamacare. This threatens to leave millions of people without health care, particularly those who benefited from Medicaid expansion. Furthermore, Trump recently used his negotiating skills to cancel Obamacare ads that remind people to enroll, despite the fact that some of these ads had already been purchased and at least a portion of the money cannot be refunded.
We should be fighting for free, public, universal health care. At the same time, pulling the tv ads exacerbates the lack of public health care because it may cause insurance rates to increase. Fortune reported:“Calling the decision “outrageous,” former HealthCare.gov CEO Kevin Counihan said in a statement that the move could keep young, healthy people from getting into the insurance pool, thereby driving up costs.”
Trump’s hiring freeze may make it more difficult for food inspectors to find dangerous bacteria, as well as create more hurdles for people to access government services. When Trump declared a federal hiring freeze, there was an exemption for public health related issues, but it’s not clear how easily government agencies can use this exemption. Already Trump has expressed disdain for government agencies like the EPA and the hiring freeze is already overloading health inspectors at the Food and Drug Association. Food Safety News reported:
“Effective Jan. 18, 2017, due to a temporary decrease in staffing, results on pathology samples submitted to the FSIS laboratory system will be delayed,” according to the email sent to all FSIS employees…This is expected to be rectified by March 3, 2017, but is dependent on staffing key vacancies.”
Unions have also warned that a hiring freeze could mean that Social Security claims for fraud would take longer to be processed. WNEP reported:”The hiring freeze would mean workers who retire or leave would not be replaced. That could give people working with Social Security more responsibilities… it could also affect those who are on disability and Social Security.”
Despite living in a time where stable jobs are drying up, Trump’s hiring freeze only increases austerity by reducing the number of jobs supported by the federal government. Furthermore, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported in the 80’s that hiring freezes can actually cost the government more money.
It’s no secret that Trump is working overtime to ensure that Muslims and refugees do not come to the United States. But what might be less well-known is that he’s been using strongarm tactics to fight against sanctuary cities. He recently threatened to withhold federal funds from cities if they continue to be sanctuary cities. The threat has already worked — the mayor of the Miami-Dade, declared that there will no longer be a sanctuary county in Miami-Dade.
The Miami Herald stated: “The county’s 2017 budget shows it’s counting on receiving some $355 million in federal funds — money that subsidizes elderly services, beds for the homeless… It’s unclear how much of that comes from the sort of grants Trump has threatened to deny sanctuary municipalities.”
The mayor stated, “I want to make sure we don’t put in jeopardy the millions of funds we get from the federal government for a $52,000 issue.”
Trump also declared that he wants the Department of Homeland Security to make a public list of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, but the list could also have documented immigrants according to the Independent. The decision further creates negative stereotypes against people of color, who are already disproportionately targeted by police. Furthermore, it’s not clear if this this list will include all people charge by the police or only those found guilty in court.
In the first week of his presidency, Trump has assured people residing in the U.S. and all over the world that when it comes to social issues, he’s ready to be judge, jury, and executioner. Thus far Trump has proven that he’s willing to stigmatize immigrants and harm the working class by reducing government related jobs.