News on Human Services Programs, Legislation & the People We Serve – March 10, 2017

Media memo

In this edition of the CWDA Media Memo: House Republicans released their plan for addressing health care in the nation and by all accounts it goes well beyond repealing measures in the Affordable Care Act and would mean drastic changes for all Californians and the Medi-Cal program; read why older Americans are among the groups voicing some of the strongest concerns about proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act; and a Los Angeles school official shares how he and others are talking to students about what to do if their parents are detained by immigration officers.

Health Care

Millions of Californians likely would lose coverage under GOP Obamacare replacement, experts say | Los Angeles Times | March 7, 2017

Millions of Californians probably would lose health coverage under the Obamacare replacement bill released by House Republicans this week, experts say. The long-awaited GOP alternative removes the requirement that all Americans sign up for health insurance or pay a penalty, alters the amount of financial assistance offered for plans sold on the marketplaces and bans federal funding for Planned Parenthood. But what probably would affect the greatest number of Californians and raise the toughest questions for the state are proposed cuts to Medicaid, which covers more than a third of California’s residents.

Republicans’ Changes to Medicaid Could Have Larger Impact Than Their Changes to Obamacare | New York Times | March 7, 2017

House Republicans are proposing to fundamentally alter the way the federal government has been financing Medicaid for more than 50 years. The changes are part of their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. “This is potentially more major than repealing the Affordable Care Act,” said Joan Alker, the executive director of the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University… The changes would not begin until 2020. But the long-term impact on states would be unequal, with some faring better than others, depending on how much they spent on the program, their demographics and whether they participated in President Obama’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility.

House GOP releases bill that would replace Obamacare taxes and penalties, keep some subsidies | KPCC | March 6, 2017

After years of waiting, it’s finally here. The Republican plan to reshape the Affordable Care Act — what they call “repeal and replace” — kills the requirement that everyone buy health insurance and eliminates the tax penalty for those who don’t buy coverage. It also makes significant changes in the financial assistance people can receive to buy a health plan. The bill would offer tax credits, refundable in advance, to people with incomes below $75,000. But those credits will be lower in many cases than the subsidies now offered in the ACA. The bill, which will go through many revisions and challenges, was released late Monday by two House committees, Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce. Members are expected to start voting on parts of the bill Wednesday.

Column: The GOP’s Obamacare repeal plan is out–and it’s even worse than anyone expected | Los Angeles Times | March 6, 2017

After weeks of expectations — actually, nearly seven years of expectations — House Republicans on Monday released their proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Elements of the proposal, which was kept under lock and key last week — have been dribbling out for a few days. The text of the bill encompassing the GOP plan validates much of that reporting. On the whole, however, it’s a nastier, more consumer-unfriendly proposal than even close followers could have expected.

Repeal of Health Law Faces a New Hurdle: Older Americans | New York Times | March 5, 2017

Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act have encountered a new obstacle: adamant opposition from many older Americans whose health insurance premiums would increase. AARP and its allies are bombarding congressional offices with objections as two House committees plan to vote on the Republicans’ bill this week.


Los Angeles School Talks To Students About What To Do If A Parent Is Detained By ICE | NPR | March 10, 2017

David Greene talks with Ricardo Mireles of the Los Angeles school Academia Avance, which is talking to students about what to do if their parents are detained by immigration officers.

California lawmakers want to provide attorneys to immigrants facing deportation. But who gets the help? | Los Angeles Times | March 2, 2017

Flustered and out of money, Maria paced through the empty aisles of a Marshalls department store in Orange County three days before her son’s eighth-grade graduation. She picked out a pair of black dress shoes for him and a crisp, gray long-sleeved shirt. Then, she clumsily stuffed them in her large purse and attempted to walk out. That is how Maria, a petite, 38-year-old waitress who asked that her full name be withheld for fear of reprisal from authorities, says she almost became a felon and faced deportation, consequences that could have proved much more severe had she not found lawyers to represent her in court. Amid a tense political battle over the nation’s borders and who should be expelled from the country, California lawmakers this legislative session are on an emergency track to develop what is likely to be the largest legal defense program in the U.S. for immigrants swept into the federal removal process.

Unaccompanied Minors

Reservations in Congress About DHS Proposal to Separate Women, Children at Border | PJ Media | March 6, 2017

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said he’s not sure if an idea circulating in the Trump administration to separate illegal immigrant children from their parents at the border “is a new proposal or this is some document internally that someone dreamt up as a suggestion, and that no one’s ever going to actually do it.” Reuters cited three government officials last week saying that the proposal is being considered by the Department of Homeland Security as a deterrent and as a workaround to a federal court ruling that prohibits lengthy detention of children. By separating families, children would be put into protective custody and potentially placed with U.S. relatives while parents are held in detention until deportation or asylum hearings.

 Child Sex Trafficking/Human Trafficking

Putting More Eyes on Human Trafficking in Los Angeles County | Santa Monica Daily Press | March 8, 2017

The City of Santa Monica has recently stepped up its fight against human trafficking, especially to find and protect victims who have been forced to engage in prostitution and labor. This is a critical time to do so: Human trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal enterprise in the United States, already a nine-billion-dollar industry, and up to 17,500 victims are trafficked into the U.S. every year. Los Angeles County is one of the top three points of entry into the U.S. for victims of slavery and trafficking. The diverse communities here make it easier to hide and move victims from place to place, and that in turn makes it difficult for law enforcement to locate and help them.

To submit stories for inclusion in CWDA’s weekly Media Memo, email Sarah Jimenez. County staff and others not currently receiving the Media Memo directly can sign up on the CWDA website at the bottom of the home page.