As WNBA season tips off, star players speak out against anti-abortion bills

On Friday night, the 2019 WNBA season tips off with a contest between the Atlanta Dream and Dallas Wings. It’s a pivotal season for the league’s future. Last fall, the WNBA Player’s Association opted out of its current collective bargaining agreement, and players will be spending their spare time during the season fighting for better wages, resources, and support.

But while the league-wide drama both on and off the court remains the utmost importance to the league&...

Trump uses 1996 welfare reform bill to go after immigrants who use public benefits

President Trump is getting serious about going after immigrants who use public benefits.

In a presidential memorandum issued Thursday, Trump announced he will direct federal agencies to enforce a longstanding rule requiring the sponsors — usually U.S. citizen family members — of immigrants to reimburse the government for any public benefits they use, including Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, and the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

“Financial sponsors who...

Republicans who said they’d protect people with pre-existing conditions vote against bill to do that

The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill that would block the Trump administration from granting states the leeway to skirt Obamacare rules —- a measure designed to ensure that patients with pre-existing conditions continue to receive affordable robust coverage — in a 236 to 183 vote. The bill is not expected to pass the GOP-controlled Senate, but even if it does, the president has threatened to veto the measure.

Every House Democrat and four Republicans vo...

Trump and anti-vaxxers, together at last

Last week, the Trump administration asked a federal appeals court to repeal the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. Their argument is fundamentally flawed in numerous ways, not the least of which is the fact that it relies on a dissenting opinion that is explicitly at odds with a binding decision by the Supreme Court’s majority.

On Wednesday, a handful of conservative groups weighed in with amicus briefs supporting this attack on Obamacare. They include an organization founde...

‘Caravan’ of Americans crossed Canadian border to purchase affordable insulin

For Quinn Nystrom, and millions of other Americans living with Type 1 Diabetes, insulin affordability is a “real crisis issue.”

So Nystrom took it upon herself to find a temporary solution. Last week, she and seven others organized a four-car “caravan” from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to drive 600 miles across the border to Fort Francis, Ontario, in Canada to purchase the life-saving insulin they all needed.

“It was a black and white difference,” Nystrom told ThinkProgress of her...

Transgender Iowans are worried they’ll lose transition-related care under new bill

Iowa is one signature away from enacting a law that would limit transgender people’s access to necessary health care.

The law would allow government entities to opt out of using public insurance dollars, including Medicaid, to pay for any kind of transition-related care. This language was tacked on as an amendment to a health and human services appropriations bill late in the process, LGBTQ rights advocates said, without any committee hearings or public comment process. Lawmak...

Trump administration finalizes ‘conscience’ rule affecting transgender people’s health care

The Trump administration finalized a new rule enabling the discrimination of transgender people in health care on Thursday.

The rule essentially allows health care workers to refer to religious or moral objections when they don’t want to deliver health care services, which would also affect access to abortion and contraception.

The so-called “conscience rule” would revise existing regulations to “ensure vigorous enforcement of Federal conscience and an...

Ady Barkan makes a moral case for single payer at first-ever Medicare for All hearing

At the first-ever congressional hearing dedicated to Medicare for All on Tuesday, activist Ady Barkan underscored the urgent need to change our health care system right now.

As he told members of the House Rules Committee, Barkan would rather have been at home with his wife and son instead of making the case for Medicare for All. The renowned organizer is dying from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

“Every day is precious for me. I don’t have time on my side,...

Shorten pledges billions for seniors’ dental bills, childcare and educators’ wage rise

Labor leader vows to ‘build Medicare’ as Scott Morrison announces plan to freeze refugee intake

Bill Shorten has unveiled three big-spending policies to invest $2.4bn in seniors’ dental care, $4bn to provide cheaper childcare for families and to boost early childhood educators’ pay by 20%.

Shorten made the promises that Labor will “build Medicare” and expand social services to win the 2019 election on a positive platform of “hope over fear, vision over cynicism” at a quasi campaign launch at the Box Hill Town Hall in Melbourne on Sunday.

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What 13 states discovered after spending hundreds of thousands drug testing the poor

Thirteen states spent more than $200,000 screening federal-aid applicants for drugs last year. Only 338 people tested positive, according to data gathered by ThinkProgress.

In total, the states required more than 260,000 people to submit to drug screening or testing as a condition of receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which provides cash assistance to low-income people. In some states, not one person tested positive.

While universal drug testing for TAN...