June 30, 2017
JAC joined a lunch meeting with Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) outside Chicago.
Week In Review Commentary
Do you know anyone who has cancer?

If the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) plan passes, a life threatening illness or a chronic condition, like cancer, can lead to financial ruin. Cancer is the costliest disease to treat - even with insurance.

Don't be fooled by this plan. If you have a pre-existing condition, such as cancer, you will be in trouble. Insurance companies can't explicitly charge more because of a pre-existing condition. However, states can allow insurers to offer plans that don't cover these conditions, or even life-saving prescription drugs and put caps on coverage.

Sick newborns requiring intensive hospitalization can very likely use up their lifetime of benefits by the time they leave the hospital. Then they would join the growing pool of those unable to find affordable insurance later in life. The same would hold true of a young child with a chronic illness. 

The bill has been pulled, but only for now. We have not won the fight. The GOP leadership is only repositioning themselves. They will be cutting backroom deals to gain the support of their own Senators and then they will come back after the 4th of July recess hungry to continue their cruelty and repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  

This plan will impact all of us, regardless of our income and type of insurance coverage. Every family will be affected with higher premiums and less coverage. We need to fight back.
The calls worked and that is why the bill was tabled. Call like your life and the lives of your your loved ones depend on it. 202.224.3121

Join with JAC. We support candidates who believe that access to healthcare is a right, not a privilege. 

Source: Washington Post
Take Action
The GOP will try to repeal the ACA after the July 4th recess. Don't let up.  
Call these Senators:

Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) 202-224-6472
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) 202-224-6665
Rob Portman (R-OH) 202-224-3353

Tell Them to Vote NO on the Health Care Repeal

The Better Care Reconcilliation Act (BCRA) would:
- Increase maternity costs
- Allow exclusion of pre-existing conditions
- Cut funding for Planned Parenthood
- Impact 1/6th of our economy
Together we can #ProtectWomen
#ProtectOurCare #KillTheBill 
U.S. to Work with Israel, Seek Other Ties to Combat Cyber Attacks

The U.S. government will seek to collaborate with Israel and other countries to develop new ways to thwart computer hacks and other cyber attacks according to Trump's assistant to homeland security. "These high level meetings represent the first step in strengthening bilateral ties on cyber issues following President Trump's visit to Israel. The agility Israel has in developing solutions will innovate cyber defenses that we can test here and bring back to America. Perfect security may not be achievable but we have within our reach a safer and more secure internet."  With several large companies and over 400 startups, Israel is a global leader in the cyber fight.    
Israel Is Still Floating a Plan for Gaza Island. And Now There's a Video.

Israel's minister for intelligence, Israel Katz, has been talking for a while about creating an artificial island off the coast of Gaza to allow imports and exports to reach the besieged strip - as well as a way in or out for its residents. Now he's made a new video showing how his idea would work. The nearly three-minute animated clip says the island would provide Palestinians with "humanitarian, economic and transportation gateway to the world without endangering Israel's security."    
'The Next War Will Be Bloody': A Trip Along Israel's Tense Northern Border

Israel's northernmost village of Metulla with a population of close to 2,000 people sits on the Lebanese border and despite the ever-present risk of conflict with Hezbollah, the community continues to grow. Metulla is one of the communities that is expected to be evacuated in the event of a war between Israel and the Shiite Lebanese terror group. "The next war will be pretty bloody for both sides. Israel will evacuate its population and I suggest the Lebanese do the same," Lt. Col. (Res.) Sarit Zehavi, the head of Alma, an organization that gives briefings on Israel's security challenges on the northern border.
Continued Reading

Leaving Antisemitism Envoy Post Vacant Would Be 'Huge Step Backwards'  

The Trump administration has a responsibility to appoint a special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, as has been done by every administration since 2004,  The position was created under the Antisemitism Awareness Act signed into law by president George W. Bush and is now vacant.  The Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism will be unstaffed as of July 1, when its remaining two employees, each working part-time or less, are to be reassigned. The position of White House Jewish liaison has also remained vacant since the administration took office.  
BDS Advocates, Terror 'Partners' to Speak at UN Forum on '50 Years of Occupation'   

A UN-sponsored forum at the global organization's headquarters in New York City on Friday will provide a platform for Palestinian NGOs associated with terrorist groups, including Hamas, as well as Western advocates of the BDS campaign known for inflammatory statements concerning both Jews and Israel.   
There Is More Bad News for Women in the Republican Health Care Bill

The draft Senate bill reforming the Affordable Care Act that was unveiled is devastating for women's health. It cuts all federal funding for Planned Parenthood for a year, makes it possible for states to opt out of contraceptive coverage and maternity care, and slashes access to insurance for low-income people. Add to this list abortion: Both the Senate and House bills would effectively make it impossible for a woman to have the procedure covered, even if she had private insurance. If you qualify for federal subsidies to pay for your health insurance, you'll have to choose a plan that doesn't cover abortion--a procedure that can cost $800 even early in the pregnancy.   
All of Mitch McConnell's Awful Positions on Women's Rights

The Senate majority leader might pretend to care about women, but his record shows otherwise. When Senator Mitch McConnell ran for reelection in 2014, he released an ad in which his wife, Elaine Chao, defended McConnell's record on women's rights. Funny thing: It was a deceptive ad. It claimed McConnell co-sponsored the original Violence Against Women Act in 1991, which is true, but that version of the bill never made it to a vote. He voted against the final version in 1993, and voted against it two more times in 2012 and 2013. His highest ideal is "his own political survival."   
The Lies About Abortion Must Stop. Here's What We're Doing About That.

Five states force doctors to tell women that abortion puts them at higher risk of breast cancer. It doesn't. Four states require doctors to tell women that having an abortion jeopardizes future fertility. It doesn't. Some extremists perpetuate the lie that IUDs cause abortions. They don't. Anti-abortion legislators have passed laws based on the pretense that abortion is a dangerous medical procedure. It isn't. Until recently, Arizona required doctors to tell women that medication abortions are reversible. That's dangerous and unproven.    
Cecile Richards Wonders, 'If More Members of Congress Could Get Pregnant...'

"If more members of Congress could get pregnant, we wouldn't be having these kinds of fights."  For Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, "these kinds of fights" involve her battling with men fixated solely on abortion services while she is fixated on providing basic health care to communities where usually no other provider exists. "Many of those members of Congress, they've never thought about an unintended pregnancy. They've never worried about a lump in their breast ... and they couldn't get access to health care."     
Continued Reading

Supreme Court Weakens Wall Between Church and State

In a decision of historical significance, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that a church is entitled to direct government funding to resurface its playground. It's the first time the court has used the free exercise clause of the Constitution to require a direct transfer of taxpayers' money to a church. In other words, the free exercise clause has trumped the establishment clause, which was created precisely to stop government money going to religious purposes. Somewhere, James Madison is shaking his head in disbelief.
Why Both Advocates And Opponents Of School Choice Are Celebrating SCOTUS

Two Supreme Court cases decided this week could have major implications for school choice across the United States, as they could make it possible for some states to put funding toward scholarships at private, religious schools. One ruling vacated a lower court decision that struck down a so-called school voucher program in Colorado, which gave students state-funded scholarships that could be used at such schools. The other determined that the Missouri Department of Natural Resources did not have the right to exclude a church from participating in a state-funded grant program for playground resurfacing. 
Continued Reading

Gun Sales Are Plummeting and Trump Wants to Help

The gun industry has been experiencing a dramatic decline in sales-which have declined 10 percent in the six months since Trump was elected compared with the same period last year-so this culture of fear is vital to gin up demand for guns as necessary self-defense accessories, thereby creating a new generation of buyers, and to garner support for radical new legislation that will put "good guys with guns" virtually everywhere. And President Trump is a vital ally in this effort, because he traffics in the same anxieties. 
Gorsuch Is Already Pushing the Supreme Court right on religion, guns and gay rights
When Judge Neil M. Gorsuch went before the Senate in March as President Trump's first nominee to the Supreme Court, he sought to assure senators he would be independent and above the political fray. "There is no such thing as a Republican judge or Democratic judge," he said more than once. "We just have judges." But in just his first few weeks on the high court, Justice Gorsuch has shown himself to be a confident conservative activist, arguing for moving the law to the right on religion, gun rights, gay rights and campaign funding.
Minnesota Scientist: EPA Pressured Her to Change Testimony to Congress
A Minnesota scientist who leads an Environmental Protection Agency scientific advisory board says she was pressured by the agency's chief of staff to change her testimony before Congress to downplay the Trump administration's decision not to reappoint half of the board's members.   
Continued Reading

The Senate's New Health Care Bill Makes It More Expensive to Be a Woman
The Better Care Reconciliation Act, introduced by Senate Republicans to replace the Affordable Care Act, would both increase pregnancy costs for women, and increase the cost of not getting pregnant. How does the bill manage such a feat? It defunds Planned Parenthood-which provides family planning and birth control for millions of low income women for one year. It also prohibits federal tax subsidies from paying for individual market plans that cover abortion. That means fewer women will have access to birth control. Currently, all plans must cover 10 categories of care, including prescription drug coverage, maternity care, preventive services like birth control, and mental health care.  But those Essential Health Benefits aren't just on the line for Medicaid enrollees; it's possible that all women in the individual market could lose those protections.  
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As Republicans Struggle, Obamacare's Architects Outline How It Could Be Fixed

As Senate Republicans struggle to find the votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the architects of Obamacare have an idea to try if they fail. Just fix it.  "There's nothing insurance companies hate more than uncertainty, and one of the things they do to respond to uncertainty is to increase their premiums," Ezekiel Emanuel, a bioethicist and University of Pennsylvania professor, said.  Emanuel played a key role in the Obama White House in devising the ACA.  He also met with Donald Trump three times since November to discuss health care policy.  His sessions with Trump left him perplexed.     
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The Risky - But Not Impossible - Path Forward for the Senate Health Care Bill

So the bill isn't dead yet. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has some leverage to work with: The draft legislation provides nearly $200 billion that he could add to the bill while still meeting the savings targets he must under the Senate's "budget reconciliation" rules, and he'll undoubtedly pressure Republicans to deliver on the promise to repeal Obamacare.
Continued Reading

Maccabiah Games: Your Guide to Celebrating the 'Jewish Olympics' in Israel

With 10,000 athletes ready to compete from 80 different countries around the world, Israel kicks off the 20th Maccabiah Games on Tuesday. Home to the largest delegation of the Maccabiah, Israel brings 2,500 athletes to the games this year, followed by the USA delegation, which is expected to bring 1,100 athletes to our shores. July 4-18.
Values That Unite Us 
by JAC-Member Diane Halivini

We were lured in by an early statistic: Hillary only lost Atlanta's 6th district by 1.5%. That's noticeably different than in the previous 4 presidential races, where Republicans held the district by a 30-50% spread. When Tom Price's seat opened up, Dems asked themselves: CAN WE FLIP THE 6th? Being a pragmatist, I questioned: does Atlanta really need me? Why care about a tiny house race in the south?
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The Last Word
"As a doctor, I'm completely anxious about this. As a policy maker, I am disgusted by this harsh, mean, cruel, deadly, policy. And as a human, I'm nervous."

Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA)

JAC's Summer Spectacular 
Monday, July 10th 
at the Geraghty in Chicago
Cookbook Author Joan Nathan &
Johanna Mendelson-Forman, Ph.D., J.D.

Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JACPAC) is a pro-Israel PAC with a domestic agenda. We support a strong U.S.-Israel relationship and advocate for reproductive health and the separation of religion and state and incorporate other issues of importance to the Jewish community, including gun violence prevention and climate change. In addition to providing financial support for U.S. Senate and House campaigns, JACPAC educates our membership with outreach events designed to inform and activate their participation in the political process.
Federal law requires political committees to report the name, mailing address, occupation and employer for each individual who contributed to JACPAC. Maximum contribution per person may not exceed $5,000 per calendar year. According to law, JACPAC cannot accept corporate contributions. Membership, gifts, or other payments to JACPAC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.