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PNS Daily News - August 22, 2017 


We're featuring a variety of stories in today’s news including: a new strategy for Afghanistan; an increase in hate groups is not just an issue in the South; and high blood pressure becoming a more common problem among children and teens.

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“Drive For Our Lives” Defends Healthcare in Phoenix, Tucson

The "Drive For Our Lives" bus tour started in Los Angeles and is set to end in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 6. (Drive For Our Lives)
The "Drive For Our Lives" bus tour started in Los Angeles and is set to end in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 6. (Drive For Our Lives)
August 4, 2017

PHOENIX – The fight to save the Affordable Care Act is far from over, according to those who are part of a bus tour making a stop in Phoenix today and Tucson tomorrow.

"Drive For Our Lives" is part of an 18-city nationwide tour that started last weekend with a day of action known as "Our Lives on the Line." One point it is making is that President Donald Trump has threatened to pull what is known as "cost-sharing reduction payments" to insurers. Blue Cross Arizona said this week that would lead to a rate hike of more than seven-percent.

Bus tour spokesman Tim Hogan says voters need to stay vigilant.

"We're hearing from healthcare providers, saying this would be sabotaging those markets," he says. "It would be introducing severe uncertainty, something he's already doing by playing chicken, saying, 'Maybe I will, maybe I won't, cut funding.'"

The "Drive For Our Lives" tour stops in Phoenix at 10 A.M. this morning at the Ability 360 Sports and Fitness Center. Speakers will include State Rep. Kelli Butler and several health-care activists.

The Tucson event is Saturday at 10 A.M. at Planned Parenthood and features Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly.

Sen. Jeff Flake and all of Arizona's Republican congressmen except Andy Biggs voted for repeal. Hogan says members of the bus tour are concerned that the GOP could revive its healthcare proposal at any time.

"Until there is a Democratically-controlled House of Representatives or Senate, I would not assume that healthcare repeal is dead," he adds.

It's estimated that 400,000 Arizonans would lose health insurance over the next ten years if Medicaid were to be cut drastically as part of an ACA repeal. But ACA opponents say repeal is needed to bring down premiums and free people from the government mandate to buy healthcare.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - AZ