Democrats Discuss: New Trump healthcare policy bad for women

By Eva Holtkamp

In a brazen decision last month, the Trump Administration rolled back an Obama-era policy that required employers to include birth control coverage in their health insurance plans.

This provision of the Affordable Care Act vastly expanded access of free birth control to more than 55 million women according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services in 2015.

The new rule, however, offers an exemption to any employer on the basis of moral or religious objections. The administration also lists other concerns supporting their decision such as health risks that may be associated with certain forms of contraception, and explicitly stating that the mandate promotes “risky sexual behavior” among young people.

Ultimately, hundreds of thousands of women could now suddenly lose contraceptive coverage if their employers choose to opt out of the policy.

This decision by the Trump administration is a direct play to the religious right. The Kaiser Family Foundation found that majority of the public, 68 percent, supported the requirement for private health insurance plans to cover the cost of birth control.

But despite this, there have been prolonged efforts from those opposed to the 2012 mandate, including a 2014 Supreme Court ruling that allowed for-profit companies to shift birth control coverage costs to insurance companies, but still prevented any out of pocket costs.

President Trump’s decision follows his party’s continuous failed attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It is now clear that this administration is going to tear apart this landmark piece of legislation slowly rather than addressing its issues head-on.

Not only that, but this decision plainly puts the religious convictions of an employer above a woman’s right to affordable contraception. Birth control is an essential part of health care for any woman.

The fact that the Trump administration would enact such an unpopular policy that negatively effects so many Americans speaks to their unabashed disregard for the rights and health of all women.

Democrats Discuss: Trump’s reactions

By Hunter Graffice

On Oct. 31, a terrorist drove a truck down a New York bike path, killing eight and injuring 11.

Five days later on Nov. 5, a terrorist shot 26 people and injured dozens more in a Texas church.

Following both events, Trump expressed his grief and offered his condolences to the victims and their families. Although, there was a significant difference in his response, specifically, in what Trump said and what he didn’t say.

Within hours of the New York tragedy, Trump tweeted several times, calling for stricter immigration laws and implementing tougher vetting procedures. Yet, a day after the massacre in Texas, Trump said the shooting was not an issue of guns and offered no course of action whatsoever for Congress and how they’re going to deal with the issue.

One difference in the two tragedies is the race of the killer. In NYC, the man was Uzbekistani whereas in Texas, the man was Caucasian.

This seems typical of Trump. When the perpetrator of a hate crime is not American-born, Trump (and most of the media) harshly condemns them, labeling them as terrorists. Not only that, Trump tends to use the crime to criticize a whole nation of people and uses it as evidence for stricter immigration policy. However, when the killer is American-born, Trump usually focuses on prayers and calls it mental illness.

Another prominent distinction is the subject matter of the crime. With the New York attack, it was a foreign-born individual killing Americans with a vehicle. In Texas, it was an American killing Americans with guns. Both instances resulted in Americans killed, but Trump was much more critical of the situation where a gun was not present.

Trump offers no solutions when the crime is committed by guns for a multitude of reasons. He ran a pro-Second Amendment campaign and promised tougher laws on immigration and terrorists. To offer a solution to America’s gun problem would only upset his base, further lowering his already declining approval rating. Also, Trump and many GOP members are conveniently given millions of dollars by the NRA.

Trump knows that he can appease his base by promising restrictive immigration laws, but also by staying silent on gun control issues of any kind. With his base being his only supporters, Trump is desperately working to keep them satisfied. Ultimately, the American people lose as a whole when he fails to address situations equally. His reaction shows that he only cares for those who are invested in him. With intentions like that, the59 percent of Americans who disapprove of him should truly consider who is here to care for them.

Democrats Discuss: Words matter, Mr. President

By Hunter Graffice

It has never been more apparent to me that people do not understand the power words can have. Words have been used to fuel historic revolution, solve innumerable conflicts and embed love in humanity. Yet many people still haven’t learned that words matter.

Donald Trump hasn’t learned that words matter.

During the campaign, Trump was heavily criticized for mocking Megyn Kelly, saying she  “had blood coming out of her wherever.” Of course there was also audio of Trumptalking about “grabbing women by their p****” because “when you’re a star, they let you do it.” In the wake of so many women coming forward with rape allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein, the comments seem even more repulsive and vile than they did originally — which is incomprehensible.

After so much backlash towards him following these remarks, you would think that Donald Trump would’ve learned.

Just last month, Trump referred to North Korean leaer Kim Jong Un as “Rocket Man” andtweeted, “…they won’t be around much longer!” Such aggressive rhetoric —aimed at a highly egotistical and unpredictable individual like Un — leaves America in anxious anticipation as Trump’s remarks hint at war. To leisurely tweet comments like that only endangers American lives as our enemies are further enticed to attack.

Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!

On Oct. 5, before a dinner with military officials Trump told reporters, “Maybe this is the calm before the storm.” When questioned about what he meant, Trump ominously said, “You’ll find out.” This speech only unnerves — or should unnerve — Americans further as our president is giving us vague messages on what he’s doing as president. Does he know that his every statement makes the entire world question him and subsequently, America as a whole?

Then on Tuesday, when discussing gay rights, Trump “motioned toward Pence and joked, ‘Don’t ask that guy—he wants to hang them all!’” The idea that the president would joke about hanging a group of Americans and insinuate that the vice president truly wants that group of Americans dead is atrocious. Why is there no outrage when Americans are targeted by our president and vice president?

Simply put, many Americans don’t recognize the impact or value of these words. And we’re a worse country because of it.

Democrats Discuss: Letter to President Nellis

Dear Dr. Nellis,

As you near making your decision on implementing a version of policy 24.014, the Ohio University College Democrats chapter urges you to rescind any form of this “Freedom of Expression” policy. As the interim policy is written, we don’t believe any form of it, including a skinny version of it, will promote free speech more than it will silence students. After the wrongful arrests of students peacefully protesting in Baker University Center last year, it is evident that policy 24.014 is an attempt to prevent a peaceful protest like that from happening again.

While OUCD acknowledges Judge Todd Grace’s suggestion that the university implements a policy that protects both freedom of expression and student’s safety, we find that this policy does more to silence free speech, especially the voices of minority groups, more than anything else.  We are pleased that the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio stands by our side in opposition, stating “colleges and universities may enact reasonable restrictions on when and where students may gather, but this total ban is unjustified and would chill student, staff, and faculty expression.”

While the comment period has come to an end, we feel the need to keep the pressure on to make a decision that is in the best interest of all Bobcats. We ask that you fully rescind the unnecessary policy 24.014, and work with students to create a policy that truly promotes freedom of expression.


The Ohio University College Democrats