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Caitlin MacNeal

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.

Articles by Caitlin

The American Hospital Association, which has been vocal about its opposition to Republicans' bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, launched a television ad on Friday urging Congress to save health insurance coverage for Americans.

The 30-second spot includes clips of President Donald Trump assuring that Americans would get better coverage under the Republican plan, while the narrator notes that "some plans" for repeal in Congress actually would cause millions of Americans to lose their health insurance.

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The American Hospital Association on Friday aired concerns that Republicans in the House may not make enough sufficient changes to the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare to earn the group's support and called on GOP leaders to reset their approach.

Rick Pollack, the President and CEO of the AHA, said at a press conference that Republicans need to "press the reset button and reboot" their legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He outlined the three major issues that the hospitals group has with the House bill: a reduction in those insured, cuts to Medicaid funding and the repeal of taxes that helped fund the coverage provided by Obamacare.

"We cannot support the bill in its present form," Pollack said.

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Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), a top Republican who sits on the House Appropriations and Budget Committees, on Friday morning signaled he was not on board with all of President Donald Trump's proposed cuts in his budget blueprint.

The blueprint would slash funding for the National Institutes of Health and shift funding for the Centers for Disease Control to states, which Cole said would be a mistake.

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Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), who was the first member of Congress to endorse President Donald Trump in the 2016 campaign, said on Thursday night that he does not support the administration's proposal to cut funding for the Meals on Wheels program.

"This is the President's budget, I'm not sure where the details came from. But when we get into appropriations, Meals on Wheels is a wonderful program. It is one I would never vote to cut even one dollar," Collins told CNN's Van Jones.

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The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities have long been ripe targets for conservatives looking to trim fat from the federal budget, but President Donald Trump's newly released blueprint proposes eliminating them entirely—and arts and humanities advocates are already gearing up for a fight.

Advocates feel they have a good chance of lobbying Congress to save funding for the endowments, which they say fund programs that offer crucial support to the public education system, help veterans readjust to civilian life and bring arts and culture to small communities.

“What we have here is an attack upon global citizenship and national civic culture," Jim Grossman, the executive director of the American Historical Association, told TPM of the potential elimination of the NEH.

Dianne Harris, the dean of the University of Utah's College of Humanities and a member of the National Humanities Alliance board of directors, concurred that nixing the NEH would be "devastating for our country."

Advocates were particularly concerned that because the small grants issued by the NEA and NEH attract additional fundraising from private sources, the federal government would be nixing a cost-effective investment in the arts and humanities by eliminating the endowments. They warned that rural and poor communities would be hit hardest because those areas have fewer sources of private funding to fill the endowments' void.

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday went to bat for President Donald Trump, defending the administration's proposed cuts to the State Department's budget.

"Clearly the level of spending that the State Department has been undertaking, particularly in this past year, is simply not sustainable," Tillerson said in Tokyo, according to Reuters. "As time goes by, there will be fewer military conflicts that the U.S. will be directly engaged in."

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