We’re continuing our deep dive into the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which President Biden signed last week.

Last week, Rebekah Entralgo explained why the package was a big step forward for workers. This week, my colleagues Olivia Alperstein and Samantha Garcia offer first-person perspectives and analyses on some of the bill’s other provisions.

Olivia, who survived an awful health scare this February, talks about the significance of the law’s expansion of the Affordable Care Act — the biggest health care expansion, actually, since the ACA was passed 11 years ago this month. And Samantha, who shares her story of taking a commuter train each day to school in New Mexico, reports on the package’s emergency bailout of America’s ailing public transit systems.

Also this week, Jim Hightower castigates Ted Cruz for supporting another attack on voting rights, while Khalil Bendib mocks the GOP for scoffing at the relief bill’s price tag — which happens to be about the same as the gargantuan tax cut package Republicans passed for rich people when they were in power.

Finally, we look at a hopeful story.

As Americans from Texas to Alaska and Michigan to Mississippi confront new fights over their drinking water, Robin Broad and John Cavanagh offer some global inspiration from El Salvador, where ordinary, often poor people beat back an attempt by a global mining company to mine for gold in their chief watershed. “If ordinary people can overcome powerful companies to protect their water in a poor country like El Salvador,” they write, “imagine what their counterparts can do here.”

New This Week…

Water Is Life. Can We Protect It? | Robin Broad and John Cavanagh
Americans will have to fight hard to protect their water from corporate greed. They can learn a lot from El Salvador.

COVID Relief: The Biggest Health Care Expansion in a Decade | Olivia Alperstein
The American Rescue Plan will help over 1 million uninsured Americans get covered — and cut premiums by half for millions more.

We All Need Transit — Whether We Ride It or Not | Samantha Garcia
Without public transit, I couldn’t have gotten my degree. And all of us need it to keep our planet livable.

A Mob Is Coming for Your Voting Rights | Jim Hightower
It’s not a crowd of rioters, like on January 6 — it’s a group of legalistic autocrats like Ted Cruz and Mitch McConnell.

Oh the Obscenity! | Khalil Bendib
Republicans who passed a $1.9 trillion tax cut for rich people are scoffing at a $1.9 trillion bailout for everyone else.

In Case You Missed It…

Biden’s Relief Package Is a Huge Victory for Workers | Rebekah Entralgo
It’s one of the largest antipoverty programs ever passed — and will save worker pensions throughout the Midwest.

Texas: A Study in Private Gain at Public Expense | Denita Jones
My family spent the Texas freeze cold and dirty and parched while utilities bilked us and politicians fled to resorts.

Is Pot Really More Potent These Days? Does it Matter? | Paul Armentano
Cannabis, like alcohol, is available in a variety of potencies. Unlike alcohol, a potent dose of cannabis won’t kill you.

Our Elections Are Being Rigged | Jim Hightower
Republican lawmakers are stealing our electoral process in broad daylight.

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Peter Certo

Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and editor of OtherWords.org.