HC Wake-Up Call: Flash Floods In California, Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty, & Trump Administration's New Rules For Healthcare

Good morning Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds — we’re all only human, after all. 

But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.) 

Flash Floods & MudSlides Cause California Residents Devastated By Wildfires To Evacuate Again 

Less than a week after firefighters contained the Camp fire that killed 88 people, burned more than 150,000 acres and destroyed 19,000 buildings in Northern California, residents and officials prepared for a powerful storm that has resulted in destructive flooding and mudslides. The Associated Press reports that some residents will now have to evacuate again. 

A flash flood warning was issued by the National Weather Service on Thursday for the Chico and Paradise area. Heavy rain that afternoon caused the rivers and streams to quickly rise, trapping over 150 cars on bridges and roads. According to BuzzFeed News, Butte County officials were sent to aid residents and later evacuate dozens of homes. 

Heavy rain over wildfire-scarred areas can be incredibly dangerous. According to the Associated Press, freshly burned land can’t properly absorb water, which could lead to mudslides and debris flows.  Between one and two inches of rain fell in the Chico and Paradise areas, and over a the past eight days a total of 10 inches of rain has fallen across California. The rainfall has caused flooded roads and closed at least two major highways, CNN reports. 

Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty To Lying To Congress About Trump Real Estate Project 

President Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in federal court on Thursday about planning to construct a Trump Tower in Moscow in 2016. 

Cohen appeared in federal court in Manhattan on Thursday morning. He admitted to lying to the Senate intelligence committee back in 2017 about how long negotiations were for the Moscow project and about Trump's involvement during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to the New York Times. The Moscow real estate project has been one of the main focuses of the FBI’s probe into Trump and Russia. 

In exchange for a guilty plea, Robert Mueller’s special counsel agreed to not include additional charges against Cohen. BuzzFeed News reports that Cohen would not face additional charges “for any other false statements” to Congress, or for obstruction or perjury.  Cohen faces anywhere between zero to six months in prison and a fine between $500 and $9,500. 

Cohen will appear in court again for sentencing for a previous guilty plea. It is unclear right now how both pleas will affect the president and Mueller’s investigations. 

Trump Administration Announced New Guidelines To Give States Freedom To Create Health Care Plans Outside Of The Affordable Care Act

For the first time ever, the Trump administration announced new rules on Thursday that will help states develop a “free and open healthcare market,” according to NPR. Part of Trump’s biggest mission in office was to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

The ACA has strict rules for guaranteeing access to health care and covering a broad range of services. It also has a system for exemptions known as 1332 waivers, which allows states to possibly make changes, according to The Hill. The new guidelines would enable states to create more lower-cost coverage options. The ACA subsidies would, thus, be used to pay for unregulated health insurance plans. This tends to result in higher out-of-pocket costs and fewer services covered. NPR reports that the guidelines also allow states to have more leeway in how it uses public funds to decrease premiums.

But the Trump administration made it clear that already established protections will not be rewritten in the ACA. “The Trump administration is committed to empowering states to think creatively about how to secure quality, affordable healthcare choices for their citizens,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to BuzzFeed News.

What to look out for…

Be on the lookout for when Ariana Grande drops her highly-anticipated “Thank U, Next” music video today! The level of excitement we have for it is overwhelming, and we cannot wait to see the star-studded cast recreating some of our favorite movies.