Monthly Archives

October 2017

TRUTH CHECK: 5 Lies from Trump’s New Health Care Campaign Ad

The Trump re-election campaign just launched a national cable advertising campaign meant to distract from his troubles, distort the truth on health care and potentially damage the open enrollment period that starts tomorrow. The Trump administration’s health care repeal agenda has been rejected by voters and by Congress because it would rip coverage away from tens of millions Americans, increase premiums 20% and gut protections like those for people with pre-existing conditions.

Sadly, that doesn’t stop them from using lies and distortions to push it once again.

“The Trump campaign is using the worst of distortion and lies about health care to distract from the president’s problems,” said Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse. “Sadly, it has led him back to his favorite target — hurting health care for middle class families.”

Learn the truth…

LIE #1: “OBAMACARE IS FAILING”

FACT: The Affordable Care Act Is Not Failing

  • CBO: ACA Market Is Stable. The non-partisan CBO found that under current law, the ACA’s mix of carrots and sticks “are anticipated to cause sufficient demand for insurance by people with low health care expenditures for the market to be stable.”
  • ACA Market Will Remain Stable So Long As The Trump Administration Is Not “Disruptive.” S&P Global repeatedly reports that “2016 results and the market enrollment so far in 2017 show that the ACA individual market is not in a ‘death spiral.’” And, S&P expects the individual health insurance market is set for stability and profitability as long as the Administration is not “disruptive.”
  • The Affordable Care Act Has Brought Financial Security To Millions Of People. The National Bureau of Economic Research looked at the impacts of expanding Medicaid and found that the number of unpaid bills and debt has been reduced for those who gained coverage from the expanded Medicaid program.
  • No Bare Counties. Again, as in years past, residents in each county will have plans to choose from on the individual market.

FACT: Despite The Law’s Success, The Trump Administration Is Attempting to Sabotage The ACA

While President Trump and Republicans in Congress have been unable to repeal the health care law, they have been doing everything they can to sabotage the marketplace, including:

  • President Trump defunding the law’s mandatory cost-sharing-reduction payments, which the nonpartisan Congressional Budget office said would increase rates by 20% in 2018 and 25% in 2020.
  • Cutting 90% of the funding for advertising to support open enrollment.
  • President Trump signing an Executive Order on his first day in office demanding that agencies dismantle as much of the law as they can.
  • Signing an Executive Order to create garbage insurance plans which will raise premiums, slash coverage and end protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
  • Pursuing partisan repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which has created uncertainty in the market and led to higher premiums.

And these actions have had a significant impact on premiums across the country:

  • Alaska — Alaska Public Media: Premera to bump up premium to cover Trump cut
  • Arizona — Cronkite News: Cancer survivor says Trump plan sabotages health insurance coverage
  • Colorado — The Denver Channel: Colorado premiums will rise by 6% on top of existing hikes after Trump ends CSR subsidy payments
  • North Carolina — WRAL: Trump’s move prompts 14 percent rate increase on Blue Cross ACA plans
  • Pennsylvania — Philly Voice: Trump cuts to drive up Obamacare premiums in Pennsylvania by 30 percent

LIE #2: “INSURANCE PREMIUMS SKYROCKETING”

FACT: Tax Credits Help People Get Affordable Coverage

HHS: 80 Percent Of Marketplace Enrollees Can Obtain 2018 Coverage For $75 Or Less Per Month After Tax Credits. [HHS Marketplace Landscape Report, 10/30/17]

FACT: With Stable Policy By The Trump Administration, Premium Increases Would Have Been Lower

Kaiser Family Foundation: Lack Of CSR Payments Resulted In Surcharge In Premiums Of 7.1 To 38 Percent. “As shown in Table 1, among those insurers that specify the surcharge on silver plans for the discontinuation of CSR payments, the amount of the surcharge ranges from 7.1% to 38%.” [KFF, 10/27/17]

LIE #3: WORKING FAMILIES SUFFER WHILE DEMOCRATS…BLOCK A BETTER PLAN TO REPEAL AND REPLACE OBAMACARE ONCE AND FOR ALL

FACT: Every Iteration Of A GOP Health Care Repeal Bill Results In Less Coverage, Higher Costs, And Fewer Protections All To Give Tax Breaks For The Wealthy And Big Corporations

LIE #4: “HE WANTS WHAT’S BEST FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE: TOP QUALITY HEALTH CARE YOU CAN AFFORD”

FACT: President Trump’s favored Health Care Repeal Bill, The Graham-Cassidy Bill, Goes Even Further Than Previous Efforts To Gut Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions

  • “The New Version Appears To Go Further In Weakening Protections For Sick People, Apparently To Win Over Conservatives Who Continue To Express Reservations.” [Washington Post Plum Line, 9/25/17]
  • “The Bill Continues, However, To Give States Broad New Authority To Allow Insurance Companies To Provide Skimpier Plans With Far Fewer Benefits While Charging Higher Premiums To The Sick And The Old.” [Bloomberg, 9/25/17]
  • “The New Draft Attempts To Win Over Skeptical Conservatives By Further Weakening Consumer Protections For Americans In Bad Health.” [Slate, 9/25/17]
  • “States Would Have Even More Flexibility To Roll Back Some Of The Affordable Care Act’s Insurance Regulations — Including The Guarantees It Provides For People With Pre-Existing Conditions.” [Axios, 9/25/17]
  • Independent Analyses “Have Concluded That Major Funding Cuts And Loosened Insurance Regulations In The Bill Will Likely Erode Coverage For Many Vulnerable Americans.” [LA Times, 9/25/17]
  • “States Could Loosen Coverage Requirements Under The Law’s Mandates, Including Prohibiting Insurers From Charging Seriously Ill People Higher Premiums And Letting Them Sell Policies Covering Fewer Services.” [Associated Press, 9/25/17]

LIE #5: DEMOCRATS “[OBSTRUCT] OUR PRESIDENT JUST TO SCORE POLITICAL POINTS”

FACT: President Trump’s White House Pulled The Plug On Good Faith Bipartisan Negotiations

“House Speaker Paul Ryan And The White House Have Informed Senate Republican Leaders That They Oppose A Bipartisan Plan To Stabilize Obamacare Being Written In The Senate.” “House Speaker Paul Ryan and the White House have informed Senate Republican leaders that they oppose a bipartisan plan to stabilize Obamacare being written in the Senate, according to Trump administration and congressional sources, in a clear bid to boost the Senate’s prospects of repealing the health law.” [Politico, 9/19/17] “President Donald Trump Will Oppose Any Congressional Attempts To Reinstate Funding For Obamacare Subsidies.” [Politico, 10/13/17]

FACT: Time And Time Again, The American People Have Rejected Health Care Repeal

Poll: GOP Effort To Repeal Health Care Is The Most Unpopular Piece Of Legislation In Three Decades. [Axios, 7/7/17]

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Majority Want President Trump And Congress To Work On Legislation To Stabilize The Marketplaces Over Repeal Efforts. “The majority of the public think it is more important for President Trump and Congress to work on legislation to stabilize the marketplaces in order to minimize premiums increases and encourage more insurers to participate in the marketplaces than continue efforts to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law (66 percent vs. 29 percent).” [KFF, 10/13/17]

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: 7 In 10 Say It Is ‘Extremely’ Or ‘Very’ Important For Congress To Pass Legislation To Stabilize ACA Marketplaces. “This is followed by seven in ten (69 percent) who say [it is ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ important for Congress to pass] legislation to stabilize the ACA marketplaces in order to minimize premium increases and encourage more insurers to offer health plans.” [KFF, 9/22/17]

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Most Americans, Including The Majority Of Trump Supporters, Think Trump Should Do What He Can To Make The ACA Work. “A large share of Americans (78 percent) think President Trump and his administration should do what they can to make the current health care law work while few (17 percent) say they should do what they can to make the law fail so they can replace it later. About half of Republicans and supporters of President Trump say the Trump administration should do what they can to make the law work (52 percent and 51 percent, respectively) while about four in ten say they should do what they can to make the law fail (40 percent and 39 percent, respectively).” [KFF, 8/11/17]

Protect Our Care: Don’t Be Afraid — Enroll

On Eve of Open Enrollment, Protect Our Care Urges Americans to Ignore Trump and GOP’s Sabotage Efforts and Enroll in Health Care

Washington, D.C. — On the eve of the 45-day open enrollment period to sign up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Protect Our Care is urging Americans to enroll in health insurance. Protect Our Care’s message is simple: Because of the Affordable Care Act, health coverage remains affordable and available in every county in America for millions of Americans who need it. And if you want to thwart President Trump and the GOP’s efforts to sabotage American health care, you should enroll or help someone get enrolled between November 1st and December 15th.

Despite President Trump’s partisan repeal efforts, and repeated efforts at sabotage, the law remains strong and continues to provide affordable access to health care to Americans. In fact:

  • 80% of people in HealthCare.gov states can find a plan for less than $75/month, up from 71% last year, more people than ever before
  • 100% of counties have an insurer offering coverage despite President Trump and the GOP’s repeated lies to the contrary
  • 70% of counties have at least two issuers, meaning consumers have multiple plans to choose from
  • In nearly every county in America, some consumers will have access to insurance with zero dollar premiums contingent on age and income

“While many Americans will pay more due to President Trump’s sabotage, millions of Americans can still find affordable health coverage,” said Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse. “Despite Trump’s partisan repeal efforts and sabotage, the law remains strong and continues to provide affordable access to health care for Americans. Every county has issuers providing coverage, 8 in 10 Americans can find a plan for less than $75 a month and more people than ever can find a plan with no premium at all. And, while we will remain vigilant and will continue to call out all of Trump’s efforts to sabotage the law and open enrollment, the best way for Americans to fight back against the President’s politically-motivated efforts to undermine the law is to enroll in health care or help someone who needs coverage get enrolled. What better way to send a message to President Trump and congressional Republicans to drop sabotage and partisan repeal than to make this open enrollment exceed all expectations?”

Get America Covered has all the open enrollment information necessary, including how to sign up for health insurance, how to spread the word about open enrollment and more.

Protect Our Care Statement On Proposed CMS Rule

In response to the announcement of proposed rulemaking from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse:

“This is an outrageous attempt to sabotage the Affordable Care Act through executive action,” said Woodhouse. “President Trump and his administration are unwilling to accept that Congress and the American people have rejected their historically-unpopular partisan repeal. President Trump is so intent on sticking it to President Obama that he is going out of his way to sabotage the Affordable Care Act no matter who it hurts — slashing funding for open enrollment, ending cost-sharing reduction payments and now proposing to gut the heart of the protections that ensure access to comprehensive affordable care critical to preventing discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions, which polling shows is the most popular provision of the law.

“President Trump routinely proclaims he is against insurer ‘bailouts,’ but this proposed rule would also allow insurance companies to fill their coffers by raising their rates and lowering consumer rebates at the expense of providing care and without the necessary scrutiny from state insurance regulators.

“The Trump administration should be focused on strengthening our health care system rather than sabotaging it. It’s beyond time for Republicans in Congress to stand up to this unprecedented assault on our nation’s health care system.”

Protect Our Care Statement Regarding President Trump’s Impending Public Health Emergency…

In response to President Trump’s impending declaration that the country’s opioid epidemic is a public health emergency, Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“President Trump’s impending declaration of the opioid epidemic as a public health emergency is hollow when contrasted with his continued push to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” said Woodhouse. “The President and Republicans in Congress have repeatedly voted for health care repeal that would gut Medicaid, and take treatment away from people with substance use disorders. In some of the hardest hit states like Ohio and West Virginia, Medicaid pays for nearly half of buprenorphine-based medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders. President Trump and the GOP have attempted to end Medicaid expansion through repeal, an act analysis after analysis after analysis after analysis has shown would only worsen the opioid crisis. If President Trump truly wants to help those suffering under this terrible epidemic, he’ll abandon his reckless and partisan efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.”

Protect Our Care Statement on Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments Decision

In response to today’s decision on cost-sharing reduction payments, Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“Today’s decision only reinforces the need that Alexander-Murray needs to be passed immediately,” said Woodhouse. “The reality in health care is that President Trump’s sabotage is forcing premiums up 20 percent, growing the deficit by nearly 200 billion and making it more difficult for those who need health care to get it. That’s why a bipartisan majority of Senators agree that alleviating this sabotage through legislation is the best path forward. There is no time to waste — the Alexander-Murray bill should move forward immediately.”

SIREN: A Trump Administration Health Care Official Told the Truth (Partially)

During the Medical Innovation Summit in Cleveland this week, CMS Administrator Seema Verma made a stunning admission — the Affordable Care Act is working.

Despite President Trump repeatedly saying it’s a failure and demanding its repeal, Administrator Verma shared a more accurate view, saying:

“The ACA did cover more people, it did drive up quality across the country, but it did not control the escalating cost of healthcare.”

For months, the Trump administration has argued that the Affordable Care Act meant fewer people would have access to coverage and the coverage wasn’t any good. The truth is:

  • 20 million Americans got health care because of the Affordable Care Act, taking our uninsured rate to the lowest point in history at the start of the Trump administration.
  • The Affordable Care Act strengthened the quality of coverage by requiring insurance companies to cover those with pre-existing conditions, outlawing junk insurance policies and ensuring coverage for preventative care like routine doctor’s visits and certain cancer screenings.

It’s going to be hard for the GOP to argue it was a failure any more. Thanks, Administrator Verma!

Unfortunately, Verma also said that the Affordable Care Act did not control the escalating costs of health care, but she must have missed the fact that at the start of the Trump administration, health care price inflation had risen at the slowest rate in 50 years. Well, can’t get it all right…

Protect Our Care Statement on CBO Scoring of Alexander-Murray

In response to the CBO’s analysis of the bipartisan Alexander-Murray legislation, which found that the bill would reduce the federal deficit by $3.8 billion without coverage losses, Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“Today’s CBO report only reinforces that passing Alexander-Murray is a no-brainer,” said Woodhouse. “CBO previously found that President Trump’s health care sabotage of cost-sharing reduction funds would result in premiums going up 20 percent, one million people losing their coverage and the nation’s debt increasing by nearly $200 billion. Alexander-Murray would provide deficit savings and maintain coverage for the American people.

“If the reasons Alexander-Murray has gained such strong bipartisan support in the Senate weren’t clear before, they certainly are now. It’s time for President Trump and House and Senate Republican leaders to get on board and do the right thing for the American people by passing Alexander-Murray without delay.”

By the Headlines: Trump’s Health Care Sabotage Gets Wide, Critical Notice

As the fallout from President Trump’s decision to cancel cost-sharing reduction fundingcontinues, states are forced to make needless increases in out-of-pocket costs to compensate. And people are beginging to notice.

From Alaska, where premiums slated to drop are now rising, to Pennsylvania, where rates are going up an obscene 30 percent, the consequences have been significant and will only continue to grow. Instead of fixing the problem, Republicans in Congress continue to bottleneck the bipartisan Alexander-Murray health care stabilization which would restore the funding and stop the hikes. And every day they wait to get on board, Trump and his repeal-at-all-costs Republican allies will own more headlines like these:

Alaska — Alaska Public Media: Premera to bump up premium to cover Trump cut

Arizona — AZ Family: Arizonans worry about rising health insurance rates after Trump’s decision to pull Obamacare subsidies

Arizona — Cronkite News: Cancer survivor says Trump plan sabotages health insurance coverage

Arkansas — Arkansas Online: Double-digit increases OK’d for Arkansas’ health plans after subsidy paid to insurers ends

Colorado — The Denver Channel: Colorado premiums will rise by 6% on top of existing hikes after Trump ends CSR subsidy payments

Iowa — KCRG: As ACA sign up approaches, some fear much higher rates and less help

Kansas — KMBZ: Healthcare options likely to dwindle as government cuts off subsidies

Louisiana — The Advocate: With federal payments to health insurers in limbo, Louisianans brace for premium hikes and Congress mulls action

Louisiana — Fox 8: Expert: Executive order could disproportionately affect Louisianans

Maine — Sun Journal: Maine premiums expected to rise after ACA subsidies end

Missouri — St. Louis Public Radio: Trump’s decisions on health care likely to drive up rates in Missouri, experts say

Nevada — News 4: No immediate impacts from healthcare changes, but NV official fears long-term consequences

North Carolina — WRAL: Trump’s move prompts 14 percent rate increase on Blue Cross ACA plans

Ohio — Times Gazette: Subsidy cuts will raise rates for Obamacare exchange plans

Ohio — WYSO: End To Insurance Subsidies Sparks Concern Over Spike In Next Year’s Health Care Costs

Pennsylvania — Philly Voice: Trump cuts to drive up Obamacare premiums in Pennsylvania by 30 percent

South Carolina — Charleston Post and Courier: Anticipating Trump’s order, South Carolina’s sole Obamacare insurer already planned ‘tremendous’ hike

Tennessee — Fox 17: Tennesseans concerned about cost amid new executive order on healthcare

Tennessee — Nogga.com: Uncertainty in federal government means BCBST rate increase

West Virginia — Metro News: Highmark president says subsidy uncertainty helped drive exchange rate increases

Republican Support for Alexander-Murray Grows

Momentum for bipartisan legislation to shore up the country’s health care market, keep premiums and out-of-pocket expenses low and fund open enrollment continues to grow as Republicans sign onto a deal that has broad Democratic support. The legislation, introduced last week by U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA), already has the backing of a dozen Republican Senators, five Republican Governors and key House Members including Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, and Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), Co-Chair of the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus.

In just a few days, Alexander-Murray has generated more support in the Senate than any of the partisan repeal bills Republicans have pursued to date. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said this weekend that President Trump’s support is vital to bringing Alexander-Murray for a vote, yet without it there are enough votes for it to pass the Senate in a strong, bipartisan fashion, and likely enough votes for it to pass the House. Despite President Trump insisting on one failed attempt at partisan repeal after another, Members of Congress from both parties are taking matters into their own hands and are ready to act on bipartisan health care solutions with or without the engagement of the President. Don’t take our word for it; just look at the growing Republican support for Alexander-Murray below:

SENATORS

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN): “This Agreement Avoids Chaos.” “‘This would allow the Senate to continue its debate about the long term of health care, but over the next two years I think Americans won’t have to worry about the possibility of being able to buy insurance in counties where they live,’ Alexander said in announcing the deal after a closed-door lunch where he presented it to GOP senators. ‘This agreement avoids chaos. I don’t know a Republican or Democrat who benefits from chaos,’ he said.” [Associated Press, 10/17/17]

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): “This Short-Term Deal Is An Important Step As We Work Towards Long-Term Solutions.” “For months now, I have been urging a bipartisan approach to healthcare reform. I applaud my colleagues, Senators Alexander and Murray, for continuing to work towards a bipartisan solution addressing some of the most urgent and pressing needs when it comes to the flawed current healthcare law. This is not a problem for Republicans to fix, or Democrats to fix — this is an issue that we all need to come together on. We have to acknowledge that this is a challenge we all share and it’s our responsibility to address it. I’m so pleased to see that the good progress we made in the HELP Committee, in our efforts to stabilize and strengthen the individual market while working to keep premiums from rising, has not stalled. I remain committed to working with my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, to build upon this progress. This short-term deal is an important step as we work towards long-term solutions. So many of us agree the status quo with healthcare in this country is unacceptable. We must continue our efforts to reform our healthcare system — by reducing costs, increasing access, and providing quality healthcare that Americans deserve.” [Sen. Murkowski, 10/17/17]

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME): “I’m Very Pleased That Lamar Alexander And Patty Murray Continue To Work So Hard To Try To Stabilize The Insurance Markets, To Lower Premiums, And To Provide Some Stability.” “I’m very pleased that Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray continue to work so hard to try to stabilize the insurance markets, to lower premiums, and to provide some stability, which is really needed. This bill may not be perfect. I would have liked to have seen a specific authorization and some seed money for reinsurance pools, which would further help to lower premiums. But this is a good package, and I hope it will be passed very quickly so it can have an impact on rates this year.” [Meet the Press, 10/17/17]

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): “I Look Forward To Voting In Support Of This Bill.” “I want to commend Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray for reaching a bipartisan agreement to help stabilize the individual health insurance marketplace. As I have repeatedly stressed, health care reform ought to be the product of regular order in the Senate, and the deal reached today marks a critical step towards that end. Over the past several months, the HELP Committee heard testimony from governors, insurance commissioners, and stakeholders about ways to provide short-term relief to the individual marketplace and streamline the 1332 waiver process to provide states with greater flexibility. While this deal certainly doesn’t solve all the problems caused by Obamacare, it shows that good faith, bipartisan negotiations can achieve consensus on lasting reform. It is my hope that this is a sign of increased bipartisanship moving forward. I look forward to voting in support of this bill.” [McCain Statement, 10/17/17]

Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD): “We Protect Low-Income Families From Even Higher Premiums By Temporarily Continuing The CSR Payments For Two Years. “Our agreement will give us time to stabilize the market and provide meaningful flexibility and relief to states while we continue our efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare with a competitive, market-based health care system that is actually affordable. In the meantime, we protect low-income families from even higher premiums by temporarily continuing the CSR payments for two years.” [Sen. Rounds, 10/19/17]

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN): “Congress Has A Responsibility To Ensure That Families In Tennessee And Across Our Country Who Receive Health Insurance Through The Individual Market Do Not Continue To Be Burdened With Rising Premiums And Fewer Choices.” “Congress has a responsibility to ensure that families in Tennessee and across our country who receive health insurance through the individual market do not continue to be burdened with rising premiums and fewer choices. This bill is a temporary fix that will give states the flexibility they need as we work to develop a health care replacement that will stand the test of time and work better for the American people, and I applaud Senator Alexander’s leadership on this important issue.” [Sen. Corker, 10/18/17]

Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) And Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “Without A Stabilization Package, The Market Will Collapse And Advance Premium Tax Credits Will Spike.” “Without a stabilization package, the market will collapse and advance premium tax credits will spike. This would increase the costs to the American taxpayer.” [Joint Statement, 10/19/17]

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA): “This Bipartisan Bill Will Work To Help Stabilize The Markets For The Next Two Years, Give Permanent Flexibility To States Like Iowa, And Offer More Choices To Consumers On The Individual Market.” “This bipartisan bill will work to help stabilize the markets for the next two years, give permanent flexibility to states like Iowa, and offer more choices to consumers on the individual market. While I was disappointed that the Senate was unable to advance important changes to ObamaCare earlier this year, I remain committed to working to find ways to repeal and replace ObamaCare, and provide relief for Iowans suffering from skyrocketing premiums and dwindling individual market options.” [Sen. Ernst, 10/19/17]

HOUSE MEMBERS

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC): Alexander-Murray Bill Is “A Good Start.” “Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows, who’s been at work on a proposal of his own, was slightly more positive, calling the Alexander-Murray bill ‘a good start’ but saying much more work needed to be done.” [Associated Press, 10/17/17]

Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) And Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ): “We Want To Commend Senators Murray And Alexander On Their Breakthrough Today.” “We want to commend Senators Murray and Alexander on their breakthrough today. It aligns closely with our framework and we look forward to working closely with Congress and the White House to pass bipartisan legislation.” [Statement, 10/18/17]

REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS

Govs. John Kasich (R-OH), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Steve Bullock (D-MT), Bill Walker (I-AK), Tom Wolf (D-PA), Brian Sandoval (R-NV), Terry McAuliffe (D-VA), John Bel Edwards (D-LA), Charlie Baker (R-MA), Phil Scott (R-VT): “We Urge Congress To Quickly Pass Legislation To Stabilize Our Private Health Insurance Markets And Make Quality Health Insurance More Available And Affordable.” “We urge Congress to quickly pass legislation to stabilize our private health insurance markets and make quality health insurance more available and affordable. Senators Alexander and Murray have negotiated in good faith and developed a bipartisan agreement that will help achieve these goals. Their legislation deserves a vote by the House and Senate.” [Letter, 10/18/17]

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR): “I’m Very Supportive Of Congress Addressing [CSRs].” “‘You’ve got an impact on 4,000 Arkansans that are having the rug pulled out from underneath them right now,’ Hutchinson said. To protect such consumers, Hutchinson said, Congress should approve money to restore the cost-sharing payments. ‘I’m very supportive of Congress addressing this,’ Hutchinson said. ‘This is another thing that’s back in their lap.’” [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 10/18/17]

Those Who Know Health Care The Best Support The Bipartisan Alexander-Murray Bill

While ultimately failing to get even 50 votes to advance in the Senate, each iteration of the GOP health care repeal bill was able to do one thing exceptionally well: unite major patient groups, consumer groups, hospitals, physicians and issuers against their legislation. The Alexander-Murray proposal has also brought these groups together, but for a different reason — they all have come out in support of the bipartisan legislation. As 29 of the country’s leading patient, provider, and consumer groups have written, “The committee’s proposal, which extends cost-sharing reduction payments and includes other mechanisms of stabilization, clearly moves us in the right direction.”

Read what the rest have to say below…

PATIENT GROUPS

29 Patient, Provider, And Consumer Groups: “The Committee’s Proposal, Which Extends Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments And Includes Other Mechanisms Of Stabilization, Clearly Moves Us In The Right Direction.” “The new bipartisan bill from the Senate HELP Committee Chair and Ranking Member offers some solid strategies to help restore confidence in the individual health insurance market. The return to regular order and bipartisanship are a much-needed breath of fresh air in an often-divided Congress. Senators Alexander and Murray deserve high praise for their leadership on this complex and challenging issue. The committee’s proposal, which extends cost-sharing reduction payments and includes other mechanisms of stabilization, clearly moves us in the right direction. The legislation also preserves and supports key protections for individuals with preexisting conditions. We look forward to fully engaging in the next steps of this process — which will include a thorough and ongoing review of this bill’s impact on patients and consumers — and we caution against any changes that might weaken existing patient protections.” [ALS Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Arthritis Foundation, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Dystonia Medical Research Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation, Family Voices, GBS/CIDP Foundation International, Lutheran Services in America, March of Dimes, METAvivor Research & Support Organization, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Alopecia Areata Foundation, National Health Council, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Organization for Rare Disorders, Project Sleep, Pulmonary Hypertension Association, Scleroderma Foundation, The Marfan Foundation, U.S. Hereditary Angioedema Association, United Ostomy Associations of America, United Way Worldwide, Volunteers of America, WomenHeart, 10/18/17]

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network: “This Deal Offers Important, Immediate Action To Stabilize The Individual Insurance Market.” “This deal offers important, immediate action to stabilize the individual insurance market. The funding of cost-sharing reduction payments and encouragement of state reinsurance programs would help add stability to the insurance market and should help to mitigate premium spikes for millions of patients while providing necessary security for insurers to remain in the market. Restoring $106 million per year in outreach and education programming would help to reduce public confusion over the law and ensure more people who need health coverage get it…The bipartisan plan is a good first step toward preserving patient access to meaningful health care.” [ACS CAN, 10/18/17]

CONSUMER GROUPS

AARP: “This Proposal Is An Important Step Toward Strengthening The Affordable Care Act Markets.” “We applaud Senators Alexander and Murray for their bipartisan leadership in working together to develop a health insurance market stabilization plan. This proposal is an important step toward strengthening the Affordable Care Act markets. As the debate continues, AARP will keep advocating for people age 50 and older to protect their access to affordable health care. AARP remains committed to working with Congress to find commonsense, bipartisan solutions that will increase health coverage, lower costs, and stabilize the insurance markets.” [AARP, 10/19/17]

Consumers Union: “We Urge Both The Senate And House To Make Passing Stabilizing Legislation A Priority So That Consumers Aren’t Left Paying The Hefty Price Of Inaction.” “We are encouraged by the bipartisan deal to stabilize the health insurance markets. This agreement — which includes funding the cost-sharing reduction payments for the next two years and restoring funding for enrollment efforts — incorporates consumer-first solutions that will strengthen the marketplaces and ensure that consumers can access affordable care…We urge both the Senate and House to make passing stabilizing legislation a priority so that consumers aren’t left paying the hefty price of inaction.” [Consumers Union, 10/17/17]

PHYSICIANS

American Medical Association: “We Urge All Members Of Congress To Support The Alexander-Murray Proposal.” “The American Medical Association supports the compromise proposal developed by Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray to restore the cost-sharing reduction payments needed to stabilize the individual and non-group health insurance markets through 2019. Multiyear action is needed to maintain the availability and affordability of individual health insurance plans that millions of Americans count on for access to the medical care they need. We are pleased the proposal includes additional health plan options and provides needed funding for outreach, education, and enrollment assistance, while maintaining key guardrails to protect patients as part of the state waiver process. We urge all members of Congress to support the Alexander-Murray proposal.” [AMA, 10/19/17]

HOSPITALS

Federation Of American Hospitals: “We Encourage Both The House And Senate To Act Swiftly On This Important Legislation Since Enrollment Begins In A Matter Of Days.” “We applaud Senators Alexander and Murray for their leadership in crafting a bipartisan plan that will help millions of working American families keep access to the care they need. Ensuring that federal funds remain available to pay for the subsidization of the cost sharing is vital to keeping premiums in check and coverage available to so many people that depend on this critical program. We encourage both the House and Senate to act swiftly on this important legislation since enrollment begins in a matter of days.” [FAH, 10/18/17]

Catholic Health Association: “We Encourage Members Of The House And Senate In Both Parties To Work Diligently On Behalf Of The American People To Achieve A Bipartisan Solution That Provides The Market Stabilization So Essential To A Functional Health Delivery System.” “This two-year stabilization would give the country time to work on the improvements necessary while protecting millions of Americans, many of whom have finally gotten insurance for the first time. We encourage members of the House and Senate in both parties to work diligently on behalf of the American people to achieve a bipartisan solution that provides the market stabilization so essential to a functional health delivery system. Failure to reach an appropriate solution quickly would be harmful to all Americans, but most especially to the millions who have finally been able to get health insurance and address their health concerns.” [CHA, 10/18/17]

Greater New York Hospital Association: “GNYHA Strongly Supports The Alexander-Murray Agreement.” “The leaders of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), have apparently reached a bipartisan agreement to fund the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments — just days after the Trump Administration announced that CSR funding would be discontinued beginning with payments due on October 18. GNYHA strongly supports the Alexander-Murray agreement.” [Letter to Members, 10/19/17]

ISSUERS

America’s Health Insurance Plans: “This Bill Will Provide American Consumers With A More Stable Insurance Market, States With More Flexibility To Meet The Needs Of Their Citizens, And More Choice And More Affordable Care.” “This bill will provide American consumers with a more stable insurance market, states with more flexibility to meet the needs of their citizens, and more choice and more affordable care. AHIP supports and is encouraged by this bipartisan legislation, and we thank Senators Alexander and Murray for their continued commitment to developing solutions that will help ensure the American people have a pathway to more affordable coverage and health care.” [AHIP, 10/18/17]