Monthly Archives

August 2018

“I’m Honestly Concerned and Very Scared”: Alaskan Visits Washington, D.C. to Tell Sen. Lisa Murkowski Her Fears Over Kavanaugh’s Nomination

Yesterday, a young Alaskan woman traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with Sen. Lisa Murkowski  following her meeting with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Leighan Gonazales was born with a heart condition that required open heart surgery at five months old – a pre-existing condition protected by the Affordable Care Act. She traveled 14 hours from Alaska this week to meet with her Senator to express her fears that, if confirmed, Kavanaugh would rubber stamp the Republican war on health care and overturn protections for 326,000 Alaskans with pre-existing conditions.

Alaska Public Media, “Alaskans Press Murkowski on Kavanaugh”: Some 30 Alaskans flew to the nation’s capital mid-week to urge Murkowski to vote no. Among them was Leighan Gonzales, a student at UAA. “I made a very personal appeal and I asked her to vote no on his nomination because I’m honestly concerned and very scared of this person being on the Supreme Court,” Gonzales said. Gonzales was born with a heart condition that required surgery. She said Kavanaugh is hostile to a key promise of the Affordable Care Act: that people with pre-existing conditions won’t be denied insurance coverage.[…] Gonzales said Murkowski seemed receptive to her message on Thursday. “I brought a picture, a baby picture post-surgery, with this giant scar on my tiny baby chest,” Gonzales said. “She was really moved by that, and I felt very optimistic.”

KDXF (Fairbanks), “Alaskans Ask Murkowski to Vote Against Kavanaugh for Supreme Court Justice”: Leighan Gonzales of Anchorage, who was born with a heart condition, is worried that thousands of Alaskans will lose protections in the current ACA if Murkowski votes in favor of the supreme court nominee.”The biggest concern and the reason I asked her to vote no on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination is the pre-existing protections that were brought forward in the ACA. There have been a lot of attacks on the Affordable Care Act recently. And these are issues that we know in Alaska are so much closer to home and bigger than in other states where we discuss healthcare accessibility,” said Gonzales.

KTUU (Anchorage), “Murkowski Meets with Kavanaugh as Alaskans Weigh In”: Alaskan activists flew to the Capitol overnight to tell Murkowski what they thought of Kavanaugh’s nomination. Leighan Gonzales, says she wants Murkowski to consider people like her with pre-existing conditions – she was born with a hole in her heart. She’s worried about the impact Kavanaugh could have on health care laws. “I’m concerned about not knowing enough about his record and that the hearings are being pushed forward too quickly,” Gonzales said.

Concerned Alaskans have held 12 press calls, press conferences, and events across the state in the six weeks since Kavanaugh’s nomination was announced. In each instance, Alaskans relying on protections for pre-existing conditions or expanded Medicaid services created by the Affordable Care Act have made clear that Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination

Final Rates Confirm Arkansans’ Insurance Is Getting Even More Expensive

Washington, D.C. – Today, Arkansas announced final rates for 2019 individual-market health insurance plans, which indicate premium increases of up to 4.6 percent, due to the Trump Administration and Washington Republicans’ health care sabotage. Health insurance analysts estimate that absent GOP sabotage, individual-market insurance plans in Arkansas would have decreased by 8 percent and the cost of individual-market health insurance plans nationwide would drop 4.3 percent.  

Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, released the following statement in response:

“For the past year and a half, President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress have engaged in a deliberate, aggressive campaign to undermine health care and families in Arkansas are once again forced to pay the price. Until we stop Republicans’ war on health care, insurance companies will continue to make huge profits and enjoy record tax breaks from Republicans while they charge working families more and more. Washington Republicans should start working on bipartisan solutions to make coverage more affordable, instead of helping their friends in the insurance industry make another buck on the backs of hardworking Arkansans.”

From the Experts:

Charles Gaba, Health Care Analyst: Arkansas Premiums Would Have Dropped By Eight Percent If Not For GOP Sabotage. [ACASignups, 8/2/18]

Brookings Analysis Estimates That Individual Market Premiums Would Decrease If Not For GOP Sabotage. Among its key findings:

  • Estimates That Average Premium Would Fall By 4.3 Percent In 2019 Absent GOP Sabotage. “I estimate that the nationwide average per member per month premium in the individual market would fall by 4.3 percent in 2019 in a stable policy environment.” [Brookings Institution, 8/1/18]
  • Insurance Companies’ Revenues Will Far Exceed Their Costs In 2018. “I project that insurers’ revenues in the ACA-compliant individual market will far exceed their costs in 2018, generating a positive underwriting margin of 10.5 percent of premium revenue. This is up from a modest positive margin of 1.2 percent of premium revenue in 2017 and contrasts sharply with the substantial losses insurers incurred in the ACA-compliant market in 2014, 2015, and 2016. The estimated 2018 margin also far exceeds insurers’ margins in the pre-ACA individual market. ” [Brookings Institution, 8/1/18]

America’s Health Insurance Plans: Republican Sabotage Will “Drive Up The Rate Of Premium Increases.” “Policies that disproportionately draw healthy consumers away from the individual market, like expanding access to short-term plans, will likely have an even more devastating effect on affordability, choice and competition. This will further result in adverse selection, drive up the rate of premium increases, and exacerbate affordability issues for many other people.” [America’s Health Insurance Plans Letter to HHS, 4/20/18]

Kris Haltmeyer, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Vice President: “With The Repeal Of The Individual Mandate And The Failure Of Congress To Enact Stabilization Legislation, We Are Expecting Premiums To Go Up Substantially.” Kris Haltmeyer, a vice president at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, told reporters that the premium increases were in part due to the repeal of ObamaCare’s individual mandate in the Republican tax reform bill in December. He also cited lawmakers’ failure to pass a bill aimed at shoring up the market, which fell apart earlier this year amid a partisan dispute over abortion restrictions. ‘With the repeal of the individual mandate and the failure of Congress to enact stabilization legislation, we are expecting premiums to go up substantially,’ Haltmeyer said. He estimated that average premium increases nationwide will be in the ‘low teens,’ but that there will be major variation across areas, ranging from the low single digits to up to 70 or 80 percent.” [The Hill, 5/23/18]

Senate GOP Bill on Pre-existing Conditions Is An Election Season Scam

Washington, DC – As reported by POLITICO, 10 Republican Senators have taken the cynical step of seeking political cover by introducing legislation to enshrine some of the protections for people with pre-existing conditions that are in the Affordable Care Act into HIPAA. The move comes immediately on the heels of the very same Senators – just yesterday – toeing the line on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refusing to allow the Senate to vote on Senator Manchin’s amendment that would support authorizing Senate Legal Counsel to intervene in Texas vs. United States, a pending Trump-GOP lawsuit that would eliminate these very same protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement in response:

“After voting numerous times to undermine protections and raise costs for people with pre-existing conditions, staying silent as the Trump Administration guts these protections by expanding junk plans, and not lifting a finger to stop the the Republican lawsuit that would eliminate them altogether, this bill is just an election year scam from Senate Republicans desperate to hide from their own record. While they campaign on the lie that they want to protect people with pre-existing conditions, Republican Senators on this bill have already acknowledged they want to repeal the Affordable Care Act again if Republicans maintain their majorities next year. If they think they can fool the American people, they’ve got another thing coming.”

 

 

 

 

Alaskan with Pre-Existing Condition Meets with Senator Murkowski in D.C.

Washington, D.C. – Today, Leighan Gonzales, a 23 year old University of Alaska, Anchorage student, met with Senator Lisa Murkowski to discuss how Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court threatens protections for Alaskans with pre-existing conditions.

Leighan was was born with a heart condition that required open heart surgery at five months old – a pre-existing condition protected by the Affordable Care Act. She traveled 14 hours from Alaska this week to meet with her senator to make sure her concerns were heard, especially on behalf of the 320,000 Alaskans with pre-existing conditions who were not able to make the trek.

“Today, I met with Senator Murkowski to ask her to vote no on Judge Kavanaugh,” said Leighan. “As an Alaskan with a pre-existing condition, I am very concerned that protections for people with pre-existing conditions and Medicaid are in jeopardy. Senator Murkowski has stood up for Alaskans before, and I hope that she will do it again.”

For the past 18 months, the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress and states across the country have been waging a relentless war on our health care. The Trump Administration has turned to executive orders and regulations to roll back the Affordable Care Act (ACA) piece by piece, all while joining a lawsuit that threatens to upend protections for people with pre-existing conditions and end the Medicaid expansion, which was signed into law in Alaska by Governor Bill Walker. Judge Kavanaugh has criticized the Supreme Court’s previous decision in favor of the ACA, and has said that a president may refuse to enforce laws he disagrees with.

Concerned Alaskans have held 12 press calls, press conferences, and events across the state in the six weeks since Kavanaugh’s nomination was announced. In each instance, Alaskans relying on protections for pre-existing conditions or expanded Medicaid services created by the ACA have made clear that Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination would be disastrous for thousands of Alaskans, and have implored their Senators to vote no.

Sen. Murkowski Should Keep Her Health Care Promises and Oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s Nomination to the Supreme Court

Judge Kavanaugh’s Record is at Odds with Sen. Murkowski’s Promises to Protect People with Pre-existing Conditions and Women’s Health

After President Trump announced he would nominate Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Senator Lisa Murkowski assured constituents that she would hold him to a “rigorous and exacting” review. However, Sen. Murkowski is avoiding the fact that Kavanaugh stands in stark opposition to the commitments she made to her constituents — namely, to ensure protections for people with pre-existing conditions continue, protect access to birth control, and defend access to safe and legal abortion:

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiBrett Kavanaugh
On Pre-Existing Conditions:Murkowski: “We must continue to prohibit insurers from discriminating against pre-existing conditions.” Last year, Kavanaugh criticized Chief Justice Roberts for upholding the ACA, which protects people with pre-existing conditions.
On Access To Birth Control:In 2014, Sen. Murkowski was one of only three Republicans who voted to ban employers from denying their employees access to birth control coverage. In 2015, Kavanuagh sided with employers over women, arguing that they be able to deny women coverage for birth control.
On Safe And Legal Abortion:Murkowski: “I recognize that the Supreme Court, through Roe v. Wade, has said that a woman has the right, that reproductive right, to choose, and I have supported that.” In 2017, Kavanaugh tried to force a young woman to continue a pregnancy against her will.

 

Final Rates Confirm Delawareans’ Insurance Is Getting Even More Expensive

Washington, D.C. – Today, Delaware announced final rates for 2019 individual-market health insurance plans, which indicate a 3 percent premium increase, in contrast to the average nationwide 4.3 percent decrease that Brookings Institution analysts predicted would occur absent GOP sabotage, on top of last year’s 25 percent rate hike due to Washington Republicans’ repeal-and-sabotage agenda. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, released the following statement in response:

“For the past year and a half, President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress have engaged in a deliberate, aggressive campaign to undermine health care and families in Delaware are once again forced to pay the price. Until we stop Republicans’ war on health care, insurance companies will continue to make huge profits and enjoy record tax breaks from Republicans while they charge working families more and more. Washington Republicans should start working on bipartisan solutions to make coverage more affordable, instead of helping their friends in the insurance industry make another buck on the backs of hardworking Delawareans.”

From the Insurance Company:

Highmark: GOP Mandate Repeal And Short-Term Junk Plans Contributing To Rising Rates. “The rate development in this filing is based on certain assumptions we have had to make… We have assumed that the ACA health insurance coverage mandate is eliminated…. We have included an assumed [load] for expected adverse selection due to the Short Term limited Durational Insurance market expansion.” [Highmark, accessed 8/22]

Highmark: GOP Mandate Repeal Harmed Insurance Market, Leading To Higher Rates. “We applied [an adjustment] to reflect the anticipated changes in the average morbidity of the covered population… The morbidity factor was [increased] to reflect the market uncertainty from the elimination of the health insurance coverage mandate.” [Highmark, accessed 8/22]

From the Experts:

Brookings Analysis Estimates That Individual Market Premiums Would Decrease If Not For GOP Sabotage. Among its key findings:

  • Estimates That Average Premium Would Fall By 4.3 Percent In 2019 In Stable Policy Environment. “I estimate that the nationwide average per member per month premium in the individual market would fall by 4.3 percent in 2019 in a stable policy environment.” [Brookings Institution, 8/1/18]
  • Insurance Companies’ Revenues Will Far Exceed Their Costs In 2018. “I project that insurers’ revenues in the ACA-compliant individual market will far exceed their costs in 2018, generating a positive underwriting margin of 10.5 percent of premium revenue. This is up from a modest positive margin of 1.2 percent of premium revenue in 2017 and contrasts sharply with the substantial losses insurers incurred in the ACA-compliant market in 2014, 2015, and 2016. The estimated 2018 margin also far exceeds insurers’ margins in the pre-ACA individual market. ” [Brookings Institution, 8/1/18]
  • Absent Republican Sabotage, Average Premiums For ACA-Compliant Plans Would Likely Fall In 2019. “In this analysis, I define a stable policy environment as one in which the federal policies toward the individual market in effect for 2018 remain in effect for 3 2019. Notably, this scenario assumes that the individual mandate remains in effect for 2019, but also assumes that policies implemented prior to 2018, like the end of CSR payments, remain in effect as well. Under those circumstances, insurers’ costs would rise only moderately in 2019, primarily reflecting normal growth in medical costs.” [Brookings Institution, 8/1/18]

Setting the Record Straight on Kevin Cramer and the North Dakota GOP’s Attacks on People with Pre-Existing Conditions

For years, Republicans, including Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-ND), have waged a war on our health care trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions like cancer, diabetes or heart disease. Today, Republicans in North Dakota, in a scene out of Bizarro World, are holding a press conference to try to convince us that’s not really what they are doing.

They can’t change the facts. Republicans have repeatedly voted to repeal the ACA in its entirety. What that would mean is insurance companies could go back to denying or dropping coverage, or charging more, because of a pre-existing condition. They have tried to sabotage our health care at every turn which would make health coverage unaffordable for people with pre-existing conditions, essentially the same thing as repealing the protections all together. And they are now asking the court to do what they couldn’t do legislatively.

Here are the ways Republicans in North Dakota have attacked the 316,000 people in the state with a pre-existing condition:

NORTH DAKOTA REPUBLICAN LEADERS HAVE REPEATEDLY STOOD AGAINST PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS

Rep. Kevin Cramer voted multiple times to eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions:

2013: Cramer Voted For A Full Repeal Of The ACA. Cramer voted for HR 25, which created a reserve fund for the full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. [HR 25, House Vote #88, 3/21/13]

2013: Cramer Voted For A Total Repeal Of The ACA.  Cramer voted for HR 45, an act “to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.” [HR 45, Roll Call Vote #154, 5/16/13]

2015: Cramer Voted For A Total Repeal Of The ACA.  Cramer voted for HR 596, an act “to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.”  The bill also ordered House committees to develop a replacement that would “provide people with pre-existing conditions access to affordable health coverage,” but provided no specifics. [HR 596, Roll Call Vote #58, 2/3/15]

In fact, Cramer’s own website acknowledges his vote would “repeal the affordable care act in its entirety.” “Today Congressman Kevin Cramer voted with the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal the Affordable Care Act in its entirety.” [Cramer Website, 2/3/15]

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem Filed a Lawsuit that Would Repeal The ACA And Its Protections For 316,000 North Dakotans With Pre-existing Conditions. North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem joined conservatives in 19 other states in the Texas v. United States lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. If the lawsuit were successful, here is how it would impact the people in the state:

  • Insurance companies would be able to deny, drop or charge more for coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. In North Dakota, 316,000 people have a pre-existing condition.
  • It would repeal provisions that lower prescription drugs for people on Medicare
  • It would repeal the provision allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26
  • It would allow insurance companies to impose annual and lifetime limits again
  • It would allow insurance companies to charge women more for coverage
  • It would repeal tax credits that help  up to 17,000 North Dakotans purchase health coverage.
  • It would repeal Medicaid expansion, which has helped 21,400 North Dakotans get coverage.

Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread Is “Extremely Supportive” of Stenjehm’s Lawsuit To Overturn Protections For People With Pre-existing Conditions, And Has Filed An Affidavit Of Support In The Case. “In a letter on Tuesday, North Dakota’s Democratic-NPL Party called for Stenehjem to withdraw from the 20-state lawsuit, citing consequences for the state’s Medicaid expansion and state residents afforded protections by the federal health care law. Godfread said his department has filed an affidavit in the case, outlining issues he sees in North Dakota. ‘In short order, we are extremely supportive of the attorney general continuing this lawsuit and have assisted him along the way,’ he said.” [Grand Forks Herald, 8/9/18]

State Senator Armstrong Agreed That AG Stenehjem Had An “Obligation” To Join The Suit To Overturn Protections For Pre-Existing Conditions.  “North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem announced he would join Texas in the lawsuit. Stenehjem has ‘an obligation to pursue’ the lawsuit if he ‘thinks the law is unconstitutional,’ Armstrong said in a statement to the Herald. ‘We all agree that we must protect people with pre-existing conditions, but it is clear that Obamacare is a complete failure in North Dakota,’ Armstrong said. The Unaffordable Care Act is unpopular with providers and customers. It’s broken. Everyone knows it’s broken.’” [Grand Forks Herald, 8/3/18]

THOSE WHO KNOW BEST KNOW STENEHJEM’S LAWSUIT WOULD HURT NORTH DAKOTANS

Patient groups, physicians, and hospitals emphasize how much the lawsuit could threaten care for people across the country:

  • American Cancer Society, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and National Multiple Sclerosis Society: “Striking Down These Provisions Would Be Catastrophic And Have Dire Consequences For Many Patients With Serious Illnesses.” Invalidating the ACA in whole or in part “would be devastating for the millions of Americans who suffer from serious illness or have preexisting conditions and rely on those protections under current law to obtain life-saving health care. If either the plaintiffs’ or the administration’s position were adopted by the court, people with serious illness are likely to be denied coverage due to their preexisting conditions or charged such high premiums because of their health status that they will be unable to afford any coverage that may be offered. Without access to comprehensive coverage, patients will be forced to delay, skip, or forego care. Striking down these provisions would be catastrophic and have dire consequences for many patients with serious illnesses.” [American Cancer Society et. al, 6/14/18]
  • American Medical Association, The American Academy of Family Physicians, The American College of Physicians, The American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: “​Invalidating The Guaranteed-issue And Community Rating Provisions—or The ​entire A​CA—would Have A Devastating Impact On Doctors, Patients, And The American Health Care System As A Whole.” “Congress declined to do what the Plaintiffs ask this Court to do for a reason: the consequences of repealing the ACA would be staggering…Plaintiffs’ proposed remedies . . . would strip health care from tens of millions of Americans who depend on the ACA; produce skyrocketing insurance costs; and sow chaos in the nation’s health care system​…The ACA’s ‘nationwide protections for Americans with pre-existing health conditions’ has played a ‘key role’ in allowing 3.6 million people to obtain affordable health insurance. Severing those vital insurance reforms would leave millions without much-needed insurance.” [AMA et. al, 6/14/18]
  • American Hospital Association, Federation of American Hospitals, The Catholic Health Association of the United States, and Association of American Medical Colleges: “A judicial repeal would have severe consequences for America’s hospitals, which would be forced to shoulder the greater uncompensated-care burden that the ACA’s repeal would create.” The relief sought by Texas and its allies “would have devastating consequences, kicking millions of Americans off of coverage and inflicting on them all the harms that come with being uninsured. These harms would fall on the low-income families least able to cope with them. ​And a judicial repeal would have severe consequences for America’s hospitals, which would be forced to shoulder the greater uncompensated-care burden that the ACA’s repeal would create.” [American Hospital Association et. al, 6/14/18]
  • Public Health Scholars and the American Public Health Association: “The Foreseeable Public Health Consequences Of The Injunction Are Nothing Short of Catastrophic.” “Without the ACA, the health of millions of Americans would be harmed. Consider the grim analyses of proposed legislation partially repealing the ACA: In 2017, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (“CBO”) assessed the impact of a bill partially repealing the ACA and found (among other things) that it would, in “the first new plan year following enactment of the bill” alone, increase the number of uninsured Americans by 18 million. That number would grow to 27 million after the “year following the elimination of the Medicaid expansion,” and then to 32 million by 2026. Still more is at stake here: Unlike the injunctive relief plaintiffs seek, the bill analyzed by CBO would have staggered its partial repeal of the ACA to avoid catastrophic results. Here, plaintiffs ask the Court to eliminate, as preliminary injunctive relief, a complex statute in its eighth year of implementation—a statute whose repeal through democratic means has been attempted innumerable times but has never succeeded.” [Public Health Scholars et. al, 6/14/18]
  • AARP: Before ACA’s Protections, Discrimination Against Those With Pre-Existing Conditions, Age Rating, And Annual And Lifetime Caps Made Accessing Health Care Out Of Reach For Older Adults. “Uninsured pre-Medicare adults faced nearly insurmountable challenges to securing insurance because they were denied coverage based on preexisting conditions or offered costly policies that excluded coverage for needed care. Even without preexisting conditions, insurance premiums for older adults were as much as 11 times greater than their younger counterparts solely based on their age. Even a healthy person who was age 50 to 64 with no preexisting conditions faced markedly higher insurance premium rates than a younger person. Age rating put the cost of insurance out of reach for many pre-Medicare adults. Annual and lifetime caps—which were easily exceeded by treatment for a single illness such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes—meant that many older adults either went without treatment until they became eligible for Medicare or incurred financially ruinous medical debt.” [AARP, 6/14/18]

Health insurance companies warn that the lawsuit could lead to mass coverage losses:

  • America’s Health Insurance Plans: “Abruptly threatening or even cutting off billions of federal dollars that allow individuals to purchase insurance and that fund benefits offered through Medicaid or Medicare would have devastating effects.” “The healthcare system, while constantly evolving, cannot pivot to a new (or, worse yet, non-existent) set of rules without consequences. Abruptly threatening or even cutting off billions of federal dollars that allow individuals to purchase insurance and that fund benefits offered through Medicaid or Medicare would have devastating effects.​ Enjoining enforcement of federal laws like the federally-facilitated marketplaces and the products sold on them would be similarly disruptive.” [AHIP, 6/14/18]
  • The Ability Of Millions Of Low-Income, Medically Vulnerable People To Access Necessary Treatments Would Be Cast Into Doubt. “The Medicaid program would likewise experience significant disruptions​. Stopping the funding for individuals made newly eligible for Medicaid under the ACA would harm the 34 states that have chosen to expand their Medicaid programs and potentially disrupt healthcare coverage for the 12 million people added as a result of that expansion​…The coverage of millions of low-income and medically-vulnerable patients—and their ability to receive necessary treatments and prescription drugs—would be cast into doubt. At the same time, state Medicaid programs would see drug costs increase considerably for all enrollees (including children, disabled, and elderly) due to the loss of the ACA’s enhanced prescription drug rebates​.” [AHIP, 6/14/18]

RATES GOING UP, DUE TO GOP SABOTAGE

In nearly every state where data is available, premium rates are higher because of Trump-GOP sabotage than they otherwise would be. In North Dakota, preliminary rates indicate proposed increases as high as 29.33 percent.

Recent research from the the Brookings Institute finds that premiums across the country are higher than they would be absent actions taken by the Trump administration and its Republican allies. It estimates that premiums would fall by an average of 4.3 percent nationwide, absent Republican efforts to sabotage the law, rather than improve it.

NEW POLL: A Vote To Confirm Kavanaugh Would Hurt Senator Collins’ Re-Election Prospects

Nearly Half of Mainers Think Collins Should Not Confirm Kavanaugh

(Portland, ME) – A new poll released by Public Policy Polling finds that a meager 42% of Maine voters think Sen. Susan Collins should vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and that voters are deeply concerned about his anti-health care record.

“Since Judge Kavanaugh was nominated, Mainers have gone to Senator Collins with our numerous concerns: that he’s hostile to our health care, that he believes the president is above the law, that he’s not been fully vetted, and that – if confirmed – he’d be a rubber stamp on President Trump’s dangerous anti-health care crusade,” said Rebecca London, State Director of Protect Our Care Maine.

“As this poll shows, Mainers remain concerned about Kavanaugh’s nomination and we want Senator Collins to vote ‘no’. This poll also makes clear to Senator Collins that if she votes to confirm Kavanaugh, and he in turn votes to take away our health care, we will remember where she stood.”  

POLL HIGHLIGHTS

  • When Mainers learn that Kavanaugh will support Trump’s lawsuit overturning protections for people with pre-existing conditions, they are 58% less likely to support him.
  • 62% of Maine voters want a complete review of Kavanaugh before his confirmation vote, including all documents from his time on the U.S. Court of Appeals and working in the Bush White House.
  • If Sen. Collins votes to confirm Kavanaugh, 47% of voters say they would be less likely to vote for her.

The full poll can be read here.

 

NEW POLL: A Vote To Confirm Kavanaugh Would Hurt Senator Collins’ Re-Election Prospects

Nearly Half of Mainers Think Collins Should Not Confirm Kavanaugh

A new poll released by Public Policy Polling finds that a meager 42% of Maine voters think Sen. Susan Collins should vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and that voters are deeply concerned about his anti-health care record.

“Since Judge Kavanaugh was nominated, Mainers have gone to Senator Collins with our numerous concerns: that he’s hostile to our health care, that he believes the president is above the law, that he’s not been fully vetted, and that – if confirmed – he’d be a rubber stamp on President Trump’s dangerous anti-health care crusade,” said Rebecca London, State Director of Protect Our Care Maine.

“As this poll shows, Mainers remain concerned about Kavanaugh’s nomination and we want Senator Collins to vote ‘no’. This poll also makes clear to Senator Collins that if she votes to confirm Kavanaugh, and he in turn votes to take away our health care, we will remember where she stood.”  

POLL HIGHLIGHTS

  • When Mainers learn that Kavanaugh will support Trump’s lawsuit overturning protections for people with pre-existing conditions, they are 58% less likely to support him.
  • 62% of Maine voters want a complete review of Kavanaugh before his confirmation vote, including all documents from his time on the U.S. Court of Appeals and working in the Bush White House.
  • If Sen. Collins votes to confirm Kavanaugh, 47% of voters say they would be less likely to vote for her.

The full poll can be read here.

 

The Truth About Patrick Morrisey’s Health Care Record

As President Trump prepares to campaign with Patrick Morrisey tonight, Morrisey is working overtime to conceal the role he has long played in the GOP repeal-and-sabotage agenda, including his own lawsuit to eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Here’s a closer look at his record:

Patrick Morrisey Supports Repealing The ACA And Its Protections For 737,000 West Virginians with Pre-Existing Conditions

Patrick Morrisey: “We Need To Repeal Obamacare.” “We need to repeal Obamacare and the onerous regulations that have cause premiums to skyrocket, while denying many West Virginia families the ability to choose their doctors and their health insurance plans. I support policies that will create more competition in the healthcare sector, so we can lower prices, improve access, and increase quality.” [Pineville Independent Herald, 3/27/18]

Morrisey Campaigned On His “Fight To Repeal And Replace Obama’s Government-controlled Health Care System.” “Obamacare has hurt West Virginians from all walks of life with higher premiums, fewer health care options, and one-size-fits-all government-run health care. Patrick Morrisey continues to fight to repeal and replace Obama’s government-controlled health care system in order to bring down premiums, foster choice and innovation in healthcare, and get government out of the doctor-patient relationship. Patrick is committed to protecting coverage for those who need it most, especially those with pre-existing conditions.” [Morrisey for Senate, accessed 8/20/18]

What would full repeal of the Affordable Care Act get eliminate?

  • Protections for 737,900 West Virginians with pre-existing conditions, if they buy coverage on their own
  • Improvements to Medicare, including reduced costs for prescription drugs
  • Allowing kids to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26
  • Ban on annual and lifetime limits
  • Ban on insurance discrimination against women
  • Limit on out-of-pocket costs
  • Medicaid expansion currently covering 15 million people
  • Rules to hold insurance companies accountable
  • Small business tax credits
  • Marketplace tax credits and coverage for up to 29,000 West Virginians.

Patrick Morrisey Is A Party To The Trump-GOP Lawsuit To Roll Back Coverage For People With Pre-Existing Conditions

Although he claims to support protections for people with pre-existing conditions, Patrick Morrisey is a party to a lawsuit that would roll back that coverage and eliminate the protections for pre-existing conditions that exist in the ACA. Morrisey’s participation in the suit puts the health of the 737,900 West Virginians living with a pre-existing condition at risk and would take us back to the days when insurers routinely denied coverage or charged unaffordable premiums to people with pre-existing conditions, including cancer, asthma and hypertension.

2018: Morrisey Was One Of The First Attorney Generals To Sign On To A Lawsuit Challenging The Affordable Care Act. “Manchin is referring to a lawsuit filed in a U.S. district court in Texas on Feb. 26, 2018. The lawsuit was signed by 18 attorneys general and two governors, all of them Republicans. The suit challenges the Affordable Care Act, arguing that ‘the ACA is unlawful’ and seeking to enjoin, or block, its operation. One of the attorney generals who signed onto the lawsuit is Morrisey. He is listed as a signatory on a court document in the case dated as recently as June 20, 2018, or two days before Manchin’s tweet. We could not find any subsequent statement by Morrisey that he had withdrawn his support for the legal action.” [Politifact,  6/26/18]

Patrick Morrissey Said The Pre-Ex Lawsuit Would “Get Rid Of The Awful Policy Of Obamacare.” “Similarly, Morrisey said he supports pre-existing protection coverage despite being party to the lawsuit that would eliminate the law providing those protections. ‘You can believe that some of the pieces, helping those who need it most, are good but still have a lawsuit to get rid of the awful policy of Obamacare,’ Morrisey said.” [Politico, 8/17/18]  

Although Morrisey’s Campign Claimed He Supports Coverage For Pre-Existing Conditions — Despite His Lawsuit, Which Would Eliminate The ACA’s Protections For Those With Pre-Existing Conditions — Morrisey Himself Recently Called Concern About Coverage For People With Pre-Existing Conditions A “Scam” And A “Fake Issue.”  “A spokesman for Morrisey’s campaign said the attorney general doesn’t believe pre-existing condition protections should be eliminated and called the ad ‘false.’ ‘There is no debate over coverage for preexisting conditions,’ Nathan Brand said in a statement.” [The Hill, 8/17/18]

  • Morrisey, One Month Earlier: Called Concern About Coverage For People With Pre-Existing Conditions A “Scam” And A “Fake Issue.” “There’s no debate with respect to pre-existing conditions. People want to help those who need assistance the most, so he has come up with this fake issue, this scam.” [“Fox and Friends,” Fox News, 7/25/18]  

Morrisey Has Used His Position As Attorney General To Try To Dismantle Or Delay The ACA Before

Morrisey Unsuccessfully Sued To Block The ACA. “In October of [2014], he filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services, contending the department did not have the authority to suspend Obamacare’s insurance mandate and accusing President Obama of ‘cherry-picking which laws his Administration will enforce.’ In July 2016, the D.C. circuit court ruled that West Virginia had not suffered an injury in fact and lacked standing.”  [National Review, 2/14/17]