Monthly Archives

September 2018

Attorney General Josh Shapiro, State Senator Hughes, State Representative Briggs, and Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper Join Pennsylvanians with Pre-Existing Conditions to Demand that Republicans #ProtectOurCare

“Care Force One” Makes Stops in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and Erie on National Bus Tour

(Washington, DC) – Today,  Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour finished its drive through the Keystone state with stops in Harrisburg, featuring State Sens. Vincent Hughes and Stacie Ritter and State Rep. Tim Briggs; Pittsburgh, featuring Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro; and Erie, featuring County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, who joined Pennsylvanians with pre-existing conditions to speak out against the devastating repercussions of health care repeal.

You can watch the Harrisburg event here.

You can watch the Pittsburgh event here.

You can watch the Erie event here.

The events were part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour calling attention to Republicans’ attempts to sabotage health care, including a lawsuit that would gut protections for Pennsylvanians with pre-existing conditions.

The 5,329,500 Pennsylvanians living with a pre-existing condition would be in jeopardy if a judge sides with President Trump and the GOP in their lawsuit.

“The Affordable Care Act has expanded coverage for millions of Pennsylvanians, especially those living with pre-existing conditions, and I will do everything in my power to protect that coverage.  It is a dereliction of duty for Attorney General Sessions to refuse to defend the constitutionality of the ACA in the Texas v. Azar case. He is wrong, both morally and on the law, and I refuse to allow Pennsylvanians to be bound by the results in that case,” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “Now more than ever, we need our elected officials to stand up and defend the protections created by the ACA.”

“I fought to make sure that young people could stay on their parents’ insurance until they turn 26 when I was in Congress,” said County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper. “I’ve continued advocating for access to quality, affordable health care as County Executive, and actions by leaders in Washington to shrink access and make health insurance even more expensive for Pennsylvanians is disturbing. Enough is enough – stop threatening protections for Pennsylvanians with pre-existing conditions and raising prices on hardworking Americans.”

In Harrisburg, Senator Hughes and Ritter were also joined by State Representative Tim Briggs, Robin Stelly with Pennsylvania Health Action Network (PHAN), and Michael Simmons, who lives with pre-existing conditions and talked about the protections provided to him under the Affordable Care Act.

“Preserving the protections from the Affordable Care Act is one of my top priorities,” State Senator Vincent Hughes said. “Not only were we able to expand Medicaid in the Keystone state, but we saw a dramatic increase in insured individuals. I don’t want to give up that progress and force those in need, especially people with pre-existing conditions, to be without the critical services they must have to survive.”

“The Affordable Care Act drastically expanded coverage to millions of Pennsylvanians and created important consumer protections to prevent discrimination against those living with a pre-existing condition,” said State Representative Tim Briggs. “As Chair of the House Health Committee, I’m committed to protecting the ACA and all that it’s done to improve health care for Pennsylvanians.”

“When you become a parent, you don’t always think about what could happen to your kids until they’re in the hospital. My twin daughters were diagnosed with cancer, and I remember thinking ‘what are the odds?’” said Stacie Ritter. “Going forward, the pre-existing condition protections in the Affordable Care Act will let them lead healthy and productive lives.”

“Not only am I small business owner, but I’m also a cancer survivor. If the ACA disappears, I’ll lose my coverage,” said Michael Simmons of Lancaster. “I couldn’t get individual insurance before the ACA was passed, and I definitely wouldn’t be able to afford insurance if it went away. Protections for people with pre-existing conditions made sure that insurance companies couldn’t turn me away or charge me more just because I had a pre-existing condition.”

In Pittsburgh, Attorney General Shapiro was joined by Dr. Geoffrey Ruben; Erin Gabriel, the mother of children with pre-existing conditions; Nurse Michelle Boyle; Liz Klie, of Planned Parenthood; Lisa Frank, with the SEIU; and Joe DiFazio, a Pennsylvanian living with a pre-existing condition.

Dr. Geffrey Ruben said: “I’ve been an emergency physician for more than 30 years, and I’ve seen firsthand how devastating exclusions for pre-existing conditions was for patients. And I have seen just how beneficial the ACA has been for patients and their families. We need leaders in Washington that will stand up for all Pennsylvanians – especially those many, otherwise productive individuals with pre-existing conditions.”

“Medicaid gave my little girl the ability to swallow and eat, to walk, even to make friends. Medicaid has filled the many gaps in her private insurance, and the protections provided in the ACA for pre-existing conditions and prohibitions on lifetime caps has meant that my daughter can still be covered by insurance,” said Erin Gabriel, also at the Pittsburgh event and a mom to three children with special needs. “Abby now uses hearing aids and glasses, a wheelchair, a speech generating device, custom made braces for her feet, braces for her wrists, and a seizure monitoring device on her wrist. All of them paid for by a combination of our private insurance and Medicaid. All of which could be denied to her if we didn’t have the protections of the ACA.“

“My mother-in-law died at the age of 58 from a treatable chronic disease before the ACA was passed,” said Michelle Boyle. “She was denied insurance because she had a pre-existing condition and couldn’t afford the necessary care and treatment. During my career, I’ve met so many patients that gained health care coverage because of the protections for pre-existing conditions. I’m thankful the ACA created these rules so no one has to experience the tragedy that my family did.”

Liz Klie with Planned Parenthood stated “The ACA has been the greatest legislative advancement in a generation for women. The ACA has brought 62 million women access to no cost birth control, lifesaving screenings and other preventive health services and it ended insurers ability to charge more for coverage based simply on being a woman or having a pre-existing condition.”

“The Affordable Care Act expanded care to millions of Pennsylvania’s workers and protected them from discrimination by health insurance companies,” said Lisa Frank with SEIU. “If lawmakers and courts roll back the ACA, our members and millions of Pennsylvanians will lose coverage and face significantly higher prices.”

“I’m self employed, and if it weren’t for the ACA, I either would be uninsured or I would have had to fold my business and taken whatever job I could that provided insurance,” said Joe DiFazio. “Before the ACA, Insurance companies turned me away because I had a very minor pre-existing condition. Since then, I developed a more serious medical condition, but with the ACA, I’m covered, and at the same reasonable cost as everyone else.”

In Erie County, County Executive Dahlkemper was joined by Tanya Teglo and Terri Hullihan, Pennsylvanians living with pre-existing conditions, who shared their stories and talked about the protections provided to them under the Affordable Care Act.

“Living with Cerebral Palsy has presented me with a unique perspective and a real understanding of why health care and Medicaid benefits are important and should be protected,” said Tanya Teglo while speaking about her pre-existing condition. She explained that, “without Medicaid and protections created by the ACA, it would be tremendously difficult for me to get the care that I need.”

“I got sick two decades ago while working at a company with great benefits, but my illness kept me from working, and I lost my job,” said Terri Hulihan. “But then the ACA was passed into law – including provisions that prevented insurance companies from discriminating against me for having two chronic illnesses – and I was able to get insurance again.”

“The stakes have never been higher for Pennsylvanians’ health care,” said TJ Helmstetter of Protect Our Care. “Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, almost 479,000 Pennsylvanians have gained health insurance. This is all in jeopardy due to Republicans’ repeal and sabotage agenda. Pennsylvanians want this Republican war on health care to end, plain and simple. That’s why we’re here today.”

The bus now travels to Cleveland and onto Columbus for events on Friday. More details about upcoming stops can be found here.

County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper Joins Pennsylvanians with Pre-Existing Conditions and Demands that Republicans #ProtectOurCare

“Care Force One” Makes Stop in Erie on National Bus Tour

(Erie, Pennsylvania) – Today, County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper joined Pennsylvanians with pre-existing conditions at the Perry Square Park to speak out against the devastating repercussions of health care repeal. You can watch the full video here

The event was part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour calling attention to Republicans’ attempts to sabotage health care, including a lawsuit that would gut protections for Pennsylvanians with pre-existing conditions.

The 5,329,500 Pennsylvanians living with a pre-existing condition would be in jeopardy if a judge sides with President Trump and the GOP in their lawsuit.

“I fought to make sure that young people could stay on their parents’ insurance until they turn 26 when I was in Congress,” said County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper. “I’ve continued advocating for access to quality, affordable health care as County Executive, and actions by leaders in Washington to shrink access and make health insurance even more expensive for Pennsylvanians is disturbing. Enough is enough – stop threatening protections for Pennsylvanians with pre-existing conditions and raising prices on hardworking Americans.”

County Executive Dahlkemper was also joined by Tanya Teglo and Terri Hullihan, Pennsylvanians living with pre-existing conditions, who shared their stories and talked about the protections provided to them under the Affordable Care Act.

“Living with Cerebral Palsy has presented me with a unique perspective and a real understanding of why health care and Medicaid benefits are important and should be protected,” said Teglo while speaking about her pre-existing condition. She explained that, “without Medicaid and protections created by the ACA, it would be tremendously difficult for me to get the care that I need.”

“I got sick two decades ago while working at a company with great benefits, but my illness kept me from working, and I lost my job,” said Hulihan. “But then the ACA was passed into law – including provisions that prevented insurance companies from discriminating against me for having two chronic illnesses – and I was able to get insurance again.”

“The stakes have never been higher for Pennsylvanians’ health care,” said TJ Helmstetter of Protect Our Care. “Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, almost 479,000 Pennsylvanians have gained health insurance. This is all in jeopardy due to Republicans’ repeal and sabotage agenda. Pennsylvanians want this Republican war on health care to end, plain and simple. That’s why we’re here today.”

You can watch the full video here. The bus now travels to Cleveland and onto Columbus for events on Friday. More details but upcoming stops can be found here.

Attorney General Shapiro Joins Doctors, Nurses and Pennsylvanians with Pre-Existing Conditions and Demands that Republicans #ProtectOurCare

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“Care Force One” Makes Stop in Pittsburgh on National Bus Tour

(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) – Today, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro joined with doctors, nurses, SEIU, Planned Parenthood, and Pennsylvanians living with pre-existing conditions at the Pittsburgh City-County Building to speak out against the devastating repercussions of health care repeal. You can watch the full video here.

The event was part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour calling attention to Republicans’ attempts to sabotage health care, including a lawsuit that would gut protections for Pennsylvanians with pre-existing conditions.

The 5,329,500 Pennsylvanians living with a pre-existing condition would be in jeopardy if a judge sides with President Trump and the GOP in their lawsuit.

“The Affordable Care Act has expanded coverage for millions of Pennsylvanians, especially those living with pre-existing conditions, and I will do everything in my power to protect that coverage.  It is an abdication of duty for Attorney General Sessions to refuse to defend the constitutionality of the ACA in the Texas v. Azar case.  He is wrong, both morally and on the law, and I refuse to allow Pennsylvanians to be bound by the results in that case,” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “Now more than ever, we need our elected officials to stand up and defend the protections created by the ACA.”

“I’ve been an emergency physician for more than 30 years, and I’ve seen firsthand how devastating exclusions for pre-existing conditions was for patients. And I have seen just how beneficial the ACA has been for patients and their families,” said Dr. Geoffrey Ruben. “We need leaders in Washington that will stand up for all Pennsylvanians – especially those many, otherwise productive individuals with pre-existing conditions.”

“Medicaid gave my little girl the ability to swallow and eat, to walk, even to make friends. Medicaid has filled the many gaps in her private insurance, and the protections provided in the ACA for pre-existing conditions and prohibitions on lifetime caps has meant that my daughter can still be covered by insurance,” said Erin Gabriel, a mom to three children with special needs. “Abby now uses hearing aids and glasses, a wheelchair, a speech generating device, custom made braces for her feet, braces for her wrists, and a seizure monitoring device on her wrist. All of them paid for by a combination of our private insurance and Medicaid. All of which could be denied to her if we didn’t have the protections of the ACA.”

Attorney General Shapiro, Erin, and Dr. Ruben were joined by Nurse Michelle Boyle, Liz Klie of Planned Parenthood, Lisa Frank with the SEIU, and Joe DiFazio – a Pennsylvanian living with a pre-existing condition.

“My mother-in-law died at the age of 58 from a treatable chronic disease before the ACA was passed,” said Michelle Boyle. “She was denied insurance because she had a pre-existing condition and couldn’t afford the necessary care and treatment. During my career, I’ve met so many patients that gained health care coverage because of the protections for pre-existing conditions. I’m thankful the ACA created these rules so no one has to experience the tragedy that my family did.”

Liz Klie with Planned Parenthood also participated in the press conference. “The ACA has been the greatest legislative advancement in a generation for women. The ACA has brought 62 million women access to no cost birth control, lifesaving screenings and other preventive health services and it ended insurers ability to charge more for coverage based simply on being a woman or having a pre-existing condition.”

“The Affordable Care Act expanded care to millions of Pennsylvania’s workers and protected them from discrimination by health insurance companies,” said Lisa Frank with SEIU. “If lawmakers and courts roll back the ACA, our members and millions of Pennsylvanians will lose coverage and face significantly higher prices.”

“I’m self employed, and if it weren’t for the ACA, I either would be uninsured or I would have had to fold my business and taken whatever job I could that provided insurance,” said Joe DiFazio. “Before the ACA, Insurance companies turned me away because I had a very minor pre-existing condition. Since then, I developed a more serious medical condition, but with the ACA, I’m covered, and at the same reasonable cost as everyone else.”

“The stakes have never been higher for Pennsylvanians’ health care,” said TJ Helmstetter of Protect Our Care. “Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, almost 479,000 Pennsylvanians have gained health insurance. This is all in jeopardy due to Republicans’ repeal and sabotage agenda.  Pennsylvanians want this Republican war on health care to end, plain and simple. That’s why we’re here today.”

You can watch the full video here. The bus now travels to Erie for an event later today. More details about upcoming stops can be found here.

 

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/RhTEuuRx84y1XR_ibRa25yVSN1t4k8Mga8QyuwGMXBaQ-O1MDzBGKvLxgFUUb_6q9pQ4upOxQUnQhzljf26Wkevvza_RvGX84pAK00DyLVk2PMr7SMh_TZkikkcFmatsgxMpmKCL

Final Rates Confirm North Dakotans’ Insurance Is Getting Even More Expensive

Trump Administration and Washington Republicans’ Health Care Sabotage Raises Rates

Washington, D.C. – Today, North Dakota announced final rates for 2019 individual-market health insurance plans, which indicate that premiums will increase by as much as 25.9 percent, 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 comparable 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 North Dakota 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 North Dakotans.”

From the Insurance Companies:

Sanford: GOP Repeal Of Individual Mandate Driving Up Rates. “A rate change is needed to account for medical trend as well as revisions to the following pricing assumptions… Removal of the individual coverage mandate penalty in 2019.”[Sanford, accessed 8/1/18]

Medica: Rate Increases Driven By “Unprecedented Amount Of Uncertainty” In Marketplace. “The significant factors driving the proposed rate increase primarily include: Unprecedented amount of uncertainty and risk inherent in the marketplace.” [Medica, accessed 8/1/18]

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]

Protect Our Care: “Start Over.”

Kavanaugh’s Positions on Health Care, Roe v Wade, Executive Power and Repeated Evidence of Lack of Veracity Require Nomination To Be  Withdrawn

White House Should Honor the Three Women Who Bravely Stepped Forward by Initiating an FBI Investigation

Washington, DC – Ahead of the scheduled Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony that Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her, Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement:

“Brett Kavanaugh is unfit to serve on the Supreme Court, his nomination should be withdrawn and every Senator must speak out and oppose his confirmation. Kavanaugh’s record, previous testimony on pre-existing conditions and Roe v. Wade, and his repeated lack of truthfulness disqualify him from a seat on the Supreme Court.

“Kavanaugh now faces serious and highly credible accusations of sexual assault from three courageous survivors. The White House should withdraw his nomination and immediately initiate the FBI investigations Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez, and Julie Swetnick have so bravely requested and Kavanaugh has resisted. The Court and the American people deserve a Supreme Court Justice who isn’t afraid of the truth.”

Burlington County Local Leaders Stand Up to Say, “It’s Time to End the Republican War on Health Care”

Andy Kim, Health Care Advocates Join Protect Our Care to Call for an End to GOP Attacks on New Jerseyans’ Health Care

View photos of today’s event here.

BURLINGTON COUNTY, NEW JERSEY – This morning, Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour arrived in New Jersey to call attention to the Republicans ongoing war on health care care. Headlined by Andy Kim and cancer survivor Laura Packard, the event highlighted the actions Republicans are taking to harm New Jerseyans’ care and called on Rep. Tom MacArthur to work instead to protect our health care.

Kim and Packard shared powerful stories of why the issue of health care is so important to them:

“I’m the father of two baby boys, and my youngest baby was someone who had significant health problems right from the very beginning,” said Kim. “I remember when the doctors told us that he was dangerously underweight and had real risk. And it reminded me of how many families in this country and this community have health care crises and are unsure of how they’ll be able to afford it.”

“I’m alive because of the Affordable Care Act,” said Packard. “I’m a stage four cancer survivor and I’m on this tour to defend our attacks against the GOP. President Trump may have blocked me on Twitter, but he can’t stop me and the American people from fighting to protect our care.”

Their concerns over health care repeal were shared by Dr. Jennifer Chuang, a pediatrician who spoke of patients rationing insulin and skipping doctor’s appointments due to lack of medical coverage; Claudia Storichs, a registered nurse who spoke of the health benefits patients have seen under the Affordable Care Act; and Jim Parker, a small business owner who said the ACA has been important to keep workers who need the protections offered by it.

These benefits were then reinforced by Bruce Davis, the economic chair of the New Jersey NAACP, who spoke of the 10% insurance rate increase among African-Americans due to the ACA, and the harms cuts to Medicaid and Medicare would bring, and Seth Hahn, the political director of CWA New Jersey, who spoke of the care New Jersey workers have received since passage – and how Republicans have worked to take away these protections.

“We’re glad to be here because we have to be, not because we want to,” said Brad Woodhosue, executive director of Protect Our Care. “We should not have to fight this war on health care, but we will, because the health care of the American people is so important that we’re not going to let partisan politics on behalf of Republicans and people like Tom MacArthur take it away.”

At today’s event, Burlington County residents, health care advocates, elected officials and members of Protect Our Care detailed the numbers ways in which Republicans have attacked health care, and how these actions have cut coverage and increased costs for New Jerseyans. Because of the Republican repeal-and-sabotage agenda:

  • In New Jersey, out of pocket costs for older people could have increased by as much as $11,340 by 2026 if AHCA had become law
  • New Jersey expanded Medicaid under the ACA and the 500,000 New Jerseyans who have gained coverage because of this program would find their care at risk if the law were repealed.
  • 243,000 New Jerseyans who have obtained health insurance through the ACA marketplace could lose their coverage if a judge sides with President Trump and the GOP in their lawsuit; and protections for 3.8 million New Jerseyans, including more than 300,000 in NJ-03, living with a pre-existing condition would be in jeopardy.
  • Hundreds of billions of dollars have been cut from Medicare.
  • Dozens of hospitals in rural areas have closed, exacerbating the care and coverage gaps that exist for families in America’s rural communities.
  • Insurance rates in New Jersey dropped by an average of 9.3 percent this year despite Republican attempts at sabotage, a decrease that Governor Phil Murphy attributed to “sticking to the tenets of the Affordable Care Act.”
  • Representative Tom MacArthur helped author and passed a health care repeal bill that would cause 23 million people to lose coverage and gut protections for people with pre-existing condition; voted for a budget amendment that would cut Medicaid by $700 billion over ten years, $114 billion in a single year alone. MacArthur also voted for a tax scam that doubled as a sneaky repeal of the Affordable Care Act  by kicking 13 million people off of their insurance and raising premiums by double digits for millions more.

Later today, “Care Force One” will head to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. For more information, please visit protectourcarebustour.com.

Binghamton Leaders Stand Up to Say, “It’s Time to End the Republican War on Health Care”

Local Health Care Advocates Join Protect Our Care to Call for an End to GOP Attacks on New Yorkers’ Health Care

View photos of today’s event here.

BINGHAMTON, NEW YORK- This afternoon, Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour arrived in Kingston to call attention to the Republicans ongoing war on health care care. Headlined by cancer survivor Laura Packard and Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute, the event highlighted the actions Republicans are taking to harm New Yorkers’ care and called on Republicans to work instead to protect our health care.

“I’m alive because of the Affordable Care Act,” said Packard. “I’m a stage four cancer survivor and I’m on this tour to defend our attacks against the GOP. President Trump may have blocked me on Twitter, but he can’t stop me and the American people from fighting to protect our care.”

Her sentiments were echoed by Deutsch and Jim Carr of the New York State Alliance for Retired Americans, who noted the importance of health care programs:

“Enough is enough. Everybody, regardless of their income level, should be able to access affordable health care,” said Deutsch. “Right now the House Republican budget is looking at slashing $5 trillion over the next decade for a variety of programs and services, not the least of which is Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act… We’ve got about one in four families receiving Medicaid coverage. People are relying on these programs to get by.”

“Seniors need Medicare, which is under attack,” said Carr. “Medicare is the number one, most efficient program of any health care program we have in the country.”

And their significance was made crystal clear by local residents Linda Quilty and Mike Hermann:

“I’m just a grandmother who has a granddaughter with disabilities,” said Quilty. “She was born as what they call a ‘floppy baby,’ she just didn’t move… Now, she’s eight years old and she’s doing wonderfully well. She’s still has problems, but she’s gotten extensive therapies through Medicaid-assisted groups…. My concern is – what happens to these babies who don’t get the assistance that she has had? Where do they go without all of that help?”

“In 2016, I had a heart attack and needed bypass surgery, and there were complications after the surgery. I had over $200,000 in medical bills,” said Hermann. “My Affordable Care Act policy saved me from financial ruin. All essential benefits were covered. No lifetime caps, no annual caps.”

At today’s event, Binghamton residents, health care advocates, elected officials and members of Protect Our Care detailed the numbers ways in which Republicans have attacked health care, and how these actions have cut coverage and increased costs for New Yorkers. Because of the Republican repeal-and-sabotage agenda:

  • New Yorkers will see their premiums rise by an average of 8.6 percent next year. It’s expected that 40 year old New Yorkers in NY-22 could face paying an extra $630 for marketplace coverage because of Republican sabotage.
  • In New York, out of pocket costs for older people could have increased by as much as $3,679 by 2026 if the House-passed American Health Care Act had become law.
  • New York expanded Medicaid under the ACA and the 143,000 New Yorkers have gained coverage because of this program would find their care at risk if the law were repealed.
  • 872,000 New Yorkers who have obtained health insurance through the ACA marketplace could lose their coverage if a judge sides President Trump and the GOP in their lawsuit; and protections for 8,398,900 New Yorkers living with a pre-existing condition would be in jeopardy.
  • Hundreds of billions of dollars have been cut from Medicare.
  • Dozens of hospitals in rural areas have closed, exacerbating the care and coverage gaps that exist for families in America’s rural communities.
  • Representative Claudia Tenney voted for and passed a health care repeal bill that would cause 23 million people to lose coverage and gut protections for people with pre-existing condition; voted for a budget amendment that would cut Medicaid by $700 billion over ten years, $114 billion in a single year alone; voted for a tax scam that doubled as a sneaky repeal of the Affordable Care Act  by kicking 13 million people off of their insurance and raising premiums by double digits for millions more.

Tomorrow, “Care Force One” will head to Burlington County, New Jersey. For more information, please visit https://protectourcarebustour.com/.

New Polls, New Data: Health Care is a Top Issue in Virginia Battleground District of CD 07

Voters Disapprove of Republican Attacks on Pre-Existing Conditions and Incumbent Dave Brat’s Pro-Repeal Record

Washington, DC – As a new poll out of Monmouth University Polling Institute finds that Democrat Abigail Spanberger holds a narrow lead over pro-repeal incumbent Republican Dave Brat, new polling from Protect Our Care and Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows one reason why: health care is the top issue for voters in VA-07. Said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, in response to the poll findings:

“Voters are willing to throw their support behind Democrats to ensure protections for pre-existing conditions remain intact, it’s just that simple. That’s why Republicans like David Brat are finding themselves in hot water.”

Key Findings from PPP-Protect Our Care Poll in VA-07

  • Health care is a very important issue to voters when deciding who to vote for. 60% say it is either the most important issue or a very important issue when deciding who to vote for.
  • Virginians are very concerned about the possible consequences of repealing the ACA. 62% of voters think charging people 50+ years old, five times more than younger people for health insurance is a major concern. Eliminating protections for people with pre-existing conditions is a major concern for 63% of voters.
  • 59% oppose the Trump administration’s lawsuit to overturn protections for people with pre-existing conditions, including nearly half (49%) of Republicans. Virginians are also less likely to vote for Republicans who stayed silent on this lawsuit. A plurality of voters (42%) say they are less likely to vote for Congressman Brat because of his silence on the lawsuit.

The PPP-Protect Our Care Poll Mirrors Data from Google Trends Showing that Searches for Health Care Dominate across the State — including in VA-07.

  • In VA-07, between 43 and 82 percent of all issue searches were on health care; in every county, the second highest search trailed by 8 percentage points or more.

 

New Polls: Health Care Is The Top Issue in Ohio’s Battleground House Districts

Voters Disapprove of Repealing the Affordable Care Act and Eliminating protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Health Care is The Top Voting Issue Making Voters More Likely to Support Democrats

“Pre-existing Conditions Create Headaches for Ohio Republicans,” writes the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Washington, DC – New Public Policy Polling (PPP) surveys commissioned by Protect Our Care find that health care may be a decisive issue for voters in the Ohio battlegrounds of OH-12 and OH-14. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement in response to the poll findings:

 

“Try as they might to hide it, make no mistake:  Troy Balderson and Dave Joyce want to roll back protections for 4.8 million Ohioans with pre-existing conditions and you don’t have to look any further than their own record on health care for proof.”

Key Findings from PPP-Protect Our Care Poll OH-12

  • Health care is an important issue to voters when deciding who to vote for. 61% say it is either the most important issue or a very important issue when deciding who to vote for.
  • Ohioans are very concerned about the possible consequences of repealing the ACA. 59% of voters think charging people 50+ years old, five times more than younger people for health insurance is a major concern. Eliminating protections for people with pre-existing conditions is a major concern for 64% of voters.
  • 64% oppose the Trump administration lawsuit to eliminate the health care law’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions, including a 46% plurality of Republicans.

 

Key Findings from PPP-Protect Our Care Poll OH-14

  • Health care is an important issue to voters when deciding who to vote for. 64% say it is either the most important issue or a very important issue when deciding who to vote for.
  • Ohioans are very concerned about the possible consequences of repealing the ACA. 65% of voters think charging people 50+ years old, five times more than younger people for health insurance is a major concern. Eliminating protections for people with pre-existing conditions is a major concern for 60% of voters.
  • 63% oppose the Trump administration lawsuit to eliminate the health care law’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions, including a 51% majority of Republicans.


The PPP-Protect Our Care Polls Mirror Data from Google Trends Showing that Searches for Health Care Dominate across the State — including in OH- 12 and OH-14.

  • In OH-12, health care is far and away the top issue in searches, with the next most popular issue, immigration, trailing by 17-29 percentage points in Delaware, Monroe and Licking counties.
  • In OH 14, health care is also the top issue by a 19-27 percentage point spread in Ashtabula, Lake and Gauga counties.

 

Here’s how the PPP-Protect Our Care polls were covered locally:

Pre-existing Conditions Create Headaches for Ohio Republicans

Years of pushing for Obamacare repeal have created an unpleasant side effect for Republicans seeking re-election to Congress: Their Democratic opponents are pounding the message that Republicans voted to let insurance companies refuse coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions.

Democrats ranging from Betsy Rader in Ohio’s northeast to Aftab Pureval in the southwest are running ads that accuse Republicans in Congress of  voting to end the law’s protections for people with ailments that might disqualify them from buying health insurance. Across the country, Democrats are running similar ads in hopes of winning enough seats to gain control of Congress.

[…] Nowadays, Ohio Republicans who once highlighted their Affordable Care Act opposition are instead stressing their support for its provisions that keep insurance companies from discriminating against sick customers.
Rader’s opponent, Bainbridge Township GOP Rep. Dave Joyce, has even erased boasts on his campaign website about his more than 30 votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

 

 

SHOT/CHASER: Yes, Mitt (47%) Romney, The People Understand The Benefits of Medicaid Expansion Just Fine

“Mitt Romney, it’s actually not that complicated. Medicaid Expansion is a good thing. That’s why it’s popular and that’s why the people will vote for it — and not for you — in November,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care

 

SHOT: Mitt Romney opposes Medicaid expansion, and believes that the issue is too complicated for the people to decide in an initiative to appear on November’s ballot. “Medicaid expansion is a very complex issue. It requires extensive research and analysis and I think is generally done best by elected representatives of the people.”

 

CHASER: Medicaid expansion has been studied, and it’s been found to provide numerous benefits for Americans. That’s why Utah’s proposed initiative to enact the Medicaid Expansion is enjoying support from 60 percent of residents.

Here are a few of the studies Mitt Romney must have willfully ignored:

  • Research From Georgetown University Center For Children And Families Confirms That Rural Populations Are Especially Hurt When States Do Not Expand Medicaid. “The uninsured rate for low-income adult citizens (below 138 percent FPL) has come down since 2008/09 in nearly all states, but small towns and rural areas of states that have expanded Medicaid have seen the sharpest declines. The uninsured rate for this population dropped sharply from 35 percent to 16 percent in rural areas and small towns of Medicaid expansion states compared to a decline from 38 percent to 32 percent in non-expansion states between 2008/09 and 2015/16.” [Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, 9/25/18]
  • Rural, Low-Income Voters Less Likely To Have Health Insurance In Than Urban Poor States That Did Not Expand Medicaid. “Rural, low-income voters who helped propel President Trump to victory in 2016 are less likely to have health insurance than the urban poor in states that didn’t expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. A new study compared uninsured rates from 2008-2009 and 2015-2016 by the the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families and the University of North Carolina Rural Health Research Program. It examined insurance coverage in 46 states with significant rural populations and found a disparity between low-income adults living in rural areas and small towns versus those living in metropolitan areas.” [Washington Post, 9/25/18]
  • Georgetown Report Emphasizes That Medicaid Expansion Plays Significant Role In Coverage Gains Given Difficulty Getting Insurance Companies To Cover Rural Communities. “There are several reasons cited in the Georgetown/University of North Carolina report that Medicaid expansion could be part of the solution:  It’s difficult to get insurance company to offer plans in sparsely populated rural towns; areas with more insured residents draw clinics and providers to operate there; and rural hospitals are less likely to close in places where they can depend on Medicaid payments.” [Washington Post, 9/25/18]
  • University of Michigan Study Finds Medicaid Expansion Improves Access To Family Planning. “Among 1,166 reproductive-age women who enrolled in the Healthy Michigan Plan, Michigan’s expansion of the Medicaid program for low-income adults, 1 in 3 said the expanded coverage improved access to birth control and family planning services…’Our findings suggest that the expansion provided an important service for populations with a high unmet need for family planning care,’ says lead author Michelle Moniz, M.D., M.Sc., an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Michigan Medicine. ‘Insurance coverage also means that women have access to more options if they do not want to become pregnant at the current time.’…Each dollar spent on contraception is estimated to save the health care system more than $7 in return, according to a recent study from the Guttmacher Institute. About 40 to 50 percent of the 4 million live births in the U.S. every year are paid for by Medicaid.” [University of Michigan, 8/31/18, JAMA Publication]
  • Northwestern University Research Heart Attack Patients Had Higher Rates Of Health Coverage In Medicaid Expansion States.“In a boost for cardiovascular care in the U.S., new research shows those suffering heart attacks and strokes were less likely to be uninsured for their hospital stays after states expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act…Research led by Dr. Ehimare Akhabue from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine showed Medicaid expansion states had a ‘significant reduction in the proportion of uninsured hospitalizations for major cardiovascular events within 1 year of Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion compared with nonexpansion states.’ Researchers looked at more than 3 million ‘non-Medicare’ hospitalizations from hospital databases from 30 states.” [Forbes, 8/26/18]
  • Ohio Medicaid Expansion Study Found That People Continuously Enrolled Through Medicaid Were Less Likely To Have Medical Debt. “People continuously covered by Medicaid were substantially less likely to have medical debt than eligible people who were still uninsured or people who churned on and off of Medicaid.That aligns with prior studies published in Health Affairs and elsewhere. If the purpose of Medicaid is to provide people with health care and a certain level of basic economic security, it seems to be succeeding.” [Vox, 8/24/18]
  • Following Medicaid Expansion, The Percentage Of Uninsured Ohioans With Income At Or Below 138 Percent Of FPL Dropped Drastically. See chart below. [Vox, 8/24/18]
  • Researched Published In JAMA Confirms That Medicaid Expansion Increased Access To Opioid Treatment. “Medicaid expansion significantly increased buprenorphine with naloxone prescriptions per 100 000 county residents in expansion counties, suggesting that expansion improved access to opioid use disorder treatment. Expansion did not significantly increase the overall rate per 100 000 county residents of OPR prescriptions, but increased the population with OPRs paid for by Medicaid. This finding therefore suggests the growing importance of Medicaid in pain management and addiction prevention.” [JAMA, Saloner et. al, 8/17/18]
  • Health Affairs Study Finds Low-Income People More Able To Afford Diabetes Medications And Manage Disease In Expansion States. “Low-income people with diabetes are better able to afford their medications and manage their disease in states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, a new study suggests. The Health Affairs study, released Monday afternoon, found a roughly 40 percent increase in the number of prescriptions filled for diabetes drugs in Medicaid programs of the 30 states (including Washington, D.C.) that expanded eligibility in 2014 and 2015, compared with prior years.By contrast, states that didn’t embrace the Medicaid expansion saw no notable increase.” [Kaiser Health News, 8/6/18]
  • University Of Kansas Research Finds Medicaid Boosts Employment For People With Disabilities. “People with disabilities are much more likely to be employed in states that have expanded Medicaid coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act, new research from the University of Kansas has found. Similarly, the number of those who report not working because of a disability has greatly declined in expansion states. Neither trend happened in states that chose not to expand Medicaid.” [Healthcare Finance News, 7/23/18]