Monthly Archives

September 2018

At Kickoff of Nationwide Tour, Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal Join Ned Lamont and Local Advocates to Call for an End to GOP Attacks on Health Care

Protect Our Care’s “Care Force One” Bus Tour Is Traveling the Country, Calling Out Dangerous GOP Health Repeal-and-Sabotage Agenda


Watch the kick-off video here.


More photos from today’s event in Bridgeport, CT can be found here.

BRIDGEPORT, CONNECTICUT – This afternoon, Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kicked off  in Connecticut, where nearly 100 community members gathered to call attention to Republicans’ ongoing war on health care care. Headlined by Senator Chris Murphy, Senator Richard Blumenthal and Ned Lamont, the event highlighted the actions Republicans are taking to harm health care in Congress, in the courts, and in far too many states.

At this afternoon’s event, Bridgeport 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 example, out of pocket costs for older people could have increased by as much as $14,606 by 2026 if the House-passed American Health Care Act had become law and 114,000 people in Connecticut 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, with protections for 1.5 million Nutmeggers living with a pre-existing condition in jeopardy.

“Affordable healthcare is not a luxury – it is a human right that everyone in America needs and deserves,” said Senator Blumenthal. “Unfortunately, the Trump Administration has been using every tool to sabotage the healthcare system and jeopardize affordable coverage for millions of Americans. We must fight back to not only protect and preserve our care – but to make it better.”

“Connecticut made the decision to try to make the Affordable Care Act work, not undermine it like many other states did,” said Senator Murphy. “Think about the 20 million Americans who have been given access to health care, whose lives have been changed. Just imagine what that number would be if every other state approached the Affordable Care Act the way Connecticut did.”

“I started up a business many years ago and health care was such a key part of what we had to do for all the families working at my company, to provide them security and optimism,” said business owner Ned Lamont. “As I travel the state, more than anything, I hear about health care and that people are afraid it’s not going to be there anymore when they need it.”

The headliners’ concerns were echoed by Nutmeggers with health care stories and concerns over ongoing Republican actions:

“If our government no longer protects coverage for pre-existing conditions, will [my son] have the ability to maintain his certain unalienable rights of life and the pursuit of happiness?” asked Leigh Pechillo, whose son, Robby, was both with hydronephrosis, a rare kidney disease. “We need to protect coverage for pre-existing conditions, we need to protect prohibitions on the discrimination against women and people over age 50, Medicaid, and Medicare so all Americans can have better lives.”

“Without the Affordable Care Act some of my patients would not be alive today,” said Dr. Ross Kristal, Chief Resident of Community Health and Advocacy at Yale. “I could not image practicing medicine without the ACA, and frankly I’m here today because I’m scared that day is coming. I’m worried that the lawsuit brought on by the Republicans will dismantle the ACA, and I’m worried that I won’t be able to provide the care that my patients deserve… We must all act now to protect our care.”

The sentiments of local leaders were echoed by Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care, and cancer survivor Laura Packard, who made clear the purpose of the nationwide tour:

“Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the uninsured rate has been cut in half, and people are healthier and no longer an emergency away from bankruptcy,” said Dach. “The American people want the quality, affordable coverage provided under the law and they want the Republican war on health care to end. That’s why we’re here today.”

“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.”

Tomorrow, Care Force One will head to Maine, where Protect Our Care will be joined by Senator Angus King and Representative Chellie Pingree in Portland and State Representatives Steve Stanley and Anne Perry and former mayor Joe Baldacci in Bangor.

For more information, please visit protectourcarebustour.com.

California is the Latest State to Fight Trump’s Expansion of Junk Plans

While The Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress Push Junk Plans, States Join Health Care Advocates and Congressional Democrats in Fighting Back

 

Washington, D.C. –  While the Trump Administration continues its efforts to attack people with pre-existing conditions and sabotage health care through the expansion of junk insurance plans  — and Republicans in Congress refuse to join their Democratic colleagues in the Senate and House in stopping them — the state of California joins other states in protecting its residents from dangerous ‘junk’ plans through new legislation signed into law Saturday.

Going one step further in its rebuke of the Trump Administration’s disastrous health care policies, California also enacted new legislation protecting Californians against the Trump Administration’s scheme to reduce Medicaid coverage by imposing rigid work requirements. This is a win for health care, as these work requirements have proven to be impossible for many of those most in need of health care coverage to meet.

Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care issued the following statement in response to the growing fight against junk plans:

“While Trump and his Republican allies take a sledgehammer to health care, it becomes even more important that states like California and others step up and protect our care, which is exactly what the American people want our leaders to do. The reasons that officials are fighting Trump’s junk plans in the states, that health care advocates are fighting them in court, that Democratic health care champions in Congress are fighting them on the Hill are simple: these junk plans are allowed to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, they are not required to cover key benefits, such as cancer treatments and prescription drug coverage, and they deceive consumers by refusing to pay for costs after a person gets sick. Since these insurance plans truly are ‘junk’ and have a long history of scamming people who need health care coverage the most the real question is why Donald Trump thinks he can call himself a protector of people with pre-existing conditions at the same time that he and his allies in Washington are pushing junk plans onto the American people?”

 

Insurance Commissioners From Coast to Coast Have Spoken Out Against Short-Term Junk Plans:

Dave Jones, California Insurance Commissioner: “Of Course They’ll Be Less Expensive…That’s Because It’s Junk Insurance And It Won’t Cover The Same Things.” [HuffPost, 8/5/18]

Jessica Altman, PA Insurance Commissioner: The Administration Isn’t Talking About How Limited These Plans Are. “I’m frustrated with how [administration officials] are presenting this…They’re saying, ‘Here’s this option that’s affordable and wonderful,’ and not talking about how limited the plans are…You can look at one of these plans and you’ll see it covers doctors, hospitals, maybe even drugs, and so you think it will have everything I need…You won’t realize that the amounts are caps, or have exclusions ― it’s really difficult to expect that consumers will be able to figure out what all of this means, and really know what they are getting.” [HuffPost, 8/5/18]

PA Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman Has Already Revoked The Licenses Of Eight Brokers Or Agents Misrepresenting Short-term Plans. “In Pennsylvania, Altman said she has already revoked the licenses of eight brokers or agents who had been misrepresenting short-term plans.” [The Hill, 8/12/18]

TN Insurance Commissioner, Julie Mix McPeak Is Concerned About Whether Consumers Fully Understand The Plans They Buy. “‘We have to really make sure consumers know what they’re purchasing, and they’re aware of what’s covered and what’s not covered,’ Mix McPeak said. ‘The last thing we need is for consumers to have surprise bills.'” [The Hill, 8/12/18]

Lori Wing-Heier, Director Of Alaska Insurance Division: “I’m Concerned That People Will Buy These Policies, Show Up At The Hospital For A Condition They Did Not Expect, And Discover They Are Not Covered.” [HuffPost, 8/5/18]

Lori Wing-Heier, Director Of Alaska Insurance Division: Under Short-Term Plans, Insurers May Use Information You Submit In Good Faith To Deny Coverage. “You fill out the form, the medical forms, you think you are being honest about your history, and then the insurers go through your records and find something that you didn’t think was an issue, your doctor didn’t think was an issue, but now the insurer is saying it’s a pre-existing condition.” [HuffPost, 8/5/18]

Michael Conway, Colorado Interim Insurance Commissioner: People May Read Warnings, But Not Understand How Bare-bones These Plans Really Are. “They may read [the warning], but that’s not the same as understanding it…Because of the ACA, now people think the baseline has changed ― that certain things are always covered.” [HuffPost, 8/5/18]

Troy Oechsner, Deputy Superintendent At New York Department Of Financial Services: “These Are Substandard Products.” “‘These are substandard products,’ sold on the premise that ‘junk insurance is better than nothing’ for people who cannot afford comprehensive coverage, Troy J. Oechsner, a deputy superintendent at the New York Department of Financial Services, told the insurers.” [New York Times, 8/6/18]

View Protect Our Care’s factsheets on short term junk plans and association junk plans for more information.

 

New Trump Regulation Against Legal Immigration is “An Outrageous Attack on Health Care”

New Trump Administration Rule Would Keep Legal Immigrant  Families Away from Health Care and in the Shadows

Washington, DC – In its latest attack on health care, the Trump Administration announced a long-rumored proposal to change a decades-old immigration rule. The change would prevent legal immigrant families on the road to U.S. citizenship from being able to secure permanent lawful immigration status if they utilize a vast array of health care supports, such as Medicaid, nutrition assistance, or other services. The proposal, which is now subject to a comment period, would be disastrous for legal immigrants and their families, particularly children — and to cities, states, and our nation’s future — if it is adopted. In response to the Trump Administration’s proposed changes to the “public charge” rule, Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement:

“As if ripping families apart at the border and putting children in cages wasn’t bad enough, the Trump administration is trying to use health care as a weapon against legal immigrants in America. This is yet another outrageous attack on health care in this country and the ability of immigrants to live their lives with dignity.”

To learn more about the Trump Administration’s proposed rule change, please visit www.protectimmigrantfamilies.org.

Trump and Hawley Lie About Their Record on Pre-existing Conditions Protections

Washington, DC Following a campaign stop with Josh Hawley, President Trump continued to

flat-out lie about his Administration’s plan to gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions.  Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, said in response:

“It’s ludicrous for Donald Trump to say he and Josh Hawley want to protect people with pre-existing conditions when they have literally gone to court to take those protections away. Just last month, Hawley said replacing the ACA would be “a top priority” for him in the Senate and right now Donald Trump is in the process of jamming a rubber stamp on his anti-health care agenda on the U.S. Supreme Court. Republicans like Josh Hawley and Donald Trump  present a real and present danger to the health care of Americans and people don’t need to look any further than their own words and actions for proof.”

New Polls: Health Care is a Top Issue in Florida’s Battleground House Districts

Voters Disapprove of Republican Incumbents’ Pro-Repeal Record, Say They Want Affordable Care Act Improved Rather than Repealed, and Trust Democrats More Than Republicans With Their Health Care

“The issue of health care could be [the] key to ousting the incumbent in this race,” says Florida Politics blog

Washington, DC – New Public Policy Polling surveys commissioned by Protect Our Care finds that health care may be a decisive issue for voters in the Florida battlegrounds of CD 18, CD 25 and CD 26.  Said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, in response to the poll findings:

“Pro-repeal incumbents Brian Mast, Mario Diaz-Balart and Carlos Curbelo have a lot to be worried about. As these polls show, voters are angry at their efforts to repeal and sabotage American health care and they are getting ready to take that anger out at the polls.”  

Here’s how the polls were covered locally today:

Florida Politics: Lauren Baer Polling Within Three Points Of Brian Mast (FL-18). “When asked who they trust more to handle the issue of health care, 49 percent back Democrats and 46 percent say they favor Republicans and President Donald Trump. Only 4 percent are undecided. But when it came to their district, voters favored Democrats by a wider margin. A total of 49 percent of respondents say they would rather vote for a congressional candidate who is ‘a Democrat who supports the Affordable Care Act and wants to improve it.’ That compares to 44 percent who say they’d prefer ‘a Republican who wants to repeal’ the ACA.”

Florida Politics: Mary Barzee Flores Closing In On Mario Diaz-Balart, Poll Shows (FL-25). “49 percent say they trust Democrats more on the issue of health care. But 46 percent trust Republicans and President Donald Trump more. Only 4 percent were undecided. When asked about their votes going forward, 51 percent prefer ‘a Democrat who supports the Affordable Care Act and wants to improve it.’ That compares to 43 percent who’d rather vote for ‘a Republican who wants to repeal’ the ACA. Those numbers could bode well for the Democrats, who have signaled their desire to keep health care at the forefront of the 2018 midterms after Republicans’ failed attempt to repeal the ACA last year.”

Florida Politics: Carlos Curbelo Trailing In Newest CD 26 Poll (FL-26). “A majority, 53 percent, say they support the ACA. Only 35 percent say they oppose it, while 12 percent are undecided. A whopping 57 percent say they trust Democrats more on the issue of health care, while 40 percent favor President Donald Trump and Republicans….A total of 57 percent say they’d prefer ‘a Democrat who supports the Affordable Care Act and wants to improve it.’ Just 38 percent want ‘a Republican who wants to repeal’ the ACA. The issue of health care could be Mucarsel-Powell’s key to ousting the incumbent in this race.”

Hawley’s Laundry List of Lies About Health Care

As he prepares to take the stage with Donald Trump tonight, today Josh Hawley earned a “mostly false” rating from Politifact Missouri on health care and the Kansas City Star lamented his misinformation campaign about his lawsuit to overturn pre-existing conditions protections for millions of Americans, including nearly 2.5 million Missourians.

Here are more whoppers Josh Hawley has told the people of Missouri in recent weeks:

  1. Hawley Is Arguing Against Pre-Existing Condition Protections In Court, And Encouraging Consumers To Buy Association Health Plans That Can Discriminate Against People With Pre-Existing Conditions. Hawley claims that Sen. Claire McCaskill has chosen not to back reforms that would have covered pre-existing conditions, despite the fact that she voted against numerous bills last year that would have enabled insurance companies to once again charge people with pre-existing conditions more and opposes a lawsuit led by Hawley that would overturn these protections. At the same time, Hawley argues in favor of health plans that can discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. In contrast to ACA-compliant health plans which are required to provide essential health services and are prohibited from raising premiums when someone gets sick, association health plans are able to discriminate against consumers at their whim. They also have a history of fraud and unpaid claims.
  2. Hawley Wants To Bring Missourians Back To When Insurance Companies Could Charge Women And Adults Over 50 More For Coverage. Hawley argues that we should eliminate “one-size-fits-all dictates” about what services, like maternity care and prostate exams, insurance plans need to cover. Eliminating these crucial consumer protections would take us back to before the Affordable Care Act, when insurance companies were allowed to charge women, people over 50, and people with pre-existing conditions more. Prior to the ACA, insurance companies charged women an estimated $1 billion more than men for the same health care plans, and 75 percent of individual market plans did not cover maternity care, 45 percent did not cover substance use disorder services, and 38 percent did not cover mental health services.
  3. Hawley claims that “millions of Americans have lost their healthcare plans.” This claim, which Republicans have been repeating for years, has already been fact checked as misleading given that “far more have gained coverage than had their policies canceled.” The ACA ultimately helped 20 million Americans access coverage, including more than 240,000 Missourians who were able to purchase care through the marketplace.
  4. Hawley pointed to premium increases as evidence of the ACA’s failure, but fails to mention that Republican sabotage is increasing premiums and costing consumers. In fact, experts say Republican efforts to sabotage the ACA are causing premiums continue to increase. A Brookings Institute analysis estimates that premiums would have decreased by 4.3 percent in 2019 if not for Republican efforts to sabotage the law.
  5. Hawley claims that insurance companies are profiting thanks to “open-ended payments” from the federal government. However, the Affordable Care Act limits the amount of premiums that insurance companies can take as profit. The federal government does not send open-ended payments to insurance companies, instead it pays for a portion of low-income Americans’ premiums. Because of the ACA, 80 percent of premiums must be used to pay for actual health care costs rather than administrative expenses and overhead. Thanks to this requirement, Missouri insurance companies returned more than $13.7 million in rebates to consumers in 2016.
  6. Hawley falsely alleges that Sen. McCaskill sides with big pharma, when Sen. McCaskill Is Fighting To Stop Drug Price Increases. However, Sen. McCaskill has not only commissioned reports on drug pricing and supported allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, but has also introduced numerous pieces of legislation aimed at lowering drug costs and preventing consumers from overpaying on prescription drugs.

Repeal Cheerleader Ted Cruz to Debate Health Care Champion Beto O’Rourke

Will Cruz Own His Repeal and Sabotage Record, Including Support for GOP’s Lawsuit Targeting Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions?

Washington, DC – Tonight — on the heels of a new poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) for Protect Our Care showing the race is a dead heat — health care champion Rep. Beto O’Rourke debates one of the GOP’s biggest cheerleaders for repealing protections for people with pre-existing conditions, Ted Cruz. Said Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care, ahead of tonight’s debate:

“From his repeated votes for repeal, to his vocal support for the Trump-GOP lawsuit to overturn protections for people with pre-existing conditions overnight, to his vote to cut billions from Medicare and Medicaid, Ted Cruz’s anti-health care record is out of step with Texas voters who say that health care is one of the most important issues to them this election. The question is whether Ted Cruz will step onto the debate stage owning the damage he’s done to health care, or if he’ll follow Trump, Hawley, Heller and the rest of the GOP and try to hide from it.”

Key Findings from the Protect Our Care-PPP Poll of Texas Voters:

  • Sixty-two percent of voters say health care is the most important or a very important issue for them this election.  
  • Sixty-two percent of voters say the elimination of protections for people with pre-existing conditions, supported by Ted Cruz, is “a major concern.”
  • Texas voters oppose the Texas attorney general and Trump administration’s lawsuit to eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions by a 40 point margin, 59 percent to 19 percent.
  • Sixty percent of voters say the “Age Tax” supported by Ted Cruz is “a major concern.”
  • Nearly half (49 percent) of Texas voters oppose repealing the Affordable Care Act and instead want to keep what works and fix what doesn’t.
  • The survey finds Cruz and O’Rourke in a dead heat, with 48 percent of voters supporting Cruz, 45 percent supporting O’Rourke and eight percent undecided.

What Would Repeal of Health Care in Texas Mean?

  • It would undo protections for 11,579,100 Texans with pre-existing conditions if they buy coverage on their own
  • Marketplace tax credits and coverage for up to 963,000 Texans would disappear
  • Full repeal would end improvements to Medicare, including reduced costs for prescription drugs
  • No more allowing kids to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26
  • Insurance companies could once again impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage
  • Insurance companies could also once again discriminate against women
  • Limits on out-of-pocket costs would be eliminated
  • Rules to hold insurance companies accountable would disappear
  • Small business tax credits would be eliminated

Ted Cruz Is One of the Senate’s Top Cheerleaders For Repeal

Cruz’s First Piece Of Legislation Was To “Fully Repeal Obamacare.”  “Since Sen. Cruz took office, he has been a leading voice for repealing Obamacare. In fact, the first piece of legislation he filed, co-sponsored by 32 Republicans, was to fully repeal Obamacare Before the law went into effect in January 2014, Sen. Cruz led the effort to halt its implementation and defund Obamacare, filibustering it on the floor for an historic 21 hours.” [Cruz.Senate.Gov, accessed 9/21/18]

2013: Cruz Led The Republican Effort To Shut Down The Government Over Funding For The ACA.  “ In 2013, Cruz, along with conservatives in the House, demanded that any spending bill also delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats, who still had control of the chamber in 2013, were never going to support such a move. But enough House Republicans wouldn’t go for a funding bill that didn’t defund Obamacare, setting up a showdown that shut down government for more than two weeks. (In the end, Cruz and the conservative House faction did not win policy concessions.) Republicans were largely blamed for the shutdown. Cruz’s theatrics inspired the ire not just of Democrats, but of his Republican colleagues in the Senate, who felt Cruz knew his self-righteous gambit was doomed to fail, but went ahead with it anyway to raise his own political profile at his party’s expense.” [Vox, 1/22/18]

2015:  Cruz Voted To Repeal Most Of The ACA.  Cruz voted for legislation that gutted the Affordable Care Act by eliminating the insurance exchanges and subsidies, and repealing the Medicaid expansion accepted by 30 states, including Nevada.  [HR 3762, Roll Call Vote #114, 12/3/15]

2017:  Cruz Voted For The Senate “Repeal And Delay” Plan.  Cruz voted for Obamacare Repeal and Replacement Act was a Republican effort to repeal the ACA without a replacement.  Known as “repeal and delay,” the bill repealed major sections of the ACA, including the Medicaid expansion and premium tax credits, in 2020.  [HR 1628, Roll Call Vote #169, 7/26/17]

  • If Repeal and Delay became law, 32 million fewer people would have health insurance by 2026. 18 million Americans would lose health coverage just in the first year after repeal.
  • Health insurance premiums would double for those in the individual market.

2017: Cruz Voted For The Better Care Reconciliation Act.  Cruz voted for the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which repealed and replaced the ACA.    [HR 1628, Roll Call Vote #168, 7/25/17]

2017:  Cruz Voted For “Skinny Repeal” Of The ACA. Cruz voted for “Skinny Repeal” of the ACA, which repealed the individual mandate and delayed the employer mandate while leaving most of the rest of the law in place.  [HR 1628, Roll Call Vote #179, 7/28/17]

According To  CBO, Skinny Repeal Would Have Resulted In The Largest Coverage Loss in American History:

    • At minimum, 15 million Americans would lose coverage in 2018.  This would have been the biggest one-year increase in our nation’s history.
    • Premiums would go up by roughly 20 percent

2018:  Ted Cruz: “We Need To Finish The Job” On Obamacare.  “Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on Wednesday said Republicans needed to ‘finish the job” on repealing and replacing Obamacare in 2018, and he is pushing his colleagues to use one last reconciliation bill before the midterms to deliver on their long-running promise.” [Washington Examiner, 1/24/18]

Cruz Supports The GOP Lawsuit To Eliminate Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions

Ted Cruz Said It Was “Reasonable” To Argue ACA’s Preexisting Conditions Rules Are Now Unconstitutional.  “Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), as vociferous an Obamacare critic as you’ll find, sounds on board with the latest legal challenge to the health care law that could lead to protections for people with preexisting conditions being found unconstitutional. Cruz told Vox that he thought the Justice Department’s position in the lawsuit, that the law’s rules on preexisting conditions should be invalidated along with the individual mandate, was ‘reasonable’ and defended the foundation of the case being brought by his home state of Texas in a brief interview at the Capitol.” [Vox, 6/15/18]

  • Cruz Claimed The Lawsuit Would Result In “More Competition, More Options, More Individual Freedom And Lower Premiums.” “‘Those parts that the court explicitly upheld under the taxing power, the Department of Justice conceded, under the court’s reasoning, no longer had a constitutional basis,’ Cruz, who studied law at Harvard and served as Texas’s solicitor general before coming to Congress, told me. ‘ think that is a reasonable position for the Justice Department to take.’ ‘I think the consequence if the court agrees with the state of Texas’s lawsuit will be that consumers will have more choices, more competition, more options, more individual freedom and lower premiums,’ he continued. ‘That’s a win for health care consumers across the country.’”  [Vox, 6/15/18]

Cruz Voted for the Republican Tax Bill That Hurts Texans Health

Ted Cruz was a key vote for the Republican tax bill, which repealed a key provision of the Affordable Care Act that required most people to have health coverage which will result in more people without coverage, higher costs and devastated insurance markets.  

The tax bill also explodes the debt, meaning Medicare could be cut.  Republicans are already talking about the need to cut Medicare and Social Security even more to deal with the $1.5 trillion this tax bill adds to the national debt. On the chopping block: Medicare and Social Security. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) recently said, “we’ve got a lot of work to do in cutting spending.” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was more explicit, saying, “We have to generate economic growth which generates revenue, while reducing spending. That will mean instituting structural changes to Social Security and Medicare for the future.”

Tax Bill Means Higher Costs, Especially for Older Texans. One estimate shows in Texas alone, family premiums in the marketplace will increase on average by $1,730 in 2019. The AARP estimates a 64-year-old Texan will have to pay $1,279 more in premiums because of health repeal, essentially an age tax for people over 50.

One Million Texans Could Lose Coverage. As a result of the tax bill, an estimated 1,036,000 Texans  will lose coverage by 2025.  

This plan showered tax breaks on wealthy Americans and giant corporations at the expense of working people. The Tax Policy Center found that the richest 0.1 percent will get a nearly $150,000 tax break.

  • Under the tax bill, our tax code is more rigged than ever before, with 83 percent of these tax cuts going to the top 1 percent.
  • The plan permanently slashes tax rates for the biggest corporations by $1.4 trillion, a 40 percent tax break, and cuts the top individual tax rate that millionaires pay. The plan further incentivizes corporations to ship jobs overseas by giving them a permanently lower tax rate if they do so.

Trump and Heller Lie About Their Record on Pre-existing Conditions Protections

Heller Authored Repeal Legislation That Would Have Eliminated Pre-existing Conditions Protections For 1.2 Million Nevadans

Trump’s Lawsuit Could Cause Protections for All 130 Million Americans with Pre-existing Conditions to Vanish Overnight

Trump and Heller Only the Latest Republican to Lie About Pre-existing Conditions Protections

Washington, DCAt a campaign stop with Dean Heller, a lead sponsor on the failed Senate repeal bill that did not include pre-existing conditions protections, President Trump became the latest Republican politician to flat-out lie about the party’s commitment to protect people with pre-existing conditions. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, said in response:

“What the repealer-in-chief Donald Trump said is a lie and his accomplice, Dean Heller, knows it is. After all, this is the same Dean Heller who pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act — including its protections for people with pre-existing conditions — after the election. Just this week, Kevin Cramer got Three Pinocchios for saying the Republican repeal bills include pre-existing conditions protections. Representatives Mike Coffman, Bruce Poliquin, Carlos Curbelo and others were exposed for erasing their pro-repeal record and statements from their websites. Scott Walker got eviscerated by health experts after he falsely claimed that he has an alternate plan to protect people with pre-existing conditions if the Trump-Walker lawsuit to overturn them is successful. Republicans like Dean Heller, Kevin Cramer, Bruce Poliquin, Scott Walker and Donald Trump want to scrub their records on health care for one simple reason: voters are angry at their efforts to repeal and sabotage American health care and they are getting ready to take that anger out at the polls.”  

NEW POLL: Texas Senate Race

Six in 10 Texas Voters Cite Health Care as Most or Very Important Issue in Senate Race

Voters Oppose Cruz-GOP Repeal and Sabotage Efforts, Including GOP’s Lawsuit Targeting Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions

Public Policy Polling Survey Has Race a Dead Heat: Cruz 48, Beto 45

Washington, DC – A new Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey commissioned by Protect Our Care finds that 62 percent of voters in Texas say health care will be one of the most important issues they consider when casting their vote in November. What’s more, 44 percent are deeply concerned about Senator Ted Cruz’s work to repeal health care and nearly 60 percent oppose the Trump Administration’s lawsuit to end protections for those with pre-existing conditions, which Cruz has refused to oppose.

The poll shows that for Cruz, who has been among the GOP’s fiercest advocates for repealing the American health care law, the issue is a drag on his prospects for reelection. In the poll, Cruz is in a dead heat against Democrat Beto O’Rourke 48 (Cruz) to 45 (O’Rourke). The poll was conducted September 19th and 20th among 613 Texas registered voters. The survey has a margin of sampling error of +/- 4 percent.

“Ted Cruz thought he was going to score political points shutting the government down trying to repeal health care, but what he actually did was put his own reelection prospects in serious jeopardy. Ted Cruz’s constituents say health care is one of the most important issues to them this election, and as a result he’s taking on some pretty serious water in this race. Whether it is Cruz’s opposition to protections for people with pre-existing conditions or his vote for an age tax, Ted Cruz’s extreme health care views are rejected by his constituents.”

Key Findings from the Poll:

  • Sixty-two percent of voters say health care is the most important or a very important issue for them this election.  
  • Sixty-two percent of voters say the elimination of protections for people with pre-existing conditions, supported by Ted Cruz, is “a major concern.”
  • Texas voters oppose the Texas attorney general and Trump administration’s lawsuit to eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions by a 40 point margin, 59 percent to 19 percent.
  • Sixty percent of voters say the “Age Tax” supported by Ted Cruz is “a major concern.”
  • Nearly half (49 percent) of Texas voters oppose repealing the Affordable Care Act and instead want to keep what works and fix what doesn’t.
  • The survey finds Cruz and O’Rourke in a dead heat, with 48 percent of voters supporting Cruz, 45 percent supporting O’Rourke and eight percent undecided.

What Would Repeal of Health Care in Texas Mean?

  • It would undo protections for 11,579,100 Texans with pre-existing conditions if they buy coverage on their own
  • Marketplace tax credits and coverage for up to 963,000 Texans would disappear
  • Full repeal would end improvements to Medicare, including reduced costs for prescription drugs
  • No more allowing kids to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26
  • Insurance companies could once again impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage
  • Insurance companies could also once again discriminate against women
  • Limits on out-of-pocket costs would be eliminated
  • Rules to hold insurance companies accountable would disappear
  • Small business tax credits would be eliminated

You can read the full polling results here.

Trump Stumps for Heller, Architect of GOP Plan to Rip Health Care from Millions

Heller Authored Repeal Legislation That Would Have Jacked Up Premiums, Gutted Medicaid And Eliminated Protections For 1.2 Million Nevadans With Pre-Existing Conditions

Washington, DCTonight, President Trump will campaign for Dean Heller, lead sponsor on the failed Senate repeal bill who has worked for years to strip protections for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions and recently pledged to work again this fall to repeal our health care. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, said in response:

“At a time when Dean Heller should be listening to Nevadans who are demanding that Republicans stop their attacks on health care, he is instead standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the Repealer-in-Chief. It’s unbelievable. Time and again, Nevadans have made it crystal clear that they do not want their health care ripped away — yet time and again, Dean Heller has stood with Trump and other Republicans who would do precisely that. Make no mistake, Dean Heller presents a real and present danger to the health care of Nevadans and people need look no further than his own words and actions for proof.   

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND:

Senator Dean Heller has pledged to repeal Obamacare if Republicans wins Senate seats. If he succeeds, this could have devastating effects on hundreds of thousands Nevadans.

  • “Dean Heller Pledges To Repeal Obamacare If Gop Wins More Senate Seats.”Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., said he believes his party will pick up more Senate seats during the 2018 midterm elections, which would help the party fulfill its long-held promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, according to an audio recording obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.  ‘I think at the end of the day we end up with 53, 54 seats. If we can do that, then we can repeal and replace and change the ACA as we know it today,’ he said, referring to the Affordable Care Act, the formal name for Obamacare.” [Washington Examiner, 4/5/18]

Heller Authored Repeal Legislation That Would Have Jacked Up Premiums, Gutted Medicaid And Eliminated Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions

Analysts Agree: Every State Loses Under Graham-Cassidy-Heller Affecting People’s Care. Multiple independent analyses agree that the Graham-Cassidy-Heller repeal bill would cut federal funding to states. Over time, every state loses because Graham-Cassidy-Heller zeroes out its block grants and ratchets down its spending on the Medicaid per capita cap. This means people would not have access to the financial assistance to help lower their health care bills, and federal Medicaid funding would no longer adjust for public health emergencies, prescription drug or other cost spikes, or other unexpected increases in need.

  • Avalere: $4 Trillion Cut To States Over Next Two Decades, Including $39 Billion Cut To Nevadans. Independent analysts at Avalere estimated that states collectively would lose $215 billion from 2020 to 2026 from the plans block grants and Medicaid cap, another $283 billion in 2027 when the block grant funding disappears altogether and $4 trillion over the next two decades. Nevada would see a $2 billion reduction from 2020 to 2026, another $5 billion reduction in 2027 and a $39 billion cut over two decades.

200,583 Nevadans Enrolled Through Medicaid Expansion At Risk. The Graham-Cassidy-Heller bill would eliminate Medicaid expansion, which has helped 200,583 Nevadans receive quality, affordable coverage, and put part of its funding into inadequate block grants. The bill would further punish states that expanded Medicaid by redistributing funds to states that did not expand Medicaid.

Premiums Will Increase 20 Percent in the First Year. According to the Congressional Budget Office, Graham-Cassidy-Heller includes provisions that would raise premiums up to 20 percent in the first year.

63,968 Nevadans Who Receive Marketplace Tax Credits Could Pay More. Because the Graham-Cassidy-Heller bill eliminates block grant funding in 2027 with no guarantee of any other funding to take its place, that means there would be no funding Marketplace tax credits that help people pay for their premiums, which currently benefits 63,968 Nevadans.

Graham-Cassidy-Heller Would Raise Costs For People With Pre-Existing Conditions. Graham-Cassidy-Heller would allow states to let insurance companies once again charge people with pre-existing conditions more, which could raise costs for up to 1,215,300 Nevadans that have a pre-existing condition. For example, an individual with asthma would face a premium surcharge of $4,340. The surcharge for pregnancy would be $17,320, while it would be $142,650 more for patients with metastatic cancer.

242,000 Nevadans Could See Lifetime And Annual Limits Again. Allowing states to opt out of the Essential Health Benefits coverage means that insurance companies could once again put lifetime and annual limits on the amount of care you receive, even impacting people with coverage from their employer. Up to 242,000 Nevadans with employer-sponsored coverage would lose these protections.

Graham-Cassidy-Heller Could Lead to An Age Tax, Meaning 60 Year Old Nevadans Could Pay Up To $16,458 More. The Graham-Cassidy-Heller bill would allow states to let insurers charge people over 50 high premiums without limits. The AARP said, “The Graham/Cassidy/Heller/Johnson bill would result in an age tax for older Americans who would see their health care costs increase under this bill.” AARP estimates that 60-year-old Nevadans could pay as much as a $16,458 more in higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs in 2020.

Millions of Women Could Face Higher Costs or Lose Access to Care. Graham-Cassidy-Heller would end Medicaid expansion, which has allowed 3.9 million women to gain access to care. It would end provisions that helped lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs for 9 million women. Graham-Cassidy-Heller slashes Medicaid, on which one in five women of reproductive age rely. The bill would defund Planned Parenthood and would allow states to let insurers forgo maternity coverage.

Dean Heller’s Repeal-and-Sabotage Votes:

2010: Heller Voted Against Passage Of The ACA. As a member of the House, Heller voted against initial passage of the Affordable Care Act.   [HR 3590, Roll Call Vote #165, 3/21/10]

2015: Heller Voted To Repeal Most Of The ACA.  Heller voted for legislation that gutted the Affordable Care Act by eliminating the insurance exchanges and subsidies, and repealing the Medicaid expansion accepted by 30 states, including Nevada.  [HR 3762, Roll Call Vote #114, 12/3/15]

2017: Heller Voted For “Skinny Repeal” Of The ACA. Dean Heller voted for “Skinny Repeal” of the ACA, which repealed the individual mandate and delayed the employer mandate while leaving most of the rest of the law in place.  [HR 1628, Roll Call Vote #179, 7/28/17]

According To  CBO, Skinny Repeal Would Have Resulted In The Largest Coverage Loss in American History:

    • At minimum, 15 million Americans would lose coverage in 2018.  This would have been the biggest one-year increase in our nation’s history.
    • Premiums would go up by roughly 20 percent.

2017: Heller Voted for the Republican Tax Bill That Hurts Nevadans Health and Gives Tax Breaks to Giant Insurance Companies and Drug Companies

  • Tax Bill Means Higher Costs, Especially for Older Nevadans. One estimate shows in Nevada alone, family premiums in the marketplace will increase on average by $1,730 in 2019. The AARP estimates a 64-year-old Nevadan will have to pay $1,286 more in premiums because of health repeal, essentially an age tax for people over 50.
  • Tax Bill Hurts Rural Nevadans Health Care. An LA Times analysis found that the health repeal provision in the Senate Republican tax scheme would “derail insurance markets in conservative, rural swaths of the country…That could leave consumers in these regions — including most or all of Alaska, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming, as well as parts of many other states — with either no options for coverage or health plans that are prohibitively expensive.”
  • 112,000 Nevadans Could Lose Coverage. As a result of the tax bill, an estimated 112,000 Nevadans will lose coverage by 2025.