Monthly Archives

October 2018

Dean Heller Lies About His Health Repeal Crusade During Senate Debate

…As New PPP-Protect Our Care Poll Shows Nevada Voters Oppose Heller’s Attacks On Health Care, and Support Rosen Instead

Washington DC – At the Senate debate in Las Vegas, Senator Dean Heller continued to run from his record of supporting massive tax cuts for large corporations and authoring repeal legislation to strip millions of Nevadans of their health care. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care issued the following statement in response:

“What’s one thing that happened in Vegas and should stay there? Dean Heller, and his lies last night about health care. Let’s be clear, Dean Heller’s bill would have turned back the clock on pre-existing conditions protections. It would bring back what the AARP calls ‘the age tax’ for people over 50 and it would allow discrimination against women by insurance companies. What’s worse, he promised to give health repeal another go after the midterms. Dean Heller’s re-election campaign is all about getting another chance to strip health care away from millions of Americans and give wealthy corporations another massive tax cut. It’s no wonder more and more Nevadans are saying ‘no way.’”

What Heller Said:

“I wrote the bill, the repeal and replacement bill for Republicans that specifically added pre-existing conditions because that is how I feel about it.” [C-SPAN, 10/19/18]

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

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.

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.

THREE FOR THREE: Vukmir Lies On Pre-Existing Conditions During Debate

The thing to know about Leah Vukmir is that she’s blocked health care and sided with insurance companies every chance,” says Brad Woodhouse

Washington DC – In response to last night’s third and final Senate debate between Leah Vukmir and Senator Tammy Baldwin, Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:

“Third verse, same as the first: once again, Leah Vukmir repeated her tired old line about how she’d protect people with pre-existing conditions, which has been called out before. The thing to know about Leah Vukmir is that she’s blocked health care and sided with insurance companies over ordinary Wisconsinites every chance she’s gotten, whether by blocking Medicaid expansion, supporting junk insurance plans that don’t have to cover pre-existing conditions or prescription drugs or maternity care, or by voting against Wisconsin’s smoking ban.”

Additional background:

What Vukmir Said:

“I will fall in front of a truck before I let people go without coverage for pre-existing conditions.” [Wisconsin State Journal, 10/19/18]

What Vukmir Has Done:

Vukmir “Supports Full Repeal Of Obamacare. Period.” “Leah understands why people are upset with Republicans who promised to repeal Obamacare and didn’t deliver. She supports full repeal of Obamacare. Period. And she won’t stop pushing for full repeal in Congress.” [LeahVukmir.com, accessed 6/12/18]

Vice President Pence: ‘We Made An Effort To Fully Repeal And Replace Obamacare And We’ll Continue, With Leah Vukmir In The Senate.” [The Hill, 8/31/18]

Though Leah Vukmir claims she supports protections for people with pre-existing conditions, she has turned her back on Wisconsinites at every opportunity to do so.

  • Vukmir refuses to stand against a lawsuit designed to end protections for people with pre-existing conditions. This summer, the Trump Administration refused to defend against a lawsuit brought by twenty conservative states aimed at overturning the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Leah Vukmir refuses to speak against this lawsuit, instead calling it a “necessary step.”
  • Vukmir refuses to take action at the state level against the Trump administration’s junk plan and association plan rules that let insurance companies discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. This summer, the Trump Administration finalized a junk plan rule and an association plan rule that allow insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. Experts warn that these moves will only increase the cost of comprehensive care, ultimately making it even harder for people with pre-existing conditions to get the care they need. Twenty-one states have taken or are taking action to limit the harmful effects of these junk plans, but Vukmir refuses to do the same for Wisconsin.

Vukmir Says High Risk Pools Would Be Her ‘Solution’ to Cover People With Pre-existing Conditions if the Affordable Care Act is Repealed. The statement itself acknowledges that she would give insurance companies back the power to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Here are some other problems with high risk pools:

  • High Risk Pools Typically Had Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions And Limited Benefits. [Health Affairs, 3/15/16]
  • High Risk Pools’ Limited Coverage And High Costs Cause People To Remain Uninsured.  [Stateline, 2/16/17] Wisconsin’s previous high risk pool only covered 25,000 people, with estimates showing 2.4 million Wisconsinites live with pre-existing conditions.
  • Premiums For Coverage In High Risk Pools Were As Much As 200 Percent Higher Than The Average Rate But Covered Less Care. [Center for American Progress, 2/16/17]
  • Despite High Premiums, High Risk Pools Could Still Cost The American People Over $90 Billion Annually. [Commonwealth Fund, 3/29/17]

Vukmir Opposed Medicaid Expansion In Wisconsin.

  • Medicaid is not only a lifeline for over one million Wisconsinites, it strengthens our communities and is supported by 74 percent of Americans. Wisconsin has restricted its Medicaid program such that only Residents earning up to 100 percent of the federal poverty line are eligible to enroll in Medicaid. If Wisconsin expanded its program, 119,000 more adults could gain coverage through Medicaid

Vukmir’s Extreme Health Care Record In The State Legislature Is Proof Of What She Would Do On The Federal Level.

  • Vukmir Opposed An Indoor Smoking Ban, Calling It “Anti-Smoking Zealotry.”  [Associated Press, 5/14/09]
  • Vukmir Opposed A Bipartisan Substance Abuse and Mental Health Parity Bill In The State Assembly. [Shepherd Express, 9/29/10]
  • Vukmir Describes Stopping “Healthy Wisconsin,” A Health Plan That Would Have Covered Virtually Every Wisconsinite, As Her Proudest Legislative Achievement. [Milwaukee Magazine, 9/22/16]

SHOCKER: Kevin Cramer Fakes His Record On Pre-existing Conditions During Senate Debate

“Let’s be clear: Cramer voted to gut pre-existing conditions protections,” said Brad Woodhouse

Washington DC – During last night’s Senate debate between repeal cheerleader Kevin Cramer and health care champion Heidi Heitkamp, Kevin Cramer continued his lie about health care, stating he “‘has not and would not’ support any legislation that cuts guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions.” Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement in response:

“Kevin Cramer’s desperately trying to hide the facts from North Dakota voters because so many of them say health care care and protecting pre-existing conditions are their top issues. Let’s be clear: Cramer voted to gut pre-existing conditions protections. He voted to allow insurance companies to charge more for pre-existing conditions, a surcharge that could have been in the tens of thousands of dollars and even six figures: up to $4,270 for asthma, $17,060 for pregnancy, $26,180 for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 for metastatic cancer. Make no mistake: Cramer wants nothing more than to roll back the clock on health care.”

Here’s the truth:

2017: Cramer Voted For AHCA.  Cramer voted for passage of the American Health Care Act.  [HR 1628, Roll Call Vote #256, 5/4/17]

Cramer Claimed To Have Read The Entire AHCA Bill.  “I have read the 200-page bill in its entirety and debated nearly every section of it during a 27-hour hearing in the House Energy and Commerce Committee in March.” [Kevin Cramer Op-Ed, Dickinson Press, 5/18/17]  

…Then Cramer Falsely Claimed AHCA Protected People With Pre-Existing Conditions. But the American Health Care Act weakens key protections of the Affordable Care Act and allowed states to eliminate community rating, meaning insurers would be able to charge people with pre-existing conditions more. This surcharge could be in the tens of thousands of dollars and even six figures: up to $4,270 for asthma, $17,060 for pregnancy, $26,180 for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 for metastatic cancer.

What Would AHCA Mean for North Dakota?

  • In 2026, 30,100 North Dakotans would lose coverage under this bill.
  • The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that the American Health Care Act would have raised premiums 20 percent in 2018.
  • People in rural areas tend to face higher health costs, which is one of the reasons why the Affordable Care Act based the amount of premium tax credits in part on geographic location. The American Health Care Act does not, meaning people in rural areas would face higher costs. In North Dakota, 61 percent of marketplace consumers live in rural areas, and could see an average cost increase of $2,121.
  • The negative economic impact of the American Health Care Act would cause 4,151 North Dakotans to lose their jobs by 2022.

NEW POLL: Nevadans Strongly Oppose Senator Dean Heller’s Attacks On Health Care

Rosen Up 2 points —  48-46 — in Head-to-head With New Poll Finding Health Care a Top Issue for Majority of Voters, and Strong Opposition to Senator Heller’s Efforts to Repeal the ACA and Pre-existing Conditions Protections

 

Washington DC — Ahead of tonight’s Senate debate between Congresswoman Jacky Rosen and Senator Dean Heller, a new poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) for Protect Our Care shows Nevadans are deeply motivated by health care this election cycle and have major concerns with Senator Dean Heller’s anti-health care record. Heller voted to cut health care while giving giant tax breaks to wealthy drug and insurance corporations, is a strong supporter of health care repeal and was the architect behind the GOP plan to gut health care for millions of Americans. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care issued the following statement ahead of the debate:

 

“From authoring repeal legislation that would have jacked up premiums and gutted Medicaid to standing alongside Trump and other Republicans as they work to rip away health care from those of us who need it, Dean Heller won’t stop until he eliminates all protections for millions of Americans. Don’t believe us? Just look at his promise to work to repeal health care again if Nevadans send him back to Washington. Dean Heller has shown his hand and Nevadans are ready to cash out.”

 

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

  • A majority of voters (58 percent) say health care is a top issue when casting their vote this November
  • By 23 points, Nevada wants to keep what works and fix what doesn’t in the Affordable Care Act, rather than scrap it and start over.
  • Nevada voters oppose the Trump administration’s lawsuit to eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions by a 37 point margin, 59 percent to 22 percent.
  • The survey finds Rosen with a two-point lead over Heller (48-46) and more than half (52 percent) of voters disapprove of Sen. Dean Heller’s job performance
  • More than half of Nevadans (51 percent) have a major concern with Sen. Heller’s efforts to repeal funding for the Medicaid Expansion

 

PPP surveyed 648 Nevada voters from October 15-16, 2018.  The margin of error is +/- 3.85%. This poll was conducted by automated telephone interviews.

 

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND:

What would full repeal of the Affordable Care Act eliminate?

  • Protections for 1,215,300 Nevadans 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, including more than 200,000 Nevadans

2010:  Heller Voted Against Passage Of The ACA. [HR 3590, Roll Call Vote #165, 3/21/10]

2015:  Heller Voted To Repeal Most Of The ACA. [HR 3762, Roll Call Vote #114, 12/3/15]

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

  • Graham-Cassidy-Heller Would Raise Costs For People With Pre-Existing Conditions.
  • 200,583 Nevadans Enrolled Through Medicaid Expansion At Risk of Losing Coverage.
  • 63,968 Nevadans Who Receive Marketplace Tax Credits Could Pay More For the Coverage.

Four Weeks In, ‘Care Force One’ Bus Tour Still Picking Up Momentum

On Deck for Next Week: Kathleen Sebelius, Donna Edwards, Neera Tanden, Cecile Richards, and more

View All the Stops of Protect Our Care’s Nationwide Tour Here

For the previous four weeks, Protect Our Care has been taking the health care fight to communities across the country in its first-ever nationwide bus tour. Covering nearly 12,000 miles, Care Force One is making 49 stops across 24 states. So far, Care Force One has visited Connecticut, Maine, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Joining Protect Our Care’s leaders Leslie Dach and Brad Woodhouse and cancer survivor Laura Packard on the bus have been U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Angus King (I-ME), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Tom Udall (D-NM), U.S. Representatives Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Jacky Rosen (NV-03), and Dina Titus (NV-01); former Representatives Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02) and Steven Horsford (NV-04); Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, Tolleson Mayor Anna Tovar, former Bangor Mayor Joe Baldacci, former Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein, Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, and more.

At a time when health care is consistently ranked as a top issue for the public, the tour is highlighting that the Republican war on health care is very much alive, with Republican leaders doubling down on their calls to repeal health care, including pre-existing conditions protections, and cut billions from Medicare and Medicaid, all while using regulations and the courts to continue their attacks on protections for the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, for women, older Americans, and Medicaid and Medicare enrollees.

Here’s a snapshot of the tour thus far:

At Care Force One’s kickoff event, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal were joined by nearly 100 community members outside a Bridgeport Community Health Center to call attention to Republicans’ ongoing war on health care care.

“Connecticut made the decision to try to make the Affordable Care Act work, not undermine it like many other states did,” said Senator Chris 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.”

In Maine, U.S. Senator Angus King and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree joined state representatives and Mainers with pre-existing conditions at Portland City Hall to speak out against the devastating repercussions of health care repeal before the bus headed to Bangor.

“We’ve got to continue to fight against repeal,” said Senator Angus King. “I call it a zombie proposal because it keeps coming back, and it’s a terrible idea and we have to keep trying to push that back to try and protect Medicare as well as the Affordable Care Act.”

Care Force One then headed west for three events in Pennsylvania, where state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, former Congresswoman and current Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, state senators, state representatives, and Pennsylvanians of all backgrounds hosted rallies in Harrisburg, Erie, and Pittsburgh to defend the ACA and Medicaid.

“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,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “Now more than ever, we need our elected officials to stand up and defend the protections created by the ACA.”

In Ohio, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein, and others spoke out about the devastating repercussions of health care repeal.

“Everyone is one pre-existing condition away from bankruptcy. This is about making sure there’s a basic level of health protection for every single of American. We have an obligation to stand up for everyone in this country,” Randi Weingarten said.

In its second week, Care Force One was welcomed to South Bend, Indiana by Mayor Pete Buttigieg. “This isn’t about politics, this is about our lives, our livelihoods, and our well being,” said Mayor Pete Buttigieg. “This is our opportunity to raise our voices and say enough is enough when it comes to baseless attempts to take away the protection of our health care.”

(Photo by C.S. Hagen, High Plains Reader)

After stops in Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota, week three brought Care Force One to Fargo, North Dakota, where the bus was joined by State Sen. Jim Dotzenrod, former State Sen. Mac Schneider, former State Rep. Ben Hanson, and North Dakotan Jennifer Restemeyer, who shared the story of her daughter, Allison, who suffers from a genetic disorder. As the High Plains Reader reported, Allison “wouldn’t be alive today if the Affordable Care Act hadn’t been passed.”

(Photo by Larry Mayer, Billings Gazette)

From there, Care Force One headed west to Montana, for a series of health care roundtables at health centers in Billings, Butte, and Missoula with local elected officials, health care professionals, representatives from the office of Sen. Jon Tester, and Montanans who have gained coverage under the ACA. After enactment of the law, the states has seen its uninsured rate cut in half.

Week four of the tour found Care Force One in Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico with a number of elected officials, including U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, U.S. Senator Tom Udall, Congresswoman Jacky Rosen, Congresswoman Dina Titus, and former Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick and former Congressman Steven Horsford.

“The Trump Administration’s repeated efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act threaten to put the cost of health care out of reach for too many families and once again allow insurance companies to discriminate against people with preexisting conditions,” said Senator Catherine Cortez Masto in Las Vegas. “I’ll continue fighting to improve the ACA, make premiums more affordable, and ensure that every Nevadan is able to access quality, affordable health care.”

“Right now, our health care system is under attack from the Trump Administration and Republicans in Washington,” said Congresswoman Jacky Rosen in Las Vegas. “I’m fighting in Congress to stabilize the markets, bring down the cost of premiums and prescription drugs, and ensure hardworking Nevadans with pre-existing medical conditions are protected. It’s time for Republicans to work with Democrats to protect and improve our health care system instead of sabotaging and dismantling it.”

“Republicans in Congress and the White House have waged a war on Americans’ health care, including protections for those in our community who live with pre-existing conditions,” former Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick said in Tucson. “It’s critical that we all stand up, take action, and fight for affordable healthcare for Arizonans and all Americans.”

“Washington should protect our health care — overwhelmingly, New Mexicans want us to protect people with pre-existing conditions from being gauged by insurance companies or thrown off their insurance altogether,” Senator Tom Udall said. “Overwhelmingly, they want to keep the Medicaid expansion. And the American people don’t want the Trump administration or the Republicans in Congress dismantling Medicare.”

Today, Care Force One is in Denver, Colorado. Next week, the bus will roll into Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia. Next week’s headliners include former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden, former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, and more.  More information about the remaining stops can be found here.

North Dakotans: Get Ready for More Health Care Lies From Kevin Cramer Tonight

Washington DC — Ahead of tonight’s Senate debate between Kevin Cramer and health care champion Heidi Heitkamp, Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:

 

“Facing mounting pressure from North Dakota voters demanding protections for pre-existing conditions, Kevin Cramer has done a 180 on health care issues in recent weeks. Kevin Cramer joins a long list of Republicans who are collecting pinocchios for flat-out lying about protecting people with pre-existing conditions from discrimination by insurance companies. Today, the very same day Mitch McConnell has admitted that the Senate’s goal will be repeal if folks like Kevin Cramer win in November, will Kevin Cramer finally tell the people of North Dakota the truth? I wouldn’t bet on it.”

 

The Truth About Kevin Cramer’s Record:


Rep. Kevin Cramer Voted Multiple Time to Eliminate Protections for People with Pre-existing conditions.

 

  • 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 campaign website acknowledged 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]

Why The Truth Matters:

  • Roughly 275,000 North Dakotans Live With A Pre-Existing Condition. [CAP, 4/5/17]
  • Women no longer charged more than men. Because of the ACA, insurers can no longer charge women more than men for the same care.
  • Ended annual and lifetime limits. Because of the ACA, insurers can no longer put annual or lifetime limits on the care you receive.
  • Young adults can stay on their parent’s plan until age 26. Because of the ACA, roughly 7,000 young adults in North Dakota have coverage because they can stay on their parent’s coverage until age 26.
  • Allowed states to expand Medicaid. Because of the ACA, states can get additional federal money to expand Medicaid. 18,000 North Dakotans have gained coverage because of this program.

 

TONIGHT: Pre-Existing Conditions Enemy Josh Hawley to Debate Health Care Champion Claire McCaskill

Washington DC – Ahead of tonight’s debate between Senator Claire McCaskill and Attorney General Josh Hawley, a health care repeal-and-sabotage crusader who is suing to end protections for people with pre-existing conditions, Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issue the following statement:

 

“Tonight, the world will have another opportunity to see Josh Hawley for what he truly is: a politician who will say one thing to get elected, while doing the opposite. Hawley’s health care hypocrisy — calling yourself a protector of people with pre-existing conditions while going to Court to end the law that guarantees coverage without discrimination against them — has made him the face of the GOP’s desperate ‘Operation: Obfuscation’ on health care. Make no mistake: Hawley is only working to distort his record on health care because he knows it is contrary to what Missouri voters want. What they do want is a Senator like Claire McCaskill who will stand up for their health care, protect people with pre-existing conditions and fight to  lower the high cost of prescription drugs”

 

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND:

 

Despite Hawley campaigned on Dismantle The ACA And Now Is A Party In A Lawsuit To Eliminate Protections For Pre-existing conditions

 

Hawley Ran For Attorney General “On A Platform Largely Based On His Role In A Lawsuit Against The Affordable Care Act.” “Hawley, who had no previous political experience, ran on a platform largely based on his role in a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act that went to the U.S. Supreme Court. As a private attorney, he worked with more than a dozen lawyers on a case in which Hobby Lobby and other businesses challenged a federal requirement to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives for employees.” [St. Louis Post Dispatch, 3/17/17]

 

Hawley: “I’ve Fought Obamacare In The Supreme Court Of The United States.” “I’ve fought Obamacare in the Supreme Court of the United States—and won. As Attorney General, I will keep up the fight until Missourians get real control over their healthcare and Missouri job creators are free to get our state back to work.” [Hawley For Attorney General, Archived 6/23/17]  

 

What would full repeal of the Affordable Care Act eliminate?

  • Protections for 2,495,400 Missourians 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 nationally

Hawley Said Replacing The ACA Would Be “A Top Priority” For Him In The Senate. [Politico, 8/17/18]

 

Hawley Falsely Claimed That The ACA Resulted In “Millions Of Americans” Losing Their Health Insurance. [Josh Hawley Op-Ed, Springfield News-Leader, 8/20/18]

 

 

 

FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH: McConnell Supports Lawsuit To Stop ACA in its Tracks and Repeal Pre-existing Conditions Protections

In the Past Three Days, McConnell Has:

  • Admitted Republicans Will Gut Medicare and Medicaid to Bankroll Tax Breaks for the Wealthy

  • Admitted Republicans Will Return to Health Care Repeal After the Election

  • Admitted The Republicans’ Position is There’s “Nothing Wrong” with Trump-GOP Lawsuit to End Pre-existing Conditions Protections & Overturn ACA

Washington, DC – In response to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell defending the Trump-GOP lawsuit to end protections for pre-existing conditions and overturn the Affordable Care Act today, Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, released the following statement:

“Mitch McConnell, keep talking.”

MITCH MCCONNELL AND HIS REPUBLICAN ALLIES HAVE SUPPORTED THE LAWSUIT TO END PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS PROTECTIONS IN NUMEROUS AND IRREFUTABLE WAYS

  • When Congress could not succeed in repealing the Affordable Care Act, Republican state attorneys general and governors from 20 states filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Northern District of Texas to overturn the Affordable Care Act in its entirety
  • The Trump Administration took the extraordinary step of announcing it would not defend the Affordable Care Act and actually agreed in part with the plaintiffs, arguing that protections for people with pre-existing conditions should be overturned
  • Senators and House members refused to support Democratic Resolutions that would allow their chambers to defend pre-existing condition protections in court.

MITCH MCCONNELL IS ONLY THE LATEST REPUBLICAN LEADER TO ADMIT THAT REPUBLICANS WILL COME AFTER HEALTH CARE AFTER THE ELECTION. IN THEIR OWN WORDS:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: “If We Had The Votes To Completely Start Over, We’d Do It.” “If we had the votes to completely start over, we’d do it. But that depends on what happens in a couple weeks… We’re not satisfied with the way Obamacare is working.” [Reuters, 10/17/18]

President Trump Reiterates That Republicans Will Go After Repeal Again If Elections Go Their Way. “You know, we want to repeal and replace it, and if we get enough Republicans, we will.” [Washington Post, 9/24/18]

Vice President Pence: ‘We Made An Effort To Fully Repeal And Replace Obamacare And We’ll Continue, With Leah Vukmir In The Senate.” “We made an effort to fully repeal and replace Obamacare and we’ll continue, with Leah Vukmir in the Senate, we’ll continue to go back to that.” [The Hill, 8/31/18]

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI): Maintaining Majority In Senate Means Republicans Will “Be Able To Pass Health Care Reform.” “I think the election will have to determine that because, based upon our vote count in the Senate. We keep the House majority in the house, which I think we will, and then you have to have enough of a majority in the Senate to be able to pass heath care reform.” [Roll Call, 9/12/18]

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA): “If We Get More Senate Seats, Which I Think We Will, We’ve Got To Go Back To Health Care.” “‘We’ve got to hold the House, but if we get more Senate seats, which I think we will, we’ve got to go back to health care. Obamacare’s only getting worse. There is no private marketplace for families out there,’ House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.” [Fox Business, 9/12/18]

Senior Senate GOP Aide: Senate Would “Absolutely” Vote Again To Repeal ACA. “A senior Senate GOP aide said the chamber would ‘absolutely’ vote again to repeal ObamaCare but cautioned it would depend on ‘if we keep the House.’” [The Hill, 8/29/18]

Sen. David Perdue (R-GA): On Repealing The ACA, “I’d Love To Have Somebody Take Care Of That.” “‘I’d love to have somebody to take care of that,’ Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) said of repealing ObamaCare.” [The Hill, 8/29/18]

Sen. John Thune (R-SD): It Would Be Nice To Have Members Who Will Help Us Repeal The ACA. “‘If we re-engage in that discussion in some point in the future, it would be nice to have members who enable us to pass it,’ Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune (S.D.) said when asked about the possibility of ObamaCare repeal legislation coming up for a future vote.” [The Hill, 8/29/18]

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI): Hopes Next Senator From Arizona Is “Strong Ally” Who Recognizes “Obamacare Is Not A Proper Solution.” [The Hill, 8/29/18]

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): If Republicans Expand Senate Majority, Another Repeal Vote Is Likely. “I suppose that it’s all in the numbers, and if you had a significant enough shift in the Senate and you came up with a replacement that really did generate a level of support, yep.” [Axios, 8/6/18]

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL): If Republicans Win In November, Republicans Could Repeal Health Care. “Republicans could repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act next year if the GOP holds onto its majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks, told a crowd in Anniston on Tuesday. ‘Assuming this fall turns out as some of us hope it does, and we pick up a majority in the House, we’re also going to pick up two or three seats in the Senate,’ Rogers said.” [The Anniston Star, 8/15/18]

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC): “With 53 Members We Can Get Health Care Done.” [Politico, 7/31/18]

“Repeal Is Like Fight Club, First Rule Is Not To Talk About It.” “Repeal is like fight club,” one GOP operative told Axios’ Caitlin Owens. “First rule is not to talk about it.” [Axios, 8/6/18]

HERE ARE SOME OF THE OTHER REPUBLICANS PLEDGING TO SLASH HEALTH CARE TO PAY FOR THEIR TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY:

 

  • On Tuesday, Mitch McConnell Blamed Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security for the massive increase in the debt, calling for cuts. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blamed “bipartisan reluctance” to reform federal entitlement programs for the rising federal deficit, which the Treasury Department said Monday reached $779 billion in 2018.  “There’s been a bipartisan reluctance to tackle entitlement changes because of the popularity of those programs,” McConnell told Bloomberg News. “Hopefully at some point here, we’ll get serious about this.”

 

 

  • Last month, Larry Kudlow, Director of the National Economic Council, confirmed that he has his sights on cutting Medicare. Asked when programs like Social Security and Medicare will be looked at for reforms, Kudlow replied, “Everyone will look at that — probably next year.”
  • Paul Ryan on Medicare: “It’s the biggest entitlement we’ve got to reform.” Paul Ryan, December 6, 2017: “We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit…Frankly, it’s the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt, so we spend more time on the health care entitlements…In- think the president is understanding that choice and competition works everywhere in health care, especially in Medicare…This has been my big thing for many, many years. I think it’s the biggest entitlement we’ve got to reform.”

 

 

  • President Trump and Congressional Republicans are targeting Medicare and Medicaid to pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest. Last December, President Trump signed a $1.5 trillion tax bill that disproportionately benefits the wealthy. How do Republicans plan on paying for it? Speaker Ryan’s answer is clear: “Frankly, it’s the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt.” In an attempt to pay for these tax cuts, in April, House Republicans passed a budget amendment that would slash Medicare funding by $537 billion over the next decade.

 

 

  • Congressional Republicans proposed these cuts after passing a budget resolution last year that cut Medicare by $473 billion. The 2018 budget resolution passed by Republicans in December 2017 cut Medicare by $473 billion.
  • Congressional Republicans Voted to Slash An Additional $1.3 Trillion From Medicaid and other Health Care Programs. The 2018 budget resolution passed by Republicans in December 2017 cut non-Medicare health programs, most notably Medicaid, by $1.3 trillion, a 20 percent cut over the course of 10 years, increasing to a 29.3 percent cut by 2027.

 

MORE EVIDENCE: GOP is Losing Its Health Care War

“Voters are broadly in agreement with Democrats on health care and the more focus on the issue the better for them,” says Fox News pollster Chris Anderson

A new poll released by Fox News shows just how ineffective the Republican party positions and rhetoric on health care are. Key findings:

“Top issue: Health care.”

  • Health care is the #1 most motivating issue for a plurality of voters as they take to the polls, and nearly six in 10 (58 percent) voters say health care is “extremely important” to them.
  • Majorities of likely voters are “extremely” concerned about the affordability of health care (65 percent), denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions (62), and people losing health insurance (61).
  • Despite Republicans depending on it for their message, only 40 percent say they’re extremely concerned about a government takeover of health care.

“The president’s job rating is underwater…on health care (-16 points).”

  • By 9 points, more people like the Affordable Care Act (54 percent favorable) than the GOP tax breaks (45 percent favorable).

This comes on the heels of a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll out last week showing Democrats have a 25-point advantage on party trust to protect Medicare, among other overwhelming health care advantages for Democrats. For months, poll after poll has found health care to be the top issue for voters.

For more information on the unassailable fact that health care is the top issue this cycle, view Protect Our Care’s new report, Defined By Health Care: Election 2018.

ADMITTED AGAIN: McConnell Blows Cover on GOP Plan to Repeal Pre-existing Conditions Protections After Midterms

“All the crocodile tears from Republicans on the campaign trail about helping people with pre-existing conditions are indeed a ‘crock’ — their leader just said so,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care.

Washington, DC – Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell admitted that Republicans will try health care repeal again  if they win in November. In response, Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, released the following statement:

“Somebody slipped Mitch McConnell some truth serum this week because he just admitted Republicans are planning to repeal health care again if they win in November, gutting protections for people with pre-existing conditions. No matter how hard they try to cover it up, Republicans have spent eight years on this health care repeal crusade and keep re-affirming their plans to rip our health care away if voters send them back to Washington. This comes one day after McConnell revealed Republicans will continue to slash Medicare and Medicaid to fund the tax breaks they gave to the wealthy. No more proof is needed: All the crocodile tears from Republicans on the campaign trail about helping people with pre-existing conditions are indeed a ‘crock’ — their leader just said so.”

MITCH MCCONNELL IS ONLY THE LATEST REPUBLICAN LEADER TO ADMIT THAT REPUBLICANS WILL COME AFTER HEALTH CARE AFTER THE ELECTION. IN THEIR OWN WORDS:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: “If We Had The Votes To Completely Start Over, We’d Do It.” “If we had the votes to completely start over, we’d do it. But that depends on what happens in a couple weeks… We’re not satisfied with the way Obamacare is working.” [Reuters, 10/17/18]

President Trump Reiterates That Republicans Will Go After Repeal Again If Elections Go Their Way. “You know, we want to repeal and replace it, and if we get enough Republicans, we will.” [Washington Post, 9/24/18]

Vice President Pence: ‘We Made An Effort To Fully Repeal And Replace Obamacare And We’ll Continue, With Leah Vukmir In The Senate.” “We made an effort to fully repeal and replace Obamacare and we’ll continue, with Leah Vukmir in the Senate, we’ll continue to go back to that.” [The Hill, 8/31/18]

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI): Maintaining Majority In Senate Means Republicans Will “Be Able To Pass Health Care Reform.” “I think the election will have to determine that because, based upon our vote count in the Senate. We keep the House majority in the house, which I think we will, and then you have to have enough of a majority in the Senate to be able to pass heath care reform.” [Roll Call, 9/12/18]

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA): “If We Get More Senate Seats, Which I Think We Will, We’ve Got To Go Back To Health Care.” “‘We’ve got to hold the House, but if we get more Senate seats, which I think we will, we’ve got to go back to health care. Obamacare’s only getting worse. There is no private marketplace for families out there,’ House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.” [Fox Business, 9/12/18]

Senior Senate GOP Aide: Senate Would “Absolutely” Vote Again To Repeal ACA. “A senior Senate GOP aide said the chamber would ‘absolutely’ vote again to repeal ObamaCare but cautioned it would depend on ‘if we keep the House.’” [The Hill, 8/29/18]

Sen. David Perdue (R-GA): On Repealing The ACA, “I’d Love To Have Somebody Take Care Of That.” “‘I’d love to have somebody to take care of that,’ Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) said of repealing ObamaCare.” [The Hill, 8/29/18]

Sen. John Thune (R-SD): It Would Be Nice To Have Members Who Will Help Us Repeal The ACA. “‘If we re-engage in that discussion in some point in the future, it would be nice to have members who enable us to pass it,’ Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune (S.D.) said when asked about the possibility of ObamaCare repeal legislation coming up for a future vote.” [The Hill, 8/29/18]

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI): Hopes Next Senator From Arizona Is “Strong Ally” Who Recognizes “Obamacare Is Not A Proper Solution.” [The Hill, 8/29/18]

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): If Republicans Expand Senate Majority, Another Repeal Vote Is Likely. “I suppose that it’s all in the numbers, and if you had a significant enough shift in the Senate and you came up with a replacement that really did generate a level of support, yep.” [Axios, 8/6/18]

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL): If Republicans Win In November, Republicans Could Repeal Health Care. “Republicans could repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act next year if the GOP holds onto its majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks, told a crowd in Anniston on Tuesday. ‘Assuming this fall turns out as some of us hope it does, and we pick up a majority in the House, we’re also going to pick up two or three seats in the Senate,’ Rogers said.” [The Anniston Star, 8/15/18]

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC): “With 53 Members We Can Get Health Care Done.” [Politico, 7/31/18]

“Repeal Is Like Fight Club, First Rule Is Not To Talk About It.” “Repeal is like fight club,” one GOP operative told Axios’ Caitlin Owens. “First rule is not to talk about it.” [Axios, 8/6/18]

BACKGROUND: IF REPUBLICANS RETAIN A MAJORITY IN CONGRESS NEXT YEAR, THEY WILL TRY TO REPEAL HEALTH CARE AGAIN

The Hill: GOP Lawmakers “Vow” To Try Again At Repeal Next Year If They Keep Majorities. “GOP lawmakers say they won’t have time to hold another vote to repeal the law in 2018 but vow to try again next year if they manage to keep their Senate and House majorities.” [The Hill, 8/29/18]

Axios: “Many Republicans Assume Their Party Will Take Another Stab At Repeal” If Midterms Go Their Way. “Many Republicans assume their party will take another stab at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act if the midterm elections go their way, even though GOP candidates aren’t making a big deal about it on the campaign trail.” [Axios, 8/6/18]

New York Magazine: “It Is Hard To Think Of A Legislative Priority That Would Rank Higher In [Trump’s] Mind” Than Health Care Repeal. “If Republicans can add a couple more seats, they could give themselves enough margin to overcome the squishy reservations of Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. If they merely hold their narrow majority, they might simply prevail on the two senators to submit. (Murkowski appeared to have been bought off by a special deal for her state last year.) Trump has never stopped talking about the failed repeal vote nor reliving his anger with McCain. It is hard to think of a legislative priority that would rank higher in his mind. A congressional party shorn of its most prominent Trump skeptics, many of whom are retiring, would behave even more submissively toward its leader.” [New York Magazine, 8/6/18]

Politico: With Larger Majority, No Longer Could Collins Or Murkowski Block Health Care Repeal. “With even a slightly larger GOP majority, no longer could Murkowski or her independent-minded brethren like Susan Collins of Maine or Rand Paul of Kentucky effectively dictate which nominees or majority-vote legislation make it through the chamber. Gone, too, would be the constant headaches for Republican leaders sweating an absence, wavering senator or Vice President Mike Pence’s availability to break a tie. Republicans might even have another shot at repealing Obamacare or shrinking the size of the federal government.” [Politico, 7/31/18]

Vox: If Republicans Win In November, “Repeal Could Quickly Be Back On The Agenda.” “It’s not at all out of the question that Republicans will hold on to the House and expand their Senate majority in the 2018 midterms. And if they do, repeal could quickly be back on the agenda. ‘There would certainly be forces pushing for this, so I take it seriously,’ Kim Monk, who tracks health care policy for Capital Alpha. Senate aides say privately that Republicans remain open to taking on repeal again next year.” [Vox, 5/14/18]