Monthly Archives

November 2018

NEW EXIT POLL: Health Care Fueled Rosen’s Election in Nevada

From: Tom Jensen, Public Policy Polling

To: Interested Parties

Subject: Health Care Fueled Rosen’s Election in Nevada

Date: November 7, 2018

A Public Policy Polling election day survey of Nevada voters found that health care was the top issue for voters in the state — and that they overwhelmingly favored Democrats on it, propelling Jacky Rosen to victory:

65% of voters said that health care was either a very important issue, or the most important issue to them. Those voters supported Rosen over Dean Heller 68-28.

-When asked to name the single issue most important to them in 2018, a plurality (30%) picked health care compared to 29% for immigration, 11% for taxes, 11% for the Supreme Court and 7% for security and crime. Among those voters who said health care was their single most important issue in the election, Rosen defeated Heller by a whopping 92-8 margin.

-Rosen especially had an advantage over Heller when it came to the issue of who voters trusted more to protect people with pre-existing conditions. 49% preferred Rosen on that to only 32% for Heller.

Dean Heller’s support for the Republican health care repeal agenda hurt him badly. Only 33% of voters said his support for repeal made them more likely to vote for him, to 42% who said it made them less likely to.

-Heller’s stance on health care was also a high visibility issue in the race. 58% of voters said they had seen, heard, or read a lot about Heller’s position on health care recently and among those voters 59% said most of what they’d seen was negative to only 16% who said most of it was positive.

-An overwhelming majority of Nevadans want to see the Affordable Care Act stay in place– 61% think it should be kept with fixes made to it as necessary, compared to only 33% of voters who support repealing it.

Public Policy Polling surveyed 618 voters on election day in Nevada via telephone. The survey’s margin of error is +/-3.9%.

NEW EXIT POLL: Health Care Fueled Evers’ Election in Wisconsin

From: Tom Jensen, Public Policy Polling

To: Interested Parties

Subject: Health Care Fueled Evers’ Election in Wisconsin

Date: November 7, 2018

 

A Public Policy Polling election day survey of Wisconsin voters found that health care was the top issue for voters in the state — and that they overwhelmingly favored Democrats on it, propelling Tony Evers to victory:

68% of voters said that health care was either a very important issue, or the most important issue to them. Those voters supported Evers over Scott Walker 65-33.

-When asked to name the single issue most important to them in 2018, a plurality (27%) picked health care compared to 25% for taxes, 15% for immigration, 8% for the Supreme Court, and 4% for security and crime. Among those voters who said health care was their single most important issue in the election, Evers defeated Walker by a whopping 89-7 margin.

-Evers especially had an advantage over Walker when it came to the issue of who voters trusted more to protect people with pre-existing conditions. 50% preferred Evers on that to only 41% for Walker.

Scott Walker’s support for the Republican health care repeal agenda hurt him badly. Only 32% of voters said his support for repeal made them more likely to vote for him, to 47% who said it made them less likely to.

-Walker’s stance on health care was also a high visibility issue in the race. 56% of voters said they had seen, heard, or read a lot about Walker’s position on health care recently and among those voters 47% said most of what they’d seen was negative to only 30% who said most of it was positive.

-An overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites want to see the Affordable Care Act stay in place– 62% think it should be kept with fixes made to it as necessary, compared to only 32% of voters who support repealing it.

Public Policy Polling surveyed 702 voters on election day in Wisconsin via telephone. The survey’s margin of error is +/-3.7%.

Results are In: Medicaid Wins

Idaho, Nebraska, Utah to Expand Medicaid

Maine, Wisconsin, Kansas Elect Governors Buoyed by Support of Medicaid Expansion

 

Washington, DC – With voters demanding an expansion of Medicaid through referenda in all three states where it was presented, and electing champions of Medicaid Expansion to governor’s seats in others, Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement:  

“Pro-health care Democrats winning the House of Representatives over health care repealers was a resounding victory for health care, but that Medicaid will now be extended to hundreds of thousands of people who need it is just as important.  Even in conservative Idaho, Utah and Nebraska, voters delivered a sharp rebuke of the Republican war on health care by demanding that Medicaid finally, at long last, be expanded to the hardworking people in their state who need affordable coverage the most.” 

Leslie Dach, founder and chair of Protect Our Care, added: “In state after state Medicaid was on the ballot in 2018 and in state after state Medicaid won. This is a tremendous victory for Americans who will now have the added security of Medicaid expansion. Only one conclusion can be drawn from last night’s results, and that’s that the Republican war on health care has been soundly rejected.”  

IDAHO, NEBRASKA AND UTAH VOTERS EXPAND MEDICAID

By huge margins, Idaho, Utah and Nebraska voters elected to expand Medicaid through ballot initiatives.

  • Idaho voters approved Medicaid expansion with more than 61% of the vote.
  • Nebraska passed it with 53%.
  • Utah approved it with 54%.

MEDICAID EXPANSION PROPELLED DEMOCRATS TO VICTORY IN SEVERAL GOVERNOR’S RACES

In Maine, Democrat Janet Mills Positioned Herself Opposite Her Predecessor By Running On Medicaid Expansion, Saying “Medicaid Expansion Is Good For Business And Good For The People Of Maine.” “Mills accused LePage of ‘obstructing the will of the people…My opponent, Shawn Moody, has said that he will work to repeal the law. I agree with the Maine State Chamber of Commerce that Medicaid expansion is good for business and good for the people of Maine,’ Mills said. ‘It will improve the health of Mainers. It will inject millions of dollars into our economy. It will create jobs, lower health care costs for Maine people and keep our rural hospitals open.’” [Portland Press Herald, 10/30/18]

In Wisconsin, Democratic Challenger Tony Evers Targeted Scott Walker For Not Taking Federal Medicaid Expansion. “Evers made health care the focus of his only television ad to date, faulting Walker for not taking the federal Medicaid expansion and pointing out that the cost of an average health insurance plan sold on the private market this year in Wisconsin was more expensive than in Minnesota. Walker argues the ad is misleading and health insurance costs will decrease in Wisconsin once a recently approved reinsurance program takes effect.” [Minneapolis Star Tribune, 9/7/18]

In Kansas, Democrat Lauren Kelly Pledged To Expand Medicaid. “Medicaid expansion could also come to one other traditionally conservative state, Kansas. The state legislature approved legislation to expand the program last year, only to have Republican Gov. Kris Kobach veto it. On Tuesday, Kobach lost his re-election bid to Democrat Laura Kelly. She has pledged to approve an expansion bill within her first year of office.” [HuffPost, 11/7/18]

In Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer Ran As a Champion of Medicaid Expansion. “As attorney general, [her opponent AG Bill] Schuette joined at least nine lawsuits fighting the Affordable Care Act. In a 2017 fundraising mailer, he said he opposed the law, ‘including the ‘free’ federal Medicaid dollars from Obama that leave Michigan taxpayers on the hook for more!’ ‘He has been the chief advocate against Healthy Michigan in our state ever since we started the bipartisan negotiations on it,” Whitmer told The Detroit News. ‘The biggest threat to health care in Michigan is Bill Schuette.’” [Detroit News, 9/18/19]

NEW EXIT POLL: Health Care Defined Midterm, Fueled Democrats’ Win

TO:                 Interested Parties

FROM:           Tom Jensen, Public Policy Polling

DT:                  Wednesday, Nov 7

RE:                  Exit Polling Shows Health Care Defined Midterm, Fueled Democrats’ Win

Exit polling conducted by Public Policy Polling on Tuesday makes clear that health care was the defining issue in the 2018 House elections and Democrats’ advantage on the issue was the primary driver of their victory – leading to Democratic control of the House of Representatives. PPP surveyed 2,326 people who said they voted on election day within one of 75 Republican-held Congressional districts that were listed by the Cook Report as competitive prior to the election. These were the battleground races for control of the House in 2018 and, from these races, come the Democratic gains that will put them in the majority.

Across the competitive Republican-held seats – the ones Democrats needed to win to take the majority – health care was a defining issue for an overwhelming majority (63%) and Democrats had an 8 point advantage (52% to 44%) on the issue.

The exit poll surveyed 75 competitive, Republican-held districts as defined by the Cook Political Report on the day before the election – Republican-held seats that ranged from Lean Republican to Likely Democrat, with 57 of them falling into the ‘Lean Republican’ or ‘Toss Up’ categories. Democrats needed to win 23 of these seats to take the majority and about two thirds of them supported President Trump in 2016. Despite Hillary Clinton winning the national popular vote by 2 points in 2016, this universe of districts said they voted for Donald Trump by 4 points, making this set of districts 6 points more Republican leaning than the country as a whole.

Democrats won on health care. By an 8 point margin (52% to 44%) voters trusted Democrats over Republicans and President Trump on the issue of health care. This lead expanded to 22 points with independents at 57/35.

  • By 11 points (50% to 39%) voters in these districts said the Democratic candidate was more in step with their views on health care than the Republican candidate, including 18 point margins with women and 28 points with younger voters.

Health care was the top issue. 63% of voters said health care was an important issue (21% the most important, 42% a very important issue). When asked to pick the issue most important to their vote, 24% picked health care to 24% for immigration, 15% for taxes, 11% for the Supreme Court, and 5% for security and crime. Among those voters who chose health care as the single most important issue, 88% voted Democratic to only 10% who voted Republicans.

  • Among voters who said they voted for a Democrat for Congress, health care was an important issue for 83% (32% the most, 51% a very important issue). 41% picked health care as their top issue from a list of choices, with nothing else exceeding 11%.

The debate in these elections was about health care and it hurt the GOP. 74% of voters heard about their Republican Congressman’s positions on health care – 41% hearing a lot and 33% hearing some or just a little. What they heard was seen as negative by 9 points (36% mostly negative to 27% mostly positive).

Voters rejected Republican candidates who support health care repeal. 44% of voters said a Republican candidate’s support for repeal made them less likely to vote for them, to only 35% who said more likely.

Republicans lost on pre-existing conditions. Voters trust Democratic candidates over Republican candidates by 17 points (51% to 34%) to protect health care for people with pre-existing conditions, including by 33 points among independent voters, 56-23.

  • 66% of voters said protections for pre-existing conditions was an important issue (32% the most important, 34% a very important issue).
  • Among those who said protections for pre-existing conditions was important, they voted for the Democratic candidate by 67% to 30%.

Republicans lost on health care costs. Voters trusted Democratic candidates over Republican candidates by 9 points (48% to 39%) on the costs of health care, including by 15 points among women, 51-36.

  • 61% of voters said the cost of health care was an important issue (21% the most important, 40% a very important issue).
  • Among those who said the costs of health care was important, they voted for the Democratic candidate by 63% to 34%.

Republicans lost on drug pricing. Voters trust Democratic candidates over Republican candidates by 9 points (45% to 36%) to do more to lower the price of prescription drugs, including by 16 points among independents, 44-28.

  • 53% of voters said the cost of prescription drugs was an important issue (17% the most important, 36% a very important issue).
  • Among those who said prescription drug costs was important, they voted for the Democratic candidate by 65% to 32%.

Support for the ACA is strong. In these districts where Democrats won the House, voters want to keep what works and fix what doesn’t with the Affordable Care Act instead of repealing it by 22 points (58% to 36%) including 35 points with independents, 64/29

Public Policy Polling surveyed 2,326 voters by telephone on November 6th who said they had voted in the election in the 75 Republican held districts rated as either Lean Republican, Toss Up, Lean Democratic, or Likely Democratic by the Cook Political Report. The survey’s margin of error is +/-2.0%

BREAKING: Health Care Delivers the House Back to Democrats

Voters Reject Republican War on Health Care, Demand End to Sabotage

Democrats Given a Mandate to Reduce Costs, Increase Protections and Coverage

Washington, DC – In response to the breaking news that Democrats have taken control of the U.S. House of Representatives, Leslie Dach, the founder and chair of Protect our Care, issued the following statement:

“Tonight, Americans rejected the war on health care that has defined the Republican party for almost a decade. Health care propelled Democrats to victory and control of the House. The American people delivered a clear and powerful message. Voters roundly rejected the Trump-GOP agenda of repeal and sabotage. Democrats have a clear mandate to protect our care, starting with lower prescription drug prices and continued protections for people with pre-existing conditions.”

Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, added:  

“The race for the House was a referendum on the Republican war on health care. You know it, I know it, and the Republican incumbents who shamefully tried to cover up their real record on health care and lost their seats know it. Even bald-face lies couldn’t save the GOP from their indefensible position on health care, which is that we all pay more for coverage — and women, people with preexisting conditions, and older people lose protections they need — while wealthy insurance and drug companies get record tax breaks.”

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND

HEALTH CARE HAS BEEN THE DRIVING ISSUE OF THE 2018 ELECTION

  • A new Wesleyan Media Project analysis of advertising spending found that Democrats overwhelmingly ran on health care, with health care featured in 57 percent of Democratic advertising;
  • Health care is a top Google search in more than three-quarters of congressional districts;
  • Polling consistently has confirmed that health care is the top issue to voters and that Democrats have an advantage on the issue;
  • Polling also confirms that voters reject the Republican health care agenda; and
  • Republican incumbents have been firmly on the defensive on health care, resorting to outright, pants-on-fire lies about their record.

ELECTION-NIGHT NETWORK EXIT POLLS FOUND HEALTH CARE TO BE THE TOP ISSUE TO VOTERS

NBC News: Health Care Replaces Economy As Most Important Issue For Voters. “Early results from the NBC News Exit Poll indicate that Democrats’ strategic decision to campaign on the issue of health care resonated with voters. When asked which of four issues was the most important facing the country, a 41 percent plurality said health care. [NBC News, 11/6/2018]

CBS: “Health care was mentioned by almost twice as many voters as the next most common issue, immigration.” [CBS News, 11/6/18]

NBC News: By Two-to-one Margin, Health Care The Top Issue For Independent Voters. [Sahil Kapur Twitter, 11/6/18]

AP: Health Care Tops Voters’ Concerns. “Health care was at the forefront of many voters’ minds: 27 percent named it as the most important issue facing the country in this year’s midterm elections. …Those who voted for a Democratic House candidate were more likely to say health care was their top issue, while those who voted for a Republican were more likely to name immigration.” [Associated Press, 11/6/18]

POLLING HAS CONSISTENTLY FOUND OPPOSITION TO REPUBLICAN WAR ON HEALTH CARE

When polled, voters reject main components of the GOP health care agenda and conversely, support policies that ensure greater access to coverage.

Health Care Repeal:

July 2018 – Public Policy Polling Poll Shows Voters Oppose Repeal Of The Affordable Care Act And The Lawsuit That Would Overturn It. By an overwhelming 25 points (59/34), people want Congress to “keep what works and fix what doesn’t” in the ACA, not repeal it. That margin grows to 32 points (62/30) with independents.  64% of voters oppose the Trump administration joining the lawsuit (Texas V. U.S.) which would strike down ACA’s protections of health care for people with pre-existing conditions. Only 19% of voters support joining the lawsuit.

Gutting Protections for Pre-existing Conditions:

August 2018 – Urban Institute Poll Finds Vast Majority Of Public Does Not Support Allowing Insurance Companies To Exclude People With Pre-existing Conditions. The poll found that 81.5 percent of those surveyed did not support letting insurance companies exclude people with pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes or cancer, from coverage.

July 2018 – Kaiser Health Tracking Poll Finds Candidate’s Position On Pre-existing Conditions Is Single Most Important Health Care Campaign Issue For Voters. “The July Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds a candidate’s position on continuing protections for people with pre-existing health conditions is the top health care campaign issue for voters, among a list of issues provided. This issue cuts across voter demographics with most Democratic voters (74 percent), independent voters (64 percent), and voters living in battleground areas (61 percent), as well as half of Republican voters (49 percent) saying a candidate’s position on continued protections for pre-existing health conditions is either the single most important factor or a very important factor in their 2018 vote.”

Junk Plans:

October 2018 – POLITICO/Harvard Poll Finds Junk Plans To Be Opposed By Majority Of Voters, Not Even Backed By Majority Of Republicans. According to the poll, 62 percent of voters oppose short-term plans, including 39 percent of Republicans. Plus, they are not even supported by a majority of Republicans.

August 2018 – Urban Institute Poll Finds Junk Plans To Be Opposed By Vast Majority Of Americans. The survey found that 67.3 percent of those polled did not support shifting healthy people to less comprehensive plans with lower premiums while leaving sick people in more comprehensive plans with higher premiums.

Cutting Medicaid:

March 2018 – Kaiser Health Tracking Poll Finds Majority Of Americans View Medicaid Favorably And Say The Program Is Working Well. “Medicaid continues to be seen favorably by a majority of the public (74 percent) and about half (52 percent) believe the Medicaid program is working well for most low-income people covered by the program.”

March 2018 – Kaiser Health Tracking Poll Confirms That Lifetime Limits On Medicaid Coverage Are Extremely Unpopular. Asked whether Medicaid should be available without a time limit, two-thirds said that Medicaid should be available without a time limit, compared to only 33 percent who said that Medicaid should only be available for a limited amount of time.

WATCH: Health Care is Democrats’ Closing Argument

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Health care is the defining issue of this election. Period.

During the weeks leading up to the election, Democrats have been laser-focused on protecting health care for millions of Americans. Have a look for yourself:

For more information, read Protect Our Care’s report, Defined By Health Care: Election 2018, which synthesizes all the evidence that health care is the issue in 2018. Among the findings: Health Care is a top Google search in 75 percent of Congressional Districts ; national and district-specific polling of voters confirms health care is the top issue heading into November, and public opinion is decidedly against the Republican repeal-and-sabotage agenda; 50 percent of Democratic ad spending is on health care (according to an October analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project), and up and down the ballot, Republicans are breathlessly working to reinvent their records on health care with outright lies.

TONIGHT: Confronted By The Truth, Trump Lies Again About The GOP Gutting Pre-existing Conditions

Trump Can’t Defend Lawsuit That Would Take Away Protections for 130 Million Americans With Pre-existing Conditions Overnight

 

Washington, DCIn an interview with Axios, Donald Trump continued his attempts to cover up his lawsuit to eliminate pre-existing conditions protections.  Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, said in response:

“Every time the repealer-in-chief Donald Trump says he will protect people with pre-existing conditions from discrimination by Big Insurance, it’s a lie — and he knows it is. Continuing to lie when confronted with his own Administration’s position was as uncomfortable for us to watch as it would be for anyone with a conscience to actually do. Unfortunately, all Trump cares about is covering up the truth so he can maintain control of Congress. But his tight grip is in jeopardy because of Republicans’ own, years-long agenda of health care sabotage and repeal — which, of course, includes ripping away protections for people with pre-existing conditions.”


ICYMI: Jonathan Swan’s Sneak Peek in Axios Showcases Donald Trump Struggling to Conceal The GOP’s Lies On Health Care: 

I pressed Trump during our interview to square one of the biggest contradictions of the midterms: His insistence that Republicans will protect people with pre-existing conditions while his Justice Department argues in court that those protections should be thrown out.

The intrigue: As I tried to hand Trump a copy of DOJ’s legal brief, he told me Attorney General Jeff Sessions hadn’t given him a heads-up before adopting this politically explosive position. But that contradicts Sessions’ explanation.

The big picture: The Justice Department is arguing that the courts should strike down the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate and toss out its protections for people with pre-existing conditions in the process.

  • If that position ultimately prevails, millions of people could lose their coverage or see their costs skyrocket.

“It wouldn’t matter” if the ACA’s protections are struck down, Trump said, “because pre-existing conditions, on anything we do, will be put into it.”

  • “I support terminating Obamacare, but if we terminate it, we will reinstitute pre-existing conditions in whatever we do,” he said.

But as Axios’ Sam Baker points out, in the eight years since the ACA passed, Republicans have never proposed an alternative that would offer the same level of protection. Their proposals have either been underfunded or have left gaps that would still expose some people to higher costs and denied coverage.

VIDEO: “Fired Up About Fighting For Health Care”

Over the past six weeks, Protect Our Care took the health care fight to communities as its bus, Care Force One, traveled 12,000 miles, making 49 stops in 24 states. 

“No matter where we went, we heard the same thing,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care. “Americans all over are sick and tired of the Republican-led war on health care. And you know what else? They’re fired up about their chance to fight back at the polls.”

Watch the video:

That’s a Wrap! Care Force One Concludes Nationwide Bus Tour Today in West Palm Beach

Traveling Nearly 12,000 Miles, Care Force One Made 49 Stops in 24 States to Hold Republicans Accountable for Voting to Take Away Our Care

Care Force One in St. Louis, Missouri.

This afternoon, Protect Our Care is wrapping up its nationwide bus tour at a joint rally in West Palm Beach, Florida, with Nuns on the Bus. Over the past six weeks, Protect Our Care took the health care fight to communities as its bus, Care Force One, traveled 12,000 miles, making 49 stops in 24 states.

“No matter where we went, we heard the same thing,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care. “Americans all over are sick and tired of the Republican-led war on health care. And you know what else? They’re fired up about their chance to fight back next week at the polls.”

Like a touring country band,” Care Force One visited Connecticut, Maine, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Joining Protect Our Care’s leaders Leslie Dach and Brad Woodhouse and cancer survivor Laura Packard on the bus tour were former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius; 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), Dina Titus (NV-01), and Jim Cooper (TN-05); former Georgia House Minority leader Stacey Abrams; Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro; South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg; former Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards; American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten; Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden; television personality Montel Williams, and many more.

“I’m alive because of the Affordable Care Act,” said health care advocate Laura Packard, who was on the tour for all 49 stops. “I’m a stage four cancer survivor and I traveled across the country 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.”

At a time when health care is consistently ranked as a top issue for the public, the tour highlighted that the Republican war on health care is very much alive, with GOP leaders doubling down on their calls to repeal health care 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 what happened on the tour:

At Care Force One’s kickoff event, U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal and businessman Ned Lamont 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.”

Traveling north from Connecticut, Care Force One made its way up to Maine, where 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.

“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 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)

(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.”

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, New Mexico, and Colorado with a number of elected officials, including U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Tom Udall, U.S. Representatives Jacky Rosen and Dina Titus, and former U.S. Representatives Ann Kirkpatrick and 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. “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.”

“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.”

Care Force One kicked off week five in Kansas City, Missouri at a lively event with former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Sharice Davids.

“Instead of protecting people with pre-existing conditions, politicians like Attorney General Josh Hawley and Congressman Kevin Yoder have joined the assault against them – forcing millions of families across Missouri and Kansas to live in fear of their coverage being taken away,” said Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “These Republicans have tried every trick in the book to let insurance companies go back to discriminating against people based on their medical histories. I’ve seen first-hand the lifesaving impact these protections have had, and today people across the heartland are standing up, speaking out and calling on Republicans to stop this harmful war on health care once and for all.”

After stops in St. Louis and Springfield, Missouri, Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee, Richmond, Virginia, and Raleigh, North Carolina, Care Force one visited Atlanta, Georgia, for a star-studded event with Stacey Abrams, former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, former U.S. Representative Donna Edwards, and Georgians of all backgrounds concerned over GOP attempts to take away Americans’ health care.

“I know what it’s like to lose everything and to not necessarily have children or family members to step up and help,” said Stacey Abrams. “800,000 people in Georgia live in a household where there’s a full-time worker and yet they do not have coverage. This is a solvable problem in the state of Georgia, and that’s why I’m fighting so hard for Medicaid expansion.”

“The most important work that we did was creating an alliance with folks all across the country to pass the Affordable Care Act,” said former Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards. “Because of the Affordable Care Act that women no longer have to pay more for the same health care coverage that men recieve. It’s because of the Affordable Care Act women can’t be denied coverage because they’ve been pregnant or had breast cancer… Because of the ACA, being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition in the United States of America.”

“When I was in Congress, I presided over the debate and passage of the Affordable Care Act. At the time, I thought it was about everybody else’s health care coverage, but when I was set to depart congress I was diagnosed with ms. It was a shock to me,” said former Congresswoman Donna Edwards. “Today, I’m afraid that with the current administration and the moves of Republicans in congress that my pre-existing condition will no longer be protected and I will lose my care altogether.”

And in its final week, Care Force One barnstormed Florida, making stops in Sarasota, Orlando, Miami, Port Saint Lucie, and West Palm Beach, where the bus was joined by an all-star cast of Floridians, including Mary Barzee Flores, Lauren Baer, and David Shapiro, and a special guest who stepped into the fight to protect our care: Montel Williams.

“Less than five months ago, I suffered a major hemorrhagic stroke that would have killed half the people who had it. I’m still standing today because I was blessed enough to have a career that’s given me an opportunity to pay into an insurance policy that covered me. But I’m not just here because of me. In the last three years, I’ve had a daughter who went through two bouts of lymphoma. We’re very blessed that she survived it, but she was only able to survive it because she was covered by the Affordable Care Act,” said Montel Williams. “Had a normal family suffered this kind of catastrophic medical issue, they would be not just poor, but living on the street.”

Although today’s final rally in West Palm Beach marks the end of the bus tour, you can be sure that Protect Our Care and its supporters nationwide will continue to hold Republicans accountable for their attacks on our care.

Scott Walker’s Newest and Most Shameful Pre-existing Conditions Lie

Shot: Today, five days away from Election Day and a day after Wisconsin received permission from the Trump Administration to restrict access to Medicaid, which is a lifeline for millions with pre-existing conditions, Scott Walker — who for eight years defined himself as a steadfast opponent of the Affordable Care Act — said, “No matter what happens in the courts or in the Congress, in Wisconsin, we’ll codify that, the exact same language that’s in the Affordable Care Act, we’ll make sure that everyone living with pre-existing conditions is covered here in the state.”

Chaser:

Scott Walker authorized the very same lawsuit that would eliminate the protections in the Affordable Care Act preventing discrimination based on pre-existing conditions if it succeeds. At risk:

  • 2,435,700 Wisconsinites Living With A Pre-Existing Condition. About one in two Wisconsinites, 51 percent, lives with a pre-existing condition. [CAP, 4/5/17]
  • 1,187,000 Wisconsin Women And Girls With A Pre-Existing Condition. Approximately 1,187,000 women and girls in Wisconsin live with a pre-existing condition. [CAP & National Partnership For Women and Families, June 2018]
  • 308,100 Wisconsin Children Living With A Pre-Existing Condition. Roughly 308,000 Wisconsinites below age 18 live with a pre-existing condition. [CAP, 4/5/17]
  • 616,900 Older Wisconsinites Living With A Pre-Existing Condition. 616,900 Wisconsin adults between the ages of 55 and 64 live with at least one pre-existing condition, meaning attacks on these protections significantly threaten Wisconsinites approaching Medicare age. [CAP, 4/5/17]

The Republican leader of the Wisconsin state Senate said just sixteen days ago that he doesn’t have the votes to pass a bill that would require insurance coverage of pre-existing conditions if Walker’s lawsuit is successful.

A new poll out yesterday shows 82 percent of Wisconsinites say the Affordable Care Act’s requirement to protect pre-existing conditions is very important to them, laying Scott Walker’s 11th-hour, craven political posturing bare.