Monthly Archives

January 2019

Federal Judge Puts The Breaks On Trump’s Birth Control Rules

Washington DC — Over the weekend, news broke that a federal judge blocked the Trump administration’s request to implement new rules that would make it easier for employers to deny women health insurance coverage for contraceptives. Anne Shoup, communications director of Protect Our Care issued the following statement in response to the Trump administration’s latest attempt to sabotage health care:

“There’s no doubt that the Trump administration will stop at nothing to prevent millions of Americans from gaining access to affordable health care. These new rules are just another desperate attempt by President Trump to rip away long-standing health care protections for women across the nation. But let’s be clear: millions of women have reliable access to reproductive care because of the Affordable Care Act. Under the ACA, contraception is covered as a preventive health service, meaning most employers and insurers are required to provide coverage at no charge. Because this ruling blocked Trump’s latest sabotage efforts, millions of women still have access to birth control — a critical piece of their reproductive care. But the fight isn’t over. We must remain vigilant and continue to block all attempts to take women back to the days when insurance companies had the power to deny, drop, or charge them more for coverage.”

Here We Go Again: Trump Tries To End Medicaid As We Know It

Washington, D.C. — New reporting from Politico indicates that the Trump administration is trying to roll back protections for life-saving health care by ending Medicaid as we know it. Even in the midst of a federal government shutdown, President Trump is still working overtime to sabotage health care for millions by devising a plan that would impose limits on Medicaid spending. Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care issued the following statement in response:

“By now, it should be abundantly clear that Donald Trump and his Republican allies will stop at nothing to rip apart our health care. While hundreds of thousands of Americans are going without their paychecks, the Trump administration is adding insult to injury by working to end Medicaid as we know it. Make no mistake, bypassing Congress to turn Medicaid into a block grant program would put the care of millions of children, families, and seniors who rely on the program at severe risk. Enough is enough. It’s time for Trump to call-off his relentless war on Medicaid.”

ADVISORY: Protect Our Care Hosts Press Calls Today in Seven States

Local Experts Offer Analysis On House GOP Vote to Repeal the ACA And Gut Protections for People with Pre-Existing Conditions

 

Washington DC — Representatives Diana DeGette, Ed Perlmutter, and Tom O’Halleran will join Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse in press calls today across the country to discuss a resolution passed by House Democrats on Wednesday that authorizes House Counsel to intervene in the Texas, et. al. vs. United States, et. al. lawsuit to defend the Affordable Care Act and its protections.

The resolution comes after a new poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) for Protect Our Care found that more than half of voters oppose the recent court decision striking down the Affordable Care Act and sixty-nine percent of voters say it’s a major concern to them that the court case would eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, and asthma.

Below is the schedule of calls today (all times in EST):

10AM EST Maine: 877-229-8493; Pin: 114927

  • State Rep. Anne Perry, nurse practitioner
  • Rebecca London, state director of Protect Our Care Maine
  • Ron Green, former firefighter and Mainer

11AM EST North Carolina: 877-229-8493; Pin: 118274

  • Brad Woodhouse, Executive Director of Protect Our Care
  • State Senator Wiley Nickel (SD-16)
  • Tara Romano, Executive Director of NARAL North Carolina
  • Montica Talmadge, North Carolinian with a pre-existing condition

12PM EST Ohio: 877-229-8493; Pin: 118275

  • Zach Klein, Columbus City Attorney who filed suit against the Trump Administration to enforce the ACA
  • Danny O’Connor, attorney and Franklin County Recorder
  • Ethan Kissock, Ohioan with pre-existing condition

1PM EST Iowa: 877-229-8493; Pin: 118276

  • State Representative Beth Wessel-Kroeschell (HD-45)
  • Robin Stone, health care professional and advocate
  • Melissa Zapata, Des Moines University medical student

2:30 PM ET Colorado: 877-229-8493; Pin: 118277

  • Congresswoman Diana DeGette
  • Congressman Ed Perlmutter
  • Adam Fox, Colorado Consumer Health  Initiative

3:30 PM ET Arizona: 877-229-8493; Pin: 118278

  • Congressman Tom O’Halleran, Arizona’s 1st Congressional District
  • Toni Bannister, two-time cancer survivor
  • Morgan Tucker, Protect Our Care Arizona

4:30 PM ET Alaska: 877-229-8493; Pin: 118279

  • Alyse Galvin, health care advocate and former congressional candidate
  • Susanna Orr, Alaskan whose husband benefited from pre-existing conditions protections
  • David D’Amato, health care policy expert
  • Amber Lee, Protect Our Care Alaska

Protect Our Care Statement On House Republicans Refusal to Join Democrats On Resolution Opposing ACA Lawsuit and Instead Supported Full Repeal

“Nearly every Republican voted ‘no’ on this resolution, once again turning their backs on the millions of Americans whose access to life-saving care and benefits are in jeopardy,” says Brad Woodhouse

 

Washington DC — In response to House Democrats passing a stand-alone resolution that authorizes the House Counsel to intervene in the Texas, et. al. vs. United States, et. al. lawsuit to defend the Affordable Care Act and takes direct aim at the relentless repeal and sabotage campaign on health care by Republicans and President Trump, Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care issued the following statement:

“Under the leadership of Speaker Pelosi, the House took a crucial step to defend the Affordable Care Act and protect Americans with pre-existing conditions. By passing this resolution to intervene in the dangerous Texas lawsuit, Democrats stand in stark contrast with their repeal and sabotage Republican colleagues. Make no mistake, nearly every Republican voted ‘no’ on this resolution, once again turning their backs on the millions of Americans whose access to life-saving care and benefits are in jeopardy. Republicans are doubling down on their anti-health care agenda and ignoring the clear message sent by voters in November. If the Republicans had their way with this vote, the Affordable Care Act would be fully repealed and millions of people would lose their coverage. Clearly, Republicans haven’t learned the lesson of the 2018 elections and we’re here to remind them that elections have consequences.”

Background:

Thanks To The Republican Lawsuit, 17 Million People Could Lose Their Coverage

If The Texas Ruling Is Upheld, Protections For 130 Million People With A Pre-Existing Condition Could Disappear

  • According to a recent analysis by the Center for American Progress, roughly half of nonelderly Americans, or as many as 130 million people, have a pre-existing condition. This includes:
    • 44 million people who have high blood pressure
    • 45 million people who have behavioral health disorders
    • 44 million people who have high cholesterol
    • 34 million people who have asthma and chronic lung disease
    • 34 million people who have osteoarthritis and other joint disorders
  • 17 million children. One in four children, or roughly 17 million, have a pre-existing condition.
  • 68 million women. More than half of women and girls nationally have a pre-existing condition.
  • 30 million people aged 55-64. 84 percent of older adults, 30.5 million Americans between age 55 and 64, have a pre-existing condition.

If The Texas Ruling Is Upheld, Insurance Companies Would Have The Power To Deny Or Drop Coverage Because Of A Pre-Existing Condition

Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies routinely denied people coverage because of a pre-existing condition or canceled coverage when a person got sick. Now insurance companies have a license to do this again.

  • A 2010 congressional report found that the top four health insurance companies denied coverage to one in seven consumers on the individual market over a three year period.
  • A 2009 congressional report found that the of the largest insurance companies had retroactively canceled coverage for 20,000 people over the previous five year period.

More than 100 Million People With A Pre-Existing Condition Could Be Forced to Pay More. An analysis by Avalere finds that “102 million individuals, not enrolled in major public programs like Medicaid or Medicare, have a pre-existing medical condition and could therefore face higher premiums or significant out-of-pocket costs” thanks to the Republican lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act.If The Texas Ruling Is Upheld, Insurance Companies Would Once Again Have The Power To Charge You More

  • Premium Surcharges Can Once Again Be In The Six Figures. Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, insurance companies can charge people more because of a pre-existing condition. The House-passed repeal bill had a similar provision, and an analysis by the Center for American Progress found that insurers could charge up to $4,270 more for asthma, $17,060 more for pregnancy, $26,180 more for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 more for metastatic cancer.
  • Women Can Be Charged More Than Men For The Same Coverage. Prior to the ACA, women, for example, were often charged premiums on the nongroup market of up to 50 percent higher than they charged men for the same coverage.
  • People Over The Age of 50 Can Face A $4,000 “Age Tax.” Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, insurance companies can charge people over 50 more than younger people. The Affordable Care Act limited the amount older people could be charged to three times more than younger people. If insurers were to charge five times more, as was proposed in the Republican repeal bills, that would add an average “age tax” of $4,124 for a 60-year-old in the individual market, according to the AARP.
  • Nine Million People In The Marketplaces Will Pay More For Coverage. Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, consumers no longer have access to tax credits that help them pay their marketplace premiums, meaning roughly nine million people who receive these tax credits to pay for coverage will have to pay more.
  • Seniors Will Have To Pay More For Prescription Drugs. Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, seniors will have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole got reopened. From 2010 to 2016, “More than 11.8 million Medicare beneficiaries have received discounts over $26.8 billion on prescription drugs – an average of $2,272 per beneficiary,” according to a January 2017 Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services report.

If The Texas Ruling Is Upheld, Insurance Companies Will Have The Power To Limit The Care You Get, Even If You Have Insurance Through Your Employer

  • Reinstate Lifetime and Annual Limits. Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, insurance companies can once again impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage.
  • Insurance Companies Do Not Have to Provide the Coverage You Need. The Affordable Care Act made comprehensive coverage more available by requiring insurance companies to include “essential health benefits” in their plans, such as maternity care, hospitalization, substance abuse care and prescription drug coverage. Before the ACA, people had to pay extra for separate coverage for these benefits. For example, in 2013, 75 percent of non-group plans did not cover maternity care, 45 percent did not cover substance abuse disorder services, and 38 percent did not cover mental health services. Six percent did not even cover generic drugs.

If The Texas Ruling Is Upheld, Medicaid Expansion Will End

  • Fifteen million people have coverage through the expanded Medicaid program.

Elections Have Consequences: State and Local Leaders are Protecting and Expanding Health Care Even as President Trump and Republicans Continue Their Repeal and Sabotage Agenda Nationally

Last year, health care was the number one issue that drove people to the polls and fueled the new Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.  And, even as President Trump and Republicans continue to pursue their repeal and sabotage agenda, elected leaders at the local and state level are fighting back and responding to voters by taking action to protect and expand coverage, and lower costs for their constituents. Elections do indeed have consequences.

(CA) Gov. Gavin Newsom Moves To Expand Access To Health Care In California. “Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a broad overhaul of health care on his first day in office Monday, promising to throw the state’s financial power into an effort to lower prescription drug costs, expand Obamacare so middle-class families can receive subsidies to buy insurance, and offer Medi-Cal coverage to undocumented immigrants up to age 26. Newsom aides said the expansion of Affordable Care Act subsidies would be funded by a California version of the individual mandate, the former federal requirement that people either carry health insurance or pay a penalty on their taxes. Congressional Republicans and President Trump repealed the mandate in 2017, although the penalty does not disappear until the 2019 tax year. Newsom would reinstate it on the state level.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 1/7/19]

(CO) Colorado Democrats Introduce Public Option Health Care. “Creation of a public option health care plan is one of the most ambitious changes Colorado Democrats proposed Friday as they kicked off a new session of the General Assembly in control of both chambers for the first time in four years. The first five bills introduced in each chamber — indicators of lawmakers’ top priorities for the year — largely relate to health care and education costs. A Senate bill would create a public option health insurance plan that Coloradans who live in the highest-cost areas — mainly the Western Slope — could buy instead of their current insurance starting in the fall of 2019. A House bill would expand that program to the entire state by the fall of 2020.” [The Denver Post, 1/4/19]

(ME) On First Day In Office, Gov. Janet Mills Signs Executive Order Directing State To Implement Medicaid Expansion. “Medicaid expansion is finally advancing in Maine, more than a year after voters approved it at the ballot box. Newly sworn in Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat who campaigned on broadening access to health insurance, used her first executive order to direct the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to begin implementation of Medicaid expansion.” [CNN, 1/3/19]

(NM) In New Mexico, Democrats Plan To Introduce A Bill To Create A Medicaid Buy-in Program. “New Mexico Democrats eye creating the nation’s first Medicaid buy-in program, one of many blue-state efforts expected this year to expand health insurance coverage.” [Politico, 1/9/19]

(WA) Gov. Jay Inslee Proposes Public Option For Washington. “Gov. Jay Inslee and Democratic lawmakers Tuesday announced proposed legislation for a new “public option” health-care plan under Washington’s health-insurance exchange. The proposal, which Inslee said is the first step toward universal health care, is geared in part to help stabilize the exchange, which has wrestled with double-digit premium increases and attempts by Republicans in Congress and President Donald Trump to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. ‘We are proposing to the state Legislature that we have a public option that is available throughout the state of Washington so that we can increase the ability to move forward on the road to universal health care in the state of Washington,’ said the governor, who is considering a run for president in 2020.” [The Seattle Times, 1/8/19]

(WI) Gov. Tony Evers Signs Executive Orders To Direct State To Develop Plan For Expanding Medicaid, Find Ways To Protect ACA’s Consumer Protections. “In his second day on the job, Gov. Tony Evers signed executive orders Tuesday to study expanding health coverage and providing insurance protections for people with pre-existing conditions…One order directs the state Department of Health Services to develop a plan to expand the state’s BadgerCare Plus health care program for low-income people under the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. Republican lawmakers have fiercely opposed the idea. The issue is expected to come to a head this year as Evers and lawmakers work on a state budget that will determine whether the state taps into additional federal aid through Obamacare. The second order tells state agencies to prepare plans to find ways to protect coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, bolster consumer protections, improve the public’s understanding of insurance, and require insurers to make their costs and terms easily understandable. Evers has said the best way to protect coverage for those with pre-existing conditions is to keep the Affordable Care Act in place. He campaigned on getting Wisconsin out of a multistate lawsuit challenging the law.” [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 1/8/19]

(NY) Governor Cuomo and the legislature to pursue reproductive rights protections. “Gov. Andrew Cuomo called Monday for including abortion rights in the New York Constitution, calling it an unprecedented opportunity to protect a woman’s right to choose… Cuomo took his call a step further, vowing to push an amendment that would enshrine a woman’s right to choose in the state Constitution. Such a move would make it more difficult for future governors and lawmakers to reverse: A constitutional amendment has to be approved by successively elected Legislatures and approved by a vote of the public. [Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 1/7/19]

(NYC) New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio To Fund Health Care For All, Including Undocumented. “New York Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed a $100 million plan that he said would provide affordable ‘healthcare for all,’ reaching about 600,000 people, including undocumented immigrants, low-income residents not enrolled in Medicaid and young workers whose current plans are too expensive. The plan, which de Blasio dubbed ‘NYC Care,’ will offer public health insurance on a sliding price scale based on income, the mayor said during an interview Tuesday morning on MSNBC. It will begin later this year in the Bronx and will be available to all New Yorkers in 2021, and would cost at least $100 million once it reaches full enrollment, according to the mayor’s office.” [Bloomberg, 1/8/19]

Protect Our Care: Today’s Health Care Vote in the House Comes Down to This: Support The Law or Fully Repeal it  

“A No Vote Today is a Vote For Full Repeal,” says Brad Woodhouse

Washington DC — Today, the House of Representatives will hold a vote on a stand-alone resolution, which takes direct aim at the relentless repeal and sabotage campaign on health care by Republicans and President Trump. The resolution authorizes the House Counsel to intervene in the Texas, et. al. vs. United States, et. al. lawsuit to defend the Affordable Care Act and all of its protections.  Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, calls on House Republicans to join their Democratic colleagues and vote to pass this resolution in the following statement:

“A no vote on today’s resolution is a vote for the full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Republicans can no longer pretend this lawsuit is a theoretical exercise. Judge Reed O’Connor ruled to strike down the entire law, going further than any ACA repeal bill the House voted on in the last two years. By voting ‘no,’ Republicans are saying they want this ruling to stand and they want every clause, period and participle of the ACA repealed.  

“Let’s be clear: a ‘no’ vote means supporting taking away coverage from millions of people, raising the costs for millions more, and taking away protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Republicans and President Trump were hammered at the polls in November for this very lawsuit and for their years-long repeal and sabotage agenda. We’ll find out today if they got the message – and if not – we’ll tag them with repeal and all of its consequences all over again. Win win ”

A new poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) for Protect Our Care released yesterday demonstrates the vulnerability of Republicans on this issue. The poll found that well more than half of voters oppose the recent court decision striking down the Affordable Care Act and sixty-nine percent of voters say it’s a major concern to them that the court case would eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, and asthma.

BACKGROUND:

Due to Judge O’Connor’s ruling on December 14th, Republicans are one step closer to repealing the Affordable Care Act and eliminating key protections, unleashing — as the Trump Administration itself admitted in his court — “chaos” in our entire health care system. If this ruling is allowed to stand, here’s what would happen:

  • Marketplace tax credits and coverage for 10 million people: GONE.
  • Medicaid expansion currently covering 15 million people: GONE.
  • Protections for more than 130 million people with pre-existing conditions when they buy coverage on their own: GONE.
  • Allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26: GONE.
  • Free annual wellness exams: GONE.
  • Ban on annual and lifetime limits: GONE.
  • Ban on insurance discrimination against women: GONE.
  • Contraception with no out-of-pocket costs: GONE.
  • Limit on out-of-pocket costs: GONE.
  • Requirement that insurance companies cover essential benefits like prescription drugs, maternity care, and hospitalization: GONE.
  • Improvements to Medicare, including reduced costs for prescription drugs: GONE.
  • Closed Medicare prescription drug donut hole: GONE.
  • Rules to hold insurance companies accountable: GONE.
  • Small business tax credits: GONE.

 

 

Protect Our Care Urges The House To Protect People With Pre-existing Conditions and Pass The Resolution on The Texas Lawsuit

“Republicans are now on notice and it’s time to put up or shut up,” says Brad Woodhouse

 

Washington DC — Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will hold a vote on a stand-alone resolution, which takes direct aim at the relentless repeal and sabotage campaign on health care by Republicans and President Trump. The resolution specifically authorizes the House Counsel to intervene in the Texas, et. al. vs. United States, et. al. lawsuit to defend the Affordable Care Act and its protections.  Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, which held scores of Republicans accountable in November for their repeal and sabotage agenda, calls on the House to support and pass this resolution in the following statement:

“The impending vote on this resolution shows the American people that Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats are fighting for them and their health care just as they promised to do in November. During the mid-term election, Republicans repeatedly lied about their record on pre-existing conditions in a desperate attempt to conceal their extreme anti-health care agenda. But make no mistake, Republicans are now on notice and it’s time to put up or shut up. If Republicans truly cared about protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions, they would join their Democratic colleagues and vote to pass this resolution to intervene in a lawsuit that is already jeopardizing the care and benefits millions of Americans enjoy. If this lawsuit is successful the fallout would be devastating to millions of Americans and if Republicans continue to support litigation that would deny care to millions, their political problems on this issue only stand to grow.”

A new poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) for Protect Our Care released today demonstrates the vulnerability of Republicans on this issue. The poll found that more than half of voters oppose the recent court decision striking down the Affordable Care Act and sixty-nine percent of voters say it’s a major concern to them that the court case would eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, and asthma.

BACKGROUND:

Due to Judge O’Connor’s ruling on December 14th, Republicans are one step closer to repealing the Affordable Care Act and eliminating key protections, unleashing — as the Trump Administration itself admitted in his court — “chaos” in our entire health care system. If this ruling is allowed to stand:

  • Marketplace tax credits and coverage for 10 million people: GONE.
  • Medicaid expansion currently covering 15 million people: GONE.
  • Protections for more than 130 million people with pre-existing conditions when they buy coverage on their own: GONE.
  • Allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26: GONE.
  • Free annual wellness exams: GONE.
  • Ban on annual and lifetime limits: GONE.
  • Ban on insurance discrimination against women: GONE.
  • Contraception with no out-of-pocket costs: GONE.
  • Limit on out-of-pocket costs: GONE.
  • Requirement that insurance companies cover essential benefits like prescription drugs, maternity care, and hospitalization: GONE.
  • Improvements to Medicare, including reduced costs for prescription drugs: GONE.
  • Closed Medicare prescription drug donut hole: GONE.
  • Rules to hold insurance companies accountable: GONE.
  • Small business tax credits: GONE.

 

 

NEW POLL: Voters Oppose Texas Court Decision To End ACA

New Poll Finds Fifty-Five Percent of Voters Oppose the GOP and Trump Administration’s Lawsuit To Repeal the ACA and Gut Pre-existing Conditions Protections Ahead of House Vote on Stand-Alone Resolution to Defend ACA by Intervening in the Case

 

Washington DC — A new poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) for Protect Our Care shows more than half of voters oppose the recent court decision striking down the Affordable Care Act and are concerned about what the GOP’s Texas v. United States lawsuit would mean for protections for people with pre-existing conditions, prescription drug costs, and young people’s coverage. This poll comes ahead of a vote called by Speaker Pelosi on a stand-alone resolution affirming the House Counsel’s authorization to intervene in the lawsuit and defend the law and all who benefit from it. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement upon the poll’s findings:

“Republicans think they can hide their shameful record on health care, but they can’t. This poll shows danger ahead for Trump and his Republican allies who continue to sabotage health care and put at risk protections for people with pre-existing conditions. This misguided ruling from a conservative judge has dangerous consequences. If not overturned, insurance companies will once again have the power to deny, drop, or charge more for coverage — forcing millions of Americans to pick up the tab.  As this poll shows, the more voters learn about the devastating effects of this lawsuit, the more they want Congress to step in and put a check on Republicans’ harmful shenanigans.”

 

Key Findings from the Protect Our Care PPP poll:

  • Sixty-nine percent of voters say it’s a major concern to them that the court case would eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, and asthma
  • Fifty-five percent say they oppose the recent court decision striking down the Affordable Care Act, compared to just thirty-five percent who say they support the decision
  • A plurality of voters, forty-eight percent, say they would be less likely to support their member of Congress if they vote against Congressional action to oppose the lawsuit striking down the Affordable Care Act
  • By a 39-point margin, 59-20, voters say it’s a major concern to them that striking down the ACA would allow insurance companies to stop covering any of the costs of prescription drugs
  • An overwhelming majority of voters (59 percent) want to see the Affordable Care Act stay in place and think it should be kept with fixes made to it as necessary
  • With a 15-point margin, 56-41, voters trust Democrats more on the issue of health care overall

Public Policy Polling surveyed a national sample of 658 registered voters via telephone on behalf of Protect Our Care. The survey’s margin of error is +/-3.8%.

BACKGROUND:

Due to Judge O’Connor’s ruling on December 14th, Republicans are one step closer to repealing the Affordable Care Act and eliminating key protections, unleashing — as the Trump Administration itself admitted in his court — “chaos” in our entire health care system. If this ruling is allowed to stand:

  • Marketplace tax credits and coverage for 10 million people: GONE.
  • Medicaid expansion currently covering 15 million people: GONE.
  • Protections for more than 130 million people with pre-existing conditions when they buy coverage on their own: GONE.
  • Allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26: GONE.
  • Free annual wellness exams: GONE.
  • Ban on annual and lifetime limits: GONE.
  • Ban on insurance discrimination against women: GONE.
  • Contraception with no out-of-pocket costs: GONE.
  • Limit on out-of-pocket costs: GONE.
  • Requirement that insurance companies cover essential benefits like prescription drugs, maternity care, and hospitalization: GONE.
  • Improvements to Medicare, including reduced costs for prescription drugs: GONE.
  • Closed Medicare prescription drug donut hole: GONE.
  • Rules to hold insurance companies accountable: GONE.
  • Small business tax credits: GONE.

 

 

Welcome To Washington’s 116th Congress

“The New Democratic House Of Representatives Will Be Relentless In Defending Protections For People With Pre-existing Conditions And Affordable Health Care For Every American.” – Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Since regaining control of the House, Democrats who ran and won the midterm election on protecting health care have wasted no time doing just that. On day one, under Speaker Pelosi’s leadership, Democrats voted to defend the Affordable Care Act and protect people with pre-existing conditions, and they are just getting started.

 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “The New Democratic House Of Representatives Will Be Relentless In Defending Protections For People With Pre-existing Conditions And Affordable Health Care For Every American.” “The new Democratic House of Representatives will be relentless in defending protections for people with pre-existing conditions and affordable health care for every American…Republicans should end their assault on health care and join us to do the right thing for the American people.” [The Hill, 1/3/19]

U.S. News & World Report: “The Chamber That Once Led The Fight To Undo Obamacare Will Now Be Fighting For Its Survival In The Courts.” “Democrats are making it brazenly clear they are back in power in the House of Representatives, providing a critical roadblock to the GOP agenda in an already-gridlocked government…The chamber that once led the fight to undo Obamacare will now be fighting for its survival in the courts. The old committee to examine global warming will be reconstituted – and renamed, more ominously, the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.” [U.S. News & World Report, 1/4/19]

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY): In 116th Congress, “Nancy Pelosi will fight to lower healthcare costs, strengthen the affordable care act, protect people with pre-existing conditions.” “But Nancy Pelosi is just getting started. In the 116th Congress, she will continue to fight hard For The People. Nancy Pelosi will fight to lower healthcare costs, strengthen the affordable care act, protect people with pre-existing conditions, increase pay for everyday Americans, enact a real infrastructure plan, clean up corruption, defend the dreamers, fix the voting rights act and end the era of voter suppression once and for all.” [Hakeem Jeffries Website, 1/3/19]

Politico: “House Democrats In Power For The First Time In Nearly A Decade Are Opening A Sustained Campaign To Hammer Republicans On Obamacare.” “House Democrats in power for the first time in nearly a decade are opening a sustained campaign to hammer Republicans on Obamacare, seeking to force the GOP’s hand on popular policies like protecting patients with pre-existing conditions…Those votes are just opening salvos from House Democrats, who also plan to go after the Trump administration policies that they say have purposefully undermined Obamacare by depressing enrollment, cutting subsidies, promoting skimpy alternative health coverage, and even having the Department of Justice take the unusual move of supporting key elements of a lawsuit against the federal health law.” [Politico, 1/4/19]

Washington Post: “House Democrats Used Their New Majority On Thursday To Squeeze Republicans On Health Care.” “House Democrats used their new majority on Thursday to squeeze Republicans on health care, taking the first step to intervene in a court case in which a Texas judge has ruled the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. That move will be followed by a vote next week designed to force GOP lawmakers into a political corner: agree to defend a law many members have spent years reviling or appear to oppose popular ACA protections for millions of Americans with preexisting medical conditions that many have pledged to uphold.” [Washington Post, 1/3/19]

CNN: “In Their First Hours In Control Of The House Of Representatives, Democrats Filed A Motion To Intervene In An Ongoing Lawsuit That Threatens To Bring Down The Affordable Care Act.” “In their first hours in control of the House of Representatives, Democrats filed a motion to intervene in an ongoing lawsuit that threatens to bring down the Affordable Care Act…As part of its rules package for the 116th Congress, the Democrats granted themselves authorization to intervene in the lawsuit that threatens to bring down the landmark health care law. It directed the House’s Office of General Counsel to represent lawmakers in any litigation involving the act and authorizes hiring of outside counsel. The House late Thursday voted in the rules package, which the majority party — now the Democrats — adopts at the start of a new Congress. The newly empowered Democratic leadership also scheduled a vote for next Wednesday on a standalone resolution affirming the House’s authorization to intervene in the lawsuit. This would put Republicans on the record voting specifically for or against defending Obamacare and its protections for those with pre-existing conditions.” [CNN, 1/4/19]

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Chairman On The Rules Committee: “We’re On Offense” On Health Care. “We’re on offense…The American people made it very clear in the last election that health care is important, and they don’t want Republicans screwing around with it. And we’re going to have their backs.” [Politico, 1/4/19]

CNN: “House Democrats Are Moving Quickly To Defend The Affordable Care Act Once They Retake Control Of The Chamber Thursday.” “House Democrats are moving quickly to defend the Affordable Care Act once they retake control of the chamber Thursday. As part of its rules package for the 116th Congress, the party is granting itself authorization to intervene in the lawsuit that threatens to bring down the landmark health reform law. It directs the House’s Office of General Counsel to represent lawmakers in any litigation involving the act and authorizes hiring of outside counsel…Supporting the Affordable Care Act, including its popular provisions that protect those with pre-existing conditions, helped Democrats retake the House in the midterm elections in November. Since then, the party’s leaders have repeatedly said they will swiftly work to uphold the law.” [CNN, 1/2/19]

CNBC: House Democrats Set Up Framework To Intervene In Federal Court Case Striking Down Obamacare. “Democrats about to take over control of the House of Representatives have moved to defend Obamacare from a court challenge that threatens to kill the landmark health-care reform law. In an action Tuesday night, Democratic leaders said they will authorize their next speaker, likely Nancy Pelosi, to intervene in a pending federal case, Texas v. United States, in which a judge has ruled Obamacare unconstitutional. Democrats regain control of the House when Congress returns for the 116th congressional session Thursday.” [CNBC, 1/2/19]

Washington Post: Democratic Wishlist Includes “Health Care (With A Focus On Prescription Drug Prices And Protecting People With Preexisting Conditions).” “At the top of the list is a sweeping political reform package linked to a new Voting Rights Act. Taking on the ‘special interests,’ she said, will ‘give people confidence’ in the rest of the Democratic wish list that includes health care (with a focus on prescription drug prices and protecting people with preexisting conditions), workforce training and ‘building the infrastructure of America in a green way.’ For the longer term, Democrats would be looking for ways to expand health coverage by strengthening the Affordable Care Act.” [Washington Post, Dionne Jr., 1/2/19]

The Hill: House To Vote Next Week On Intervening To Defend ObamaCare In Court. “A spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the vote on having the House formally intervene in court to defend ObamaCare will come next week, in addition to a vote on Thursday on intervening in the lawsuit as part of the larger package of rules for the new session of Congress. Holding the separate additional vote next week will put Republican lawmakers on record, highlighting the political pressure that Democrats hope to put on vulnerable GOP lawmakers who campaigned last year pledging to support protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Democrats say if GOP lawmakers vote against defending ObamaCare, they will be showing that they don’t actually support protections for people with pre-existing conditions contained in the health law.” [The Hill, 1/2/19]

Daily Mail: Nancy Pelosi’s First Move As Speaker Will Be A Public Stand On Saving Obamacare By Intervening In Court Case Where Judge Struck It Down As Unconstitutional. “Incoming likely speaker Nancy Pelosi is laying down a marker that newly-empowered Democrats will go to court to protect Obamacare, in one of the first acts of the Democratic-run House. Pelosi, who stands for election on Thursday, has assembled a new rules package that specifically commits the House to a legal case that has once again thrown President Obama’s signature health plan into jeopardy. Pelosi helped marshall through Obamacare during her first term as speaker. Now, the new rules package that the Democratic House will codify in their traditional first legislative action, will specifically authorize the House to intervene in the case.” [Daily Mail, 1/2/19]

Despite Democrats making monumental gains to become a pro-health care Congress, Republicans are touting a bill that would have ripped coverage from millions of Americans and decimated important consumer protections, continuing their tone-deaf message despite voters’ strong rejection of the GOP’s repeal and sabotage agenda:

In Her Speech Nominating Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) For Speaker Of The House, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) Boasted About Republican Effort To Repeal The Affordable Care Act. “Leader McCarthy has led us through the 115th Congress in unmatched historic productivity, including passage of the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, because we know, Madam Clerk, that the American people know better than the government how to spend their money…Leader McCarthy also led to ensure that we passed the American Health Care Act to expand access and options and put patients and families in the driver’s seat, not government bureaucrats.” [Cheney Floor Speech, 1/3/19]

Protect Our Care Congratulates Nancy Pelosi on Speakership

Washington DC – As Democrats begin the 116th Congress by taking control of the House of Representatives, Protect Our Care issued the following statement congratulating Nancy Pelosi on today’s historic vote making her the Speaker of the House for a second time. Speaker Pelosi will continue making health care a top priority, first by passing the Restoring Congress For The People Resolution, which takes direct aim at the relentless health care repeal and sabotage campaign waged by Republicans in Congress and President Trump:

“Nancy Pelosi is a true health care champion and Protect Our Care is proud to congratulate her on being selected as the Speaker of the House of Representatives,” said Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care. “The American people voted for a pro-health care Congress and now they have a health care champion at the helm. Speaker Pelosi worked tirelessly to ensure that millions of Americans gained access to affordable health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and continuously defeated Republicans’ repeal-and-sabotage agenda. The House once again has a pro-health care leader whose unrelenting discipline and long track record will make health care and protecting people with pre-existing conditions a top priority.”

“With today’s vote, the American people gained a steadfast and experienced leader who not only delivered quality health care to millions of Americans but who continues to fight every day to check Republicans and the Trump administration,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care. “I have no doubt that Speaker Pelosi will fight to lower health care costs, protect Medicaid and Medicare, and stop Republican sabotage efforts. By scheduling a vote on the Restoring Congress For The People Resolution, Nancy Pelosi is once again, putting health care first. This resolution puts a bullseye on the dangerous Texas court decision that threatens to strip health care from millions of Americans. The choice couldn’t be more clear. There is no one better prepared for this role than Nancy Pelosi and we congratulate her on this monumental win.”