Monthly Archives

April 2019

Republicans Stand With Trump Lawsuit; Continue Their War on Health Care

Washington, DC — Today, the House voted on a resolution condemning Trump’s lawsuit and his continued war on health care introduced by Representative Collin Allred (TX-32). Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced a similar resolution in the Senate. Protect Our Care chair Leslie Dach released the following statement:

“Democrats gave their Republican colleagues a clear choice today. Republicans could vote to support ripping health care away from millions or vote to condemn the President’s disastrous lawsuit, and, unsurprisingly, they chose the former. Every Member of Congress who promised to protect people with pre-existing conditions and who voted against this resolution is lying about their position on health care. Democrats are focused on lowering costs and improving care, while Republicans remain dead set on their agenda of sabotage, higher costs, and worse care.”

###

Republicans Stand With Trump Lawsuit; Continue Their War on Health Care

Washington, DC — Today, the House voted on a resolution condemning Trump’s lawsuit and his continued war on health care introduced by Representative Collin Allred (TX-32). Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced a similar resolution in the Senate. Protect Our Care chair Leslie Dach released the following statement:

“Democrats gave their Republican colleagues a clear choice today. Republicans could vote to support ripping health care away from millions or vote to condemn the President’s disastrous lawsuit, and, unsurprisingly, they chose the former. Every Member of Congress who promised to protect people with pre-existing conditions and who voted against this resolution is lying about their position on health care. Democrats are focused on lowering costs and improving care, while Republicans remain dead set on their agenda of sabotage, higher costs, and worse care.”

###

Truth Bomb: Trump Says 2020 is About Health Care, and He’s Right

Americans have already figured out what President Trump and his Republicans want to do to our health care – they’ve gone to court to overturn and strike down our health care laws.

The lawsuit gives power to insurance companies to charge as much as they want – with double digit premium hikes and increases in prescription drug costs – while they cover as little as they want – gutting protections for people with pre-existing conditions and dropping young adults from their parents’ plans.

TODAY

POLITICO: Poll: Majority of voters don’t trust Trump on health care

AXIOS: Even Republicans don’t hate the entire ACA

LAST NIGHT: President Trump again promised that the 2020 election will be about health care

 

April is Medicaid Awareness Month: Nationwide Push On Importance of Medicaid And How Trump’s Lawsuit, Medicaid Sabotage Hurts Americans

Washington, DC – Protect Our Care along with advocates and activists will observe Medicaid Awareness Month this April by highlighting Medicaid’s vital importance for millions of Americans in communities across the country and how President Trump’s agenda of repeal and sabotage threatens Medicaid coverage for millions of Americans.

To mark the start of the Medicaid Awareness Month, Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“From providing health insurance to children and those with disabilities to critical programs for seniors to combating the scourge of opioid addiction, Medicaid serves as a lifeline for millions of Americans, without which many of whom would not get the care they need. While Democrats have made clear that strengthening and expanding Medicaid is a key part of their health care agenda, President Trump and Republicans remain dead set on gutting it and ripping up the entire health care system. With Trump’s lawsuit, Republicans are returning to an agenda of repeal that will strip coverage from millions of Americans and prevent those on Medicaid from getting the care they need. Make no mistake, from so-called ‘work requirements’ and ‘block grants’ to budget cuts, failed repeal attempts and the Trump lawsuit, the President has declared outright war on Medicaid.”

Medicaid is an essential program for more than 75 million Americans currently receiving coverage, including more than 35 million children, and nearly 7 million seniors. While Democrats have taken concrete steps to expand and strengthen Medicaid, Republicans and the Trump administration continue to do everything they can to gut Medicaid and strip people of their coverage.

The Trump lawsuit that aims to dismantle the entire health care system, the effort by President Trump to impose so-called ‘“work requirements” on Medicaid recipients, his recent proposed $1.3 trillion cut to the program in his budget and his pledge to again pursue legislative repeal that would slash Medicaid and end the Medicaid expansion represents the most significant assault on the program since it was signed into law more than 50 years ago.

Throughout the month of April, Protect Our Care and other partner organizations will host dozens of events nationwide to raise awareness of the critical role that Medicaid plays in America as well as the consequences of the Trump Administration’s war on Medicaid, and what his health care sabotage means for the future of the program.

The month will include the following theme’s each week:

  • Week 1: The Republican War On Medicaid
  • Week 2: Medicaid Expansion — And The States Rolling It Back
  • Week 3: Medicaid Is A Lifeline For Rural America And Veterans
  • Week 4: The Cost Of Sabotaging Medicaid

See below for background on this week’s Medicaid Awareness focus, the Republican war on Medicaid:

The Republican War On Medicaid

President Trump and Republicans in Congress have waged a relentless war on Medicaid. Their war on Medicaid is a war on children, seniors, people with disabilities, rural Americans, those fighting the opioid crisis, our schools, and everyone else who benefits from Medicaid.

FRONTAL ATTACK – REPUBLICANS HAVE REPEATEDLY TRIED EVISCERATING MEDICAID

Despite repeatedly promising not to cut Medicaid when he ran for president in 2017, President Trump’s latest budget called for $1.5 trillion in cuts to Medicaid. Trump’s lawsuit to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act would end Medicaid expansion, kicking 12.7 million who depend on the program off their insurance.

With the support of the Trump Administration, House Republicans in 2017 voted to repeal the ACA — the American Health Care Act (AHCA) — which would have cut Medicaid by $834 billion and turned it into a per capita program. The Senate repeal bill — Graham-Cassidy — would have slashed Medicaid funding by $4 trillion over 20 years.

SABOTAGE ATTACK – ONEROUS REQUIREMENTS

When they are not calling for dramatic cuts to Medicaid, Republicans are finding other ways to sabotage the program. For instance, Republicans in state after state are proposing illegal and burdensome “work requirements” which do nothing but take health care away from people who need it. Medicaid work requirements are blatantly designed to strip health care away from low-income Americans. Thankfully, they have now been declared illegal by multiple courts. Republican governors now want to appeal these decisions.

Despite these court decisions, President Trump’s 2020 budget proposed a nationwide work requirement which experts estimate will cause up to 4 million people to lose coverage, mostly due to paperwork and red tape. More than 18,000 people lost their Medicaid in Arkansas because of the work requirement the courts have now overturned.

In November’s elections, voters moved to expand Medicaid in three states and elect pro-Medicaid governors in even more. Now, Republlican officials are doing everything in their power to deny voters’ will in states that elected to expand Medicaid and prevent Medicaid expansion initiatives in states now starting to consider them. Just last week the Trump administration approved a request from Utah to cap its Medicaid enrollment, fundamentally restricting the number of people who can access life-saving health care.

WHO BENEFITS FROM THE GOP WAR ON MEDICAID? THE WEALTHY AND BIG CORPORATIONS

In 2017, President Trump signed a $1.5 trillion tax bill that disproportionately benefits the wealthy and that is already padding health company’s profits. How do Republicans plan on paying for it? Former Speaker Ryan’s answer left no doubt: “Frankly, it’s the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt.” In an attempt to pay for these tax cuts, last April, House Republicans passed a balanced budget amendment that would slash Medicaid funding by $114 billion in a single year alone. President Trump’s fiscal 2020 budget called for $1.5 trillion in cuts over ten years.

The Republican plan is clear: give companies like drug giant Pfizer a $563 million tax benefit, and make low and middle income Americans pay the price.

WHO GETS HURT FROM THE GOP WAR ON MEDICAID? PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE ELSE.

  • Children & Families. Roughly 9 million children in the United States are enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Nationally, nearly 2 in 5, or 39% of children in America have health insurance through Medicaid, as do 17 Percent of parents. 49 percent of births are covered by Medicaid.
  • More than 6.9 million American seniors have Medicaid coverage. More than 8.5 million Americans ages 50 to 64 have health coverage through Medicaid. Medicaid covers 6 in 10 nursing home residents.
  • People with disabilities. Nearly 7 million adults enrolled in Medicaid have a disability. Of this group, only 43 percent qualify for social security income. More than 1 in 3 adults under age 65 enrolled in Medicaid lives with at least one disability. Medicaid covers 45 percent of nonelderly adults with disabilities, including adults with physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, brain injuries, and mental illness.
  • People in rural areas. The ACA has expanded access to health care to nearly 7 million rural Americans who have gained coverage through the Medicaid expansion, not only playing a central role in improving rural communities’ health, but also supporting these communities’ economic well-being. Medicaid covers nearly 24 percent of rural Americans, 45 percent of rural children, 15 percent of rural seniors, and pays for 51 percent of rural births. The uninsured rate in rural areas in states that expanded Medicaid has dropped by a median of 44 percent since expansion.
  • Fighting the opioid crisis. More than half of people with an opioid use disorder earn incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty line. In 2014, Medicaid paid for 25 percent of all addiction treatment nationwide. It is estimated that Medicaid expansion covers four in ten people with an opioid use disorder.

The Republican War On Medicaid

President Trump and Republicans in Congress have waged a relentless war on Medicaid. Their war on Medicaid is a war on children, seniors, people with disabilities, rural Americans, those fighting the opioid crisis, our schools, and everyone else who benefits from Medicaid.  

FRONTAL ATTACK — REPUBLICANS HAVE REPEATEDLY TRIED EVISCERATING MEDICAID

Despite repeatedly promising not to cut Medicaid when he ran for president in 2017, President Trump’s latest budget  called for $1.5 trillion in cuts to Medicaid. Trump’s lawsuit to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act would end Medicaid expansion, kicking 12.7 million who depend on the program off their insurance.

With the support of the Trump Administration, House Republicans in 2017 voted to repeal the ACA — the American Health Care Act (AHCA) — which would have cut Medicaid by $834 billion and turned it into a per capita program. The Senate repeal bill — Graham-Cassidy —  would have slashed Medicaid funding by $4 trillion over 20 years.

SABOTAGE ATTACK — ONEROUS REQUIREMENTS

When they are not calling for dramatic cuts to Medicaid, Republicans are finding other ways to sabotage the program. For instance, Republicans in state after state are proposing illegal and burdensome “work requirements” which do nothing but take health care away from people who need it. Medicaid work requirements are blatantly designed to strip health care away from low-income Americans. Thankfully, they have now been declared illegal by multiple courts. Republican governors now want to appeal these decisions.

Despite these court decisions, President Trump’s 2020 budget proposed a nationwide work requirement which experts estimate will cause up to 4 million people to lose coverage, mostly due to paperwork and red tape. More than 18,000 people lost their Medicaid in Arkansas because of the work requirement the courts have now overturned.

In November’s elections, voters moved to expand Medicaid in three states and elect pro-Medicaid governors in even more. Now, Republlican officials are doing everything in their power to deny voters’ will in states that elected to expand Medicaid and prevent Medicaid expansion initiatives in states now starting to consider them. Just last week the Trump administration approved a request from Utah to cap its Medicaid enrollment, fundamentally restricting the number of people who can access life-saving health care.

WHO BENEFITS FROM THE GOP WAR ON MEDICAID? THE WEALTHY AND BIG CORPORATIONS

In 2017, President Trump signed a $1.5 trillion tax bill that disproportionately benefits the wealthy and that is already padding health company’s profits. How do Republicans plan on paying for it? Former Speaker Ryan’s answer left no doubt: “Frankly, it’s the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt.” In an attempt to pay for these tax cuts, last April, House Republicans passed a balanced budget amendment that would slash Medicaid funding by $114 billion in a single year alone. President Trump’s fiscal 2020 budget called for $1.5 trillion in cuts over ten years.

The Republican plan is clear: give companies like drug giant Pfizer a $563 million tax benefit, and make low and middle income Americans pay the price.

WHO GETS HURT FROM THE GOP WAR ON MEDICAID? PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE ELSE.

  • Children & Families. Roughly 34.9 million children in the United States are enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Nationally, nearly 2 in 5, or 39% of children in America have health insurance through Medicaid, as do 17 Percent of parents. 49 percent of births are covered by Medicaid.
  • Seniors. More than 6.9 million American seniors have Medicaid coverage. More than 8.5 million Americans ages 50 to 64 have health coverage through Medicaid. Medicaid covers 6 in 10 nursing home residents.
  • People with disabilities. Nearly 8.7 million adults enrolled in Medicaid have a disability. Of this group, only 43 percent qualify for social security income. More than 1 in 3 adults under age 65 enrolled in Medicaid lives with at least one disability. Medicaid covers 45 percent of nonelderly adults with disabilities, including adults with physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, brain injuries, and mental illness.
  • People in rural areas. The ACA has expanded access to health care to nearly 1.7 million rural Americans who have gained coverage through the Medicaid expansion, not only playing a central role in improving rural communities’ health, but also supporting these communities’ economic well-being. Medicaid covers nearly 24 percent of rural Americans, 45 percent of rural children, 15 percent of rural seniors, and pays for 51 percent of rural births. The uninsured rate in rural areas in states that expanded Medicaid has dropped by a median of 44 percent since expansion.
  • Fighting the opioid crisis. More than half of people with an opioid use disorder earn incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty line. In 2014, Medicaid paid for 25 percent of all addiction treatment nationwide. It is estimated that Medicaid expansion covers four in ten people with an opioid use disorder.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Susan Collins’ Letter Makes Her Part of the Problem On Health Care, Not the Solution

Washington, DC — After Senator Susan Collins wrote a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr regarding the Trump lawsuit to destroy the ACA, Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:

“Susan Collins may want us to believe that a letter to the attorney general will absolve her ownership of the Trump lawsuit, but we know that her vote on the Trump tax bill opened the door for this disastrous move to ‘terminate’ our health care. Senator Collins voted to confirm Attorney General Bill Barr who is executing Trump’s disastrous lawsuit and pro-repeal Justice Brett Kavnauagh, and once again millions of people are in danger of losing their live-saving care. Mainers deserve a leader who will do more than write an empty letter.”

Background:

Susan Collins was a key vote for the Republican tax bill, which repealed a key provision of the Affordable Care Act that required most people to have health coverage and which is the basis of the Trump-Republican lawsuit seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

Susan Collins voted to confirm Attorney General Bill Barr. Six weeks after Barr’s confirmation he led the DOJ to back a full invalidation of the Affordable Care Act in Texas v. Azar, a sharp escalation of the Trump administration’s ongoing war on the law.  

Susan Collins refused to support a Senate Resolution that would authorize the Senate legal counsel to intervene in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Collins refused to sponsor the resolution (S. Res. 581), which would authorize Senate legal counsel to defend the Affordable Care Act against attack in Texas v. Azar.

Susan Collins was a key vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh.  Collins voted to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh.  Kavanaugh authored rulings expressing skepticism about the Affordable Care Act and could be the pivotal vote to overturn the law if Texas v. Azar were to reach the Supreme Court.

  • August 2018:  Collins Said It Was A “Stretch” To Be Concerned About Brett Kavanaugh’s Record On The Affordable Care Act.  As the Texas lawsuit makes its way through the courts and as Brett Kavanaugh refuses to weigh in on the case that even conservative legal scholars call “a mockery of the rule of law,” Collins refuses to acknowledge the threat Brett Kavanaugh poses to Americans’ health care: “Susan Collins: For those who have somehow drawn the connection between [Kavanaugh’s] not wanting to hear that case because of jurisdictional issues and the very important consumer protections that are part of the ACA is, to me, a stretch.”

SHOT/CHASER: Known Medicare Fraudster And Repeal Fanatic Rick Scott Tapped To Lead Trump’s Latest Round Of Health Care Sabotage

SHOT: Sen. Rick Scott Becomes Trump Point Man On GOP Health Care Policy. [Orlando Sentinel, 3/30/19]

CHASER: Rick Scott Has Vocally Supported Trump’s Failed Health Care Repeal Efforts.

  • Rick Scott Urged Repeal Of The ACA On “Day One” Of The Trump Administration. “Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) is ramping up pressure on Republicans in Congress to aggressively and immediately pursue a repeal of ObamaCare, despite any politically damaging effects.” [The Hill, 12/13/16]
  • Rick Scott Called The AHCA “Way Better Than Obamacare” And Said He Would Do “Everything I Can” To Pass It. “Gov. Rick Scott said Thursday the failed GOP health care bill was ‘way better than Obamacare’ and that he remains optimistic President Trump and Congress can get it done.” [Tampa Bay Times, 3/30/17]
  • Rick Scott Continued To Push For Repeal Even After It Failed In The Senate. “Gov. Rick Scott, whose political career is largely defined by opposition to the Affordable Care Act, still wants Republicans to repeal the federal health care law despite their apparent failure to do so.” [Orlando Sentinel, 7/18/17]

CHASER: Rick Scott’s Company Committed Historic Medicare Fraud. He Will Now Lead Trump’s Health-Care Push. “On Thursday, Trump told reporters that Scott, and fellow Republican Senators John Barrasso of Wyoming and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, would lead the party’s push on health-care reform. ‘They are going to come up with something really spectacular,” the president said. If by spectacular, he means a candidate who was at the helm of a company that pleaded guilty to historic efforts to defraud Medicare, the president has found his man.’” [New York Magazine, 4/1/19]

###