Monthly Archives

June 2019

Documents Reveal: Trump Admin Secretly Admitted Health Care Repeal Hurts Working People

In newly revealed Trump administration vetting documents for CMS Administrator Seema Verma obtained by Axios, Trump’s team admitted even before he took office what we all know about their health care repeal plan:

“The repeal of the Affordable Care Act will leave many Americans without insurance and unsure about future insurance prospects”

Nearly every Republican in Congress voted for health care repeal.

Now, having failed to destroy health care in Congress, the Trump administration is going to court on July 9, 2019 to try and have the law repealed.

When will they learn the lesson of the 2018 elections?

ICYMI: House GOP Vote to “Terminate” the Health Care Law, Kick Millions Off Coverage and Rip Away Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions

On Vote to Repudiate Trump’s Texas Lawsuit, All But Four Republicans Vote In Favor of Legal Action that Would Overturn the Entire Law

Washington, DC — House Republicans, who were run out of the majority in 2018 because of their efforts to repeal American health care, voted again yesterday in support of rolling back the entire law. All but four Republicans voted against an amendment yesterday offered by U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) that repudiates the lawsuit supported by President Trump to “terminate” the health care law and which would deny funding to the Department of Justice to litigate on its behalf. The lawsuit Republicans voted in favor of yesterday goes further than any repeal bill they have brought to the floor since President Trump took office, invalidating the entire law, even provisions Republicans supposedly claim to support. In response, Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“Republicans lost one election because of a repeal and sabotage agenda that was rejected by the American people and they seem hellbent on losing another one. More important than the politics is the devastation the Republican war on health care would have on the American people. If successful, this Republican lawsuit, which 98 percent of House Republicans voted to support yesterday, would rip coverage away from millions, throw kids off their parents policies, raise drug prices on seniors, repeal Medicaid expansion and end protections for pre-existing conditions – the health care issue that most contributed to Republicans losing their House majority in November. Americans have repeatedly rejected the GOP’s ongoing war on health care and the question is, will Republicans ever get the message? If yesterday’s vote is any indication, the answer seems to be a resounding ‘no.’”

Fact Sheet On Trump Lawsuit To Overturn ACA

President Trump is trying to rip apart our health care by going to court to eliminate the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. If the Trump lawsuit is successful, it will strip coverage from millions of Americans, raise premiums, end protections for people with pre-existing conditions, put insurance companies back in charge, and force seniors to pay more for prescription drugs. The result will be to — as the Trump Administration itself admitted in Court — unleash “chaos” in our entire health care system.

If the Affordable Care Act is struck down:

  • GONE: Protections for 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. The uninsured rate will increase by 65 percent.
  • GONE: Medicaid expansion, which covers 17 million people.
  • GONE: Nearly 12 million seniors will have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare ‘donut hole’ will be reopened.
  • GONE: 2.3 million adult children will no longer be able to stay on their parents’ insurance.
  • GONE: Insurance companies will be able to charge women 50 percent more than men.
  • GONE: Financial assistance that helps 9 million people purchase health care in the marketplace.
  • GONE: Key support for rural hospitals. As Americans lose coverage, already struggling hospitals will be hit even harder as their costs increase.
  • GONE: Ban on insurance companies having lifetime caps on coverage.
  • GONE: Requirements that insurance companies cover prescription drugs and maternity care.

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

  • According to the Urban Institute, 19.9 million people could lose coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act, meaning the number of uninsured Americans would increase from 30.4 million to 50.3 million, representing a leading to a 65 percent increase in the uninsured rate. As the uninsured rate swells, so will the amount of uncompensated care, which Urban predicts will grow by at least 82 percent.

Republicans Want To Put Insurance Companies Back In Charge, Ending Protections For The 130 Million People With A Pre-Existing Condition

  • 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, 68 million women, and 30 million people aged 55-64 have a pre-existing condition.

VOTE ALERT: House GOP Endorses Trump’s Lawsuit to Overturn Health Care Laws

Democrats Pass Underwood Amendment to Defund DOJ’s Texas Lawsuit

Washington, DC— Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to block funding for Trump’s lawsuit that would overturn our health care laws including striking down protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Representative Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) offered an amendment that would block Trump’s Department of Justice from using federal funds to litigate their current lawsuit to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Every House Democrat supported the amendment but it was overwhelmingly opposed by Republicans in Congress. In response to the passage of this amendment, Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:

“Congresswoman Underwood and her Democratic colleagues are leading the charge to protect Americans’ health care by using every tool in their shed to fight the Trump administration’s disastrous Texas lawsuit. This amendment stops Trump from using taxpayer money to support his reckless attempt to strike down our health care in court – eliminating protections for people with pre-existing conditions and raising the cost of prescription drugs. Every single Republican who voted against this amendment has again endorsed Trump’s approach to health care: repeal, overturn and strike down. Americans rejected this approach in 2018 when they sent scores of Republican House Members packing, and they are no more supportive of the GOP’s repeal and sabotage agenda today.”

Protect Our Care Statement on Senate Health Care Legislation

Washington, DC — Today, leaders of the Senate HELP Committee unveiled health care legislation to address, among other things, surprise medical bills. In response, Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:

“So long as Senate Republicans remain Trump’s top lieutenants in his war on America’s health care, they should not receive credit for solving a problem they have made worse for the American people. Surprise medical billing is a serious issue for patients navigating our health care system, and while it’s encouraging that the Senate is addressing the problem, Republicans do not deserve a pat on the back while they continue supporting the destruction of America’s health care. If Republicans actually cared about patients and improving our health care system, they would denounce Trump’s disastrous Texas lawsuit, disavow junk plans and call for an end to the relentless repeal and sabotage agenda he and they continue to pursue.”

Protect Our Care Commends Sen. Baldwin and Sen. Casey for Introducing the ENROLL Act

Washington, DC — Today, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Expand Navigators’ Resources for Outreach, Learning, and Longevity (ENROLL) Act–a bill that was passed in the House under the leadership of Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL-14), would obligate CMS to annually fund the navigator program, and help Americans make qualified and informed decisions on finding the coverage that works for them. Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement in response:

“Senator Baldwin and Senator Casey’s introduction of the ENROLL Act is another step forward in combating the Trump administration’s reckless health care sabotage. Navigators are crucial to providing health care outreach and information to communities across the country, yet Trump’s cuts to funding and enrollment advertising are making it harder for American families to enter the marketplace. While Trump and his GOP allies in Congress work to strangle the navigator program, Senator Badlwin, Senator Casey, and their Democratic colleagues are making sure that navigators have the resources they need to point American patients in the direction of the lower costs and better care they deserve.”  

BACKGROUND

The Trump Administration Has Slashed Navigator Funding By 84 Percent Since 2016, Leaving Some Areas Without Navigators’ Enrollment Assistance. In 2016, navigators received nearly $63 million worth of federal funding. By 2018, the Trump administration had slashed their funding to $10 million, representing an 84 percent decrease. These cuts have had a serious impact: less funding for navigators means less assistance for people to sign up for health care. Due to Trump’s cuts, navigators for three states (Iowa, Montana, and New Hampshire) receive no federal funding and other states now have areas in which there are no navigators to provide service, for instance Cleveland, Akron, Toledo and Youngstown in Ohio, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin in Texas, all of Michigan outside of the Detroit metro area. [Kaiser Family Foundation, 9/24/18]

In Nearly One-Third Of 2,400 Counties Served By HealthCare.gov, There Is No Federally Funded Navigator. But the budget for the insurance counselors known as navigators has been cut more than 80 percent, and in nearly one-third of the 2,400 counties served by HealthCare.gov, no navigators have been funded by the federal government.” [New York Times, 10/27/18]

Gallup Cited Huge Cuts To Navigator Funding As Playing A Role In The U.S. Uninsured Rate Reaching Its Four-Year High. “A number of factors have likely played a role in the steady increase in the uninsured rate over the past two years…Other factors could be a result of policy decisions. The open enrollment periods since 2018 have been characterized by a significant reduction in public marketing and shortened enrollment periods of under seven weeks, about half of previous periods. Funding for ACA “navigators” who assist consumers in ACA enrollment has also been reduced in 2018 to $10 million, compared with $63 million in 2016.” [Gallup, 1/23/19]

During The First Open Enrollment Period In 2013, 10.6 Million Americans Were Assisted By Navigators. “More than 4,400 Assister Programs, employing more than 28,000 full-time-equivalent staff and volunteers, helped an estimated 10.6 million people during the first Open Enrollment period.” [Kaiser Family Foundation, 7/15/14]

In Addition To Slashing Funding, The Trump Administration Has Tried To Remove Resources For Navigators, Such As A Training Guide For Latino Outreach, From Its ACA Website.The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services removed a presentation called “Marketplace Outreach: Best Practices for Outreach to Latino Communities” from one of its Web pages sometime in late September, according to a report released last week from the Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan government watchdog group. The presentation, an 18-slide PDF file, was intended to provide training for groups like navigators — a group formed under the Obama administration to promote health-plan selection — on better engaging with Latino communities and on challenges the community faces in enrollment. Critics are pointing to this latest move as another in the list of actions the Trump administration has taken to undermine the Affordable Care Act and to weaken the Latino and immigrant communities’ access to public programs like health care.” [Washington Post, 12/10/18]

Navigators Have Been Forced To Cut Back On Services Because Of Trump’s Funding Cuts:

  • Jodi Ray, Director Of Florida Covering Kids & Families Navigator Program: “We Are Only In Half The Counties We Were In Last Year.” “Florida Covering Kids & Families, a navigator program based at the University of South Florida, received $4.9 million in federal funds last year for open enrollment marketing and consumer assistance. It was one of several in the state to receive funding. This year, it was the only group in Florida to get any funding, and received just $1.2 million, said Jodi Ray, the group’s director. She said the number of calls for help is more than last year, when the group was receiving a thousand calls a day during peak times. ‘But we are certainly reaching less people,’ Ray said. ‘We are only in half the counties we were in last year, and we have few assisters.’” [Tampa Bay Times, 12/13/18]
  • Allen Gjersvig, Director Of Navigator And Enrollment Services At Arizona Alliance For Community Health Centers: “We can only surmise that with the big decrease in marketing over the past two years, a significant portion of people don’t know about open enrollment.” [Arizona Republic, 12/11/18]
  • Dan Derksen, Doctor Who Oversees Navigator Program At University Of Arizona: “At a time when people have more questions, it’s very likely there will be fewer people to help them in person.” [USA Today, 6/21/18]
  • Shelli Quenga, Director Of Programs For South Carolina-Based Palmetto Project: Restricting Support Is Bad For Consumers. “It’s very unfortunate for the consumer…We know that consumers still need in-person assistance — and especially consumers who are not native English speakers, consumers who are living just above the poverty line who don’t have a lot of experience with making big financial decisions like this that also have long-term implications to their financial future for themselves and their family members.” [The Hill, 6/20/18]
  • Cutting Funds To Navigator Groups Means They Must Significantly Cut Back On Outreach. “‘We have no expectation of any federal money being available to us,’ said Donna Friedsam, the director of Covering Wisconsin, a navigator program. Her organization received a 42 percent reduction last year because of the funding changes. It previously offered enrollment services in 23 counties, but had to scale down to 12.” [The Hill, 6/20/18]

Tracking Trump’s Sabotage: Exhaustive Look at Trump’s Legacy-Defining War On America’s Health Care

Trump’s Reelection Announcement Today Overshadowed By His Years-Long Effort to Destroy America’s Health Care

As Trump makes his reelection campaign official today, Protect Our Care’s month-to-month sabotage tracker makes clear that his war on health care is exhaustive, ongoing and here to stay. From the day Trump was sworn into office to the day of his reelection announcement, the Trump administration and its Republican allies have tried time and again to rip apart our health care laws, stripping coverage from millions, dismantling protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions, gutting Medicare and Medicaid and lining the pockets of drug and insurance companies while they raise costs.

Health Care Sabotage Tracker

June 2019

  • Trump administration announces HRA rule to let employers encourage their employees to buy junk plans that do not cover people with pre-existing conditions. The Brookings Institutionwarns that this move means older, sicker workers could end up paying higher premiums.
  • After failing to block grant Medicaid legislatively, the White House dodges Congress in order to review plan to overhaul state Medicaid programs through block grants.

May 2019

  • Sunlight Foundation report reveals that “various HHS offices have seemingly gone out of their way to systematically remove references to the ACA,” removing an 85-page website containing information about the potential benefits of the Affordable Care Act.
  • CDC survey finds 1.1 million more Americans lost health insurance coverage in 2018.
  • Trump administration proposes rule change that allows doctors, hospitals, and health care companies to refuse to provide services to LGBTQ people and patients who have had abortions.

April 2019

  • Trump administration keeps fighting to impose work requirements on Medicaid, appealing federal court rulings that blocked such requirements because they are illegal.
  • Change in Administration’s final rule setting for ACA will raise premiums on 7.3 million by cutting tax credits and raise limit on out-of-pocket maximums.
  • Trump: “We got the individual mandate, the absolute worst part of Obamacare eliminated, now we’re going for the rest.”

March 2019

February 2019

  • Trump predicts the Affordable Care Act will be “terminated” through the Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn the law.
  • In an effort to restrict access to information about women’s reproductive health, the Trump administration removes web pages associated with the ACA and its contraceptive coverage from HHS’s Office of Population Affairs website.

January 2019

  • Thanks to GOP sabotage, the uninsured rate surges to its highest level since 2014. Roughly seven million fewer people are estimated to have health care now than did two years ago.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposes changes to the ACA’s benefit and payment parameters, reducing subsidies available to those who purchase health care through the exchange, increasing premiums, and raising  the out-of-pocket maximum for people with employer-sponsored health care.
  • In a win for big Pharma, the Trump administration proposes changes to the rebate system that would raise premiums, benefit pharmaceutical companies, and contain no mandate to lower list prices of drugs.
  • The Trump administration announces it will consider allowing states to convert Medicaid to block grant programs, allowing the federal government to cap the amount a state’s Medicaid program can receive.

December 2018

  • Cherry-picked Federal Judge Reed O’Connor rules in favor of twenty conservative states to overturn the Affordable Care Act, jeopardizing coverage for 17 million people and ripping away the ACA’s vital consumer protections such as protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • Under the Trump administration’s relentless sabotage, the uninsured rate increases for the first time since 2010. As the Kaiser Family Foundation finds, “In 2017, the uninsured rate reversed course and, for the first time since the passage of the ACA, rose significantly to 10.2% [from 10%].”

November 2018

  • Trump administration issues new guidance urging states to “tear down basic pillars of the Affordable Care Act, demolishing a basic rule” that federal subsidies can only be used to purchase ACA-compliant plans. Experts warn against this move, saying it will push affordable, comprehensive care further out of reach for individuals with pre-existing conditions.
  • Under the Trump administration, the number of uninsured children grows for the first time in nearly a decade. After a decade of steady decreases in the number of uninsured children, in 2017 the number of uninsured children increased from 3.6 million to 3.9 million.

October 2018

  • Republicans appoint Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh is known to be hostile to the Affordable Care Act.
  • The Trump administration issues guidance that allows federal subsidies to be used to purchase junk plans that can deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

September 2018

  • The Trump administration’s Department of Justice joins twenty conservative states in court in opening arguments to argue that the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions should be overturned.
  • Nearly 4,600 Arkansans are unable to meet Arkansas’ reporting requirements for the state’s Medicaid work requirements and lose Medicaid coverage.

August 2018

  • Trump administration finalizes rule for bare-bones short-term plans that are exempt from key consumer protections, such as the requirement that insurance covers prescription drugs, maternity care, and hospitalization.

July 2018

  • CMS halts risk adjustment payments, that enable insurance companies to cover everyone, regardless of whether they are healthy or sick.
  • Trump Administration slashes funding for non-profit health navigator groups, that help people shop for coverage, from $36 million to $10 million. CMS encourages groups to use the remaining funds to push people to sign up for junk plans that skirt important consumer protections.
  • President Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh has previously forced a young woman to continue a pregnancy against her will and has criticized Justice Roberts for upholding the Affordable Care Act’s constitutionality.

June 2018

  • Department of Justice takes to the courts to argue that insurance companies should be able to discriminate against as many as 130 million Americans with a pre-existing condition.
  • Republican coalition, the Health Policy Consensus Group, released their latest proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions, let insurance companies charge older people an age tax, and deny coverage for basic services like maternity care.
  • Trump Administration finalizes proposal to expand access to association health plans that skirt key consumer protections.

May 2018

  • President Trump boasts about health care sabotage: “We will have gotten rid of a majority of Obamacare.”
  • Trump Administration enlists the help of former drug lobbyist in writing its drug plan.
  • Congressional Republicans attempt to use annual farm bill to authorize $65 million in taxpayer funding to set up association health plans, which can  exclude prescription drug coverage, mental health care, and maternity care.

April 2018

  • House Republicans vote on a balanced budget amendment that would cut Medicaid by $700 billion over ten years, $114 billion in a single year alone.
  • Trump Administration limits access to assistance for consumers who want to enroll in marketplace coverage. This change removes the requirements that every area has at least two “navigator” groups to provide consumer assistance and that one be local. Now, just one group could cover entire states or groups of states.

March 2018

  • Republicans sabotage efforts to pass a bipartisan bill that would have stabilized Affordable Care Act marketplaces by insisting the bill restrict access to abortion.

February 2018

  • The Trump Administration announces that it will expand access to short-term health plans that do not have to comply with key consumer protection provisions required by the Affordable Care Act.
  • Urban Institute calculates that repeal of the individual mandate and expansion of short term plans will increase individual market premiums by an average 18.2 percent in 2019.
  • Trump Administration releases budget that calls for the Affordable Care Act to be replaced by Graham-Cassidy, in a move that experts predict would reduce health coverage for 32 million Americans.

January 2018

  • The Trump Administration announces that it will support states that impose onerous work requirements on Americans covered by Medicaid, and approves Kentucky’s worst-in-the-nation waiver the next day.
  • The Trump Administration announces a move to allow providers to discriminate by allowing them to deny patient care for almost any reason.
  • The Trump Administration makes plans to announce even more exemptions from the requirement people have health coverage before this provision is repealed altogether.

December 2017

  • The Trump Administration proposes a rule to expand association health plans, which would gut consumer protections, raise costs for people with pre-existing conditions and further destabilize the insurance markets.
  • Congressional Republicans pass their tax scam, which doubles as a sneaky repeal of the Affordable Care Act  by kicking 13 million people off of their insurance and raising premiums by double digits for millions more.

November 2017

  • Republicans refuse to move forward on the bipartisan Alexander-Murray bill to address the CSR crisis even though it had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

October 2017

  • The Trump Administration takes direct aim at birth control by rolling back a rule that guaranteed women access to contraception. (A court has since questioned the legality of the action.)
  • President Trump signs an Executive Order to roll back key consumer protections that will result in garbage insurance, raise premiums, reduce coverage and again expose millions of Americans to discrimination based on pre-existing conditions.
  • The Trump Administration dramatically cuts in-person assistance to help people sign up for 2018 health coverage.
  • After threatening for months to stop funding cost-sharing reduction payments (CSRs) that help lower deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, the Trump Administration stops the payments altogether. The CBO finds that failing to make these payments will increase premiums by 20% and add nearly $200 billion to the debt.

September 2017

  • The Administration orders the Department of Health and Human Services’ regional directors to stop participating in Open Enrollment events. Mississippi Health Advocacy Program Executive Director Roy Mitchell says, “I didn’t call it sabotage…But that’s what it is.”

August 2017

  • The Administration cuts the outreach advertising budget for Open Enrollment by 90 percent, from $100 million to just $10 million – which resulted in as many as 1.1 million fewer people getting covered.

July 2017

  • The Trump Administration uses funding intended to support health insurance enrollment to launch a multimedia propaganda campaign against the Affordable Care Act.
  • President Trump, again, threatens to end cost-sharing reduction payments.

June 2017

  • Senate Republicans embark on a monthslong failed attempt to pass BCRA, Skinny Repeal and Graham-Cassidy, all repeal bills that would have caused millions of Americans to lose their health coverage and raised premiums by double digits for millions more. They would have ended Medicaid as we know it, putting the care of children, seniors and people with disabilities at risk.

May 2017

  • House Republicans vote for and pass a health care repeal bill that would cause 23 million people to lose coverage and gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions. It would have imposed an age tax and allowed insurers to charge people over 50 five times more for coverage and ended Medicaid as we know it, putting the care of seniors, children and people with disabilities in jeopardy.

April 2017

  • The Trump Administration cuts the number of days people could sign up for coverage during open enrollment by half, from 90 days to 45 days.
  • In an effort to convince Democrats to negotiate a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, President Trump threatens to cut off cost-sharing reduction payments (CSRs) that help low-income marketplace customers pay for out-of-pocket costs.

March 2017

  • The Trump Administration sends a letter to governors encouraging them to submit proposals which include provisions such as work requirements that make it harder for Medicaid beneficiaries to get affordable care and increase the number of people who are uninsured.

February 2017

  • The Trump Administration proposes a rule to weaken Marketplace coverage and raise premiums for millions of middle-class families.

January 2017

  • On his first day in office, President Trump signs an Executive Order directing the administration to identify every way it can unravel the Affordable Care Act.
  • Also on January 20th, the Department of Health and Human Services begins to remove information on how to sign up for the Affordable Care Act.
  • The Trump Administration pulls funding for outreach and advertising for the final days of 2017 enrollment. This move is estimated to have reduced enrollment by nearly 500,000.

Trump’s Orlando Rally An Insult To Millions of Floridians At Risk From His Relentless War On Health Care

Washington, DC — As President Trump heads to Orlando for his reelection announcement  today, his ongoing war on Americans’ health care jeopardizes the financial security and well-being of millions of Floridians. Trump’s Texas lawsuit puts 1.6 million Floridians at risk of losing their health insurance, and would strip protections for more than 7.8 million Floridians with a pre-existing condition. Poll after poll shows that health care is the top issue on voters’ minds heading into 2020 and Trump’s reckless ongoing attacks on Americans health care will not be forgotten. Ahead of the president’s rally today, Protect Our Care chair Leslie Dach released the following statement:

“Trump’s rally tonight is an insult to the millions of Floridians who are fed up with his relentless attacks on their health care. President Trump’s sabotage agenda puts millions of Floridians at risk of losing coverage, and if his lawsuit to eliminate our health care system is successful, it will strip coverage from over one million Floridians, raise premiums and end protections for millions more with pre-existing conditions like cancer, diabetes or asthma. Few states stand to lose more at the hands of Trump’s war on America’s health care than Florida, and instead of coming to Orlando to play politics and vent his frustrations at a political rally, the president should explain to Florida voters why he’s so hellbent on taking away their health care.”

BACKGROUND:

How Trump’s Texas Lawsuit Would Devastate Floridians

  • 1.6 Million Floridians Could Lose Coverage. According to the Urban Institute, 1.6 million Floridians would lose coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act, leading to a 67 percent increase in the uninsured rate.
  • 132,000 Florida Young Adults With Their Parents’ Coverage Could Lose Care. Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of young adults are able to stay on their parents’ care until age 26.
  • Protections For The 130 Million People Nationwide With A Pre-Existing Condition Will End. 7,810,300 Floridians have a pre-existing condition, including 973,800 Florida children, 4,086,000 Florida women, and 1,760,800 Floridians between ages 55 and 64.
  • Insurance Companies Could Charge Premium Surcharges In the Six Figures. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, insurance companies would be able to charge people more because of a pre-existing condition. The health repeal bill the House passed in 2017 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 Could Be Charged More Than Men For The Same Coverage. Prior to the ACA, women were often charged premiums on the nongroup market of up to 50 percent higher than they charged men for the same coverage.
  • 344,343 Florida Seniors Could Have to Pay More for Prescription Drugs. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, seniors could have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole would be 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 CMS report. In Florida, 344,343 seniors each saved an average of $1,068.

Trump’s Destruction of America’s Health Care Looms Large Over His Announcement For Reelection Today

Washington, DC — Donald Trump is officially launching his reelection campaign today, but his relentless years-long campaign to sabotage America’s health care and ongoing lawsuit to strip health care away from millions of Americans looms large over his announcement. Poll after poll shows that health care is the top issue on voters’ minds headed into 2020 and Trump’s reckless and ongoing attacks on Americans health care have not been forgotten as millions face higher costs and are at greater risk of losing their coverage as a result. In response to Trump’s announcement today, Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“Trump’s reelection bid is already marred by his relentless war on America’s health care, including his ongoing lawsuit to strip protections from Americans with pre-existing conditions, rip coverage from millions more and throw our whole health care system into chaos. Under Trump’s watch, prescription drug prices have skyrocketed while insurance and drug companies rake in record profits, and his repeated and ongoing attacks on our health care have put 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions like asthma, cancer or diabetes at risk of losing their protections. Trump’s destructive health care agenda will dominate this campaign and voters who are sick and tired of these relentless attacks on their health care will make clear that his harmful sabotage agenda won’t last another four years.”

BACKGROUND:

Millions of Americans Have Lost Their Health Care Under Trump’s Tenure

A CDC survey found that 1.1 million more Americans lost health insurance coverage in 2018.  

Under the Trump administration, the number of uninsured children grew for the first time in nearly a decade. After a decade of steady decreases in the number of uninsured children, in 2017 the number of uninsured children increased from 3.6 million to 3.9 million.

Trump’s Lawsuit To Destroy The ACA Would Strip Coverage From Millions More Americans

Donald Trump’s Department of Justice overrode the advice of legal experts and signed on to a lawsuit brought by Republican attorneys general that would overturn the entire Affordable Care Act, stripping coverage from millions. Trump himself has stated that he believes the ACA will be “terminated” through the Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn the law.

If the Affordable Care Act is struck down:

  • GONE: Protections for 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. The uninsured rate will increase by 65 percent.
  • GONE: Medicaid expansion, which covers 17 million people.
  • GONE: Nearly 12 million seniors will have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare ‘donut hole’ will be reopened.
  • GONE: 2.3 million adult children will no longer be able to stay on their parents’ insurance.
  • GONE: Insurance companies will be able to charge women 50 percent more than men.
  • GONE: Financial assistance that helps 9 million people purchase health care in the marketplace.
  • GONE: Key support for rural hospitals. As Americans lose coverage, already struggling hospitals will be hit even harder as their costs increase.
  • GONE: Ban on insurance companies having lifetime caps on coverage.
  • GONE: Requirements that insurance companies cover prescription drugs and maternity care

Trump Enthusiastically Supports Every Attempt To Repeal The ACA

In May 2017, House Republicans passed a health care repeal bill that would cause 23 million people to lose coverage and gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions. It would have imposed an age tax and allowed insurers to charge people over 50 five times more for coverage and ended Medicaid as we know it, putting the care of seniors, children and people with disabilities in jeopardy.  Donald Trump loved this bill so much that he threw a party on the White House lawn to celebrate its passage.  

Throughout the summer of 2017, Trump cheered Senate Republicans monthslong failed attempt to pass BCRA, Skinny Repeal and Graham-Cassidy, all repeal bills that would have caused millions of Americans to lose their health coverage and raised premiums by double digits for millions more.  Two years later, Trump is still complaining that John McCain thwarted his attempt to repeal the ACA and promising to keep trying again to repeal the ACA and strip coverage from millions of Americans.

Nationwide Events Highlight Democratic Agenda to Stop GOP Sabotage of Health Care and Improve Care and Lower Costs for Million of Americans

Over the weekend, House Democrats, Protect Our Care, and health care advocates across the country held roundtable discussions, town hall meetings, and press events to highlight the work Democrats are doing to roll back President Trump and the GOP’s sabotage of American health care and the Democratic agenda to lower costs and improve care for millions of Americans.  While Republicans and President Trump are vowing to revive their efforts in Congress to repeal the health care law and are currently in court in an attempt to “terminate” the law there, Democrats are pursuing an agenda to block or roll back GOP sabotage of American health care, protect patients with pre-existing conditions from being exploited by junk insurance and to lower health care and prescription drug costs.  

Here is just some of the news coverage and social media buzz for the events that took place over the weekend:

NATIONWIDE

New York Times: “Over The Weekend, 140 House Democrats, More Than Half Of The Party’s Caucus, Held Events Or Online Town Halls To Talk About Health Care.” “Over the weekend, 140 House Democrats, more than half of the party’s caucus, held events or online town halls to talk about health care, their largest coordinated action in districts since winning the majority. In particular, Democrats hammered the Trump administration for asking a court in March to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act, which among other things would eliminate protections for patients with pre-existing conditions. Mr. Trump has repeatedly said he favors such protections but has not explained how he would achieve them if the Obama-era law were invalidated.” [New York Times, 6/6/19]

Politico: “Dems Back To Familiar Rallying Cry — Health Care.” “Dems back to familiar rallying cry — health care … Speaker Nancy Pelosi led House Democrats in a ‘Health Care for All Americans’ weekend of action with more than 140 lawmakers participating in district events and online town halls on the issue, according to sources familiar with the effort. The move is part of Democrats’ strategy to press their message on pre-existing conditions, House-passed bills to lower health care costs and prescription drugs going into the 2020 election.” [Politico, 6/16/19]

ALABAMA

Saturday, June 15th

Rep. Sewell Town Hall

A huge thank you to the Pickens County Medical Center, Whatley Health Services, Medical Outreach & Advocacy and SMART School Clinics for coming to our #HealthCareWeekend town hall in Pickens County and providing free health care screenings. Y’all are truly working #forthepeople.” [Rep. Sewell Twitter, 6/15/19]

ALASKA

Wednesday, June 12th

Save Our State Rally

Alaskans gathered at rallies across the state to speak out against the on-going threats from Governor Dunleavy to shut down the government unless he accepts the budget proposed by the state legislature. Protect Our Care Alaska co-hosted the event, and organizers focused on threats to the state’s Medicaid program if the governor does not sign the budget.

You can view the post-event release here.

KTVA: Local groups rally, urge Gov. Dunleavy to pass operating budget

Alaska Public Media: State employees anxious as government shutdown threat looms

ARIZONA

Friday, June 14th

Rep. O’Halleran Health Care Roundtable

Congressman O’Halleran met with several constituents on Friday to talk about rural health care, community health centers, and what Democrats are doing in the House to defend Arizonans’ health care. Participants in the roundtable included:

  • Alicia Held, Patient
  • Travis Robinette, Sun Life Family Health Center CEO
  • Kim Collins, Sun Life Family Health Center COO
  • Laura Larson-Huffaker, Horizon Health and Wellness CEO
  • Rose Lopez, Intermountain Centers for Human Development CEO
  • Ralph Varela, Pinal Hispanic Council CEO

CALIFORNIA

Friday, June 14th

Rep. Lieu Health Care Facebook Live

“How are @HouseDemocrats addressing the rise of Rx drug costs & protecting people w/ pre-existing conditions? Join us TODAY at 3PM PT for our Facebook LIVE #HealthCareWeekend of Action #ForThePeople.” [Rep. Lieu Twitter, 6/14/19]

Watch the Facebook Live here.

Rep. Barragan Senior Center Visit

“Had a great conversation with folks at the Willowbrook Senior Center about how Dems are working #ForThePeople & fighting for affordable health care & lower Rx drug costs for older Americans. Proud to join @HouseDemocrats across the country for our #HealthCareWeekend of Action.” [Rep. Barragan Twitter, 6/14/19]

Watch the visit here.

Saturday, June 15th

Speaker Pelosi’s Events in San Francisco

CBS San Francisco: Democratic Leaders Shine Spotlight On Health Care. “On Saturday, House Democrats held about 140 events around the nation to highlight their health care progress and plans for the future. In San Francisco, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared with fellow California Democrats Rep. Jackie Speier and Rep. Mike Thompson at the offices of Health Right 360.” [CBS San Francisco, 6/15/19]

San Francisco Chronicle: Pelosi Highlights Democratic Efforts To Preserve Health Care in SF Visit. “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, joined by Rep. Jackie Speier of San Mateo, and Rep. Mike Thompson of St. Helena, and health care advocates, visited San Francisco Saturday to highlight efforts Democrats are making to preserve coverage of pre-existing conditions and lower medical and drug costs.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 6/15/19]

Rep. Aguilar Health Care Talk

“I was proud to join the California Alliance for Retired Americans this week to talk about how @HouseDemocrats are working to expand and protect Medicare and lower health care costs #ForThePeople. Thanks to all those who came out during #HealthCareWeekend of action.” [Rep. Aguilar Twitter, 6/15/19]

Rep. Matsui Roundtable

“It was great to meet with health professionals from across the region at my provider roundtable. We discussed potential reforms within the #ACA to bring down costs across the board and how to increase access to care for all. #HealthCareWeekend.” [Rep. Matsui Twitter, 6/16/19]

COLORADO

Friday, June 14th

Rep. Neguse Health Care Roundtable

Congressman Joe Neguse met with patients, advocates, and health care providers to discuss the rising costs of prescription drugs and the fight to protect healthcare from Republican roll backs. The Congressman vowed to protect the ACA and stop health care sabotage efforts.

Participants included:

  • Healthier Colorado
  • The American Association of People with Disabilities
  • Boulder County Health
  • Laura Packard, Health Care Advocate

Rep. Crow Health Care Roundtable

Six health care advocates and two health care providers shared their experiences with Congressman Jason Crow at this healthcare round table event. The Congressman and participants discussed junk plans, pre-existing conditions, protecting provisions in the ACA, health care and prescription drug costs, Medicaid and lifetime caps.

Participants included:

  • Maytham Alshadood, Rep. Crow’s District Director
  • John Santistevan, CEO—Salud
  • Salud Providers
  • Rachel Wall, Patient
  • Laura Packard, Patient
  • Nic Wisman, Patient
  • Rebecca Gillett, Patient
  • Liz Reilly, Patient
  • Nicole Cimbura, Patient

FLORIDA

Friday, June 14th

Rep. Castor Heath Care Roundtable

“@HouseDemocrats have passed meaningful legislation to lower the cost of health care and prescription drugs! #Tampa area neighbors and advocates told me how important affordable health care is to them on #HealthCareWeekend #ForthePeople.” [Rep. Castor Twitter, 6/14/19]

Watch local coverage of the roundtable here.

Rep. Deutch and Rep. Demings Health Care Roundtables

Sun Sentinel: Health Groups Make Pitch For More Affordable Drugs And Insurance. “As the national battle rages on over drug prices and health insurance, Broward County residents and health advocates met today to praise the safety net of the Affordable Care Act and show their concern about any possibility of their medical coverage going away…the Broward round table led by U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch focused on issues around access to treatments, cost of medications and trust in the health care system; the event was part of a national effort to call attention to what Democrats are doing to protect health care and the challenges ahead…in Orlando, Rep. Val Demings used Health Care for All Americans Day of Action to hold a round table discussion to address the soaring costs of prescription drugs and release a new report on diabetes medication prices in her district. The report shows that because Medicare is not allowed to negotiate drug prices, the costs for diabetes medications to Medicare are nearly four times higher than in the United Kingdom, five times higher than in Australia, and three times higher than in Canada. For uninsured patients, the costs can be as much as 21 times higher.” [Sun Sentinel, 6/14/19]

Saturday, June 15th

Rep. Shalala Health Care Roundtable

“Since the start of our Congress #ForThePeople, @HouseDemocrats have been working hard to improve health care for all. This morning I met with local health care professionals and advocates to discuss the most pressing health issues in South Florida. #HealthCareWeekend.” [Rep. Shalala Twitter, 6/15/19]

GEORGIA

Friday, June 14th

Rep. Johnson Twitter Health Care Town Hall

Rep. Hank Johnson held a Twitter town hall on Friday using the hashtag #AskHank.

Saturday, June 15th

Rep. McBath Health Care Roundtable

Congresswoman Lucy McBath meet with several constituents with pre-existing conditions to talk about the ACA, expanding medicaid, increase access to health care services, and lowering costs. McBath pledged to keep fighting for Georgians that rely on the ACA for their care and to find w ays to lower costs.

Post event release here.  

Participants included:

  • Malcolm Reid: HIV patient
  • Cindy Vo: Vietnamese American, KSU student, relied on Medicaid to beat juvenile cancer, now on ACA exchange plan
  • Kim Schneller, 5 year old son has type 1 diabetes and husband is in cancer remission
  • Emily Fain, veteran, cancer survivor, hospice worker
  • Marcia West, semi-retired, insurance agent in Marietta with pre-existing conditions

ILLINOIS

Friday, June 14th

Rep. Casten Health Care Panel Discussion

“In the 6th District alone, there are approximately 15,000 Medicare beneficiaries who have been diagnosed with diabetes. Yesterday I held a panel discussion in Wheaton on the rising costs. #HealthCareWeekend.” [Rep. Casten Twitter, 6/15/19]

Rep. Schneider Health Care Town Hall

“Just wrapped a great town hall at Lake Forest Place w/ focus on health care. The rising cost of prescription drugs is hitting seniors hard. In the House, we’ve voted to speed-up access to generic drugs to help make Rx medication more affordable. #ProtectOurCare #HealthCareWeekend.” [Rep. Schneider Twitter, 6/14/19]

Saturday, June 15th

Rep. Underwood Health Care Press Conference

Rep. Underwood held a press conference in Minooka with farmer Kaylee Heap at Heap Giant Pumpkin Farm, and spoke about how local families have been affected by the high cost of health care:

“From day one, I have heard from members of our community who struggle to afford their premiums. The people who are hit hardest are self-employed farmers, realtors, entrepreneurs; or they work for employers who don’t provide health insurance. That is unacceptable. And it’s why I have introduced the Health Care Affordability Act to reduce premiums for middle-income and low-income consumers.  This would make premiums for people who buy their own insurance more similar to insurance costs for people with employer coverage. Thanks to Mrs. Kaylee Heap, who graciously invited us to her family’s pumpkin farm to share her story about the challenges she and her husband Kevin face to afford health insurance for themselves and their baby son, Milo.” [Rep. Underwood Press Release, 6/15/19]

MARYLAND

Friday, June 14th

Leader Hoyer and Rep. Brown Health Care Roundtables

“As House Dems kick off our #HealthCareWeekend of action, I joined @RepAnthonyBrown & community stakeholders in Largo to discuss health disparities among minority groups in #MD. While the #ACA took great strides to expand affordable health coverage, there is still much to do…we discussed 10 bills that I’ve brought to the Floor to improve access & lower the price of health care & prescription drugs. We’ll continue to work to end disparities, expand access to affordable coverage, & address the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs.” [Leader Hoyer Twitter, 6/14/19]

Rep. Raskin Health Care Roundtable

“If my voice isn’t heard, my child’s voice isn’t heard.” Thx to all our #healthcareweekend roundtable participants who spoke their truth about being parents of children w/ developmental disabilities. I’ll continue to use my voice in Congress to amplify yours & to #ProtectOurCare.” [Rep. Raskin Twitter, 6/17/19]

Watch Rep. Raskin’s roundtable here.

MASSACHUSETTS

Saturday, June 15th

Rep. McGovern Health Care Town Hall

“Today I held town halls in #Orange & #Northfield, where we talked about (among other issues) the rising cost of healthcare & prescription drugs.I will bring these stories with me as we continue to work to #ProtectOurCare.” [Rep. McGovern Twitter, 6/15/19]

MICHIGAN

Friday, June 14th

MI Congressional Health Care Roundtable

Rep. Dingell, Rep. Lawrence, Rep. Slotkin, and Rep. Levin hosted a roundtable with Beaumont Health, HUDA Clinic, Covenant Community Care, and Western Wayne FHC in Dearborn.

Watch the roundtable here.

NEVADA

Saturday, June 8th

Rep. Lee Town Health Care Hall

Last Saturday, Rep. Susie Lee held a town hall with constituents while she was home for Congressional recess. The congresswoman discussed health care, what Congress was doing to protect the ACA, and what the Texas v. HHS lawsuit could mean for Nevadans’ care.

View a tweet from Rep. Susie Lee here.

Saturday, June 15th

Rep. Horsford Health Care Stakeholder Meeting

“Health care is a human right and that includes access to affordable prescription drugs. Glad to have a meaningful conversation about the effects of skyrocketing drug prices with Nevada’s healthcare stakeholders.” [Rep. Horsford Twitter, 6/15/19]

NEW JERSEY

Friday, June 14th

Chairman Pallone Health Care Facebook Live

“As part of my dedication to improve health care #ForThePeople, I’m hosting Ray Castro from @NJPolicy for my weekly update on Facebook Live. Join us NOW. #HealthCareWeekend.” [Rep. Pallone Twitter, 6/14/19]

Watch the Facebook Live here.

NEW MEXICO

Saturday, June 15th

Rep. Torres Small Health Care Roundtable

“This weekend I visited Socorro General Hospital for a roundtable discussion on legislation I’ve introduced to expand rural health care access & help New Mexicans get the care they need, right in their own communities. #HealthCareWeekend.” [Rep. Torres Small Twitter, 6/17/19]

Rep. Haaland Health Care Roundtable

“Join me today at @unm Domenici Center for a Tackling New Mexico’s Heatlthcare Challenges roundtable. It starts at 3:30pm with parking in lots L&M! #healthcareweekend #ProtectOurCare.” [Rep. Haaland Twitter, 6/15/19]

Watch the roundtable discussion on Facebook Live here.

NEW YORK

Saturday, June 15th

Rep. Jeffries, Rep. Clarke & Rep. Velazquez Health Care Community Speak Out

“Joined @NydiaVelazquez @RepYvetteClarke at Community Speak Out on Healthcare in Brooklyn. Americans pay more for life-saving medicine than any other country in the world. We must stop Big Pharma. And put the public’s interest over the special interests! #ForThePeople.” [Rep. Jeffries Twitter, 6/15/19]

PENNSYLVANIA

Friday, June 14th

Rep. Dean Health Care Roundtable

“Kicking off #HealthCareWeekend of Action, today we held a roundtable with medical professionals in Abington, @MontcoPA to discuss the ACA and its impact. @HouseDemocrats have passed legislation to improve health care for everyone — it is vital to our #ForThePeople agenda.” [Rep. Dean Twitter, 6/14/19]

Saturday, June 15th

Rep. Cartwright Health Care Roundtable

Pennsylvanians with pre-existing conditions met with Congressman Matt Cartwright to discuss ongoing threats to health care and his work in the House to defend protections for pre-existing conditions. Cartwright pledged to make prescription drugs cheaper and bring down premiums, co-pays, and deductibles for Pennyslvanians.

Press Coverage:

WISCONSIN

Friday, June 14th

Senator Tammy Baldwin Health Care Roundtable

Senator Tammy Baldwin sat down with constituents for a roundtable discussion about health care issues in Wisconsin. They covered topics ranging from the Texas v. HHS lawsuit to ongoing GOP sabotage of the ACA—and the Senator pledged to “.continue to go to the Senate floor to stop the expansion of these junk plans.”

You can see pictures from the Senator’s roundtable here.

Trump’s New HRA Rule is a Hypocritical, Harmful Proposal to Distract From His Lawsuit to Destroy Health Care

Trump is Currently Waging a Lawsuit to Dismantle the Entire Affordable Care Act, Strip Coverage from Millions of Americans

Washington, DC — Today, Trump is set to deliver a speech on his administration’s new HRA rule, which encourages more people to buy junk insurance plans that do not cover protections for many pre-existing conditions. On top of that, his Rose Garden speech this afternoon will likely fail to address the rule’s underlying hypocrisy: that his Texas lawsuit would dismantle the entire Affordable Care Act, completely nullifying this rule if successful. In response to this announcement, Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:  

“It’s the height of hypocrisy that Trump is in court to rip health care away from millions of Americans while also proposing a rule that in the most charitable sense would be using cups of water to douse the five alarm fire that he created. Not only does this new HRA rule encourage more people to enroll in junk insurance plans that don’t offer protections for pre-existing conditions, but it would be completely nullified by Trump’s Texas lawsuit to destroy our health care system. Time and again, Trump has made clear he’s dead-set on destroying America’s health care – letting drug companies run wild and ripping millions off their insurance. Today’s announcement is just another empty display of hypocrisy as he marches onward in his war on America’s health care.

“For patients with pre-existing conditions, Trump’s health care plans put them at risk either way. Today, he’s pushing policies which let insurance companies dupe patients into buying junk plans that won’t cover care for pre-existing conditions for people with asthma, diabetes and cancer. Next month, he’s going to court to try to overturn health care and strike down the protections for pre-existing conditions in all the remaining plans. Donald Trump has engaged a relentless war on American health care which has no end in sight.”