Monthly Archives

August 2019

THIS WEEK: Protect Our Care “Health Care Emergency” Bus Tour Continues With Stops in Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan and Pennsylvania

“Care Force One” Will Travel to St. Paul, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Lansing, Livonia, Harrisburg and Bethlehem, for Events Highlighting the Health Care Emergency Created By Trump’s Lawsuit and Democrats’ Agenda to Improve Care and Lower Costs

Washington, DC — On the second week of Protect Our Care’s 5,800-mile, 21-event, 13-state nationwide bus tour, “Care Force One” is continuing across the country for stops in St. Paul (MN), Des Moines (IA), Cedar Rapids (IA), Lansing (MI), Livonia (MI), Harrisburg (PA) and Bethlehem (PA). During each stop, elected officials, health care advocates and storytellers will join Protect Our Care to call for an end to the GOP’s continued war on Americans’ health care and highlight the dire emergency created by the Trump-Republican lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Event participants will also discuss the Democratic agenda to lower costs and improve health care.

Watch all bus tour stops live here.

The week begins Monday morning in St. Paul, MN:

WHO: U.S. Representative Betty McCollum (MN-04)
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison
Sarah Stoesz, CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States
Laura Packard, stage 4 cancer survivor and health care advocate
Delores Flynn, SEIU member and mother of son with disabilities
Rachel Zemmer, TakeAction MN
WHAT: “Protect Our Care Minnesota Health Care Emergency” Press Conference
WHERE: AFL-CIO headquarters, 175 Aurora Ave St. Paul, MN 55103
WHEN: Monday, August 12 at 9:45 AM CST

And continues Monday afternoon in Des Moines, IA:

WHO: Emily Holley, executive director of Iowa Voices and patient
Laura Packard, stage 4 cancer survivor and health care advocate
Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa
WHAT:  “Protect Our Care Iowa Health Care Emergency” Press Conference 
WHERE: Care Force One, Outside the State House, Press Conference in Room 22
WHEN: Monday, August 12th at 3:00 PM CST

Tuesday, Protect Our Care heads to Cedar Rapids, IA:

WHO: Laura Packard, stage 4 cancer survivor and health care advocate
Robin Stone, Iowan with a pre-existing condition
Sara Kissling, Iowan with a pre-existing condition
Laura Wright, Iowan struggling with high prescription drug costs
WHAT: “Protect Our Care Iowa Health Care Emergency” Press Conference
WHERE: Outside Sen. Grassley and Sen. Ernsts’ offices, 111 7th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
WHEN: Tuesday, August 13th at 12:00 PM CST

Wednesday morning, Protect Our Care heads to Lansing, MI:

WHO: State Sen. Curtis Hertel (D-East Lansing)
State Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing)
State Rep. Julie Brixie, (D-Meridian Township)
Dr. Farhan Bhatti, CEO and Medical Director of Care Free Medical Lansing
Tori Saylor, patient advocate
Laura Packard, stage 4 cancer survivor and health care activist
WHAT: “Protect Our Care Michigan Health Care Emergency” Press Conference
WHERE: Care Force One at Michigan State Capitol, 100 N Capitol Ave, Lansing, MI 48933
WHEN: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 11:30 AM EST

And continues Wednesday afternoon in Livonia, MI:

WHO: U.S. Representative Haley Stevens (MI-11)
Dr. Mark LePage, CEO of IHA
Andrea P., health care advocate and member of Little Lobbyists
Laura Packard, cancer survivor and health care activist
WHAT: “Protect Our Care Michigan Health Care Emergency” Press Conference
WHERE: Outside St. Mary Mercy Hospital, 36475 5 Mile Road, Livonia, MI
WHEN: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 3:00 PM EST

Thursday, Protect Our Care heads to Harrisburg, PA:

WHO: U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA)
Laura Packard, stage 4 cancer survivor and health care advocate
Staci Ritter, Pennsylvania health care advocate with pre-existing condition
WHAT: “Protect Our Care Pennsylvania Health Care Emergency” Press Conference
WHERE: Outside the Pennsylvania State Capitol, 501 N 3rd St, Harrisburg, PA 17120
WHEN: Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 11:30 AM EST

The second week concludes Friday in Bethlehem, PA:

WHO: U.S. Representative Susan Wild (PA-07)
Laura Packard, stage 4 cancer survivor and health care advocate
Mitch Lenett, Pennsylvanian with a pre-existing condition
WHAT: “Protect Our Care Pennsylvania Health Care Emergency” Press Conference
WHERE: Payrow Plaza, 10 E. Church Street, Bethlehem, PA
WHEN: Friday, August 16, 2019 at 11:00 AM EST

*Additional speakers to be added throughout the week

The Protect Our Care “Health Care Emergency Tour” Continues Its Third Week In:

Bangor, ME on Monday, August 19, 2019
Portland, ME on Monday, August 19, 2019
Concord, NH on Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Richmond, VA on Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Raleigh, NC on Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Charlotte, NC on Thursday, August 22, 2019
Asheville, NC on Thursday, August 22, 2019
Atlanta, GA on Friday, August 23, 2019

For more information on the Protect Our Care Health Care Emergency Bus Tour visit  https://www.protectourcare.org/bus-tour/ 

Protect Our Care “Health Care Emergency” Bus Tour Week One Wrap Up: Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico & Colorado

 

Watch all bus tour stops here. 

On the first week of Protect Our Care’s 5,800-mile, 21-event, 13-state nationwide bus tour, “Care Force One” traveled to Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, Santa Fe, Pueblo and Aurora. During each stop, elected officials, health care advocates and storytellers joined Protect Our Care to call for an end to the GOP’s continued war on Americans’ health care and highlight the dire emergency created by the Trump-Republican lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act. 

LAS VEGAS, NV:

Protect Our Care was joined by U.S. Representatives Dina Titus (NV-01) and Susie Lee (NV-03), cancer survivors and health care advocates Laura Packard and Joe Merlino, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada executive director Laura Martin, and representatives from the Offices of Congressman Steve Horsford (NV-04) and U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto for a press conference at the SEIU Nevada Local 1107 office. Watch the press conference here.

U.S. Representative Dina Titus: “Today I attended the nationwide kickoff of the @ProtectOurCare bus tour to bring awareness to Republicans’ continued attacks on our healthcare system. That’s why I voted to let the House step in to protect the Affordable Care Act and the millions who depend on it. #ProtectOurCare.” [Rep. Titus Twitter, 8/5/19]

U.S. Representative Susie Lee: “Proud to help kick off the #HealthCareEmergency Bus Tour with @ProtectOurCare! I’ve made it clear that I will fight any and every effort that threatens Nevadans’ access to quality and affordable healthcare. Great to see @lpackard back in NV!” [Rep. Lee Twitter, 8/8/19]

Las Vegas Review Journal: Democrats launch bus tour to highlight Affordable Care Act lawsuit

Watch the event here

PHOENIX, AZ:

Outside the Arizona State Capitol Building, Protect Our Care hosted a press conference with State House Democratic Leader Charlene Fernandez, ER physician and cancer research advocate Dr. Hiral Tiperneni and health care advocate Laura Packard.

Leader Charlene Fernandez: “Make no mistake, while Democrats debate Medicare for All, Republicans continue to attack our current healthcare by working on a full repeal of Obamacare through the courts. We need to fight to #ProtectOurCare.” [Leader Fernandez Twitter, 8/6/19]

Dr. Hiral Tiperneni: “A big thanks to @ProtectOurCare for bringing their #HealthCareEmergency tour to Phoenix and highlighting this critical issue that we face. The health and well-being of our families should never be a partisan issue. #PeopleOverPolitics #AZ06.” [Dr. Tipirneni Twitter, 8/6/19]

KTAR: Clip 

Watch the event here

TUCSON, AZ:

The “Health Care Emergency Tour” rolled into Tucson and held a press conference outside Planned Parenthood with Tucson PPFA executive director Genesis Cabillas, emergency medical physician Dr. Larry DeLuca, and health care advocates Alicia Held and Laura Packard. 

U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick released a statement on the Tour stopping in Arizona’s 2nd congressional district: “After traveling the district, it’s clear that rising health care costs is a top concern for Arizona families; they want proactive solutions to fixing our health care system. As you may know, I am not afraid of taking a bold stance on health care. In 2009, I cast my proudest vote in support of the Affordable Care Act, which secured access for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions. As the Trump administration continues to try and dismantle ACA protections and make health care coverage a wealthy privilege, my democratic colleagues are debating ways and passing legislation to make it more affordable. Southern Arizonans are all too familiar with the fear of losing their health care. I believe I’m fighting here today because our community knows how important it is to elect a healthcare leader. And my actions and votes prove that you can count on me to protect your care.” 

KVOA: “Health care advocates, residents and  those fighting illnesses met this morning for the “Protect Our Care AZ Health Care Emergency” conference. Two women fighting illnesses spoke on the importance of the affordable care act.” [KVOA Twitter, 8/7/19]

Watch the event here.

SANTA FE, NM:

Outside the New Mexico State Capitol building on Santa Fe, Protect Our Care was joined by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, Attorney General Hector Balderas, and health care advocates Laura Packard and Lan Sena for a press conference.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham: New Mexico has fought back against efforts to dismantle the ACA & take away health care from millions: Protecting coverage for pre-existing conditions: ✅ Covering all essential benefits: ✅ Prohibiting junk health plans: ✅ Protecting New Mexicans from surprise billing: ✅.” [Gov. Lujan Grisham, 8/8/19]

Watch the event here.

PUEBLO, CO:

Protect Our Care and health care advocate Laura Packard met with Hilary Glasgow, President of the Southern Colorado Labor Council, outside Senator Cory Gardner’s office in Pueblo to deliver a copy of the Shaheen Resolution, calling on him to denounce the Trump-Texas lawsuit and defend the ACA. The building’s management tried to keep Laura and members of the press from going up to Gardner’s office, and once she and the press arrived, Gardner’s district director showed them the door, forcefully asking them to leave.

Watch the event here.

AURORA, CO:

In Aurora, Protect Our Care was joined by U.S. Representative Jason Crow (CO-06), State. Rep. Dominique Jackson, and health care advocates Laura Packard, Gail DeVore and Elizabeth Emerson for a press conference at the local Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library. 

Watch the event here and here

The Protect Our Care “Health Care Emergency Tour” Continues In: 

St. Paul, MN on Monday, August 12, 2019

Des Moines, IA on Monday, August 12, 2019

Cedar Rapids, IA on Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Lansing, MI on Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Livonia, MI on Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Harrisburg, PA on Thursday, August 15, 2019

Bethlehem, PA on Friday, August 16, 2019

Bangor, ME on Monday, August 19, 2019

Portland, ME on Monday, August 19, 2019

Concord, NH on Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Richmond, VA on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Raleigh, NC on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Charlotte, NC on Thursday, August 22, 2019

Asheville, NC on Thursday, August 22, 2019

Atlanta, GA on Friday, August 23, 2019

For more information on the Protect Our Care Health Care Emergency Bus Tour visit  https://www.protectourcare.org/bus-tour/ 

SHOT/CHASER: Florida Insurance Officials Ignore Proven Benefits When Arguing Against Medicaid Expansion

SHOT: Republican Insurance Officials In Florida Tried To Claim That Medicaid Expansion Would Harm The ACA Marketplace. State officials told economists that expanding Medicaid would have a “very large impact” on the Affordable Care Act marketplace that serves 1.8 million Floridians. According to Politico, an analysis by OIR Deputy Commissioner Craig Wright claims that about 600,000 individuals would likely transition from marketplace coverage to Medicaid, and this would result in lower federal subsidies and disrupt the marketplace. [Politico, 8/6/19

CHASER: Evidence Shows That Medicaid Expansion Actually Lowers Premiums For Marketplace Enrollees. According to a 2016 report from the Office of The Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), Medicaid expansion helps lower premiums for Marketplace enrollees: “we estimate that Marketplace premiums are about 7 percent lower in states that expanded Medicaid compared to those that have not done so yet.” [ASPE, 9/6/16]

Debate Coverage Highlights Democrats’ Missed Opportunity To Talk About Trump’s Health Care Sabotage

Washington, DC — Coverage from this week’s debates highlights the missed opportunity Democrats had when it came to calling out the biggest ongoing threat facing Americans’ health care: President Trump and Republicans’ lawsuit to destroy health care. And Republican are also failing to take action to lower the costs of prescription drugs and hold drug and insurance companies accountable, an issue poll after poll shows voters want action on. 

“Health care won Democrats the election in 2018 and is the number one issue for voters in every poll about 2020,” said Protect Our Care chair Leslie Dach. “Democrats want to lower costs, protect people with pre-existing conditions, expand coverage and stop the relentless GOP war on American health care. President Trump and Republicans want to protect the drug and insurance industries, gut projections for pre-existing conditions and take health insurance away from tens of millions. The differences could not be more important or more obvious.” 

  • USA Today Editorial Board: Democrats Should Focus On Trump’s “Tag-Team” Approach To Repealing The ACA. “In 2017, President Donald Trump came within a hair of repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Undaunted, he is now pushing a tag-team approach, where his Republican allies in Congress repeal a key part of it, and his allies in robes repeal the rest of it. If Trump were to succeed, and because he has no viable plan to replace Obamacare, tens of millions of Americans would lose their coverage, people with preexisting conditions would become vulnerable and an entire industry would be thrown into disarray.” [USA Today, 8/1/19]
  • The New York Times: It Was Easy To Imagine House Democrats Who Campaigned On Health Care “Being Aghast” At The Fact That Not A Single Candidate Mentioned The Texas Lawsuit. “Republicans watching the debate may well have been smiling; the infighting about taking away people’s ability to choose their health care plan and spending too much on a pipe-dream plan played into some of President Trump’s favorite talking points. Mr. Trump is focusing on health proposals that do not involve coverage — lowering drug prices, for example — as his administration sides with the plaintiffs in a court case seeking to invalidate the entire Affordable Care Act, putting millions of people’s coverage at risk. It was easy to imagine House Democrats who campaigned on health care, helping their party retake control of the chamber, being aghast at the fact that not a single candidate mentioned the case.” [The New York Times, 7/30/19
  • Washington Post: Democrats’ ‘missed opportunity’ to talk about drug prices. “’There is such a disconnect between what the polling shows voters want, and where the debate is,’ said Dan Mendelson, founder of Avalere Health, a Washington-based consulting firm. Polls show that the American public wants the government to improve health care more than any other issue. And in one survey late last year by the Harvard School of Public Health and Politico, respondents were asked to choose the aspects of health care they considered extremely important for the government to address. Lowering prescription drug prices was listed by 92 percent of those surveyed — more than any other issue.” [The Washington Post, 8/1/19

Trump Agenda Makes Medical Debt Even Worse

This morning, the Wall Street Journal revealed the reality of this economy…

WALL STREET JOURNAL – “Families Go Deep in Debt to Stay in the Middle Class”

  • “Consumer debt, not counting mortgages, has climbed to $4 trillion—higher than it has ever been even after adjusting for inflation. Mortgage debt slid after the financial crisis a decade ago but is rebounding. Student debt totaled about $1.5 trillion last year, exceeding all other forms of consumer debt except mortgages.”

If Trump and his Republicans get their way to repeal our health care laws or overturn them in court, it will raise our health care costs and make the problem even worse…

  • NPR – “Medicaid Expansion Takes A Bite Out Of Medical Debt”
  • NEW YORK TIMES – “Obamacare Seems to Be Reducing People’s Medical Debt”
  • CONSUMER REPORTS – “How the Affordable Care Act Drove Down Personal Bankruptcy”

THIS WEEK: Protect Our Care “Health Care Emergency” Bus Tour Kicks Off With Stops in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado

“Care Force One” Will Travel to Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, Santa Fe, Pueblo and Aurora, for Events Highlighting the Health Care Emergency Created By Trump’s Lawsuit and Democrats’ Agenda to Improve Care and Lower Costs

Washington, DC — On the first week of Protect Our Care’s 5,800-mile, 22-event, 13-state nationwide bus tour, “Care Force One” will travel to Las Vegas and continue onward for stops in Phoenix, Tucson, Santa Fe, Pueblo and Aurora. During each stop, elected officials, health care advocates and storytellers will join Protect Our Care to call for an end to the GOP’s continued war on Americans’ health care and highlight the dire emergency created by the Trump-Republican lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Event participants will also discuss the Democratic agenda to lower costs and improve health care. 

The week begins on Monday in Las Vegas, NV:

WHO: U.S. Representative Dina Titus (NV-01)

               Laura Packard, cancer survivor and health care advocate 

               Joe Merlino, cancer survivor and health care advocate 

               SEIU (Service Employees International Union)

               PLAN (Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada)

WHAT: “Protect Our Care Nevada Health Care Emergency” Press Conference 

WHERE: SEIU, 2250 S Rancho Dr, Las Vegas, NV

WHEN: Monday, August 5, 2019 at 1:30 PM PDT

 

The week continues Tuesday in Phoenix, AZ:

WHO:  State House Minority Leader Rep. Charlene Fernandez

               Dr. Hiral Tipperninai, ER physician and cancer research advocate

               Laura Packard, cancer survivor and health care advocate 

WHAT: “Protect Our Care Arizona Health Care Emergency” Press Conference 

WHERE: Arizona State Capitol Building, Phoenix, AZ

WHEN: Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 10:00 AM MST

 

On Wednesday, “Care Force One” makes a stop in Tucson, AZ:

WHO:  U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02)

               Dr. Larry DeLuca, University of Arizona College of Medicine

               Genesis Cubillas, Planned Parenthood Director

               Laura Packard, cancer survivor and health care advocate

               Jeff Jeans, cancer survivor from Sedona, AZ

               Steve Gomez, father of a son with a pre-existing condition

WHAT: “Protect Our Care Arizona Health Care Emergency” Roundtable 

WHERE: Planned Parenthood, Tucson, AZ 

WHEN: Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at 11:30 AM MST

 

Next up on Thursday, Protect Our Care heads to Santa Fe, NM:

WHO:  Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham

               NM Attorney General Hector Balderas

               Laura Packard, cancer survivor and health care advocate

WHAT: “Protect Our Care New Mexico Health Care Emergency” Press Conference 

WHERE: Santa Fe, NM

WHEN: Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 10:00 AM MDT

 

The first week ends with events on Friday in Pueblo, CO:

WHO:   Laura Packard, cancer survivor and health care advocate

WHAT: “Protect Our Care Colorado Health Care Emergency” Press Conference 

WHERE: Pueblo, CO

WHEN: Friday, August 9, 2019 at 10:00 AM MDT

 

And in Aurora, CO:

WHO:  U.S. Representative Jason Crow (CO-06)

               Laura Packard, cancer survivor and health care advocate

WHAT: “Protect Our Care Colorado Health Care Emergency” Press Conference 

WHERE: Aurora, CO

WHEN: Friday, August 8, 2019 at 2:00 PM (local)

*More speakers to be announced throughout the week

 

The Protect Our Care “Health Care Emergency Tour” Continues In: 

St. Paul, MN on Monday, August 12, 2019

Des Moines, IA on Monday, August 12, 2019

Cedar Rapids, IA on Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Lansing, MI on Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Detroit, MI on Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Youngstown, OH on Thursday, August 15, 2019 

Pittsburgh, PA on Thursday, August 15, 2019

Allentown, PA on Friday, August 16, 2019

Scranton, PA on Friday, August 16, 2019 

Bangor, ME on Monday, August 19, 2019

Portland, ME on Monday, August 19, 2019

Concord, NH on Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Richmond, VA on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Raleigh, NC on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Charlotte, NC on Thursday, August 22, 2019

Asheville, NC on Thursday, August 22, 2019

Atlanta, GA on Friday, August 23, 2019

For more information on the Protect Our Care Health Care Emergency Bus Tour visit  https://www.protectourcare.org/bus-tour/ 

Senator Stabenow, Andy Slavitt Highlight GOP’s Refusal to Allow Medicare Drug Price Negotiation and Their Support For Trump’s Texas Lawsuit

On a Press Call, Senator Stabenow, Andy Slavitt and Protect Our Care Highlighted Priorities Heading Into August Recess; Democrats’ Agenda to Lower Drug Prices And Focus on Holding Republicans Accountable For Supporting Trump’s Texas Lawsuit

Washington, DC – Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Health Subcommittee on Finance, former CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt and Protect Our Care held a press call today to highlight Republicans’ refusal to allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices and for their failure to denounce Trump’s disastrous Texas lawsuit to overturn America’s health care. On the call, Senator Stabenow made clear the dire situation of the crippling cost of prescription drugs facing the American people, and how Republicans continue to block meaningful legislation that would allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices. Nearly nine out of ten Americans support requiring Medicare to negotiate for lower drug costs, yet Republicans continue to reject legislation allowing it to do so, all while supporting a lawsuit that would strip millions of Americans of their health care and raise costs across the board. 

Both Andy Slavitt and Brad Woodhouse discussed the health care emergency created by the Trump-Texas lawsuit and why it represents the most clear and present danger to Americans’ health care today. The call also previewed Protect Our Care’s Health Care Emergency Bus Tour, which will be making stops in Michigan as well as 12 other states throughout the month of August to hold Republicans accountable for supporting Trump’s disastrous lawsuit. 

“Americans pay the highest prescription drug prices in the world,” said Senator Stabenow. “If Republicans were serious about lowering these prices, they would have stood up to the drug lobbyists and supported my amendment in the Senate Finance Committee to give Medicare the power to negotiate lower prices. This is the single most effective thing we can do to lower drug prices for American families today.”

“We must focus much more on the massive theft happening before our eyes as Trump and Republican state Attorneys General collude to rip health care away from millions of Americans,” said former CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt. 

“While Democrats go home this August recess and talk about the actions they’ve taken to lower the cost of prescription drugs and make health care more affordable, Republicans will have to answer for why they continue supporting Trump’s lawsuit and block meaningful progress to lower costs,” said Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse. “Throughout August, Protect Our Care’s bus tour will travel the country highlighting the health care emergency Trump and his Republican allies have created for the American people with their lawsuit to overturn health care.” 

Listen to audio from the call here