Monthly Archives

October 2019

Trump Administration Weaves Unbelievable Tale On Health Care By Taking Credit for the Success of the ACA

The Trump Administration is Gaslighting Americans By Trying To Take Credit For The Success of the ACA Despite Their Repeated and Ongoing Attempts to Destroy The Law

Washington, DC — Today, the Trump administration tried to take credit for the continued success of the Affordable Care Act, despite their efforts to sabotage and undermine the law at every turn and ongoing lawsuit to overturn it. In response, Protect Our Care chair Leslie Dach released the following statement: 

“The administration deserves zero credit for the success of the ACA. Their sabotage of open enrollment and relentless war on health care has meant far fewer insured Americans. The success of the ACA, despite Republicans best efforts to repeal it, shows that Americans want and need the affordable quality coverage the law provides. The ACA is delivering high quality insurance at lower prices, while the administration is pushing junk plans that allow insurance companies to charge more for less coverage.

“The ACA is succeeding despite the administration’s efforts to sabotage open enrollment by eliminating advertising and in person assistance. If it wasn’t for their repeated acts of sabotage, far more Americans would be covered today. The real story is the Trump administration’s lawsuit to repeal the ACA in its entirely, with a decision expected any day that would end the marketplaces, end open enrollment, and end all federal assistance for insurance premiums. They have moved from sabotage to nuclear war.”

BACKGROUND: 

For more information on the Trump administration’s efforts to sabotage our health care, check out our Sabotage Tracker.

Census Data Revealed Almost 2 Million More Americans Uninsured In 2018. “About 27.5 million people, or 8.5 percent of the population, lacked health insurance for all of 2018, up from 7.9 percent the year before, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday. It was the first increase since the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, and experts said it was at least partly the result of the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine that law.” [New York Times, 10/10/19

Politico: Experts Said The Trump Administration’s Efforts To Undermine The Affordable Care Act To Blame For Rising Uninsured Rate. “The uninsured rate rose from 7.9 percent in 2017 to 8.5 percent last year, as experts said the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act were partly to blame…The numbers show that insurance gains under the health care law have stalled and are appearing to reverse as the Trump administration focuses on paring back the law’s insurance markets and shrink enrollment in safety net programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.” [Politico, 9/10/19

The Washington Post: As Census Data Reveals Uptick In Uninsured, Health Care Experts Point To “Chilling Effect” From The Trump Administration’s Efforts To Restrict Medicaid Access. “Health policy experts interpreted those patterns as evidence of a chilling effect from the Trump administration’s efforts to restrict several forms of public assistance, including Medicaid for immigrants seeking to remain in the United States. In addition, the number of low-income Americans on Medicaid tends to decline when the economy expands, as it did last year, while some states have been clamping down on eligibility and following the administration’s urging to impose work requirements in the program.” [The Washington Post, 9/10/19

Judy Solomon, A Senior Fellow For The Center On Budget And Policy Priorities Said Decline In Health Coverage “Certainly Reflects, At Least In Part, Trump Administration Policies To Weaken Public Health Coverage.” “‘In a period of continued economic and job growth, we shouldn’t be going backwards on health coverage,’ said Judy Solomon, a senior fellow for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think tank. ‘This backsliding almost certainly reflects, at least in part, Trump administration policies to weaken public health coverage.’ She attributed the drop to the Trump administration making it harder for families to enroll for coverage in Medicaid by curtailing outreach efforts, allowing states to ask for more paperwork and proposing a so-called public charge rule that would make it harder for legal immigrants to get permanent resident status if they have received certain kinds of public assistance — including Medicaid.” [Kaiser Health News, 9/10/19

House Democrats Voice Strong Support for Advancing Historic Bill to Lower Drug Costs After Day of Markups

Republicans Continue to Side With Big Pharma

Yesterday, the House Committees on Education and Labor, Energy and Commerce, and Ways & Means held markups and a hearing on H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act. House Democrats were united behind the bill’s  popular proposals like allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices and holding drug companies accountable for creating a rigged system. While Democrats proved yesterday why they’re the party serious about lowering drug prices, Republicans continued to side with big pharma.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-12): “The #LowerDrugCosts Now Act will improve financial opportunity for families & save lives across America by reining in out-of-control drug prices. #ForThePeople.” [Speaker Pelosi Twitter, 10/16/19]

Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (NJ-06): “Today my Committee is continuing our important work to make prescription drugs more affordable for consumers by marking up my #LowerDrugCosts Now Act. We can and we must stop drug companies from ripping off Americans.” [Chairman Pallone Twitter, 10/17/19]

Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (MA-01): “The #LowerDrugCostsNow Act would allow the US govt to negotiate lower drug prices for American consumers based on international pricing. Americans shouldn’t be paying substantially more than patients in other countries for the medicines they need to survive.” [Chairman Neal Twitter, 10/17/19]

E&C Subcommittee on Health Chairwoman Anna Eshoo (CA-18): “Without direct government negotiation, American prescription drug prices have soared. The annual cost of prescription drugs rose 58% over just five years. It’s time to put aside partisanship and pass #HR3 to lower the cost of prescription drugs for every American. #LowerDrugCosts.” [Chairwoman Eshoo Twitter, 10/17/19]

Rep. Colin Allred (TX-32): “North Texas families shouldn’t have to choose between paying for their medications or paying their bills. By passing the #LowerDrugCosts Now Act, Congress can provide some real relief to folks struggling under the crippling weight of skyrocketing prescription drug costs.” [Rep. Allred Twitter, 10/18/19]

Rep. Kathy Castor (FL-14): “No one should have to make the impossible choice between putting food on the table or purchasing medication. #LowerDrugCosts.” [Rep. Castor Twitter, 10/17/19]

Rep. Gil Cisneros (CA-39): “Americans should not have to pay more than families in other countries for life saving prescription drugs. We must ensure that everyone has access to affordable healthcare.” [Rep. Cisneros Twitter, 10/16/19]

Rep. Diana DeGette (CO-01): “My daughter has Type 1 diabetes & just learned her insulin won’t be covered by her new insurance. She was told it will cost her $7,488/year for the insulin she needs to stay alive.This nonsense has to stop. Congress needs to fix this broken system and #LowerDrugCosts NOW!” [Rep. DeGette Twitter, 10/17/19]

Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-12): “When drug prices are negotiated, the costs will drop for hardworking men and women. Every other industrialized nation in the world does this. It’s time for us to put hardworking men and women first and do what’s best for them. #LowerDrugCosts.” [Rep. Dingell Twitter, 10/17/19]

Rep. Steven Horsford (NV-04): “Bottom line: you shouldn’t have to choose between paying your monthly bills and paying for your prescription drugs. It’s time for #Congress to pass #HR3 and #LowerDrugCostsNow.” [Rep. Horsford Twitter, 10/17/19]

Rep. Susie Lee (NV-03): “@EdLaborCmte is marking up the #LowerDrugCostsNow Act for the millions of American families struggling to get by because they can’t afford their medication. Allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices. Caps out-of-pocket expenses. Saves millions in taxpayer dollars.” [Rep. Lee Twitter, 10/17/19]

Rep. Ben Ray Luján (NM-03): “There’s bipartisan agreement: Americans deserve lower prescription drug prices. The #LowerDrugCosts plan that @HouseDemocrats have put forward will put money back in the pockets of New Mexico families and help our communities stay healthy.” [Rep. Luján Twitter, 10/17/18]

Rep. Lucy McBath (GA-06): “There are people in this country who cannot afford the prices of the very drugs they need to survive. The lives and health of the American people depend on all of us working together to lower drug costs & make health care accessible #ForThePeople.” [Rep. McBath Twitter, 10/17/19]

Rep. Joe Neguse (CO-02): “Bottom line: you shouldn’t have to choose between paying your monthly bills and paying for your prescription drugs. It’s really that simple. #LowerDrugCosts.” [Rep. Neguse Twitter, 10/16/19]

Rep. Raul Ruiz (CA-36): “You shouldn’t have to choose between buying groceries and getting the medication you need. It’s really that simple. We must reduce the cost of prescription drugs. #RT if you agree. #LowerDrugCosts #ForThePeople.” [Rep. Ruiz Twitter, 10/17/19]

Rep. Bobby Rush (IL-01): “This is great news for my constituents and all Americans who rely on lifesaving drugs. @HouseDemocrats are now one step closer to delivering on our promise of #LowerDrugCosts #ForThePeople!” [Rep. Rush Twitter, 10/17/19]

Rep. Darren Soto (FL-09): “Here’s what the #LowerDrugCosts Now Act will do #ForThePeople BY THE NUMBERS: 55% reduction in negotiated drug prices. $2k cap of out of pocket drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries. $158 billion total overall patient savings. $345 billion Medicare savings.” [Rep. Soto Twitter, 10/17/19]

Rep. Susan Wild (PA-07): “People are forced to decide between paying for life-saving meds or putting food on the table. This cannot remain a reality for Americans. #HR3 will save lives by making prescription drugs more affordable.” [Rep. Wild Twitter, 10/17/19]

Today’s House Committee Action on H.R. 3 Reaffirms Why Democrats Are the Only Party Serious About Lowering Drug Costs for Americans

Washington, DC – In response to today’s hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee and  markups in the Committees on Education and Labor and Energy and Commerce on the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3), Democrats’ landmark bill to drastically reduce prescription drug prices, Protect Our Care chair Leslie Dach released the following statement: 

“House Democrats proved today that they’re the only party seriously tackling lowering drug costs for Americans. Democrats put forward concrete arguments for why giving Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices and reining in big pharma will dramatically lower drug costs while Republicans continue to side with the big drug industry lobby. The key provisions of H.R. 3 are extremely popular with the majority of Americans across the political spectrum, including Republican voters. Republicans’ continued obstruction of this legislation proves they’re more interested in defending drug companies and their profits than taking action to lower costs for Americans.” 

Trump’s Dallas Rally Overshadowed By Looming Decision in Texas Lawsuit That Would Rip Health Care Away From 1.7 Million Texans

Washington, DC — As President Trump heads to Dallas for a rally tonight, his visit is overshadowed by a looming decision by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Texas v. United States, the Trump-backed lawsuit that would destroy the Affordable Care Act. Ahead of the rally, Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:

“President Trump returns to the state where his disastrous lawsuit, which threatens to rip away health care from 1.7 million Texans and millions more Americans nationwide, originated. If successful, the Texas lawsuit would destroy protections for over 11 million Texans with pre-existing conditions, cut federal funding for the state’s Medicaid program, and force seniors to pay more for prescription drugs. As the Lone Star State continues to move from red to blue, Donald Trump and the GOP would be wise to drop this reckless lawsuit and their endless war on health care or risk the wrath of voters next November.”

BACKGROUND:

If Trump Gets His Way, 1.7 Million Texans Would Lose Their Coverage

  • 1.7 million Texans could lose coverage. According to the Urban Institute, 1.7 million Texans would lose coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act, leading to a 37 percent increase in the uninsured rate. 
  • 205,000 Texas 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. 
  • Texans would lose important federal health care funding — an estimated reduction of $6.5 billion in the first year. The Urban Institute estimates that a full repeal of the ACA would reduce federal spending on Texans’ Medicaid/CHIP care and Marketplace subsidies by $6.5 billion, or 20.6 percent in the first year. 
  • 2,070,000 Texans who could gain coverage if Texas were to expand Medicaid will be denied that possibility. By not fully expanding Medicaid, Texas has restricted its Medicaid program, preventing 2,070,000 residents from gaining coverage. 

If The Affordable Care Act Is Struck Down:

  • GONE: Protections for 135 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: Protections for older Americans that prevent them from being charged an “age tax,” where insurance companies could charge people over 50 more than younger people. 
  • 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.

Events During October Recess Highlight Democrats’ Work to Lower Drug Prices, Protect Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions and Hold GOP Accountable

During the October recess, Protect Our Care held 15 roundtable discussions, town hall meetings, and accountability events with elected officials and health care advocates across the country to highlight the work Democrats are doing to lower skyrocketing drug prices and protect Americans with pre-existing conditions, while holding Republicans accountable for sabotaging health care. 

While the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans continue to back the disastrous Texas lawsuit that would strip away our health care, Democrats in the House are working to pass the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3), a bill that would take the drug companies to task and lower prescription drug prices for American families nationwide. In the Senate, Democrats filed a discharge petition to force a vote on the Protect Pre-Existing Conditions Act, making their Republican colleagues choose between supporting protections for pre-existing conditions and Trump’s sabotage agenda.

Here’s a look at the events and some of the news coverage that took place over the recess:

House Events:

ARIZONA

Tuesday, October 8 – Health Care Town Hall with Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick’s (AZ-02) Office

Protect Our Care Arizona joined Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick’s office at a community town hall in Tucson, to discuss the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3), historic legislation, introduced by House Democrats, that will drastically lower prescription drug costs and hold insurance companies accountable. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick discussed her support for health policy proposals that lower prescription drug costs and protect people with preexisting conditions, as she works to ensure that every Arizonan has access to quality, affordable care. View the post-event release here.

KGUN TV 9: Community members share their health care concerns at health care town hall 

GEORGIA

Wednesday, October 9 – Roundtable with Rep. Lucy McBath (GA-06)

Rep. Lucy McBath held a healthcare round table with Protect Our Care to talk with constituents about the current challenges facing the healthcare system, her fight to protect pre-existing conditions, and Speaker Pelosi’s latest push to lower drug costs with the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3). View the post-event release here

Yahoo Finance: Rep. McBath Meets with AARP Georgia to Discuss Lowering Prescription Drug Prices

MICHIGAN

Monday, October 7 – Costs of Care Conversation with Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08)

Protect Our Care Michigan joined Rep. Elissa Slotkin for a “Costs of Care Conversation” at the Old Persons’ Commission in Rochester, Michigan. At the roundtable discussion, Rep. Slotkin discussed Democrats’ bill to lower prescription drug costs, which would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. She urged both Democrats and Republicans to put pressure on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the bill to a vote in the Senate. View ICYMI here.

WXYZ-TV Detroit: Rep. Elissa Slotkin outlines her prescription drug cost reform bill 

MLive: Slotkin commits to legislative priorities while GOP impeachment criticism surges

MINNESOTA 

Wednesday, October 9 – Press Call Before Trump Rally in Minneapolis

Ahead of President Trump’s visit to Minnesota on Wednesday, Protect Our Care Minnesota hosted a press call calling on Donald Trump and Republicans to stop sabotaging Minnesotans’ health care, including the Trump administration’s efforts to repeal current health care protections through the courts and eliminate coverage for millions of Minnesotans with preexisting conditions. This is in stark contrast to how Democrats like Reps. Angie Craig and Dean Phillips are leading the charge to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions, and are passing legislation to lower costs and improve care. View the post-call release here and listen to the full audio of the call here.

NEVADA

Wednesday, October 9 – Rep. Susie Lee (NV-03) Health Care Town Hall

Nevada health care advocates championed the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3) at an event on October 9. The bill has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and is supported by Rep. Susie Lee. The Nevada Hospital Association, AARP Nevada, Nevada Alliance for Retired Americans, Culinary Health Fund, and Protect Our Care joined Rep. Susie Lee for a discussion on the importance of lowering prescription drug costs. View the post-event release here and an ICYMI including clips from the event here

Nevada Today: Rep. Susie Lee Holds Community Discussion on Prescription Drug Costs 

NBC 3 Las Vegas: Lee on backing impeachment inquiry: No regrets

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Tuesday, October 8 – Health Care Costs Roundtable with Rep. Chris Pappas (NH-01)

Protect Our Care New Hampshire joined Congressman Chris Pappas at Potters Bakery and Cafe in Rochester, NH for an intimate discussion with constituents on health care. They discussed the skyrocketing costs of health care, and what Rep. Pappas is doing in Congress to lower costs of prescription drugs. View the post-event release here and ICYMI here.

Seacoast Online: Pappas touts effort to lower Rx drug costs

Fosters: Pappas touts effort to lower Rx drug costs

SENATE EVENTS:

ALASKA

Wednesday, October 2 – Sen. Murkowski Accountability at Health Care Conference

Alaskans attended the State of Reform health care conference in Anchorage and asked Sen. Lisa Murkowski to sign on to the Pre-Existing Conditions Act. Long-time Alaska resident Susanna Orr called on Murkowski to support people with pre-existing conditions.  Just a little over one year ago, Orr lost her husband, Jason Moore, to complications caused by Hodgkins Lymphoma that he successfully overcame during his childhood. “Jason was passionate about protections for pre-existing conditions,” said Orr. “I strongly encourage Senator Murkowski to support the Pre-Existing Conditions Act.”  View the post-event release here

Friday, October 11 — Letter Drop Off + Press Conference at Sen. Murkowski’s Office

Alaskans gathered ask to demand that Senator Murkowski support Senator Mark Warner’s (D-VA) resolution to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions. Alaskan Anette Alfonsi spoke to the senator’s staff in her Anchorage office and asked that the senator sign on to the resolution. View the post-event release here

ARIZONA

Tuesday, October 8 – Accountability Event at Sen. McSally’s Phoenix Office 

Arizonans gathered to demand that Senator McSally support Senator Mark Warner’s (D-VA) resolution to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions. Senator McSally was nowhere to be found. Patricia Thomas of Tolleson, Arizona drove almost an hour to visit Senator McSally’s office this morning. “Protections for pre-existing conditions are crucial. I have a pre-existing condition and so does just about everyone I know. If Senator McSally doesn’t vote to keep these protections in place, she will put millions of Arizonans in danger. We need her to do the right thing and stand up for the people she is supposed to represent.”  View the post-event release here.

Arizona Capitol Times McSally foe of people with pre-existing conditions 

COLORADO

Friday, October 4 – Accountability Event at Sen. Gardner’s Denver Office

Protect Our Care Colorado was joined by health care advocates to call on Senator Gardner to stand up for health care by signing onto Senator Shaheen (D-NH) and Senator Warner’s (D-VA) Protect Pre-Existing Conditions Act. Even though his own state prohibits “junk plans,” Senator Cory Gardner refuses to stand up to the Trump Administration by protecting people with pre-existing conditions and opposing bare bones short term plans at the federal level. View the post-event release here.

IOWA

Friday, October 4 – Sen. Ernst Town Hall

Protect Our Care Iowa attended a town hall hosted by Sen. Ernst to ask her to sign on to the Pre-Existing Conditions Act introduced by Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Mark Warner. Instead, Sen. Ernst confessed to the crowd that she “did vote to repeal the ACA.” In fact, she’s voted to repeal the ACA numerous times — which would eliminate protections for the 1,288,400 Iowans with pre-existing conditions. View the post-event release here

Iowa Starting Line: Joni Ernst: “Yes, I Did Vote to Repeal the ACA”

Thursday, October 10 – Sen. Ernst Accountability Event

Iowans gathered on Thursday to demand that Senator Ernst support Senator Mark Warner’s (D-VA) resolution to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions. They converged on Sen. Ernst’s office in Cedar Rapids and asked the Senator to support key health care legislation. “It’s beyond frustrating to visit your Senator’s office and feel like you can’t get an answer,” said Linda Fritts, from Hiawatha, Iowa. “Senator Ernst has the chance to once and for all protect people with pre-existing conditions, and she’s refusing to do it. Thankfully we’ll have a vote of our own next year, and we will remember whose side she’s really on.” View the video of the office visit here and read the post-event release here

MAINE

Thursday, October 10 – Event at Sen. Collins’ Portland Office

Protect Our Care Maine was joined by state legislators to call on Senator Collins to stand up for Mainers with pre-existing conditions by signing on to Senator Shaheen (D-NH) and Senator Warner’s (D-VA) resolution to protect people with pre-existing conditions and limit junk insurance plans. State Senator Heather Sanborn, State Representative Drew Gattine, and State Representative Victoria Foley joined the event. View the post-event release here.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Wednesday, October 9 – Sen. Shaheen Thank You Event with Protect Our Care

Protect Our Care New Hampshire presented Senator Shaheen and her health care staff with a certificate of appreciation for her “efforts to defend the health care of our most vulnerable citizens. Sen. Shaheen has been on the frontlines of working to limit the push of “junk” health insurance plans, which cover less and cost more, including introducing a resolution in the Senate. See press release here.

NORTH CAROLINA

Thursday, October 10 – Resolution Drop at Sen. Tillis’ Charlotte Office 

North Carolina advocates demanded Senator Tillis support Senator Mark Warner’s (D-VA) resolution to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions. North Carolinians also voiced their support of House Democratic legislation, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, and urged Thom Tillis to support it. View the post-event release here

New Analysis on the Dems’ Drug Bill: Up to 55% Price Reduction on Prescription Drugs, Patients Save More Than $150 Billion, Taxpayers Save $345 Billion

A newly-released, nonpartisan analysis from the Congressional Budget Office and the CMS Office of the Actuary on House Democrats’ landmark legislation to lower prescription drug costs for Americans (H.R. 3), shows it will reduce negotiated drug prices by as much as 55% – saving patients an estimated $158 billion over the next few years. 

According to the CBO and CMS Actuary analysis, H.R. 3 will:  

  • Reduce U.S. prices for negotiated drugs by 40-55% on average (CBO). 
  • Decrease deficits by $345 billion over the next seven years (CBO).
  • Save patients an estimated $158 billion over the next seven years (Office of the Actuary).

Key quotes from CBO analysis of H.R. 3: 

  • “…lower prices would increase use of drugs and improve people’s health.”
  • “Additional effects to include lower premiums in the commercial market and a corresponding increase in federal revenues.” [CBO letter, 10/11/19]  

The Hill: CBO: Pelosi bill to lower drug prices saves Medicare $345 billion. “In addition, an analysis of the bill from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ actuary found that the bill would save American households $158 billion over 10 years through lower premiums and out of pocket spending on drugs, and that total U.S. spending on health care would decline by $480 billion under the bill.” [The Hill, 10/11/19

CNBC: “The CBO said the largest savings would come from the provision that allows Medicare to negotiate lower prices on as many as 250 of the most expensive drugs per year and apply those discounts to private health plans across the U.S. The legislation includes a penalty on pharmaceutical companies that refuse to negotiate or fail to reach an agreement with the U.S. government, starting at 65% of the gross sales of the drug in question.” [CNBC, 10/14/19

STAT News: Congressional Budget Office says Pelosi drug pricing bill could save $345 billion. “A controversial prescription drug pricing bill championed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) would reduce federal spending on Medicare Part D by $345 billion between 2023 and 2029, mostly thanks to a provision that ties prices to what some other countries pay for medicines, according to an analysis released late last week by the Congressional Budget Office.” [STAT News, 10/14/19

SHOT/CHASER: PhRMA Attacks House Democrats’ Bill Because it Reins in Their “Record-Level Profits”

SHOT: PhRMA CEO Warns Pelosi Bill To Lower Drug Prices Would Be ‘Devastating’ For Industry [The Hill, 10/10/19]

CHASER: September 2019 Axios Analysis Found That The Health Care Industry Continued To “Rake In Record-Level Profits” In The Second Quarter, With Year-Over-Year Earnings Increasing By 23 Percent. “Big Pharma Remains The Cash King… Drug companies collected almost half of all health care profits despite generating less than 20% of industry revenue. 12 of the 16 most profitable companies in Q2 were pharmaceutical firms.” [Axios, 9/19/19]

Trump’s In Court to Rip Your Health Care Away – But He Doesn’t Want You to Know Until After the Election

Washington, D.C. — According to new reporting, the Trump administration may try to delay the final outcome of their Texas lawsuit against health care by seeking a stay if the Court invalidates all or part of the ACA. Knowing their effort to overturn our health care law is a political loser, the administration hopes to slow-roll the case to avoid a Supreme Court battle during President Trump’s re-election bid. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, released the following statement in response:

“President Trump has no problem going to court to rip health care away from millions of Americans and expose 135 million people with pre-existing conditions to discrimination by insurance companies — he just doesn’t want you to know about it before the election. Rather than read the writing on the wall and abandon their disastrous lawsuit, the Republicans are trying to slow-walk the health care debate to save themselves at the ballot box.” 

Great Healthcare? Who’s Trump Kidding?

After Repeal, Sabotage and The Texas Lawsuit, Trump Is Kidding Himself If He Thinks Americans Believe His Lies About Strengthening Medicare Or Offering “Great Healthcare”

Washington, DC — Today, President Trump held an event at The Villages in Florida, where he signed an executive order on Medicare as part of his campaign to cover his tracks while he wages a war to destroy the program and American health care generally. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement:

“President Trump is offering anything but ‘great healthcare.’ Actions speak louder than words: Trump’s budget cuts nearly a trillion dollars from Medicare, and his Texas lawsuit would reopen the Medicare ‘donut hole’ for seniors and jack up their prescription drug costs, all while he and his GOP allies refuse to end the ban on Medicare negotiating lower prices for prescription drugs. No amount of lip-service or false promises can undo the damage he’s already done, and will continue to do to Americans’ health care.” 

BACKGROUND: 

Donald Trump’s War On Medicare

President Trump signed an executive order that he says will “protect” Medicare, but the reality is his administration and their Republican allies in Congress have been on a relentless campaign to destroy it. 

Here are some ways Trump has waged war on Medicare.  

  1. President Trump and Republicans in Congress want to cut Medicare by hundreds of billions all to pay for their tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. In 2017, President Trump signed a $1.5 trillion tax bill that disproportionately benefits the wealthy. Since then, Republicans have repeatedly tried to slash hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicare to pay for their tax breaks. The 2018 budget resolution passed by Republicans in December 2017 cut Medicare by $473 billion, the FY2019 budget passed by Republicans on the House Budget Committee cut Medicare by an additional $537 billion, and worst of all, the Trump administration released an FY2020 budget that would cut, $845 billion from Medicare, and repeal the Affordable Care Act.
  2. President Trump is trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act through the courts — a move which would raise drug costs for millions of people on Medicare. The Trump administration and Republican attorneys generals are arguing in federal court that the entire Affordable Care Act should be overturned. If they get their way, the Medicare “donut” hole would be immediately re-opened. From 2010 to 2016, “More than 11.8 million Medicare beneficiaries have received discounts over $26.8 billion on prescription drugs – an average of $2,272 per beneficiary,” according to a January 2017 Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services report.
  3. As the cost of drugs skyrocket, President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress refuse to  allow Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices. Under current law, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is explicitly prohibited from negotiating directly with drug manufacturers on behalf of Medicare Part D enrollees. Although it would decrease both federal spending and beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs, Republicans in Congress have remained staunchly opposed to negotiation. Despite his numerous campaign promises, a policy allowing the federal government to negotiate drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries was noticeably absent from President Trump’s prescription drug plan, and the administration has remained silent about whether it supports the House Democrats’ plan to allow negotiation and lower drug costs.
  4. Trump and Congressional Republicans repealed several components of the ACA designed to help keep Medicare’s costs down, effectively driving up costs for the program. By repealing the requirement that most people have insurance as part of the Trump tax bill, Congressional Republicans knowingly voted for a measure expected to increase the number of uninsured. The 2018 Medicare Trustees Report predicts that this increase will increase the share of subsidies paid to hospitals via Medicare. Similarly, by repealing the Independent Payment Advisory Board, Congressional Republicans took away a mechanism that slowed Medicare cost growth.