Monthly Archives

January 2020

Texas Lawsuit Days of Action: LGBTQ Health Care

Last month, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Trump administration and Republicans in Texas vs. United States, striking down as unconstitutional the ACA’s individual mandate and remanding to the lower court judge a final decision on what parts of the ACA should be eliminated – the very judge who has already ruled the entire law unconstitutional. If President Trump and Republicans have their way, 20 million Americans will lose their insurance coverage, 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will be stripped of their protections, and costs will go up for millions. 

“The Fifth Circuit’s disastrous decision on President Trump’s Texas lawsuit puts the health care of millions of Americans at risk. The court’s decision will impact every corner of the American health care system, threatening key protections for the LGBTQ community and access to care for children, seniors, women and individuals with disabilities in communities across the country,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Over these days of action, we will be reminding Americans what’s really at stake if the courts ultimately overturn the health care law.” 

Days of Action: Day 5 of 11 focuses on LGBTQ Health Care. To learn more about our Days of Action, visit our website. 

What’s At Stake:  LGBTQ Health Care

The LGBTQ community has unique health care needs and has often experienced high rates of uninsurance and barriers to coverage and care, such as discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. A study by the Center for American Progress found that 15 percent of LGBTQ Americans were uninsured in 2017, compared to only seven percent of non-LGBTQ Americans.  

Before the ACA came into effect, one in three (34 percent) LGBTQ people making less than $45,000 per year were uninsured. Just one year after the health care law was implemented, in 2014, the rate of uninsurance for this group dropped to 26 percent and by 2017, it was 22 percent. 

If the ACA is overturned, key protections for LGBTQ Americans would be ripped away overnight: 

LGBTQ Americans, women, and individuals with disabilities could face discrimination in health care settings. Section 1557 of the ACA prohibits discrimination the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability by any health program or activity receiving federal assistance. It also prohibits these types of discrimination in health programs and activities administered by HHS as well as the ACA marketplaces. 

LGBTQ adults covered under Medicaid expansion would lose coverage. The ACA expanded Medicaid to childless adults and increased income eligibility levels nationwide, helping many LGBTQ Americans gain coverage. Among all LGBTQ respondents in a 2017 Center for American Progress study, 18 percent had Medicaid coverage. By comparison, Medicaid covered eight percent of non-LGBTQ respondents. An estimated 1.8 million LGBTQ adults have Medicaid coverage. 

Protections for pre-existing conditions would be eliminated. Because of the ACA, insurance companies cannot deny coverage to individuals because of pre-existing conditions. This includes transgender-related medical history as well as substance use disorders, HIV, depression, and other conditions disproportiately affecting LGBTQ Americans. 

President Trump and Republicans Are Trying to Dodge Political Consequences of Their Lawsuit to Rip Apart American Health Care

Washington, DC — Today, the Trump administration and Republican states bringing the disastrous lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act filed responses to the Democratic states’ cert petition filed last week which argued that the Supreme Court should immediately take this case and get the politics out of our health care system. In their statement, Republicans proved they are more worried about the politics of this case rather than the health care of millions of Americans who are at risk because of their lawsuit. In response to the Republicans’ statement today, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement: 

“The only reason the Trump administration and Republicans would object to the Supreme Court taking up this case is their desire to send it back to a partisan judge who will wait until after the election to rip apart the health care law. It’s been clear all along that Republicans just want to overturn the law but they want to hide their actions from voters in an attempt to avoid political consequences in an election year. The Supreme Court has a clear duty to hear this case and get the politics out of our health care system. The court can finally put an end to the terrible uncertainty created by this lawsuit that hangs over the health care of millions of Americans.”

Texas Lawsuit Days of Action: Key Protections For Seniors

Last month, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Trump administration and Republicans in Texas vs. United States, striking down as unconstitutional the ACA’s individual mandate and remanding to the lower court judge a final decision on what parts of the ACA should be eliminated – the very judge who has already ruled the entire law unconstitutional. If President Trump and Republicans have their way, 20 million Americans will lose their insurance coverage, 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will be stripped of their protections, and costs will go up for millions. 

“The Fifth Circuit’s disastrous decision on President Trump’s Texas lawsuit puts the health care of millions of Americans at risk. The court’s decision will impact every corner of the American health care system, endangering critical protections for seniors and access to care for children, women, individuals with disabilities, and LGBTQ Americans in communities across the country,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Over the course of these days of action, we will be reminding Americans what’s really at stake if the courts ultimately overturn the health care law.” 

Days of Action: Day 4 of 11 focuses on Key Protections For Seniors. To learn more about our Days of Action, visit our website.

What’s At Stake: Key Protections For Seniors

The Affordable Care Act ensures critical protections for seniors and older adults nationwide. Between lowering prescription drug costs and limiting the amount insurers can charge, the ACA expanded access to health care for individuals aged 50 and older. 

AARP: Before ACA’s Protections, Discrimination Against Those With Pre-Existing Conditions, Age Rating, And Annual And Lifetime Caps Made Accessing Health Care Out Of Reach For Older Adults. [AARP, 6/14/18]

In addition to making  health care more affordable, the ACA saved lives. 

Medicaid Expansion Saved The Lives Of At Least 19,200 Older Adults. A report by the Center On Budget And Policy Priorities found that “The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) expansion of Medicaid to low-income adults is preventing thousands of premature deaths each year, a landmark study finds.[1] It saved the lives of at least 19,200 adults aged 55 to 64 over the four-year period from 2014 to 2017. Conversely, 15,600 older adults died prematurely because of state decisions not to expand Medicaid.”  [Center On Budget And Policy Priorities, 11/6/19

Seniors stand to lose if the ACA is overturned. If the ACA is struck down in court: 

People Over The Age of 50 Will Face A $4,000 “Age Tax.” Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, insurance companies can charge people over 50 more than younger people. The Affordable Care Act limited the amount older people could be charged to three times more than younger people. If insurers were to charge five times more, as was proposed in the Republican repeal bills, that would add an average “age tax” of $4,124 for a 60-year-old in the individual market, according to the AARP.

Seniors Will Have To Pay More For Prescription Drugs. Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, seniors will have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole got reopened. From 2010 to 2016, “More than 11.8 million Medicare beneficiaries have received discounts over $26.8 billion on prescription drugs – an average of $2,272 per beneficiary,” according to a January 2017 Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services report.

Seniors Will No Longer Be Guaranteed Free Preventive Services And Annual Check-Ups. 60 million people with Medicare have access to free preventive services because of the Affordable Care Act.

Seniors Could Once Again See Less Coordinated Care. Provisions in the ACA encouraged groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers to come together to provide coordinated high-quality care to the Medicare patients they serve. In fact, 8.9 million Medicare beneficiaries are now benefiting from higher quality, more coordinated care. 

Kansas’ Democratic Governor Laura Kelly Delivers On Promise To Fully Expand Medicaid

Washington, DC — Today, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced an agreement with the Republican State Senate Leader to fully expand the state’s Medicaid program, covering up to an additional 150,000 Kansans. In response to this historic bipartisan agreement to expand Medicaid, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement: 

“It’s undeniable that Medicaid expansion has enabled more Americans to receive coverage, and thanks to Governor Kelly’s leadership, an additional 150,000 Kansans will soon have access to care and vital health services through the program. In Kansas and across the country, voters continue electing Democrats because they promised to make Medicaid expansion a top priority, and today’s announcement is further evidence they are delivering on that promise. Republicans who continue blocking efforts to expand Medicaid do so at their own political peril. 

“While states like Kansas march ahead to expand Medicaid coverage through the Affordable Care Act, President Trump and Republicans are in court trying to destroy the law and make the progress that Kansas has made disappear. President Trump and Republicans in Congress should look at this bipartisan agreement in Kansas as a model and start working to improve American health care instead of continually working to undermine it.”  

BACKGROUND:

Medicaid Expansion Saves Lives. A report by the Center On Budget And Policy Priorities found that “the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) expansion of Medicaid to low-income adults is preventing thousands of premature deaths each year, a landmark study finds.[1] It saved the lives of at least 19,200 adults aged 55 to 64 over the four-year period from 2014 to 2017. Conversely, 15,600 older adults died prematurely because of state decisions not to expand Medicaid.” [Center On Budget And Policy Priorities, 11/6/19

Medicaid Expansion Led To Gains In Coverage For Children. A study in Health Affairs found that “710,000 children gained public coverage when their parents enrolled in Medicaid between 2013 and 2015. If the remaining 19 non-expansion states expanded Medicaid, 200,000 additional children would gain health coverage through existing programs. The effect was largest among children whose parents gained Medicaid eligibility through the expansion.”  [Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, 1/12/18]

For more on the benefits of Medicaid expansion, click here

If Trump Gets His Way, Medicaid Expansion –Which Covers 17 Million People Nationwide– Would Be Eliminated. 

  • 150,000 Kansans who could gain coverage under this proposal will be denied that possibility. 
  • Access To Treatment Would Be In Jeopardy For 800,000 People With Opioid Use Disorder. Roughly four in ten, or 800,000 people with an opioid use disorder are enrolled in Medicaid. Many became eligible through Medicaid expansion.
  • Key Support For Rural Hospitals Would Disappear, leaving Kansas hospitals with $313 million more in uncompensated care. 

President Trump’s Disastrous Health Care Agenda Looms Over His Ohio Rally Tonight

Washington, DC — President Trump’s rally in Toledo, Ohio tonight comes on the heels of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ disastrous decision on Texas v. United States, the lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Ahead of Trump’s rally, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“Ohioans probably won’t hear anything from President Trump about his disastrous lawsuit to rip apart our health care law during his rally tonight. If ultimately successful, President Trump’s Texas lawsuit would take coverage away from 20 million Americans including nearly 750,000 Ohioans, increase prescription drug costs, put access to treatment for people with opioid use disorder in jeopardy and strip protections from nearly 5 million Ohioans with a pre-existing condition. Despite escalating tensions in the Middle East and the looming impeachment trial in the Senate, Americans haven’t lost sight of the fact that President Trump is hellbent on ripping away their health care.” 

BACKGROUND:

If Trump Gets His Way, Ohioans Would Lose Their Coverage

  • 741,000 Ohioans could lose coverage. According to the Urban Institute, 741,000 Ohioans would lose coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act, leading to a 105 percent increase in the uninsured rate.
  • 81,000 Ohio 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.
  • 51,000 Ohio children could lose their coverage. Almost three million children nationwide gained coverage thanks to the ACA. If the law is overturned, many of these children will lose their insurance.
  • 26,400 Ohio Latinos could lose coverage. The percentage of people gaining health insurance under the ACA was higher for Latinos than for any other racial or ethnic group in the country. According to a study from Families USA, 5.4 million Latinos nationwide would lose coverage if the lawsuit succeeds in overturning the ACA.
  • Ohioans would lose important federal health care funding — an estimated reduction of $4.4 billion in the first year. The Urban Institute estimates that a full repeal of the ACA would reduce federal spending on Ohioans’ Medicaid/CHIP care and Marketplace subsidies by $4.4 billion. 

If Trump Gets His Way, Insurance Companies Would Be Put Back In Charge, Ending Protections For The 135 Million People Nationwide 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 135 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
  •  4,803,700 Ohioans have a pre-existing condition, including 620,600 Ohio children, 2,394,000 Ohio women, and 1,219,200 Ohioans between ages 55 and 64. 

If Trump Gets His Way, Insurance Companies Would Have The Power To Charge You More, While Their Profits Soar

  • 5,240,575 Ohioans Could Once Again Have To Pay For Preventive Care. Because of the ACA, health plans must cover preventive services — like flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms – at no cost to consumers. This includes nearly 5,240,575 Ohioans, most of whom have employer coverage.
  • 151,026 Ohioans in the Marketplaces Would Pay More for Coverage. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, consumers would no longer have access to tax credits that help them pay their marketplace premiums, meaning roughly nine million people who receive these tax credits to pay for coverage will have to pay more, including 151,026 in Ohio.
  • 214,388 Ohio 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 Ohio, 214,388 seniors each saved an average of $$1,103.
  • Reinstate Lifetime and Annual Limits On 4,154,000 Privately Insured Ohioans. Repealing the Affordable Care Act means insurance companies would be able to impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage for those insured through their employer or on the individual market.

If Trump Gets His Way, Medicaid Expansion Would Be Repealed

  • 717,100 Ohioans Enrolled Through Medicaid Expansion Could Lose Coverage. Seventeen million people have coverage through the expanded Medicaid program, including 717,100 in Ohio. 
  • Access To Treatment Would Be In Jeopardy For 800,000 People With Opioid Use Disorder. Roughly four in ten, or 800,000 people with an opioid use disorder are enrolled in Medicaid. Many became eligible through Medicaid expansion.
  • Key Support For Rural Hospitals Would Disappear, leaving Ohio hospitals with $1.9 billion more in uncompensated care. 

Texas Lawsuit Days of Action: Protections For Individuals With Disabilities

Last month, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Trump administration and Republicans in Texas vs. United States, striking down as unconstitutional the ACA’s individual mandate and remanding to the lower court judge a final decision on what parts of the ACA should be eliminated – the very judge who has already ruled the entire law unconstitutional. If President Trump and Republicans have their way, 20 million Americans will lose their insurance coverage, 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will be stripped of their protections, and costs will go up for millions. 

“The Fifth Circuit’s disastrous decision on President Trump’s Texas lawsuit puts the health care of millions of Americans at risk. The court’s decision will impact every corner of the American health care system, threatening the health care of millions of Americans with disabilities and access to care for children, seniors, women, and LGBTQ Americans in communities across the country,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Over the course of the next two weeks, we will be reminding Americans what’s really at stake if the courts ultimately overturn the health care law.” 

Days of Action: Day 3 of 11 focuses on Protections For Individuals With Disabilities. To learn more about our Days of Action, visit our website.

What’s At Stake: Protections For Individuals With Disabilities

Medicaid Is A Lifeline For People With Disabilities

If The Texas Lawsuit Succeeds, 17 Million People Covered By Medicaid ExpansionIncluding Individuals With Disabilities—Will Lose Coverage. 

  • 61 million Americans have a disability. Without the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies could once again deny them coverage, drop their coverage for no reason, or charge them more because of a pre-existing condition. 
  • 8.7 million nonelderly adults with disabilities depend on Medicaid for care.
  • More than 1 in 3 adults under age 65 enrolled in Medicaid lives with at least one disability. 
  • 45 percent of adults with disabilities have Medicaid coverage. Medicaid covers 45 percent of nonelderly adults with disabilities, including adults with physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, brain injuries, and mental illness.

Medicaid Expansion Increased Employment For People With Disabilities.Individuals with disabilities are significantly more likely to be employed if they live in a state that has expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, a new study has found. Researchers at the University of Kansas co-authored a study that found a 6 percentage-point difference in employment rates among working-age adults with disabilities in states that expanded Medicaid and those that chose not to.” [The University Of Kansas, 12/21/16

Republican Efforts To Repeal Medicaid Expansion Would Mean 64 Percent Of Medicaid Adults With Disabilities Would Lose Coverage. The Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion covers 11 million people.  Many of them struggle with a chronic illness or a disability (such as a mental health condition) that wouldn’t, by itself, qualify them for Medicaid.  Only 36 percent of non-elderly Medicaid beneficiaries with disabilities receive Supplemental Security Income, which allows them to enroll in Medicaid even without the expansion.  While others may be eligible for Medicaid based on other criteria, many could lose Medicaid coverage under the House bill and wind up uninsured.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 8/29/17]

THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT PROVIDED AFFORDABLE COVERAGE AND HEALTH SECURITY TO PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: 

The Affordable Care Act Prevents Insurance Companies From Charging Americans With A Disability More, Or Denying Them Coverage Altogether. Prior to the ACA, insurance companies were allowed to charge people more or deny coverage simply because they had a pre-existing condition. The ACA banned this practice, requiring that insurance companies offer people coverage regardless of their health status.

Thanks To The Affordable Care Act, Insurance Companies Can No Longer Impose Annual And Lifetime Limits On Coverage. Before the ACA, insurance companies could restrict the dollar amount of benefits someone could use per year or over a lifetime. At the time the ACA was passed, 91 million Americans had health care through their employers that imposed lifetime limits. Many such plans capped benefits at $1 million annually, functionally locking people with complex medical needs out of coverage. 

Under The ACA, Insurance Companies Can No Longer Practice Medical Underwriting, A Process That Let Insurers Make It Harder For People With Disabilities To Get The Coverage They Needed. Before the ACA, insurance companies could screen applicants for any conditions that might be costly to the company. If someone had condition that was predicted to cost the insurance company more, the insurance company would follow a practice called “medical underwriting” that allowed them to charge the applicant a higher premium, specifically exclude coverage for the condition that was expected to be costly, charge the applicant a higher deductible, or limit the applicant’s benefits (for instance, offer a policy that did not cover prescription drugs).

The ACA Requires Insurance Companies To Cover Basic Health Services. The Affordable Care Act established the ten essential health benefits, requiring insurance companies to cover rehabilitative or habilitative services, hospitalization, maternity care, prescription drugs, maternity care, and mental health services. Before the ACA, many people with disabilities had insurance that didn’t cover basic health care needs.

West Virginia GOP Bill On Pre-Existing Conditions Nothing More Than Political Cover For Ongoing Support For Disastrous Texas Lawsuit

Washington, DC — Yesterday, West Virginia’s Republican Attorney General announced a proposal that claims to offer protections for West Virginians with pre-existing conditions despite his ongoing support for the disastrous Trump-Texas lawsuit that would eliminate those protections from 135 million Americans including more than 700,000 West Virginians. West Virginia is one of the 18 Republican-led states who have joined the Trump administration in support of the Texas lawsuit that seeks to eliminate the entire Affordable Care Act. In response, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“West Virginia Republicans claim this proposed legislation protects people with pre-existing conditions, but it’s nothing more than political cover while they seek to eliminate those protections. If Republicans like Attorney General Morrisey were serious about guaranteeing protections for pre-existing conditions they would not have signed on to the disastrous Texas lawsuit that seeks to eliminate health coverage for 20 million Americans and strip protections from more than 700,000 West Virginians with pre-existing conditions. It is clear that this legislation is another one of the GOP’s phony attempts at claiming support for protections for pre-existing conditions while simultaneously waging a war in court to eliminate them.”

BACKGROUND:

If Trump Gets His Way, Insurance Companies Would Be Put Back In Charge, Ending Protections For The 135 Million People Nationwide 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 135 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
  • 716,400 West Virginians have a pre-existing condition, including 89,400 West Virginia children, 352,000 West Virginia women, and 182,900 West Virginians between ages 55 and 64. 

If the Texas lawsuit is successful in overturning the ACA, West Virginians with pre-existing conditions would be at risk:

  • 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.
  • Insurance Companies Would Not Have to Provide the Coverage You Need. The Affordable Care Act made comprehensive coverage more available by requiring insurance companies to include “essential health benefits” in their plans, such as maternity care, hospitalization, substance abuse care and prescription drug coverage. Before the ACA, people had to pay extra for separate coverage for these benefits. For example, in 2013, 75 percent of non-group plans did not cover maternity care, 45 percent did not cover substance abuse disorder services, and 38 percent did not cover mental health services. Six percent did not even cover generic drugs.
  • Insurance Companies Could Reinstate Lifetime and Annual Limits On 581,000 Privately Insured West Virginians. Repealing the Affordable Care Act means insurance companies would be able to impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage for those insured through their employer or on the individual market.
  • Insurance Companies Could Once Again Deny Coverage To People With Pre-Existing Conditions. Thanks to the ACA, all health insurance plans must allow you to enroll regardless of health status, age, gender, or other factors that might predict the use of health service. This is particularly important for the 135 million Americans who live with a pre-existing condition, who might otherwise be unable to afford health insurance.

Texas Lawsuit Days of Action: Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions

Day 2 of Protect Our Care’s 11 Days of Action on the Consequences of the Trump-Texas Lawsuit Highlights Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions

Last month, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Trump administration and Republicans in Texas vs. United States, striking down as unconstitutional the ACA’s individual mandate and remanding to the lower court judge a final decision on what parts of the ACA should be eliminated – the very judge who has already ruled the entire law unconstitutional. If President Trump and Republicans have their way, 20 million Americans will lose their insurance coverage, 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will be stripped of their protections, and costs will go up for millions. 

“The Fifth Circuit’s disastrous decision on President Trump’s Texas lawsuit puts the health care of millions of Americans at risk. The court’s decision will impact every corner of the American health care system, threatening protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions and access to care for children, seniors, women, individuals with disabilities, and LGBTQ Americans in communities across the country,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Over the course of the next two weeks, we will be reminding Americans what’s really at stake if the courts ultimately overturn the health care law.” 

Days of Action: Day 2 of 11 focuses on Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions. To learn more about our Days of Action, visit our website.

What’s At Stake: Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions

Without the ACA, protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will be eliminated overnight, and the uninsured rate will increase by 65 percent. 

The ACA included four key provisions that protect people with pre-existing conditions. If the law is overturned in the Texas lawsuit: 

  • GONE: Rule that forbids insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. 
  • GONE: Rule that prevents insurers from charging people with pre-existing conditions more. 
  • GONE: Requirements that insurance companies cover essential health benefits, such as prescription drugs and maternity care.
  • GONE: Ban on insurance companies having lifetime caps on coverage.

Premium Surcharges Can Once Again Be In The Six Figures. Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, insurance companies can charge people more because of a pre-existing condition. The House-passed repeal bill had a similar provision, and an analysis by the Center for American Progress found that insurers could charge up to $4,270 more for asthma, $17,060 more for pregnancy, $26,180 more for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 more for metastatic cancer.

More Than 140 Million Americans Could Once Again Have To Pay For Preventive Care. Because of the ACA, private health plans must cover preventive services — like flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms – at no cost to consumers. More than 140 million Americans are enrolled in plans that provide free preventive services, including 133 million people with employer coverage. 

Reinstate Lifetime and Annual Limits On 109 Million Privately Insured Americans. Repealing the Affordable Care Act means insurance companies would be able to impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage for those insured through their employer or on the individual market. In 2009, prior to the implementation of the ACA, 59 percent of workers covered by employer-sponsored health plans had a lifetime limit. 

Republicans Want To Put Insurance Companies Back In Charge, Ending Protections For The 135 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 135 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
  • More than 17 million children, 68 million women, and 32 million people aged 55-64 have a pre-existing condition.

American Cancer Society, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American DIabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and National Multiple Sclerosis Society: “Striking Down These Provisions Would Be Catastrophic And Have Dire Consequences For Many Patients With Serious Illnesses.” [American Cancer Society et. al, 6/14/18]

Texas Lawsuit Days of Action: Medicaid Expansion

Last month, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Trump administration and Republicans in Texas vs. United States, striking down as unconstitutional the ACA’s individual mandate and remanding to the lower court judge a final decision on what parts of the ACA should be eliminated – the very judge who has already ruled the entire law unconstitutional. If President Trump and Republicans have their way, 20 million Americans will lose their insurance coverage, 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will be stripped of their protections, and costs will go up for millions. 

“The Fifth Circuit’s disastrous decision on President Trump’s Texas lawsuit puts the health care of millions of Americans at risk. The court’s decision will impact every corner of the American health care system, threatening health care access for children, seniors, women, individuals with disabilities, and LGBTQ Americans in communities across the country,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Over the course of the next two weeks, we will be reminding Americans what’s really at stake if the courts ultimately overturn the health care law.” 

Days of Action: Day 1 of 11 focuses on Medicaid Expansion. To learn more about our Days of Action, visit our website.

From POLITICO Pulse: “…Advocates launch campaign on Obamacare lawsuit’s consequences. Protect Our Care is starting an 11-day campaign ‘centered on the real-world impacts of overturning the ACA,’ the pro-Obamacare group shared first with PULSE. Today’s events will focus on the effects of rolling back the ACA’s Medicaid expansion; future ‘days of action’ will focus on how LGBTQ patients, seniors and other populations have benefited from the law.”

What’s At Stake: Medicaid Expansion

Overturning the Affordable Care Act would take coverage away from millions of working families and children who finally gained health coverage thanks to Medicaid expansion.

17 Million People Are Currently Enrolled Through Medicaid Expansion

Medicaid Expansion Led To Gains In Coverage For Children. A study in Health Affairs found that “710,000 children gained public coverage when their parents enrolled in Medicaid between 2013 and 2015. If the remaining 19 non-expansion states expanded Medicaid, 200,000 additional children would gain health coverage through existing programs. The effect was largest among children whose parents gained Medicaid eligibility through the expansion.”  [Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, 1/12/18]

Medicaid Expansion Saved Lives. A report by the Center On Budget And Policy Priorities found that “the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) expansion of Medicaid to low-income adults is preventing thousands of premature deaths each year, a landmark study finds.[1] It saved the lives of at least 19,200 adults aged 55 to 64 over the four-year period from 2014 to 2017. Conversely, 15,600 older adults died prematurely because of state decisions not to expand Medicaid.” [Center On Budget And Policy Priorities, 11/6/19

If the Affordable Care Act is struck down:

  • Seventeen Million People Enrolled Through Medicaid Expansion Could Lose Coverage.
  • Access To Treatment Would Be In Jeopardy For 800,000 People With Opioid Use Disorder. Roughly four in ten, or 800,000 people with an opioid use disorder are enrolled in Medicaid. Many became eligible through Medicaid expansion.
  • Key Support For Rural Hospitals Would Disappear, leaving hospitals with $9.6 billion more in uncompensated care. 
  • States  Would Lose Important Federal Health Care Funding — an estimated reduction of $135 billion in the first year. The Urban Institute estimates that a full repeal of the ACA would reduce federal spending on Medicaid/CHIP care and Marketplace subsidies by $135 billion, or 34.6 percent in the first year.

Supreme Court Should Take Action to End the Partisan War On Health Care

Cert Petitions Filed Today Make Clear Case for Why SCOTUS Should Take Up the Trump-Texas Lawsuit Immediately

Washington, DC — Today, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra along with other Democratic state Attorneys General and the U.S. House of Representatives filed cert petitions to the Supreme Court in Texas v. United States, the Trump-backed lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act. The petitioners argue that the court should take this case immediately and end the partisan attack on Americans’ health care. Before the holidays, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down as unconstitutional the ACA’s individual mandate and remanded the case back to the lower court judge the decision on what other parts of the ACA should be eliminated – the very judge who has already ruled the entire law unconstitutional. In response to the cert petition, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“The Fifth Circuit has purposefully injected partisan politics into our health care system. The decision by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to first delay its ruling and then remand the case back to the same judge who has already declared the entire law unconstitutional is a blatant attempt to spare President Trump and Republicans from the political consequences of destroying our health care during an election year. The Supreme Court now has the responsibility to hear this case and get the politics out of our health care system and to end the uncertainty hanging over America’s health care. If President Trump and Republicans have their way, 20 million Americans will lose their insurance coverage, 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will be stripped of their protections, and costs will go up for millions. Without immediate action from the Supreme Court, the fate of their health care will cruelly and needlessly hang in the balance far too long.”