Monthly Archives

February 2020

HEADLINES: Trump’s Budget Includes Deep Cuts to Vital Health Care Programs

Yesterday, President Trump released his budget that includes $1 trillion in cuts from Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, further escalating his war on Americans’ health care. He also proposed reducing Medicare spending by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade. Press reports quickly pointed out that these deep cuts to health care will leave vulnerable populations at further risk and are the opposite of what President Trump promised in his 2016 campaign for the White House. 

New York Times: In Trump’s Budget, Big Health Care Cuts But Few Details. “The deep cuts enshrined in the budget’s numbers are not consistent with modest tweaks. Taken together with Medicaid changes recommended elsewhere in the budget, the proposal would strip about $1 trillion out of Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act’s premium subsidies, the two pillars of the law’s expansion of insurance coverage.” [New York Times, 2/10/20

New York Times: Trump’s $4.8 Trillion Budget Would Cut Safety Net Programs And Boost Defense. “All together, it proposed combined cuts to spending in Medicaid and Affordable Care Act subsidies that equal a trillion dollars — cuts that would mean substantial program changes.” [New York Times, 2/10/20

Washington Post: Trump Proposes $4.8 Trillion Election-Year Budget With Big Domestic Cuts. “The budget cuts Medicaid spending by about $920 billion over 10 years, a change Democrats and administration critics warn would lead to reductions in benefits and the number of people on the health care program…‘This is a budget that would cause many millions of people to lose health care coverage. That is unambiguous,’ said Aviva Aron-Dine, a former Obama official and vice president at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think-tank.” [Washington Post, 2/10/20

Associated Press: Mystery $844B Pot In Trump Budget Signals Medicaid Cuts. “President Donald Trump’s budget contains an $844 billion mystery pot for his still undefined health care plan, signaling steep cuts to Medicaid and ‘Obamacare.’” [Associated Press, 2/10/20

Washington Post: Trump Budget Cuts Funding For Health, Science, Environment Agencies. “Medicaid, the safety-net insurance for low-income Americans, would receive nearly $920 billion less than otherwise anticipated by 2030 as federal health officials encourage states to create work requirements and tighten eligibility checks…for Medicare, the federal insurance for older and disabled Americans, the plan would curb spending by $480 billion over the decade, primarily through proposed cuts in payments to doctors and hospitals.” [Washington Post, 2/10/20

Wall Street Journal: Trump Proposes $4.8 Trillion Budget, With Cuts to Safety Nets.In campaigning for the White House Mr. Trump had promised voters he would protect funding for Medicare and Medicaid. His new budget’s proposals to wring savings through changes to those programs reflect longstanding GOP efforts to reduce federal safety-net spending…” [Wall Street Journal, 2/10/20

Axios: Hospitals And Medicaid Enrollees Lose Under Trump’s Budget. “President Trump’s 2021 budget proposes massive reductions in Medicare and Medicaid spending, which would be felt most acutely by hospitals and Medicaid beneficiaries…the budget isn’t entirely theoretical; the administration is moving full steam ahead on some of its Medicaid proposals — like work requirements and block grants — and is still hoping to notch a victory on prescription drug prices before the election…the budget would reduce Medicare and Medicaid spending by hundreds of billions of dollars each over the next decade.” [Axios, 2/11/20

Vox: Trump Vowed To Not Cut Social Security And Medicare — Hours Before Proposing Just That. “That Trump is proposing cuts to these programs isn’t surprising — his 2020 budget cut all three as well. It’s a long-running contradiction for the president. He often says he won’t touch these entitlement programs, but he’s continued to employ Republican Party officials who make cutting these programs center to their work.” [Vox, 2/10/20

Don’t Expect to Hear the Truth About President Trump’s Disastrous and Unpopular Health Care Record at Tonight’s Rally in New Hampshire

Washington, DC — President Trump’s rally in Manchester, New Hampshire tonight comes after years of his relentless war on health care and his own polling that shows his health care record is deeply unpopular. Ahead of Trump’s rally, Protect Our Care Chairman Leslie Dach released the following statement:

“Granite Staters won’t hear the truth about President Trump’s disastrous and unpopular health care record at his rally tonight. President Trump continues to lie at his rallies every time he claims that he has ‘saved’ protections for people with pre-existing conditions. The truth is the president’s disastrous Texas lawsuit would strip protections from over half a million Granite Staters with pre-existing conditions. And today, he released his budget that cuts Medicaid by hundreds of millions of dollars, taking coverage away from millions including seniors, children and veterans. New Hampshire is sick and tired of President Trump and Republicans relentless war on their health care.”

IF TRUMP GETS HIS WAY IN THE TEXAS LAWSUIT:

Granite Staters Would Lose Their Coverage

  • 89,000 Granite Staters could lose coverage. According to the Urban Institute, 89,000 Granite Staters would lose coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act, leading to a 136 percent increase in the uninsured rate.
  • 9,000 New Hampshire 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.
  • New Hampshire 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.
  • 3,300 New Hampshire 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.
  • Granite Staters would lose important federal health care funding — an estimated reduction of $366 million in the first year. The Urban Institute estimates that a full repeal of the ACA would reduce federal spending on Granite Staters’ Medicaid/CHIP care and Marketplace subsidies by $366 million. 

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

571,300 Granite Staters have a pre-existing condition, including 61,600 New Hampshire children, 270,000 New Hampshire women, and 162,700 Granite Staters between ages 55 and 64. 

Insurance Companies Would Have The Power To Charge You More, While Their Profits Soar

  • 690,524 Granite Staters 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 690,524 Granite Staters, most of whom have employer coverage.
  • 31,179 Granite Staters 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 31,179 in New Hampshire.
  • 21,150 New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire, 21,150 seniors each saved an average of $1,139.
  • Reinstate Lifetime and Annual Limits On 545,000 Privately Insured Granite Staters. 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.

Medicaid Expansion Would Be Repealed

  • 57,000 Granite Staters Enrolled Through Medicaid Expansion Could Lose Coverage. Seventeen million people have coverage through the expanded Medicaid program, including 57,000 in New Hampshire. 
  • 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 New Hampshire hospitals with $234 million more in uncompensated care.

Trump Budget Again Slashes Health Care Spending by Hundreds of Billions of Dollars

Washington, DC — Today, President Trump released his FY2021 budget that, according to early press reports, includes hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts to health care, further escalating the President’s all-out war on Americans’ health care. Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement in response:

“President Trump’s budget is a continuation of the war on health care he has waged against the American people since he came into office. Last week his State of the Union Address was full of lies in an attempt to cover up his true record on health care, but today his budget tells the real story. The budget cuts Medicaid through onerous paperwork requirements that are intended to boot people from the rolls and the president seeks to change the program into so-called “block grants” that will take coverage away from millions. And if all that’s not enough, his budget slashes funding for the Department of Health and Human Services by 9 percent when America is facing so many health care challenges.

“It’s abundantly clear that the administration is once again dead-set on cutting critical health care programs relied on by millions of Americans, including ones impacting seniors and children. These massive cuts for patients are even more egregious considering the administration has showered health insurance and big drug companies with billions of dollars in tax breaks. Given all this, it’s not hard at all to understand why voters disapprove of the president’s handling of health care and why it remains his number one political vulnerability in 2020.”

House Votes to Take a Stand Against Trump Administration’s Plan to Gut Medicaid With Block Grants

Washington, DC — Today, the House of Representatives passed a resolution to disapprove of the Trump administration’s latest plan to allow states to convert part of their Medicaid programs into block grants. These so-called block grants have been pursued by Republicans for decades to gut coverage and kick people off the rolls, and have been resoundingly rejected by Congress time and again. In response to the House’s passage of this resolution, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“While President Trump and his administration pursue a policy of ripping away coverage and kicking people off the rolls, Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats have acted to ensure the Trump administration is held accountable for their blatant sabotage of Medicaid. The administration is targeting Medicaid expansion — one of the most successful, important and popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act — putting vulnerable and low-income populations dependant on the program at further risk. Once again, Democrats have proven that they are the only party worth taking seriously when it comes to protecting Americans’ health care.”

BACKGROUND

28 Million People Could Be Affected By Trump’s Latest Block Grant Proposal. “Overall, the HAO demonstrations could cover nearly 30 million adults if adopted in all states. This total includes approximately 13 million adults newly covered through the ACA Medicaid expansion, 10 million adults currently covered through other state options (using the estimate that 16.1% of Medicaid enrollees are adults covered at state option without accounting for the ACA expansion), and nearly five million uninsured low-income adults in non-expansion states who could be eligible for Medicaid if the state adopted the expansion.” [Kaiser Family Foundation, February 2020

American Lung Association, American Heart Association, And 25 Other Patient Groups Said Trump’s Block Grants “Will Reduce Access To Quality And Affordable Health Care For Patients With Serious And Chronic Health Conditions And Are Therefore Unacceptable To Our Organizations.” “Per capita caps and block grants are designed to reduce federal funding for Medicaid, forcing states to either make up the difference with their own funds or make cuts to their programs that would reduce access to care for the patients we represent. As the gap between the capped allotment and actual costs of patient care increases over time, states will likely limit enrollment, reduce benefits, lower provider payments or increase cost-sharing for patients. States are already moving forward with deeply troubling proposals in anticipation of today’s guidance promoting these limiting financing arrangements. Simply put, block grants and per capita caps will reduce access to quality and affordable health care for patients with serious and chronic health conditions and are therefore unacceptable to our organizations.” [American Lung Association, 1/30/20

The American Academy of Pediatrics, Children’s Defense Fund, Children’s Hospital Association, Family Voices, First Focus on Children, Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, March of Dimes and National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners Said “At A Time When Child Uninsurance Is Already On The Rise, This Guidance Makes It Even Harder To Guarantee Children Can Get The Care They Need.” “Our organizations are united in opposition to any threat to Medicaid that would dismantle a pillar program millions of families rely on. At a time when child uninsurance is already on the rise, this guidance makes it even harder to guarantee children can get the care they need. We urge CMS to immediately rescind the guidance and keep Medicaid strong.” [American Academy Of Pediatrics, 1/30/20

AARP: Block Grants “Could Put At Risk The Health Coverage For Millions Of Vulnerable Americans.” “AARP is deeply concerned that new guidance released today by CMS letting states cap funding in the Medicaid program could put at risk the health coverage for millions of vulnerable Americans. Capping the program’s funding structure and limiting benefits and services could leave millions without the coverage and care they need.” [AARP, 1/30/20]  

It’s a Damnable Lie (Again): Cable News and Fact-Checkers Broke Down Trump’s Lies About His Health Care Record During the State of the Union

Watch our new video here

Last night, President Trump delivered his State of the Union Address which included a series of blatant lies about his health care record. Cable news shows and fact-checkers quickly pointed out the falsehoods in the president’s claims and explained all the ways his administration has worked to gut Americans’ health care in the last three years, especially in regards to protections for people with pre-existing conditions, the rising cost of prescription drugs and Medicare. 

WASHINGTON POST 

“Before I took office, health insurance premiums had more than doubled in just five years. I moved quickly to provide affordable alternatives. Our new plans are up to 60 percent less expensive.” “Trump often makes this claim, but we have not been able to verify the claim of a 60 percent reduction in costs. The new short-term health plans authorized by the Trump administration are less expensive for a reason: They offer skimpier coverage and thus provide less protection. As for the doubling in health-insurance premiums, that claim is based on a White House report that made some questionable methodological choices.” [Washington Post, 2/5/20

“We will always protect patients with preexisting conditions.” “In an ongoing court case, the Trump administration is supporting a total repeal of the Affordable Care Act — including its guarantee that patients can’t be denied coverage for preexisting conditions. Republicans in Congress tried for years to repeal the whole law. Trump has not presented a plan to cover the gaps in case the court challenge is successful. Moreover, he has promoted short-term plans (which he touted in his speech) that are not required to cover preexisting conditions.” [Washington Post, 2/5/20

“I was pleased to announce last year that, for the first time in 51 years, the cost of prescription drugs actually went down.” “The consumer price index for prescription drugs in 2018 fell for the first time in 46 years. But that’s only when measuring calendar years from January to December, which is somewhat arbitrary. The president’s record shrinks to 5½ years when measuring noncalendar years. (The CPI had last declined in the 12-month period ended July 2013.) Experts say the CPI for prescription drugs fails to account for rebates, which can be substantial, and may be giving a skewed picture because of recent market shifts toward generics and electronic payments by third parties. Studies we found show drug prices have not declined, especially when it comes to branded drugs.” [Washington Post, 2/5/20

“The President Regularly Talks Out Of Both Sides Of His Mouth” On Pre-Existing Conditions. “Trump especially raised Democrats’ ire when he talked about Obamacare’s protections for patients with preexisting conditions. The president regularly talks out of both sides of his mouth on this issue, and he did it again… Trump has directed his administration to support legal arguments from GOP-led states that the entire health-care law is unconstitutional. The administration is asking federal courts to erase the entire law but hasn’t detailed how it would be replaced.” [Washington Post, 2/5/20

NEW YORK TIMES

“We will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions.” “This is false. The president has taken multiple steps to weaken or eliminate current protections for Americans with pre-existing health conditions. These efforts include legislation he championed, regulation his administration has finished, and a lawsuit the Justice Department is litigating that would declare the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.” [New York Times, 2/4/20

“Many experts believe that transparency, which will go into full effect at the beginning of next year, will be even bigger than health care reform. It will save families massive amounts of money for substantially better care.” “This lacks evidence. New rules that will require public disclosure of the prices negotiated between health care providers and insurance companies are a new policy, without much strong evidence about their effects. Some experts, including economists who have advised the president, think transparency could reduce health care prices. But other experts believe the policy could have a perverse effect, increasing prices. New Hampshire, a state that has introduced a similar policy on a more limited scale, has shown modest price declines for certain services, but not “massive” price reductions.” [New York Times, 2/4/20

“Before I took office, health insurance premiums had more than doubled in just 5 years.” “This is misleading. The president’s claim is based on a White House report comparing premiums in the individual insurance market before the Affordable Care Act with those several years after its enactment. That report made several methodological choices that tended to increase the difference in prices. Health plans for a far larger group of Americans, who obtain health insurance through their jobs, have increased by smaller margins. Over all, however, health insurance prices have increased in recent years.” [New York Times, 2/4/20

“My administration is also taking on the big pharmaceutical companies. We have approved a record number of affordable generic drugs, and medicines are being approved by the F.D.A. at a faster clip than ever before. I was pleased to announce last year that, for the first time in 51 years, the cost of prescription drugs actually went down.” “This is misleading. It is true that, for a portion of last year, the Consumer Price Index for drugs declined. But that measure does not include all prescription drugs. (And it has since risen again.) The Food and Drug Administration has approved a large number of generic drugs, but few of them have made it to market yet, so they have had little impact on drug prices, as a Wall Street Journal analysis showed last year.” [New York Times, 2/4/20

ASSOCIATED PRESS

TRUMP: “We will always protect your Medicare and your Social Security.” “THE FACTS: In a recent television interview, the president appeared to suggest that he’s willing to consider entitlement cuts in the future. During the CNBC interview, Trump was asked if tackling entitlements would ever be on his agenda. “At some point they will be,” he responded. As a candidate in 2016, Trump vowed not to cut benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare. In the CNBC interview, Trump said dealing with entitlements would be “the easiest of all things” and suggested higher economic growth would make it easier to reduce spending on the programs. Soon after the interview, Trump appeared to soften on the issue, tweeting about Social Security: “I have totally left it alone, as promised, and will save it!” [Associated Press, 2/4/20

TRUMP: “We will always protect patients with preexisting conditions.” “THE FACTS: That’s a promise, not a guarantee. The Trump administration is backing a lawsuit by conservative-led states that would overturn the entire Affordable Care Act, including its guarantees that people cannot be turned down or charged more for health insurance because of preexisting medical problems. Trump and congressional Republicans have vowed they will protect people with preexisting conditions, but they have not specified how they would do that. Estimates of how many people could potentially be affected if “Obamacare’s” protections for preexisting conditions are eliminated range from about 54 million working-age adults, in a study last year from the Kaiser Family Foundation, to as many as 133 million people in a 2017 government study that also included children.” [Associated Press, 2/4/20

TRUMP: “For the first time in 51 years, the cost of prescription drugs actually went down.” “THE FACTS: Prices for prescription drugs have edged down, but that is driven by declines for generics. Prices for brand-name medications are still going up, although more moderately. Nonpartisan government experts at the Department of Health and Human Services reported last year that prices for pharmacy prescriptions went down by 1% in 2018, the first such price drop in 45 years. The department said the last time retail prescription drug prices declined was in 1973, when they went down by 0.2%.” [Associated Press, 2/4/20

CNN

CNN: “Trump’s Claim About Protecting Those With Pre-Existing Conditions Is False.” “Trump has repeatedly promised to protect those with pre-existing conditions, even as he has sought to kill the Affordable Care Act, which greatly expanded those safeguards. ‘I’ve also made an ironclad pledge to American families. We will also protect patients with pre-existing conditions’  he said during Tuesday’s State of the Union address. Facts First: Trump’s claim about protecting those with pre-existing conditions is false. Though Trump says he would do this, his administration has consistently taken steps to undermine the Affordable Care Act — including joining a lawsuit aimed at striking down the law — without presenting alternative plans that would offer similar benefits.” [CNN, 2/5/20

CNN: Despite Trump’s Claim To Have Lowered Drug Prices, “Recent Data Shows That Drug Prices Have Continued To Rise By Several Measures.” “’And I was pleased to announce last year that for the first time in 51 years, the cost of prescription drugs actually went down,’ Trump said during his State of the Union address. Facts First: That’s not quite true. The President was citing the 12-month change in the consumer price index for prescription drugs for December 2018, when it dropped 0.6%. That was the largest (but not the first) decrease since April 1973, not in 51 years. At last year’s State of the Union he said drug prices experienced their single largest decline in 46 years. More importantly, recent data shows that drug prices have continued to rise by several measures.” [CNN, 2/5/20

VOX

Vox: “The Bad News For People With Pre-Existing Conditions Is That This ‘Ironclad Pledge’ Is A Lie.” “The bad news for people with preexisting conditions is that this ‘ironclad pledge’ is a lie. Trump and his administration have fought hard — in all three branches of government — to strip people with preexisting health conditions of the protections they enjoy under the Affordable Care Act. Indeed, if Trump has his way, those protections will cease to exist.” [Vox, 2/4/20

Vox: Trump “Has A History Of Claiming That He Will Protect Americans’ Access To Health Care, Then Pushing Policies That Would Strip Health Coverage From Millions Of Americans.” “Trump, it’s worth noting, has a history of claiming that he will protect Americans’ access to health care, then pushing policies that would strip health coverage from millions of Americans. He claimed in 2015, for example, to be the ‘first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid,’ but his 2020 budget proposal would cut Medicaid spending by $1.5 trillion over the next decade.” [Vox, 2/4/20

AXIOS

“Only One Of The Parties Has A Track Record Of Defending Those Protections, And It’s Not The GOP.” “Republicans’ repeal and replace efforts in 2017 wouldn’t have preserved the same level of protections the Affordable Care Act provides, nor would any of the plans they’ve put forward since.The Trump administration and Republican state attorneys general are currently fighting in court to strike down the entire ACA — including its pre-existing conditions protections.” [Axios, 2/5/20

Trump Alluded To Short Term Plans, But “What He Didn’t Say Is That These Plans Aren’t Required To Cover Pre-Existing Conditions.” “Trump alluded to expanded short-term health plans, saying that ‘our new plans are up to 60% less expensive — and better.’ What he didn’t say is that these plans aren’t required to cover pre-existing conditions or the same benefits that ACA plans are.” [Axios, 2/5/20

Trump Touted Transparency Rules, Even Though Some Experts Argue These Measures Could Cause Prices To Increase. “He touted the administration’s transparency rules, saying that they ‘will save families massive amounts of money for substantially better care.’ In reality, some experts argue that transparency measures could cause prices to increase, and either way are unlikely to be a silver bullet, even though transparency is a laudable goal.” [Axios, 2/5/20] 

KAISER HEALTH NEWS

President Trump said that in 2018, ‘for the first time in 51 years, the cost of prescription drugs went down.’” “Nothing has changed since our previous rulings on this statement. And the continued drug pricing trend suggests that prices may be stabilizing, but they are not coming down. And consumers are not experiencing that relief. We rate this claim Mostly False.” [Kaiser Health News, 2/5/20]

President Trump Lied About His Health Care Record Tonight, But His Actions Speak Louder Than His Empty Rhetoric

Washington, DC — Tonight, President Trump addressed the nation at the State of the Union and told a series of blatant lies about his record on health care. In response, Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, release the following statement:

“Another year of President Trump’s administration is in the books and it’s just more lies and broken promises. The president knows his abysmal health care record is an anvil weighing down his chances for reelection and that’s why he attempted to paint a rosy picture tonight, but voters know that Donald Trump’s war on health care is alive and well. President Trump has tried everything to destroy our health care from joining a lawsuit that would rip coverage from 20 million Americans to pushing junk insurance plans that don’t have to cover people with pre-existing conditions to giving his friends in the pharmaceutical industry big tax breaks while they continue to hike drug prices. President Trump’s actions speak louder than his empty rhetoric.”

BACKGROUND:

Pre-Existing Conditions

President Trump claimed he will “always” protect people with pre-existing conditions.

Facts:

  • Trump supported multiple House and Senate repeal bills that would have ended such protections. 
  • He is pushing junk insurance plans that allow for insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. 
  • He is arguing that pre-existing condition protections for 135 million Americans should be eliminated in a lawsuit Trump himself claimed would “terminate” the Affordable Care Act and its consumer protections.

Prescription Drugs

President Trump claimed that he lowered drug prices.

Facts: 

  • President Trump gave drug companies billions of dollars in tax breaks while they rake in massive profits and raise prices on Americans. 
  • Drug prices have soared under President Trump.
  • He has repeatedly talked about lowering prices based on costs in other countries, but independent experts have said his proposals would be ineffective.
  • He opposes the single most important thing you can do to lower drug prices — giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower prices.

Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security

President Trump claimed to protect Medicare and Social Security.

Facts:

  • As recently as January, President Trump signaled that he is open to slashing benefits for vital programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. 
  • President Trump’s most recent budget proposed slashing Medicaid by $1.5 trillion and Medicare by $845 million.

Health Care Costs 

President Trump claimed he made health care more affordable.

Facts: 

  • Under the Trump presidency, the number of uninsured Americans has gone up by at least 7 million, in large part due to his policies to undermine the Affordable Care Act. 
  • Trump’s war on health care is deeply unpopular, and polls have shown that Americans trust Democrats more to protect their health care and lower costs.
  • Democrats have put forward popular provisions to strengthen protections for pre-existing conditions, and lower the costs of prescription drugs by giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower prices. Trump opposes them all.
  • President Trump has continuously undermined health care by pushing harmful policies like junk insurance plans that don’t cover pre-existing conditions, and harmful work requirements on Medicaid that have resulted in thousands losing coverage and puts millions more Americans at risk of being kicked off the rolls.

Protect Our Care Puts Trump’s Disastrous Health Care Agenda Front and Center Ahead of State of the Union Address

Over the past two weeks Protect Our Care has launched a full-court press ahead of President Trump’s State of the Union Address to bring the conversation back to health care leading up to his speech tonight. In order to debunk the many false claims about health care Trump will likely make, we set out to make clear that his record on health care is as unpopular as it is disastrous. Through polling, press events, op-eds and a new ad, Protect Our Care led the charge to hold Trump accountable and remind Americans about his many lies and destructive policies, backed up by polling data in key battleground states that proves Trump’s health care agenda is deeply unpopular with voters. 

Over the past two weeks, POC brought the conversation back to health care:

POC released a memo debunking Trump’s most egregious lies on health care he will likely repeat at his State of the Union Address.

POC conducted a new battleground poll showing Trump’s deep unpopularity on health care in key 2020 states of Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. 

POC launched a new ad highlighting Trump’s “Damnable Lie” that he “saved” protections for pre-existing conditions.

POC distributed Protect Our Care buttons to members of Congress and their guests to wear at the State of the Union. 

POC hosted a press call with Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI), Representatives Donna Shalala (FL) and Susan Wild (PA) denouncing President Trump’s health care record ahead of the State of the Union and highlighting the disastrous impact on their constituents. 

POC state teams in a dozen key states identified health care storytellers for members of Congress to bring as guests to the State of the Union, encouraged them to write op-eds and letters to the editor, and are lifting up their stories on social media and with local press. 

And tonight, POC will be responding in real time to President Trump’s health care lies and false promises during his State of the Union Address. Follow @protectourcare and #protectourcare on Twitter throughout the night.

President Trump Expected to Talk About Drug Prices in the State of the Union: Here is What You Need to Know About His Record and His Latest False Promise

Washington, DC — The administration is signaling that President Trump may talk about drug prices and propose that HHS consider issuing a rule to bring U.S. drug prices more in line with international pricing. Independent experts have already described the proposal as weak and unlikely to have any real impact for consumers for years to come. 

Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“Once again, President Trump will likely lie about his health care record and make another false promise to the American people. His latest rumored announcement is nothing more than a proposal for a proposal for a proposal. Even under the most optimistic timeline, this policy wouldn’t take effect for years and Americans would likely only see a modest benefit if any at all. Meanwhile the president gave billions of dollars in tax breaks to drug companies and opposes giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices, the one proven way to lower costs for millions.”

  • Although Trump campaigned on a promise to let Medicare “negotiate like crazy” for drug prices, he promised to veto House Democrats’ bill that would empower the federal health care program to do exactly that: directly negotiate with drug makers over the price of up to 250 drugs.
  • President Trump’s latest proposal lacks an enforcement mechanism and the potential savings are “murkier” than the administration claims. 
  • President Trump’s plan would likely take years to go into effect. Per Politico: “even under the most favorable circumstances, the administration won’t be able to demonstrate any real change to consumers for years.” 
  • “It’s not in his advantage for the 2020 elections to be a mandate on his performance on health care,” said William Howell, a professor of American politics at the University of Chicago. 
  • A recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey showed that 54% of Americans disapprove of how Trump has handled the drug-cost issue, compared to just 30% who approve.
  • Republicans gave billions in tax breaks to the biggest drug companies in their 2017 tax overhaul.
  • Drug companies have already hiked the prices of 639 drugs since the beginning of 2020. 

A Damnable Lie: Protect Our Care Launches New Ad Debunking Trump’s Lie About “Saving” Protections for Pre-existing Conditions Ahead of State of the Union Address

Washington, DC — Ahead of President Trump’s State of the Union Address tonight, Protect Our Care is launching a new digital ad highlighting his most absurd lie about health care: how he “saved” protections for pre-existing conditions. The ad, “A Damnable Lie,” launched today on digital platforms across several key 2020 battleground states, makes clear that Trump is lying when he claims to have saved protections for pre-existing conditions. A mountain of evidence to the contrary proves he’s repeatedly tried to strip these protections from 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. As it’s likely President Trump will repeat this lie during his State of the Union Address tonight, this ad sets the record straight about the absurdity of his claim and that his years-long war on Americans with pre-existing conditions is far from over. 

The ad will run in the key battleground states of Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin where recent POC polling shows Trump is already deeply unpopular with voters when it comes to his record on health care.

“No matter how many times President Trump repeats his absurd claim to have ‘saved’ protections for pre-existing conditions, the American people know it’s a damnable lie,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “The truth is that the president and his administration have done everything in their power, both in Congress and the courts, to strip protections from 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. Americans will be listening tonight when Trump will likely lie again about his record on health care, but his actions to repeatedly try and strip protections for pre-existing conditions and overturn the health care law speak louder than the empty rhetoric he will spout during his speech.”