Monthly Archives

March 2020

ACA at 10 Days of Action: Coverage For More Than 20 Million

Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on March 23, Protect Our Care is holding 10 days of action to raise awareness of the most critical components of the law which has improved the lives of millions of Americans. Working with partner organizations and health care advocates, Protect Our Care will highlight a different aspect of the law each day while making clear what’s at stake if the Trump administration is successful in overturning the law through the courts.  

“The Affordable Care Act has been an incredibly positive force for Americans over the last 10 years, but particularly for the 20 million who have gained health insurance through the law,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Over the course of the next 10 days, Protect Our Care will travel across the country to remind Americans how the ACA has improved the lives of millions while making clear that President Trump and Republicans’ lawsuit to overturn the law poses an existential threat to Americans’ health care.” 

Days of Action: Day 1 of 10 focuses on Coverage For More Than 20 Million. To learn more about our days of action, visit our website.

Where U.S. Health Care Stands A Decade After Passing Of The Affordable Care Act: 

  • GAINED: Protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. 
  • GAINED: Medicaid expansion, which covers 17 million people. 
  • GAINED: Nearly 12 million seniors pay less for prescription drugs. 
  • GAINED: 2.3 million adult children are able to stay on their parents’ insurance. 
  • GAINED: Three million children nationwide gained coverage. 
  • GAINED: Insurance companies are banned from charging women 50 percent more than men.
  • GAINED: Financial assistance that helps 9 million people purchase health care in the marketplace.
  • GAINED: Key support for rural hospitals. 
  • GAINED: Ban on insurance companies having lifetime caps on coverage.
    GAINED: Requirements that insurance companies cover prescription drugs and maternity care.

Thanks To The Republican Lawsuit, 20 Million People Could Lose Their Coverage. 

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

If The Texas Lawsuit Succeeds, The Individual Marketplace And Financial Assistance That Helps Individuals Purchase Health Insurance Will Be Eliminated. 

  • 11 Million People With Comprehensive Insurance Through The ACA Marketplace Could Lose Their Coverage. Without the ACA, more than 11 million people nationwide enrolled in the individual marketplace could lose coverage.
  • Nine Million People In The Marketplaces Would Pay More For Coverage. Nearly 9 million people would lose financial assistance that helps them purchase health care in the marketplace. In 2019, the average monthly premium tax credit was $514.

NEW TV AD: As Coronavirus Fears Rise, Protect Our Care Blasts Senator Steve Daines for Voting to Take Away Montanans’ Health Care

POC Launches $250K TV Buy with Ad Highlighting Daines’ Record of Voting to Strip Coverage from 112,000 Montanans, Scrap Medicaid Expansion and Take Protections Away from 429,900 with Pre-Existing Conditions While Urging Him to Put the Health of Montanans First

Washington, DC — With the fear of coronavirus on the rise, Protect Our Care is launching a new ad today calling out Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) for his repeated attempts to take health care away from Montanans. The ad titled “Montanans First” is backed by a $250,000 buy and highlights Senator Daines’ disastrous record on health care which includes voting repeatedly to strip coverage from 112,000 Montanans and protections for 429,900 with pre-existing conditions. The 30 second ad will run on broadcast television and cable in Montana starting today. 

In the Senate, Steve Daines claimed he would “work tirelessly” to repeal the Affordable Care Act and demonstrated that by voting five times to repeal the law, refusing to condemn the Texas lawsuit that would overturn it in court and putting the interests of drug and insurance companies over his constituents while they raise costs on Montanans. 

View the ad HERE

“Since arriving in the Senate, Steve Daines has remained dead set on taking away Montanans’ health care and stripping protections for Montanans with pre-existing conditions,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “By voting five times to repeal the health care law and his refusal to condemn the Texas lawsuit which would overturn it in court, Steve Daines has made clear he wants to take coverage from 112,000 Montanans and protections from 425,900 with pre-existing conditions. It’s time Steve Daines voted for, not against, Montanans’ health care.” 

Ad script (30 seconds):

Too many Montana families go to sleep at night worried about health care. coverage, costs, now the fear of coronavirus.

That doesn’t worry Steve Daines. He voted to:

Eliminate protections for 425,000 Montanans with pre-existing conditions 

Rip coverage away from over 100,000 people and scrap Montana’s Medicaid expansion

And let insurance and drug companies drive up health care and prescription drug costs for seniors 

Call Senator Daines – tell him it’s time he put the health care of Montanans first

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE — MARCH 12, 2020

Driving the Day: After a brief address to the nation last night, the AP analyzed how President Trump’s “tactics fall short.” According to the AP, “The escalating coronavirus crisis is presenting President Donald Trump with a challenge for which he appears ill-equipped, his favorite political tactics ineffective and his reelection chances in jeopardy.”

What to Watch For: President Trump will meet with the Prime Minister of Ireland, a country which is excluded from the president’s impending ban on travel by foreign nationals from Europe despite reporting at least 43 cases of coronavirus and one death. Joe Biden will give remarks at 1:00 PM on the coronavirus crisis. The House will vote on a coronavirus relief package. The Senate Small Business Committee will hold a hearing on coronavirus and the small business supply chain

Coronavirus Update

  • In a brief address to the nation Wednesday night, President Trump emphasized the “foreign” nature of the coronavirus and announced a 30 day ban on “all travel from Europe,” which was later clarified to mean travel by foreign nationals from Europe, not including the UK or other countries not in the Schengen Area. The president announced a ban on cargo as well, but White House officials later clarified that the restrictions will only apply to passengers. In a late night statement, the State Department urged Americans to reconsider all international travel due to coronavirus, a recommendation not mentioned in Trump’s address. In Europe, Americans rushed to airports and jammed airline phone lines trying to get home.

  • Trump’s speech did not mention mitigating the disease that is already spreading in the US or addressing the ongoing delays and issues with testing in this country. Trump announced that health insurers “have agreed to waive all copayments for coronavirus treatments,” but AHIP immediately clarified that the waived cost-sharing only applies to testing and not treatment.

  • In his address, Trump emphasized that the economic situation is “not a financial crisis, this is just a temporary moment in time,” and then requested that Congress pass “immediate payroll tax relief” Trump pledged emergency action for workers who stay home, but did not specify what it would be. At remarks earlier in the day, the president emphasized that the virus was “a problem that four weeks ago nobody ever thought would be a problem” and dismissed as “fake news” a question about whether he is taking the crisis seriously enough.

  • Very late Wednesday night House Democrats released their coronavirus bill, which includes free testing, paid sick leave, food security and unemployment benefits. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer also released a joint statement criticizing President Trump for not saying “how the administration will address the lack of coronavirus testing kits” in his address to the nation.

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci testified before the House Oversight Committee and said that the worst is still yet to come in the American outbreak. Fauci recommended that the NBA hold games without crowds. By Wednesday evening, the NBA announced that it would suspend the entire season after a player tested positive for coronavirus.

  • Testifying at House Oversight Committee, CDC Director Robert Redfield said that the agency has no plans to establish drive through testing centers like those in South Korea and Italy because “We’re trying to maintain the relationship between individuals and their healthcare providers.” Despite this statement from the CDC, drive up testing facilities opened yesterday in Minnesota and Colorado. HHS Secretary Alex Azar appeared on CBS this morning and said that four million coronavirus tests will be distributed by the end of the week, but only around 8,500 tests have been performed. Azar insisted that, “Any doctor who believes that a test is clinically indicated can get that test done.”

  • Vice President Pence was asked if he was personally concerned about continuing to hold campaign rallies amid the outbreak. Pence said, “I’m not concerned, but we’ll follow the facts every single day about what makes the most sense for the American people.” It was announced that Pence will travel to Wisconsin on March 19 for a GOTV rally for special election candidate Tom Tiffany. The special election for WI-07 is not until May 12. Although a Trump campaign spokesperson insisted that Trump’s events were proceeding normally and they are not “caving” to media and Democratic pressure for cancellations, late Wednesday night, the White House announced that the president will cancel upcoming travel to Colorado and Nevada this weekend as well as the recently announced Catholics for Trump event in Milwaukee on March 19.

  • Joe Biden named a public health advisory council to advise the campaign on safety for staff and supporters and announced plans to hold virtual events instead of rallies.

By The Numbers
Thursday, March 12, 2020, 7:00 AM
Number of US cases: 1,257
Number of US deaths: 37
Number of states with confirmed cases: 44
Number of specimens tested: CDC: 3,791; Public Health Labs: 7,288

Federal Health Response
Bloomberg: CDC Takes Heat on Capitol Hill Over Coronavirus Testing Kits
Daily Beast: Dr. Fauci Schools Hannity on Dangers of Coronavirus
The Hill: Trump’s national security adviser says China ‘covered up’ coronavirus
McClatchy: Trump warns coronavirus masks cannot meet demand as manufacturers fear lawsuits
NBC: Many private labs want to do coronavirus tests. But they’re still facing obstacles and delays.
New York Times: Coronavirus Spurs U.S. Efforts to End China’s Chokehold on Drugs
NPR: Don’t Expect A Coronavirus Test Just Because Your Doctor Requests It
Politico: ‘It’s going to get worse’: Health officials warn of coronavirus escalation
Politico: Coronavirus on the high seas: Why the U.S. can’t touch cruise lines
Reuters: White House told federal health agency to classify coronavirus deliberations – sources
Toronto Star: Canadian officials reviewing border policy as COVID-19 spreads across the U.S.
Vox: Trump’s Europe travel ban might not do much to stop the coronavirus’s spread in the US
Wall Street Journal: U.S. to Ban Travel From Europe for 30 Days Due to Coronavirus
Washington Post: Europe blindsided by Trump’s travel restrictions, with many seeing political motive
Washington Post: Coronavirus may have a seasonal cycle, but that doesn’t mean it will go away this summer, experts warn
Washington Post: Coronavirus forecasts are grim: ‘It’s going to get worse’
Washington Post: White House asks Silicon Valley for help to combat coronavirus, track its spread and stop misinformation
Washington Post (Opinion): It’s now or never for the U.S. if it hopes to keep coronavirus from burning out of control
Washington Post (Opinion): South Korea shows that democracies can succeed against the coronavirus

Federal Economic Response
Bloomberg (Opinion): Don’t Cut the Payroll Tax. Just Send People Money
Bloomberg: Trump Sell-Off Shows Fear Governments Can’t Save Markets
Bloomberg: Trump’s Economic Plan Seen Lacking Power to Stem Virus Downturn
CNBC: Stock futures tank, hit ‘limit down’ halt after Trump speech; Dow set to fall 1,100 points
Fern’s Ag Insider: SNAP eligibility rules will tighten despite coronavirus outbreak
Huffington Post: Senate GOP Blocks Emergency Paid Sick Leave Bill From Moving Forward
Modern Healthcare: Healthcare Not Top Priority In COVID-19 Economic Relief Talks
Wall Street Journal: U.S. Travel Restrictions Fuel Fresh Global Selloff

Leadership
1100 Pennsylvania: Trump, Pence posed with Brazilian official now suspected of having coronavirus
ABC News: Trump Says He’s OK With Coronavirus Test But Doesn’t Need One: ‘I Feel Extremely Good’
Associated Press (Analysis): Facing virus outbreak, Trump’s tactics fall shor
The Atlantic: Trump’s Dangerously Effective Coronavirus Propaganda
Bloomberg: U.S. Virus Response Marred by Overconfidence and Delays
Bloomberg: Trump’s Error-Laden ‘Foreign Virus’ Speech Has Investors Spooked
CNN: Fact check: A list of 28 ways Trump and his team have been dishonest about the coronavirus
New York Magazine: Trump Waiting on Public Health Expert Jared Kushner Before Deciding on Coronavirus Emergency: Report
New York Times (Analysis): Presidents Forge Their Legacies in Crises
New York Times (Analysis): A Fumbled Global Response to the Virus in a Leadership Void
New York Times: How Right-Wing Pundits Are Covering Coronavirus
New York Times: In Rare Oval Office Speech, Trump Voices New Concerns and Old Themes
New York Times: Trump’s Re-election Chances Suddenly Look Shakier
Politico: Trump fears emergency declaration would contradict coronavirus message
Politico: Trump’s travel ban sidesteps his own European resorts
Politico: Trump’s European flight ban roils markets, spooks travelers
Politico: A remote White House? Trump team weighs teleworking
Talking Points Memo: Trump Is Slow Rolling A COVID-19 Emergency Declaration For The Worst Possible Reasons
Time: Why President Trump Wants to Frame COVID-19 as a ‘Foreign Virus’
Vox: Trump’s coronavirus speech was laced with xenophobia
Wall Street Journal: Trump Struggles To Balance Mitigating Epidemic, Protecting Economy
Washington Post: Trump urged Mnuchin to pressure Fed’s Powell on economic stimulus in explosive tirade about coronavirus
Washington Post: Besieged Trump announces drastic measures in effort to stem coronavirus pandemic
Washington Post (Analysis): Trump’s rhetoric on coronavirus often ignores the rate at which the disease is spreading

Congress
Axios: Congressional doctor predicts 70-150 million U.S. coronavirus cases
CNN: ‘A lot more hand washing’: Lawmakers try to guard against coronavirus on Capitol Hill
Politico: U.S. Capitol to stop all public tours amid coronavirus outbreak
Politico: House Democrats introduce multi-billion dollar coronavirus package
Politico: Pelosi ignores Trump taunts as she steers through another crisis
Roll Call: Senate staffer tests positive for COVID-19, first coronavirus case on Hill
Talking Points Memo: Dem Sens Will Urge Trump To Declare National Emergency For Coronavirus
Washington Post: U.S. Senators Press Betsy DeVos For Answers On Education Department’s Coronavirus Response
Washington Post: GOP congressman — who warned Trump about pandemics — offers pointed criticism of proposed CDC cuts

Affordability and Access
Associated Press: At White House, Insurers Again Pledge No-Cost Virus Tests
Axios: Coronavirus exposes the digital divide’s toll
Modern Healthcare: AMA fast-tracks code to bill for coronavirus testing

Campaigns and Elections
Axios: Exclusive: DNC chair says he’s “not contemplating” an online convention
Birmingham News: Election Day epidemic? Alabama has no plan
Politico: Trump cancels Nevada, Colorado, Wisconsin campaign events as coronavirus spreads
Roll Call: Campaigns Grapple With Uncertainty Amid New Coronavirus Concerns
Washington Post: Elections officials scramble for options as coronavirus worries mount

Economic And Social Impacts
ABC: NBA suspends season due to coronavirus
The Atlantic: What Will You Do If You Start Coughing?
The Atlantic: The Coronavirus Customer Service Crisis
Axios: How newsrooms are preparing for coronavirus while also covering it
Axios: Brace for coronavirus supply shocks
Axios: Hospitals’ next steps for coronavirus influx
Buzzfeed (Essay): The Coronavirus Isn’t Just About You
New York Times: Banned Events, Empty Arenas: U.S. Cities Retrench in the Face of Coronavirus
New York Times: Tom Hanks Says He Has Coronavirus
New York Times: Doctors and Patients Turn to Telemedicine in the Coronavirus Outbreak
New York Times (Opinion): Please, Listen to Experts About the Coronavirus. Then Step Up.
Washington Examiner (Opinion): Face it: Coronavirus is about to shut down your daily lives
Washington Post: Norwegian Cruise Line managers urged salespeople to spread falsehoods about coronavirus
Washington Post: NCAA basketball tournaments will be played with no fans
Washington Post (Opinion): When a danger is growing exponentially, everything looks fine until it doesn’t
Washington Post: The first U.S. layoffs from the coronavirus are here
Washington Post: Dow enters bear market after coronavirus declared pandemic

In The States
California
The Hill: Three TSA Employees In California Test Positive For Coronavirus
Los Angeles Times: Large gatherings should be canceled due to coronavirus outbreak, California Gov. Gavin Newsom says
Politico: Local leaders take coronavirus fight into own hands absent federal direction
San Jose Spotlight: San Jose adopts a ban on evictions amid coronavirus outbreak
San Francisco Chronicle: SF to ban all large gatherings, including Warriors games, to curb coronavirus spread

New York
Wall Street Journal: New York City Eyes Measures To Stop Virus Spread To Jails

Oregon
Willamette Week: Oregon Governor Bans Crowds Larger Than 250 People for the Next Month

Washington
CNBC: Amazon and Gates Foundation may team up to deliver coronavirus test kits to Seattle homes
New York Times: A ‘New Normal’ for Hospitals on the Front Lines Fighting Coronavirus

Washington, DC
Washingtonian: Coronavirus Could Wipe Out the Busiest Season for DC’s Professional Tour Guides
Washington Post: D.C. declares state of emergency as concerts, parades, church services are canceled

Trump Tweets
“Nancy Pelosi all of a sudden doesn’t like the payroll tax cut, but when Obama proposed it she thought it was a brilliant thing that all of the working families would benefit from because if you get a paycheck, you’re going to take home more money.” @kilmeade @foxandfriends [@realDonaldTrump, 3/12/20]

“Hoping to get the payroll tax cut approved by both Republicans and Democrats, and please remember, very important for all countries & businesses to know that trade will in no way be affected by the 30-day restriction on travel from Europe. The restriction stops people not goods.” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/11/20]

“The Media should view this as a time of unity and strength. We have a common enemy, actually, an enemy of the World, the CoronaVirus. We must beat it as quickly and safely as possible. There is nothing more important to me than the life & safety of the United States!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/11/20]

“I am fully prepared to use the full power of the Federal Government to deal with our current challenge of the CoronaVirus!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/11/20]

“I want to thank all of our Great Government officials on the CoronaVirus Task Force who are working around the clock, in response to the CoronaVirus. Continue to check http://CDC.gov for updates, and follow all recommendations that are available. We have the greatest healthcare system, experts, scientists and doctors anywhere in the world. Together, we will PREVAIL!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/11/20]

“America is the Greatest Country in the world. We have the best scientists, doctors, nurses and health care professionals. They are amazing people who do phenomenal things every day. .Together we are putting into policy a plan to prevent, detect, treat and create a vaccine against CoronaVirus to save lives in America and the world. America will get it done!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/11/20]

“Someone needs to tell the Democrats in Congress that CoronaVirus doesn’t care what party you are in. We need to protect ALL Americans!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/11/20]

“Vanity Fair Magazine, which will soon be out of business, and their third rate Fake reporters, who make up sources which don’t exist, wrote yet another phony & boring hit piece. The facts are just the opposite. Our team is doing a great job with CoronaVirus!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/11/20]

Trump’s Bungled Response, Delays in Testing Have Left the U.S. “Woefully Behind” in Coronavirus Response

As the coronavirus continues to spread across the country, the Trump administration’s failure to prepare for a pandemic in the United States has left Americans vulnerable. Coverage makes clear that testing shortages and inadequate guidance from the administration have contributed to the virus’ spread, and now health officials are shifting from a strategy of containment to bracing for widespread impact. 

New York Times: ‘It’s Just Everywhere Already’: How Delays In Testing Set Back The U.S. Coronavirus Response. “Even now, after weeks of mounting frustration toward federal agencies over flawed test kits and burdensome rules, states with growing cases such as New York and California are struggling to test widely for the coronavirus. The continued delays have made it impossible for officials to get a true picture of the scale of the growing outbreak, which has now spread to at least 36 states and Washington, D.C.” [New York Times, 3/10/20

POLITICO: U.S. Coronavirus Testing Threatened By Shortage Of Critical Lab Materials. “A looming shortage in lab materials is threatening to delay coronavirus test results and cause officials to undercount the number of Americans with the virus. The slow pace of coronavirus testing has created a major gap in the U.S. public health response. The latest problem involves an inability to prepare samples for testing, creating uncertainties in how long it will take to get results.“ [POLITICO, 3/10/20

Bloomberg: Coronavirus Containment Chance Missed, U.S. Aims To Blunt Impact. “In the early stages of an outbreak when the number of cases is small, health officials can focus on tracking down and isolating individual cases. It’s akin to stomping out a few embers that have jumped from a fire. [CDC Director Robert Redfield] said the U.S.’s failure to quickly roll out tests for the virus had impeded the U.S.’s early efforts. Because of flaws with the original CDC tests, it took weeks for state and local labs to get working tests for the virus, hobbling their attempts to identify patients and isolate them.” [Bloomberg, 3/10/20

NBC News: The U.S. Has Tested More Than 8,500 Specimens For Coronavirus. That Doesn’t Equal 8,500 Patients. “Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has promised millions of tests will be made available throughout the U.S. by the end of this week. But he acknowledged Monday that he did not know how many patients had been tested so far…While it’s not known exactly how many individuals have been tested, the U.S. still lags far behind other nations, which have already run tens of thousands of tests. In South Korea alone, more than 140,000 people have been tested.” [NBC News, 3/10/20

Yahoo News: Only 6,563 Americans Have Been Tested For The Coronavirus So Far. “Confusion about that exact number persists even at the highest reaches government. Earlier on Tuesday, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said he couldn’t provide the figure. That number stands in stark contrast to the promises made by leading members of the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force, who have variously asserted that 75,000 people would be tested by last week’s end and that laboratories across the United States would have the capacity to conduct 1.5 million tests by the beginning of this week.” [Yahoo News, 3/10/20

Business Insider: One Chart Shows How Many Coronavirus Tests Per Capita Have Been Completed In 8 Countries. The US Is Woefully Behind. ”In the US, test-kit shortages have hampered health authorities’ ability to get a clear sense of how many Americans are infected. Compared with many other countries affected by the coronavirus, in fact, the US has done the fewest COVID-19 tests per capita.” [Business Insider, 3/9/20

POLITICO: Trump’s Health Secretary Can’t Say How Many Americans Have Been Tested For Coronavirus. ”Public health labs across the country are testing people for the coronavirus, and those labs are required to report their findings to the CDC. But private labs — which Azar said account for the bulk of the tests — don’t have to report the number of tests they conduct or negative results to the CDC, leaving major holes in data key to understanding how many people in the U.S. are being tested for the virus.” [POLITICO, 3/9/20

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE — MARCH 11, 2020

Driving the Day: In a Politico exclusive, “A looming shortage in lab materials is threatening to delay coronavirus test results and cause officials to undercount the number of Americans with the virus.” Meanwhile, on CNN’s New Day on Tuesday morning, HHS Secretary Alex Azar reiterated that the administration does not know exactly how many Americans have been tested for coronavirus, but at the task force press conference he maintained that there is a “surplus capacity” of tests that have been produced.

What to Watch For: Today President Trump will meet with bankers to discuss coronavirus response and have dinner with Vice President Pence at the Naval Observatory. Vice President Pence will meet with hospital executives and address the National League of Cities. The coronavirus task force will hold a press briefing at 5:30 PM. The House Oversight and Homeland Security committees will hold hearings on coronavirus response.

Coronavirus Update

  • Speaking to reporters after meetings with Republicans on the Hill, President Trump said of the virus, “It will go away, just stay calm.” Trump insisted that “The U.S. has done a very good job on testing,” despite the fact that only 5,000 Americans have been tested so far. Trump said he himself had not been tested despite his contact with lawmakers who are now self-quarantining after interacting with a coronavirus patient at CPAC because, “I don’t think it’s a big deal. I would do it. I don’t feel any reason. I feel extremely good.” Trump also emphasized that as the nation approaches this public health crisis, “We want to protect our shipping industry, our cruise ships.”

  • At a meeting with insurance industry CEOs, Vice President Pence announced that insurance companies have agreed to no copays for coronavirus tests, and “no surprise billing.” Analysts say that this measure may not apply to people whose employers self-insure, which is 61% of those with employer-based insurance. HHS confirmed that uninsured people can “receive care at a Community Health Center at a reduced cost or free of charge depending on their economic status.” Washington state announced that it will open a special enrollment period for people seeking to buy health insurance to deal with coronavirus.

  • At the evening press conference Tuesday, task force members primarily focused on the economic response to coronavirus, with National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, stating that Trump would like a payroll tax holiday to extend to the end of the year and declining to answer questions about how much the plan would cost or how it would work. After promising a briefing on the economic plan, Trump himself was a no-show at the evening press conference.

  • Problems and delays with testing remained front and center with the New York Times reporting that for weeks, thousands of flu samples sat in Seattle as the CDC blocked efforts to test and flag them for coronavirus and Politico reporting that a shortage of lab materials is delaying test results. CDC Director Robert Redfield testified before the House Appropriations committee on Tuesday where he was pressed by Rep. Jamie Herrerra-Beutler (R-WA) about why members of Congress have been able to get access to testing while her constituents have been left waiting. Redfield said there was “not enough equipment, not enough people, not enough internal capacity.” Late Tuesday night the Washington Post reported that Trump allies Matt Gaetz and Mark Meadows were able to obtain testing in defiance of CDC guidelines reserving those tests for patients exhibiting symptoms of infection.

  • On CNN’s New Day on Tuesday morning, HHS Secretary Alex Azar reiterated that the administration does not know exactly how many Americans have been tested for coronavirus, but at the task force press conference he maintained that there is a “surplus capacity” of tests that have been produced.

  • Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden both cancelled their upcoming rallies and crowd events, with Biden scheduling remarks on the crisis in Delaware on Thursday morning. The DNC announced that the March 15 presidential debate will proceed without an audience. Asked at the evening briefing whether the Trump campaign would continue to hold rallies, Pence said, “That’ll be a decision that’s made literally on a day-to-day basis.” One hour later, the Trump campaign announced a rally-type event at a convention center in Milwaukee on March 19. The plans for the event came amid reports of the third confirmed case of coronavirus in Wisconsin.

By The Numbers
Tuesday, March 11, 2020, 7:00 AM
Number of US cases: 1,015
Number of US deaths: 31
Number of states with confirmed cases: 38
Number of tests conducted: 6,563

Federal Health Response
Axios: White House debated halting travel from South Korea, Italy
Bloomberg: Coronavirus Containment Chance Missed, U.S. Aims to Blunt Impact
CNN: Department of Veterans Affairs adopts ‘no visitors’ policy at nursing homes due to coronavirus
The Hill: Trump budget chief holds firm on CDC cuts amid virus outbreak
HuffPost: Prisons Are Ripe For Coronavirus Outbreak. They’re Not Ready.
NBC: The U.S. has tested more than 8,500 specimens for coronavirus. That doesn’t equal 8,500 patients.
New York Times: F.D.A. Halts Overseas Inspections of Drugs and Devices, Citing Coronavirus
New York Times: Rules Eased on Colleges Seeking to Close Their Campuses Amid Outbreak
New York Times: ‘It’s Just Everywhere Already’: How Delays in Testing Set Back the U.S. Coronavirus Response
Politico: U.S. coronavirus testing threatened by shortage of critical lab materials
Politico: Azar warns ‘medically fragile’ Americans against large gatherings — but stays mum on Trump rallies
Politico: CDC director breaks with Trump on claim that border wall will help stop coronavirus
Politico: Email crash impeded HHS response to coronavirus
Politico (Opinion): Coronavirus is a disaster. Why hasn’t FEMA been brought in?
Stat: Why ‘flattening the curve’ may be the world’s best bet to slow the coronavirus
Talking Points Memo: DOJ Faces Backlash For Ordering COVID-19 Posters Out Of Immigration Courts
Vox: Italy’s coronavirus crisis could be America’s
Vox: Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates are stepping in on the coronavirus where the government has failed
Washington Post: Face masks in national stockpile have not been substantially replenished since 2009
Washington Post: Trump administration wants hundreds of thousands of federal workers to be ready to telework full time
Yahoo: Only 6,563 Americans have been tested for the coronavirus so far

Federal Economic Response
Bloomberg: Trump Tells GOP He Wants Payroll Tax Waived Through Election
Bloomberg: Oil Lobbyists Call on Trump to Buy the Dip for Strategic Reserve
CNBC: White House plan for economic response to coronavirus is ‘not there right now,’ officials say
Politico: Trump seeks ‘big’ stimulus steps but aides are skeptical
Talking Points Memo: WH Punts Again On COVID-19 Economic Package Details Trump Promised
Wall Street Journal: White House Intensifies Push for Coronavirus Stimulus Measures
Wall Street Journal: U.S. Treasury Likely to Push Back April 15 Tax Filing Deadline, Sources Say
Washington Post: Trump’s meeting with Senate Republicans ends with no resolution on coronavirus economic plan
Washington Post: White House likely to pursue federal aid for shale companies hit by oil shock, coronavirus downturn

Leadership
ABC News: As Stocks Dive And Coronavirus Spreads, Trump Compares COVID-19 To Common Flu
The Atlantic (Ideas): Incompetence Exacerbated by Malevolence
Associated Press: As Americans take virus precautions, Trump flouts advice
Bloomberg: Trump Is a No-Show After Promising Briefing on Economic Plan
Bloomberg: Trump’s Coronavirus Claims Often Contradicted by His Own Experts
Bloomberg: Trump’s Pivot: From Caution to ‘Major’ Economic Plan for Virus
Buzzfeed: Fox News And Donald Trump Are Embracing Xenophobia To Defend Against The Coronavirus
Daily Mail: Melania Trump touts her Be Best anti-cyberbullying push to national PTA conference but stays silent on coronavirus as schools scramble to respond to mounting crisis
The Hill: Pence says he and Trump will continue to shake hands despite coronavirus
National Review (Editorial): President Trump Needs to Step Up on the Coronavirus
NBC News: Trump’s Minimized View Of The Coronavirus Crisis Puts His Re-Election At Risk
New York Magazine: Fox Business Network: COVID-19 Is a ‘Coronavirus Impeachment Scam’
New York Times: Politicians’ Use Of ‘Wuhan Virus’ Starts A Debate Health Experts Wanted To Avoid
Talking Points Memo: Trump Offers Another Baselessly Cheery Take On COVID-19 Epidemic
Washington Post: Trump allies got coronavirus tests despite lack of symptoms and shortage
Washington Post (Editorial): Suddenly we need the ‘Deep State’ Trump has spent three years weakening and demeaning

Congressional Activity
Axios: Congress “last to leave” as other institutions send people home
Bloomberg: Democrats Urge Waivers from Green Card Rule for Virus Tests
The Hill: Leaders Tamp Down Talk Of Closing Capitol, Changing Schedule Over Coronavirus
HuffPost: Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Standoff: Paid Sick Leave, A Payroll Tax Cut — Or Both
Mother Jones: Elizabeth Warren Just Told Private Prisons to Release Their Coronavirus Plans
New York Times: Avoid Flights and Crowds? Try Telling That to Congress
Politico: Dems press ahead on coronavirus package as Senate waits for Trump
Washington Post: Trump pitches payroll tax cut through election to skeptical GOP senators
Washington Post (Analysis): Here’s a simple way for Congress to fight coronavirus: Fund community health centers

Affordability and Access
Associated Press: Spotty Sick Leave Policies Limit Options For Avoiding Virus
Axios: The push for paid sick leave
Bloomberg: McDonald’s to Pay Corporate Workers for Two Weeks in Quarantine
The City: The Cost Of Not Getting Tested For Coronavirus: A $10k ER Bill
The Hill (Opinion): Medicaid Expansion Should Be Part Of Our Emergency Response
New York Times: Coronavirus Outbreak Has America’s Homeless at Risk of ‘Disaster’
Stat (Opinion): If Covid-19 gets bad, triage will be needed. Are we ready for that?
Stat: Coronavirus Outbreak Tests Nation’s Emergency Medical Stockpile
Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus School Closures Expose Digital Haves and Have-Nots

Campaigns and Elections
Daily Beast: Campaign 2020 Slowly Adjusting to Coronavirus, The Newest Biohazard of the Trade
HuffPost: Coronavirus Outbreak Isn’t Stopping Biden, Sanders From Shaking Hands
Los Angeles Times: Sanders, Biden cancel major Ohio rallies as coronavirus threat begins to disrupt campaign
New York Times: Sanders and Biden Cancel Events as Coronavirus Fears Upend Primary
Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Opens Economic Front In Presidential Campaign Battle

Economic And Social Impacts
The Atlantic (Ideas): Cancel Everything
Bloomberg: The Global Mask Shortage May Get Much Worse
Bloomberg: Tokyo Olympic Official to Raise Possibility of Delay, Kyodo Says
Bloomberg: Coronavirus Conference Gets Canceled Because of Coronavirus
CNN: Costco says it’s getting a lift from coronavirus panic shopping
Daily Beast: Meet the Insane People Still Planning Cruise Ship Vacations
Kaiser Health News: Blood Drives — And Donors — Fall Off As Coronavirus Worries Grow
Modern Healthcare: Widespread COVID-19 Outbreak In U.S. Would Threaten Hospitals’ Finances
NBC: Young people capitalize on cheap coronavirus flights: ‘If I die, I die’
NPR: More Than 40 Colleges Cancel In-Person Classes In Response To Coronavirus
New York Times: ‘No More Visits’ Urges Nursing Home Industry in Wake of Virus
New York Times (Opinion): Everyone’s a Socialist in a Pandemic
Politico: CPAC scrambles to contain coronavirus fallout
Washington Post: ‘Do I like this guy enough to risk catching coronavirus?’ The epidemic has made dating even more complicated.
Washington Post: Social distancing could buy U.S. valuable time against coronavirus

In The States
California
KQED: California Nearly Doubles COVID-19 Tests, But Experts Say It’s Not Enough
NPR: Sacramento County Gives Up On Automatic 14-Day Quarantines
Washington Post: Grand Princess cruise ship carrying coronavirus patients docks in Oakland

Florida
Miami Herald: Feds say there is community spread of coronavirus in Florida. DeSantis disagrees.

Georgia
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia Urges Health Insurers To Waive Cost-Sharing For COVID-19 Tests

Massachusetts
Axios: What happens when Harvard closes
Harvard Crimson: Harvard Moves Classes Online, Asks Students Not to Return After Spring Break In Response to Coronavirus
Wall Street Journal: How Biogen’s Strategy Meeting Spread Coronavirus in Massachusetts and Beyond
WBUR: Harvard Global Health Expert: Mass. Hospitals Face Capacity Problem If Coronavirus Cases Spike Quickly

Missouri
Washington Post: County says a father ignored coronavirus quarantine directive. His lawyer says he was never told.

New York
New York Times (Opinion): It Took Me 3 E.R. Visits to Get a Coronavirus Test in New York
Washington Post: Schools close, National Guard deployed to help New York suburb stem spread of coronavirus

Ohio
Wall Street Journal: Ohio Governor Calls on Sports to Bar Spectators Amid Coronavirus Fears

Texas
Texas Tribune: 5 million Texans lack health insurance. Here’s how that complicates the coronavirus response.
Washington Post: Texas braces for more coronavirus evacuees from Grand Princess, with residents ‘mad and scared’

Washington
Seattle Times: Gov. Inslee to restrict gatherings of more than 250 people, including sports and concerts
Seattle Times: Amazon to grant $5 million to small businesses near its headquarters struggling due to coronavirus
Stat: U.S. communities are braced for coronavirus outbreaks. Seattle is already in the thick of it
Talking Points Memo: Why Washington State Is Desperate For Trump To Declare A COVID-19 Emergency

Washington, DC
Stat: PhRMA closes its D.C. headquarters after visitor tests positive for coronavirus
Washington Post: For Georgetown churchgoers, a coronavirus self-quarantine is embraced as necessary
Washingtonian: It’s Time for Everybody to Work From Home, the Washington Post Tells Employees

Trump Tweets
“Our CoronaVirus Team has been doing a great job. Even Democrat governors have been VERY complimentary!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/10/20]

“Nancy Pelosi just said, “I don’t know if we can be ready this week.” In other words, it’s off to vacation for the Do Nothing Democrats. That’s been the story with them for 1 1/2 years!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/10/20]

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE — MARCH 10, 2020

Driving the Day: As reported by Politico, “HHS Secretary Alex Azar can’t say how many Americans have been tested for coronavirus because private labs don’t need to report their numbers to the federal government. ‘I could not give you a number of how many Americans have received a test,’ Azar said Monday at a briefing of the White House’s coronavirus task force.’”

What to Watch For: President Trump announced Monday evening that he will hold a press conference after meeting with GOP senators on an economic stimulus package today, however this does not appear on his official schedule for the day. Vice President Pence will meet with health insurance executives today. Members of the task force will hold a press briefing at 5:30 PM. HHS Secretary Alex Azar will attend a biosimilars forum and give an update on the administration’s coronavirus response.

Coronavirus Update 

  • While the stock market fell more than 7 percent in its worst day since 2008, Trump and Pence tried to “re-assure GOP donors that they have coronavirus response under control” and invited Wall Street executives to the White House on Wednesday to discuss the response. On Monday, Trump attended a $4 million fundraiser in Longwood, Florida before returning to Washington to address the crisis. In the Senate, Senator Chuck Grassley said his office was exploring “the possibility of targeted tax relief measures” as an approach to the coronavirus crisis and HHS Secretary Alex Azar said that “the fundamentals in this economy are unbelievable”

  • In an evening task force press conference President Trump briefly appeared to announce that his administration will meet with Republican Senators tomorrow to seek a payroll tax cut and possible help for hourly wage earners so they don’t miss a paycheck or “get penalized for something that’s not their fault.” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said any payroll tax cut should focus on families affected by the virus and Republicans have indicated that they won’t support a bailout for the travel industry at this time.

  • As President Trump tweeted that “nothing is shut down” and minimized the number of cases of coronavirus in the country, Alex Azar appeared on Fox News insisting that “nobody is trying to minimize” the threat of the virus. On the tarmac in Orlando, Trump shook hands with dozens of supporters, defying advice from his own public health experts and the Trump campaign plans to announce an upcoming rally today. White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham insisted that White House staff are continuing “business as usual” and that reports that staff were instructed to limit meetings and in-person interactions were “completely false.”

  • Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) announced that they would self-quarantine after coming in contact with a coronavirus patient at CPAC. Both Gaetz and Collins have had close contact with Trump, including handshakes in the last few days. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) has chosen not to self-quarantine despite being in close proximity to the patient at CPAC. Newly minted White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is self-quarantining for a few days out of an abundance of caution following an encounter with the CPAC patient and a negative test result and Rep. Julia Brownly (D-CA) is working remotely after meeting with a person in DC who was diagnosed with coronavirus. Nancy Pelosi is insisting that the capitol will not be closed and regular congressional work will continue. Late Monday night, the White House announced that the president has not been tested for coronavirus because he has not had “prolonged close contact” with any known confirmed patients.

  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy appeared on Laura Ingraham’s show to praise the president’s response to the coronavirus crisis, which he referred to as the “Chinese coronavirus. According to McCarthy, “Everything this president has done is right and smart. The Chinese are the ones to be blamed here.” This came amid reports that some Trump allies see the crisis as an opportunity to pursue long-held goals of cracking down on border restrictions, passing more tax cuts and restricting trade with China.

By The Numbers
Tuesday, March 10, 2020, 7:00 AM
Number of US cases: 729
Number of US deaths: 26
Number of states with confirmed cases: 36
Number of tests conducted: Unknown

Federal Response
Axios: Poll: America’s partisan divides extend to the coronavirus
Bloomberg: Business Groups to Press Trump for Virus Response to Curb Damage
Bloomberg: Trump’s Virus Aid Package to Leave Out Travel Industry for Now
Business Insider: One chart shows how many coronavirus tests per capita have been completed in 8 countries. The US is woefully behind.
CNN: Trump administration clashes with airline officials over coronavirus
New York Times: Trump Floats Economic Stimulus in Response to Coronavirus
New York Times (Editorial): What the Economy Needs From President Trump
McClatchy: As Trump seeks help for cruise industry hit by coronavirus, Republicans say no bailout
Miami Herald: Trump administration orders immigration courts to immediately remove coronavirus posters
Politico: Trump’s health secretary can’t say how many Americans have been tested for coronavirus
Politico: Health secretary pushes cruise ship shutdown amid coronavirus crisis
Politico: In crisis, Trump team sees a chance to achieve long-sought goals
Wall Street Journal: Trump, White House Officials to Weigh Coronavirus Economic Response Plan
Washington Post: Trump says he will seek payroll tax cut, relief for hourly workers as part of coronavirus economic package
Washington Post: Securities and Exchange Commission asks D.C. employees to work from home after coronavirus scare
Washington Post: White House invites top Wall Street executives to meet amid economic fallout from coronavirus
Washington Post (Opinion): It’s now or never for the U.S. if it hopes to keep coronavirus from burning out of control

Leadership
Associated Press: Trump talks down virus as his properties face possible hit
Axios: Pence urged Netanyahu not to target U.S. with coronavirus quarantine, but “go global”
Daily Beast: White House Staff Fear for Trump’s Health After Handshake With Man Exposed to Coronavirus, Says Report
Daily Beast: Trump Works Rope Line, Shakes Supporters’ Hands Amid Coronavirus Fears
CNBC: Trump and Pence try to reassure GOP donors they have coronavirus response under control
CNN: As coronavirus gains a foothold in the nation, it’s business as usual for Trump
HuffPost: Trump Can Keep Lying About Coronavirus, But He Won’t Be Able To Hide The Deaths
Los Angeles Times: Trump, who tied himself to stock market when it rose, struggles to respond to its plunge
New York Times (Opinion): President Trump Is Unfit for This Crisis. Period.
Politico: White House points fingers as it plots coronavirus stimulus
Politico: Trump’s life during coronavirus: Business as usual
Talking Points Memo: Minimizing Coronavirus Risk, Trump Compares Disease (Again) To Seasonal Flu
Time: The Trump Administration Is Stalling an Intel Report That Warns the U.S. Isn’t Ready for a Global Pandemic
Vanity Fair: “He’s Definitely Melting Down Over This”: Trump, Germaphobe In Chief, Struggles To Control The Covid-19 Story
Washington Post (Analysis): Highlighting low numbers of coronavirus cases, Trump distracts from the worrying trend
Washington Post (Opinion): The coronavirus is Trump’s Chernobyl
Washington Post (Analysis): The Trump administration has contradicted itself on coronavirus no fewer than 14 times in less than a month
Washington Post: From tweet eruptions to economic steps, Trump struggles for calm amid market meltdown and coronavirus crisis

Congressional Activity
New York Times: Coronavirus Brings a New Legislative Push for Paid Sick Leave
Politico: Republicans who came in contact with Trump self-quarantine
Politico: Hill leaders struggle with twin coronavirus challenges: Protect the nation — and themselves
Politico: Coronavirus gets real for an aging Senate
Wall Street Journal: Number of Congressional Lawmakers in Self-Quarantine Due to Coronavirus Climbs to Five

Affordability and Access
Bloomberg: Darden Restaurants Announces Paid Sick Leave for Hourly Workers
New York Times: Paid to Stay Home: Europe’s Safety Net Could Ease Toll of Coronavirus
New York Times: Some Hospitals Are Close to Running Out of Crucial Masks for Coronavirus
New York Times (Opinion): Protect Caregivers From Coronavirus
Politico: Hospitals gird for coronavirus surge after years of cutbacks
San Francisco Chronicle: Coronavirus will hit low-wage workers hardest; ‘I won’t be able to pay my rent’
Time: Americans Are Being Encouraged to Work From Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak. For Millions, That’s Impossible
USA Today: Soap and sanitizer can keep coronavirus at bay, but many prisoners can’t get them
Washington Post: Living without a living wage
Washington Post: Companies are putting out hand sanitizer. But for years, many have campaigned against sick pay.

Campaigns and Elections
New York Times: Trump Campaign Postpones Bus Tour as He Plays Down Risks of Coronavirus
Politico: Melania Trump cancels California fundraiser
Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Precautions Hit Presidential Campaign Plans
Washington Post: Coronavirus threatens to pose an unprecedented challenge to the 2020 elections

Economic Impacts
Axios: The next dominoes in the coronavirus economy
New York Times: Why the Outlook for the Economy Just Got Worse
New York Times: Economy Faces ‘Tornado-Like Headwind’ as Financial Markets Spiral
San Jose Mercury News: Coronavirus: Famed Silicon Valley VC firm tells companies to think about cutting jobs
Vox: Coronavirus’s threat to the global economy — and what to do about it
Wall Street Journal: Global Fear of Flying Spawns Crisis for Airlines
Wall Street Journal: Stocks Fall More Than 7% in Dow’s Worst Day Since 2008
Washington Post (Analysis): The markets are sending a message about coronavirus: The recession risk is real.
Washington Post: Cruise industry, an economic engine in Florida, could be hit hard by coronavirus advisories

In The States
California
San Francisco Chronicle: ‘I’m scared’: Homeless people and health workers brace for coronavirus to hit encampments
San Jose Mercury News: Following coronavirus death, Santa Clara County bans all large gatherings

Florida
Bloomberg: ‘If We Sanitize, It Will Be Fine’: Cruise Fans Ignore U.S. Alert
Tampa Bay Times: Florida asks international travelers to quarantine for 14 days amid coronavirus fears

Massachusetts
Washington Post: A look inside coronavirus preparations at a major U.S. hospital

New York
The Hill: Cuomo challenges Purell, Amazon, eBay by introducing New York-made hand sanitizer
New York Times: Coronavirus in N.Y.: Confusion Over Quarantine Feeds Anxiety

Oregon
Oregonian: Oregon’s supply of coronavirus tests could run out Wednesday without infusion of kits from feds

Washington
Bloomberg: Seattle’s Patient Zero Spread Coronavirus Despite Ebola-Style Lockdown

Washington, DC
Washingtonian: DC Outlets Ask Reporters Who Covered CPAC to Self-Quarantine Due to Coronavirus Concerns

Trump Tweets
“So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/9/20]

“Saudi Arabia and Russia are arguing over the price and flow of oil. That, and the Fake News, is the reason for the market drop!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/9/20]

“Good for the consumer, gasoline prices coming down!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/9/20]

“So much FAKE NEWS!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/9/20]

“The BEST decision made was the toughest of them all – which saved many lives. Our VERY early decision to stop travel to and from certain parts of the world!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/9/20]

“Great job being done by the @VP and the CoronaVirus Task Force. Thank you!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/9/20]

President Obama Helps Launch Protect Our Care’s “ACA 10 Anniversary Tour” in New Video Marking Landmark Anniversary of His Signature Health Care Law

View the video

Washington, DC — On Sunday, March 15, Protect Our Care will set out on a multi-state bus tour in key 2020 battleground states ahead of the 10 year anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act on March 23. In a new video for Protect Our Care released today, former President Barack Obama marks the landmark anniversary and helps launch POC’s “ACA 10 Anniversary Tour” by highlighting the importance of his signature health care law which has allowed 20 million Americans to receive health coverage and continues to ensure protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. 

President Obama concludes the video by saying: “So even as we celebrate, we commit ourselves to protecting the progress we’ve made until we finish the job for good with quality affordable coverage for every single American. Thank you to Protect Our Care for leading that fight, and to everyone who joins them.”

POC’s tour will kick off this Sunday in St. Paul, Minnesota before traveling to the key 2020 battleground states of Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. The tour will also include a stop in Washington, DC on March 23 where President Obama and other key health care leaders will hold a panel discussion to mark the anniversary.

Stops along the “ACA 10 Anniversary Tour” will include members of Congress, state and local lawmakers, health care advocates, doctors and patients who will speak about how the ACA has made a difference in the lives of those in their communities and how Republicans’ relentless war on health care, including their ongoing lawsuit to overturn the ACA, threatens their health care. The tour will hold vulnerable Republicans like U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (IA) and Thom Tillis (NC) accountable for failing to stop the Trump-Republican war on health care and will promote the work of newly elected House Democrats who are leading the charge to improve and strengthen the health care law and lower costs for Americans’ health care.  

Video script:

President Obama:
It’s been ten years since we passed the Affordable Care Act.
With your help, it’s the closest we’ve ever come to universal coverage in America.
There are people alive today because of what you did.
There are 135 million Americans whose pre-existing conditions are now protected because of what you did.
Young people who have been able to stay on their parents plans,
Seniors who’ve had an easier time affording their medicine,
Women who can’t be charged more just because they’re women, and a lot more.
That’s something worth celebrating, but it’s also progress worth protecting.
You helped protect it with your vote in 2018.
But even with a House of Representatives committed to building on the Affordable Care Act, Republicans will keep trying both in Congress and in the courts to rip away the care that millions of Americans rely on and to raise costs for millions more.
So even as we celebrate, we commit ourselves to protecting the progress we’ve made until we finish the job for good with quality affordable coverage for every single American.
Thank you to Protect Our Care for leading that fight, and to everyone who joins them.

Full “ACA 10 Anniversary Tour” schedule (more speakers to be added):

Sunday 3/15: St. Paul, MN

WHO: U.S. Senator Tina Smith, stage four cancer survivor Laura Packard
WHAT: Protect Our Care “ACA 10 Anniversary Tour” Press Conference
WHERE: St. Paul, MN
WHEN: 1:00 PM CT

Monday 3/16: Des Moines, IA

WHO: Stage four cancer survivor Laura Packard and local elected officials
WHAT: Protect Our Care “ACA 10 Anniversary Tour” Press Conference
WHERE: Iowa State Capitol, 1007 East Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50139
WHEN: 10:00 AM CT

Monday 3/16: Cedar Rapids, IA

WHO: Stage four cancer survivor Laura Packard and local elected officials
WHAT: Protect Our Care “ACA 10 Anniversary Tour” Press Conference
WHERE: Cedar Rapids, IA
WHEN: 2:00 PM CT

Tuesday 3/17: La Crosse, WI

WHO: U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (WI-03), stage four cancer survivor Laura Packard
WHAT: Protect Our Care “ACA 10 Anniversary Tour” Press Conference
WHERE: La Crosse, WI
WHEN: 10:00 AM CT

Tuesday 3/17: Madison, WI

WHO: WI Attorney General Josh Kaul, stage four cancer survivor Laura Packard
WHAT: Protect Our Care “ACA 10 Anniversary Tour” Press Conference
WHERE: Madison, WI
WHEN: 2:00 PM CT

Wednesday 3/18: Lansing, MI

WHO: Stage four cancer survivor Laura Packard and local elected officials
WHAT: Protect Our Care “ACA 10 Anniversary Tour” Press Conference
WHERE: Lansing, MI
WHEN: 10:00 AM ET

Wednesday 3/18: Canton, MI

WHO: U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens (MI-11), stage four cancer survivor Laura Packard, Beaumont Health Chief Operating Officer
WHAT: Protect Our Care “ACA 10 Anniversary Tour” Press Conference
WHERE: Beaumont Canton Hospital, 7300 N Canton Center Road, Canton, MI 48187
WHEN: 2:00 PM ET

Thursday 3/19: Wilkes-Barre, PA

WHO: U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA-08), stage four cancer survivor Laura Packard
WHAT: Protect Our Care “ACA 10 Anniversary Tour” Press Conference
WHERE: Wilkes-Barre, PA
WHEN: 1:00 PM ET

Friday 3/20: Allentown, PA

WHO: U.S. Rep. Susan Wild (PA-07), stage four cancer survivor Laura Packard
WHAT: Protect Our Care “ACA 10 Anniversary Tour” Press Conference
WHERE: Allentown, PA
WHEN: 10:00 AM ET

Friday 3/20: Philadelphia, PA

WHO: PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro, stage four cancer survivor Laura Packard  
WHAT: Protect Our Care “ACA 10 Anniversary Tour” Press Conference
WHERE: Philadelphia, PA
WHEN: 2:00 PM ET

Monday 3/23: Washington, DC

WHO: Former President Barack Obama, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, AU President and former HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach, former HHS Secretary and Governor of Kansas Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (PA), Governor of Kentucky Andy Beshear, U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14), stage four cancer survivor Laura Packard, political analyst and former senior White House official Paul Begala
WHAT: Protect Our Care Panel Conversation Marking the 10th Anniversary of the Passage of the Affordable Care Act
WHERE: American University, School of International Services Atrium, 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016
WHEN: 12:30-3:30 PM ET

Wednesday 3/25: Charlotte, NC

WHO: Stage four cancer survivor Laura Packard and local elected officials
WHAT: Protect Our Care “ACA 10 Anniversary Tour” Press Conference
WHERE: Charlotte, NC
WHEN: 9:30 AM ET

Wednesday 3/25: Raleigh, NC

WHO: Stage four cancer survivor Laura Packard and local elected officials
WHAT: Protect Our Care “ACA 10 Anniversary Tour” Press Conference
WHERE: Raleigh, NC
WHEN: 2:30 PM ET

Former President Barack Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Mark 10th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act at American University With Protect Our Care and Policy Leaders

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR MONDAY MARCH 23***

Washington, DC — Former President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will be welcomed by American University President and former Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Sylvia M. Burwell for a conversation marking the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This conversation will be preceded by a panel discussion led by Protect Our Care featuring additional elected officials and policy leaders who have been fierce advocates for Americans’ health care. 

WHO:
Former President Barack Obama
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
Sylvia M. Burwell, AU President and former HHS Secretary
Leslie Dach, Chair, Protect Our Care
Kathleen Sebelius, former HHS Secretary and Governor of Kansas
Bob Casey, U.S. Senator, Pennsylvania
Andy Beshear, Governor of Kentucky
Lauren Underwood, U.S. Representative, Illinois
Andy Slavitt, former Acting Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Laura Packard, Stage 4 cancer survivor and health care advocate
Paul Begala, panel moderator, political analyst and former senior White House official 

WHEN:
12:30-3:30 PM on Monday, March 23, 2020

WHERE:
American University
School of International Services Atrium
4400 Massachusetts Ave NW (campus map)
Washington, DC 20016

RSVP:
Media interested in covering this event must RSVP by Monday, March 16 at noon to [email protected] Please note that space for this event is limited. RSVP does not guarantee attendance but must be received in order to be considered for admittance. You will be notified of your credential status and all event details by Thursday, March 19 at noon.

Steve Daines: Not the Senator Montanans Need on Health Care

Daines Supports Repealing The Health Care Law Which Would Strip Coverage From More Than 112,000 Montanans And Protections For 425,900 Montanans with Pre-Existing Conditions

As Governor Steve Bullock (D), a supporter of the health care law who pushed through Medicaid expansion in Montana, announces his run for the U.S. Senate today, his opponent, Republican incumbent Steve Daines, is actively trying to rip the law apart and deny protections for over 400,000 Montanans with pre-existing conditions. When it comes to health care, Steve Daines is not on Montanans side and not the Senator they need. 

Senator Daines Voted Five Times To Repeal The Health Care Law: 

2013: Daines Voted For A Total Repeal Of The ACA. Daines voted for HR 45, an act “to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.” [HR 45, Roll Call Vote #154, 5/16/13

2014: Daines Campaigned On Repealing The ACA. “The Affordable Care Act (also known as ‘Obamacare’): Opposes it and wants to repeal it. Says he supports some elements, such as prohibiting insurers from considering pre-existing health conditions when setting prices, but that it’s a “series of broken promises” imposing unnecessary costs and bureaucracy on the health-care system. Says more competition should be injected into health-care and insurance markets and that individuals should get tax breaks for buying health insurance.” [Billings Gazette, 10/12/14

2015: Daines Voted To Repeal Most Of The ACA. Daines voted for legislation that gutted the Affordable Care Act by eliminating the insurance exchanges and subsidies, and repealing the Medicaid expansion accepted by 30 states, including Nevada. [HR 3762, Roll Call Vote #114, 12/3/15

  • Daines Promised To “Work Tirelessly To Repeal Obamacare.” “Senator Steve Daines today hailed the passage of legislation that repeals the President’s failed health care law and puts states on a glide path toward creating locally driven health care solutions, upholding the promise Daines made to Montanans to continue fighting to repeal Obamacare. ‘Last year, when I decided to run for Montana’s open Senate seat, I promised the people of Montana that I would work tirelessly to repeal Obamacare. Today, I upheld that promise and voted to repeal President Obama’s broken health care law,’ Daines stated. ‘President Obama will now have to decide whether to put the American people first, or if he’ll continue imposing fines and substandard care on the hardworking people of this country. If the President rejects the will of the American people and vetoes this bill, I will continue working to protect Montanans from rising health care costs.’” [Sen. Steve Daines Press Release, 12/3/15

What would full repeal of the Affordable Care Act eliminate?

  • Protections for 425,900 Montanans with pre-existing conditions, if they buy coverage on their own
  • Improvements to Medicare, including reduced costs for prescription drugs
  • Allowing kids to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26
  • Ban on annual and lifetime limits
  • Ban on insurance discrimination against women
  • Limit on out-of-pocket costs
  • Medicaid expansion currently covering roughly 85,000 Montanans
  • Rules to hold insurance companies accountable
  • Small business tax credits
  • Marketplace tax credits and coverage for up to 37,193 Montanans

2017: Daines Voted For The Senate “Repeal And Delay” Plan. Daines voted for Obamacare Repeal and Replacement Act was a Republican effort to repeal the ACA without a replacement. Known as “repeal and delay,” the bill repealed major sections of the ACA, including the Medicaid expansion and premium tax credits, in 2020. [HR 1628, Roll Call Vote #169, 7/26/17

  • If Repeal and Delay became law, 32 million fewer people would have health insurance by 2026. 18 million Americans would lose health coverage just in the first year after repeal. 
  • Health insurance premiums would double for those in the individual market.

2017: Daines Voted For The Better Care Reconciliation Act. Daines voted for the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which repealed and replaced the ACA. [HR 1628, Roll Call Vote #168, 7/25/17

2017: Daines Voted For “Skinny Repeal” Of The ACA. Daines voted for “Skinny Repeal” of the ACA, which repealed the individual mandate and delayed the employer mandate while leaving most of the rest of the law in place. [HR 1628, Roll Call Vote #179, 7/28/17

According To CBO, Skinny Repeal Would Have Resulted In The Largest Coverage Loss in American History: 

    • At minimum, 15 million Americans would lose coverage in 2018. This would have been the biggest one-year increase in our nation’s history. 
    • Premiums would go up by roughly 20 percent 

2017: Daines Was Furious After The Senate Failed To Repeal The ACA. In a press release titled “Daines Blasts Failure to Repeal Obamacare,” Daines said, ‘Montanans have made it clear in election after election, they want Obamacare to be repealed and replaced. These families have paid far too much and have faced an increase of 133 percent in their premiums over the past five years. We must help these families and not let them suffer under this broken law anymore.’” [Sen. Steve Daines Press Release, 7/28/17

Daines Refuses To Condemn The Texas Lawsuit That Would Rip Coverage Away From More Than 112,000 Montanans

President Trump is trying to rip away our health care by going to court to eliminate the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. If the Texas lawsuit is successful, it will strip coverage from millions of Americans, raise premiums, end protections for people with pre-existing conditions, put insurance companies back in charge, and force seniors to pay more for prescription drugs. 

2020: Daines Refused To Answer Questions About The Texas Lawsuit. “Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), who could face a challenge from his state’s governor, Democrat Steve Bullock, did not directly answer when asked if he supports the lawsuit, simply saying ‘we’re going to be talking about a lot between now and next year’ before walking into the Senate chamber. Daines spokeswoman Katie Schoettler later added in an email: ‘Obamacare has been disastrous for Montana and dramatically increased healthcare costs for Montanans. The Senator thinks that regardless of the outcome, Congress must protect people with preexisting conditions.’” [The Hill, 3/6/20

Daines Voted For The Tax Bill Which Forms The Basis For The Trump-Republican Lawsuit. Daines was a key vote for the Republican tax bill, which repealed a key provision of the Affordable Care Act that required most people to have health coverage and which is the basis of the Trump-Republican lawsuit seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act. 

Daines Refused To Support Authorizing The Senate Legal Counsel To Intervene In The Trump-Republican Lawsuit And Defend The ACA. Daines refused to sponsor a resolution (S. Res. 18), which would authorize Senate legal counsel to defend the Affordable Care Act against attack in Texas v. Azar.

If the Texas lawsuit is successful:

  • 112,000 Montanans could lose coverage. According to the Urban Institute, 112,000 Montanans would lose coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act, leading to a 126 percent increase in the uninsured rate.
  • 7,000 Montana 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.
  • Montanans would lose important federal health care funding — an estimated reduction of $1.1 billion in the first year. The Urban Institute estimates that a full repeal of the ACA would reduce federal spending on Montanans’ Medicaid/CHIP care and Marketplace subsidies by $1.1 billion, or 49.2 percent in the first year.
  • Insurance companies would be put back in charge, ending protections for the 425,900 Montanans with a pre-existing condition. 425,900 Montanans have a pre-existing condition, including 54,000 Montana children, 206,000 Montana women, and 116,400 Montanans between ages 55 and 64. 

Daines Has Voted To Slash Medicare And Medicaid

2017: Daines Voted To Cut Medicare By $473 Billion. Daines voted for the FY 2018 budget resolution, which included $473 billion in cuts to Medicare over 10 years. [H Con Res 71, Vote #245, 10/19/17; Vox, 10/26/17

2017: Daines Voted To Slash $1.3 Trillion From Medicaid. Daines voted for the FY 2018 budget resolution, which cut funding for non-Medicare health programs, most notably Medicaid, by 1.3 trillion, a 20 percent cut over the course of 10 years, increasing to a 29.3 percent cut by 2027. [H Con Res 71, Vote #245, 10/19/17; Vox, 10/26/17

Daines Was Supportive Of The Graham-Cassidy-Heller Bill Which Would Have Slashed Medicaid Funding For Montana. “Republican Steve Daines said the GOP’s latest attempt at a health care re-do could be good for Montana. The Graham-Cassidy bill would replace current flow of the federal money for Medicaid and other ACA subsidies with block grants. Those block grants will be smaller than current federal ACA support levels in some states, but Daines said it looks like Montana will receive more money. Dating back to his 2013 term in the U.S. House, Daines has been a consistent yes vote for repealing the ACA. ‘You look at what’s going on in Montana with the fiscal situation,’ Daines said. ‘The governor has a train wreck going on. Under the current Obamacare legislation, Medicaid is on a glide path, down from 100 percent to 90 percent. That shift, under current law, will even add more fuel.’” [Billings Gazette, 9/20/17

  • Avalere: $4 Trillion Cut To States Over Next Two Decades, Including $11 Billion Cut To Montanans. Independent analysts at Avalere estimated that states collectively would lose $215 billion from 2020 to 2026 from the plans block grants and Medicaid cap, another $283 billion in 2027 when the block grant funding disappears altogether and $4 trillion over the next two decades. Montana would see a $1 billion reduction in 2027 and a $11 billion cut over two decades.
  • 54,775 Montanans Enrolled Through Medicaid Expansion At Risk. The Graham-Cassidy bill would eliminate Medicaid expansion, which has helped 54,775 Montanans receive quality, affordable coverage, and put part of its funding into inadequate block grants. The bill would further punish states that expanded Medicaid by redistributing funds to states that did not expand Medicaid.

Daines Supports “Junk” Insurance Plans That Can Refuse To Cover Pre-Existing Conditions

2019: Daines Voted To Uphold The Expansion Of “Junk” Insurance Plans. Daines voted against a Congressional Review Act resolution to overturn a Trump administration health care policy that allows the expansion of short term health care plans that do not have to guarantee coverage for pre-existing conditions or cover essential health benefits. [SJ Res 52, Roll Call Vote #337, 10/30/19

2018: Daines Voted To Allow The Expansion Of “Junk” Insurance Plans. Daines voted against a resolution to block President Trump from expanding access to short-term health care plans. [SJ Res 63, Roll Call Vote #226, 10/10/18

Junk plans allow insurance companies to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, limit care, and put consumers at risk of financial ruin and limit the care consumers get: 

  • Junk Plans Are Allowed To Discriminate Against People With Pre-Existing Conditions. “Policyholders who get sick may be investigated by the insurer to determine whether the newly-diagnosed condition could be considered pre-existing and so excluded from coverage.” [Kaiser Family Foundation, 2/9/18]
  • As Many As 130 Million Nonelderly Americans Have A Pre-Existing Condition. [Center for American Progress, 4/5/17]
  • 1 in 4 Children Would Be Impacted If Insurance Companies Could Deny Or Charge More Because Of A Pre-Existing Condition. [Center for American Progress, 4/5/17]
  • Junk Plans Can Refuse To Cover Essential Health Benefits. “Typical short-term policies do not cover maternity care, prescription drugs, mental health care, preventive care, and other essential benefits, and may limit coverage in other ways.” [Kaiser Family Foundation, 2/9/18]
  • Under Many Junk Plans, Benefits Are Capped At $1 Million Or Less. Short-term plans can impose lifetime and annual limits – “for example, many policies cap covered benefits at $1 million or less.” [Kaiser Family Foundation, 2/9/18]
  • Commonwealth Fund: “Cost Sharing Designs In Short-Term Coverage Leave Members Facing Major, Unpredictable Financial Risk.” “The out-of-pocket maximum for each best-selling plan is higher than that allowed in individual or employer plans under the ACA, when adjusting for the shorter plan duration. When considering the deductible, the best-selling plans have out-of-pocket maximums ranging from $7,000 to $20,000 for just three months of coverage. In comparison, the ACA limits out-of-pocket maximums to $7,150 for the entire year.” [Commonwealth Fund, 8/11/17]
  • Short-Term Junk Plans Can Retroactively Cancel Coverage After Patients File Claims. “Individuals in STLDI plans would be at risk for rescission. Rescissions are retroactive cancellations of coverage, often occurring after individuals file claims due to medical necessity. While enrollees in ACA coverage cannot have their policy retroactively cancelled, enrollees in STLDI plans can.” [Wakely/ACAP, April 2018]

Daines, A Big Recipient Of Pharmaceutical Cash, Has Refused To Support Medicare Drug Price Negotiations

After nearly a full term in office, Steve Daines has never taken a position on allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices, while accepting more than $100,000 in campaign contributions from pharmaceutical giants.  Daines also voted for the 2017 GOP tax law — a giveaway to big pharma so large that just four pharmaceutical companies pocketed a massive $7 billion in tax savings in 2018 alone, all while prices for patients continue to rise. 

Daines Has Received Over $100,000 In Pharma Contributions Over His Career. From 2007-2020 Daines has received $110,000 in contributions from pharmaceutical companies. [Kaiser Health News, 9/3/19

  • Daines Claims That He Doesn’t Let His Contributions From Big Pharma Affect His Votes. “Greg Findley pointed to data compiled by Kaiser Health News that shows Daines has accepted $50,000 from pharmaceutical companies so far this election cycle. Tester has received $12,500, while Rep. Greg Gianforte, a Bozeman Republican, has received $4,000. ‘Might it be better if we got pharmaceutical money and big industry money out of politics?’ he asked. Daines said he doesn’t let donations affect the way he votes. ‘If the pharma companies go home unhappy and Montanans go home happier, I’m doing the right thing,’ he said.” [Bozeman Daily Chronicle, 9/14/19

Daines Supports Drug Pricing Legislation From Chuck Grassley That Does Not Include Medicare Negotiations. “A bipartisan attempt to cut prescription drug costs more than $100 billion passed out of Senate Finance Committee with the support of the U.S. Sen. Steve Daines. […] The bill is known as the ‘Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019.’ ‘What we saw today is that bipartisan compromise isn’t dead. Today was about making life easier for Montanans,’ Daines said in a post-vote press conference. Daines is a Senate Finance Committee member. ‘It’s about cutting out-of-pocket costs and lowering prescription drug costs for seniors, for hardworking moms and dads, for grandmas and grandpas, frankly for Montanans in every corner of our state.’” [Billings Gazette, 7/25/19

Daines Claims That Rural Hospitals Are “Critical” But His Policies Could Force Hospital Closures In Montana

Daines Called Rural Hospitals Critical. “U.S. Senator Steve Daines today sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price regarding health care in rural America. The letter emphasizes the importance of rural health-care providers and their critical role in rural communities. ‘As you take on this new leadership role at HHS, we request that you work with us to ensure that the federal government does not act as an impediment to providing health care in rural communities,’ Daines wrote. ‘Overreaching and onerous regulations from Washington disproportionately harm rural America. We believe that together we can enact and implement effective policies that help providers innovate in care delivery and enable them to make efficient use of available resources.’” [Sen. Steve Daines Press Release, 2/15/17

HEADLINE: “Rural hospitals rely on Medicaid expansion to stay open, study shows” [PBS Newshour, 1/9/18

ACA Repeal Like The Bills Daines Voted For Could Cost Montana Rural Health Providers Millions Of Dollars And “Cripple Rural America.” “The election in November of Republican majorities in the House and Senate and a Republican president means the Affordable Care Act is likely to be repealed when the new Congress convenes in January. But many Montanans, despite significant criticism of the law known as Obamacare, wonder what the future of affordable health care will look like for thousands of people in this state if it goes away. In an effort to understand community perspective, Senator Jon Tester met with some of those Montanans, along with about 25 healthcare professionals from various facilities, at Missoula’s Providence St. Patrick Hospital Saturday afternoon for a Missoula Healthcare Roundtable. Although Tester, a Democrat, started the discussion with introductions, he quickly turned it over to the participants with a single question: How would a potential partial or full repeal of the ACA impact your community? For Mineral County, a repeal of the ACA without an immediate similar or better healthcare plan could mean the loss of the county’s only hospital, according to Ron Gleason, CEO of Mineral Community Hospital. The hospital treats everyone in Mineral County, which Gleason said has a large low-income and veteran population, and is operating with a minimum staff. Gleason said the hospital will be closing its assisted living center in February and a repeal of the ACA would mean a loss of even more funding. If Mineral Community Hospital closed, Gleason said there wouldn’t be another health center for miles, and much of the population would move or be left without care. […] Rural Community Health Centers, which serve more than 100,000 people, could face the loss of 70 percent of their funding. Tester said Lincoln County alone could lose up to $2.5 million a year in asbestos-related disease screening and support. Ken Burd, a Granite County Hospital board member, said the loss of the ACA would set off a series of unintentional events that would eventually cripple rural America. Rural America, Burd said, depends on blue collar, industrial jobs and recreational outdoor activity, both of which are injury prone. Without affordable emergency care, people will stop working industrial jobs and move away from rural America. ‘So this would have larger impacts socially and economically than I think people are looking at now,’ Burd said.” [Missoulian, 1/7/17

Rural Health In Montana By The Numbers

 

  • 64 percent of Montana’s non-elderly population lives in a non-metro rural area or small town
  • 17 percent of Montanans living in rural areas are uninsured, compared to 17 percent of Montanans living in nonrural areas.
  • Since the Affordable Care Act, the uninsured rate has fallen by 10 percent in rural parts of Montana.
  • 17 percent of Montanans living in rural areas have health coverage through Medicaid. 
  • The Affordable Care Act led to a $40 million reduction in Montana uncompensated care costs. Between 2013 and 2015, Montana hospitals’ uncompensated care costs decreased by $40 million, or roughly 22 percent.
  • In Montana, where lawmakers expanded Medicaid, no rural hospitals have closed since 2010.

 

 

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE — MARCH 9, 2020

Driving the Day: Over the weekend the New York Times, the Washington Post and POLITICO ran stories on the profound disarray in the administration’s response and how it’s left America at risk.

What to Watch For: After spending Sunday golfing with members of the Washington Nationals, today President Trump will attend campaign fundraisers in Florida for the second time in three days and return to Washington, DC in the afternoon. As of now Trump has no coronavirus-related events scheduled this week. The vice president will hold a conference call with governors on coronavirus and will brief the press with the task force at 5:30 PM. Bernie Sanders is holding a coronavirus-focused public health roundtable in Detroit.

Coronavirus Update

  • HUD Secretary Ben Carson appeared on ABC’s This Week and said the administration was “still coming up with” a plan to safely treat and evacuate the 3,500 people aboard the Grand Princess, which is scheduled to dock in Oakland tomorrow. Carson also assured viewers that “there’s no reason you shouldn’t go” to Trump rallies during the outbreak.

  • On Meet the Press, Anthony Fauci said the administration was moving to “mitigation” strategies, including social distancing and said the administration now has a “better sense” of what’s happening and it’s “not encouraging.” On Fox News Sunday, Fauci said that he has insisted that passengers should “absolutely not” be held aboard the ship for quarantine and urged older Americans not to go on cruises.

  • Surgeon General Jerome Adams appeared on ABC’s This Week and praised President Trump saying, that he “sleeps less than I do and he’s healthier than what I am.” Adams was unable to give an answer to the question of how many Americans have been tested for coronavirus. The Surgeon General later tweeted to urge employers to offer flexibility and paid leave for their staff.

  • Sunday night Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced that after shaking hands with someone diagnosed with coronavirus at CPAC he wlll self quarantine in Texas. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) announced that he and three members of his senior staff are also self-quarantining. While at CPAC numerous members of the administration, including the president, downplayed the risks and impacts of coronavirus. NBC News reported that members of Congress are increasingly concerned about the virus and there is growing pressure on leadership to take steps to protect them, including a potentially extended recess.

  • House and Senate Democrats called for a set of economic policy changes, including paid sick leave, to protect working Americans and those put at severe economic risk from coronavirus.

Federal Preparedness
The Atlantic (Ideas): The U.S. Isn’t Ready for What’s About to Happen
The Atlantic: What Could Happen if the Coronavirus Closed Schools for Days, Weeks, or Even Months
Bloomberg: U.S. Moves From Containment to Preparing for Daily Disruptions
Bloomberg: Trump Virus Adviser Is a Rarity in White House Ruled by Loyalty
Bloomberg: Fauci Says Sense on Coronavirus Scope Is ‘Not Encouraging’
Bloomberg: Trump’s Aides Drafting Economic Measures to Combat Virus Fallout
HuffPost: The Coronavirus Outbreak Is About To Put Hospital Capacity To A Severe Test
Kaiser Health News: Surging Health Care Worker Quarantines Raise Concerns As Coronavirus Spreads
Los Angeles Times: ‘We’re past the point of containment’: Coronavirus fight enters new phase
Miami Herald: State Department warns against traveling by cruise ship during coronavirus outbreak
New York Times: Not His First Epidemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci Sticks to the Facts
New York Times: U.S. Health Experts Say Stricter Measures Are Required to Limit Coronavirus’s Spread
Politico: Top health official to older Americans: ‘Don’t get on a cruise ship’
Politico: Health officials shift tone on coronavirus, say elderly and sick at risk
Talking Points Memo: Surgeon General On Admin’s Coronavirus Rhetoric: ‘Messaging Is Hard’
Vox: The Trump administration doesn’t yet have a plan to handle Grand Princess coronavirus cases, officials say
Washington Post: Health agencies’ funding cuts challenge coronavirus response
Washington Post: With global economy in balance, the White House and Fed are at odds over how to help

Affordability and Access
New York Times (Editorial): With Coronavirus, ‘Health Care for Some’ Is a Recipe for Disaster
New York Times: Coronavirus Highlights the Pitfalls of Health Deductibles
Popular Information: Free breadsticks during a coronavirus outbreak
Slate (Opinion): Medicaid for All Who Face the Coronavirus

Leadership
Daily Beast: Surgeon General to Jake Tapper: Trump Is ‘Healthier’ Than I Am
New York Times: State Dept. Tells Americans to Avoid Cruise Ships, Despite Trump’s Misgivings
New York Times (Opinion): Trump, His Eye on the Border, Overlooked the Coronavirus Threat
New York Times (Analysis): For Trump, Coronavirus Proves to Be an Enemy He Can’t Tweet Away
New Yorker (Comment): Trump in the Time of the Coronavirus
Slate: Trump Plays Golf While Coronavirus Cases Surge
Washington Examiner (Opinion): Coronavirus is exposing Trump’s unsuitability to handle a crisis
Washington Post: Coronavirus case at CPAC brings outbreak closer to Trump, threatening to upend his routine amid reelection bid
Washington Post (Analysis): After stopping at the CDC on his way to Mar-a-Lago, Trump heads to the golf course two days in a row

Congressional Activity
Axios: Ted Cruz to self-quarantine after contact with coronavirus patient
KAFF: Congressman Paul Gosar Says He Will Stay In Arizona After COVID-19 Scare At CPAC
NBC: Anxiety in an aging Congress as coronavirus marches across U.S.

Economic Impacts
Bloomberg: Apple’s Cook Offers Work From Home This Week to Many Global Employees
CNBC: Dow set to tank 1,300 points, Treasury yields crater as oil crashes amid all-out price war
New York Times: Surge of Virus Misinformation Stumps Facebook and Twitter
Politico: America’s workers face an outbreak of uncertainty

In The States
California
New York Times: Failures on the Diamond Princess Shadow Another Cruise Ship Outbreak

Kansas
Kansas City Star: As coronavirus arrives, Kansas confronts history of underfunding public health

New Jersey
Politico: CDC has yet to confirm any of New Jersey’s 6 presumed coronavirus cases

New York
Bloomberg: New York Coronavirus Test Delays Meant Days Without Diagnosis
Bloomberg: De Blasio Expects Hundreds of New NYC Cases in Coming Weeks
New York Post: FDNY issues order pulling back firefighters from calls describing coronavirus symptoms; says it is prioritizing responses
New York Times: Coronavirus in N.Y.: Cuomo Attacks C.D.C. Over Delays in Testing

Washington
CNN: This nursing home is at the center of Washington’s coronavirus. Here’s what one first responder saw there
Seattle Times: Mourning losses and unsure of what’s to come, Seattle area watches warily as coronavirus spreads

Washington, DC
Washington Post: D.C.’s first coronavirus case is church rector; Virginia has second presumptive case, bringing region’s total to 7

Trump Tweets

“The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, is doing everything within its semi-considerable power (it used to be greater!) to inflame the CoronaVirus situation, far beyond what the facts would warrant. Surgeon General, ‘The risk is low to the average American.’” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/9/20] “We have a perfectly coordinated and fine tuned plan at the White House for our attack on CoronaVirus. We moved VERY early to close borders to certain areas, which was a Godsend. V.P. is doing a great job. The Fake News Media is doing everything possible to make us look bad. Sad!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/8/20]