Monthly Archives

April 2020

SCOTUS Overturns Early Act of Trump’s Health Care Sabotage Just a Week Before the Court Begins Consideration of the Trump Lawsuit to Overturn the Entire Affordable Care Act

Washington, DC — Today, the Supreme Court reversed a decision by the Trump administration in July of 2018 to suspend risk adjustment payments that were included in the Affordable Care Act to help offer more affordable coverage to everyone, regardless of if they are healthy or sick. By refusing to make risk adjustment payments — even though they didn’t cost the taxpayer a single penny — President Trump and his administration made it harder for people with pre-existing conditions to access coverage, and drove up premiums for millions. This Supreme Court decision is one week before the House of Representatives and Democratic Attorneys General submit briefs to the court in opposition to the Trump lawsuit to overturn the entire ACA. Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach released the following statement in response: 

“Today, the Supreme Court overruled an early attack by the Trump administration to undermine the Affordable Care Act — a decision by President Trump that raised insurance premiums for millions of Americans. Next week, the court begins its consideration of President Trump’s most outrageous action of all to rip apart Americans health care, a lawsuit that would take coverage away from 20 million Americans during a global pandemic. This is an outrageous attack by the president on America’s health care at the worst possible time.” 

Protect Our Care, Obamacare Online Communities Join Forces

Washington, D.C. — Today, Protect Our Care announced that it will merge its online health care community with the Obamacare grassroots online community, combining a network of 700,000+ influencers, activists, and storytellers into a health care messaging hub.

Protect Our Care’s Digital Director Sean England released the following statement:

“From driving open enrollment to lifting up stories of everyday Americans, the Obamacare online community has been such a powerful tool in the health care fight, and we are excited to join forces and create a unified community that can reach hundreds of thousands of Americans.”

Roundup: Reporting on Protect Our Care’s New Polling Reinforces Findings Showing Voters’ Disapproval of Trump’s Coronavirus Response in Key Battleground States

On Thursday, Protect Our Care released a new survey conducted with Public Policy Polling in the key battleground states of Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin on voter attitudes towards Trump’s handling of the coronavirus. News coverage of POC’s polling reinforced the fact that majorities of voters in these key 2020 states disapprove of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, trust their governors far more and oppose relaxing social distancing and recent protests to end stay-at-home orders. 

Coverage of Protect Our Care’s Polling: 

The Hill: EXCLUSIVE: Voters In Swing States Trust Governors Over Trump On Reopening Economy, Poll Finds. “The president’s approval ratings in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are 46 percent, 44 percent and 45 percent, respectively, in this poll, while his disapproval numbers stand at 49 percent, 52 percent and 48 percent. PPP surveyed more than 1,200 voters in each state on behalf of Protect Our Care, a group devoted to defending the 2010 Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. “What I think we’ve seen is that President Trump can’t bullshit his way through this pandemic. You have to show genuine competency, genuine leadership and genuine empathy,” said Brad Woodhouse, the executive director of Protect Our Care.” [The Hill, 4/23/20

NBC News: Trump’s Coronavirus Approval Rating Underwater In Key States, Surveys Find. “New surveys out Thursday show President Donald Trump’s approval rating for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic is underwater among voters in four critical states this election while state governors receive high marks for their responses to the virus. By and large, these key voters also oppose protests against stay-at-home orders and efforts to relax social distancing measures. The polling, conducted by the progressive firm, Public Policy Polling, on behalf of Protect Our Care — a left-of-center health care advocacy group — finds that 45 percent of voters in Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin approve of Trump’s management of the crisis while 50 percent disapprove on average. The governors of those states, in contrast, receive a net approval rating for their handling of the pandemic that’s 32 percentage points higher than the president’s with 58 percent approving and 31 percent disapproving.” [NBC News, 4/23/20

VICE News: New Polls In 5 Swing States Are Looking Scary For Trump. “Biden is up 51%-44% in both Michigan and Pennsylvania, 50%-45% in Wisconsin, and 49%-46% in North Carolina, according to polls conducted by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling for the liberal healthcare group Protect Our Care. Those polls also found a huge trust deficit between Trump and the states’ Democratic governors on how to handle the coronavirus. In Michigan, voters said by 57%-37% that they trusted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) more than Trump on the question of who they trusted more to protect their state from the pandemic. In North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) led by 58%-33%. In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) led by 58%-35%, and in Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers led by 54%-39%.” [VICE News, 4/23/20

Up North News: Wisconsin Trusts Evers Over Trump on Coronavirus Reopening. “Nearly two-thirds of Wisconsinites said they oppose protesters who want to end restrictions that have slowed the spread of coronavirus. That same survey, done by Public Policy Polling, shows Gov. Tony Evers getting a net approval rating that is nearly 20 points higher than President Trump when it comes to handling the pandemic crisis.” [Up North News, 4/23/20

Wisconsin Examiner: What Is The Republican Position On The Pandemic? No, Really. “Across swing states, the polling suggests that the pandemic is hurting Trump’s re-election chances. Trump trails former Vice President Joe Biden in all four states PPP polled — Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. And in all of those states, voters trust their governors significantly more than Trump. “It’s no secret why voters in these states trust their governors more than President Trump to keep them safe during this crisis – his incoherent and disastrous response continues to put their health and safety at risk,” says Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse, whose group commissioned the polling.” [Wisconsin Examiner, 4/24/20

Politics PA: PPP Poll: Wolf Holds Strong Approval on COVID-19, Trump Trails Biden by 7. “Another poll of battleground states shows Gov. Tom Wolf receiving high marks for his response to COVID-19 in comparison to President Donald Trump, while former Vice President Joe Biden also holds a lead in a head to head matchup over the president in the Keystone State. According to a new Public Policy Polling survey, a Democratic-affiliated polling firm that commissioned this poll with Protect Our Care, a significant majority of Pennsylvanians back Wolf’s actions in response to COVID-19, while Trump’s ratings on the issue are under water.” [Politics PA, 4/24/20

The Dispatch: The Latest Polls Bear Bad News for Trump. “When you drill down to the states most pivotal to Trump’s re-election, the numbers don’t look better. A recent Public Policy Polling survey of voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and North Carolina found that, on average, ‘the Democratic governors of those four battleground states have a net approval rating for their job on handling the coronavirus crisis that is 32 points higher than Trump’s.’” [The Dispatch, 4/24/20

Protect Our Care, Pollsters Discuss New Polling on President Trump’s Handling of Coronavirus Crisis in Four Key Battleground States

Protect Our Care Unveiled New Survey on Voters’ Opinions on Trump’s Response to Coronavirus in Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin

Read Key Findings from the Survey

Washington, DC — On a press call today, Protect Our Care along with Public Policy Polling and Geoff Garin of Hart Research discussed new polling on voters’ opinions on President Trump’s response to the coronavirus crisis. Additionally, Protect Our Care unveiled a new survey conducted with Public Policy Polling in Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that finds voters in these key battleground states disapprove of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, trust their governors far more and oppose relaxing social distancing and recent protests to end stay-at-home orders.

Call Audio Available Here

Key findings from Protect Our Care/PPP survey of MI, NC, PA and WI voters:

  • On average the Governors’ net approval for their handling of the virus are 32 points better than Trump’s. 
  • On the head-to-head question of who voters trust more to protect their state from the coronavirus, the Governors on average beat Trump out by 21 points at 57-36:
  • On the question of who voters trust more to decide when to reopen their state the Governors lead Trump by an even wider average margin of 28 points at 61-33
  • The survey also finds that battleground state voters think social distancing measures need to stay in place and take a dim view of the protesters pushing for the country to immediately reopen: On average only 19% of voters think social distancing measures should be relaxed. 

“It’s no secret why voters in these states trust their governors more than President Trump to keep them safe during this crisis – his incoherent and disastrous response continues to put their health and safety at risk,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “President Trump has shattered any credibility his administration might have had when it comes to leadership during this crisis. The more President Trump downplays the threat of coronavirus, lies about his administration’s response and vilifies state officials for trying to keep their citizens safe, the lower his approval will continue to fall in states he needs to win come November.” 

“The polling makes clear that voters have lost trust in Trump’s ability to lead them through this crisis,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “And all signs show they will grow more concerned with his leadership the longer this crisis continues. Trump doesn’t learn from his mistakes, instead he repeats them. Americans want clear and consistent leadership to keep them safe during this crisis, but Trump continues to downplay the need for testing and ignore the advice of experts. Voters disagree with his decisions because they know them make them less safe. Americans overwhelmingly support continuing social distancing, they overwhelmingly oppose the protests that the president loves to watch on television and they don’t trust his efforts to rush the reopening of the economy. It’s no wonder they are rejecting his leadership.” 

WATCH: Senator Chris Murphy, Andy Slavitt and Protect Our Care Hold Roundtable Discussion on Trump’s Efforts to Rip Health Care from Millions During Coronavirus Crisis

Tuesday Morning’s Roundtable Discussion With Health Care Advocates Focused On How Trump’s Health Care Sabotage Has Worsened the Response to the Coronavirus Crisis

Watch Roundtable Here

Washington, DC — Today, Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), former CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt and Protect Our Care held a digital roundtable with health care advocates and reporters to discuss President Trump’s efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act in Congress and the courts and to rip away Americans’ health care in the midst of a global pandemic. 

The roundtable discussion focused on how the Trump administration’s years-long sabotage of Americans’ health care has hindered our ability to adequately prepare for and respond to the coronavirus crisis. Participants also discussed the steps that Congress must take to address Americans’ health care needs during this crisis, including adequately funding testing, supporting Medicaid expansion and a special enrollment period for the uninsured, ending junk plans and stopping the Trump lawsuit that would rip health care away from more than 20 million Americans and end protections for 135 million people with pre-existing conditions.

Watch the discussion here

Senator Angus King and Protect Our Care Discuss Critical Importance of Medicaid for Rural Communities During the Coronavirus Crisis

Senator King, Protect Our Care and Maine Nurse Practitioner Discuss Crucial Role Medicaid Plays in Ensuring Rural Americans Have Access to Care During This Crisis 

Call Audio Available Here

Washington, DC — On a press call today, Senator Angus King (I-ME) along with State Rep. Anne Perry (D-Calais, ME) and Protect Our Care discussed the overwhelming benefits of Medicaid for rural communities’ access to health care as America confronts the coronavirus crisis. April is Medicaid Awareness Month, and there has never been a more important time to highlight how Medicaid is a lifeline for rural Americans in Maine and across the country who are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic due to higher rates of uninsurance and barriers to coverage and care. Despite Medicaid’s overwhelming benefits to rural communities, the program is under constant attack from the Trump administration and Republicans who’ve waged a years-long war against it. Protect Our Care also published a new report on the importance of Medicaid for rural hospitals and rural communities when getting people access to affordable care during this crisis. 

Read Protect Our Care’s report here: Rural America in the Balance: Medicaid, Coronavirus & Rural Hospitals

“The impacts of coronavirus – including the costs of preparation and loss of expected revenue – are hitting our rural health care providers hard, many of whom were already facing challenges,” said Senator King. “These hospitals are cornerstones of rural communities across Maine, providing not only jobs but also peace of mind that, in the event of an emergency, someone is there to help. We need to make sure that these providers are able to continue to serve rural Maine communities, both during this crisis and after it’s over.”

“Medicaid is a lifeline for Americans in rural communities and its importance has never been clearer as rural America struggles with the spread of coronavirus,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “We are thankful to have leaders in the Senate like Senator King who are fighting on behalf of America’s rural communities during this crisis and recognize the importance of Medicaid when it comes to our efforts to get rural Americans access to the care they need.”

NEW REPORT: How Medicaid is Key to Helping Rural Communities Combat the Threat of Coronavirus

Protect Our Care Releases New Report as Part of Medicaid Awareness Month on Importance of Medicaid As a Lifeline For Rural Communities In Dealing With Spread of Coronavirus 

Read the Report Here

Washington, DC — Today, Protect Our Care is releasing a new report as part of Medicaid Awareness Month on how communities in rural America are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus, and how Medicaid is an important tool for covering rural Americans and supporting struggling rural hospitals. Rural Americans face particular challenges when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic due to higher prevalence of pre-existing conditions, lower coverage rates, and other barriers to accessing health care. This report sheds light on those disparities and points out how the Trump administration’s ongoing attacks on Medicaid and state Republicans’ refusal to implement expansion puts rural Americans’ health and safety at risk during this crisis. 

Report: Rural America in the Balance: Medicaid, Coronavirus & Rural Hospitals

“Medicaid is a lifeline for Americans in rural communities and its importance has never been clearer as rural America struggles with the spread of coronavirus,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “In order to ensure the health and safety of all Americans, but especially those in rural communities who lack necessary resources and access to care during this crisis, we need to ensure that funding for Medicaid is protected and the program is expanded. The Trump administration must stop its years-long effort to sabotage Medicaid and allow states to expand Medicaid so that Americans everywhere get access to the care they need.” 

Energy & Commerce Chairman Pallone, Congressman Butterfield and Protect Our Care Discuss Critical Health Care Provisions Needed in Next COVID Package

Press Call This Morning Detailed the Need for Medicaid Expansion, Special Enrollment Period, Addressing Racial Disparities, Coverage Affordability, Banning Junk Plans and Funding Testing and PPE to Be Included in Congress’ Next Coronavirus Response Package

Call Audio Available Here

Washington, DC — On a press call this morning, Energy & Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ-06) along with E&C Subcommittee on Health Vice Chair G.K. Butterfield (D-NC-01) and Protect Our Care detailed the need for Congress to include critical health care provisions in the next coronavirus response package. While the first three response packages focused primarily on providing economic relief and increased funding for hospitals, Chairman Pallone, Congressman Butterfield and POC made clear that the next package must focus on protecting the health of individual Americans. Chairman Pallone and POC have proposed measures to address the immediate and longer-term health care needs highlighted by the crisis. The priorities outlined on the call include adequately funding testing, supporting Medicaid expansion and a Special Enrollment Period for the uninsured, ending junk plans and stopping the Trump-ACA repeal lawsuit that would rip health care away from more than 20 million Americans and 135 million with pre-existing conditions as Americans grapple with the coronavirus crisis. 

“While Congress has already passed legislation to provide free coronavirus testing for everyone and emergency funds for hospitals and health care providers, there is still an urgent need for additional action,” said Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ). “Democrats will fight to cover the cost of coronavirus treatment for everyone and expand access to affordable health care coverage. Our priorities include opening a Special Enrollment period so everyone has a chance to sign up for coverage, expanding eligibility and increasing subsidies to lower monthly premiums and incentivizing states to expand their Medicaid programs. Congress must come together to address the health care needs of the American people in order for us to overcome this pandemic and be able to reopen the economy.”

“With each passing day, we continue to see the need for additional robust action to combat the COVID-19 crisis,” said Congressman G. K. Butterfield (D-NC). “In North Carolina, and across the country, we are seeing a disproportionate impact of this virus on communities of color and rural and underserved populations. Improving access to care, testing, and treatment for minority populations, rural communities, and the under and uninsured must be a focus of the next coronavirus package.”

“In addition to continuing our investments in restoring our economy and addressing the financial needs of everyday Americans, the next big COVID bill needs to be a health care bill,” said Leslie Dach, Chair of Protect Our Care. “Americans are more worried than ever about their health and the health of their families and rightly expect to be able to be tested and treated with quality, affordable health care if they get sick, now or in the future. It’s time for President Trump and Republicans in Congress to do what’s right and drop their Texas lawsuit to repeal the ACA and end their support for junk plans that don’t include protections for pre-existing conditions.”

BACKGROUND:

Protect Our Care Is Calling on Congress to Address the Following in COVID-4

Provide Adequate Testing to Mitigate the Crisis and Give Us the Tools to Safely Reopen the Economy 

Congress should fund sufficient testing capacity, production and deployment to slow the spread of the virus by identifying those who are sick and contagious, sufficient capacity to test for the virus to allow identification and contact tracing to mitigate spread as the economy reopens, and sufficient testing for antibodies to guide public health decisions on reopening the economy. It should require adequate reporting requirements to track the status of the federal effort in real time. It should also fund adequate PPE for front line health care workers. 

Medicaid Expansion

Congress should incentivize Medicaid expansion so that more people are covered. Congress should incentivize the states that have yet to expand Medicaid by increasing the federal share of the cost so that any states that choose to expand Medicaid get a second chance to receive the same levels of federal funding as states which expanded earlier. 

Additional Support for State Medicaid Programs 

Congress should provide additional assistance to states by extending and expanding the increase in federal Medicaid match that was included in the Families First law and providing that increase for both traditional and expansion Medicaid populations. 

Special Enrollment Period (SEP) and Full Funding for SEP and Future Open Enrollment Periods 

Congress should open a Special Enrollment Period nationally so people who need health coverage can sign up on the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges. Additionally, restore full funding for enrollment activities, which has been curtailed by the Trump administration, including for navigators, outreach and advertising so that Americans are aware of their options and get the help and information they need to enroll in Medicaid or the ACA marketplaces.

Address Racial Disparities 

Congress should mandate the collection and dissemination of data on coronavirus cases by racial and ethnic outcomes, and ensure that testing and other health measures reach those who need it.

Make Health Insurance More Affordable 

Congress should increase financial assistance for those who qualify under the Affordable Care Act and expand the number of people who qualify.

Protect Our Care Calls on Congress to Include Critical Health Needs in Next Coronavirus Response Package

Leading Health Care Group Says Medicaid Expansion, Special Enrollment Period, Addressing Racial Disparities, Coverage Affordability, Banning Junk Plans and Funding Testing and PPE Among Priorities Which Must Be Addressed in Next Coronavirus Response Package 

Washington, DC — Protect Our Care (POC), a leading health care advocacy group which was founded to defend the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to provide affordable and quality health care for all Americans, is calling on Congress to include critical health care provisions in the next coronavirus response package. While the first three response packages focused primarily on economic issues, POC believes the next package must also focus clearly on protecting the health of Americans. Specifically, POC believes adequately funding testing, supporting Medicaid expansion and a Special Enrollment Period for the uninsured, addressing racial disparities, making coverage more affordable, banning junk plans, stopping the Trump-ACA repeal lawsuit and adequately safeguarding health care workers are among the health care priorities which must be addressed in the next package. Many of these provisions were included in a recent proposal by U.S. Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Richard Neal (D-MA), and Bobby Scott (D-VA) and U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Patty Murray (D-WA).

“Americans are understandably worried about their health and the health of their families during this crisis and expect to be able to be tested and treated with quality affordable health care if they get sick,” said Leslie Dach, Chair of Protect Our Care. “But right now far too many Americans can’t afford to see a doctor and aren’t getting the care they need, which is why Congress must take action to lower costs and expand access at a time when people need it most. Americans are now suffering because of President Trump and Republicans in Congress’s relentless opposition to common sense health care reform and their ongoing efforts to gut Medicaid and repeal and sabotage the Affordable Care Act. It’s time they did what was right.” 

“Making sure our economy survives and that workers, small businesses and providers are taken care of is obviously critical, but we won’t emerge from this until we address critical health care needs including coverage, affordability and testing, to just name a few,” added Brad Woodhouse, Executive Director of Protect Our Care. “America was less prepared for this pandemic because of President Trump’s relentless war on health care and as a result we are playing catch up during a full blown health care crisis. Setting aside President Trump’s failure to prepare America for this health care calamity, Congress must address these critical coronavirus health care priorities now.”

Protect Our Care Is Calling on Congress to Address the Following in COVID-4

Provide Adequate Testing to Mitigate the Crisis and Give Us the Tools to Safely Reopen the Economy 

Congress should fund sufficient testing capacity, production and deployment to slow the spread of the virus by identifying those who are sick and contagious, sufficient capacity to test for the virus to allow identification and contact tracing to mitigate spread as the economy reopens, and sufficient testing for antibodies to guide public health decisions on reopening the economy. It should require adequate reporting requirements to track the status of the federal effort in real time. It should also fund adequate PPE for front line health care workers. 

Medicaid Expansion

Congress should incentivize Medicaid expansion so that more people are covered. Congress should incentivize the states that have yet to expand Medicaid by increasing the federal share of the cost so that any states that choose to expand Medicaid get a second chance to receive the same levels of federal funding as states which expanded earlier. 

Additional Support for State Medicaid Programs 

Congress should provide additional assistance to states by extending and expanding the increase in federal Medicaid match that was included in the Families First law and providing that increase for both traditional and expansion Medicaid populations. 

Special Enrollment Period (SEP) and Full Funding for SEP and Future Open Enrollment Periods 

Congress should open a Special Enrollment Period nationally so people who need health coverage can sign up on the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges. Additionally, restore full funding for enrollment activities, which has been curtailed by the Trump administration, including for navigators, outreach and advertising so that Americans are aware of their options and get the help and information they need to enroll in Medicaid or the ACA marketplaces.

Address Racial Disparities 

Congress should mandate the collection and dissemination of data on coronavirus cases by racial and ethnic outcomes, and ensure that testing and other health measures reach those who need it.

Make Health Insurance More Affordable 

Congress should increase financial assistance for those who qualify under the Affordable Care Act and expand the number of people who qualify.

End Junk Plans 

Congress should block efforts by the administration to push junk insurance plans that discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. Every American who has coronavirus, even if they don’t have symptoms, will now have a pre-existing condition.

Stop the Trump-Texas Lawsuit 

Congress should block funding for the Trump-Texas lawsuit seeking to invalidate the Affordable Care Act. 

Allow Young Adults to Stay on Their Parent’s Health Care Plans Longer

Young adults should be able to stay on their parent’s plan past the age of 26 during the pandemic, given the difficult job market.

Donald Trump Tries to Shift Blame for His Administration’s Failure to Prepare Nation for Coronavirus by Cutting WHO Funding

Washington, DC — In response to President Trump announcing at his White House press briefing that he would halt funding to the World Health Organization, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach, who served as the global Ebola coordinator for the Department of Health and Human Services, issued the following statement: 

“This is nothing more than a transparent attempt by President Trump to distract from his history downplaying the severity of the coronavirus crisis and his administration’s failure to prepare our nation. To be sure, the World Health Organization is not without fault but it is beyond irresponsible to cut its funding at the height of a global pandemic. This move will undoubtedly make Americans less safe. 

“What’s more: it’s especially hypocritical given that Trump himself has repeatedly praised China as cases were popping up across the globe.”