Monthly Archives

June 2020

NEW: Protect Our Care Launches Days of Action to Sound the Alarm on the Trump-Republican Lawsuit to Repeal Health Care in the Middle of a Pandemic

 Trump and Republican States File Supreme Court Briefs on June 25th in the Case to Overturn the ACA

Washington, DC — Today, Protect Our Care is launching 12 days of action to bring attention to the dire consequences of the Trump-Republican lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as the Trump administration and Republican AGs file their briefs in the case this week. On Thursday June 25th, Trump’s Department Of Justice (DOJ) and Republican-led states will submit their briefs to the Supreme Court in support of California v. Texas, the lawsuit seeking to strike down the ACA. If President Trump and Republicans have their way, 20 million Americans will lose their insurance coverage, 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will be stripped of their protections, and costs will go up for millions. The consequences of the lawsuit for America’s health care are particularly devastating at a time the country is gripped by the coronavirus crisis which threatens the health and safety of the entire nation.

Over the course of POC’s days of action we will highlight a different aspect of the ACA while making clear what’s at stake if the Trump administration is successful in their lawsuit to overturn the law. Protect Our Care’s days of action will include press events and paid digital content nationally as well as in 13 key states in the lead up to and after the Trump administration and Republicans’ filings in the case. We will also be teaming up with partner organizations to host events and collaborate on digital efforts throughout. 

The first day of action starts today and will highlight Medicaid expansion under the ACA and what’s at stake for the millions of Americans who rely on its coverage if the law is overturned. 

“No action would be more damaging to Americans’ health care than if the Trump administration achieves their desired goal of overturning the ACA in its entirety, which is exactly what they hope to achieve in this case,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “This week the Trump administration will file their briefs in support of ripping health care away from 20 million Americans, protections for 135 million with pre-existing conditions and raising costs across the board all while America grapples with the worst public health crisis in recent history. Over the course of the next twelve days, we will be reminding Americans just how dire the consequences are for this country if the court ultimately overturns the health care law and takes away the coverage and critical protections the law provides for millions of Americans.” 

Days of Action

6/22 (Mon): Medicaid Expansion
6/23 (Tue):  Women
6/24 (Wed): Seniors
6/25 (Thu):  Prescription Drug Costs
6/26 (Fri):    People with Pre-Existing Conditions
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6/29 (Mon): Disability Community
6/30 (Tue):  LGBTQ Americans
7/1 (Wed):   Young Americans
7/2 (Thu):    African American Community
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7/6 (Mon):   Latino Community
7/7 (Tue):    Marketplace Signups & Financial Assistance
7/8 (Wed):   Rural Health (Including Opioids & Rural Hospitals)

NEW VIDEO: The Grim Reality of Trump’s War On Health Care and Botched Coronavirus Response for African Americans

African American communities have borne the brunt of the coronavirus crisis and will continue to suffer as a result of the administration’s botched effort to contain its spread. This new video from Protect Our Care makes clear just how devastating the economic and public health aspects of this crisis have been for African Americans who have lost jobs, been hospitalized and died at a disproportionately higher rate than white Americans. This week, Protect Our Care released a new report detailing how African Americans have suffered the brunt of the coronavirus and held a press call with Senators Durbin (D-IL) and Duckworth (D-IL) and Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL-02) to discuss the glaring racial disparities in the African American community caused by Trump’s actions to sabotage health care and his failure to contain the coronavirus. 

This new video brings into focus the grim reality of how Trump’s war on health care has hurt and will continue to hurt African Americans. 

WATCH PROTECT OUR CARE’S NEW VIDEO

Senator Cortez Masto, Rep. Ruiz and Advocates Discuss How Latino Communities Are Impacted by Trump’s Botched Coronavirus Response and Efforts to Terminate the ACA

Call Audio Available Here

Washington, DC — On a press call this afternoon, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), U.S. Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA-36), Arizona State Senator Tony Navarrete (D-AZ-30), National Hispanic Medical Association President and CEO Dr. Elena Rios along with Protect Our Care discussed the glaring racial disparities in the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus crisis in Latino communities that have suffered the brunt of the financial consequences of the pandemic. Senator Cortez Masto, Rep. Ruiz, State Senator Navarette, Dr. Rios and Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach also addressed a new report released by Protect Our Care on how Latinos are far more likely to face barriers to accessing health care and how Trump’s war on health care, particularly his lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act, would devastate Latino communities during this crisis. 

Read the Full Report Here

“As the COVID-19 pandemic has made all too clear, Latinos face stark health disparities based on social, economic, and environmental factors,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “From increased risks to babies and mothers during pregnancy to elevated threats from the novel coronavirus for seniors in nursing homes, these disparities affect Latino communities at every stage. The Trump Administration’s attempt to rip away the Affordable Care Act would exacerbate these disparities even more. That’s why I’m working so hard in the Senate on more legislation to shore up our health care system, increase access to quality health care, safely restart our economy, and get Nevadans the resources they need to thrive.”

“COVID-19 has certainly hit communities of color harder, and it has magnified the inequities we already knew existed in our health care system,” said Dr. Ruiz. “Instead of working to increase health care access, this Administration has tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, slash Medicaid funding, and make it harder to see a doctor. We are determined to fight so that all Americans — regardless of zip code or the color of their skin — have access to the health care they need.”

“We knew that prior to COVID-19, the health disparities in communities of color throughout the nation were significantly behind their white counterparts across the country and what COVID-19 did was deepen those health inequities,” said State Senator Navarrete. “President Trump’s botched response to COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on the lives of so many Americans, and here in Arizona we are seeing so many families have to deal with the pain of COVID-19 and the loss of family members.”

“The Trump administration has rolled back the tremendous gains of the Affordable Care Act — which was the most transformative law for us — especially in having navigators for our communities that come from Latin America and did not have health insurance in their families before,” said Dr. Rios. “Our Latino community is going to bear the brunt of COVID-19 as the backbone of the economy in this country. Latinos are the up and coming young people who are going to be the functioning adults in our whole country’s economic system, and whatever we can do on behalf of the National Hispanic Medical Association, that’s what we are here for.” 

“President Trump continues to fail Latino communities who face overwhelming barriers in accessing health care and protecting themselves from the coronavirus,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “Latinos are the least likely demographic to have health insurance and Latino workers are disproportionately represented in jobs more likely to expose them to the virus. President Trump needs to focus on serving Latino communities who have suffered as a result of his administration’s disastrous response to the coronavirus crisis and his years-long war against health care.”

Senator Durbin, Senator Duckworth and Rep. Robin Kelly Discuss How African Americans Are Disproportionately Impacted by Trump’s Botched Coronavirus Response and Efforts to Terminate the ACA

Call Audio Available Here

Washington, DC — On a press call this afternoon, Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL-02) along with Protect Our Care discussed the glaring racial disparities in the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus crisis. Communities of color have disproportionately suffered the brunt of the virus and stand to lose the most as a result of the administration’s botched effort to contain its spread. Senators Durbin and Duckworth, Rep. Kelly and Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach also addressed a new report released by Protect Our Care on how African Americans are far more likely to face barriers to accessing health care and how Trump’s war on health care, particularly his lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act would devastate African American communities during this crisis. 

Read the Full Report Here

“The racial health disparities we face today are the result of decades-long divestment and dis-enfranchisement in communities of color,” said Senator Durbin. “The coronavirus pandemic has disproportionately affected Black and Latinx communities, reminding us once again of the unacceptable and devastating inequalities in our country’s health care system. It is important, now more than ever, that we ensure that all communities—especially families of color—continue to have access to critical health care coverage.”

“The awful truth is that in Illinois, COVID-19 isn’t yesterday’s nightmare—it’s still today’s reality. And that’s especially true in communities of color where this pandemic has hit the hardest as too many folks in power choose to avert their eyes,” said Senator Duckworth. “The way this public health emergency is impacting minorities—especially Black Americans—and the statistics of these outcomes that we’ve seen from the West and South Sides of Chicago are shocking, but they’re not surprising. They’re the horrifyingly predictable consequences of the inequities in our healthcare, economic and environmental protection systems that have plagued communities of color for far too long. As we move toward passing a fourth phase of relief, I will do everything I can to make sure vulnerable communities get the resources, help and justice they deserve.”

“Since Illinois and other states started reporting the COVID-19 racial data it was shocking to see the numbers of Black people dying but not surprising because of the history of racial disparities,” said Representative Kelly. “To those of us who have worked on health disparities and access issues we know that any pandemic would have a disproportionate impact on more vulnerable communities and communities frankly that are on the frontlines to essential workers, and that is a section that speaks to a lot of the African American communities. This is America and we’re all Americans and there shouldn’t be a two-tiered system but generations of health disparities, inequities and a lack of access to care have actually created two Americas. Even before COVID-19, we lived in a nation in which the zip code in which you are born determines how long and how well you live. If we want to end these disparities we need to invest the resources in the communities suffering from them and empowering those communities to build a better future.”

“The Trump administration has failed to adequately address the unique challenges facing vulnerable African American communities during this crisis,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “African Americans are more likely than other constituencies to face barriers to accessing health care and face the brunt of the pandemic’s financial consequences, and the president’s years-long war on health care has only exacerbated these disparities. Instead of trying to rip away health care and cut access to critical programs like Medicaid and Medicare, President Trump should be focused on expanding access to health care for American Americans who have suffered disproportionately as a result of the administration’s disastrous response and health care sabotage.”

NEW VIDEO: Five Years After Trump’s Escalator Descent, He Continues to Try to Drag Down Americans’ Health Care

Five years ago, Donald Trump descended down his golden escalator at Trump Tower and announced his run for president. From that day, he promised to dismantle our health care and since the start of his presidency, Trump has waged an all-out war to terminate the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which would take coverage from 20 million Americans and strip protections from 135 million with pre-existing conditions. This anniversary is a stark reminder of the existential threat of Trump’s war on health care, especially as the nation grapples with the worst public health crisis in a generation. 

Watch Protect Our Care’s Video on the Anniversary Here

Five Years Ago Today: Trump Descended Down His Golden Escalator and Vowed to Drag American Health Care Down With Him

Washington, DC — Five years ago today Donald Trump descended down his golden escalator at Trump Tower and in his first ever presidential campaign speech vowed to take American health care down with him. In the years following, President Trump has worked tirelessly to fulfill his pledge to rip health care away from Americans by trying relentlessly to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and take coverage from 20 million Americans and protections for 135 million with pre-existing conditions. Five years later, President Trump is still waging his war on Americans’ health care as the nation struggles in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. In response to this fateful anniversary, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement: 

“Five years ago today Donald Trump descended down his golden escalator and vowed to rip apart American health care. Candidate Trump’s first campaign speech told Americans all they needed to know about the threat that President Trump would pose to their health care. In the years since, Trump has remained dead-set on destroying health care by trying time and again to overturn the ACA and take health care from 20 million Americans and protections for 135 million through both Congress and the courts. And while America’s health care system is still standing, President Trump has caused millions of Americans to live in constant fear of having their health care taken away, and has succeeded in making coverage less affordable and accessible all while lining the pockets of insurance companies with massive tax breaks as they raise costs on Americans. President Trump’s disastrous agenda has been made worse by his failed response to the coronavirus which has shown just how destructive his years-long war on health care has been for Americans. 

“Our country cannot afford another four years of Donald Trump’s disastrous health care agenda. The America we have today is defined by one act of Trump’s sabotage after another, and while this is no anniversary to celebrate, it’s a stark reminder of the existential threat of Trump’s war on health care, especially as the nation grapples with the worst public health crisis in a generation.” 

BACKGROUND: 

Tracking Trump’s Health Care Sabotage: Exhaustive Look at Trump’s Legacy-Defining War On America’s Health Care

President Trump to Hold Seniors Roundtable Event at the White House in Attempt to Reverse Polling Collapse After Failure to Protect American Seniors from Coronavirus

Washington, DC — This afternoon, President Trump is holding a seniors roundtable event at the White House in response to his declining poll numbers with older Americans. As detailed in Protect Our Care’s “Seniors At Risk” report, President Trump’s failed response to the coronavirus and overall sabotage of Americans’ health care has meant seniors have experienced disproportionate impacts from the pandemic and Trump’s threats to Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act have threatened seniors’ health across the board. Ahead of today’s roundtable, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement: 

“The only reason Donald Trump is holding this event today is because he is losing the support of America’s seniors who are worried about their health care and know that President Trump has left them behind. President Trump’s ongoing war on health care coupled with his disastrous coronavirus response has put seniors’ lives in danger. Even before the pandemic began, the Trump administration and their Republican allies’ relentless attacks on the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid and Medicare have hurt American seniors. With seniors bearing the brunt of this botched response to the coronavirus, it’s plain to see why they are no longer supporting the re-election of this disastrous president.” 

BACKGROUND:

Top Ways Trump Has Sabotaged Seniors’ Health Care

  • Trump Is Backing A Lawsuit That Would Overturn The ACA, Which Would Cause Seniors To Pay More For Insurance And Prescription Drugs. Perhaps the most imminent threat to seniors’ health care, Trump’s lawsuit seeking to overturn the ACA would rip away coverage from 20 million people nationwide and eliminate protections for 135 million people with pre-existing conditions overnight. The lawsuit would also terminate Medicaid expansion and force people over the age of 50 to face a $4,000 “age tax” and to pay more for prescription drugs
  • Trump Is Refusing To Open A Special Enrollment Period, Which Could Help Seniors Get The Health Care They Need. Despite calls from health insurers, lawmakers, and AARP, President Trump has refused to open a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to help the uninsured obtain coverage. Research confirms that between 1.8 and 2.4 million people would likely gain coverage if Trump opened a special enrollment period. Per the New York Times: “…the administration has also hampered some of its own efforts to appeal to older voters. Mr. Trump recently rejected an expanded enrollment period for the newly uninsured, for instance.”
  • Trump Has Repeatedly Called For Medicare Cuts. Ahead of the pandemic, Trump made it clear he remained open to slashing benefits for vital programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security during an interview with CNBC at the World Economic Forum. Trump has repeatedly proposed steep budget cuts to the program to help pay for his tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. 
  • Trump Has Waged A War On Medicaid, Threatening Care For Seniors In Nursing Homes And Long-Term Care Facilities And The Economic Stability Of Families. Trump has spent his presidency sabotaging the Medicaid program, which has particularly devastating consequences for older adults. Between imposing strict paperwork requirements for enrollment and proposing steep budget cuts, Trump’s policies have done nothing but shrink enrollment. More than 15 million American seniors and older adults rely on Medicaid for coverage.
  • Trump Refuses To Allow Medicare To Negotiate For Lower Drug Prices. As the cost of prescription drugs skyrocket, President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress refuse to allow Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices. Seniors often live on fixed incomes, and the high cost of drugs can make accessing essential medications out of reach. Nearly 9 in 10 Americans support allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug costs for seniors. Despite numerous campaign promises, the Trump administration opposes House Democrats’ plan to allow negotiation and other important measures lower drug costs for seniors.

 

Trump Administration Attacks Protections for LGBTQ Americans and Women with Final Rule on the Health Care Rights Law

Washington, DC — Today, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule to weaken enforcement of the Health Care Rights Law (section 1557 of the ACA), which bans discrimination against LGBTQ Americans and women in health care and insurance coverage. Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement in response:

“It’s shameful that the Trump administration chose Pride Month to attack protections for LGBTQ Americans, same-sex parents, pregnant people and other vulnerable patients by making it harder for them get the medical care they deserve. Every American, regardless of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity deserves access to quality and affordable health care — especially as the coronavirus pandemic rages across the country. It’s past time for the Trump administration to quit playing cruel political games that put Americans’ health and safety at risk.”

NEW: How Trump’s Botched Coronavirus Response Contributed to Thousands of Deaths at Veterans Facilities Nationwide

New Fact Sheet From Protect Our Care Details the Trump Administration’s Failure to Prepare for the Spread of the Virus and the Resulting Devastation Veterans and Their Families

Fact Sheet: Trump Is Failing Veterans on Coronavirus

Washington, DC — Today, Protect Our Care is releasing a new fact sheet detailing how the Trump administration’s failure to adequately respond to the coronavirus crisis was a key factor in thousands of deaths of veterans across the country. America’s veterans, especially those at veterans homes and in VA hospitals, are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic due to serious shortages of PPE and an insufficient supply of medications, staff and equipment available to treat veterans with COVID-19. This fact sheet puts a spotlight on the Trump administration’s deficiencies in providing adequate care to veterans by squandering precious time and resources while thousands of veterans died under their watch.

“America’s veterans deserve better than to be let down by Donald Trump’s failure to ensure the VA had resources it needed to fight the coronavirus head on,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “President Trump squandered precious time in the fight against the coronavirus and his administration’s failure to prepare for the pandemic led to thousands of avoidable deaths among our nation’s veterans. In order to ensure the health and safety of the millions of veterans who have put their lives on the line for our country, we need to make sure that VA hospitals and veterans homes receive the resources they need to treat every American veteran suffering from and recovering from coronavirus.” 

NEW: Speaker Pelosi Announces House Will Vote on Vital Bill to Lower Costs and Expand Access to Health Care for Americans

Washington, DC — At a press conference this morning, Speaker Pelosi announced that the House will vote this month on legislation to make health care more affordable, protect people with pre-existing conditions, and expand the number of Americans with health insurance. Building on the Affordable Care Act is particularly critical in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. The House will vote the same month the Trump administration will be filing briefs in support of their lawsuit to overturn the ACA and rip health care from 20 million Americans and protections for 135 million with pre-existing conditions. In response to this announcement, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement: 

“The legislation announced by Speaker Pelosi will make health care more affordable, dramatically increase the number of people insured, and protect people with pre-existing conditions from Donald Trump’s efforts to rip away their protections. Building on the Affordable Care Act will also help reduce the racial disparities prevalent in health care today. Substantial bipartisan majorities of the American public support these important steps. 

“House Democrats’ commitment to ensuring all Americans have access to affordable quality health care stands in stark contrast to Donald Trump’s promise to terminate the Affordable Care Act in the courts in the middle of the coronavirus epidemic. Donald Trump and his enablers in Congress want to take coverage away from 20 million Americans when 27 million have already lost their employer based health insurance, and rip coverage away from 135 million Americans with a pre-existing condition. Eliminating protections for pre-existing conditions could leave people who contract the coronavirus at the mercy of their insurance company.

“Democrats are listening to the specific concerns of Americans who are more worried than ever about their health. It’s no wonder Americans don’t trust Donald Trump or his Republican enablers when it comes to their number one concern – health care.”