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August 2020

Trump’s Sabotage of the U.S. Postal Service Threatens the Delivery of Medications for Seniors, Veterans and Rural Americans

Last week, President Trump admitted he’s intentionally slowing down United States Post Office (USPS) operations to prevent his opponents from voting by mail. Reports are now surfacing that people who rely on USPS for prescription delivery have waited weeks for life saving medications. Unlike its competitors, USPS is legally required to deliver all mail at a flat rate to every postal address nationwide, which is essential for seniors, people with disabilities, veterans and rural communities. Coverage makes clear undermining USPS not only threatens the upcoming presidential election, but also harms every person depending on the USPS for medications and other essential goods — particularly during the pandemic. Trump is putting their lives in danger all because he thinks the pandemic can give him an edge in the upcoming election.

By the Numbers

  • USPS handles 1.2 billion prescription drug shipments per year. 
  • The Department of Veteran’s Affairs fills roughly 80 percent of veteran prescriptions by mail, amounting to 120 million prescriptions a year. The VA delivers prescriptions to 330,000 veterans across the country daily. 
  • A survey by the National Community Pharmacists Association found that 20 percent of adults over the age of 40 who take medication for a chronic condition receive their prescription through the mail. 
  • More than half of people who get their medication delivered are over the age of 65. 
  • Rural Americans face higher risks as a result of USPS delays. 14.5 million people lack access to broadband internet, and rural Americans are more likely to live in poverty. 


Forbes: Why Getting Prescriptions By Mail Is Stressing Out Employees And Stretching The USPS To Its Limits

Associated Press: Lawmakers: Postal Changes Delay Mail-Order Medicine for Vets

Columbus Dispatch: Mail Carriers Are a Lifeline for Rural Ohioans: ‘It’s Life or Death. That’s It’

Connecting Vets: As Veterans and VA Staff Report USPS Prescription Delays, Officials Say Order Early

Wall Street Journal: Postal Package Deliveries ‘Bogged Down’ With Delays, Backlogs

CBS Austin: 82-Year-Old Houston-Area Man Left Without Heart Medicine for a Week Due to USPS Delays

NBC Omaha: Omaha Woman Warns of Health Risks Related to Possible USPS Slowdown

Extended Coverage of What USPS Delays Mean for Seniors, Veterans and Rural Americans:

Forbes: “Reports Show Vets And Others With Chronic Conditions Who Do Not Wish To Risk Going To The Pharmacy Due To Covid-19 May Be Waiting Weeks For Medications They Needed Yesterday.” . “Cuts to the United States Postal Service are compromising millions of workers’ ability to get their medications delivered on time. Meanwhile, the mail order drug delivery is growing. Mail order prescription services saw an uptick of 21% over the previous year. CVS Health, AllianceRX Walgreens Prime and Express Scripts, as well as local pharmacies increased their mail-order services mostly due to Covid-19 concerns…reports show vets and others with chronic conditions who do not wish to risk going to a pharmacy due to Covid-19 may be waiting weeks for medications they needed yesterday.” [Forbes, 8/16/20]

Veterans Are Reporting Severe Delays In Receiving Essential Medications: “We Depend on These Medications.” “The vast majority of Department of Veterans Affairs prescriptions are fulfilled by mail. But as U.S. Postal Service delays mount, more and more veterans are reporting long wait times to receive critical medication and VA staff says the problem is only growing…in recent weeks, dozens of veterans said they faced wait times that have doubled, tripled or worse. Some reported wait times as long as three weeks or more for prescriptions that previously took a few days. None of them have been contacted by VA with an explanation, they said. ‘What used to take days now takes weeks,’ one said. ‘We depend on these medications,’ another veteran said. ‘This could be devastating. I can’t go without.’ ‘I received my life-saving medication 20 days late,’ another said.” [Connecting Vets, 8/5/20]

Senator Jon Tester Told NPR “The Postal Service Is Important In All Parts of This Country, But In Rural America It’s Critically Important.” “Sen. Jon Tester, a Democrat from Montana, told All Things Considered that the iconic blue USPS mailboxes were being removed throughout his state. ‘I don’t get it,’ Tester told NPR’s Ari Shapiro on Friday. ‘The Postal Service is important in all parts of this country, but in rural America it’s critically important whether you’re talking Social Security checks or whether you’re talking prescription drugs or parts for the farm or being able to vote.’” [NPR, 8/15/20

Baltimore Sun: “Mail Service Delays Have Been Especially Painful During the Coronavirus Pandemic.” “Mail service delays have been especially painful during the coronavirus pandemic because so many customers rely on deliveries of unemployment debit cards, retirement checks, medications and, for the November presidential election, absentee ballots.” [Baltimore Sun, 8/10/20

  • Senator Chris Van Hollen Warned That “We Cannot Let These Problems Persist” as Americans Rely on the Postal Service for Medications. “’As Americans continue to rely on USPS for everything from paying bills, to prescription medicine deliveries, to exercising their right to vote, we cannot let these problems persist,’ said U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, also a Maryland Democrat.” [Baltimore Sun, 8/10/20

Ohio Postal Worker Said That His Biggest Concern About the Future of USPS Was Delivering Medication. “Mail carriers in many ways are a lifeline for rural residents…Because most major delivery companies won’t deliver to rural areas, postal workers carry their packages for what they call ‘the last mile.’ Miller’s biggest concern about the Postal Service’s future? Delivering medication. Some days, Miller delivers as many as 30 packages of life-saving medication, everything from blood-pressure pills to cholesterol medicine. If mail delivery is reduced, Miller fears what might happen to one of his customers should a prescription runs out. ‘Just last week, I was delivering a package and the guy said to me, ‘Oh, thank God, I just took my last pill this morning.’” [Columbus Dispatch, 8/17/20]

  • Rural Ohio Woman Depends On USPS for Medical Supplies, Saying Without the Postal Service, She’d Have to Drive to Columbus with a Weakened Immune System: “It’s Life or Death. That’s It.” “Carolyn Casey and her husband, Bill, know that feeling well. They’ve lived in their Gallipolis home for 49 years and have been customers on Miller’s route for most of that time.Carolyn, 69, gets medical supplies and testing equipment sent straight to her door multiple times a month. Without the Postal Service, she would have to drive to Columbus to pick up her supplies and pay more for FedEx or UPS to deliver her test results to New York. ‘When my immune system is down, I don’t want to be in big crowds,’ Carolyn said. ‘It’s life or death. That’s it.’” [Columbus Dispatch, 8/17/20]

Pennsylvania Woman Said She Is Facing Delays In Receiving Her Autistic Grandson’s Medication Through the Mail.Valerie Rice said her mail has arrived only once every two weeks in July. She receives medication for her 25-year-old grandson, who has autism, through the mail. But now it doesn’t come on time, forcing her to go to different drugstores across the city, in hopes they have what he needs. ‘I try to stay by him and pray for life that I have what I need to take care of him,’ said Rice, 65.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/2/20

82-Year-Old Houston Man Ran Out Of Heart Medication For The First Time As A Result Of USPS Delays. “Don White, 82, said he has been tracking the package and said it remained at a north Houston mail processing facility for 10 days. He’s hoping to get in on Monday. He said he’s irritated by the situation because his mail-order medication has never been this late before. ‘There have been a few times in which it’s taken a week, week and a half, two weeks, but this is the first time I actually ran out and checking with the post office didn’t do much good, even though I had a tracking number on it,’ White said.” [KHOU, 8/16/20

Former Omaha Nurse Relies on USPS for Cancer Medications: “…If I Don’t Take That Metrosal Then the Cancer Can Pop Back Up.” “One Omaha woman says slowdowns in the mail service could be fatal for many vulnerable Americans. Lorraine Touray discovered she had breast cancer two years ago. ‘I had the surgery…I had a lumpectomy before the radiation,’ said Touray. Now she takes medication daily. ‘I get my meds through the mail…now if I don’t take that Metrosal and if I don’t take that Metrosal then the cancer can pop back up,’ said Touray.” [NBC Omaha, 8/17/20]

  • Omaha Woman Warned That If the Mail Doesn’t Come, Veterans Won’t Receive Their Medications. “Lorraine spent 20 years working as a nurse at the veterans’ hospital. She knows that sometimes vets need to be monitored to make sure they even take their medications. ‘Now if the mail doesn’t come and the veterans don’t get their medications, they’re not going to get it. They’re not even going to go ask somebody to get their medicines they’ll just say, oh forget it,” said Touray.” [NBC Omaha, 8/17/20

VIDEO: Speaker Pelosi, CA Attorney General Becerra, Secretary Sebelius and Health Care Storytellers Join Protect Our Care for Virtual Democratic National Convention Event on What’s at Stake for Health Care in the 2020 Election

Watch the Virtual Event Here

At a virtual event for the Democratic National Convention this afternoon, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and health care advocates and storytellers discussed what’s at stake when it comes to health care in the upcoming November election. Four more years of Donald Trump would be a disaster for our health care. The Trump administration is arguing before the Supreme Court that the entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down — in the middle of a pandemic. If successful, Trump would rip away health care from more than 23 million Americans and end protections for more than 135 million people with pre-existing conditions, including millions of Americans who have had or will have COVID-19. 

Watch the Virtual Event Here

Protect Our Care also debuted a new ad during today’s virtual event. The new digital ad is part of Protect Our Care’s $2 million campaign holding President Trump accountable for his failed response to the coronavirus and how his years-long efforts to sabotage the ACA have only made it harder to tackle the virus.

This afternoon’s event consisted of opening remarks by Speaker Pelosi, and two panel discussions. Speaker Pelosi reflected on what’s at stake if President Trump wins a second term in office. During the first panel discussion, Attorney General Becerra and Secretary Sebelius commented on the Trump lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act and why the ACA and Medicaid are more important than ever as the nation faces the coronavirus pandemic. The second panel included health care storytellers and advocates from Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. These health care advocates explained exactly what’s at stake for them personally in November and the next steps for health care advocacy ahead of the election. 

NEW AD: Protect Our Care Launches New Digital Ad on What’s at Stake If President Trump’s Lawsuit Overturning the ACA Is Successful During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Debuting During a Democratic National Convention Health Care Event, the Ad Is Part of A Previously Announced $2 Million Digital and TV Ad Campaign on Trump’s Failed Coronavirus Response 

Washington, DC — Protect Our Care is launching a new digital ad today that will debut during a health care virtual event for the Democratic National Convention at 3:30 p.m. EDT. “Gone” is part of a $2 million campaign holding President Trump accountable for his failed response to the coronavirus and how his years-long efforts to sabotage the ACA have only made it harder to tackle the virus. The Trump administration is arguing before the Supreme Court in the middle of a pandemic that the entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down. If successful, President Trump would rip away health care from more than 23 million Americans and end protections for more than 135 million people with pre-existing conditions, including for millions of Americans who have contracted the virus. 

Watch: Gone

As the coronavirus health crisis rages on, Protect Our Care launched these ads to urge President Trump to end his war against health care and do more to protect Americans during the pandemic.

“Instead of showing leadership and working to protect Americans as we face a global pandemic, President Trump continues to try to rip health care away from more than 23 million Americans by pursuing a politically motivated lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “Getting rid of the ACA during the worst public health crisis our nation has faced in a century would be disastrous, yet Trump continues his war on health care. If President Trump is successful, tens of millions will lose the coverage and protections they need to battle the coronavirus.”


If the Affordable Care Act is struck down:

  • GONE: Protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. The uninsured rate will increase by 65 percent. 
  • GONE: Medicaid expansion, which covers 16 million people. 
  • GONE: Nearly 12 million seniors will have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare ‘donut hole’ will be reopened.
  • GONE: 2.3 million adult children will no longer be able to stay on their parents’ insurance. 
  • GONE: Insurance companies will be able to charge women 50 percent more than men.
  • GONE: Financial assistance that helps 9 million people purchase health care in the marketplace.
  • GONE: Key support for rural hospitals. As Americans lose coverage, already struggling hospitals will be hit even harder as their costs increase.
  • GONE: Ban on insurance companies having lifetime caps on coverage.
  • GONE: Requirements that insurance companies cover prescription drugs and maternity care.

Senator Warner’s Health Care Improvement Act Takes Vital Steps to Improve Access to Quality, Affordable Health Care, Particularly During a Pandemic

Washington, DC — Today, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) unveiled legislation that would increase access to health coverage, reduce costs and strengthen Medicaid as America battles the coronavirus pandemic. The Health Care Improvement Act would reduce the cost of health care coverage on the ACA exchanges, strengthen Medicaid to expand health care coverage to more American families, ban surprise medical billing, allow the federal government to negotiate drug prices and implement several other common sense provisions to stabilize our health care system. Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse release the following statement in response: 

“As President Trump and his Republican allies try to rip coverage away from millions of Americans in the middle of a public health crisis, Senator Warner is working to make health care more accessible and affordable for the American people. Senator Warner’s bill would take bold steps to reduce costs, expand coverage, and strengthen protections for people with pre-existing conditions at a time when access to affordable health care has never been more critical. Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans should prioritize the health and well-being of Americans by working with Senator Warner to build on the success of the Affordable Care Act and abandon their disastrous lawsuit to take health care away.”


Kamala Harris: A Tireless Champion For Health Care

Washington, DC — Today, Vice President Joseph Biden announced Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate. Brad Woodhouse, Executive Director of Protect Our Care, released the following statement in response:

“Kamala Harris has been a health care champion in the U.S. Senate since the day Vice President Biden swore her into office. Senator Harris’ strong leadership on health care makes her the perfect choice to help Joe Biden lead our country out of the worst health care crisis in generations. She fought tooth and nail against President Trump’s dangerous lawsuit that would overturn the Affordable Care Act and rip coverage away from 23 million people in the midst of a pandemic. A staunch defender of Medicare and Medicaid and a leader on protecting people with pre-existing conditions and lowering the cost of prescription drugs, Senator Harris will work tirelessly with Joe Biden to ensure that everyone has access to the affordable, quality health care they need, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Kamala Harris Is Standing Up To Trump’s Sabotage Of Our Health Care System 

Kamala Harris Is Standing Up Against The Texas Lawsuit That Would Rip Coverage Away From Millions of Americans

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. Kamala Harris has been a consistent voice leading the charge against this devastating lawsuit. 

Harris On The Lawsuit To Overturn The ACA: “We Must Fight With Everything We Have To Avert This Catastrophe.” “My mother was a breast cancer researcher. She understood, from a career of looking at cancer cells under a microscope, that no matter who we are or where we are from, our bodies are essentially the same. They work the same way — and they break down the same way, too. She got sick before the Affordable Care Act became law, back when it was still legal for health insurance companies to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions. I remember thanking God she had Medicare. That’s something I’ve been thinking a great deal about in the days since a federal district judge in Texas, ruling in a lawsuit filed by a group of Republican governors and state attorneys general, declared the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. This was not the first attack by Republicans on the law, but if upheld, it will be the most catastrophic. Without the protections of the A.C.A., Americans with pre-existing conditions could be denied health insurance and insurance companies would once again be allowed to discriminate based on age and gender. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 50 million Americans could be rejected for coverage by health insurers if the A.C.A. were to disappear. At the same time, people in their mid-20s would get kicked off their parents’ plans. Lifetime caps could come back. Out-of-pocket costs would no longer be capped. The expansion of Medicaid in dozens of states could be reversed. The human toll would be unthinkable, with some experts estimating that 20,000 to 100,000 people could die each year. We must fight with everything we have to avert this catastrophe.” [Kamala Harris Op-Ed, New York Times, 12/29/18

Harris Criticized President Trump For “Actively Trying To Dismantle The ACA During A Pandemic.” “The Affordable Care Act is benefitting millions of Americans, and its destruction would have a devastating impact on low-income communities, people with preexisting conditions, seniors, and people of color. Yet Trump is actively trying to dismantle the ACA during a pandemic.” [@KamalaHarris, 7/6/20

Harris: “The Affordable Care Act Brought Health Care To Millions Of People Who Didn’t Have It. Bill Barr Is Trying To Get Rid Of It In The Midst Of A Public Health Crisis.” [@KamalaHarris, 4/23/20

Harris Voted Against The Tax Bill Which Forms The Basis For The Trump-Republican Lawsuit. Harris voted against 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. 

Harris Sponsored Legislation Authorizing The Senate Legal Counsel To Intervene In The Trump-Republican Lawsuit And Defend The ACA. Harris cosponsored 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:

  • 23 Million Americans Could Lose Coverage. According to the Center for American Progress, 23.3 million people could lose coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act. As the uninsured rate swells, so will the amount of uncompensated care, which Urban predicted will grow by at least 82 percent if the ACA were repealed.
  •  2.3 million adult children will no longer be able to stay on their parents’ insurance. 
  • States would lose important federal health care funding — an estimated reduction of $135 billion in the first year. The Urban Institute estimates that a full repeal of the ACA would reduce federal spending on Medicaid/CHIP care and Marketplace subsidies by $135 billion, or 34.6 percent in the first year.
  • Insurance companies would be put back in charge, ending protections for the 135 million Americans with a pre-existing condition. 135 million Americans have a pre-existing condition, including more than 17 million children, 68 million women, and 32 million people aged 55-64. 



Kamala Harris Opposes Donald Trump’s Plan To Slash Medicare and Medicaid

2019: Harris Called Trump’s Budget Proposals To Cut Medicare “Yet Another Piece Of Evidence For Why We Need A New President.” “This budget says a lot about the President’s priorities: cut $845 billion from Medicare, while spending billions on his vanity project, the wall. This would hurt our seniors and is yet another piece of evidence for why we need a new president.” [@KamalaHarris, 3/11/19] 

2017: Harris Voted Against Trump’s Plan To Slash Medicare By $473 Billion. Harris voted against 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: Harris Voted Against Trump’s Plan To Slash $1.3 Trillion From Medicaid. Harris voted against 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

Kamala Harris Is Working To Block “Junk” Insurance Plans That Can Refuse To Cover Pre-Existing Conditions, Including Covid-19 

2019: Harris Cosponsored Legislation To Block The Expansion Of “Junk” Insurance Plans. Harris cosponsored 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, 116th Congress

  • Harris: “Time And Time Again, This Administration Has Attempted To Strip Away Protections For The Millions Of Americans With Pre-existing Conditions, And Their Latest Attempt To Sell Junk Health Care Plans Is No Different.” ““Time and time again, this administration has attempted to strip away protections for the millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions, and their latest attempt to sell junk health care plans is no different,” said Senator Harris. ‘Enough is enough. Congress must take a stand.’” [Sen. Kamala Harris Press Release, 8/1/19

2018: Harris Cosponsored Legislation To Block The Expansion Of “Junk” Insurance Plans. Harris co-sponsored and voted for 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]
  • More Than 135 Million Nonelderly Americans Have A Pre-Existing Condition. [Center for American Progress, 10/2/19]
  • 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]

Kamala Harris Is A Leader In Reducing Health Care Costs And Protecting Americans With Pre-Existing Conditions 

Kamala Harris Supports Allowing Medicare To Negotiate To Lower Prescription Drug Prices

Harris: “Medicare, Which Covers About 55 Million People, Could Have Incredible Bargaining Power To Drive Significantly Lower Prescription Prices Through Negotiation.” “Compared with people in other wealthy countries, Americans face extraordinarily high prescription drug prices. In 2016, for example, the same dose of Crestor, a medication that treats high cholesterol, costs 62% more in the US than just across the border in Canada. This disparity exists with drug after drug. 58% of Americans take prescription drugs; and 25% find their medications difficult to afford. Why are Americans paying so much more for the medications we need? Because, unlike many other advanced countries, the U.S. government doesn’t negotiate prices on prescription drugs. When a government is purchasing medicines in bulk, it can negotiate a better price and pass those cost savings to consumers. Medicare, which covers about 55 million people, could have incredible bargaining power to drive significantly lower prescription prices through negotiation. But lawmakers from both parties, at the behest of the pharmaceutical lobby, have prohibited Medicare from doing so.” [Kamala Harris, “These Truths We Hold,” 2017] 

2019: Harris Cosponsored The Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act. Harris is a cosponsor of the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act, which would require the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services negotiate the prices of covered drugs and either establish a formulary for covered drugs, or require changes to PDP formularies that take into account CMS negotiations. [S. 99, 116th Congress

Kamala Harris Is Fighting Back Against Republican Schemes To Repeal The ACA And Its Protections For 135 Million Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions

2020: Harris Is Fighting Back Against Republican Attempts To Strip Protections From Millions Of Americans With Pre-Existing Conditions During The Covid-19 Pandemic. “We are still in the midst of a historic public health crisis that requires access to health care. The number of coronavirus infections and deaths continues to grow every day. Many frontline workers still don’t have the personal protective equipment they need as they courageously risk their lives to serve others and keep our country running. Families across the country have lost their incomes — and health insurance — and don’t know how they’ll pay bills or put food on the table. More than 40 million workers in the US have filed for unemployment. Now more than ever, people need reliable health care that they can afford. But the Trump administration wants to tear down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that provided access to health care for millions of people across the country. The ACA is a literal lifesaver: 20 million more Americans now have health insurance; 135 million people with pre-existing conditions now have protections; 17 million people now have coverage under expanded Medicaid; 12 million seniors now pay lower prescription drug costs; and 2.3 million young people can stay on their parents’ health insurance. But if Republicans and the Trump administration have their way, millions of people will have the rug pulled out from under them in the middle of a deadly global health crisis.” [Kamala Harris Op-Ed, CNN, 6/17/20

  • Harris: “The Aca Is Benefitting Millions Of Americans, And Its Destruction Would Have A Devastating Impact On Low-income Communities, People With Preexisting Conditions, Seniors, And People Of Color — Especially During A Pandemic.” “The ACA is benefitting millions of Americans, and its destruction would have a devastating impact on low-income communities, people with preexisting conditions, seniors, and people of color — especially during a pandemic. People of color are more likely to have pre-existing conditions that put them at a higher risk of hospitalization or death from Covid-19. Black people are 40% more likely to have high blood pressure than their white counterparts; Latinas have a one in two risk of developing diabetes, and American Indian/Alaska Natives have a higher rate of diabetes than white people. These are not faceless columns on a spreadsheet. These are real people with families, friends, and community. There is no denying — if this administration prevails lives will be put at serious risk.” [Kamala Harris Op-Ed, CNN, 6/17/20

2017: Harris Helped Defeat The Senate “Repeal And Delay” Plan. Harris voted against the 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: Harris Helped Defeat The Better Care Reconciliation Act. Harris voted against the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which repealed and replaced the ACA. [HR 1628, Roll Call Vote #168, 7/25/17

2017: Harris Helped Defeat “Skinny Repeal” Of The ACA. Harris voted against “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 

Rep. Abigail Spanberger’s Resolution Would Protect Millions From the Trump Administration’s Dangerous Push to Terminate the ACA in the Midst of a Pandemic

Washington, DC — Today, Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07) along with Reps. Lauren Underwood (IL-14) and Kim Schrier (WA-08) introduced a resolution demanding that the Department of Justice defend the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in court and drop the lawsuit to repeal the health care law and protections relied on by millions of Americans as the nation faces the worsening coronavirus pandemic. Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement in response: 

“This resolution, championed by Rep. Spanberger along with Reps. Underwood and Schrier, would help to protect 23 million Americans from having their health care ripped away in the middle of a pandemic. Even as the nation faces the worst public health crisis in a century, the president and his Republican allies are trying to overturn our health care law before the Supreme Court, and, if successful, would reverse the enormously successful expansion of Medicaid and end protections for more than 135 million with pre-existing conditions, including every American who had or will have COVID-19. Rep. Spanberger’s resolution sends a clear message that enough is enough — it’s time for President Trump to drop this senseless lawsuit and quit playing games with Americans’ health care.”

Donald Trump’s War On Seniors Has Reached A Tipping Point With His Latest Covid Response

As Part of His Failed Coronavirus Response That Has Devastated Seniors, President Trump Is Now Pursuing Reckless Cuts to Medicare

From the beginning of his presidency, President Trump has waged a war on seniors. Now, Trump is proposing a permanent cut to payroll taxes–a move that would decimate Medicare as the nation is still reeling from the coronavirus crisis. Trump’s latest attack on Medicare is part of a much larger war on seniors health care: Between undermining Medicaid enrollment to proposing steep Medicare budget cuts to attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Trump has done nothing but threaten seniors’ coverage and access to care. Trump’s efforts to overturn the ACA threatens to raise seniors’ drug costs and impose an “age tax” that would make them pay more for care. 

As the nation is continuing to battle a once-in-a-generation health care crisis, it has never been more clear that President Trump’s war on seniors’ health care is especially dangerous. 80 percent of U.S. coronavirus deaths have been among people aged 65 and older, and more than 60,000 people have died in nursing homes nationwide. Despite Trump’s repeated promises to protect Medicare, his actions speak louder than his words. 

“President Trump’s proposal to permanently cut payroll taxes – which would decimate Medicare in the process – is just the latest salvo in his war on seniors,” said Brad Woodhouse, Executive Director of Protect Our Care. “From the start of his administration, President Trump has undermined seniors’ health by fighting to undermine Medicaid enrollment, proposing steep funding cuts to Medicare, and seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act which would bring back the ‘age tax’ and raise seniors’ drug prices. Seniors are already bearing the brunt of the Trump administration’s disastrous response to the coronavirus and destroying Medicare would leave an already vulnerable community out in the cold.”

Here Are The Top Ways Trump Has Sabotaged Medicare: 

As Part Of His Failed Coronavirus Response, Trump Is Now Pursuing Permanent Payroll Tax Cuts That Would Decimate The Medicare Trust Fund. Trump signed an executive order that attempts to defer payroll tax payments from September through December for many workers, and he promised to make these cuts permanent if he wins re-election in November. While the legality of this proposal remains murky, it is clear that the impact on Medicare would be devastating if it takes effect. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates that the pandemic could already cause the Medicare Part A trust fund to become insolvent by 2023. Other experts say this fund could run out of money as early as 2022 as a result of fewer people paying payroll taxes amid record levels of unemployment. An even bigger cut to payroll taxes would undoubtedly result in more uncertainty for millions of seniors relying on Medicare for health care. AARP blasted Trump’s proposal, warning that “this approach exacerbates people’s already-heightened fears and concerns about their financial and retirement security.“ David Shulkin, former Veterans Affairs Secretary and health policy fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, said we “can’t afford” another crisis during the pandemic, adding that “if anything, we should be taking actions to shore up the solvency of Medicare and not be offering solutions that are going to make the problem much more critical.” 

Trump Has Repeatedly Made Clear That If He Wins Re-Election In 2020, He’s Going To Cut Medicare. Even before the current crisis, in January 2020, 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 Proposed Steep Cuts To Medicare In His Budget Requests. Despite repeatedly promising not to cut Medicare, Trump’s 2020 budget proposal would have cut more than $800 billion from Medicare over a decade, or roughly 10 percent of Medicare’s funding over the next ten years to help pay for tax cuts to insurance and big drug companies. Most recently, Trump’s 2021 budget would reduce Medicare spending by $500 billion, in addition to more than $1 trillion in cuts to the ACA and Medicaid. 

President Trump And His Republican Allies In Congress Will Not Allow Medicare To Negotiate For Lower Drug Prices Even As The Cost Of Drugs Skyrocket. Though 88 percent of Americans support allowing the federal government to negotiate drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries, Republicans refuse to let Medicare negotiate drug prices In December 2019, House Democrats passed the Lower Drug Costs Now Act to reduce the price of drugs for every American family by allowing the government to directly negotiate for lower drug prices for people with private insurance as well as Medicare. The bill would save households $158 billion over seven years. Despite his multiple campaign promises to let Medicare negotiate, Trump opposes the House’s plan. 

Seniors Stand To Lose If The ACA Is Overturned. If The ACA Is Struck Down In Court:

Trump is backing a lawsuit that would destroy the health care law and result in devastating coverage losses and higher costs for seniors and older adults. 

Without The ACA, People Over The Age of 50 Would Face A $4,000 “Age Tax.” If the Republican lawsuit to overturn the ACA is successful, insurance companies would be able charge people over 50 much more than younger people. The Affordable Care Act limited the amount older people could be charged to three times more than younger people. If insurers were to charge five times more, as was proposed in the Republican repeal bills, that would add an average “age tax” of $4,124 for a 60-year-old in the individual market, according to the AARP.

Trump’s Lawsuit Would Raise Drug Costs For Millions Of Seniors On Medicare. Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, seniors could have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole got reopened. From 2010 to 2016, “More than 11.8 million Medicare beneficiaries have received discounts over $26.8 billion on prescription drugs – an average of $2,272 per beneficiary,” according to a January 2017 Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services report.

After Four Years, the Trump Administration’s Talk is Cheap, But Drug Prices Still Aren’t

We’ve heard it before: President Trump wants to lower the cost of prescription drugs. In reality, Trump and his Republican allies have done everything possible to protect the rigged system for drug companies. In 2017, America’s largest pharmaceutical companies got a huge tax break from the Trump tax bill, and they have continued to line the pockets of shareholders and CEOs while raising prices for everyday Americans. 

Trump has repeatedly promised to address rising drug costs, but nearly all of his proposals have been put on hold or blocked by the courts. Without evidence, Trump has claimed that drug prices have gone down under his administration. During his 2020 State of the Union address, Trump claimed that “I was pleased to announce last year that, for the first time in 51 years, the cost of prescription drugs actually went down.” This has been debunked by multiple independent fact-checkers. 

Trump had four years to take action on drug prices, but instead he did nothing. Now, as the nation continues to battle the coronavirus crisis and Trump trails former Vice President Joe Biden in the polls, he has returned to the empty promises, cognizant that health care remains the top issue heading into the election. Meanwhile, even as the nation faces an unprecedented health care crisis, drug companies have continued to hike prices and take advantage of the system. At a time when controlling the cost of prescription drugs has never been more critical, Trump’s actions speak louder than his words.


Prescription drugs are prohibitively expensive for many Americans. While drug companies have continued to raise prices, Trump rewarded them with massive tax breaks and now opposes giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug costs – the single most effective measure to do so. 

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

Polling Reveals That Worries About Drug Pricing Are Only Getting Worse Under Trump

  • Two-thirds of adults report that prescription drug prices have increased under Trump. This includes 81% of Democrats, 70% of independents, and 47% of Republicans.
  • A November 2019 Gallup survey found that 58 million Americans were unable to afford prescribed drugs at least one time in the previous 12 months. 
  • Nearly 1 in 4 Americans (24%) have difficulty affording prescribed medications. 
  • Costs are of particular concern to those in fair or poor health — 49 percent of those in fair or poor health reported problems affording prescribed medications in 2019. Other groups more likely to report difficulties affording their medications include people with annual incomes less than $40,000 and people taking four or more drugs every month. 
  • 30% of 50-64 year olds reported problems affording drugs.
  • A July 2020 Gallup survey found reports of medication insecurity have risen by “statistically significant levels,” rising from 19 percent of adults in early 2019 to 24 percent in 2020.
  • Nearly 9 in 10 Americans fear that drug companies will use the pandemic as an excuse to raise prices.
  • Polls consistently show nearly nine in 10 Americans support allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices. A recent Gallup poll found that 88 Percent support government negotiation to control the cost of Covid-19 treatment. 

Trump’s Failed Record and Broken Promises on Drug Pricing

Drug Prices Have Soared Under Trump. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimated that list prices for 20 of the top 25 drugs covered by Medicare Part D saw price increases between three and nine times the rate of inflation in 2017. A report from AARP found that the annual cost for 267 brand name medicines commonly used by seniors increased by 5.8 percent in 2018, more than twice the rate of inflation. In 2019, more than 4,000 drugs saw price increases averaging 21 percent according to Rx Savings Solutions. 

Drug prices are steadily rising even as the nation fights the coronavirus crisis: according to an analysis from GoodRx, pharmaceutical companies have logged more than 800 price increases in 2020 so far. A new report from IQVIA confirms Americans’ spending on prescription medicines continues to rise, with total out-of-pocket expenses increasing from $74 billion in 2015 to $82 billion in 2019. 

Empowered By Trump, Drug Companies Are Already Taking Advantage Of The Coronavirus Crisis. Gilead Sciences sought rare disease status for its coronavirus treatment Remdesivir, which is potentially worth millions in tax breaks. The company only rescinded its request for exclusivity after a public outcry. Gilead later set remdesivir’s price at $3,120 for a course of treatment –while charging other countries $2,340– after U.S. taxpayers spent $99 million on its development. Data from GoodRx revealed that other drugs treating respiratory illnesses have already seen above-average price increases in 2020. One drug company even tripled the price of a medication as it pursued coronavirus use. Unsurprisingly, drug companies working on Covid-19 treatments and vaccines have boosted their lobbying expenditures during the pandemic. 

Americans Pay More For Drugs Than Do People In Any Other Country. At $1,229 per capita, people in the U.S. spend more on pharmaceuticals per capita than do people in any other country in the world. British researchers found that U.S. prices were consistently higher than in other European markets, six times higher than in Brazil, and 16 times higher than in the lowest-price country, which was usually India.

Drug Companies Are Engaging In The Dangerous Practice Of Price-Gouging — Pursuing Massive Profits To The Detriment Of People Who Need Their Medication To Survive. In September 2018, Nostrum chief executive Nirmal Mulye defended his choice to raise the price of an antibiotic from $474.75 to $2,392 a bottle, saying he had “moral requirement…to sell the product for the highest price.” In 2017, Mylan, the company that made the EpiPen, came under fire for charging $609 for a box of two devices even though each only contained about $1 worth of the drug epinephrine. The cost of the four most popular types of insulin have tripled over the past decade, with the average price per month rising to $450 in 2016. As costs continue to rise, as many as one in four of the 7.5 million Americans dependent on insulin are skipping or skimping on doses.

A 2019 report from the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review found that price hikes on seven prominent drugs cost Americans more than $5 billion over two years. Arthritis drug Humira topped the list, costing Americans an excess of $1.9 billion in co-pays, out-of-pocket costs, and premiums between 2016 and 2018. 

Pharmaceutical Companies Are Raking It In

Pharmaceutical Companies Reaped Huge Benefits From The Trump Tax Bill. The Trump tax scam means billions of dollars in tax breaks for pharmaceutical companies. The year after the tax bill passed, the largest drug companies made $50 billion in profits and subsequently used their savings to invest billions more in stock buybacks for their shareholders. According to Axios, the year after the Republican tax law went into effect, the 12 largest American pharmaceutical companies spent $69.1 billion on stock buybacks, compared to investing $65.9 billion on research and development. 

Drug Companies Continue To See Massive Profits. Pharmaceutical companies raked in more than $30 billion in profits in the third quarter of 2018, with Pfizer alone bringing in $4.1 billion — the highest of any publicly traded health care company. Of the 19 companies that tallied at least $1 billion of third-quarter profit, 14 were drug companies. These trends continued into 2019, with Axios reporting “quarter after quarter after quarter shows drugmakers continue to wield the highest profit margins in the industry,” adding that “nothing has fundamentally changed for drug companies even though the Trump administration is tinkering with ideas on how to lower what people pay for their prescriptions.” 

Even in the middle of the pandemic, the pharmaceutical industry is still thriving, with nine of the 10 biggest 2020 Q2 health care industry profit margins belonging to drug companies. And drug companies working on coronavirus treatments and vaccines are already reaping the benefits: after starting its late-stage trial for a coronavirus vaccine, Moderna’s stock soared by 9 percent, raising the company’s value to $31 billion despite having no FDA-approved drugs on the market. 

CEOs And Executives Are Cashing In. According to a 2017 Axios study, the CEOs of 70 of the largest U.S. health care companies cumulatively have earned $9.8 billion since 2010. CEOs took home nearly 11 percent more money on average every year since 2010 — far more than the wage growth of nearly all other workers. In 2017 alone, 30 health care executives made a combined $976 million.

According to the New York Times, senior executives and board members from at least 11 pharmaceutical and medical companies have been reaping the benefits of potential coronavirus treatments and vaccines, selling shares worth well over $1 billion since March. Top executives and board members from Regeneron sold $700 million in stock since announcing a collaboration with the federal government to develop a Covid-19 treatment. Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel more than tripled the number of his company shares to be sold days after the company announced positive early results for its coronavirus vaccine, raising his stake in the company to about $3 billion, compared to $600 million at the beginning of the year.

Republicans Are Making It Worse

Republicans Refuse To Let Medicare Negotiate For Lower Drug Prices. Though 88 percent of Americans support allowing the federal government to negotiate drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries, Republicans refuse to let Medicare negotiate drug prices. In December 2019, House Democrats passed the Lower Drug Costs Now Act to reduce the price of drugs for every American family by allowing the government to directly negotiate for lower drug prices for people with private insurance as well as Medicare. The bill would save households $158 billion over seven years. Despite his multiple campaign promises to let Medicare negotiate, Trump opposes the House’s plan. 

Trump Installed Big Pharma Executives In Key Administration Posts. President Trump installed a former Eli Lily executive, Alex Azar, as his secretary of Health and Human Services and his appointment of Scott Gottlieb at FDA was described as “music to pharma’s ears.” Other pharma lobbyists writing Trump’s health policy include chief of staff at FDA, Keagan Lenihan, who joined the administration after lobbying for the drug distribution giant McKesson, former Gilead lobbyist, Joe Grogan, who served as a senior advisor on health policy until his resignation in April 2020. 

Trump’s Proposals Always Fall Far Short Of His Promises. President Trump repeatedly promised that he would allow Medicare to use its buying power to negotiate drug prices directly with suppliers, but after meeting with pharmaceutical executives early in 2017, Trump abandoned that pledge, calling it “price fixing” that would hurt “smaller, younger companies.” In 2018, Trump released a “blueprint” to lower drug prices, but the main proposals have been put on hold or blocked by the courts. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals recently struck down Trump’s rule to require drugmakers to disclose prices in television ads. Trump also announced that drug makers agreed to participate in a voluntary program to limit insulin costs for certain Medicare beneficiaries, which officials acknowledged could actually result in higher premiums for beneficiaries and taxpayers. 

Trump recently signed four executive orders aimed at reducing drug costs, but experts were quick to point out that the measures were very limited and none were immediately enforceable. Pharma CEOS have themselves said they are “not expecting any impact” from these executive orders. 

The Administration Has Consistently Advocated For The Repeal Of The Affordable Care Act, Including Eliminating The Requirement That Insurance Companies Cover Prescription Drugs. After failing to repeal the health care law, Trump took his war on America’s health care to a new level and went to court seeking to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act. If President Trump and Republicans have their way, 23 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 ACA includes several measures to lower drug costs, including its requirement that insurance companies cover patients’ prescription drugs, rules that increase competition in the prescription drug market and help Americans access cheaper drugs, and consumer protections that prohibit drug companies from paying off doctors behind closed doors to influence the drugs they prescribe to patients. And without the ACA, nearly 12 million seniors will have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare ‘donut hole’ will be reopened.

HEADLINES: Missouri Voters Approve Medicaid Expansion in Rebuke of Trump-GOP Effort to Undermine Health Care in the Middle of a Pandemic

Advocates for Medicaid Expansion Are Now 6 for 6 in Statewide Votes to Expand the Program Since Trump Took Office

Yesterday, Missouri voters passed a ballot measure to expand Medicaid in the state, becoming the second red state to approve expansion during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Show Me State made health care access a reality for more than 230,000 Missourians, in addition to many who lost health care coverage during the pandemic. Despite Missouri being a deep red state, voters chose to expand Medicaid and reject President Trump’s repeated attempts to undermine the Affordable Care Act, leaving Republicans 0-6 when Medicaid expansion is on the ballot and voters are given the chance to expand access to health care in their states.


Forbes: Medicaid Expansion Wins In Red State Missouri

The Kansas City Star: Missouri Votes to Expand Medicaid Over Objections of State’s Republican Leaders

The Hill: Missouri Votes for Medicaid Expansion Over GOP Governor’s Objections

Vox: Missouri Approves Medicaid Expansion Ballot Initiative, Extending Coverage to 200,000 People

Extended coverage of Missouri’s vote to approve Medicaid expansion:

Forbes: Medicaid Expansion Wins In Red State Missouri. “The Missouri effort to become the 38th state to expand Medicaid is just the latest momentum in Republican-leaning states where lawmakers and governors have historically blocked efforts to expand health insurance coverage to more poor Americans under the ACA…the effort to expand Medicaid in Missouri to an estimated 217,000 to people in the state comes as cases of the coronavirus strain Covid-19 surge and thousands in the state are losing their jobs and healthcare coverage. Medicaid expansion is expected to enable more Missourians to become eligible for such health coverage as unemployment rises and people lose their employer-based health benefits.” [Forbes, 8/5/20]

The Kansas City Star: Missouri Votes to Expand Medicaid Over Objections of State’s Republican Leaders. “Missouri became the 38th state to expand Medicaid eligibility on Tuesday, with voters shrugging off Republican opposition to narrowly approve a constitutional amendment providing health coverage to more than 200,000 uninsured Missourians…Republicans have blocked Medicaid expansion in Missouri for years, which created a coverage gap where more than 200,000 Missourians earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little for subsidies to offset the cost of private insurance through the federal Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare.” [The Kansas City Star, 8/4/20]

Politico: Missouri Voters Latest to Approve Medicaid Expansion. “A winning streak: Missouri becomes the sixth Republican-led state where voters have defied GOP leaders to expand Medicaid, just weeks after Oklahoma voters narrowly backed the program. No state has ever voted down such a ballot initiative in recent years, underscoring the popularity of Medicaid expansion even in parts of the country hostile to Obamacare. The Missouri vote came as the state has faced one of the sharpest increases in coronavirus infections and now reports on average over 1,200 daily new cases, almost three times more than a month ago.” [Politico, 8/5/20

Vox: Missouri Approves Medicaid Expansion Ballot Initiative, Extending Coverage to 200,000 People. “The vote passed over the objections of Missouri’s Republican governor, Mike Parson, and conservative interest groups. Bills had been introduced in previous legislative sessions that would have expanded Medicaid, but they were ignored by the GOP majority. This makes Missouri the 39th state to expand Medicaid through Obamacare; all the holdouts have been driven by GOP opposition to the 2010 health care law.” [Vox, 8/5/20

The Hill: Missouri Votes for Medicaid Expansion Over GOP Governor’s Objections. “Voters in deep-red Missouri narrowly approved Medicaid expansion on Tuesday over the objections of Republican state leaders. The vote makes Missouri the 38th state to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, and the sixth state in three years to pass it by ballot measure, a blow to the Trump administration’s anti-ObamaCare agenda…The state is solidly conservative, as President Trump won 57 percent of the vote in 2016. Republicans, who have supermajorities in both the state House and Senate, were opposed to the measure, as was Gov. Mike Parson (R) who is up for re-election.” [The Hill, 8/5/20

Axios: Missouri Voters Approve Medicaid Expansion. “Some 230,000 Missourians will benefit from the measure, which marks the sixth time voters have gone against a resistant Republican-led Legislature, Politico notes. It’s the 38th state to back the expansion under former President Obama’s signature health care law, AP notes. It comes amid the backdrop of a pandemic that’s seen over 54,000 cases and more than 1,200 deaths from COVID-19 in Missouri.” [Axios, 8/5/20

Associated Press: Missouri Approves Medicaid Expansion; Parson, Galloway Win. “Voters on Tuesday made Missouri the 38th state to approve expanding Medicaid health care coverage to thousands more low-income adults. Support for the constitutional amendment means that as many as 250,000 more adults could choose to be covered by government health insurance beginning in July 2021, according to estimates from the state auditor…The vote on health care, which was paired with Missouri’s primary elections, came as confirmed coronavirus case s have been rising in the state and the economy continues to suffer.” [Associated Press, 8/5/20

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Missouri Voters Narrowly Approve Medicaid Expansion. “Ignoring pleas from Republican leaders, Missouri voters approved a plan Tuesday to expand Medicaid coverage to more than 230,000 low-income people in the state. Missouri voted to expand its Medicaid program, as 53% of voters supported the measure. Missouri now joins 37 other states that have already expanded the federally subsidized health insurance program.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 8/5/20

Missouri Voters Approve Medicaid Expansion, Reject Trump’s War on Health Care

Washington, DC – Yesterday, Missouri voters passed a ballot measure to expand Medicaid in the state, making health care access a reality for more than 230,000 additional Missourians, including many who find themselves without health care coverage during a pandemic. Despite Missouri being a deep red state, voters chose to expand Medicaid and reject President Trump’s repeated attempts to undermine the Affordable Care Act and sabotage health care access. In response to the vote, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement: 

“Missouri voters made their voices heard loud and clear by passing Medicaid expansion for their state. Even in deep red Missouri, voters are fed up with Donald Trump’s war on health care, his attempts to overturn the Affordable Care Act in court and complete mismanagement of the coronavirus crisis. Missourians know that Medicaid serves as a lifeline for the most vulnerable Americans, especially as our country battles the worsening pandemic, which is why they chose to affirm Medicaid expansion — a key provision of the Affordable Care Act that has already provided health care to 16 million Americans nationwide.” 


Missouri Has Already Experienced An 8.8 Percent Increase In Medicaid Enrollment Since February. “Even without expanding the program, Missouri leads the group with an 8.8% increase since February in total Medicaid enrollment. While economic recessions often contribute to increasing Medicaid enrollment, the early spike in Missouri could signify reenrollment of a large number of people, mostly children, who had been dropped from the program two years in a row. A federal rule blocks disenrollment during the pandemic.” [Kaiser Health News, 7/30/20

700,000 Missourians Have Filed Unemployment Claims Since Mid-March. “Voters in Missouri will decide Tuesday whether to expand eligibility for MO HealthNet program (Missouri’s Medicaid program) to provide insurance to more than 230,000 additional people in the state, including many who find themselves newly struggling for health coverage amid a national health crisis. More than 700,000 initial unemployment claims were reported in Missouri from mid-March through the first week of July. If Medicaid expansion passes in Missouri, coverage for those newly eligible people would begin in 2021. Advocates for the measure say Medicaid expansion would also create jobs, protect hospitals from budget cuts and bring billions of federal taxpayer dollars back to the state.” [Kaiser Health News, 7/30/20