Monthly Archives

September 2020

VOTE ALERT: Desperate Senate Republicans Rush Bill on Pre-Existing Conditions to the Floor That Isn’t Worth the Paper It’s Printed On

Tillis Bill Could Get a Vote as Early as Tonight, Fails to Meaningfully Protecting People with Pre-Existing Conditions

In a blatant attempt to cover his abysmal health care record, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) released bill text for the “The Protect Act.” Despite its name, this bill does not fully protect people with pre-existing conditions. 

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), a law that Senator Tillis has repeatedly voted to repeal, already provides comprehensive protections for people with pre-existing conditions. However, the ACA is currently in danger of being overturned in the courts in a lawsuit brought by the Trump administration and its Republican allies in the states. If successful, the lawsuit would rip coverage away from more than 23 million and eliminate protections for 135 million people with pre-existing conditions. Republicans have made clear they want to put insurance companies back in charge and return to the days when insurers could charge more and limit care all while their profits soar. 

Any Bill That Meaningfully Protects People With Pre-Existing Conditions Must Include Four Key Provisions: 

  • GUARANTEED ISSUE: Rule that forbids insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. 
  • COMMUNITY RATING: Rule that prevents insurers from charging people with pre-existing conditions more. 
  • ESSENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS: Requirements that insurance companies cover essential health benefits, such as prescription drugs, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and maternity care.
  • LIFETIME & ANNUAL CAPS: Ban on insurance companies having lifetime caps on coverage.

PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS WOULD NOT BE PROTECTED UNDER THOM TILLIS’ BILL: 

What Tillis’ Bill Looks Like In Practice:

If Tillis’ bill replaced the Affordable Care Act, 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions would be put at risk. 

For example, without the ban on annual and lifetime limits, a patient with cancer – whose costs for treatment average about $150,000 – could quickly reach their plan’s coverage limit and face the devastating choice of continuing treatment or facing financial ruin. Moreover, while Tillis’s bill claims to prohibit insurance companies from excluding coverage of treatments based on a person’s pre-existing condition, insurers could deny coverage of certain treatments across the board. So insurance companies could still refuse to cover this person’s chemotherapy drugs because they would no longer need to cover essential health benefits. This is all assuming that the patient wasn’t already paying higher premiums for being a woman or over the age of 50. 

FACT CHECK: Trump Told “Pie-in-the-Sky” Lies About Prescription Drug Prices at Last Night’s Debate

Last night, President Trump told lie after lie about his health care record. One of his most egregious lies was about prescription drug prices, when he falsely claimed that he had lowered drug costs by “80 or 90 percent” and that insulin was as cheap as water. The truth is, President Trump is in court right now arguing in favor of California v. Texas, his lawsuit to terminate the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. If Trump’s lawsuit is successful, nearly 12 million seniors will have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare ‘donut hole’ will be reopened, requirements that insurance companies cover prescription drugs will be eliminated and our entire health care system will be thrown into chaos.

COVERAGE: 

Stat: Trump Claims His Policies Made Insulin ‘So Cheap, It’s Like Water.’ But for Most People, It Costs Just as Much as Before. “Not only has he lowered drug prices, President Trump claimed in the first 15 minutes of Tuesday’s debate — but he has helped lower the price of insulin, specifically, so that it is so cheap that it’s ‘like water.’ In reality, insulin still retails for roughly $300 a vial. Most patients with diabetes need two to three vials per month, and some can require much more.” [Stat, 9/29/20

  • Stat: “Trump Also Didn’t Mention the Long List Of Drug Pricing Failures He Has Racked Up Over the Last Four Years.” “But Trump, who also suggested Tuesday that drug prices ‘will be coming down 80 or 90 percent’ under his leadership, has largely struggled to meaningfully lower drug prices. Trump also insisted during Tuesday’s debate that he had implemented a ‘most-favored nations’ policy that would radically lower drug prices, but that plan still hasn’t been implemented. He suggested, too, that he was letting states import drugs from Canada, but it could be months or even years before any state is ready to submit a plan to do so, under rules that were only released last week. Trump also didn’t mention the long list of drug pricing failures he has racked up over the last four years: His idea to require drug makers include their drug prices in TV ads was struck down in court, and his administration has repeatedly flip-flopped on his idea to eliminate the discounts negotiated between drug prices and middlemen.” [Stat, 9/29/20

Washington Post: On Trump’s Claim That Drug Prices Have Fallen 80 or 90 Percent, “There Is Just No Evidence for This Pie-in-the-Sky Prediction.” “There is just no evidence for this pie-in-the-sky prediction. In fact, prescription drug prices are up 3 percent since Trump’s first full month in office through August, according to the consumer price index. In 2019, we found generic prescription drug prices had fallen slightly under Trump, while branded drugs were becoming costlier, according to numerous studies.” [Washington Post, 9/29/20

AP Fact Check: Trump’s Claim That “Drug Prices Will Be Coming Down 80 Or 90%” Is “Not A Reality.” “That’s a promise, not a reality, and it’s a big stretch. Trump has been unable to get legislation to lower drug prices through Congress. Major regulatory actions from his administration are still in the works, and are likely to be challenged in court. There’s no plan on the horizon that would lower drug prices as dramatically as Trump claims. Prescription drug price inflation has been low and slow during the Trump years, but it hasn’t made a U-turn and sped off in the other direction. Prices have seesawed from year to year. Looking back at the totality of Trump’s term, from Jan. 2017, when he was inaugurated, to the latest data from Aug. 2020, drug prices went up 3.6%, according to an analysis by economist Paul Hughes-Cromwick of Altarum, a nonprofit research and consulting organization.” [Associated Press, 9/30/20

NPR: “Trump Claims on Drug Prices Aren’t Accurate.” “When President Trump was asked to explain what health care plan would replace the Affordable Care Act, he pivoted to drug prices…Trump has tried a variety of tactics to bring down drug prices, recently signing four executive orders to lower drug prices on July 24, but health policy experts say they will likely offer only minimal relief and take a long time to implement. Some may not be implemented at all.” [NPR, 9/29/20

Washington Post: The Health 202: “Trump’s Claim About Insulin Was Hardly the Only Way He Misrepresented His Record on Health Policy.” The administration has capped co-pays for insulin at $35 a month in some Medicare prescription drug plans. But insulin remains expensive for millions of Americans with private health coverage or no coverage at all, often adding up to hundreds or thousands of dollars in monthly costs for them. Trump’s claim about insulin was hardly the only way he misrepresented his record on health policy. Just minutes into the debate, the two candidates clashed over his approach to the Affordable Care Act. Biden noted the president’s failure to repeal and replace the law and his administration’s refusal to defend the law before the Supreme Court. Trump continually interrupted him, loudly countering that the law’s penalty for being uninsured was repealed.” [Washington Post, 9/30/20

Senator Brown, Senator Baldwin and Protect Our Care Blast Trump’s Health Care Lies From First Debate

Call Audio Available Here

Washington, DC — Today, U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) joined Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach to discuss the consequences of Donald Trump’s years-long war on health care and what’s at stake in the upcoming election. Senators Brown and Baldwin also discussed California v. Texas, the Trump-Republican lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act. On November 10, 2020 — one week after the election — the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case that could end protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, rip coverage from more than 23 million Americans and throw our entire health care system into chaos in the midst of an ever-worsening pandemic.

“President Trump and Leader Mitch McConnell are willing to drop everything, and move heaven and earth to put another corporate special interest judge on the Supreme Court – a judge who we have every reason to believe will take away Americans’ health care in the middle of a pandemic,” said Senator Sherrod Brown. “Americans’ health care is at stake with this seat and the American people deserve to have their voices heard.”

“We have a public health and economic crisis that has gotten worse because President Trump’s failure of leadership and last night’s debate made it clear once again that Trump’s only plan is to ‘terminate’ the Affordable Care Act and take away people’s health care and protections for pre-existing health conditions in the middle of a pandemic,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin.

“Trump continues to lie to voters about his health care record including his botched coronavirus response, his war on people with pre-existing conditions and his failure to lower prescription drug prices. Last night, he did his best to obscure his health care sabotage record from voters,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “No matter what Donald Trump tries to tell you, health care is on the ballot this November.”

Trump Continues Health Care and Covid Lies in First Debate

Trump Misleads Voters About His Health Care Record and Failed Coronavirus Response

Washington, DC — Tonight, Donald Trump took the debate stage and continued what he’s been doing since he took office — lying to voters about his health care record. One of his most egregious lies was about prescription drugs, when he falsely said he lowered drug costs by “80 or 90 percent” and that insulin was as cheap as water. From his failed response to the coronavirus pandemic to his relentless attacks on the Affordable Care Act and people with pre-existing conditions, President Trump has been waging a war on health care. In response, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement: 

“With a vacancy on the Supreme Court and the coronavirus pandemic continuing to ravage our nation, it’s clear that health care is on the ballot, and Donald Trump is working overtime to try to lie to voters about his record. Here’s the truth: Trump has consistently attacked the Affordable Care Act, and his lawsuit to completely overturn the entire law will be heard by the Supreme Court one week after the election. Now, Trump is trying to install anti-ACA Judge Amy Coney Barrett to tilt the balance of the court in his favor so he will be able to eliminate protections for 135 million people with pre-existing conditions and rip health care from more than 23 million Americans during a devastating pandemic, which he made worse.

“After repeatedly downplaying the severity of the virus, undermining his own experts, and deliberately misleading the American people, Trump owns this crisis that has killed more than 200,000 Americans. Now, he pledges to make it even worse by throwing away the health and safety of everyone in this country. Voters know our health care is at stake and the contrast between Donald Trump and Joe Biden Americans saw tonight could not be more stark.” 

BACKGROUND

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

FACT CHECKS: Trump Lies About Protecting People with Pre-Existing Conditions While Trying to Destroy the ACA in Court

No Matter What Lies Trump Tells During the Debate, His Health Care Record Is Clear

With a vacancy on the Supreme Court and the coronavirus pandemic ravaging our country, health care is on the ballot, and President Trump is hard at work spinning lies to obscure his disastrous war on health care. The truth is that since taking office, Trump has taken every opportunity to rip away Americans’ health care. Time and again, Trump has tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Now, he is suing to dismantle the ACA and has selected Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court vacancy, in part because of her opposition to the ACA, to help stack the court in his favor. Voters cannot afford another four years of Trump’s relentless attacks on health care. 

Lies You’ll Hear From Trump

Trump claims he supports protections for people with pre-existing conditions, but he has a case before the U.S. Supreme Court to dismantle these protections. Trump has peddled the bizarre lie that he has put protections for people with pre-existing conditions into place. He hasn’t. The Affordable Care Act — the law he is actively trying to destroy and attempted to repeal in Congress — already protects Americans with pre-existing conditions. The Washington Post fact-checker gave this claim its worst rating: “bottomless Pinocchio,” noting that, by June, Trump had falsely said he would protect pre-existing conditions nearly 100 times. After Trump repeated this claim at the State of the Union, Vox described it as “the biggest lie” in his speech. 

President Trump touts his record on prescription drugs, but the truth is that the cost of prescription drugs continues to skyrocket. Donald Trump promised that he would lower drug costs, but instead he gave drug companies billions in tax breaks. 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. Meanwhile, more than 4,000 drugs saw price increases averaging 21 percent in 2019, and drug prices are steadily rising even as the nation fights the coronavirus crisis. Trump has rejected common sense reforms, like giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower prices. Instead of taking action to lower prices, he is making false promises to seniors about $200 drug reimbursements, without a plan for implementation. 

Trump has repeatedly claimed that coronavirus is no big deal, that we’re turning the corner, and the problem will just disappear any day now. That’s nonsense. At every turn Donald Trump has sought to downplay the danger of the virus, despite admitting privately that he knew how deadly and dangerous it was. He has a long history of blatantly lying about transmissibility, claiming children are virtually immune when we know they are an important contributor to community spread, and pushing junk science and miracle cures like hydroxychloroquine, which have been debunked over and over. There’s no evidence that the virus will just disappear, despite Trump’s repeatedly making that inexplicable claim. The only way this virus will be defeated is by doing what Donald Trump repeatedly refuses to do – letting the experts and science lead, ramping up testing, and encouraging mitigation efforts like masks and social distancing until it’s safe. 

What Trump Won’t Tell You

Trump is before the Supreme Court trying to overturn the entire ACA with no plans to replace it, and now, he’s trying to pack the court in his favor. Trump notoriously tried and failed multiple times to repeal the Affordable Care Act. All of the repeal bills that went through Congress would have caused millions of Americans to lose their health coverage and raised premiums for millions more. Now the Trump administration has thrown its full support behind a lawsuit that would do the same. If the Republican lawsuit is successful, 23 million Americans will lose their coverage and more than 135 million people will lose protections for pre-existing conditions, including the millions of Americans who contracted the coronavirus. The lawsuit will be heard one week after the election, and Trump hopes to have already installed his new anti-ACA nominee to help tilt the decision in his favor. 

Millions of people have lost coverage under Trump. Census data revealed in 2018 that the uninsured rate rose for the first time since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, increasing from 7.9 percent in 2017 to 8.5 percent in 2018, or by approximately 2 million people. The uninsured rate reached 9.2 percent in 2019, meaning 30 million Americans went without health insurance last year. Additionally, more than one million children lost Medicaid coverage between 2017 and 2019. Health care experts have pointed to a “chilling effect” from Trump-backed policies, including Medicaid work requirements. And as a result of Trump’s failed coronavirus response, 12 million people have lost employer-sponsored coverage since February, according to estimates from the Economic Policy Institute. 

The coronavirus pandemic didn’t have to be this bad, but Trump botched his response from day one. The United States has the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world, leading with the most deaths – more than 205,000 – and the most cases – more than 7.1 million. And the pandemic is continuing to get worse, with the numbers moving in the wrong direction in more than 21 states. The reason is simple: Donald Trump and his administration have failed. While comparable nations were able to get the virus under control after the initial spike by working together to ramp up testing and enforce mitigation efforts, Trump did none of that. He sought to undermine his own experts, he repeatedly lied to American people and downplayed the danger of the virus, he mocked mitigation efforts like masks, and pushed states and schools to reopen before it was safe to do so. All the while, thousands of Americans died and the economy cratered. All of this could have been avoided with effective leadership that put the health and safety of Americans first. Instead, Donald Trump looked out for his own political interests and made matters worse.

HEADLINES: Health Care Is the “Galvanizing Issue” for Americans in the Fight Over the Trump-Republican Rush to Confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court

On Saturday, President Trump announced Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to fill the vacancy left on the Supreme Court by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. With his selection of Judge Coney Barrett, Trump has made clear that our health is on the line. One week after the election, the court will hear oral arguments in California v. Texas, the Trump lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act. By rushing through Judge Coney Barrett’s nomination, Trump is trying to tilt the balance of the court in his favor to throw our entire health care system into chaos by ending protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions and ripping coverage from more than 23 million Americans in the midst of an ever-worsening pandemic. 

HEADLINES:

New York Times: Obamacare Returns as Galvanizing Issue After Ginsburg Death and Barrett Nomination. “Democrats in Congress have sprung into action with news conferences and pep talks to campaign volunteers featuring people with pre-existing medical conditions who were able to get coverage because of the law…they are hoping to reignite the public passion to protect the law that helped Democrats recapture the House in 2018, a year after Republicans in Congress came close to repealing it. This time, party leaders are quick to point out, the election is coming amid a pandemic that has left many Americans requiring expensive medical care, including for potentially long-term health problems that insurers could refuse to cover if the law and its protections with people for pre-existing conditions were repealed.” [New York Times, 9/28/20]

Washington Post: Democrats Focus Supreme Court Battle on Fate of Health-Care Law Under Trump. “President Trump attacked the Affordable Care Act as ‘terrible’ on Sunday, as Democrats tried to make the fate of the law under a probable new Trump-driven conservative Supreme Court majority a reason to vote against him. As a Senate fight over Trump’s third and most consequential Supreme Court pick looms, Democrats on Sunday focused on the role Trump’s nominee could play in overturning President Barack Obama’s signature health-care law amid a pandemic.” [Washington Post, 9/27/20

NBC News: Trump Court Pick Amy Coney Barrett’s Past Critiques on Obamacare Face Scrutiny. “With the nation experiencing a pandemic that’s already claimed 200,000 lives and left at least 6 million with potential Covid-19-related ‘pre-existing’ conditions, Democrats are focusing on health care to persuade voters that Barrett’s appointment will have a direct impact on their lives. A new lawsuit led by Texas and supported by the Trump administration is coming before the Supreme Court on Nov. 10.” [NBC News, 9/26/20

Reuters: Biden, Fellow Democrats Focus on Healthcare In Supreme Court Fight. “Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and fellow Democrats made it clear on Sunday that their opposition to President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, would focus on the possibility she could cast a decisive vote to strike down the Obamacare health law…Barrett could be on the court’s bench for oral arguments on Nov. 10 in a case in which Trump and his Republican allies are seeking to invalidate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – the 2010 law popularly known Obamacare. That could cost millions of Americans their healthcare coverage as well as protections for pre-existing health conditions.” [Reuters, 9/27/20

Wall Street Journal: Supreme Court Vacancy Makes Health Care Leading Issue In 2020 Elections. “Democrats are trying to impress upon voters that health coverage under the ACA and Medicaid expansion, which has extended health insurance to about 20 million Americans, is on the line. Because the lawsuit is being brought by GOP-led states, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden couldn’t drop the case if he is elected. If Democrats win majorities in both the House and Senate, they could pass legislation reinstating the penalty for not having coverage, even with a $1 charge, to make the lawsuit moot. If Republicans retain Senate control, they would be unlikely to back mandatory minimum benefits or other aspects of the Obama-era law. Under the ACA, insurers can’t reject consumers or charge them more if they have a pre-existing condition.” [Wall Street Journal, 9/24/20

The Health 202: Democrats Are Making Amy Coney Barrett’s Nomination All About Obamacare. “Democrats are keeping a tight focus on the ACA as they respond to the Barrett pick. As we’ve explained in The Health 202, the probable replacement of Ginsburg with a conservative justice makes it somewhat more likely — although far from certain — that the Supreme Court may strike down some of the ACA or send it back to a lower court to decide which parts of the law should stay or go.” [Washington Post, 9/28/20

The Atlantic: Democrats’ SCOTUS Message Could Really Work In Swing States. “Based on their advertising spending, Democrats are betting that health care may be even more relevant right now than in years past because of the likelihood that insurance companies will consider COVID-19 a preexisting condition. ‘The whole ‘pre-ex’ conversation is arguably more salient in ’20 than it was in ’18, and [the possible upcoming] Court decision adds to that,’ says J. B. Poersch, the president of Senate Majority PAC, the principal super PAC supporting Democratic senators. Adds Rachel Irwin, the group’s communications director: ‘A good portion of our advertising so far has laid the groundwork on preexisting conditions with personal stories. Every single Senate race has been hammering [that].’ Confirmation hearings for a Trump-appointed justice who may provide the deciding vote to overturn the ACA could provide Democrats an unparalleled platform to keep ‘hammering’ the message that Republican senators are threatening the law’s protections.” [The Atlantic, 9/24/20

BREAKING: Trump Selects Anti-ACA Nominee to Fill SCOTUS Vacancy

Judge Amy Coney Barrett Has History of Opposing Affordable Care Act

Washington, DC — Tonight, multiple news outlets are reporting that President Trump has selected Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court. With the court set to hear California v. Texas, a case to overturn the ACA, on November 10, Americans’ health care is on the line like never before. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“From day one, President Trump has made clear that he would only nominate justices to the Supreme Court who would vote to take down the Affordable Care Act, and now with 200,000 Americans already dead, President Trump is jamming through a Supreme Court justice who will take away America’s health care in the middle of this pandemic — because one week after the election, the Supreme Court will hear his lawsuit to completely dismantle the ACA. 

“The stakes for Americans’ health care could not be higher. If Trump is successful, the lawsuit would rip health care from more than 23 million people and remove protections for the 135 million people who have a pre-existing condition, including the more than seven million Americans who have had Covid-19, all during the worst health crisis in over a century. 

“With the national spotlight now on the Supreme Court, President Trump won’t be able to hide behind his health care lies anymore. Voters will know that Donald Trump is fighting to take away protections for people with pre-existing conditions and that he and every Republican who votes for this nominee is responsible for the deaths and disease that will result.”

BACKGROUND:

AMY CONEY BARRETT

Trump Has Promised to Appoint Judges Who Will Strike Down the ACA:

As far back as 2015, Donald Trump promised that “my judicial appointments will do the right thing unlike Bush’s appointee John Roberts on ObamaCare.” Trump has also said that he is “looking to appoint judges very much in the mold of Justice Scalia.” The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia opposed the ACA repeatedly, famously dubbing the law “SCOTUSCare.” 

Barrett Supports Efforts to Invalidate the Affordable Care Act:

Barrett is on the record criticizing Chief Justice John Roberts for his decision to uphold Congress’s authority to enact large portions of the ACA in NFIB v. Sebelius. According to Barrett, “Roberts pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute,” and, “If the majority did not enact a ‘tax,’ interpreting the statute to impose a tax lacks democratic legitimacy.” 

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 more than 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. 
  • GONE: Ban on insurance companies having lifetime caps on coverage.
  • GONE: Requirements that insurance companies cover prescription drugs and maternity care.
  • GONE: 60 million Medicare beneficiaries will face higher costs and disruptions to their medical care. 

Barrett also praised the dissent in King v. Burwell, where the Court affirmed tax credits for millions of families, appearing to endorse Justice Scalia’s view that the ACA should be renamed “SCOTUScare” in honor of “the Court’s willingness to ‘rewrite’ the statute in order to keep it afloat.” Barrett writes, “For Justice Scalia and those who share his commitment to uphold text, the measure of a court is its fair-minded application of the rule of law, which means going where the law leads. By this measure, it is illegitimate for the Court to distort either the Constitution or a statute to achieve what it deems a preferable result.” 

  • Nearly nine million Americans rely on tax credits for coverage. Without the ACA, nearly 9 million people would lose financial assistance that helps them purchase health care in the marketplace. In 2019, the average monthly premium tax credit was $514

Barrett Opposed the ACA’s Mandate to Provide Contraceptive Care: 

Barrett fought against the Obama administration’s efforts to expand access to contraceptives, calling the ACA’s contraception mandate “a grave infringement on religious liberty.”

  • More than 60 million patients rely on access to birth control with no out-of-pocket fees. The ACA guarantees that private health plans cover 18 methods of contraception and make them available to 62.4 million patients with no out-of-pocket costs. More than 99 percent of sexually-active women have used contraceptives at some point in their lifetimes, and approximately 60 percent of women of reproductive age currently use at least one birth control method. In addition to increasing access to this essential treatment, this ACA provision has saved money for women and their families: women saved $1.4 billion on birth control pills alone in 2013.

For more information on the impact of the Texas Lawsuit, visit: https://www.protectourcare.org/SCOTUS/

Protect Our Care “Your Health, Your Vote” Virtual Bus Tour Week Two Wrap Up: Michigan, New Hampshire and Minnesota

Virtual Tour “Hit the Road” for Events with Members of Congress in Michigan, New Hampshire and Minnesota

On the second week of Protect Our Care’s 16-state “Your Health, Your Vote” virtual bus tour Protect Our Care held events in Michigan, New Hampshire and Minnesota. During each stop, elected leaders, health care advocates and storytellers from each state met in a virtual format to discuss President Trump’s complete mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic and highlight the danger of allowing President Trump to pick the next Supreme Court justice. California v. Texas, the Trump-Republican lawsuit to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, will be heard one week after the election. If successful, the lawsuit would take away protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions and rip coverage away from over 23 million Americans in the middle of a pandemic.

MICHIGAN

Tuesday, September 22, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in Michigan to highlight Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and failed coronavirus response. Headlined by Rep. Elissa Slotkin, the event highlighted how Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, would impact Michiganders’ health care. They also called on Republicans to denounce Trump’s war on health care and discussed Democrats’ agenda to improve health care and lower costs for Americans.

Watch the Event Here

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Thursday, September 24, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in the Granite State to highlight the ongoing war on health care and failed local and federal coronavirus response. Headlined by Congressman Chris Pappas and Marked By Covid founder Kristin Urquiza, the event highlighted how Donald Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic. 

Watch the Event Here

WMUR-9: NH Primary Source: Pappas, Shaheen to Join ‘Protect Our Care’ Virtual Bus Tour

MINNESOTA

Friday, September 25, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in Minnesota to highlight Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and failed coronavirus response. Headlined by Senator Tina Smith and Congressman Dean Phillips, the event highlighted how Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, would impact Minnesotans’ care. Sarah Stoesz, the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States, Clara Boykin, a member of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, Kenza Hadj-Moussa of TakeAction also joined the event. Speakers discussed the dire emergency created by the Trump-Republican lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act as well as the upcoming battle over Trump’s intent to fill a U.S. Supreme Court seat with a Justice who opposes the ACA, which would throw our entire health care system into chaos.

Watch the Event Here

Trump Tries to Trick Seniors With Election Year Drug Price Stunt

Washington, DC — Yesterday, President Trump claimed he would send seniors $200 drug coupons to help cover the cost of their prescription drugs. This is just another “political ploy” from a president who is trying to obscure his catastrophic health care record for seniors. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“Seniors pay far too much for prescription drugs, and the last thing they need is another false promise from President Trump who has overseen four years of drug price increases and who refuses to give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower prices — the one proven tool to make needed prescription drugs more affordable. Far from fighting the drug companies, President Trump has given them billions in tax breaks, and he doesn’t even have a plan for how to pay for and implement this latest ploy. Every independent expert says this latest promise is a sham, and nothing more than an election year stunt from a president who threatens the lives of seniors every day by his disastrous mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic and his relentless efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act.”

COVERAGE:

New York Times: Trump’s Discount Cards A “$6.6 Billion Election-Eve Promise With Dubious Legal Authority.” “President Trump vowed on Thursday to send $200 discount cards for prescription drugs to 33 million older Americans, a $6.6 billion election-eve promise with dubious legal authority that he announced as part of a speech billed as presenting a long-awaited health care plan.” [New York Times, 9/24/20

  • New York Times: “It Was Not Clear Where the Money for the Cards Would Come From or Whether the White House Could Legally Issue Them.” “That left the drug discount cards as the major advance in Mr. Trump’s speech. It was not clear where the money for the cards would come from or whether the White House could legally issue them. But they amounted to a gift to a key constituency, offered weeks before Election Day.” [New York Times, 9/24/20

Stat: Trump’s Promise to Distribute Cash Cards to Medicare Beneficiaries “A Political Ploy to Curry Favor With Seniors.” “President Trump on Thursday pledged to send $200 prescription drug coupons to 33 million Medicare beneficiaries ‘in the coming weeks,’ a political ploy to curry favor with seniors who view drug prices as a priority. Trump’s promise comes less than six weeks before Election Day, and represents the latest step in his administration’s (and his campaign’s) efforts to amass health care talking points, even if their actions do little to save Americans money… It is unclear whether Trump’s promises on $200 credits for prescription drug coupons will come to fruition. Under the Constitution, it is Congress, not the White House, that is empowered to spend taxpayer money, and it is unclear where the roughly $6.6 billion for the program would come from.” [Stat, 9/24/20

Bloomberg: “Trump Didn’t Explain In His Speech What Program or Authority Would Allow the Government to Provide the Cards.” “Trump didn’t explain in his speech what program or authority would allow the government to provide the cards. Assuming they are sent to 33 million Medicare beneficiaries, the figure Trump used, the cards would cost about $6.6 billion…Trump is struggling to secure the votes of older Americans with less than six weeks before the election. Several recent polls indicate his re-election opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, is tied or leading Trump among people 65 and older, a turnabout from 2016 when the president won the senior vote by a comfortable margin.” [Bloomberg, 9/24/20]

Washington Post: “The White House Has Released No Details of How the $200 Program Would Work, How It Would Be Funded and Whether This Was A Long-Term Plan or One-Time Payment to Seniors Ahead of the Election.” “In addition to the executive action on preexisting conditions, Trump also promised millions of older Americans would receive $200 toward the cost of prescription drugs and signed executive orders he said would somehow prevent unexpected medical bills and protect insurance coverage for preexisting medical problems. The White House released no details of how the $200 program would work, how it would be funded and whether this was a long-term plan or one-time payment to seniors ahead of the election.” [Washington Post, 9/24/20

Politico: “The Trump Administration Has Pledged Repeatedly to Lower Drug Costs, Yet Drug Makers Have Raised the Price of Hundreds Of Medicines Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic.” “Sending coupons to that many Medicare beneficiaries would cost at least $6.6 billion. Two senior White House staff said the money can be used as part of a Medicare program, called the 402 demonstration, that tests innovations that could save money or improve the quality of care in Medicare. The Trump administration has pledged repeatedly to lower drug costs, yet drug makers have raised the price of hundreds of medicines amid the coronavirus pandemic.” [Politico, 9/24/20

REACTIONS: Trump’s Executive Orders Do Nothing and Mean Nothing for People with Pre-Existing Conditions

Tonight, President Trump unveiled a series of executive orders in a failed effort to rewrite his disastrous record on protections for people with pre-existing conditions, when, in reality, he has eroded these protections throughout his presidency. In fact, President Trump is in court right now trying to take away the protections that people with pre-existing conditions rely on. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in California v. Texas, Trump’s lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act, one week after the election. If successful, Trump’s lawsuit is poised to rip health care away from 23 million Americans, erase protections for pre-existing conditions for 135 million Americans and throw our entire health care system into chaos. 

Reporters were quick to call out Trump’s fantastical lies about the new executive orders:

Daniel Dale (CNN): “Facts: – Obamacare created the protections for pre-existing conditions…Trump has backed GOP bills to weaken them…Trump admin has argued in court that the protections are unconstitutional…Admin is now trying to get Obamacare killed in court…An order can’t replace law.” [Daniel Dale Twitter, 9/24/20]

Paul McLeod (BuzzFeed News): “In a surreal call, the Trump White House just laid out a plan to decree “policy of the United States” that people with pre-existing conditions can get insurance…As best I can tell this has no legal meaning. The Trump admin is suing to repeal pre-existing condition protections.” [Paul McLeod Twitter, 9/24/20]

John Harwood (CNN): “in case anyone’s wondering, Trump’s “executive order” on pre-existing conditions a) means nothing b) does nothing.” [John Harwood Twitter, 9/24/20]

Sam Stein (The Daily Beast): “In other words, the big health care plan that Trump has been saying is two weeks away for several months now is a statement of poll tested priorities that either are current law that he’s trying to erase or toothless unless done through legislation.” [Sam Stein Twitter, 9/24/20]

Julie Rovner (Kaiser Health News): “The President’s coming EO on pre-existing conditions will simply state that it is the policy of the U.S. that people with pre-existing conditions will be protected, even if ACA is overturned. That’s NOT the way this works. This. Requires. Legislation.” [Julie Rovner Twitter, 9/24/20]

Jeffrey Young (HuffPost): “It will surprise no one that Trump is two minutes into this health care speech and roughly 95% of what he’s said is bullshit.” [Jeffrey Young Twitter, 9/24/20]

Binyamin Appelbaum (New York Times): “Issuing an executive order that says preexisting conditions are covered as a substitute for actually covering preexisting conditions is absolute peak Trump.” [Binyamin Appelbaum Twitter, 9/24/20]

Kyle Griffin (MSNBC): “Several tweets (1) misrepresent what Trump’s orders can do or (2) parrot Trump lies without fact-checking them. Trump’s executive order does not have the weight of law. Obamacare protects pre-existing conditions. Trump’s admin is in court fighting to repeal Obamacare. That’s it.” [Kyle Griffin Twitter, 9/24/20]

Andrew Solender (Forbes): “‘The new Democrat lie is that they would cover pre-existing conditions,’ Trump says, despite the fact that the current protections for pre-existing conditions were signed into law by a Democrat.” [Andrew Solender Twitter, 9/24/20]

Yamiche Alcindor (PBS): “Pres Trump: I am signing the first-ever executive order to affirm that it is the ‘official policy of the United States Government to protect patients with pre-existing conditions.’ Fact: The Affordable Care Act signed by Pres Obama made covering pre-existing conditions U.S. law.” [Yamiche Alcindor Twitter, 9/24/20]

Will Steakin (ABC News): “Trump makes dizzying claim that it’s a ‘new Democrats lie’ that ‘they will cover pre-existing conditions,’ despite pre-existing conditions being covered RIGHT NOW because of Obamacare.” [Will Steakin Twitter, 9/24/20]