Monthly Archives

September 2020

A TOTAL SCAM: Trump’s Executive Orders Don’t Change His Disastrous Health Care Record or Protect People with Pre-Existing Conditions

Washington, DC — Today in Charlotte, North Carolina, President Trump plans to unveil a series of executive orders that he thinks will be health care “wins” for his administration and campaign ahead of Election Day. Trump is specifically trying to rewrite his disastrous record on pre-existing conditions, when, in reality, he has eroded these protections “at every turn.” These executive orders come as his lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act 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. Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement in response:

“President Trump’s latest do-nothing executive orders are just another attempt to hide his disastrous record on health care ahead of the most important health care election in American history. While 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions are currently protected by the Affordable Care Act, President Trump has done everything in his power to terminate those protections and one week after the election, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in his lawsuit to fully destroy the health care law. These executive orders will be seen for what they truly are — another Trump scam that won’t lower drug prices, won’t protect Americans with pre-existing conditions and won’t deliver on any of his health care promises.”

COVERAGE:

Washington Post: Trump Looks for Ways to Win Over Voters on Health Care After Failing to Deliver on Promises. “President Trump is pushing advisers to deliver health-care ‘wins’ in the final weeks of the campaign, leading to a frenzied rollout of proposals as polls show the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and health-care policy are two of his biggest vulnerabilities in his reelection bid… Despite making lowering drug prices and repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act key planks of his 2016 election bid, Trump has struggled to deliver on many of his health-care promises in his first term. He trails Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in polls on health-care issues.” [Washington Post, 9/23/20

  • Washington Post: “Experts Have Said Such An Executive Order Would Amount to Little More Than A Public Relations Ploy.” “Experts have said such an executive order would amount to little more than a public relations ploy, and the order is not viewed as a substantive policy proposal among many West Wing advisers.” [Washington Post, 9/23/20

New York Times: Trump Says He Will ‘Always’ Protect Those with Pre-Existing Conditions. He Hasn’t. “This provision has long been one of the Affordable Care Act’s most popular features. Even when a majority of Americans disliked the law over all, most supported this part of it. Over time, as Obamacare has become more popular and more embattled, pre-existing-condition protections have become so popular that any politician who declines to support them is likely to pay a political price. In 2018, Democrats retook control of the House of Representatives, after campaigning heavily on pre-existing conditions as an issue…That popularity probably explains why President Trump keeps repeating the words ‘pre-existing conditions.’ But saying that he will support these rules doesn’t make it true.” [New York Times, 9/24/20

  • New York Times: “Rather Than Enshrine the Ability of Americans with Health Problems to Buy Insurance, the Trump Administration Has, at Every Turn, Pursued Policies That Have Tended to Do the Opposite.” “But rather than enshrine the ability of Americans with health problems to buy insurance, the Trump administration has, at every turn, pursued policies that have tended to do the opposite. Some of the efforts to weaken protections have been successful — like an expansion of cheap, lightly regulated health plans that insurers are not required to offer when customers are sick. Others, like multiple attempts to ‘repeal and replace Obamacare’ in 2017, failed to attract enough Republican votes in Congress to pass. The Justice Department’s quest to overturn the Affordable Care Act, while no replacement is being offered, is still underway, with oral arguments scheduled at the Supreme Court in November.” [New York Times, 9/24/20

Bloomberg: “Experts Say That Trump’s Order on Pre-Existing Conditions Won’t Provide Meaningful Protections to Sick People Who Seek Health Insurance.” “What’s not expected: The president’s long-promised comprehensive replacement plan for Obamacare, which his administration is trying to persuade the Supreme Court to strike down. And experts say that Trump’s order on pre-existing conditions won’t provide meaningful protections to sick people who seek health insurance.” [Bloomberg, 9/24/20

Politico: “The Executive Actions Are Likely to Have Limited Reach and Impact Before the Election.” “The executive actions are likely to have limited reach and impact before the election, industry observers said. A series of drug pricing orders Trump released in the past two months, including one that would link Medicare prices to cheaper ones paid overseas, largely tee up a federal rulemaking process that would take months, if not years, to come into force.” [Politico, 9/22/20

Politico: Previous Republican Health Plans “Fell Short of Obamacare’s Robust Guarantees.” “Trump and Republicans have regularly promised to safeguard insurance protections, but they have failed to agree on a health plan three years after congressional efforts to repeal Obamacare fell apart. Previous Republican health plans have included some language around preexisting conditions, but they fell short of Obamacare’s robust guarantees.” [Politico, 9/22/20]

NEW: Protect Our Care Expands Digital Ad Campaign Targeting Vulnerable Senate Republicans’ Rush to Confirm Supreme Court Justice Who Would Rip Health Care From Millions

Digital Ad Campaign Running in Eight States Now Targets Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK), David Perdue (R-GA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John Cornyn (R-TX) in Addition to Cory Gardner (R-CO), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) to Remind Americans What’s at Stake in the Upcoming Election

Washington, DC — Today, Protect Our Care released new digital ads highlighting the complicity of Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK), David Perdue (R-GA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John Cornyn (R-TX) in Donald Trump’s lawsuit to eliminate the Affordable Care Act in the middle of a pandemic by jamming an anti-ACA justice on the court before Election Day. On November 10, 2020 — one week after the election — the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in California v. Texas, a case that could eliminate protections for 135 million people with pre-existing conditions and rip away health insurance from over 23 million Americans. The ads call on these senators to let the next president pick the next Supreme Court justice.

The new ads expand a paid digital campaign initially focused on Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Thom Tillis (R-NC). Protect Our Care plans to expand the campaign to television at a later date.

Watch Your Health Care Is On The Line: Alaska, Georgia, Montana, South Carolina and Texas

“One week after Election Day, Donald Trump will ask the Supreme Court to eliminate the entire Affordable Care Act and Senate Republicans are hell bent on helping him by rushing the confirmation of an anti-health care justice,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “At a time when millions go to bed worrying if they or a loved one will get sick, are anxious about sending their children to school, and are wondering how they’ll make ends meet, this reckless agenda is unconscionable. Americans overwhelmingly oppose Senate Republicans’ push to rip health care from 23 million Americans and end protections for 135 million people with pre-existing conditions in the middle of a pandemic. Donald Trump and his Republican allies have been trying to destroy our health care for years now and with the national spotlight fully on the Supreme Court, they can’t hide behind their lies anymore.” 

Script for Your Health Care Is On The Line

The next Supreme Court justice will decide whether 135 million Americans lose protections for pre-existing conditions and over 20 million people lose their health care. 

The winner of the presidential election should pick the next justice — but Lindsey Graham disagrees.

He wants to rush a justice onto the court who will repeal our health care.

Call Senator Lindsey Graham and tell him that the next president should pick the next Supreme Court justice. 

Your health care is on the line.

HEADLINES: Supreme Court Vacancy “Supercharges” Health Care Election

With national attention trained on the Supreme Court vacancy, it is clear that the fight for Americans’ health care has never been more urgent. On November 10, 2020 — one week after the election — the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in California v. Texas, a case that could overturn the entire Affordable Care Act, including protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions and throw our entire health care system into chaos. Coverage shows health care is on the ballot in November, and the choice between Donald Trump and Joe Biden couldn’t be more stark.

Roll Call: Supreme Court Fight Underscores Campaign Trail Focus on Health Care. “In a campaign in which health care was already a top issue for voters, the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg raised the risks for the law signed by President Barack Obama that expanded insurance coverage to more than 20 million people. The Trump administration is arguing that the justices should strike down all of the law, including its popular protections allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance and requiring coverage of preexisting medical conditions. The Supreme Court has not said when it would rule on the lawsuit after the Nov. 10 arguments. Democrats are highlighting the upcoming threat, with party leaders drawing a straight line from the health care law to the COVID-19 pandemic to the Supreme Court. Former Vice President Joe Biden is raising the specter of COVID-19 creating preexisting conditions for the millions of Americans who have had it or could become infected.” [Roll Call, 9/23/20

Politico: Pandemic Supercharges Campaign Battles Over Obamacare. “The message will only intensify in coming weeks, in light of Friday’s death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her death leaves the decision in the high-stakes Trump-backed lawsuit to ax the entire ACA in the hands of an evenly-divided court where Chief Justice John Roberts was widely viewed to emerge as the key swing vote…Both the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Democratically-aligned outside groups are paying for TV ads focused on health care in nearly all their top targeted districts, especially red-leaning suburbs they’re trying to flip.” [Politico, 9/18/20

New York Times: Joe Biden’s Court Vacancy Plan: More Talk of Health Care and the Pandemic. “Now, confronted with a moment that many believe will upend the 2020 election — the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the prospect of a bitter Supreme Court confirmation battle — Mr. Biden’s campaign is sticking to what it believes is a winning strategy. Campaign aides said Saturday they would seek to link the court vacancy to the health emergency gripping the country and the future of health care in America…For Democrats, the focus on health care — overlaid by the pandemic — is a rerun of the successful playbook that helped power the party’s takeover of the House of Representatives in 2018 and a fidelity to Mr. Biden’s steadfast promise to defend Obamacare, a pledge that helped him navigate through the 2020 primary.” [New York Times, 9/19/20

Associated Press: Biden to Focus on Health Care In Supreme Court Debate. “Joe Biden on Sunday used the sudden Supreme Court vacancy to reinforce his argument that the upcoming election should be a referendum on President Donald Trump’s handling of health care and the coronavirus. The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg jolted the presidential campaign just six weeks before the election and as several states are already voting. Trump has seized on the opportunity to nominate a new justice to motivate his most loyal voters. Biden kept the focus on health care, which has proven to be a winning issue for Democrats during previous elections and could be even more resonant amid the pandemic.” [Associated Press, 9/20/20

Axios: Inside Biden’s Supreme Court Strategy. “Joe Biden’s closing argument will shift to a dominant emphasis on health care, turning the looming Supreme Court fight into a referendum on coverage and pre-existing conditions, officials tell Axios. Why it matters: Biden aides believed they were winning when the race was about the coronavirus pandemic. Now they plan to use the Supreme Court opening as a raucous new field for a health care fight, returning to a theme that gave Democrats big midterm wins in 2018.” [Axios, 9/20/20

NEW ADS: Protect Our Care Releases New Digital Ads Targeting Vulnerable Senate Republicans’ Rush to Confirm Supreme Court Justice Who Would Rip Health Care From Millions

Digital Ad Campaign Targets Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Reminds Voters What’s at Stake in the Upcoming Election

Washington, DC — Today, Protect Our Care released new digital ads highlighting the complicity of Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) in Donald Trump’s lawsuit to eliminate the Affordable Care Act in the middle of a pandemic by jamming an anti-ACA justice on the court before Election Day. On November 10, 2020 — one week after the election — the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in California v. Texas, a case that could rip away protections for 135 million people  with pre-existing conditions and take away health insurance from over 23 million Americans. The ads call on these senators to let the next president pick the next Supreme Court justice.

The new ads will begin as a paid digital campaign in Colorado, Iowa and North Carolina. Protect Our Care plans to add states to the campaign and expand to television at a later date.

Watch: Your Health Care Is On The Line — Colorado, Iowa and North Carolina

“One week after Election Day, Donald Trump will ask the Supreme Court to eliminate the entire Affordable Care Act and Senate Republicans like Cory Gardner, Joni Ernst and Thom Tillis are hellbent on helping him by rushing the confirmation of an anti-health care justice,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “At a time when millions go to bed worrying if they or a loved one will get sick, are anxious about sending their children to school, and are wondering how they’ll make ends meet, this reckless agenda is unconscionable. Americans overwhelmingly oppose Senate Republicans’ push to rip health care from 23 million Americans and end protections for 135 million people with pre-existing conditions in the middle of a pandemic. Donald Trump and his Republican allies have been trying to destroy our health care for years now and with the national spotlight fully on the Supreme Court, they can’t hide behind their lies any more.” 

Script for Your Health Care Is On The Line

The next Supreme Court justice will decide whether 135 million Americans lose protections for pre-existing conditions and over 20 million people lose their health care. 

The winner of the presidential election should pick the next justice — but Cory Gardner disagrees.

Cory Gardner wants to rush a justice onto the court who will repeal our health care.

Call Senator Cory Gardner and tell him that the next president should pick the next Supreme Court justice. 

Your health care is on the line.

Trump Tries to Hide His Disastrous Health Care Record Behind Meaningless Executive Order

Washington, DC — Today, administration officials indicated President Trump would be unveiling an executive order in the coming days related to protections for people with pre-existing conditions, but it would actually do little to nothing to help Americans. The announcement comes as his lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act is poised to take away protections for pre-existing conditions for 135 million Americans and throw our entire health care system into chaos. In response, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement: 

“This announcement is just another effort from President Trump to obscure his disastrous record as we approach the most consequential health care election of our lives. Since taking office Donald Trump has taken every opportunity to undercut protections for people with pre-existing conditions and rip health care away from millions of others. People with pre-existing conditions already are covered by the Affordable Care Act. President Trump is suing right now to remove those protections and completely dismantle the entire Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case one week after the election and with the recent vacancy on the court, the ACA has never been in more peril. If successful, this lawsuit would mean 135 million people with pre-existing conditions would lose the protections they rely on for health care coverage.”

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy and Cancer Survivor Laura Packard Stress 2020 Is a Health Care Election, Especially in Light of SCOTUS Vacancy

Call Audio Available Here

Washington, DC — Today, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and health care advocate Laura Packard joined Protect Our Care to emphasize what the recent U.S. Supreme Court vacancy has made clear — health care is on the ballot in 2020. On November 10, 2020 — one week after the election — the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in California v. Texas, a case that could overturn the entire Affordable Care Act, including its protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions and throw our entire health care system into chaos. It could not be more clear that 2020 is a health care election. 

“Donald Trump has been clear. He is only going to put people on the court who are going to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Republicans are rushing through this nominee, declaring their support before they even know who it is, because they want to make sure that they have a majority decision on that November case to overturn the entirety of the Affordable Care Act. The consequences are absolutely catastrophic for American families if a right-wing justice gets appointed to this court, and Donald Trump and Republicans finally get what they want, which is the elimination of protections for people with pre-existing conditions and the elimination of health care insurance for 25 million Americans,” said U.S. Senator Chris Murphy.

“President Trump repeatedly claims to protect or ‘save’ pre-existing condition protections while simultaneously attacking the Affordable Care Act and any mechanism to ensure people have comprehensive affordable coverage,” said cancer survivor Laura Packard. “People with pre-existing conditions like me are terrified of losing our insurance again in the midst of the pandemic surrounding us. Many of us are uninsurable without the ACA, and without insurance we will die.”

“Right now, Donald Trump is asking the Supreme Court to completely dismantle the ACA — in the middle of a pandemic,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Ripping health care from more than 23 million Americans and ending protections for more than 135 million people with pre-existing conditions is extremely unpopular but now, with the spotlight on the Supreme Court, Trump won’t be able to hide his health care sabotage record from voters. Make no mistake: 2020 is a health care election.”

Fact Sheet On Trump Lawsuit To Overturn ACA

With a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, the future of our health care is at stake. On November 10, 2020 one week after the election the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in California v. Texas, a case that, if successful, would overturn the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA), ending its protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions and ripping health care away from more than 20 million Americans, all during a raging pandemic. The danger of letting Donald Trump fill the Supreme Court vacancy cannot be overstated. Now, more than ever, Americans’ health care is on the ballot.

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 15 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. 

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

  • 20 million people could lose coverage. The Center for American Progress estimates more than 20 million people could lose coverage during an ever-worsening global pandemic if the ACA is overturned.
  • The uninsured rate would increase by at least 65 percent. According to pre-pandemic estimates from the Urban Institute, the number of uninsured Americans would increase from 30.4 million to 50.3 million without the ACA, representing a 65 percent increase in the uninsured rate. As the uninsured rate swells, so will the amount of uncompensated care, which Urban predicts will grow by at least 82 percent.
  • 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.
  • Millions of children could lose their coverage. Almost three million children nationwide gained coverage thanks to the ACA. If the law is overturned, many of these children will lose their insurance.
  • The Black uninsured rate would spike to 20 percent. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the ACA helped lower the uninsured rate for nonelderly African Americans by more than one third between 2013 and 2016 from 18.9 percent to 11.7 percent. Without the ACA, the uninsured rate for black Americans would spike to 20 percent.
  • 5.4 million Latinos would lose coverage. The percentage of people gaining health insurance under the ACA was higher for Latinos than for any other racial or ethnic group in the country. According to a study from Families USA, 5.4 million Latinos would lose coverage if the lawsuit succeeds in overturning the ACA.

Republicans Want To Put Insurance Companies Back In Charge, Ending Protections For The 135 Million People With A Pre-Existing Condition

  • According to a recent analysis by the Center for American Progress, roughly half of nonelderly Americans, or as many as 135 million people, have a pre-existing condition. This includes:
    • 44 million people who have high blood pressure
    • 45 million people who have behavioral health disorders
    • 44 million people who have high cholesterol
    • 34 million people who have asthma and chronic lung disease
    • 34 million people who have osteoarthritis and other joint disorders

Republicans Want To Give Insurance Companies The Power To Deny Or Drop Coverage Because Of A Pre-Existing Condition

Conditions That Could Cost You Your Care:

  • AIDS/HIV
  • Alcohol/drug Abuse
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Kidney Disease
  • Severe Epilepsy
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Pregnancy
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorder
Jobs You Could Be Denied Coverage Because Of:

  • Active military personnel
  • Air traffic controller
  • Body guard
  • Pilot
  • Meat packers
  • Taxi cab drivers
  • Steel metal workers
  • Law enforcement 
  • Oil and gas exploration
  • Scuba divers
Medications That You Could Be Denied Health Care For Taking:

  • Anti-arthritic medications
  • Anti-diabetic medications (including insulin)
  • Anti-cancer medications
  • Anti-coagulant and anti-thrombotic medications
  • Medication for autism
  • Anti-psychotics
  • Medications for HIV/AIDS
  • Growth hormone
  • Medication used to treat arthritis, anemia, and narcolepsy
  • Fertility Medication

Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies routinely denied people coverage because of a pre-existing condition or canceled coverage when a person got sick. Now insurance companies could have the license to do this again. 

  • A 2010 congressional report found that the top four health insurance companies denied coverage to one in seven consumers on the individual market over a three year period. 
  • A 2009 congressional report found that some of the largest insurance companies had retroactively canceled coverage for 20,000 people over the previous five year period.
  • The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 54 million people, or 27% of adults aged 18 to 64, have a condition that would have been grounds for coverage denial in the pre-ACA marketplace. 
  • An analysis by Avalere finds that “102 million individuals, not enrolled in major public programs like Medicaid or Medicare, have a pre-existing medical condition and could therefore face higher premiums or significant out-of-pocket costs” if the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful.

Coronavirus Could Now Be Considered A Pre-Existing Condition. Without the ACA, millions of Americans who have contracted the coronavirus would likely be deemed as having a pre-existing condition and be at the mercy of their insurance companies who could refuse to pay for needed care. Because of Donald Trump’s failure to respond to the coronavirus crisis, the number of Americans with coronavirus is only increasing, with hundreds of thousands of cases still being reported every week. 

Republicans Want To Give Insurance Companies The Power To Charge You More, While Their Profits Soar

  • 138 Million Americans Could Once Again Have To Pay For Preventive Care. Because of the ACA, health plans must cover preventive services — like flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms – at no cost to consumers. This includes nearly 138 million Americans, most of whom have employer coverage.
  • Premium Surcharges Could Once Again Be In The Six Figures. Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, insurance companies could once again charge people more because of a pre-existing condition. The House-passed repeal bill had a similar provision, and an analysis by the Center for American Progress found that insurers could charge up to $4,270 more for asthma, $17,060 more for pregnancy, $26,180 more for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 more for metastatic cancer.
  • Women Could Be Charged More Than Men For The Same Coverage. Prior to the ACA, women were often charged premiums on the nongroup market of up to 50 percent higher than they charged men for the same coverage. 
  • People Over The Age of 50 Would Face A $4,000 “Age Tax.” Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, insurance companies could charge people over 50 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.
  • Nine Million People In The Marketplaces Would Pay More For Coverage. If the ACA is overturned, consumers would no longer have access to tax credits that help them pay their marketplace premiums, meaning roughly nine million people who receive these tax credits to pay for coverage would have to pay more.
  • Seniors Would Have To Pay More For Prescription Drugs. Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, seniors would have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole would be 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.
  • 60 Million Medicare Beneficiaries Could Face Higher Costs. In addition to paying more for preventive care and prescription drugs, Medicare beneficiaries could face higher premiums without the cost-saving measures implemented under the ACA. If the Republican lawsuit is successful, seniors would also face less coordinated care. 

Republicans Want To Give Insurance Companies The Power To Limit The Care You Get, Even If You Have Insurance Through Your Employer

  • Insurers Could Reinstate Lifetime and Annual Limits On 109 Million Privately Insured Americans. Repealing the Affordable Care Act means insurance companies would be able to impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage for those insured through their employer or on the individual market. In 2009, nearly 6 in 10 (59%) covered workers’ employer-sponsored health plans had a lifetime limit, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. 
  • Insurance Companies Would Not Have to Provide the Coverage You Need. The Affordable Care Act made comprehensive coverage more available by requiring insurance companies to include “essential health benefits” in their plans, such as maternity care, hospitalization, substance abuse care and prescription drug coverage. Before the ACA, people had to pay extra for separate coverage for these benefits. For example, in 2013, 75 percent of non-group plans did not cover maternity care, 45 percent did not cover substance abuse disorder services, and 38 percent did not cover mental health services. Six percent did not even cover generic drugs.
  • Large Employers Could Choose to Follow Any State’s Guidance, Enabling Them Put Annual and Lifetime Limits on Their Employees’ Health Care. Without the ACA’s definition of essential health benefits (EHB), states could eliminate them altogether. Large employers could choose to apply any state’s standard, making state regulations essentially meaningless. Because the prohibition on annual and lifetime limits only applies to essential health benefits, this change would allow employers to reinstate annual and lifetime limits on their employees’ coverage.

Republicans Want To End Medicaid Expansion

  • More Than 15 Million People Enrolled Through Medicaid Expansion Would Lose Coverage. Before the coronavirus crisis, roughly 15 million people were enrolled through Medicaid expansion. 
  • Medicaid Plays A Critical Role In The Coronavirus Response. An estimated 12 million people have lost their employer-sponsored coverage as a result of the pandemic, and states are reporting steep increases in Medicaid enrollment. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that roughly 6 million people enrolled in Medicaid between February and July 2020.  
  • Access To Treatment Would Be In Jeopardy For 800,000 People With Opioid Use Disorder. Roughly four in 10, or 800,000 people with an opioid use disorder are enrolled in Medicaid. Many became eligible through Medicaid expansion.
  • Key Support For Rural Hospitals Would Disappear, with state spending on Medicaid/CHIP falling by $9.6 billion

Protect Our Care Statement on the Coming Supreme Court Fight: This Is a Health Care Election

Washington, DC — On November 10, 2020 — one week after the election — the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in California v. Texas, a case that could overturn the entire Affordable Care Act, including protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions and throw our entire health care system into chaos. Following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued a statement on the upcoming fight for the future of Americans’ health care access:

“Donald Trump is before the Supreme Court right now trying to strike down the Affordable Care Act in its entirety, including protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. Trying to dismantle the health care law and all the protections it affords to Americans is extremely unpopular with voters, but President Trump was depending on the fact that relatively few voters know about the case. 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 on the ballot are trying to rip health care away from millions in the middle of a pandemic. This is a health care election. Period.” 

BACKGROUND:

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.

View the full fact sheet on Trump-Republican lawsuit to overturn the ACA HERE.

Daniel Gade Lies About Protecting 3.5 Million Virginians with Pre-Existing Conditions

While Gade Would Join GOP War on Health Care, Mark Warner Is a Health Care Champion

Washington, DC — As the Virginia Senate race heats up, Protect Our Care is reminding voters that no matter what Daniel Gade says about supporting people with pre-existing conditions, the policies he supports would do the exact opposite. Gade supports repealing the Affordable Care Act, which guarantees coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, prohibits insurers from charging these people more for coverage, requires coverage of essential health benefits and bans lifetime caps on coverage. The ACA is the gold standard for protecting people with pre-existing conditions, yet Gade supports getting rid of the law in the midst of an ever-worsening public health crisis with no health care plan to replace it. 

“If elected, Daniel Gade would become just another Republican claiming to support people with pre-existing conditions while trying to get rid of the protections they rely on. Like Mitch McConnell, Gade wants to completely dismantle the ACA, which would rip health care away from more than 640,000 Virginians, end protections for more than 3.5 million Virginians with pre-existing conditions and throw the entire American health care system into chaos as the nation continues to face the ever-worsening coronavirus pandemic,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Senator Mark Warner is a proven health care champion who is working on solutions to make sure more people get the coverage they need during the coronavirus pandemic. In an election where health care is on the line, the difference between Sen. Warner and Gade could not be more stark.”

BACKGROUND: 

Fact Sheet: Trump-Backed Texas Lawsuit Would Devastate Virginians

President Trump is trying to rip apart our health care by going to court to eliminate the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. If the Trump 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. The result will be to — as the Trump Administration itself admitted in Court — unleash “chaos” in our entire health care system. 

If Trump Gets His Way, Virginians Would Lose Their Coverage

  • 642,000 Virginians could lose coverage. According to the Urban Institute, 642,000 Virginians would lose coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act, leading to a 96 percent increase in the uninsured rate.
  • 59,000 Virginia young adults with their parents’ coverage could lose care. Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of young adults are able to stay on their parents’ care until age 26.
  • 38,000 Virginia children could lose their coverage. Almost three million children nationwide gained coverage thanks to the ACA. If the law is overturned, many of these children will lose their insurance.
  • 58,000 Virginia Latinos could lose coverage. The percentage of people gaining health insurance under the ACA was higher for Latinos than for any other racial or ethnic group in the country. According to a study from Families USA, 5.4 million Latinos nationwide would lose coverage if the lawsuit succeeds in overturning the ACA.
  • Virginians would lose important federal health care funding — an estimated reduction of $4.7 billion in the first year. The Urban Institute estimates that a full repeal of the ACA would reduce federal spending on Virginians’ Medicaid/CHIP care and Marketplace subsidies by $4.7 billion. 

If Trump Gets His Way, Insurance Companies Would Be Put Back In Charge, Ending Protections For The 135 Million People Nationwide With A Pre-Existing Condition

  • According to a recent analysis by the Center for American Progress, roughly half of nonelderly Americans, or as many as 135 million people, have a pre-existing condition. This includes:
    • 44 million people who have high blood pressure
    • 45 million people who have behavioral health disorders
    • 44 million people who have high cholesterol
    • 34 million people who have asthma and chronic lung disease
    • 34 million people who have osteoarthritis and other joint disorders
  •  3,580,300 Virginians have a pre-existing condition, including 444,200 Virginia children, 1,784,000 Virginia women, and 839,400 Virginians between ages 55 and 64. 

If Trump Gets His Way, Insurance Companies Would Have The Power To Deny, Drop Coverage, And Charge More Because Of A Pre-Existing Condition

Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies routinely denied people coverage because of a pre-existing condition or canceled coverage when a person got sick. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, insurance companies will be able to do this again.

  • A 2010 congressional report found that the top four health insurance companies denied coverage to one in seven consumers on the individual market over a three year period. 
  • A 2009 congressional report found that the largest insurance companies had retroactively canceled coverage for 20,000 people over the previous five year period.
  • An analysis by Avalere finds that “102 million individuals, not enrolled in major public programs like Medicaid or Medicare, have a pre-existing medical condition and could therefore face higher premiums or significant out-of-pocket costs” if the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful.

If Trump Gets His Way, Insurance Companies Would Have The Power To Charge You More, While Their Profits Soar

  • 3,902,716 Virginians Could Once Again Have To Pay For Preventive Care. Because of the ACA, health plans must cover preventive services — like flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms – at no cost to consumers. This includes nearly 3,902,716 Virginians, most of whom have employer coverage.
  • Insurance Companies Could Charge Premium Surcharges in the Six Figures. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, insurance companies would be able to charge people more because of a pre-existing condition. The health repeal bill the House passed in 2017 had a similar provision, and an analysis by the Center for American Progress found that insurers could charge up to $4,270 more for asthma, $17,060 more for pregnancy, $26,180 more for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 more for metastatic cancer.
  • Women Could Be Charged More Than Men for the Same Coverage. Prior to the ACA, women were often charged premiums on the nongroup market of up to 50 percent higher than they charged men for the same coverage. 
  • People Over the Age of 50 Could Face a $4,000 “Age Tax,” Including $3,431 in Virginia. Because Judge O’Connor sided with Republican lawmakers, insurance companies would be able to charge people over 50 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, including $3,431 in Virginia, according to the AARP.
  • 289,081 Virginians in the Marketplaces Would Pay More for Coverage. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, consumers would no longer have access to tax credits that help them pay their marketplace premiums, meaning roughly nine million people who receive these tax credits to pay for coverage will have to pay more, including 289,081 in Virginia.
  • 109,517 Virginia Seniors Could Have to Pay More for Prescription Drugs. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, seniors could have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole would be 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 CMS report. In Virginia, 109,517 seniors each saved an average of $1,104.

If Trump Gets His Way, Insurance Companies Would Have the Power to Limit the Care You Get, Even If You Have Insurance Through Your Employer

  • Insurance Companies Do Not Have to Provide the Coverage You Need. The Affordable Care Act made comprehensive coverage more available by requiring insurance companies to include “essential health benefits” in their plans, such as maternity care, hospitalization, substance abuse care and prescription drug coverage. Before the ACA, people had to pay extra for separate coverage for these benefits. For example, in 2013, 75 percent of non-group plans did not cover maternity care, 45 percent did not cover substance abuse disorder services, and 38 percent did not cover mental health services. Six percent did not even cover generic drugs.
  • Reinstate Lifetime and Annual Limits On 2,974,000 Privately Insured Virginians. Repealing the Affordable Care Act means insurance companies would be able to impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage for those insured through their employer or on the individual market.
  • Large Employers Could Choose to Follow Any State’s Guidance, Enabling Them Put Annual and Lifetime Limits on Their Employees’ Health Care. Without the ACA’s definition of essential health benefits (EHB) in even some states, states could eliminate them altogether. Large employers could choose to apply any state’s standard, making state regulations essentially meaningless. Because the prohibition on annual and lifetime limits only applies to essential health benefits, this change would allow employers to reinstate annual and lifetime limits on their employees’ coverage.

If Trump Gets His Way, Medicaid Expansion Would Be Repealed

  • More Than 300,000 Virginians Enrolled Through Medicaid Expansion Could Lose Coverage. Seventeen million people have coverage through the expanded Medicaid program, including more than 300,000 in Virginia. 
  • Access To Treatment Would Be In Jeopardy For 800,000 People With Opioid Use Disorder. Roughly four in ten, or 800,000 people with an opioid use disorder are enrolled in Medicaid. Many became eligible through Medicaid expansion.
  • Key Support For Rural Hospitals Would Disappear, leaving Virginia hospitals with $1.7 billion more in uncompensated care. 

 

 

Protect Our Care “Your Health, Your Vote” Virtual Bus Tour Week One Wrap Up: National Kick Off, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin

Virtual Tour Kicked Off with Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer, “Hit the Road” for Events in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin

On the first week of Protect Our Care’s 16-state “Your Health, Your Vote” virtual bus tour, Protect Our Care held a national kick off with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, as well as events in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. During each stop, elected leaders, health care advocates and storytellers from each state met in a virtual format to highlight the impact of Trump’s failed coronavirus leadership, his ongoing war on pre-existing conditions, attacks on Medicaid and Medicare and his failure to lower the cost of prescription drugs — and contrast them with the leadership of House and Senate Democrats and Vice President Biden.

Additionally, Kristin Urquiza — founder of the group Marked By Covid and adviser to Protect Our Care — joined the tour this week and will be at numerous stops along the way. Urquiza, who founded Marked By Covid after her father passed away from COVID-19, was quoted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel during the Wisconsin stop: “’I am so overwhelmed with the fact that the president continues to not only endanger the lives of us generally but his own supporters,’ she said. ‘It just brings home the point that he cares about himself and his own interests, first and foremost.’”

NATIONAL KICK OFF:

Monday, September 14, 2020: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) joined Protect Our Care to kick off the “Your Health, Your Vote” virtual bus tour to make sure voters know health care is on the ballot in November. Since taking office, President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress have been waging a war on health care including their botched coronavirus response, refusal to provide Americans with meaningful COVID relief through legislation, proposed cuts to Medicaid and Medicare and failure to lower the cost of prescription drugs. 

Watch the Full Event Here

Tour Announcement
Politico Pulse: PROTECT OUR CARE HITS “ROAD” WITH VIRTUAL TOUR

Read Protect Our Care’s Guide to the 2020 Health Care Election Here

PENNSYLVANIA

Tuesday, September 15, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in Pennsylvania to highlight Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and failed coronavirus response. Headlined by U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA-08) Marked by COVID founder Kristin Urquiza and health care advocated Erin Gabriel, the event highlighted how Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, would impact Pennsylvanians’ 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 Full Event Here

Coverage:
The Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, PA): Casey, Cartwright Highlight What’s at Stake for Health Care in Election

Read Protect Our Care’s Pennsylvania’s Voter Guide Here

WISCONSIN

Thursday, September 17, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in Wisconsin to highlight Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and failed coronavirus response. Headlined by U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, the event highlighted how Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, would impact Wisconsinites’ care. 

Watch the Full Event Here

Coverage
WSAW (Wausau, WI): Wis. Democrats Hold Virtual Panel Events as Pres. Trump Visits Mosinee

Channel 3000 (Madison, WI): Democrats Hold ‘Your Health, Your Vote’ Event Ahead of President’s Wisconsin Visit

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Donald Trump Tears Into Joe Biden in Return Visit to Wisconsin

Read Protect Our Care’s Wisconsin Voter Guide Here